Help Out the Ignorant Guy

Okay, will someone please explain to me exactly what “Traditional Catholicism” is? How is “Traditional Catholicism” different from regular ole’ Catholicism? I’m assuming it has to do with the Latin mass, etc?

This is an excellent article on traditional Catholicism and what it is-

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

Well, that is a big part of it. But I suppose now it is an entire “spirituality.” That fish eaters website has a good low down on it.

Thanks. That helped.

I agreed with most the points in that article. Does that make me a traditionalist?

Besides the philosophy of it however, I guess how traditional Catholicism plays out effectively is by, in one large way, going back to how the mass was before Vatican II (Latin and all). That seems silly to shoehorn the mass into that box. I don’t care what language the mass is in nor how it plays out as long as it is hardcore reverent and respectful in all senses.

Sedevacantism seems the most extreme of all. Unless they believe that most of the Church is in apostasy and these are the last days, I don’t think they really have a leg to stand on.

Just my two cents. :slight_smile:

I assume you’re saying they don’t have a leg to stand on since that would mean that hell has prevailed over the church, something Jesus said would never happen so I would agree with you there too.

There are so many “movements” within Traditional Catholicism that sometimes it gets confusing. However, the most sane ones who are attached to the Tridentine Mass don’t want to ban the current one, just end the Bishop’s supression of it which many canon experts (including current Pope) have said quite clearly that Paul the VI’s promulgation did not ban.

Translation of the Mass is quite important as well. The vernacular to many in the trad movement is fine but there seemed to have been (to them) that there was an eagerness to translate the english mass poorly. “Pro Multis” is an example of this. At the consecration the latin of the mass Jesus says his blood was shed “for many”, not “for all”. The church’s position has always been that salvation was offered and available to all, but His shedding of blood would not end up being shed for all since obviously some people are going to hell (another subject rarely discussed today). and have articles you can read to see more of their point of view. Just keep in mind at times they interview, and sometimes allow to write, individuals who adhere to and support SSPX for example.

The term “traditional Catholicism” has become necessary simply because there are those who identify themselves as Catholics who think priests should be allowed to marry, who think women should be eligible to be ordained priests, who think contraception is a personal choice, etc. Telling them they’re not fully Catholic tends to be viewed negatively, so out of a sense of political correctness, they retain the name Catholic. A way to be identified as a person who does not hold these mistaken views then becomes important. It is true that the popular conception of traditional Catholicism centers on the Latin Mass. Maybe a better term for what I am describing would be “faithful Catholicism”.

I’m not sure where to post this and I don’t want to start a new thread, but does anyone know any good links to detailed history of Catholicism?

How detailed? You might need to take a semester of Western Civ or Church history. :stuck_out_tongue:

The best way I can put it is this and this is only my opinion nothing more.

The effects of Vatican II on the Church were enormous. Most would say monumental. Some of the effects were good, some not so good and some horrible. Whether or not they came about as a direct result of Vatican II itself is a matter of debate even today. The fact is though they happened right or wrong.

Traditionalists tend to feel that the reforms that were anticipated at the Council got out of hand and took on a life of their own and the Church for whatever reason did not try too hard to stop them, reign them in or even control what direction they went, which all too often seemed to be the complete destruction of what Catholicism had been prior to the Council. All of a sudden anything that someone wanted to believe or practice was all right except for belief in the Traditional Church, and its rituals. Example, devotion to Mary was extremely strong in the pre-conciliar Church, some would argue too strong and that she rivaled Christ in some areas. After the Council there was a concerted move to eradicate such devotions. For a long time Marian devotion declined a great deal in many areas. Her statues and altars were removed from many Churches and devotions such as the rosary were I won’t say ridiculed but actively discouraged. It wasn’t until the failed assasination attempt on Pope John Paul II in which he credited the Blessed Mother with saving his life that Marian Devotion made a comeback.

You could go to many churches and participate in a charismatic Masses, in the infamous Clown masses or any number of Masses that bore no resemblance to the traditional Mass at all. In fact, until Pope John Paul II, again, granted permission for the Traditional Mass, you couldn’t hardly find one anywhere as the only priests who could legally say it were old timers who were grandfathered in so to speak or in so called schismatic Chapels…

So you could say that traditionalists are the ones who don’t really understand why so much had to be changed if as it is said such changes were never mandated or anticipated by the Council. A very good point.

So I will end with a saying that pretty much sums it up:



Cranch did not state that it is unCatholic to believe that married men should be allowed to be ordained to the priesthood, however many others on these boards have included that with the other two as the worst types of cafeteria Catholics imaginable. For their benefit, I want to point out that it is perfectly Catholic to hold a belief that the tradition of ordaining married men should be returned (as long as the person respects that it is not the current practice of the church and doesn’t try to sneak a married guy through seminary or go off to be “ordained” by some vagante group.) This, unlike priests getting married or women becoming priests, is only a small-t tradition which can, if the Church decides, be changed.

Of course, married men continue to be ordained in the east and the west. Most western ordinations of married men are among converts who were Episcopalian/Anglican priests. However, I remember reading about some RC guy who was a married deacon who was raised to the priesthood. Anyone else remember that?

I occasionally go to Polish Mass and I just realized after reading your post that the priest does in fact say “for many” during the consecration at the Polish Mass, but they say “for all” in the English Mass. :eek: I’ve been told that the words of the consecration are so important that saying them incorrectly would make the Sacrament invalid (I guess it’s not as serious as that in this case, but still…) - and yet for how many decades have English-speaking priests been using a different word during the consecration than the original Latin, and probably most if not all other languages. I know that there’s a new English translation coming out in 2008, but shouldn’t this have been addressed sooner? Sigh…and then people ask me what the point is of having Mass in Latin…


Great article. Thanks, it really helped me out.

Respectfully, there is absolutely nothing wrong in thinking priests should be allowed to be married. That is a practice that can change and any faithful Catholic could pray for if they wished to.

You should not be lumping that one in with things that can never change, like women priests and contraception.

Big difference between the first and the second two.

What is the difference with contraception? It was to be discussed at Vatican II with an eye towards changing it, and Pope Paul appointed an advisory council that effectively took it off the table for further review. More and more members were appointed to the advisory council and they reccommended that the Churches position be changed. They could find nothing in the history of the Church that made it an infallible teaching or a rigid part of doctrine.

Pope Paul overruled them, causing consternation and outrage. How dare he overrule the advisory council. He was acting in defiance of collegiality. Many upper level clerics as well as rank and file catholics believe that contraception is A OK and many practice it every day. In fact, truth be known, if you ask, many catholics are totally unaware that it is against Church policy.

So apparently it is within the power of the Church to change the ruls about contraception the same as many here claim they could change the rule on married priests.

I see no need for married Priests nor do I think there ever will be such a need.

WOW! Thanks for that great website :smiley:

[quote=palmas85]So apparently it is within the power of the Church to change the ruls about contraception the same as many here claim they could change the rule on married priests.

I see no need for married Priests nor do I think there ever will be such a need.

Look, here’s the skinny. Priests will never be allowed to get married. However, married men can certainly be priests. The Eastern churches have been ordaining married men since Christ. The Romans simply don’t practice that at this current time, and there’s a good chance they won’t ever change it since it’s been enforced for so long, but they might.

The wording of your comment (allowed to be married) makes it unclear if you are speaking of marriage before or after ordination. There is a difference between the possibility of married men becoming priests and men already priests being allowed to marry. There are some married priests in the Church now who were already clergy and married before converting to Catholicism. My comment did not address the idea of married men becoming priests. If in fact your comment refers to priests being allowed to marry after ordination I must strongly disagree with your statement. I refer you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1580 In the Eastern Churches a different discipline has been in force for many centuries: while bishops are chosen solely from among celibates, married men can be ordained as deacons and priests. This practice has long been considered legitimate; these priests exercise a fruitful ministry within their communities.73 Moreover, priestly celibacy is held in great honor in the Eastern Churches and many priests have freely chosen it for the sake of the Kingdom of God. In the East as in the West a man who has already received the sacrament of Holy Orders can no longer marry.

Nope, never even thought that ordained priests should be allowed to marry. I do not believe that has ever been part of the practice of the Catholic Church.

But as pointed out by you and others, there are in fact men who are married who are allowed to be ordained.

This is what I was referring to. So you would not in fact have any reason at all to strongly disagree with my statement. If my wording confused you, I apologize.

But I stand by my statement that it is inappropriate to lump together allowing married men to become priests (is that clearer:) ) along with women priests. There will never be women priests.

As for contraception, I have never heard that this was an teaching that could change. I certainly hear alot of people who talk about how it will change in the same breath they talk about women priests, but that does not make it true. Also along the lines of people who say the Pope is going to approve this or that, when in fact that was never said by the pope but is being read into by those who wish to hear what they want to hear.

I would need to read official Catholic documents that say that contraception is a practice that can be changed and is the similar to married men becoming priests in the Latin Rite is a practice that CAN change but not neccessarily should be changed. I have never heard from official Catholic sources that contraception is only a practice of the Catholic Church and in fact is a teaching that can change.

God Bless,

We’ve got three issues; married priests, contraception, and women priests.

The first is up for discussion. There are very poweful reasons for a celibate priesthood, but they don’t necessarily apply for all times and in all societies.
The third may not be discussed. The Church understands that we have a clear mandate from Christ to ordain men only. So discussion of the possibility of ordaining women is disloyal, though not a terrible sin.
In the second, we in the process of discernment. The pastoral teaching is firm and all Catholics must adhere to it, but we may argue that it is wrong. It is obvious that the secular position that contraception is an unproblematic fix to unwanted pregancies is misguided, but it is not entirely obvious what the Church’s response should be.

That may be true in a theoretical sense, but I will guarantee you that millions and millions of Catholics, practicing Catholics, including some on this forum do indeed practice it, and believe that they are doing absolutely nothing wrong and nothing in violation of Church dogma, doctrine or law.

And no I don’t believe that we are in a time of discernment at all on that issue.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit