Skip to comments.Meet the Mad-Trads
Posted on 07/13/2013 2:58:09 PM PDT by NYer
On the Friday, May 31 edition of Catholic Answers Live, guest Tim Staples and I tackled the phenomenon of radical Traditionalism. The concept is fairly straightforward, typified by groups like the Society of St. Pius X (and the two splinter groups who had no choice but to flee the SSPX's creeping liberalism), the sedevacantists (those who believe that the last legitimate pontiff was Pius XII), and others on the ecclesial far Right who have broken communion with the Roman Pontiff for their own sundry reasons.
Put another way, Extremely High Church Protestantism.
Tim took special pains throughout the broadcast to distinguish this phenomenon from the kind of "Traditional Catholics" who exhibit often heroic public witness to the Faith: that merry band of Latin-Mass-going, chapel veil-donning, homeschooling, nightly rosary-praying, great books-loving Catholics. In the courage of their faith and willingness to share it, these salt-of-the-earth Catholics deserve emulation.
Take for example their invariably bold public pro-life commitment. Drive past any abortion facility in America or Canada and among the prayer warriors on the sidewalk you're bound to find at least one such Catholic. They love the pope, they love the beautiful Extraordinary Form (the Traditional Latin Mass), they love big families, and they love our Lord Jesus Christ and his mother.
The subject of the May 31 show had nothing to do with any of this. And Tim Staples sharply contrasted a traditional expression of Catholicism with those who willingly break communion with the Church.
Easy to see the difference, right?
We found ourselves on the business end of a nasty backlash stick. Of all the hot button issues we've tackled head-on with me behind the mic (start the list with abortion, sexual sin, feminism, and homosexuality) no previous topic generated the kind of vitriol from (some) listeners. We got positive feedback, too, but here's a small sample of the negative, pasted verbatim from emails (none of these people picked the phone up and called):
"Amazing! Wow! I am deeply disappointed by this apparent arrogance."
"That show was an embarrassment to all Catholics."
"I was extremely annoyed with the...program criticizing the "radical traditionalists" which is a reference that in and of itself makes no sense whatsoever" (sic).
"I finally turned the radio off in disgust."
"To treat anyone in such a mannermuch less our fellow Catholicsis a serious failure in justice and charity, and I seriously doubt you would indulge in this kind of careless and misleading attack on any other group."
One correspondent relished calling Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI "Doktor von Frankenchurch." Another dressed down the Ordinary Form of the Mass (in the vernacular) as "the Novus Ordo" with the same tone as "the colored lady who should stay at the back of the bus."
These people are not Rad-Trads outside the Church, they're Mad-Trads inside the Church.
What is a Mad-Trad? Well, if you accept the norms of the Second Vatican Council, to a Mad-Trad youre a "Neo-Catholic," a misguided liberal; you know, like Mother Angelica and Blessed John Paul II.
The main Mad-Trad hobbyhorse is strident resistance to the Second Vatican Council and all its pomps and all its works. The Catholic charismatic renewal is frequently singled out for tarring and feathering, despite (or because of?) strong papal support of that movement since the late 60s.
Further, in addition to a strange attraction to conspiracy theories involving Jews and Masons, Mad-Trads tend invariably to reject the position of the Catholic Church regarding the 1984 consecration to Russia by Blessed Pope John Paul II as requested in 1917 by our Lady of Fatima. In the face of repeated affirmations by the Holy See to the contrary, Mad-Trads say that consecration didnt take because her request was not fulfilled.
The com boxes of their websites function as echo chambers of depression and disenfranchisement, which in turn, reinforce the assumption that they're a brave minority fighting waves of persecution. They alone hold to the Purity of the One True Church [TM] and they're royally ticked that others can't see it.
Sadly, some of these individuals have already left the Church, at least inwardly. A thought experiment: if the 2007 motu proprio by Pope Benedict XVI Summorum Pontificum (and the 1984 document Quattuor Abhinc Annos from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, aka the Indult of John Paul II) were revoked today by Pope Francis, God forbid, how long would these unhappy souls remain in the Catholic Church?
It happens to be easy to gripe about the many pressing problems facing the Church today, easy to be agog at the banality of many Ordinary Form (OF) liturgies, with their clap-happy ditties that pass for sacred music, and easy to lament the indisputable decline of Sunday Mass attendance since the early 1960s, and easy to be vexed by the pitiful state of catechesis in this country?
But let's keep our eyes on the ball. The end is the life of glory with God in the beatific vision, not the Traditional Latin Mass, nor the Ordinary Form, no matter how reverently done. We need to love Jesus Christ and his Bride. On his terms; not ours.
Because of the intensity of the reactions to the May 31 show, we are going to revisit radical Traditionalism on Monday, August 12, again with Tim Staples. Perhaps some of our unhappy interlocutors will call the show and debate the issues directly on the air, instead of relying again on third party reports and then firing off outraged emails based on them.
Well be happy take their calls.
In case you are interested, ping!
“On the Friday, May 31 edition of Catholic Answers Live, guest Tim Staples and I tackled the phenomenon of radical Traditionalism. The concept is fairly straightforward, typified by groups like the Society of St. Pius X (and the two splinter groups who had no choice but to flee the SSPX’s creeping liberalism), the sedevacantists (those who believe that the last legitimate pontiff was Pius XII), and others on the ecclesial far Right who have broken communion with the Roman Pontiff for their own sundry reasons.”
Who are the “others on the ecclesial far Right who have broken communion with the Roman Pontiff for their own sundry reasons” besides the sedevacantists?
“Another dressed down the Ordinary Form of the Mass (in the vernacular) as “the Novus Ordo”...”
So Coffin is offended by the term “Novus Ordo”? He’s got a lot to learn from his fellow libtards.
IMHO, all of the charity of the RCC does seem to favor the liberals in her midst and precious little is given to the Traditionalists who remain loyal to Holy Mother Church. One sees it in the architecture, the music, the liturgy and the blatant ignoring of Sacrosanctum Concilium and the GIRM.
To quote The Master “By their fruit you will recognize them.”