What makes a Traditional Catholic?


Are Traditional Catholics only those who attend the TLM, or does it also cover those who would like to attend the TLM but can’t? Do the practices of abstaining from meat on Fridays, covering (for women), or learning Latin prayers come into it at all? What about positions on the celibacy of priests or the attitudes towards the Pope?

For that last one, what I mean is that I was talking with someone and they said “Well, I’m a Traditional Catholic, and so I recognize that the Pope can make mistakes.” and I asked her what she meant and she said “I know he’s infallible in matters of faith and morals and all that, and I recognize Benedict as the legitimate pope, but like, when Pope John Paul II kissed the Koran, I’ve seen Neo-Cons bend over backwards to try and show how this was perfectly OK and stuff. I just say ‘He made a mistake’.”

(I don’t want to debate that issue, I’m just using that as an example).


The kissing of the Qu’ron could have been a mistake - it certainly didn’t deal with either morals or doctrine.

As for what makes a catholic traditional - a love of tradition.



So is there a difference between Traditional Catholics and Neo-Conservative Catholics? I’ve heard both terms used to describe Catholics who love tradition, but they’re never the same.


A love and practice of tradition.


The kissing of the Qu’ron could have been a mistake - it certainly didn’t deal with either morals or doctrine.

Well, actually it did. And it was probably the ammunition many ultra traditionalists needed to justify or rationalize their disobedience to the Pope.

So is there a difference between Traditional Catholics and Neo-Conservative Catholics? I’ve heard both terms used to describe Catholics who love tradition, but they’re never the same.

You’re right. No two definitions of traditional, neo-conservative, liberal, and conservative seem ever to be the same. And they change with time. During Vatican II, the liberals were satisfied with having only some vernacular in the Old Rite. Today many so-called conservatives embrace the vernacular warm-heartedly and even allow for some song and dance as well. :slight_smile:


Last year I wouldn’t have described myself as a Traditional Catholic. I had been to only one Tridentine Mass ever. Then we had some parish reorganisations, and one change was that a new priest came in who is on a rota to say Tridentine Mass about once a month, in my parish. So I am happy to attend. So now I suppose I fit the description of Traditional Catholic, though I am a bit sceptical about some of the agenda that goes with it.

Traditional Catholics would like to be able to say that the Pope can do no wrong. Unfortuantely John Paul II was not a Traditional Catholic. So there was a real problem there, which people find different ways to resolve. The easiest is just to say “basically he was a good Pope but he made a few mistakes”.


Bob I don’t see how it deals with doctrine or faith - at least not the Catholic faith. As for the “ultra traditionalists” - how traditionalist can one be if he rejects an Idea put forth by many doctors of the Church, including my patron saint St. Francis de Sales?



I still don’t know what makes a traditional Catholic now (sorry, drifting back to the OP)…what am I then? Never went to a Tridentine Mass (didn’t know they existed (gasp) and after I found out, didn’t know where there is actually one being celebrated (we have semi Latin masses once every blue moon, but it’s like 90 percent in German and only 10 percent Latin). So, never went to one, as far as I know. I try and live by all the teachings (as far as they’re known to me, learning new stuff every day). What does that make me? A not-really-a-cafeteria-Catholic-who’s-lost-and-confused-and-tries-to-do-the-right-thing?
I’ll shut up now, but is there a definition per se?


im curious as well, whats a traditional catholic as opposed to a neo-conservative, conservative and liberal catholic


In my point of view, a traditional Catholic is one who keeps and follows the teachings of the Church whose authority is given by Christ. It doesn’t matter if you go to TLM or the other.


Here’s a great article that explains that.


I would consider myself to be a traditional Catholic. I grew up with it and it all seems, um, normal to me. My conscience was formed prior to V II and the changes after V II didn’t start until my senior year in high school.

It took me awhile to find a reverent NO parish which is traditional within that context. I could go to our neighboring parish which is the indult parish for our diocese but my parish after 24 years gets more traditional each year. If the Motu Proprio is promulgated, I’m fairly certain we’ll have a TLM. Our pastor was ordained before V II, our choir already does chant and Latin motets, and, if need be, I can brush up on the rubrics - I still remember most of the altar boy responses in Latin.

I’m not a fanatic about tradition but I do believe that far too many parishes today could use some traditionalism.


If there are two Masses available at your parish church, and you make a point of going to the one in the Tridentine rite, then you are a Traditional Catholic. You are also a Traditional Catholic if you seek out a Tridentine Mass far away, but some Traditional Catholics would say that the principle of the parish is more important than the rite.


Isn’t that really a definition of an orthodox Catholic?


I don’t really know. :slight_smile: What exactly is the definition of an orthodox Catholic?


Well, the First Commandment comes to mind.


Someone who conforms to the norms, whatever that is. :slight_smile:


In my opinion there is only one kind of a Catholic, a Catholic.
The rest of that hockey is just to confuse people people, ther is no such thing as a liberal Catholic, liberalism is mortal sin [in accordance with the gravity of the issue which involves liberalism]. Either one accepts the Catholic faith whole and inviolate or no. Either my keyboard is growing wings and flying around the room or not.

For the sake of argument I’ll provide a definition:
A Traditional Catholic is one who accepts and follows all of the Traditional teachings of the Church as was done before the changes of Vatican II.
However, most traditional Catholics accept the Papacy and its current claimant.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no document which states that old mass was abrogated in favour of the new, the old one is still as free as it was, but due to misconceptions, this is not allowed. The Vatican has never taken away the old mass, it was propagated in perpetuity by Pius V, thus it cannot be gotten rid of.


Dear Carlus Magnus,

Didn’t Paul VI promulgate the Novus Ordo Missae?

Are you saying that the NO was not promulgated properly…or not promulgated at all?

Also, Pope Pius X and Pope Pius XII made modifications to the Roman Missal…in doing so, did they violate Quo Primum?




If there is only one kind of Catholic, and that is a traditional Catholic if I’m reading you right, what do you call Catholics who subscribe to the “Spirit of Vatican II?”

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