Mad Rad Trads

What worries me most about the angry comments from traditionalists in my combox is how many of them have either not read my posts, or completely mis-understood them. When I recounted the caricatures of both trad Catholics and trendy Catholics I stated quite clearly that this is the way each side is caricatured by the other. My stating of this fact was not to endorse those caricatures, but to condemn them.

That detail is beside the point. What is most worrying about the mad rad trads who commented negatively is their seeming lack of comprehension, their thin skinned self righteousness, their assumption of ill will and their denial of the basic facts I was discussing. Some other commenters observed that a good number of the mad rad trad commenters actually proved my point with guarded, implicit anti-Semitism and an instant and unthinking defense of their tribe rather than a discussion of the points raised–an instant condemnation of my sources because they came from a left-wing website, rather than dealing with matter discussed there. In addition to this the comments continue to flow in and they are increasingly personal, shrill, hateful, bigoted and sour. Mad rad trads–keep spewing your nastiness. You’re proving my point!

All that gives me the creeps, and unless more traditionalists jump on the bandwagon, and have little self righteous hissy fits, please observe that I am not condemning all traditionalist Catholics, nor am I condemning those who like the Latin Mass. Nor am I condoning clown Masses or all the “spirit of Vatican 2″ liturgical abuses. Nor am I saying all traditionalists are Jew haters.

Traditionalist Catholics should consider me to be on their side. They’ll forgive me, however, if I don’t go so far as to join an extremist sect and join the wild eyed anti-Semites and their defenders who lurk on the lunatic fringe of the traditionalist movement.

  • Henry

    Thank you Father. I’m a trad. I find the biggest challenge for the trad movement to be to engagement with the entire Church as “regular” Catholics and not act as or be seen as something outside the mainstream. I do understand the frustrations of so many trads (by bad music, feminization of the priesthood, rainbow banners, etc……). And it’s a terrific temptation to constantly murmur negativity and be on the defensive.

    But rather, I believe, that we advance the entire trad cause by positively promoting beauty of the liturgy and the rich traditions that so many Catholics have no awareness. We’ll get more TLM Masses by making bishops and priests comfortable with us knowing that we can enhance each diocese and offer a richness of “traditional ministry” (did I just say that? ugh!). But yes, we lose friends and we lose influence each time we rail against Vatican II and whenever we act as rubricians criticizing the work (for the most part) of well intentioned clergy.

    • RoxanneRoxanadana

      The point would be avoiding contact with SSPX, a movement begun by Nazi Archbishop Lefebvre. This man favored Vichy France, an arm of Nazi government. To see this, simply read Wiki’s first paragraphs:

      Vichy France, officially The French State (l’État français), was France during the regime of Marshal Philippe Pétain, during World War II, from the German victory in the Battle of France (July 1940) to the Allied liberation in August 1944.[2] Following the defeat in June 1940, President

      Albert Lebrun appointed Marshal Pétain asPremier of France. After making peace with Germany, Pétain and his government voted to reorganize the discredited Third Republic into an authoritarian regime.

      The newly formed French State maintained nominal sovereignty over the whole of French territory as defined by the Second Armistice at Compiègne. However, Vichy maintained full sovereignty only in the unoccupied southern Zone libre (“free zone”), while retaining limited authority in the Wehrmacht-occupied northern zone, the Zone occupée (“occupied zone”). The occupation was to be a provisional state of affairs pending the conclusion of the war in the west, which at the time appeared imminent. In November 1942, however, the Zone libre was also occupied, with Germany closely supervising all French officials.

      Marshal Pétain collaborated with the German occupying forces in exchange for an agreement not to divide France between the Axis powers. Germany kept two million French soldiers in Germany as forced labourers to enforce its terms. Vichy authorities aided in the rounding-up of Jews and other “undesirables”.

      , , ,

      Public opinion turned against the Vichy regime and the occupying German forces over time and resistance to them increased. Following the Allied invasion of France in June 1944, de Gaulle proclaimed the Provisional Government of the French Republic (GPRF).

      Following France’s liberation in summer 1944, most of the Vichy regime’s leaders fled or were put on trial by the GPRF and a number were executed for treason . . . Pétain was sentenced to death for treason, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Only four senior Vichy officials were tried for crimes against humanity, although more were alleged to have participated in the deportation of Jews for extermination in concentration camps, abuses of prisoners and severe acts against members of the Resistance.

      To say one is in favor of Vichy France, as Lefebvre did, is to be a neo-Nazi. Lefebvre, of course, was a real Nazi.

  • johnnyc

    Catchy names just reserved for traditionalists? Will we also be getting articles about ‘livid liberals’, ‘mean modernists’ or ‘defiant dissidents’?

    • LCG

      I think Father is implying that he is more surprised that it comes from the traditionalist side.

  • Peregrinator

    I had a post written out but I thought better of it. Let me offer, instead, the following quote, and note that there were many level-headed criticisms of your post on trad anti-Semitism:

    “I’m extremely wary of any group or individual who can’t take criticism.”

  • Chesire11

    Father, I have always found whether conversing with the left or the right, the more the truth makes them howl, the more they deserve to howl. Keep up the good work.

    • Bill W.

      Everybody is just a little whiner, huh?

      • Chesire11

        It is a pretty common malady among the self satisfied, which is to say it is practically epidemic throughout contemporary culture, so…well…yes.

  • Headstand

    Mad Rad Trads certainly seem to suffer from some kind of eternal sunshine of the spotless mind syndrome. They certainly stand the Confiteor on it’s head rendering the concept lex orandi, lex crecendi absolutely ridiculous. Never do I hear through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. It’s always finger pointing, calumny and discrediting others. Regarding both liturgy and tradition they never fail to reflect oxymoron or misnomer.

    Although I bless them, I lose interest, more and more, in standing on my head to understand or engage them. To their credit I am grateful that they never fail to bring to mind and cause me to contemplate Simeon’s Prophesy from Luke: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. For the fall: Christ came for the salvation of all men; but here Simeon prophesies what would come to pass, that many through their own wilful blindness and obstinacy would not believe in Christ, nor receive his doctrine, which therefore would be ruin to them: but to others a resurrection, by their believing in him, and obeying his commandments.