What is a "traditional" catholic

I’d like to know the theological/moral/social differences between what is known as a “traditional” catholic and a non-“traditional” catholic.


Good question. It all depends on who you ask. My definition would no doubt be different than one is attends an SSPX Mass and other posters definitions would no doubt be different than mine.

I don’t think there are any theological/ social/ moral differences. There is one liturgy but the Catholic Church has many cultures integrated into it and there is a great diversity of worship which should be celebrated IMO!!

Some people see smells and bells as traditional- they may draw divisions between a mass with lots of Latin Liturgy, insense, traditional hymns etc and a more youthy mass, with more folky hymns. Really there is room for both of these kinds of celebration and I for one enjoy both equally!

A “traditional” Catholic by my definition is someone who looks at the history of the Catholic church and puts more weight in what was going on for the 1500 years that we have.

They don’t look to the “early church” to rationalize innovations nor to they think that be cause they have been doing something in their church for 30 years that it is “tradition”.

They look at the documents of VII and not the “Spirit of Vatican II” and expect their Holy Mass to be by the documents.

but then that is just my humble opinion


Any Baptized person who professes the entirety of the Catholic faith and is in communion with his lawful pastors is a traditional Catholic :slight_smile:

I actually don’t care for the term but I do understand its usefulness. I’m sure I am often referred to as a “traditional Catholic” but I consider myself just “Catholic”. Those who don’t want to follow tradition or the teachings and precepts of Christ and His Church should have the qualifier on them.


That’s a good point. :thumbsup:

I’m sure there are some on the forums who would deny this, but I am a “traditional Catholic.” I love Catholic tradition, but I also recognize what is discipline and what is dogma. The Church may change discipline if it suites her purpose. I think this is the middle position. Many liberals think the Church can change both discipline and dogma, and many traditionalists think the Church can’t change either.
Because the Church has close to 2,000 years of tradition to take from, I think she should take the best from any time. It allows us a Mass that is very much like the early Church liturgy in some parts, and very much like the high medieval liturgy in others.
This is what a “traditional” Catholic is, one who follows the Church in all matters, and accepts her rulings, despite personal feelings.

Yours in Christ,

Another :thumbsup:

I’m going to narrow the definition quite a bit since I think that thew definition I’m about to put froward is the focus of this forum.

A Traditional Catholic is one who looks back at V2 and all the bad that has gone on since that and sees the havoc done in the name of modernism, he/she is one who desires that the Church return back to her traditions and the mass of all time.

A Traditional Catholic desires the majesty and respect shown to our blessed Lord in the Old Mass, the Mass for all time. This is my definition.

First, whether one likes the term or not, it does carry identifiable meaning, so rather than debate its merits we should discuss what someone might mean by it. Now, concerning strictly theological differences, they will manifest themselves mostly in choices made when options are presented. For instance:

Concerning EENS, traditionalists will be more likely to doubt than to trust in the salvation of those outside the church (i.e., recognize that salvation is possible but assume few rather than many will manage it).
Traditionalists are more likely to maintain devotion to saints that have been removed from the universal calendar due to thin historical backing.
Traditionalists are typically more ready to concede an issue as defined by the ordinary magisterium than non-traditionalists.
Traditionalists tend to hold stricter views on cases of gravity of actions/offenses.

Socially, they are more likely to incorporate elements of pre-Vatican II Catholic culture into their daily and yearly lives than non-traditionalists.

You might notice lots of qualifiers, because while I think all those things are true on the whole I recognize each traditionalist as his own quite-probably-mixed bag.

Incorporating openness to change into traditionalism, where I think there is certainly room for it, I would elaborate, though, that a traditionalist will opt for gradual, incremental change.

If he supported changes a, b, and c he would still likely think it most unwise to institute all three at once.

I’d like to know the theological/moral/social differences between what is known as a “traditional” catholic and a non-“traditional” catholic.

I would like to say but fear the moderators may object, so will keep my opinions to myself.:wink:

Yes, I would say gradual change is best. I think the problem was that there was so little change for 500 years that it just built up until the floodgates were opened. I am not advocating change for the sake of change, but change where it is favorable, and likely to bring more souls to Christ.(the Holy See being responsible for deciding when it is favorable.)

Yours in Christ,

Traditional as a qualifier of Catholic is a redundancy. Those who consider themselves ‘traditional Catholic’ as a means of distinguishing themselves from other Catholics in communion with the Bishop of Rome seem rather akin to many whose errors prompted the Protestant Reformation. (‘We decide what is true religion based on some set of criteria we construct according to the authority of certain sources we consult.’).

I like Latin better than English, especially the pop pedestrianism of the Novum Ordo. But the ICEL are about to produce a better English translation (eg, ‘Et cum spiritu tuo’ will be ‘And with your spirit.’)

Remember: not all tradition is infallible. Only Apostolic Tradition is infallible as such. This of course includes much that is promulgated by the Pope, and bishops in communion with him in an Ecumenical Council, so it does develop, in the Newmanian sense. But the Friday fast and Tridentine Rite are not as such apostolic but disciplinary and liturgical traditions, respectively.

I would classify myself as a traditional Catholic. I don’t mind that term at all as it defines who I am. What term I don’t like and sometimes get labeled is “Pre-Vatican 2”. I usually get that term by uninformed Catholics who don’t know or don’t care about what is allowed liturgy.

I like to kneel to receive communion even if there is no altar rail as if we are expected to kneel to witness Transubstantiation how much more so, we when we RECEIVE him. However since its not vogue I get that rap.

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