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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

It's Not Weird To Be A Traditionalist

Apparently, there's a spat going on between faithful Catholics concerning this. Catholic Answers has been going back and forth with The Remnant newspaper about the use of the word "traditionalist," because more than a few apologists have used the term "rad-trad" for a certain subset of people they consider weird or strange. If you hadn't noticed, I'm a theology buff/aspiring theologian, so as tempting as it is to tag people as a kind of cultural shorthand, it must be avoided. A few brief points:

1. The Tridentine Mass was never suppressed. Ever. The fathers of Vatican II and Pope Paul VI never intended the Novus Ordo to replace the Mass that had served us in the West so well for so long. Dissenters misled the people on this very point.

2. There is now no permission required to celebrate the Tridentine Mass, AKA the Extraordinary Form. If a stable group requests to celebrate it, a priest must take steps to accommodate them. If he ignores you, he's sinning against you.

3. More than likely, even your faithful parish is not properly celebrating the Novus Ordo. Read the General Instructions on the Roman Missal if you want to freak yourself out.

4. Because of the confusion and misunderstanding, a hermeneutic of rupture has been created among the faithful concerning the Mass. (Surely the Council did not intend to say that the liturgy celebrated for 8 centuries give or take was wrong!) This is why Pope Benedict XVI removed the last restrictions on the celebration of the Extraordinary Form. As we are challenged to celebrate the liturgy more faithfully in either case, we'll be much less prone to casting aspersions in either direction. And traditionalists will be less prone to move from faithful practice to outright dissent once we all realize that what has been done with the Novus Ordo is not what was intended.

I hereby declare a truce.

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