Saturday, April 28, 2007

Shocked response

I wrote an article yesterday on Liberalism and lacking love. Someone commented that their traddie friends are bitter too.

Well I have to confess something before I answer any of the comments I have received.
The original inspiration for the article was a homily that I heard from a priest here in the seminary. It was later re-triggered in my reflections when a friend of mine, a fellow Orthfully Catholic blogger bought a book: Liberalism is a sin.

In that homily the priest also said: If you are a Traditionalist you don't love Jesus.

I can see a few shocked readers now.
This is NOT meant to offend but to challenge. What the priest meant is quite simple: These people love their agendas far more than Jesus. He also said that if you don't love orthodoxy you don't love Jesus. What he said was very sound and balanced.

I have noticed that there is also a tendency to confuse the terms orthodox, traditional and traditionalist. In my understanding and usage they are NOT interchangeable terms.
An orthodox Catholic is one who strives to uphold all the teachings of the Church. Traditional means that you love Tradition and all connected with it. Strictly speaking all Catholics should be traditional in the proper sense of the word.

A Traditionalist Catholic strictly speaking is one who is wholly and entirely attached to Pre- Vatican II worship and devotion. Many (though not all) look askance at the Council itself. Some go further and reject it. Like liberalism it is a highly contentious position. And is a term frequently abused by the Catholic press itself. Especially when they harp on about "spin".
THIS is what the priest was talking about. I had intended to write an article about it.
This blog is dedicated to fidelity to the Magisterium and desires to be no more or less Catholic than the Pope.
I really believe that we must be careful with the terms we use to describe ourselves. I have been/am guilty of this.

What I was trying to say is: Are we in love with our own agendas? Or are we earnestly seeking to serve Christ's Church?

I, for one, would love the Holy Father to release a Motu Proprio. I pray for it. I think it would greatly aid a genuine liturgical renewal. BUT I also accept his decision. I EQUALLY rejoice in the new translation of the Novus Ordo in English. All I can cry out from the bottom of my heart is Alleluia, thank God!

All I care about is Christ and His Church. Within that I am passionate about fidelity. I am annoyed and frustrated at groups, traditionalist and liberal, who think they know better than the Magisterium.

I am sorry if people are offended. This is absolutely NOT my intention.
But we need to evangelise and help save souls. We are called to serve JESUS and His Church, not an agenda. Things go pear shaped when it all gets politicised. What we need, in my opinion, is a radical orthodoxy and fidelity to the Magisterium based on a radical dedication to Jesus through prayer.
If the Tridentine Mass coupled with a good translation of the Novus Ordo can do it: Yippeeee!

Love orthodoxy because you love Jesus. That's what I try to say to myself. Forget agendas. Souls need saving for crying out loud!

I don't want to spark a debate. These are my personal reflections and may or may not be shared by my fellow bloggers here.

As a final point: I have had very deep contacts with Opus Dei. They absolutely hated being called conservative, traditionalist etc. They kept on telling me: We are Catholics. We serve the Church. We live Her teaching and we love Her Lord. Nothing more, nothing less.


Deacon John said...

You are absolutely right, but one pays a price for being orthodox. I was ordained twenty years ago and have been called a Traditionalist many times. But I'm not! Like you, I only want what the Holy Roman Catholic Church wants and I want others to want that too! Unfortunately, most of the parishes I was assigned to were run by modernist pastors who disregarded the rubrics and did their own thing. And it's still going on. So when I complain or make a suggestion regarding orthodoxy I'm called "Traditionalist" and "Old Fashioned" and "when are you going to change?" responses, and I'm left out of their gatherings, meetings, party's, and rituals. So be it, I didn't want to go anyway!

Orthfully Catholic said...

Dear Deacon John,
I will pray for you today. It is very painful for you especially when you really are striving to love our Lord and His Church. You, by what you have said, are not a traditionalist or conservative. You're Catholic, nothing more, nothing less. And that is a beautiful gift for God. All He asks is our obedience. I pray that He will bless you in your vocation.

Anonymous said...

But you're right! What you say in this post is absolutely true.

I completely adore the Tridentine Mass, and do like to receive kneeling at altar rails, etc., but I am not and would object to being called a traditionalist. Vatican II is needed, as is any commitment to orthodoxy.

Without that we may as well go back to the 50s where my grandfather saw a cardinal reclining on board a steaming, goblet of wine in one hand, the other raised for blessing, letting the natives (petrified) fawn over him on their knees (literally).

Fr. Peter said...

Excellent post! Well Said! It is hard enough to serve without serving agendas too.

Orthfully Catholic said...

Thanks for you post. Could you clarify the last part of it concerning the Cardinal?
I don't understand.

James said...

I am traditionalist--but I am a Catholic, plain and simple. I have no agenda; I am simply a servant of Jesus Christ, Our Lady, and the Church. That said, I find several flaws in your reasoning.

Let me first point out that Pope Saint Pius X said, "Indeed, the true friends
of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators:they are traditionalists."

One need only look at the fruit of Vatican II to understand that there is indeed a crisis in our Church today. Therefore, I find it horrific that anyone can rejoice in a mass that was composed by Protestants. The Novus Ordo was written by heretics--the Tridentine Mass developed over many hudreds of years, and affirmed the faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church--the new mass casts doubt on what occurs during mass--it is a eucharistic meal, and no longer a propitiatory sacrafice for sins, as all the old catechisms teach, and as the traditional Mass itself makes plain.

To suggest that anyone who looks askance at the Second Vatican Council is somehow opposing the Church's Magisterium and is not truly orthodox is ridiculous. What everyone seems to forget is that Vatican II was not a Dogmatic Council: it was a pastoral council and thus different from any other council previously held by Holy Church. For this reason, we have the right to judge Vatican II, with prudence and reserve.

Part of the issue is ecuminism--when the Magisterium of the Church has always taught, extra Ecclesiam nulla Salus--outside of the Church there is no salvation [and even th pope himself cannot change the Magisterium--he can enummerate it, make it clearer, but he cannot change it]. How unheard of to ask Protestants to a Church council [but again, a pastoral council, not a dogmatic council]! Truth cannot join itself to error; this in itself is a very good reason to reject the new Mass--it is Protestant, not Catholic.

Aside from the Mass, there can be seen plainly a decline in conversions, vocations, and attendance at Mass--this began after Vatican II, not before it, not during it, but immediately following it as Catholics around the world suddenly became confused by the council's teachings. Was not the Catholic faith still the only true religion? Many could no longer tell, and gradually slipped away in doubt and despair.

antonia said...


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to check, does 'extra Eccelesiam nulla Salus' - really mean outside of the church there is no salvation? If it does, does that mean all non Catholics will go to hell?

Anonymous said...

First off, I loved this post.

Secondly, in light of the previous comment, it would be interesting to see statistics on vocations (priests and religious) for the last two or three hundred years to compare the number of vocations now to the number of vocations "then."

Take care, MC.

Anonymous said...

Yes, really. No, they might not. Read Lumen Gentium, paras 14 and 16. :)

Orthfully Catholic said...

James, thank you for you response. To say that the new Mass is Protestant shows a grave disrespect for the Church. It is the Mass that the Church proposes to her Children and the Church NEVER feeds her children poison. If the Mass is Protestant why did the local Protestant mission shop in the town where my parents live refuse to stock it stating that it contained doctrines contrary Scripture?
The problem with the New Mass in this country is the translation. Traditionalist Catholics are quite hard to come by in somewhere like Spain where the translation of the Novus Ordo is absolutely stunning.

I am a member of the LMS. The Tridentine Mass celebrated by them is absolutely beautiful. But wait a minute. That is not how it was before the Council, now was it? There are countless stories of abuses, atrocious Latin etc. What gets me irate with these so called "Traditionalists" is that they think everything was rosy before the Council. Yes there were many priests. But at the same time there were countless abuses.
Secondly all the visions that saints had where Our Lord complained about how people don't love Him in the Eucharist were under the Old Rite. My point is that there have been abuses in every age.

To say that the Catholic Church has provided us with a Protestant Mass is to show a gross distrust of the Church. As I said earlier do not be any more or less Catholic than the Pope: It leads to Schism!

It is also interesting to note that two of Vatican II documents are called DOGMATIC constitutions. The fact that the Council didn't solemnly define any dogmas does not detract from its status as an authentic exercise pf the Magisterium. May I suggest you read Ad Tuendam Fidem? Submission only to the Infallibly defined teachings of the Church, as if we were free to disregard everything else, is just another brand of Cafeteria Catholic. Something that Liberals do!

And finally may I suggest that you go to somewhere like Farnborough Abbey. They are Novus Ordo. But the Mass is gorgeous.

God bless

bernadette said...

if it's not too late to chime in here: a couple of thoughts - The instinctive pull for many good Catholics towards "Traditionalism" is because of what appears to have gone slightly wrong with the implementation of the V11 ideas. It was as if the document said one thing and the people disseminating it said: "right, we`re now going to 1. confuse the people with the sloppy translations etc and 2. lower their reverence." Subsequent abuses of the liturgy since have forced many to bolt to what they know they can trust. More good examples ( you mention Farnborough) of how things could be, could help heal the mistrust that so many have of the New Rite and indeed of all things post V11. I am personally from a Charismatic "tradition" (!! remember Pentecost) but genuinely long for the more widespread use of the Tridentine Rite and, I really have joyful hope that Pope Benedict will be the one through whom a lot of this brokenness and division will be healed, and joy restored to the whole church with regard to the liturgy. These are very exciting times.

Anonymous said...

So I'm assuming 'no salvation outside the Church' must just be wrong then. Because obviously souls of other faiths/traditions would not be cast into hell for under-exposure to the teachings of Jesus.

So if there is salvation 'outside' of the Church - why be a Catholic, does it really matter? - Maybe not.

Anonymous said...


Read Lumen Gentium. The statement is not wrong, but your interpretation of its meaning/import is not complete either.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the courtesy of your respone to my question - I have been lead to believe that it is difficult to dialogue with the Catholics as they struggle to 'think outside the box' and questions about their faith are thought a sign of ignorance or rudeness. But I see you may train to be a Priest, that is good, maybe you could help change this perception?

Anyway, I will look at Lumen Gentium and see if that sheds any light on my interpretation.

Anonymous said...


Thank you; I had worried I was being rude/brusque!

Anonymous said...


As English is not my first language I had not picked up any rudness in your response - did you intend any?

I just appreciated not being ignored! :)

Anonymous said...

No, none intended! :)