Saturday, December 23, 2006

Ben in The Undercroft with more on an authentic traditionalism or how insights from the Orthodox tradition could genuinely renew (to use that much-abused word) the entire Catholic world*. I admit I don’t understand it all but it looks good. In the comments section, Michael Liccione representing the conservative Novus Ordo has linked to his rebuttal.

The trouble with orthodox NO ‘head religion’ without Catholic praxis (‘we don’t need all that romantic froufrou so go to the guitar Mass like a real Cat’lic ’cos we’ve got the Pope’), something that can have all the warmth of old-school Calvinism/Presbyterianism (or of Scientology as friend Paul Goings puts it):
...this “Hermeneutic of Continuity” - can you touch it? Can you smell it? Can you sing or pray it? Can you make an icon of it? Will it lodge in the imagination of a five-year-old? Will it enable her to grow up understanding why we have to drive past four [Roman] Catholic churches to attend a Mass thirty miles away?

So long as the answer to any of these questions is “no”, I’m afraid it’s of absolutely no earthly use.
Vatican II didn’t define any doctrines and said good things in themselves regarding matters of policy/approach: religious liberty is a relative good, ‘why not translate the services?’ (all Trent condemned was the idea that they must be in a tongue understanded of the people to be valid... one more time: ‘traditionalism is not about Latin!’) and ecumenism in the right spirit (catechesis, or clearing up misunderstandings — like the big one about justification — by actually talking to each other and treating each other in a Christian manner). That said, considering the harm it did, might the good it tried to do be done better another way and, as friend (no longer blogging) Jeff Culbreath has written, might Roman Catholics be better off simply ignoring Vatican II? I think so.

I think that’s as clear as the difference between a Byzantine Liturgy, an Anglo-Catholic High Mass and the chant and dialogue Masses the RCs’ legitimate liturgical movement was doing 50 years ago on one hand and the typical NO service on the other.

P.S. The English ‘Reformation’ was a mistake but I read Coverdale. Funny old world, isn’t it?

*That is, maybe ultramontanism in the EWTN or charismatic mould isn’t the answer and saying so doesn’t lump you together with Call to Action.

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