Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Traddies and Neo-Conservatives...

Fr Chadwick over at English Catholic has written a very apposite post warning Poping Anglicans against the Roman communion - at least that's how I read it. The general thrust of the post is that there is no room for any semblance of Anglican tradition, or ''patrimony,'' in the Roman church - just blindly obey the new orthodoxy wrought and propounded by the contemporary Magisterium (expressed in the will and whim of the Holy Father), you know, Ordinary and Extraordinary forms, etc, and you're laughing. Like me and you want something more than a commonplace cotta every Sunday and you're held in suspicion, until something else convenient comes up and you're thrust out.

Nowadays I am of the opinion that the neo-conservatives are more dangerous than the Traddies. Traditionalists are at least at variance to some degree with Rome; many want to see the ''Old Rite'' in whatever recognisable form in situ again, even if the ornaments and the rubrics are rather modern. Some express private dismay at the precepts of Summorum Pontificum, seeing it as a temporary measure, a means to an end, conciliatory to the $$PX, or whatever. Some are dangerous and want 1962 all over again. To the neo-conservatives, however, to whom the expressions ordinary and extraordinary form comes as second nature, Tradition means nothing. To them obedience to the Magnisterium comes first, conscience and knowledge of the Truth second - they are irrelevant. That Tradition has an auctoritas independent of the reigning pope is a concept that does not enter into their small minds, enthralled to the totalitarian pope and his retinue of sycophants in the Vatican.


  1. But have not most of the Traddies become Neo-Cons?

    During the early days of resistance to the loss of liturgical patrimony organisations such as the LMS were radical. The LMS Chairman wrote in 1971 to The Tablet about the 'Heenan Indult' for the use of the 1967 Mass along the lines of it might be interesting but has nothing to do with them as they followed immemorial custom. So radical was the LMS that what might be perceived as some neo-Con elements broke away at an AGM so they could be obedient to Rome and founded the Association for Latin Liturgy.

    When the 1984indult for the 1962 Mass loyalties shifted in a now familiar pattern of trading respectability with orthopraxis when Rome employed its standard 'divide and conquer' strategy. Now the 'in communion with Rome' part of Traddieland is in an incredibly vulnerable position awaiting the signature that orders a common calendar or the 65/67 rubrics etc. What will the 'loyal' neo-Cons or Traddies do then?

  2. Some of the 1965 reforms will eventually become standard in many places for Low Mass. It is quite common in my part of the United States for the priest at Low Mass to read the lections in English at the altar. Sung and Solemn Masses retain the sung Latin lections. This is a good development for the laity at weekday Mass, even if some purists might cringe at any vernacular at Mass.

    Traditionalism isn't the main battle ground today in Roman Catholicism. What's tearing the Roman Church apart in the new English translation of the OF. Old-guard (post)modern progressives are horrified that their nursery-school-reading-level Sacramentary is being phased out. "How will the people understand the new Missal?" Well, maybe through catechesis and proper preaching, not dumbing down the Mass. The new translation is not without faults and errors, unless we triumph prematurely. Overall it is a better product.

    What's frightening to the progressives is the possibility that the new text, with its more complex sentence structure, cannot be ad-libbed and manipulated towards ideological ends. Some progressives perceive the new translation as a conservative/traditional "revenge" for the forty years of the Sacramentary. This, and the restoration of the 1962 Missal, are demoralizing defeats.

    Rather than dance on graves, there has to be a Westphalian-peace of sorts in order for the Roman Rite to survive. The Roman church much cleave into a "low", evangelical, and postmodern rite and a "high", ritualist, traditional rite engaged in a critical relationship with (post)modernism but never beholden to this ideology. We must be one in disunity. Jesuitical discussions about the fate of traditionalism is merely a skirmish on the periphery of the greater battle.