So the Catholic blogosphere is taking sides again after Catholic Answers let the cat out of the bag with the "Mad Rad Trad" thing. Some bloggers, usually on the pro-Traditionalist side or the `hardcore` Latin Mass/Trad Catholics side, are saying "No titles." Others, are saying that there should be titles and supporting C.A. on their take of their radio show they did on "Radical Traditionalism".
In my blog feed, I subscribe to a blog run by a priest in the USA, in the diocese of Madison, of Madison, Wisconsin. It is the "Knights of Divine Mercy". Aside from running what is an excellent Men's traditional Catholic social/spiritual association, Fr. Heilman posts a number of great articles on his blog dealing with spiritual combat against the Evil One, and calling out the garbage lingering around the social, institutional, and spiritual culture within the Church. He does so with clarity, charity, and true fraternal correction (not abuse).
Today, Fr. Heilman forwarded a great article examining the whole "Mad Rad Trad" issue from another awesome blogging priest, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, a convert from Anglicanism (pre-A.C. ordinates). He also posts in the same vein as Fr. Heilman on a number of issues and is well known in the Catholic blogosphere, alongside his other Patheos network confreres. Do search for the articles Fr. L mentions in his posting, even his humourous ones as "Mantilla the Hon".
I post the exact text here for you to read as it is by far excellent! It is, to me, the best article supporting the argument that we should keep the monikers and the reasons why, of which a couple are those I thought of before reading this article. Here you go, and Pax. Julian.
P.S. I've got something sweet coming up in a couple of hours .....
From Fr. Longnecker:
There is a conversation going on over at Catholic Lane on Why the title “Rad Trad” or “Radical Traditionalist” should be dropped. You can go hereto read post.
This interests me because it is a term I use, and despite my best intentions to explain that I am on the traditionalists’ side, that I believe most of them are good, solid Catholics who simply prefer the Extraordinary Form, and that I do not think they are all wild eyed conspiracy theory extremists, still my comment box fills with vituperative remarks from traditionalists who accuse me of being some sort of enemy.
So let me explain why I think “rad trad” and “radical traditionalist” is a good term and why I’ll continue to use it. But before I do, here are a few real comments from my combox:
Wake up people! Francis is a unrepentant socialist, liberation theologist and homophile. And he is lurching the Church into heresy. Homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God. And catholic leaders need to identify it as such. Francis is building a case for openly homosexual priests and religious. Disgrace!This is the sort of position I criticize as “Radical Traditionalist” or “Rad Trad”. I could include other comments from my combox which are anti-Semitic, self righteous, hateful, angry, racist and well, insane. I am sure most traditionalists would shake their heads and be sorry for such negativity.
As far as my analysis of Francis, his actions speak louder than his words, although his words are bad enough. Take a look at his clerical history. If you have decided to become a Papal sycophant that is your business. And no, I am not a Sede Vacantist. We HAVE a Pope. His name is Benedict. And as far as my accusations, just watch closely in the coming months. Mark my words. Francis will systematically dismantle catholic teaching on abortion, sexuality, homosexuality, euthanasia, the True Presence, Mary’s role in salvation and the Divinity of Jesus.
It is for this sort of traditionalist that I reserve the names like “mad rad trad”. Why is it wise to retain the “rad trad” label? Because we can identify this sort of sad individual by the label and not only criticize him, but more positively–support and praise the traditionalists who are NOT like him. If the label “rad trad” is dropped it is more likely that no distinctions will be made and this sort of extremist will be seen to be a spokesman for all traddies.
Some traditionalist critics of my blog has asked why I don’t write posts supporting traditionalist aims. I do. I have written much on necessity for beauty and solemnity in worship. My post on “what I say to my altar servers” has gone viral. My writings on traditional architecture, music and liturgy are widely read and appreciated. My alter ego Mantilla the Hon speaks up in a humorous and feisty way for traditionalist ideals. While I do not celebrate the Extraordinary Form, I’m pleased that permission is given for all to do so who wish to, and if there were a need in our town for me to serve traditionalists by saying the Latin Mass I would learn it happily.
Others critics have wondered why I don’t blast daffy dissenters and radical liberals. I do. My blog is a repository for regular posts lamenting lousy architecture, sappy music, sentimentalized Catholicism and shallow, empty headed progressivism.
To use “Mad Rad Trad” as a category for the extremist end of the traditionalist movement is not to throw stones at all traditionalists. In fact, it helps to defend, support and define the worthy traditionalist movement–the one which is made up of a majority of good, faithful, well intentioned Catholics who are helping the whole church in the “reform of the Reform” and are doing so with intelligence, wit, patience, obedience and faith.
If you are a traditionalist, then my advice is be a radical Catholic, but not a radical traditionalist. Love the traditional ways, support and promote them, but remember the bigger picture. The bigger picture is the whole mission of the Catholic Church. The whole mission of the Catholic Church is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to a needy world. The whole mission of the Catholic Church is to reach out to the needy with the love and healing ministry of Christ. The whole mission of the Catholic Church is to sanctify the people of God and lead us in the paths of holiness. The whole mission of the Catholic Church is to live lives filled with the Holy Spirit which testify to the power and grace and joy that comes from knowing Christ.
By all means be radical in these aims. Use the traditional teachings, devotions and liturgies of the church to do so. Reach out to the world and to other Catholics with joy and affirmation. The traditionalist movement is young and alive! Traditionalists have so much to share with the church, and they are doing so with great zeal, energy and faith. I say to traditionalists, don’t allow yourselves to be swept up into narrow minded little groups who point fingers of blame at everybody else. Don’t allow the angry or insane members of your group to speak for all.
Share the things you treasure with enthusiasm and do not be judgmental and condemnatory of other Catholics who for whatever reasons are not quite where you are. It’s okay to criticize abuse and wrong doing, but it’s also okay to leave them alone and accept them just as you wish to be left alone and accepted. Criticize abuse and wrong doing, but accept criticism when it comes your way. Your critic is often your best friend. Furthermore, if you expect other Catholics to listen to you and learn from you be prepared to listen to them and learn from them. You may heartily dislike their ways of worship and truly believe they are wrong, wrong, wrong, but the Lord might have some things for you to learn from those Catholics who seem to be your enemy. Are you humble and open enough to listen and learn?
If you receive persecution from other Catholics or are treated unfairly from the hierarchy, respond with meekness and joy. Turn the other cheek. Show the true spirit of Christ that dwells in your hearts, for this is true and valid traditionalism: heart felt love for Jesus Christ and a true and joyful devotion to him as your King and Shepherd.
In my experience of traditionalists I have seen much more of this than the extremist rants and the sour self righteousness that I have criticized. That’s why for me the term “traditionalist” is a positive term, but why I will continue to use “rad trad” or “radical traditionalist” to denote those who do not represent the traditionalist movement well, and whose attitudes and actions lead to schism and strife.