Defintion of Traditonal Catholic


Perhaps this has been covered somewhere else in this forum, but I couldn’t find anything that dircetly addressed it. What is the defintion of a “Traditonal Catholic”. Does this refer exclusively to practioners of a Latin Mass ,or does it encompass a set of values not believed to expressed in most of todays Catholic Churches?


As I’ve frequently said here, the Eastern Catholic Churches are VERY traditional.


I’d say at minimum a preference for the Latin Mass, at least in colloquial usage.


Traditionalists practice Catholicism. And they reject novelty.


A “traditional” Catholic is someone who was baptized into the Church, confirmed, and practices the faith as taught by Christ, the Pope, bishops and the Church.

It doesn’t make one iota of difference if a person prays in latin or attends the latin Mass exclusively; a traditional Catholic is one who practices the faith of the Catholic Church.


I’d have to agree with all of that.




A plain straight Catholic is someone who does all those things. Someone who attends a NO is just as Catholic as a TLM-er. “Traditional” is just a description.


Exactly my point.


None of these posts are very good answers.

A traditional Catholic is not a person who “prefers” the old Latin Mass. Neither are they people simply passed Catechism class.

They are people who adhere to a type of spirituality that is largely lost in the 21st Century Catholic Church.

Truthfully, it’s easier to describe their outward signs than their character: the old Latin Mass is the biggest identifier… though there are certainly traditional Catholics who are marooned in Novus Ordoland; there are likewise non-traditional Catholics who go to the TLM.

Trads are people who listen to Catholic Radio… skeptically. They might have a blog. They can list their “top-five” favorite Ecumenical Councils… none of which will rhyme with “Attican Shoe”. Their friends think they’re fuddy-duddys. They’ve got Holy Water fonts in all the bedrooms and by the front door. They quote the Douay Rheims bible. They have an opinion on offering Mass in baroque vestments while in a gothic chapel. They’re tired of tinfoil hat jokes. They may not like Bishop Williamson, but concede that sometimes he’s right, and when he’s right, he’s really right. They can tell you about Assisi. When they’re at a Novus Ordo Mass, they’ve got their hands folded like a Catholic during the Our Father. The women have an extra mantilla in the van-- just in case. The men have an opinion on the best type of pipe tobacco for any occasion. The boys have their own cassock and surplice hanging in the closet. The girls know how to play Dies Irae on the organ. They wear a t-shirt while they go swimming so their brown scapular doesen’t float away. They’re willing to drive an hour to go to Mass… every Sunday. They know the confession times of at least 4 churches. They invite priests over to play cards and smoke cigars. They pray to saints that you think may not really exist. They ask you to finish the sentence when you say “John Paul the Great”… the great what? They might own a live chicken. When they’re at a Novus Ordo Mass, everyone watches them to figure out why they’re hitting themselves during the “Lamb of God”. They’re kneel after Mass to pray… and miss out on the fun gladhanding with Father by the parish gift shop. They scoff when they pass the Masonic Lodge. They cross themselves when they pass a Catholic church. They mutter something about the “poor souls” when they pass a cemetary. They mutter something about St. Michael when an ambulance passes them. Their girls’ first names are Mary. Their boys’ middle names are Mary. Cappa Magma doesn’t sound like a drink at Starbucks to them. They’ll tell you at length why being “charitable” isn’t always being nice and friendly.

It’s complicated. Trads are not easily defined. You just kind of know them when you see them.


stay around in this forum and others and you will see from Left to Right for traditional Catholic. :slight_smile:


A traditional Catholic - *in the post-conciliar sense *- is a Catholic who wants the Mass, all sacraments and rites, and catechesis, restored to how they were before Vatican II.

It could entail more depending on the individual, but, generally speaking and in a nutshell, I’d say that’s it.

  • Lisa

Best definition yet.


That would be a radical tradionalist. There are many who would call themselves traditional who do not advocate disposing of the reforms of Vatican II.


No, you’re wrong. Lisa’s answer would be the normative answer to the question “what is a traditional Catholic?”. A rad trad is someone like a sedevacantist or a trad who can’t figure out the difference between Catholicism and Jansenism, Donatism or Puritanism.


So, would I be erroneous in referring to myself as a traditional Catholic, because I have no problem with Vatican II?



Remember what Benedict XVI said many years ago, nobody knows if Vatican II worked or not because it’s never been tried. Nevertheless, your question is a good one and I would lilke to add to it if I may. May I refer to myself as a traditional Catholic, because I don’t care what language the mass is in as long as it is done in keeping with papally approved rubrics. My traditional Catholicism is – if the Pope says it, do it.



Well, I simply define “traditional Catholic” in a broader sense than some others on this forum do (partly because it is slightly less confusing than referring to oneself as an Orthodox Catholic, suggesting Eastern Orthodoxy).


That is correct, yes. You might be a fully orthodox Catholic and maybe even a very good Catholic (if such a thing exists). But you would not be a traditional Catholic.

You’ve passed today’s class. :slight_smile:


Use the little-o orthodox.

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