Friday, June 1, 2012
A Fresh Idea on Traditionalism
I am melding two posts together from other sites which I participate in....but I want to hash this out. I think that what I'm about to say is a very fresh idea on Traditionalism....The following is a conversation I had recently regarding the traditional notions of Catholic thought and what it means to be conservative and liberal in a traddy sense. I am speaking via the black text, my counterpart is speaking via the red text.
There is room for traditional and liberal Catholics, but worship is not a place for politics. What I am advocating isn't political, it is simply a return to what Vatican Council II envisioned. Show me where any of the things that I have mentioned previously in this [site] were explicitly stated to be removed or replaced in the Mass, using the documents of Vatican Council II. You won't be able to do it, because they are not there. Everything I have advocated is fully supported by Vatican Council II and everything I have put forth in this post is 100% apolitical. There isn't one thing political about it, unless the liberals who don't like it make it so. Because I can guarantee you there isn't a traditional Catholic who has one iota of trouble accepting what the Church wants liturgically.
So, liberals be liberal, but don't project liberalism onto the Mass or any other liturgical or Sacramental action. My call for a return to what the Mass should be isn't political, it is anti-political. I am literally trying to take the liberal agenda away from the Mass and restore the patrimony to what it has been intended to be. Liberals bemoan this and say it is political, because that is how liberals operate. Traditionalists usually don't, they are mostly apolitical or anti-political, trying to eliminate the politics of the modern world from those things which are Catholic and have no political meaning or need.
Yes, but liberalism in the Church prior to the Ecclesiastical and Social revolutions of the 1960s meant something different.
Political liberalism, as defined today (rooted in 1950s and 60s socio-theological circles) in the Church was not the same type of ecclesiastical liberalism that existed in the times of Benedict XV and Pius IX. Their brand of liberalism was largely one of theological hypothesis, as opposed to the truly liberal who has distorted and maligned great works such as Rerum Novarum, etc...
I think that the brand of liberalism TODAY is what was Modernism (the heresy) then.
My point is that liberalism wasn't the same thing then as it is today. Looking at how Newman defined liberalism, I have no problem with. It is different than how I view things, but the times were different. And the ideologues were different.
It was once said that Paul VI made the grievous error of "eliminating" heresy from Catholic nomenclature, when he wouldn't condemn certain actions that were taking place during the 1960s and 1970s, which his predecessors were quick to control. I think that I agree with that.
I also think that Catholic liberalism and the ensuing shift to Modernism with regard to the Church in the 1960s and 1970s was strongly influenced by the Kennedy family and the East Coast cardinals and bishops, who followed Paul VI model.
Finally, I think that the biggest problem with the shift to Modernism from authentic liberalism was the idea of aggiornamento. It was this mindset which set the Church leaders down the path they have taken over these last 50 years. So much so that cardinals like Bernadin and Mahoney and Keeler; and bishops like Gumbleton and Clark and Weakland are perfectly legitimate in promoting the errors they promoted and still promote, yet bishops like Lefevbre and Castro De Mayer are demonized for holding on to Catholic tradition.
I said recently, that my call for a return to what the Mass should be isn't political, it is anti-political. I am literally trying to take the liberal agenda away from the Mass and restore the patrimony to what it has been intended to be. Liberals bemoan this and say it is political, because that is how liberals operate. Traditionalists usually don't, they are mostly apolitical or anti-political, trying to eliminate the politics of the modern world from those things which are Catholic and have no political meaning or need.
This can be applied to all aspects of the Church, not just Sacramental theology, it's just that Sacramental theology is the most visible. I firmly believe that. The polarization has come from the left. Those of us who are traditional just want the Church to be viewed in the same light it always was.
There are humans who choose by their actions to refuse redemption. The Catholic revolt of the 1960s (not revolution) didn't keep things the same. There was a rupture or break in Tradition. This much is perfectly clear.
I stand firm in saying that Modernism (heresy) poisoned authentic liberalism in the 1960s and 1970s for the reasons listed above.
Yes, I'll pray for those who are Modernist, but the prayer is that they recant the Modernist heresy and return to an authentic liberal ideologue. By their choice to adhere to the Modernist heresy, they aren't irredeemable, but rather they refuse redemption.
Again, like I said below, aggiornamento (thank you John XXIII and Paul VI), led Pope Paul to make the now famous statement, "It is as if from some mysterious crack, no, it is not mysterious, from some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God."
Response: As you seem to acknowledge, the terms "liberal" and "conservative" have different meaning in different contexts. People may be morally conservative, but politically liberal. Politically conservative but morally liberal. Theologically conservative but politically liberal. Etc. The terms have also meant different things at different times and in different places.
I've know Catholics who worship under the Ordinary Form who fall under most of these various meanings of "liberal" or "conservative".
My knowledge of Catholics who worship under the Extraordinary Form is much less extensive, but I have yet to meet one who is politically liberal (at least in the context of American politics). So, that being the case, I would have reservations about your statement that "Traditionalists ... are mostly apolitical or anti-political, trying to eliminate the politics of the modern world from those things which are Catholic and have no political meaning or need."
Rebuttal: Let's see if I can make the distinction a little clearer...
Traditionalists = those who want conserve the patrimony of the Church, by adhering to those things which have authentically been taught through the ages including the authentic teachings of today.
Liberals = those who seek change for the perceived betterment of the Church through a constant and continual updating of the teachings of the Church as they are applied today, with some, little, or no regard for the patrimony and authentic teaching of the Church.
Conservatives = those who want to conserve the patrimony of the Church by adhering to those things which tradition can apply, through an updated teachings of the Church, melding today's applications with those of the past.
Modernists = those who seek change to suit their agenda of change. There is no regard for the patrimony of the Church, except that it gives a basis to substitute their agenda and appear to hold some semblance of tradition, while having no real expectation of any traditional ideologue other than what will support their new position. This is characterized with a clear rupture with the past. There is a clear refusal to define themselves by Pascendi Domenici gregis, but their tendencies clearly follow that pattern of behavior.
Do not look at this from a socio-political view. I'm not talking about Republicans and Democrats. I am not talking about the any particular secular world view.
The ideas that I am talking about deal strictly with Religious Liberty and Tolerance. These two ideas as they existed prior to the Catholic revolt of the 1960s. For it wasn't until the emergence of the Kennedy's as a Catholic world power that the American ideals of Liberal and Conservative, as defined by the American political system, were really applied. (The heresy of Americanism was not related to this movement, btw).
Response: I am glad you make the distinction from "Democrat" and "Republican". I would not consider "Republican" to be conservative (possibly liberal, but in a different way!). Good to see people with a gaze toward the bigger picture...
Rebuttal: That's the problem with putting secular political limits on Church matters. There really isn't any gray. There are two sets of laws which guide the Church. Canon Law and Liturgical Law. Neither are negotiable, so the way that politics works is much more subtle. To be two bulls in a china cabinet, such as the two party system in America, is an unfair comparison.
The only real way to view things are that of heterodox and orthodox. While it may seem that I am being legalistic and rigid, the reality is that there isn't anything else. Either one accepts the Church fully, or he doesn't and it is from there that the definitions become real.
One can be orthodox, but be lobbying for change and that is one who is truly and authentically liberal.
One can be orthodox, but be lobbying for conservation and that is one who is truly and authentically conservative.
One can be heterodox, lobbying for change and that is one who is illicit.
One can be heterodox, lobbying for conservation and that is also one who is illicit.
But the terms liberal and conservative don't apply in the same way as they do in secular politics.
The key is authenticity when dealing with the Church. That is why "liberalism" is and should be tolerated in the Church, but not to the detriment of the Catholic ideal and mindset. To be liberal can be to help in the development of doctrine, but to be liberal in order to be political is a detriment to what it means to be Catholic.