Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Stop the name-calling of our Catholic brethren!

The persistent use of "rad-trad" or "mad-trad" or even by a prelate referring to them as those "holy Catholics" flies in the face of what our beloved Benedict tried to do and in the face of "oecumenism."  Those who persist in this are not doing the work of the Lord but are buying into a narrative that is divisive and destructive and is from the Father of Lies. As I wrote previously, there is an incredible amount of hostility to the one-half of one-per-cent of Catholics who attend the traditional liturgy in general and the chapels of the SSPX in particular.  Here, courtesy of Rorate is a statement from the Diocese of Richmond in Virginia where the Society is building their new seminary. The link includes an misinformed statement previously made and corrected; here is the link to Richmond Catholic, where this appears.

Diocesan statement regarding article on the Society of St. Pius X
A recent article in the Catholic Virginian on the Society of St. Pius X and the seminary it is constructing in Buckingham County contained inaccuracies.
The article correctly stated that the society was founded in 1970 by the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary is one of several seminaries operated by the society. The society is not in regular communion with the Holy See (or the Bishop of Richmond).
These points need to be clarified:
◾The seminary is currently located in Winona, Minnesota and is relocating to Buckingham County. Mass is not regularly offered at the Buckingham location at present.
◾Our former Holy Father, Benedict XVI, never personally declared that doctrinal differences stand in the way of regularizing the canonical status of the society; nonetheless, the regularization has yet to take place.
◾ The Masses offered by priests of the society are valid. Other Sacraments celebrated in the chapels of the society are considered valid, with the exception of Penance and Matrimony, which are, at best, doubtfully valid.
◾ It is not clear that the society is in schism, and it is not properly called a “sect.” In recent years the Holy See has recognized the society’s expressed desire for regular communion with the Roman Pontiff and the Church he shepherds, and the Holy See’s dialogue with the society since 2009 demonstrates the Church’s commitment to unity.
Several additional points should be made when discussing the Society of St. Pius X:
◾ It is necessary to distinguish between the priests, brothers, and sisters of the society, on the one hand; and the lay faithful who attend Mass at society chapels, on the other hand. The former are clearly in an irregular status. In regard to the lay faithful who attend Mass at society chapels, there has never been a statement by the Holy See that these people are in schism. In fact, the Holy See acts toward them as it does toward all the Catholic lay faithful.
◾ It’s also necessary to distinguish between acts that are invalid and those that are illicit. Acts are illicit when they go against the Church’s law. Still, acts that are canonically illicit may be valid, and, in the case of the society, the ministerial acts of their priests may be illicit and still be considered valid by the Church.
◾ Finally, a comment should be made regarding the Sunday Mass obligation of Catholics. The faithful do not properly fulfill their Sunday Mass obligation in chapels of the society, as the celebration of the Eucharist presupposes not only communion with the Lord, but also communion with the Church He founded, and the hierarchy who govern the Church by Divine mandate.
The Church’s unity is best served when the whole truth is communicated. We regret the errors in the article. Let us pray for restoration of the unity of all Christians in Christ, and that the Society of St. Pius X will be reconciled with ecclesiastical authority.


TH2 said...

The name-calling, whether it be with malice or even lightheartedly, is a sign of desperation on the part of the Neo-Catholics.

They are, along with the Modernists, being challenged, starting to lose their dominance of the post-Conciliar narrative. Vatican II - with all its ambiguities and some of its contradictions with the pre-Conciliar Church - is being questioned. Concepts of, and problems with, "religious liberty", pluralism, ecumenism and collegiality are now convincingly being shown to be un-Catholic and inimical to the Faith.

It's a sign of decline and I suspect the Trad name-calling and associated antagonisms will continue for some time.

A divinely ordained command for First Things and Patheos to cease publication would be wonderful. But, alas, I'm a dreamer ;)

Vox Cantoris said...

Indeed. both publications you mention are problematic. One very prominent blogger at Patheos in particular is out-rightly hostile even in his com-box. I wont' mention his name though and I've think I've discovered why he is so confrontational; every time someone comes back to check on what outrageous thing he writes in rebuttal, he gets points. Patheos pays on hits, not a flat fee for an article. I think of another, a rather nasty "self-published apologist" who will also remain sine nomine. He has "blurbs" from everyone imaginable which is hard in itself to imagine.

You're right as well TH2 on the whys? They are quickly, very quickly losing their dominance. The persecution of priests and laity loyal to tradition is still happening, let nobody think that it has ended. I said yesterday with regards to one situation, "they are either stupid, or evil." Well, I think we know which it is.

Murray said...

Hang on. Isn't "Neo-Catholic" just as much name-calling as "Rad Trad"? If you must refer to them somehow, how about something neutral, like Moderate (or Mainstream) Orthodox Catholics?

I mean, I love you guys. Vox, you do good work. TH2, I look forward to your essays and agree with almost everything in them. But I don't get the neoCat slurs, not at all. The MOCs at EWTN, Catholic Answers, and Patheos are in the main obedient and faithful Catholics. Is one of them an apoplectic headcase? Yep. Are they a little too willing to gloss over some serious questions about Vatican II? Sure. Do they shy away from sensitive topics like the Jewish role in anti-Christian agitation from the 1st Century through to the present day? Like the very plague itself.

But overall, do they bring people closer to Christ and his Church? Yes, they do--which is something you certainly can't say for liberals and modernists. During my conversion from atheism, apostolates like Catholic Answers and magazines like First Things were invaluable in demonstrating that Catholicism and Christianity could be defended against all challengers. Even with my current reservations I appreciate the work they do, and believe that the MOC approach may be the most prudent and fruitful way to engage a heathen and degraded culture.

And the thing is, the "neoCat" name-calling does highlight an unfortunately stereotypical traditionalist habit, which is to apply an unreasonably rigorous purity test to people who are broadly on the same side. I understand that MOCs can be irritatingly moderate, and agree that their habit of distancing themselves from traditionalists is unnecessary and often insulting but in the end, we have different ways of dealing with the same enemies.

Vox Cantoris said...


TH2's comment about "NeoCatholic" did not slip by me, I did choose to let it pass though but I thank you for not letting it slip and for your smart comments.

Yes, you are correct, I think the better term is actually "modernist" after all, there was an incredible encyclical on it.

It is hard to believe though, I've actually been called both a "NeoCath" and a "RadTrad" so I guess, I'm right where I need to be.

Vox Cantoris said...

Sorry, I misread when you wrote "Moderate" but then the root of the word is the same as "Modernist" which would at least have the historical basis of Pascendi Dominici gregis behind it.

Murray said...

Well, perhaps we should use "Mainstream" instead. Modernist Orthodox Catholic would be an oxymoron, and I don't think our MOC friends are modernists. Some of them have made more peace with the modern world than I think wise, but overall they are obedient and faithful Catholics, which is to say we should regard them as allies.

On the other side of the fence, liberals and modernists always keep the goal in their sights, and will readily ally with absolutely anyone they think will help them achieve their (evil) aims. But over on our side, MOCs scoff at traditionalists, and traditionalists cast MOCs into the outer darkness, and we lose sight of our goal, which is to bring men into communion with the Church that Jesus Christ founded.

TH2 said...

Hi mgl:

Thanks for the criticism.

First, I think a distinction should be made. When the term "Rad Trad" or "Mad Trad" is used, these labels specifically means that which is "radical" and "madness", thus inferring mental instability, psychological problems, extremist nut jobs, etc.

Now compare it to "Neo-Catholic". The word "neo" is of Greek origin, meaning "new" or "recent", because it is indeed a recent phenomenon. So, in terms of name-calling, it its evident that "Mad Trad"/"Rad Trad" is a negative, deprecating ascription. Why not just say "Traditional Catholic"? (just Catholic, in reality, for nearly 2000 years, until 1965). It's the (added) adjectives "radical" and "mad" which make the difference.

Second, name calling or labelling is a normal thing to do, so there is nothing wrong with doing that as such. Labels can be translated as words or speech that identify or distinguish between a this and a that. How can one navigate without referents, such as a label, by naming something? When there are no pointers or rules or limits, it becomes impossible to gauge matters.

Third, it must be emphasized (again) that the Neo-Catholics, along with the Modernists, have dominated the Catholic narrative for the last decades. Traditional Catholics (i.e. Catholic), who are a small minority (as Vox mentions) have been vilified, banned and ostracized by the Neo-Catholics for a long time. Not going to discuss here what Neo-Catholicism is per se, though I address it in detail in my last post. However, for a far superior analysis of "Conservative vs. Traditional Catholicism" I highly recommend you check out the article by Fr. Chad Ripperger at this link: http://www.faithfulanswers.com/conservative-vs-traditional-catholicism/