I need help with Traditionalism, please!


I’m what you would call a “Novus Ordo” Catholic - lifelong (35 years). I have looked into Traditionalism on and off since 2004. I agree with a lot of it, but other parts seem fishy to me. I have e-mailed several high profile Catholics asking them questions about all these topics and no one seems willing or able to help me. I’d like to PM, or e-mail someone back and forth, point by point on the different aspects of traditionalism. I have read read books, magazines, articles, etc. listened to talks, read website info and all that. I am still confused. Both sides have many very good points and I can’t seem to get to what makes the most sense. I was wondering if someone could give me resources to check out (book titles, web-sites, etc.), and most importantly actual, knowledgeable dialog. I am looking for someone who may have been an adherent to this type of mind set. I would welcome PM’s, thanks. God bless.


What do you feel thats fishy?

Discussions in an open forum can be helpful, you can get several points on each issue and possible a more balanced answer in the end.


One thing that seems fishy to me is the “No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church” topic. The old ways seem pretty cut and dried, but the newer writings on this topic seem to be confusing (at least to me), which tends to make the Traditionalists arguements make more sense.


Hi Logan,

There are things on which different points of view are possible, and others where they are not. The liturgy is one that you can discuss and about which you can have preferences. The Novus Ordo is the normal liturgy of the Church. But an opportunity has been given to those who want to explore the old liturgy to do so.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reflects universal church teaching. There is little room for discussion here. “No salvation outside the Church”, for example, was broached by the Council and the doctrine was incorporated into the Catechism. This doctrine has never changed, but the Council clarified it further.




There is a heresy which goes by “Traditionalism”, but it is very little talked about these days. Still, clarity is needed when discussing this question. Reactions to the “problem” of the Council run the gamut, and many well reasoned conclusions have been drawn. I’m sure you’ve learned this from your reading. I would be happy to correspond with you on any questions you may have.




You can write to me when ever you want and whatever you want.

I’m a traditionalist. I was it during my whole life. And I’m very happy about it.

I’ve studied traditional catholic theology.
And I’ve studied modern catholic theology at university.

(I’m Master in theology and canon law).

I’m NO aggressif missionary. You can ask what you want. I don’t turn you to anything.

But I would like to show you the beauty of traditional catholicism.

It’s my biggest joy in life!!

I’don’t speak english very well.


I have heard that, but I don’t understand why it “needed” to be further clarified, it seemed pretty cut and dried before, now it seems confusing…

That was the problem. The pre-Vatican II statement was confusing to some, so they clarified it at the Council and in the Catechism. :thumbsup:



Somehow, this statement seems very unserious.


No, I am absolutely serious. Before Vatican II there were many lay people, and religious, as well as some priests who taught that protestants, for example Lutherans could not be saved. My Dad was a Lutheran and I went to a Catholic school where the nuns taught this. I felt bad for years because I was convinced despite his goodness, Dad was doomed to hell.

Perhaps the example of Father Feeney in Boston was one priest who interpreted “outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation” in this way. What is in the Catechism and in some of the documents of Vatican II was a great comfort to me because it made it very plain that there was a possibility that my Dad could be in heaven.

Iesus Dominus ( not sure on spelling) and some other papal writings opened my eyes even further as to how this was possible. Anyone can read these documents and understand that salvation is not guaranteed, but the possibility exists even for those who do not accept Jesus as God. It is also made plain that anyone who is saved is saved through the merits of Jesus Christ flowing through his Church, the Catholic Church. Perhaps that is what is confusing.

None of this erases the demand that anyone who believes the Catholic Church is the true Church must join it, become a card carrying Catholic, to be saved


I think you need to be more clear by what you mean by traditionalism. In my experience there are two types of Catholics who label themselves as traditionalists:

1.) Those who prefer the Tridentine Mass, chant, and older forms of spirituality. Although they generally have good intentions, some people in this group enjoying claiming that their worship is superior (because some guys a long time ago worshiped the same way).

2.) Those who reject Vatican II (or Vatican I) and don’t believe it is a valid council. I would have a hard time classifying them as Catholics.


There are not many traditionalists that deny that Vatican II was a valid council.

There were many catholic bishops present and the pope.

It’s no invalid council. It’s a stupid council.

It was a PURE pastoral council. The fathers of the council said that they didn’t want to declare a new dogme.

So you can reject every content of Vatican II without declaring Vatican II invalid.

The Holy Spirit wasn’t present in a special manner.


There are traddies and then there are traddies.

An appreciation for a reverent Mass is one thing. An appreciation of the theological differences between the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form is one thing. A desire to live your life and to raise your family with the popular piety that was more common than not in the old days is one thing.

Declaring that the See of Peter has been vacant since the reign of Pius XII is another thing altogether. Rejection of the rulings of either Vatican I or Vatican II (different splinter groups reject one or both) is another thing altogether.

And Feeneyism is another thing altogether, an extremist perversion of a truly good doctrine. Rather than recognizing that there is only one Universal Church within which all baptized are, at some level, members, Feeney either lowers the Universal Church to the level of the schismatic ecclesiastic groups he rejects or raises those schismatic ecclesiastic groups to the same level as the Church: he makes them all competing movements for the souls of the baptized. Thus his belief denies the Church for what it is and must be considered a heresy.


So when they wanted Latin and chant to be retained in the Mass, and no radical revision made to its form - we can ignore those bits then? Because Lord knows that the Holy Spirit wouldn’t deign to be present in a special manner when all the Bishops of the world gather togther in Council :rolleyes: :slight_smile:

See just because the Council Fathers had no intent to formally declare dogma doesn’t mean the Council wasn’t nonetheless a very special exercise of the Magisterium a critically important expression of the collective mind of the Church, and thus doesn’t its documents oughtn’t to be paid utmost attention to.


wasn’t nonetheless a very special exercise of the Magisterium

No, it wasn’t.
If a priest in a theater says that doesn’t want to consecrate, he doesn’t even if he uses the words.

If the bishops say that they don’t want to be expression of the magistry they aren’t.

The latin in the tridentine mass has not to be hold because Vatican II says it, but because the new mass was an agression against very old traditions. And the great pope Benedict XVI was right: The traditional mass was NEVER abolished.

The latin in the mass is not because of Vatican II.
And the virginal birth of Jesus is not because of the koran.


Ummm … you DO know, don’t you, that “Magisterium” simply means “teaching authority”. And that there are different levels of Magisterium (extraordinary and ordinary, for example) and different ways in which it can be exercised.

Every Catholic cleric, from the Pope down to the humblest priest, exercises Magisterium at least sometimes and to some extent.

So getting back to Vatican 2, the fact that the Council Fathers expressed a desire not to create NEW dogma doesn’t mean they weren’t teaching authoritatively, albeit not infallibly - for example by clarifying or expanding on previously-defined infallible dogma.

In doing this they were exercising Magisterium, or teaching authority. It was called ‘pastoral’, sure, but ‘pastors’ teach, so a ‘pastoral’ council can and does still teach, no?

This becomes clear when one reads what John XXIII said at its opening:

“It must come to pass that this certain and immutable doctrine, which must be faithfully respected, is deepened and presented in a way that replies to the demands of our time …”

So the aim of the Council wasn’t to create new doctrine, sure, but that’s not to say it couldn’t and didn’t exercise Magisterium, it clearly did, by expanding and clarifying Church teaching on previous doctrine.

Being a council of all the world’s Bishops, that which it does teach still holds a lot of weight unless it can be satisfactorily demonstrated that it was erroneous.


Concerning the fact that one may be united to the Church while not being explicitly Catholic, this is not a new teaching. Here St. Alphonsus Ligouri explains (citing the Council of Trent; notice also implicit desire is included:

*** St. Alphonsus Liguori*** (1691-1787) *Moral Theology* - (Bk. 6):

** **“But baptism of desire is perfect conversion to God by contrition or love of God above all things accompanied by an explicit or implicit desire for true Baptism of water, the place of which it takes as to the remission of guilt, but not as to the impression of the [baptismal] character or as to the removal of all debt of punishment. It is called ‘of wind’ ‘flaminis’] because it takes place by the impulse of the Holy Ghost Who is called a wind ‘flamen’]. Now it is de fide [of the faith] that men are also saved by Baptism of desire, by virtue of the Canon ‘Apostolicam De Presbytero Non Baptizato’ and the Council of Trent, Session 6, Chapter 4, where it is said that no one can be saved ‘without the laver of regeneration or the desire for it.’”

Some might then ask what is the purpose of missionary activity? Not all have this burning love of God above all things and this desire to follow His will. Speaking from personal experience, it was fellow Catholics haring their faith that moved me from lukewarmness to seek God’s will earnestly. Not only that, but those who do desire to crucify their own will to the Logos of God have a right to know His will for them :thumbsup:.


Oh! We are getting closer to the center!!!

Magistry like it is in the tradition IS about the depositum fidei. Pastoral concerns NOT.
I agree with you that in the modern sense of Munus docendi pastoral consigns can be expression of this Munus. But they don’t need any special assistance of the Holy Spirit concerning the truth. And exactly that is the caracter of Vatican II. A stupid council.

In the new CIC there are three munera (regendi, docendi and sanctificandi).
What a ********!!!
They have NO biblical and traditional foundation.

That comes from protestants through Walter Philipps in the modern CIC against Mörsdorf.

In the catholic sense (Mörsdorf) there are only two faculties in the church (word and sacrament):

  • The sacramental (specially ordination)
  • The gouvernment (by the mission of a bishop).

The magistry is NOT gouvernmental.
The truth is not made by the majority or by the power (consensualisme).
The truth is one. Not every bishop or even priest can make his own truth.

The magistry owns only to the pope or all the bishops all over the world (TOGETHER) or the Fathers of the church or ALL believers all over the world.

A bishop or priest CAN NOT declare a truth of the faith (that is part of the depositum fidei).
They can only make DISCIPLINARY consigns about the TEACHING of faith.
And this is NOT part of the magistry in the classical sense.

Munus docendi IS Not magistry in the classical sense.

This would be the heresy of consensualism: The truth is MADE by the power of the majority.

And this is exactly what we are about here:
A pastoral council is only of the disciplinary part of the munus docendi. It is NOT part of the classical magistry.

A standard error of modernists.

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