Call for charity from a Traditionalist

Call for charity from a Traditionalist

In a previous discussion about how a minority of crabby Traditionalists unfairly tar the whole movement, I was roundly criticized for my observation, although quite a few people backed up my assertion.

At least a few Traditionalists agree, however, as witness by this post at the Universal Indult blog, entitled “Fraternal Charity and a Traditional Catholic Manifesto”.

The online and real world behavior of trads, i.e., trads versus trads, trads vs other Catholics in general, etc., is getting more notice every day.

Much of this behavior does not reflect well upon traditional Catholicism and traditionalists, and undermines the message that traditional Catholicism is absolutely necessary to the restoration of the Church.

Dr. Brian Kopp links to several discussions of the issue, including mine, and also links to a number of online discussions which he offers as evidence of the trend.

Are we traditional Catholics who are disgusted and embarrassed by the hysteria coming out of the extremist camp of traditionalism going to walk off the stage, and let them be the sole voice of traditional Catholicism?

He doesn’t just offer evidence and criticism; he also offers potential courses of action for both the “crabby” sorts as well as the majority of Traditionalists who are being unfairly tarred by the actions of a few.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
8 comments
  • Good for Brian Kopp, stepping forward for sanity, and, no doubt, riling more than a few people.

    I hesitate to call myself a “traditionalist”, though I do love the old rite. My husband and I were married at a solemn high Tridentine mass two years ago (indult), and he has served the old mass for years. At the indult parish where we married, the sane, happy, and truly Catholic people were, unfortunately, overshadowed by crypto-anti-semites, scowling, angry faces, men (and women) who glared daggers if I dared to show up in trousers, schism-sympathizers and a general attitude of people worshipping the mass rather than the Almighty. Fraternal charity was rarely the order of the day, let alone simple friendliness or humility.

    While this isn’t true of every traditionalist group, it is common enough for me to want to stay pretty far from the label “traditionalist.” It seems tainted, and, because of the radtrads, people are slower to sympathize or express an interest in the older rite. It’s just too sad when you have to say “I’m a traditionlist…but I’m not schismatic or crazy!” So, as for me, I’ll stay away from any kind of label.

  • I was born in 1970. I have never seen a latin mass of any type. I went to catholic grammar school where I received what I call “catholocism lite” religous education. Every other year it seems, I am astonished to find just how ignorant I am of my church. Is there a good primer for understanding the difference in the masses?

  • sorts as well as the majority of Traditionalists who are being unfairly tarred by the actions of a few.

    Maybe my experience is limited to what I see in St. Blog’s, but I’ve found that a “moderate Traditionalist” is about as difficult to find as a “moderate Muslim”.  (Just to draw an analogy, not a comparison)

  • Maybe my experience is limited to what I see in St. Blog’s, but I’ve found that a “moderate Traditionalist” is about as difficult to find as a “moderate Muslim”.  (Just to draw an analogy, not a comparison)

    Ouch!

    On the other hand, a “moderate Traditionalist” is oxymoronic. You are either a traditional Catholic, or you are not. The problem arises when certain trads take it upon themselves to declare other trads as not truly trad.

    But then again, the whole idea of “traditional Catholicism” should be oxymoronic. In reality, there is only orthodox and heterodox.

    Political labels—moderate, conservative, liberal—are not of much value. But there is so much contention within trad circles of what constitutes “orthodoxy”—and much of that contention revolves around VII and the positions of the post-conciliar Church—that there can be no consensus at present on what constitutes “orthodoxy.”

    Another Achilles heel, ironically, of “traditional Catholicism.”

  • Tony:
    It depends how you define “moderate”.
      I acknowledge Benedict XVI as the legitimate Pope.
      I accept that the Novus Ordo is a valid rite of Mass.
      I condemn unreservedly the Jew-baiters of the Catholic fringe (Radtrad and otherwise).  I frequently clash with them in comments-boxes.
      I believe a democratic republic is the best form of government.
      I regularly attend an Indult Tridentine Mass and believe I derive spiritual benefit from it.  I know many other swho are int he same position.  I also know many people who have been profoundly hurt by the way they were treated by “liberals” who believe everything should be tolerated except orthodoxy (or conservatism; the two are not synomymous) and who impose their will in a highly authoritarian mannerwhile praising themselves for their tolerance, open-mindedness, pluralism &c.  Some of the dingbats were vicious from the get-go; others got that way because of the way they were treated.
      I see myself as a “moderate traditionalist”.  If I’m not a “moderate traditionalist” by your reckoning then who or what is a moderate traditionalist?

  • Tony says: I’ve found that a “moderate Traditionalist” is about as difficult to find as a “moderate Muslim”.

    Close, although beheadings are too medieval even for the Oyster Bay Cove contingent (knock on wood). And maybe the difference in Catholics can be said to be in the distinction between traditional and traditional-IST. Moderate Muslims fear the radical Islamists catching them condemning Bin Laden or waving an American flag and the less wild-eyed traditional Catholics fear Traditionalistas catching them condemning Lefebve or with a copy of (shudder) “Our Sunday Visitor”.

    I see things the same way as commenter hibernicus above. I’ve experienced arrogance, malice and every other vice on the part of SOME Latin massers, but I still love the Latin mass; it doesn’t scandalize me. I had an older couple in a “novus ordo” parish tell me I shouldn’t have any more kids recently. That didn’t scandalize me either, tho’ it did enrage me. There are things that should make us sad all over the church.

    I’ve noticed that some Traditionalists simply won’t answer yes/no questions such as “Is the Novus Ordo rite valid?” This reminds me of many “politically correct” liberals when asked questions like “Is legalized abortion a good thing?” or “Is communism a good thing?” They show some discomfort with either answer they choose and hesitancy in even wanting to provide a longer, clarifying answer.

  • Thank you for the insightful post, Dom.

    I prefer the NO, but respect those who prefer the TLM.  What I don’t respect, is the notion that the TLM is the only Mass and anyone who does not attend it is not a good Catholic.

    Unfortunately, I have experienced that prejudice firsthand by a friend and several members of a Ecclesial Dei community on the west coast.  A friend gave me Fr. Feeney pamphlets, refused to acknowledge that a NO Mass was valid, and constantly barraged me with pressure to attend the TLM full-time.  Never mind the fact that I told her of attending a wonderful Catholic university whose priests offered the NO Mass with great reverence.  When I did attend her parish for a Mass, I heard comments in various circles about the horrible NO.  While some of this parish’s members have been kind and respectful of my preference, more of the people I met had more elitist notions (“Our parish is the BEST in the diocese!” “What, you don’t homeschool?” “Oh, you attend the ENGLISH Mass”).

    My friend refused to go to Communion at my Nuptial Mass because it was celebrated in English (although, we did have the Kyrie and some Latin!).

    It was only a kind FSSP priest who listened to my quandries patiently.  He assured me that all of this thinking was wrong, and that he was constantly trying to correct NO/Vatican II bashing of his parishoners.  Most importantly, he told me that it was OK to prefer the NO.

    Thanks to that priest, I could attend the TLM (once in a great while) without getting a bad taste in my mouth. Someday I hope to see the NO with more elements of the TLM.

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