Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Half my problem with traditionalist Catholicism
I love most of the same things they love, but chafe at feeling required to hate all the same things they seem to hate, writes Jared B. here at Arturo’s. I’ve long understood the frustration. So among other things I became a libertarian too. More like 1962, like you can find among Pennsylvania Slavs, and less like a cult, or more like vintage Goldwater (and ‘shut up, Falwell’ too) and not, as Ad Orientem says, gloomy conspiracy theories about Freemasons, Jews, Communists, invalid Masses, women in trousers refereeing ball games and at university with the vote, sedevacantists and antipopes. (I know people from 1962; they’re not like that. At the same time I won’t jump on the bandwagon slandering Bishop Williamson.) The basics — doctrine, Mass and office — devotions and unofficial folk practices in their proper place, and lots of un-self-conscious tat (like the church porn Arturo criticises but not exactly). I love seeing cappa magnas without apology (and in a Roman Rite church wearing a biretta in choir) but am neither gay nor grandiose (clericalist, monarchist, fascist, theocratic); as Fr Rutler would say we’re sacerdotalists. I feel rather like Arturo about the Novus neoconnerie but admit I’m not following the theology-of-the-body argument he’s having.
While “old-school Catholicism” was the default religion of millions of people fifty to sixty years ago, its Potemkin-village manifestation will be a sort of ship in the bottle.

Our Mass is at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, so as not to disturb the “normal” Catholics.

Maybe one day it will be the default Catholicism of a self-selected elite, but to think that it will somehow take hold of the masses like it once did, or inspire the depth of creativity and thought that it once did, all I have to say again is good luck with that. It is like expecting the poetry of Rumi and the philosophy of Averroes to be produced from the ranks of Osama bin Laden and the Saudi royal family. Fundamentalisms are seldom fruitful.
Point taken; one of the same as mine in my 1962 link. Another way of putting that is it may be the default for a real remnant during real persecution, like the non-modern Ukrainian Catholic Church lived through for 40 years in modern times.

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