The Paradox of Traditionalism

The traditionalist Catholics I know have a real longing for a return to the pre-Vatican II days when the Church was much more directive towards the laity, and people were told when to pray, when to fast, what to read, what not to read, etc.

But then the magisterium of the Church, exercised in a general council of Bishops, decreed to give the laity more freedom and involvement in the government of the Church.

Therefore, if you are a ‘trad’ and say “I believe in doing whatever the priest/Pope tells me”, then you have to accept that what the Church is telling you is “think for yourself, receive mass in a language you understand, get involved, don’t just leave it all to the priests”. If you then carry on as if the Church hadn’t made that decision, then surely you’ve compromised your own position?*

I am not a traditionalist, but I appreciate them and agree with them on many things. I think the crux of their issue is that the liturgy is desacralized and there is a heterodoxy in teaching and practice of faith and morals. Many things done in the so-called “Spirit of Vatican II” were exactly the opposite of what the documents contained! Gregorian Chant should have pride of place in the liturgy–hmm, know many parishes where that’s true? If not, they haven’t embraced Vatican II. Turning against clear morality and philosophy for a self-centered, psychobabble relativism…well, that’s how you end up with heterodox priests seeking their self fulfillment by fondling children. They’re not offending their own consciences.

However, take the long view. After every council, there is widespread rebellion and confusion and frequently schism. Then it settles down and the new teachings are consolidated and integrated into the life, belief, teaching, and practice of the Church. JP2’s pontificate was all about implementing Vatican II and he knew that the forty years of wandering in the wilderness was almost over, that’s why he expected a new springtime. It’s the same pattern throughout all of history.

I grew up in the desert-wandering desolate Church that didn’t know who she was…which is why I left as soon as I could. God called me back just in time to witness many great graces pouring out. Wow, the intelligence and zeal and holiness of the young Church! They (we) have paid the price of what happens to the society that whores itself to the spirit of the age. We know the Pearl of Great Price and how precious it is.

Church, be who you are!

BTW the traditionalists I know are very active in lay ministries and apostolates, as well as bringing Christ out into the world where they are…which is what Vatican II told them to do! No paradox there.

You make some good points. I think we are realizing that a lot of the Church’s wealth and richness comes from centuries of inspiration and traditional respect for God and His creations. We did this through candles, a worship language, art, music, statues, and all the time focusing on Him. When we start focusing on ourselves more (by relaxing rules, for example), then we are dangerously close to losing love for God altogether. We can’t let that (continue to) happen. But that should go without saying.

But then the magisterium of the Church, exercised in a general council of Bishops, decreed to give the laity more freedom and involvement in the government of the Church.

Could you tell me what decrees of the council you are referring to here?

Different rites, yes, but you seem to be saying to have different rites within rites. Different rites usually refers to Latin, Eastern Orthodox, Byzantine, etc., not two rites within the Latin rite

What I am saying is, there is not liturgical uniformity within the Church, nor has the Church ever demanded it.

To claim that there is a paradox between Traditionalism and obedience to the Church, as the OP does, is ridiculous.

The Byzantine rite liturgies are in the Byzantine autonomous churches, not “rites” . The Roman Church has had numerous rites of liturgy actually, the Carthusian, Roman, Mozarabic, Gallic, and arguably the NO is its own rite separate from the Roman; even among the Roman rite, there have been different uses of it (Sarum Use) or for a more modern case, the Anglican Use of the NO/reformed rite . So no, it is quite normal for there to be multiple rites within one church. Its not different rites within rites, its different rites within the same church, and it has always been a common practice in the Catholic Church.

Could the “Novus Ordo Rite” survive?

I guess it could, and it would make life more interesting - I say let some parishes, that will, remain Novus Ordo parishes, let others become Tridentine Rite parishes.

You never know, the Tridentine Rite parishes may draw the Orthodox into communion, and the Novus Ordo Rite parishes may draw the Anglicans and Methodists into communion…

I’m not sure what your basis is for saying the Tridentine rite would draw the Orthodox into communion. It did not draw them into communion with Rome in the four centuries it had been in use. And there are a lot of issues separating the Orthodox from the Catholic Church.

Traditional, Liberal, Conservative etc are only labels that mean different things to different people. I for one consider myself a very Orthodox Catholic and try to adhere to all of the teachings and beliefs of the Church. I do love the Novus Ordo and feel it has greatly enhanced worship. For this some would call me Liberal. I prefer to see it as the richness of our faith, addressing the different needs of its people. I know of others who consider themselves very old time Catholics who want everything as it was Pre-Vatican II. But these same people refuse to take communion if it is not a priest giving it. Even pre-Vatican deacons were ordinary ministers of the Eucharist. I guess what I am saying is don’t be so free with labels but look to the persons heart and above all, their actions to see if they are truly Catholic. i really believe that this is what Jesus does.
Deacon Ed B

I think the what trads struggle with is that recent popes seemed to have contradicted popes from the past on some issues like ecumenism to name one issue. Can popes change what past popes or councils have stated? This is more compicated than just do what the pope says, especially in the vagueness of many V2 documents. I would say if there is any question of the recent popes decision, put in light of 2,000 years of tradition, and your answer is clear. Speaking pc today, but meaning the unchanging truth of old.

Nothing wrong with the teachings of the Church. It’s how Vatican II was implemented. As you can see, actions are being taken to fix what abuses there have been.

If you then carry on as if the Church hadn’t made that decision, then surely you’ve compromised your own position?

If you can name some actual decrees that we “compromise”, then maybe your claim would have some weight. “The spirit of V2” doesn’t count.

What is up with the resurrection of these almost year old threads, Deacon Ed? Half of the people who participated in them were banned. It hardly seems fair to carry on without them :wink:

Been working my way through the threads. Am now on page 52 on Traditional Catholics. Would you prefer I stop.
Deacon Ed B

That was my question too :shrug:

The only “paradox” is to be in a Church where most of the Bishops, priests and and laity have rejected almost everything that had been believed and practiced before V2, and then are told to act like everything’s cool, under the penalty of “schism”. It’s like the Twilight Zone episode where the guy comes home from work and everything is changed. His wife is not the same wife he married; he doesn’t know his children, and friends–nothing. His house is arranged differently although some of the same furniture and accesories remain but to fit, oddly, a different family or personality–his city, street, and address are the same, so he knows he “lives” there, so he doesn’t run in horror immediately. But, they are not HIS wife, family, and friends; it’s not his house.He thinks he’s finally gone nuts; but he’s told to “accept” his new situation–that he’s quite insane–he meets with some of his best friends who he meets with a sigh of relief, because he knows they will tell him (as good friends often do) that he’s right about the nightmare. But instead they tell him he needs psychological help as well.
In order to survive and remain in his strange, unfamiliar house
the man has to act like he’s O.K. Everything is fine. As long as he can remember the things of his past, of his true home----to give him solace and strength to continue.
It is when he sees his , his old home, wife, children, and friends returning, very, very slowly,that he feels sane—normal—not a freak in need of counselling or a straight jacket. His true home is returning… This is the life—the “paradox” of the Traditionalist.:frowning:

I have a real problem with the early post that implies that priests fondling children is a result of Vatican II.

C’mon, a priest who fondles children is just plain ill. The scandal came from the Bishops who covered it up.

That has nothing to do with Vatican II


No, keep going, it’s interesting!

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