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Wednesday, April 16, 2008



Wow, has he hit the nail on the head. I have found that in my Archdiocese (Cincinnati) the rad types abound on both ends, and everyone else steers clear of them - and consequently, also steers clear of anything new OR old or interesting, and certainly from the rest of the world. It would be nice to integrate all of us and just be Catholic.


Really, Carl, I believe that in the quest for some larger point, or perhaps as a quick literary device, the sweeping statement concerning the angry kooks of rad-traddism is not worthy of the good Father. The so-called rad-trads have seen their cause advanced greatly by the Holy Father, and the term is merely a form of ad hominem attack. St. Louis, under the leadership of Archbishop Burke and the good work of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, have done much for the restoration of Catholic Tradition. Neither of these support schismatic groups or are angry kooks.

I realize of course that the counter point by Father Longenecker would be that these are not the people to whom he refers as rad-trads. However, this doesn't satisfy, either. You see, the larger group of Catholics, and moreover the public at large, will not make these distinctions, and will assume rad-trads are those who prefer the traditional Mass, full stop.

I mean, when Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos makes several public statements to the effect that the bulk of those who adhere to the SSPX are not in schism, then even calling them rad-trads is a doubtful exercise.

My larger point is that this name-slinging is not conducive either to accuracy or to a hopeful reconciliation with those at the margins of the Church.

Augustine II

"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."

-Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum


I agree 100% with the way Fr. Longenecker characterizes the "AmChurch" and I share his dissatisfaction with it (and particularly with the mediocre music). But I think he overlooks the fact that there is a substantial group in the American Church that does appreciate the Church's history and traditions but is not hung up about Vatican II. Let us call them the "Benedict Catholics," as the leaders of those in this group tend to have read and to be quite fond of our current Pope. It appears to me that the Benedict Catholics are a much more substantial group than the "Rad Trads."

Sandra Miesel

As the inventor of the term RadTrad, may I assert that it doesn't mean simply preference for the Old Mass and traditional devotions. RadTradom carries a lot of other other social and political freight that has nothing to do with praying in Latin: Integrism, Gallophilia, anti-Semitism, Confederate sympathies, attraction for aristocracy and authoritarian forms of government, etc.

Augustine II

Dan, I read a great interview the other day related to the horrid campfire music of many Novus Ordo Masses. Here:

Except for the nonsense that pops up at the end, this is a good article:

Augustine II

And an obsession with Freemasonry?

Augustine II

It would be a good thing for someone to write an essay reconciling these two statements:

"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."

-Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum

"...we are witnesses today of a new integralism that may seem to support what is strictly Catholic but in reality corrupts it to the core. It produces a passion of suspicions, the animosity of which is far from the spirit of the gospel. There is an obsession with the letter that regards the liturgy of the Church as invalid and thus puts itself outside the Church. It is forgotten here that the validity of the liturgy depends primarily, not on specific words, but on the community of the Church; under the pretext of Catholicism, the very principle of Catholicism is denied, and, to a large extent, custom is substituted for truth."

-Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, p. 377

Carl Olson

Augustine II: My quick, simplistic take on those two statements is that Ratzinger/Benedict believes that there are two faulty, extreme ways to approach the liturgy: 1) saying that nothing in the liturgy can ever change, or 2) saying that the liturgy should and must change quickly and radically.

As he emphasizes in many places, changes in the liturgy should be organic and slow, reflecting authentic development and deep respect for what has gone before (i.e., certain prayers, actions, etc.). In The Spirit of the Liturgy, for example, Ratzinger notes that God speaks through man and historical events, and that "the Word of the Bible becomes complete only in that responsive word of the Church in her celebration. That is why the accounts of the Last Supper in the Bible become a concrete reality only when they are appropriated by the Church in her celebration. That is why there can be development in the 'Divine Liturgy', a development, though that takes place without haste or aggressive intervention, like the grain that grows 'of itself' in the earth (cf. Mk 4:28)." (p 169). He then refers to the Eastern rites as examples of developments/variations that are completely authentic, but differ in certain ways from the Western rites.


Sandra, you stated the counter argument, as I indicated. However, as the inventor of this term, perhaps you could be the one to put it to rest? It seems a bit smug, and I am sure that is not what you intend. No one who is not a fully-believing Catholic is capable of understanding the distinction between Catholics who advocate a restoration of Catholic tradition and those whom you label RadTrads. They see them as the same, and the use of the derogatory term besmirches all traditional Catholics.

As an aside, though I don't espouse any of what you list as the "freight" of RadTrads, I don't see anything inherently objectionable with any of those things, apart from anti-semitism. Is it a problem that I have friends who like France? I mean, that is a bit out there for an American, but...

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