Rejecting the Teaching Authority of the Chruch?


I am by no means a “Traditional Catholic” as I understand that term to be used here. Nor do I wish to join or explore the Traditional movement. I am not trying to pick a fight here, and I don’t mean any disrespect. I would simply like to ask a question of someone who is involved in the movement. My question (without further delay) is this: Why? The rite, as I understand it, dates from Trent, not from the Apostles. As far as we know, Jesus did not celebrate the Last Supper in Latin, and he certianly didn’t celebrate it the way the Traditional Masses are celebrated today. The Apostles, if I am not mistaken, celebrated Mass in the vernacular. Also, if we believe that the Church posesses authentic Apostolic teaching authority then why doesn’t that authority apply to the teachings of Vatican II. And if you reject that authority as expressed by Vatican II are you not just doing what Martin Luther and the Reformers did? Thank you, in advance for your answers. I sincerely don’t mean any disrespect, and I hope that no offense is taken to my question.


“Traditional Catholic” is a bit like “middle class family”. It is a convenient shorthand, but hides a lot of complexities.

The council of Trent standardised the Mass with the aim of making abuses very difficult. However a medieval Catholic would have recognised the Tridentine Mass as somethign very similar to his parish rite. Vatican II by contrast instituted a very big change. It would have been surprising if some Catholics had not been uneasy with it.

Jesus would have said the blessings at the Last Supper in Hebrew, as certain as anything can be. It was not a Latin Mass, but neither was it vernacular.

Hower traditions do develop. Since Vatican II it is not open to us to be conservatives and simply resist all change. Once things are altered you cannot simply nullify the act, at best you can make further changes to put things back the way they were. Not all traditionalists realise that.

Only a minority of traditional Catholics reject Vatican II in the sense that they have left the church. Most obey their bishops. Obedience does not necessarily imply an unquestioning attitude to the bishop’s decisions.


Martin Luther was rejecting defined dogma. Vatican II was a pastoral council. In the closing of the council Pope Paul said that “nothing extraordinary was done here” which is a canonical way of saying that none of the documents of Vatican II which express something not previous in the magisterium enjoy any form of infallibility. We are free to disagree with the Pope on prudential decisions and remain in good standing with him.


Let me restate what I believe that you said, please correct me if I’m wrong. 1) I’ts basically impossible to say that Traditional Catholics believe this or that because there are several aspects to the movement some more radical, some more moderate than others. 2) That point considered, most Traditional Catholics do not out-right reject Vatican II, and are loyal to their Bishops and the Church. Others have left the Church altogether. 3) The changes to the Mass instituted by Vatican II were too much for some to swallow at one gulp.

Is that correct? If so, that’s certianly understandable.

Can you tell me then, what is the attraction to the Traditional Mass? Is it mainly the aesthetic or is there a doctrinal reason to prefer the old to the new? Do you believe that the modern (post Vatican II) rite is corrupt or is it just more susceptible to abuse? What are the Vatican II changes–both to the rite and to the Church as a whole–that you object most strongly to.

Thanks again for indulging me.



Like I said, dumspirospero, I’m not trying to pick a fight, I’m just trying to understand. Honest. What specifically do you object to in the new rite and specifically why? Do you believe that the new rite is corrupt or just that the Traditional is superior? If the new is corrupt, why? If the Traditional is superior, why?


I don’t believe one is superior to the other…I am nostalgic and prefer one over the other…I do believe that more “corrupt” people, to use a word you used, tend to frequent the new rite though…


The Mass was standardized at Trent to ensure a consistent theology of the Mass throughout the Catholic world that was being challenged by the Protestant Reformers. However, that Mass traced itself back to the reforms of Pope St. Gregory the Great in the 6th century. A priest celebrating in the 500’s could easily approach a 19th century Catholic altar and say the Mass. The changes that happened to the mass in that time period were slow and organic.

This is one thing that really speaks to the Tradition of the Church. Just as one could see slow, yet organic, doctrinal development, so should one be able to see liturgy develop in an organic and slow way. Doctrines don’t just pop up or change over night, however, this is exactly what happened at the Second Vatican Council. Though it is perfectly within the jurisdiction of the Holy See to do this, it does not mean that the resulting texts are, ipso facto, superior. Even Ratzinger said that the resulting liturgy from VII was a “banal, on the spot product.” Why? Because many see that the new Mass, though valid, has discarded so much from the old Mass that the entire ethos is altered. This is unheard of in ages past, or in eastern rites. In fact, Eastern Orthodox (the only Christians with whom we can hope for reunification) are scandalized at what we have done with our liturgy. They have safeguarded theirs very scrupulously, so they see our treatment of our Roman Rite (which is the oldest in Christendom) as irresponsible.

One should be able to go to Mass and know that you are celebrating the same Mass that saints of centuries past celebrated and were nourished by. In recreating the same atmosphere and same rituals, you are, essentially, reliving all the Masses of ages past. Now, if you go to a new Mass, though it may be substantially the same, is it not the same in its forms and rituals. The “accidents” are different, and since we are corporate beings, externals do affect our internal sense of reality. Sacraments are visible signs of invisible realities. If we start radically changing the externals, it becomes harder and harder to see in the immutable invisible aspects of the mass. When you start removing prayers that clearly speak of the MAss as a sacrifice, and start adding prayers that stress the Mass as a community meal, then that starts to throw up red flags. Though it isn’t heretical in and of itself, the general trend seems to de-emphasize key theological realities of the Mass.


Holy mackarel! I grew up with the Latin Mass. I was an altar boy. The transition to the NO Mass finished just after my senior year in high school in 1969.

We had the entire fabric of our religious existence ripped out from under us. The majority of Roman Catholics that I knew back then were not in the least bit happy with the changes. I can’t speak for the rest of HMC but in New Orleans in the late 60s, it went over like a lead balloon. This is just my view.

In 1967 we consecrated our new church. I was senior altar boy. I knelt and kissed Archbishop Hannan’s ring - a totally medieval act and one in which I was in full accord. The Mass was a hybrid Mass with parts in Latin and parts in English.

Of course I don’t reject Vatican II. I am a loyal son of HMC. But I’ll tell you this much, I stopped attending Mass during the early 70s because of what I had to endure. It wasn’t until I found my reverent NO parish (a cathedral parish) that I started going back to Mass. And, btw, I drive 25 miles to attend.

The NO is NOT the Mass of my childhood. It is NOT what I grew up with. Lord, I sound like a dinosaur. Look, the Church in which I grew up in was far different from HMC today. Note the use of HMC - common amongst folk of my generation and older. The very mindset of the TLM and the NO are different. The TLM was God centered - us worshipping Him. The NO is us worshipping as a community. Far different paradigms - far different.

I was a teenager when this happened. It was SHOCKING not only to me but to my parents. But we were all part of HMC. If V II had occurred today, there would have been massive protests. Protests were inconceivable to us back then. We were sons and daughters of HMC. We went along with the change but it doesn’t mean by any stretch of the imagination that we approved.


Nothing wrong with nostalgia I suppose. Does anyone object to the new rite on doctrinal grounds?


I’ll take a crack at this one. Aesthetic or doctrinal? For me it is both, but primarily it is the TLM is directed to God and is emphasizing the Sacrifice of the Mass. The NO is designed to emphasize the Communal aspects of the Mass. To use the buzz words of the day, worship at the TLM is vertical and worship at the NO is horizontal. I prefer to worship God, to look at the Crucifix during mass–not my neighbor across the way–I prefer the use of prayer in the TLM for the Church, the clergy, the souls in purgatory, for my neighbors and for myself.

Is the modern rite corrupt? Not by it’s nature, but based on its history, it is apparently much easier to abuse the NO and even corrupt the Mass. The rigid structure of the TLM makes it much more difficult to abuse.

What do I object most to? The loss of the holiness of our clergy and our laity. By that, I mean things like the Bishops not upholding Church doctrine because it is not politically correct. The priests changing the Holy Mass on little more that a whim to please the “audience” rather than to please God. The laity disregarding Church teaching such as on birth control, yet still call themselve Catholic.

If you want to know more of what this Catholic thinks, go to the link–I wrote more and I don’t need to repeat it.


[quote=dumspirospero]I do believe that more “corrupt” people, to use a word you used, tend to frequent the new rite though…

Oh Brother!

Sounds like the old argument that only 144,000 will be saved. Must mean the rest of the Catholic population is going south, losing salvation. But you Tradtionists are all holy and will be among the 144,000. I’m so glad you are not like one of “those” my man … sigh.


By “doctrinal grounds” do you include the blurring of the line between the priest and the faithful by having the priest face the people and everyone recite the words of consecration along with the priest? How about the doctrine of the Real Presence by receiving communion in the hand?

But rather than continue on my own wits, I would direct you to Michael Davies’ work entitled “Liturgical Shipwreck.” Or if you would prefer something for free, I have a recording of a conference he gave once which covers all of the points covered in this booklet. If I can find the audio I’ll post the mp3 of it for you (and whomever else wants a listen).





would you say that a greater percentage of catholics today believe in the real presence than 100 years ago? What about the percentage who follow the church’s teaching on birth control? or how about comparing those who go to confession?

even ratzinger says that the disintegration of the faith has been due, in large part, to the disintegration of the liturgy.

why can’t catholics face facts?


Gee, here you have SnorterLuster and myself, BOTH OF WHOM ACTUALLY WENT THROUGH THE TRANSISTION, and you ignore how we felt. There is a disconnect here, methinks.


Just keep repeating ‘Springtime’ to yourself… you’ll believe it soon enough.



Sorry dude…I dont’ have a clue as to what you are talking about…but my observation is accurate…which one do you find Gay Pride Masses? Which one do you find Protestants receiving Communion? Which one do you find people stealing the Holy Eucharists to use in Black Masses or to sell it on Ebay? Which one do you find clowns? Which one do you find lay people giving homilies??? All of these things are very, very wrong…and should not be tolerated or allowed…I am simply calling a spade a spade…If you can’t handle the truth…that is sad.

Oh yeah…that 144,000 is a teaching commonly attributed to the Jehovah’s Witnesses…I guess you want them to receive Communion too


I attend the NO—and Yes—it has been–and is being corrupted in many places thru out the universal Church. Our late Pope knew it—that is why he mandated RS-2004. To bad—that he was unable to put a stop to it.

It is fair to say–that those who manipulate to corrupt–those that have run with the “spirit” of Vat II-- frequent the NO–to enjoy their “fruits”.

Ecclesia de Eucharistia
Ioannes Paulus PP. II
2003 04 17


  1. All of this makes clear the great responsibility which belongs to priests in particular for the celebration of the Eucharist. It is their responsibility to preside at the Eucharist in persona Christi and to provide a witness to and a service of communion not only for the community directly taking part in the celebration, but also for the universal Church, which is a part of every Eucharist. It must be lamented that, especially in the years following the post-conciliar liturgical reform, as a result of a misguided sense of creativity and adaptation there have been a number of abuses which have been a source of suffering for many. A certain reaction against “formalism” has led some, especially in certain regions, to consider the “forms” chosen by the Church’s great liturgical tradition and her Magisterium as non-binding and to introduce unauthorized innovations which are often completely inappropriate.

I consider it my duty, therefore to appeal urgently that the liturgical norms for the celebration of the Eucharist be observed with great fidelity. These norms are a concrete expression of the authentically ecclesial nature of the Eucharist; this is their deepest meaning. Liturgy is never anyone’s private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated. The Apostle Paul had to address fiery words to the community of Corinth because of grave shortcomings in their celebration of the Eucharist resulting in divisions (schismata) and the emergence of factions (haireseis) (cf. 1 Cor 11:17-34). Our time, too, calls for a renewed awareness and appreciation of liturgical norms as a reflection of, and a witness to, the one universal Church made present in every celebration of the Eucharist. Priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms, and communities which conform to those norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church. Precisely to bring out more clearly this deeper meaning of liturgical norms, I have asked the competent offices of the Roman Curia to prepare a more specific document, including prescriptions of a juridical nature, on this very important subject. No one is permitted to undervalue the mystery entrusted to our hands: it is too great for anyone to feel free to treat it lightly and with disregard for its sacredness and its universality.


They don’t line up neatly in order either. One of the most reactionary organisations in Britain is the Catholic Land society. However they are virtually Communists in their social program, calling for a return to subsistence farming.

However virtually all Traditional Catholics believe that it is a worthwhile thing to celebrate Mass in Latin.

  1. That point considered, most Traditional Catholics do not out-right reject Vatican II, and are loyal to their Bishops and the Church. Others have left the Church altogether. 3) The changes to the Mass instituted by Vatican II were too much for some to swallow at one gulp.

Is that correct? If so, that’s certianly understandable.

That’s a reasonable summary. Some Traditional Catholics have rejected the Council and left the Church, others adopt theories about it not being a full or fully authoratative Council. Others feel that the interpretation has been not in the spirit intended.

Can you tell me then, what is the attraction to the Traditional Mass? Is it mainly the aesthetic or is there a doctrinal reason to prefer the old to the new? Do you believe that the modern (post Vatican II) rite is corrupt or is it just more susceptible to abuse? What are the Vatican II changes–both to the rite and to the Church as a whole–that you object most strongly to.

Thanks again for indulging me.

The Church in Western Europe is seriously in decline due to secularisation. Since the decline in attendance followed the Second Vatican Council then we must ask whether the decline was the result of the Council. It is hard to answer conclusively, but certainly some of the changes have been associated with laxness and wishful thinking. That doesn’t mean that it is inherently impossible to offer a worthy NO Mass, and it doesn’t mean that in other areas, such as Africa, the reforms might not have landed on more fertile ground.

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