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Monday, March 18, 2013

Traditionalists: Eat Your Heart Out

Traditionalists claim to be fascinated with preserving the Great Tradition of the Church.
They alone understand what this constitutes.
Even the Popes don't understand it as fully as they do.

Anyone who is *REALLY* a traditionalist should be shouting for joy that the Ecumenical Patriarch will be attending this papal inauguration for the first time in nearly a thousand years. This is HUGE, this is ENORMOUS, this is an UNPRECEDENTED victory for traditionalists everywhere! They should be dancing in the streets and hugging each other over the incredible success that Pope Francis has achieved even with his inauguration! The East and the West breathing together in the same liturgy for the first time in a thousand years! Oh, my heavens, how loudly the bells should ring and the Te Deum sung!

Instead, what do we hear from "traditionalists"?


Or, worse, this constant carping whine, "He has to grow into the job, you know. He doesn't understand Tradition the way we do, therefore he's wrong. Pray for the Pope, that he can become more like us. We already know how he should handle the job, and look how badly he's muffing it out of the blocks! Why, oh WHY didn't the conclave choose me instead of him?"

Yes, the Church needs immense reform.
No, it ain't just the liberals that need reforming.


Jordanes551 said...

There aren't any grounds for traditionalists, or "traditionalists," to be particularly enthused about the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople's attendance at today's papal installation Mass. Historically the pre-Schism Patriarchs of Constantinople did not attend the installation or coronation of the Roman Pontiff. I believe the Latin Patriarchs of Constantinople used to do so, especially the Titular Latin Patriarchs following the end of the "Crusader" Latin Empire of Constantinople, since the Titular Patriarchs lived in Italy. But the Latin Patriarchate is defunct and the title is suppressed.

Not only would traditionalist Catholics not be especially pleased with the Orthodox Patriarch's attendance, but they would probably be confounded if not offended that the Mass was attended by the head of a Christian group that is no in communion with the Catholic Church. Traditionally, the members and leaders of groups that the Extraordinary Use or Form of the Roman Rite calls "schismatics" or "heretics" were not welcome at papal installations or coronations.

Bartholomew I's attendance today was a positive gesture, and hopefully augurs good things for the reconciliation of our Orthodox "separated brethren" with the Church, but it wasn't a traditionalist move.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

The bishops of the East were welcomed at ecumenical councils and the Masses of the ecumenical councils.

If traditionalists look with less than complete joy on this event than traditionalists need to up their game.

Jordanes551 said...

"The bishops of the East were welcomed at ecumenical councils and the Masses of the ecumenical councils."

True -- the reunion councils (or reunion-attempt councils).

Analogously, the Protestants were invited to Trent. They, however, declined to come, and probably with reason may have feared they'd be given the Jan Hus treatment: given a safe conduct, and then, being condemned as heretics, being immediately arrested and sentenced to death. But the point is they were invited, with the aim of healing a breach. So too were eastern bishops whose communion with the church was impaired or broken invited, with the aim of healing the breach and resolving divisions over matters of doctrine and jurisdiction. Bartholomew's attendance today, happy event though it is, is not an explicit and earnest attempt to work out the Eastern Schism and effect the reconciliation of the Orthodox.

It is, however, hopefully one more step toward that longed for day.

Jordanes551 said...

The reason traditionalists are less than sanguine, or at any rate unimpressed, with Bartholomew I's attendance is their concern over what they call false ecumenism, and what the Church calls religious indifferentism. They are concerned that it may be an attempt at, or a manifestation of a desire for, unity without unity of Faith. I think their concerns are not unjustified, given the stark contrast between how the Church has traditionally approached the problems of schism and heresy, and how the Church has been trying to approach them since the 1960s.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Can't talk to people who aren't in the room.

Now, he's in the room.

If Paris was worth a Mass, so was this. One of the interesting things about Francis is precisely that he appears to be a very orthodox man, and manages to talk to everyone who needs to talk to him.

That doesn't mean they like him. The President of Argentina spits nails when she sees him. And upon that I place great hope, for it speaks to the fears of those who are concerned about false ecumenism.

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