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  Wikipedia: Traditional Catholic

Wikipedia: Traditional Catholic
Traditional Catholic
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Traditional Catholic is a term used to describe those individuals who, despite claiming to be Roman Catholics, reject (for instance as modernistic) some or all of the reforms instituted after the Second Vatican Council, especially the Novus Ordo Missae, that is the revised rite of Mass. They are to be distinguished from so-called conservative Catholics who may merely prefer the older Tridentine Mass, codified as the "Mass for all Times" by Pope Pius V's Quo Primum which stated, "We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used."

Difference between 'Conservative Catholic' and 'Traditional Catholic'

What differentiates "conservative Catholics" from "traditional Catholics" are their attitudes towards and responses to the documents (and interpretations thereof) of the Second Vatican Council and the postconciliar reform of the Order of the Mass contained in a new edition of the Roman Missal - the product of a Consilium set up by Pope Paul VI. The former give their assent to all the post-Vatican II reforms while seeking a more "conservative" interpretation of them; the latter maintain that many or all of the reforms are wrongheaded and must be rejected. There is therefore a certain inadequacy to these labels. Today's "conservatives" are in fact entirely different than those conservatives in authority in the Church immediately before, during and after the Second Vatican Council; ironically they are more akin to the liberals of that time. "Traditionalists," on the other hand, mirror the old conservatives almost exactly. Because of this discrepancy it is becoming more and more popular today to refer to the former not as "conservatives" but as "neo-conservatives" or even "neo-Catholics." The prefix "neo" is used because these people do not hold the same beliefs as did the conservatives of yesteryear; indeed, it could be said that they do not believe the same as did Catholics of yesteryear. This odd situation is well illustrated by the case of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who is today labelled "ultra-conservative," but was considered a radical leftist theologian during the Second Vatican Council. He himself has said that he has not moved to the right in four decades, but that the world and the human element of the Church have moved so far to the left that even a progressive of his conviction now looks conservative.

Traditional Catholicism and Sedevacantism

Traditional Catholics can be generally divided into two groups. The majority of traditional Catholics, while opposing some recent Vatican decisions that they see as contradicting former teaching, still claim union with Vatican Pope and accept his authority. The smaller, second group, called "sedevacantists," believe in the papacy itself but reject one or more of the "Vatican II popes" (Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, and Pope John Paul II) as antipopes owing to their belief that these men are heretics due to many of the Vatican II decrees and subsequent papal promulgations. Some of these sedevacantist groups have elected popes of their own.

Chinese Catholicism

Not all groups which reject Vatican II are considered traditional Catholic. Most notably, in the People's Republic of China, the state sponsored Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) denies the papacy entirely and rejects all pronouncements by the Vatican after the Communist Revolution in 1949 including those regarding the Tridentine Mass. Ironically, within the PRC holding a non-Tridentine Mass implies recognition of the authority of the Vatican rather than that of the Chinese government and is an act of political dissent.

Traditional Catholic claims

Traditional Catholics see the Second Vatican Council as a Council whose documents were marked by an ambiguity which has led to error or which contained errors themselves. Foremost among these perceived errors are:

  • a new collegiality which they claim has weakened the papacy and made Bishops' conferences a veritable "second earthly head" of the Church. Traditional Catholics see this as contradicting Pope Leo XIII's Satis Cognitum the documents of Vatican I, and other documents and teachings. Ironically, in spite of traditional Catholics' firm support for the papacy, they often accuse mainstream "conservative Catholics" of an attitude bordering on papolatry (pope worship) rooted in what they see as the latter's limited understanding of papal infallibility and the nature of Christian obedience. They see "conservative Catholics'" as misunderstanding the documents of Vatican I and the scholastic understanding of true obedience as characterized by Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica, II-II-104.

  • a new ecclesiology that they claim doesn't equate the Catholic Church with Christ's Church, but which states that Christ's Church "subsists in" the Catholic Church. Traditional Catholics claim this is a contradiction of Pope Pius XII's Mystici Corporis Christi among other papal documents.

  • a new focus on "the dignity of man" which they claim ignores original sin and the need of supernatural grace, and which they claim has led to a sort of Utopianism that sees peace as possible without recognizing the Kingship of Christ. Traditional Catholics see this supposed attitude, and teachings rooted in it, as contradicting Pope Pius XI's Quas Primas, Pope Leo XIII's Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, Pope Pius X's Our Apostolic Mandate (Notre Charge Apostolique), and other papal and conciliar documents.

  • a new "ecumenism" that has as its goal a "unity" that traditional catholics claim doesn't require conversion to the Catholic faith. Traditional Catholics see this as contradicting Sacred Scripture, Pope Pius XI's Mortalium Animos, Pope Pius XII's Humani Generis and other documents.

  • a new attitude toward ecclesiastical tradition which has led to what they see as dangerous changes in Catholic practices, the liturgy, and the Church's pastoral orientation. Traditional Catholics see this as a contradiction of the Fourth Anathema of the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea and other papal and conciliar documents.

  • a new attitude toward novelty which they claim had been unheard of in the Catholic Church prior to the Second Vatican Council. Traditional Catholics see this as contradicting the Saints, Doctors and Popes of the Church prior to Pope John XXIII; the papal oath, written by Pope St. Agatho ca. A.D. 681 and taken by all Popes from Pope St. Agatho himself to Pope Paul VI, inclusive; Pope Pius X's Motu Proprio Sacrorum antistitum (an oath taken by all priests prior to the Council); Pope Gregory XVI's Mirari Vos; the Fourth Anathema of the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea; and other papal and conciliar documents.

  • a new Paschal theology that they see as de-emphasizing the Sacrifice of the Mass and which they claim leads the faithful to believe that it is Christ's Resurrection, not the Blood shed by His Sacrifice on the Cross, that saves. Traditional Catholics see the Novus Ordo as being a fruit of this "Paschal theology" as it is marked by such things as the replacement of Altars with tables, a focus on "community" rather than the offering of the Son to the Father, and so on. They see this orientation as contradicting Scripture and Encyclicals such as Pope Pius XII's Mediator Dei.

Differing Traditional and Conservative Catholic attitudes towards Vatican II

Most traditional Catholics (i.e., those who are not sedevacantist) see the Second Vatican Council as an authoritative, valid Council, but one which was pastoral and which produced no infallible definitions. Support of this claim is found in Pope John XXIII's Opening Address to the Council, Pope Paul VI's closing address, the lack of formal definitions and anathemas in the Council's sixteen documents, and the ambiguity of the documents themselves. Traditional Catholics see the Second Vatican Council as having been "hijacked" by Modernists and liberals, and its documents further twisted in postconciliar interpretations thereof. They see this Modernist influence as the result of ignoring papal warnings against such, most explicitly in Pope Pius X's "Pascendi Dominici Gregis."

Traditional Catholics see the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ which is united by the same Faith, same Sacraments, and the same Sacrifice that they see as having united Catholics from the Church's origins. However, contrary to popular belief, they do believe that practices can change, but only consistently with Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law; only in terms of quantity or quality, never of substance; only if it enhances the understanding and experience of the faith; and never if it harms souls or leads to sin or unbelief. They see as their "motto":

We are what you once were.
We believe what you once believed.
We worship as you once worshipped.
If you were right then, we are right now.
If we are wrong now, you were wrong then.

Traditional Catholics worship at: "indult" Masses (those "Tridentine" Masses offered with the permission of local Bishops); chapels of priestly societies, such as the Society of St. Pius X (S.S.P.X.); other chapels run by traditional priestly orders; or chapels run by independent priests. Traditional Catholics, as opposed to a subset of "neo-conservative Catholics" who might simply prefer the "Tridentine" Mass, agree that traditional Catholicism is about much more than the Mass; in addition to the liturgy, they see as integral to Catholicism all of the Sacraments and preserving what has always been taught, what has been solemnly defined, and all those practices which have served to pass the Faith on from one generation to the next.

Attitude of most Roman Catholics towards Traditional Catholics

Traditional Catholics make up a minority of Roman Catholic members, though their numbers are growing, their seminaries are full, and the demand for "pre-Vatican II Catholicism" (which traditionalist Catholics would refer to as simply "Catholicism") is high. Their analysis is not widely shared by more "mainstream" Catholics and is actively fought by many of the Roman Catholic clergy and hierarchy. Most traditional Catholics see their situation as comparable to that of traditional Catholics during the Arian heresy when the majority of Bishops were Arian heretics, but Catholics like Saint Athanasius (who was excommunicated by Pope Liberius and later canonized, just as St. Joan of Arc was excommunicated and later canonized) were vilified. Their perception is that eternal truth does not change and that what was taught 2,000 years ago, 1,000 years ago, and 50 years ago is still true today.

Tradional Catholic groups include, among others:

See also

Books supportive of the traditional Catholic movement

  • Michael Treharne Davies, "Cranmer’s Godly Order", "Pope John's Council", "Pope Paul’s New Mass" ("Liturgical Revolution" trilogy).
  • Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, "Open Letter to Confused Catholics"
  • Father Paul Kramer M.Div., STL, "A Theological Vindication of Roman Catholic Traditionalism"
  • Christopher A. Ferrara and Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., "The Great Facade: Vatican II and the Regime of Novelty in the Roman Catholic Church"
  • Romano Amerio, John P., Fr. Parsons, "Iota Unum"
  • Atila Sinke Guimarães, Michael J. Matt, John Vennari, Marian T. Horvat, "We Resist You To The Face"
  • Fr. Adrian Fortescue, "The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy"
  • Monsignor Klaus Gamber, "Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background"

External Links

'Traditional Catholic' links

Pro-Vatican II links

  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
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