Traditionalist Catholics and the Respect for the Priesthood

I am writing this thread because I often/hear something that seems almost a little hypocritical on the part of those who label themselves ‘Traditionalist Catholics’. On the one hand, there is a push for recognizing the unique role/‘higher’ calling of the Priesthood, saying that greater respect needs to be payed to them. This view plays out in numerous discussions of Traditional views (i.e. one person mentioned in my altar rail thread that such rails had partially served the purpose of separating the clergy from the laity, complaints against the overuse of EMHC and lay readers often revolve around the issue of it blurring the line between laity and the Priesthood and that this lack of respect for the Priesthood and the blurring of such lines has contributed to the Priesthood shortage).

Yet, on the other side, whenever some Traditionalists disagree with the actions of the Priest, either liturgically (such as in the that thread I started asking about whether it is okay to receive a blessing in the Communion line) or theologically (such as the words one Priest told me that I paraphrased in my “Masturbation and Addiction” thread), then it becomes an almost, “What do they know?” and certain Traditionalists will either argue that such Priests should be reported (thus pulling rank by running the Bishop or even the Vatican, such as the Congregation for Liturgy *) or simply ignoring the Priest’s words/advice in favor of a more Traditional viewpoint.

Isn’t this a bit hypocritical at some levels? Saying we should have greater respect for the Priesthood and that the clergy occupy a higher/better/nobler calling that us laypeople, but whenever the Priest goes against the Traditional interpretation of an issue (i.e. liturgy, theology, etc.), well then we should just disrespect that Priest’s office (either by ignoring their words or playing tattle-tale at some level). Now obviously, I am not talking about if a Priest does something horrendous/illegal (i.e. the sex scandals).*

Respect for the priesthood is NOT the same thing as agreeing with individual actions or words of this or that priest.

Only the Bishop of Rome is infallible, and even that is strictly limited.

What you have to remember and i think is very important with this topic is that a priest is just like you and me. He is no more special then any one of us. In the olden days people thought priests somehow were above everyone else and that lead to a lot abuses of power in the church and ultimately to the reformation. Priests are human beings they are not gods or Gods messengers thats the job of the angels. A priest is a person who devotes his life to God and teaches the faith. By our baptism we are also called to teach the faith and we ourselves our priests of Jesus’s church.

I wouldn’t say it’s hypocritical at all.

We’re simply asking (demanding) the priest be the best he can be. And, if he does something wrong, or is in error, it is in our best interests to correct him.

We shouldn’t ever disrespect the office of the Priest, but I believe it is fair to disagree with a Priest if he teaches or is encouraging something that is contrary to Catholic tradition.

It should seem obvious that this disagreement should be done charitably and with a sufficient degree of humility (and even the willingness to first assume a mistake in interpretation on our part before accusing a Priest of doctrinal error).

No mention of “praying for” or “talking with” one’s pastor yet you mention “demanding” and “correcting” a priest? You just made my point. Thank you.

I understand and, certainly, there are major abuses that are kind of like ‘duh’ moments (i.e. saying things that flat out contradict the faith in a homily); however, it seems like sometimes disagreements occur because we do not like how a Priest performs the liturgy or interprets or applies Scripture/Church doctrine. If we start turning to our own interpretation of the liturgical rubrics, Scripture or Church doctrine to try and “correct” a Priest who we think has erred, how is that any better than Protestantism?

Has anyone noticed that the views for this thread are 27 times greater thean the replies? That is because no one can be bothered replying to such an argumentative topic. :yawn:

I’ve been gone a long time, and I see nothing has changed. * Let’s all beat the trads up! * That’s still the flavour of the forum, sad to say.

That is a very important question you have raised. If you ask most Protestants the same question vis-à-vis Scripture they will usually claim that no interpretation is necessary or that they receive direct revelation from God. Both are wrong answers and they would also be wrong if applied to those you mentioned as well.

Herein is the difficulty with any position that lumps such a diverse group together. Oh yes, some are hypocritical, as are some of every group. There is nothing inherently hypocritical in being Traditional in worship and most are very supportive of their priests.

I have seen what you speak of, where the separation in liturgy between the clergy and liturgy is sacrosanct, yet when it comes to doctrine they think they understand Catholicism better than the pope. However, this is a problem of the individual and has nothing to do with Traditional worship itself.

I am not trying to “beat the Trads up” as it were. In fact, this afternoon, I will be talking to a Priest from the FSSP and am giving consideration to attending their Seminary in Denton; thus, in some ways, I guess I might fall into the Traditionalist camp as it were.

Anyway, I am merely pointing something out that I have noticed. Look at this forum (the ‘Traditional Catholicism’ part) and one sees some of the most divisive arguments/debates on the entire CAF. I have seen where myself or others post advice a certain Priest has given and it is not totally uncommon for some of the ‘Traditionalist’ mindset to come in and flat say that said Priest is wrong.

Like I said, I have respect for Traditionalist Catholic spirituality (if I didn’t, could I even consider getting involved with the FSSP), but this is something I have noticed a little bit on these boards.

So many within the Catholic Church have moved so far from traditional Catholic teaching, that conflicts inevitably arise whenever they encounter those who maintain it’s traditions. 60 years ago, none of us would have been considered extremists and the term Traditional Catholic would have been unnecessary.

That’s basically an assumption trads make.

We by default pray for our priests, and our seminarians.

What’s wrong with saying flat out that the priest is wrong? Especially when he IS wrong?

Is it evil and wrong to point out error?

I would say that, given the esteem Traditional Catholics have for the priesthood, bad behavior by a priest bothers us all the more.

There is nothing better than a good priest, and nothing worse than a bad priest. A bad priest can do so much damage, and lead so many souls to damnation that they must be called out when encountered.

God Bless

I guess what I am getting at is how can judge a Priest’s actions? After all, are they not the liturgical and authoritative representatives of the Church?

Priests are not infallible.

If a priest does something objectively wrong, it is wrong, regardless.

I really don’t see what’s so hard to understand about that.

No, you clearly do not – certainly not based on your comments herein.

Oh, hey! You can read my mind? Nice!

Oh… wait. No, you’re only a fallible human, much like our priests.

So, you have no idea WHAT I do.

So, I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t cast your opinion as to what I do and don’t do.

I’ll wait for an apology.

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