Tradition, the Church, and the World

The role of tradition can be hard for us to discern, because tradition is so pervasive, and it’s difficult to discuss in America today, because the accepted public view of things provides no way to make sense of it.

St Francis of Assisi Chapel h in Lincoln, NE. (Image: Channel 82/Unsplash.com)

The dispute over the continuing value of the Traditional Latin Mass has drawn attention to the question of tradition and its role in the Church.

That’s a complicated matter. Tradition is important, but not the most important thing. It has a strong human component, so divine revelation and natural law limit its authority. When the Pharisees asked Jesus why his disciples broke the tradition of the elders, he answered “why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?” (Matthew 15:1-3)

On the other hand, it is through tradition that revelation is passed on and our understanding of natural law developed. That is why Jude urged the brethren “to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints,” (Jude 1:3) and Paul told the Thessalonians to “stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.” (2 Thess 14)

Once the apostles passed away, it fell to saints, councils, popes, bishops, theologians and all the faithful to receive, apply, develop, and pass on the complex of beliefs and practices that constitutes the tradition of the Church. We live by the Faith, but also by the Catholic tradition that embodies it.

Historians can help us understand the specifics of how all this has happened. But there’s one aspect of the matter that hasn’t drawn much expert discussion because it’s too open-ended: the role of tradition in human life generally. That’s hard for us to discern, because tradition is so pervasive, and it’s difficult to discuss in America today, because the accepted public view of things provides no way to make sense of it.

Foreigners noticed long ago that among us “new” means “good.” Novus ordo seclorum, “a new order of the ages,” is even one of our national mottoes. You might say that such attitudes are part of our tradition. But it’s not just America. The modern world has defined itself by rejection of tradition, and the 1960s deprived it of what social authority remained. If “deeply rooted social stereotype” means “destructive and wrong,” as it has since then, then the function of tradition can only be to show us what not to do.

In recent times that tendency has deeply affected the Church. Neither aggiornamento (“updating”) nor “New Pentecost,” phrases used to describe the goals of the Second Vatican Council, are friendly to tradition. And the response to the Council within the Church, which reflected the excitement of the period immediately after its conclusion, often became quite radical.

The changes in the liturgy are an example. The approach taken in Sacrosanctum Concilium was quite moderate—retention of Latin and chant, for example, and an intention that there would be “no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them.” What was done, and forced on the faithful almost overnight, was of course more radical.

No doubt that seemed like a good idea at the time. But excitement dies away, and grand schemes based on hopes and untested theories often come to nothing. Also, modernity has its own deeply rooted stereotypes that are not necessarily true, some of which deal with the role of tradition.

The issues are worth discussing. In general, tradition is experience writ large and summarized in a system of attitudes, practices, and symbols that are respected and lived by rather than analyzed. As such, it’s necessary for dealing with situations that are too subtle, complicated, or all-embracing to sum up in clear ordered statements—in other words, situations to which the modern conception of expertise, which takes modern natural science as its model, is inadequate.

If experience is needed to do something well, that thing needs a tradition. That’s why tradition is basic to how we deal with human life as a whole and its major departments. Even natural science requires tradition to be carried on successfully. Science is a complex and demanding practice that demands insight and judgment, so it can’t be made perfectly scientific. That is why it is learned in part by apprenticeship: it is important who a researcher trained under.

All of which makes the relationship between tradition and expertise as now understood extremely complicated. The latter is often extremely powerful, not only in technical fields but in human affairs generally. Modern public administration has, for example, revolutionized politics and government.

But the power of modern expertise is not always for the best. What questions do we ask of it, and how do we interpret the answers and fit them into the pattern of human life? Above all, do we get carried away by its power and end up destroying what we should be fostering, because the power isn’t power to do exactly what’s needed? A chain saw is a powerful way of dealing with wood, but it doesn’t make someone a better wood carver.

Architecture provides an example of what can go wrong. New materials, modern engineering, and the new concepts of design they make possible have transformed it, but not always for the better.

What should be done with such things? Modern industry created modern civilization, so many designers thought architecture and urban planning should be remodeled on industrial lines. Decoration would be abolished. Buildings would be steel skeletons with facades hung on them to keep out the weather, and partitions arranged and rearranged so the floor plan suits the purpose at hand. Offices, factories, retail establishments, and residential areas would all be separated, and linked together by high-speed rail lines, motorways, and electronic communications.

Anything else—houses with gables, cozy breakfast nooks, traditional European villages—seemed sentimental and dishonest—“kitschy,” as the critics said. People might like such things, and architects were happy to live in them as long as they were old enough to be “authentic,” but designers thought they were immoral, a denial of the times in which we live.

The public didn’t like the results. The professionals said they would eventually come around, and start to like what they were being force-fed. That didn’t happen. The response of top professionals was not to wonder whether their approach was really creating an environment suitable for human life. Instead, they became confrontational. The public had to be shown who’s boss. So the elegance of Lever House and the Seagram Building gave way to the aggressiveness of Tilted Arc, an obnoxious prestige sculpture in the shape of a rusty wall that bisected a plaza in lower Manhattan, ruining it for its users.

Modern architecture wanted to recreate buildings and cities as machines for living. It was a bad idea, because life is not mechanical, but the experts thought it would usher in utopia. They didn’t realize there is no utopia, only myriad arrangements and practices that facilitate and reconcile human needs, loves, and aspirations. Such things grow up as a system through the development of tradition.

That process gave rise to the classic and vernacular architecture that has given us built forms that people still love: the French chateau, the European cathedral, the New England village green, as well as their equivalents elsewhere in the world. But nobody is allowed to build such things today. The building codes mostly don’t allow them, and the designers think they’re all wrong. Theoreticians like Christopher Alexander offer counter-theories arguing that built forms ought to model themselves on living forms rather than machines, but so far with little result.

I can’t help but think that something of the same situation exists within the Church. Ideas that once seemed advanced, because they were thought to reflect exact knowledge of functions and how to achieve them, turned out not to work because fundamental considerations had escaped notice. Instead of a “new springtime” the new ideas led to disintegration, but instead of responding rationally those who supported the changes have dug in their heels. What the public wants is wrong, and they must be taught a lesson.

No doubt official balkiness will eventually soften. If minds don’t change personnel eventually do. In the mean time those who see problems in the official view need to keep remembering the past, working for the future, and improving our understanding of human life and the conditions that help it thrive. That applies to both architecture and liturgy. In the end, when old battles have been forgotten, what makes life better will no doubt prevail.


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About James Kalb 118 Articles
James Kalb is a lawyer, independent scholar, and Catholic convert who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of The Tyranny of Liberalism(ISI Books, 2008) and, most recently, Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It (Angelico Press, 2013).

61 Comments

  1. A quibble, here. . .We read: “Neither aggiornamento (“updating”) nor ‘New Pentecost,’ phrases used to describe the goals of the Second Vatican Council, are friendly to tradition.”

    At the Council aggiornamento was/is paired with “ressourcement,” meaning the return to sources—-Scripture and the Church Fathers. Therefore, not trendy and unfriendly “updating,” but rather (theoretically and mutilated) the bringing forward, or “todaying” of the original and ever new deposit of faith, or Tradition.

    With one Church Father, St. Augustine: “we can say things differently, but we can’t say different things.”

    • Aggiornamento was mainly paired with 180 deg turn from conservatism to leftism, with “opening of windows” that lead to secularization of interior of the Church, and tons of other things. “Ressourcement” of the Church Fathers is left aside as hobby of fringe balthasarians.

    • Thank you, Peter, for the necessary clarity, the absolutely necessary non-quibble.

      Augustine, too, surely had his head on straight.

    • It depends on what people do with it! “Back to the Gospel” is super-ressourcement, and we know what that’s led to.

      All these expressions mean “let’s step back, look at what we’ve been doing, and ask whether it’s what we really should be doing in light of all we know now.”

      Which is all very good. But it’s a tricky business, since what we know now is likely to leave out a lot, some of which is very likely embodied in the 2000-year tradition of the Church.

      So it’s a step away from doing what’s traditional. Which may be beneficial – what Saint Francis did wasn’t traditional at least in any simple sense – but there are dangers, caution and humility are needed, and a dogmatic spirit is out of place.

      • Your message misreads mine. My remark was back to “Scripture and the Church Fathers”…

        Not “Back to the Gospel,” which alone is not super-ressourcement. It easily becomes code language for discounting both the Old Testament Decalogue (as in silencing Veritatis Splendor, leaving only the Beatitudes), and the unambiguous Letters of, say, St. Paul.

        And, for that matter, for rupturing the Tradition itself–Apostolic Succession and that sort of thing–as Luther did with his appeal to the supposedly early, non-institutional and congregational church. (Moreover, it was only with difficulty that he retained the Letter of James–with its message about “works” as well as faith, and even then Luther still deleted that silly word from his translation).

        So, we agree, but in these word-game times of ours, precision matters.

        • “Back to the Bible” then. The point was that direct appeal to the original sources is a step away from the interpretations that have become traditional. That can be good or bad depending on how it’s done. In any case caution is needed. As you note, in the case of Luther it led to a radical break.

  2. A few random thoughts. Tradition is an anchor in that it can help keep one from going astray. Starting sometime in the 60’s, we threw the anchor out or let it go for any shiny object that was not tradition. In the Church it meant ditching communion rails, building churches with non traditional styles, trashing traditional prayers (rosary, eucharistic devotions etc) etc. This was all done because those smart people knew that change was needed and that meant everything old and traditional must go. This coincided with the baby boomers who overwhelmed society with their new ideas, new music and new morality.

    So ditching tradition, the anchors or guardrails, in the Church has emptied the Church. The sacredness of Eurcharistic is mostly eliminated, sacrament of confession is minimalized, family structure obliterated and by the way millions of babies are aborted and Catholic pols that support abortion go to communion without much push back. So those smart people and their followers who trashed tradition have given us a modern broken culture.

    Oh 1 final thing, the Liberals or those destroying tradition, now can call anyone who is pro life a terrorist. George Orwell had it right.

  3. At the heart of tradition is permanence, at the heart of permanence is the unchanging nature of God. “Tradition is important, but not the most important thing. It has a strong human component, so divine revelation and natural law limit its authority” (Kalb). Benedict XVI reflecting on Vat II had that thought in a hermeneutic of continuity. Witness of the divine truth that underlies permanence and continuity within tradition is found in multiple sources. Perhaps the more succinct is the witness of the martyrs. Natural law reflection of Eternal Law is nevertheless limited to humanness on a natural level. There is nothing in Man compatible with the First Principle of all existence, the supreme good that is God. Except compatibility by participation. Aside from causes, science, aggiornamento, so forth of the radical break with tradition that we suffer which James Kalb ably addresses – it’s moral permanence, the bedrock of tradition that I address. If scientific discovery revolutionized our understanding of existence human nature remains in accord with natural law. Humanness requires definition, whether defined by science or by God the latter not necessarily contrary to genuine scientific premises. Kalb touches on the ungenuine, architectural affectation that judges the beauty of the traditional European “sentimental and dishonest—kitschy”. Human nature left to itself finds industry in change, whereas above and beyond the principles of natural law are the added permanence of superior principles infused in Man by God (Aquinas De Virtutibus in Communi 10, Ad 1. Also ST 1a2ae 51, 4 Ad 3). Theoretically prior to the Fall and Original Sin Man completes his humanness with the graces naturally provided, whereas afterward our redemption requires a more heroic witness, that made possible by Christ through the virtuous suffering of his human nature on the cross. Infused grace of a superior order is what provides us the capacity to witness with that heroic virtue. From this certain premise we may assume that liturgy itself reflects [should] the virtue heroic in its solemnity.

    • Fr. Morello: you recall that “Kalb touches on the ungenuine, architectural affectation that judges the beauty of the traditional European ‘sentimental and dishonest—kitschy’.”

      Back in the 70s, the all-powerful liturgical design committee from our archdiocese went on tour to gain hallowed wisdom about recent church design. Confused by the retained centrality of the tabernacle in our newly-constructed parish church, they inquired of our pastor, “but WHERE is the [side] chapel of eucharistic reservation?” To which he responded, ‘THIS IS the chapel of eucharistic reservation; it’s called a Catholic church!” He then added, “the social hall is across the street.”

      (Here, have an “honest” potted plant, and for behind the “presider’s” central throne, have a “sentimental” banner, cheap, and probably “Made-in-China.”)

      • Dr Beaulieu, a tale of two chapels, one a confinement cell for the Real Presence [told worth repeating here]. After volunteering Mass at a satellite church a lone young lady paused at length by the side chapel. She asked, Father, why is Jesus hidden away here instead of by the altar? We talked, she the only one who paid respect others simply walked by and out the door. Assuming she was Catholic she wasn’t. A Canadian Presbyterian visiting friends. What has forever impressed me was her awe of what Catholics too often trivialize. Most converts I’ve known or watched on Marcus Grodi’s The Journey Home say it was desire for the Real Presence that largely drew them.

  4. The strongest drive in a human being is the survival instinct. Identity plays somewhat a part in that. Tradition helps us establish part of our identity. When I served in the Navy, I wore the same style uniform of my stepfather (who raised me). He served in World War II aboard the USS Missouri (which he helped build at the Brooklyn Navy yard). But outer appearances can be changed; but it is the inner connection and meaning that does not (the Navy has changed its uniform style, but the connection and camaraderie remains the same among all who served). It is the same with the Catholic Mass. Changing from Latin to a local language was sensible; but the inner meaning, solemnity, and spiritual connection remained intact. Why do we go to Mass? It is to worship and adore God, Jesus, and Blessed Mary; and to receive Jesus through Communion. That is the essence of the Catholic Mass; the manner in which it is done should not be arousing such a strong controversy. We must always remain focused on the true essence of our Mass, not the style in which it is implemented.

    • Except that the “inner meaning” seems to have been lost to a sizable majority of the rapidly declining cohort who still attend Mass regularly in the OF – according to recent polls, more than 70% of them no longer believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. By contrast, some 99% of those who similarly attend Mass in the EF do hold that belief very strongly. I wonder what accounts for the large discrepancy?

  5. An excellent article. In many circumstances it is correct to observe that something new is better than something old. For example, a new stone chisel is better than an old worn one. However, this does not translate into an observation that the nature of being at its most fundamental level is to move relentlessly into a better future regardless of the pitfalls along the way. For example, believers in UFOs will often express the belief that the space aliens are “more advanced” than us because of the craft they use. It is simultaneously implied that we, earthlings, will achieve such advances given sufficient time. It is assumed that power over the cosmos, and all aspects of it, is the measure of what constitutes an advance. Even philosophical nihilists assume that their imagined complete destruction of the old will lead to a “new dawn”, beyond the restrictions that utopians impose on themselves by focusing only on better living as a goal. Self-dubbed “progressives” will elevate such deconstructionist thought to a knowledge of being, to knowledge, accordingly, of the only possible god. There is no possibility here for a transcendent God. Traditional philosophers most often today find themselves incapable of comprehending the proposals and actions of these new thinkers – as do our priests and bishops. They mistakenly assume that accommodating progressive demands will lead to friendly dialogue, understanding and acceptance. The ontological depth of the issues is not appreciated. Introducing “new” anything is not sufficiently profound to reach the soul of modernity. Referencing fear of death or God will have no effect as fear is viewed as an authentic apprehension of overthrowing of the present for an indefinite future. The only tool left to the traditionalist runs counter to traditional thought – it is the tool that ordinary uneducated folk use – mocking, anger, rebuttal, complete rejection from society, etc. This will not work against the most hardened followers of Heidegger or Chomsky, but it will help to place them outside of the sphere of influence.

  6. It is important to also distinguish tradition from traditionalism. Tradition is living and active, it is that which was handed down being lived today, applied, adapted, and in the process growing. Traditionalism on the other hand is the freezing of what was handed down, mistaken for the long past golden age and to be upheld today, it is actually dead. Taking this matter on the Church’s celebration of the mass, the Vatican II mass is the living and active tradition of what was handed down from the Last Supper by Jesus Christ and through the centuries applied, adapted such that it is growing and continues to give life. The movement to restore and uphold the pre-Vatican II mass is a symptom of the frozen and dead traditionalism which attempts to fix what was meant to be a dynamic on-going tradition to a certain time and culture permanently. This distinction reminds me of the description of Jaroslav Pelikan: “Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. And I suppose I should add, it is traditionalism that gives tradition such a bad name.” This type of traditionalism associated with the pre-Vatican II mass which also manifests itself in other variants like resistance to and rejection of the Second Vatican Council and/or disloyalty and disrespect to the Pope is indeed truly bad and sad. As in other “isms” it is extremist and fanatic in form and matter. It can be called Taliban Catholicism.

    • Pelikan said that when he was Lutheran, before he converted to Orthodoxy. Dunno if his emphasis changed.

      Biographical details aside, there are some problems. A big advantage of tradition is that it carries forward truths and insights that sociologically speaking are dead because we, in some ways, are dead ourselves. But they remain available and for that reason can eventually return. Dry bones can live again.

      The original liturgical movement is an example. The point was that the classical liturgy of the Church is a treasure that people had become blind to. The purpose was to wake them up, not to do away with it in favor of something put together by an expert committee that could only represent the thought of some people at one particular time.

      • Joseph R, thank you for this post in response to James Kalb’s excellent article. It is the best post I have read on this site on this topic. You clearly pointed out the difference between tradition and traditionalism, which is bordering on fundamentalism or even fanaticism. You are right in saying that the rejection of the Second Vatican Council and/or disloyalty and disrespect to the Pope is bad and sad but I will add that it may be seriously harming their souls.

    • So much for airbrush generalities, from whatever quarter. Joseph writes: “… the Vatican II mass is the living and active tradition of what was handed down from the Last Supper by Jesus Christ and through the centuries applied, adapted such that it is growing and continues to give life.”

      Perhaps the Traditional point to be made, yet again, is that the Mass is, as you define it, the Last Supper, but that it is ALSO the sacrifice and scandal of the Cross…

      I found the Syro-Malabar solution-without-dilution very appealing: https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2021/08/30/indias-syro-malabar-catholic-church-to-adopt-uniform-liturgy/

    • Joseph R,
      Consider this if you will. Imagine that there are Catholics who find their best expression of praising God to be the Traditional Latin Mass. Also, consider that those same Catholics are there precisely because the Novus Ordo does not facilitate their valid need to praise God. Why must there be conflict? Why must one be taken away? Furthermore we know that the Latin Mass is growing. I can find no evidence that the Novus Ordo mass is growing. Adhering to the Latin Mass maintains tradition but that is incidental for those of us who find it our best expression of praising God. We don’t attend TLM to facilitate traditionalism. We attend it as our best and most authentic expression of praising God.

      • Joseph Maynier: Glory to God and good for you! Clearly, some individuals like you find spiritual fulfillment in attending the old pre-Vatican II mass and have no other agenda. But, overall, the traditionalists – that’s why, the mass must be properly called “Traditionalist” (not “traditional”) Latin Mass – who promote and propagate it have deepened conflict and division in the Church and led to politicization of the Eucharist. Traditionalist movements — both those that went into schism, as did the followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and those who remained in communion with Rome — have long been associated with hard-right and authoritarian political regimes. Everything from the effort to restore the monarchy in France (a hopeless cause) to suppression of the indigenous peoples of Brazil (an ongoing problem) has flown under the flag of Catholic traditionalism. Opposition to Pope Francis has also found a base in traditionalist communities. His teaching on marriage and family, his call for pastoral accompaniment, and especially his commitment to ecological responsibility and economic justice, have been virulently opposed in such circles. It is no accident that the American Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the pope’s most public antagonists, is a worldwide chaplain to Catholic traditionalist communities, or that the Austrian who threw the Pachamama statue into the Tiber during the Amazon Synod was a traditionalist, or that when the disgruntled former Vatican diplomat, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, tried to unseat Pope Francis, he allied himself with traditionalists.

        • You write: “His [Pope Francis’] teaching on marriage and family, his call for pastoral accompaniment, and especially his commitment to ecological responsibility and economic justice, have been virulently opposed in such circles.”

          Perhaps the problem in the universal Church is (a) that the teaching on marriage and the family is contaminated in Chapter 8 with ambiguities about objective morality and moral absolutes including a tilt toward serial bigamy (fn. 351), (b) that pastoral accompaniment is too often indistinguishable from accommodation (“who am I to judge?”), (c) that commitment to economic justice is insufficiently distinguished from the socialist New World Order (a difficult task, surely, to proclaim the true Catholic Social Teaching, featuring together both solidarity and subsidiarity), and (d) that the issue and prudential judgments regarding ecological responsibility, legitimate and urgent, were developed in too haphazard a way, mingled too much with politicized rhetoric and agendas. (Some traditionalists might be surprised to learn that St. Pope John Paul II succinctly introduced the same concerns beginning in the 1980s, and especially in Centesimus Annus (1991) where, however, the “human ecology” and the “natural ecology,” while overlapping, are not conflated into a single slogan (“integral ecology”).

          An extremely tough hand, the one dealt to our current pope, and the messaging has not been as transparently grounded, balanced or unifying as some have hoped (e.g., no response to the dubia). The resulting critique is not limited to deplorable Traditionalists as you would have it.

          While it’s not the River Jordan, some think it wonderful that Pachamama was baptized by immersion in the Tiber. Kumbaya!

      • Exactly. I’d say that’s where 99% of those of us who prefer the EF are. Unfortunately, that seems to make us right-wing lunatic/fascists who completely reject VII, prefer monarchy, believe in space aliens, etc., etc. I suppose it’s easier to dismiss a simplistic caricature and that way avoid the serious engagement of ideas. For that matter, I’ve been labeled an arch “traditionalist” simply for insisting that the OF be celebrated according to its rubrics, without the free improvisation or impromptu modifications by the priest-celebrant one so often experiences. As I’ve often noted here, the Roman Canon as part of the OF has been de facto banned in English – repeat, IN ENGLISH – because, you see, it’s “too pre VII.” I can’t believe I’m the only one with such concerns.

    • the Vatican II mass is the living and active tradition of what was handed down from the Last Supper by Jesus Christ and through the centuries applied, adapted such that it is growing and continues to give life. (sic)
      Widespread liturgical abuses render your false assertion moot.

      “We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren that is for the Protestants.” Annibale Bugnini, March 1965

    • The people in the traditionalist position have heard all of these smears before. You need to listen better to what they are saying, and consider the possibility that they may be in the right. Stop acting like you can read minds and determine the motivations of others. Stop thinking you know everything there is to know about it. You don’t.

  7. I bemoan what was lost or rather taken away from us. Jesus promised the Paraclete, “Who will teach you all Truth.” In 2000 years the Holy Ghost guided His Church and built a perfect heavenly empire. Not a utopia but the way to the Eternal utopia. All the teachings of the Church were built on Scripture and Tradition. God gave the Saints the gift of interpreting eternal truth to us so that we might reach heaven and possess God for all eternity. But then came the New Religion called Vatican ll. They discarded 2000 years of the Church and began the construction of their own Church built on sand. The very Council Fathers themselves came out of the Council and began the demolition of Christ’s Church. This is something that the Church must examine and address, not tomorrow but right now! I attended an SSPX Mass. It is truly heaven on earth. When will the Modernist heretics, learn to step aside? They failed miserably and are trying to fix their failures with more failures. We want God back, but they won’t give God back to us as it would go against the “spirit of Vatican ll.” Well, piffle on their spirit of Vatican ll..”

      • Mal, Thank you for your prayers. I still have elements of the Vatican ll heresies. Modernists have done a grave disservice to us. We must re-enthrone Jesus back into the Church, No more me, I and myself. Let’s battle to restore God to the Catholic Church. God will certainly reward us, with heaven where there are no Modernist heretics.

        • Andrew, Vatican 2, was the Church’s response to the very modernist attitudes that were creeping into the Church. St Paul VI had seen the smoke of Satan that had already entered the Church. You are absolutely right in condemning the me, I and myself attitude that prevails in society, and we too should let “we and us” be used in place, even if the Church does not conform to our personal like and dislikes.

          • Mal, I think your chronology is a bit disordered. It was in 1972, in response to the chaos in the Church following in the wake of VII, concluded in 1965, that he made this observation:

            https://aleteia.org/2018/07/06/what-did-paul-vi-mean-by-saying-the-smoke-of-satan-has-entered-the-church/

            Far from being a response to modernism, VII, whatever its specific goals, was the catalyst that unleashed and legitimized a tidal wave of modernism, one that has yet to abate.

          • Mal, For me it has never been for the Church to conform to my likes and dislikes. But rather what it is that God wills and only God’s will. Modernism is the opposite, they want God to conform to their wills. As if we have the freedom to toy around with the God of Supreme Justice who has promised to punish severely any transgressions committed against Him. “Oh Lord if you were to mark iniquity, who could live? But with thee, there is plenteous redemption.” From the Pslams, this is Traditional Catholocism. We have been lucky with God’s patience and Mercy. When we die that patience and mercy will be no more as the time for reckoning arrives and then behold, God’s Justice.

  8. Because we all recognize (whether we admit it or not) that the “hierarchs” and “professional-Catholics” of the Roman Catholic Church, led by Pope Paul VI and his fabricator Msgr. Bugnini, did not faithfully implement Sacrosanctum Consilium, it is fair to candidly state that the mark of “the contemporary Roman Catholic cult” is that it is radically opposed to tradition, and it has until July 2021 discreetly outlawed the words of prayer in the Mass before the “New Roman Rite.”

    Pope Benedict XVI corrected the injustice of the previously secret suppression of the authentic Mass of The Roman Rite.

    Pope Paul VI and Msgr. Bugnini and their ideology are now clearly represented by The Pontiff Francis, who has openly outlawed of the liturgy of the Mass of Roman Catholic Church handed down through the ages.

    Those prayers are outlawed probably because there are articles of faith expressed in those prayers that were not and are not held by Pope Paul VI and Bugnini and The Pontiff Francis et al. The Pontiff Francis has himself blurted out some of his specific disbeliefs that conflict with the authentic Catholic prayers of the traditional Roman Rite of the Mass, which gives evidence of their real motivations.

  9. There is a danger here of confusing human tradition with sacred tradition. In the same way that culture is not the Cult unless one has apostasized. And this is precisely where we find ourselves with an active bishop of Rome preaching that to read the Gospel aloud in latin is “an insult to the Word of God.” If Bergoglio can no longer see the difference between a sacred language for scripture precision and prayer versus the vernacular it is precisely because of the modernist heresy which he has chosen to embody and amplify into a sick caricature. “Sacred” is missing because iconoclasts like Bergoglio have sacrificed “the sacred” in the name of peace at any price with free masonry. Sacred Tradition, Sacred language, Sacred Vessels, Sacred priests, Sacred liturgy…. To say we have “lost a sense of the sacred” is an insult to generations of wounded Catholics in the post-Sacred field hospital. The onion of Sacred Tradition was stripped away against the Will of the faithful by these infiltrates until there was simply no onion left. The pockets of Catholicism that have been saved by grace Bergoglio seeks to brutally stamp out with Marxist boots and has succeeded in imposing public sodomite unions with his C6 sect in Germany. How did it come to this?????

    • My question is rhetorical if course: by confusing culture with cult, and free masonic tradition with sacred tradition. Modernism: the religion of the heretic.

      • And of course, when Bergoglio no longer places “Sacred” in front of “Scripture”, he can explain away the Epistles of St Paul as old stuff and nonsence. After all, Sex Magic has held sway in the European Bishops Conference’s annual meeting town of Sankt Gal since the 19th century. As both Bergoglio and his Chinese deal expert McCarrick know only full well: Catholicism must be consigned to the rubbish heap if culture is to triumph over cult

    • Sacred language was also sacred to the pagan Romans who gave orders in that language to persecute Christians. The vernacular has been considered sacred by many Catholics in places like Egypt, Lebanon, Persia, and South India even before Latin was introduced.
      More important than liturgy and more than language is our relation with Jesus in, with and through his Church. All the blessings promised in the New Covenant flow to us through Jesus, who ushered it in just after he said “It is done”. And, in this unique Church, Jesus placed the Pope. Better believe it. And I still believe that maintaining dialogue with the ruthless Chinese is the best way. Even Trump believed that. But, don’t forget, our Lord’s Apostle and Vicar did not, and does not, rely on the agreement. He asked Catholics all over the world to pray for our brothers and sisters in China. an aksed our Lady to protect them. So, it is not all eggs in one basket.
      Modernism: the present day Protestants who want everything to go their way. Otherwise, they begin to call our Popr, and sometimes the Church, all sorts of names.

      • MAL, we agree that all the blessings of the Covenant flow through Jesus indeed. And the Person of Jesus is present throughout 2000 years via Sacred Tradition, and a part of that is Sacred Scripture. “Sacred” as in “set-aside”. The latin language was used to fix Sacred Scripture in stone. It became Sacred because it was the tool God chose affirmed by 1500 years of Sacred Tradition guided by the Holy Spirit. Just as vessels become sacred when they have been used during mass. The 19th century attack on sacred tradition was precisely to attack sacred scripture. This was part of the cultural attack on the Covenant, on the cult, on the Bride of Christ through whom we encounter Jesus. Sacred Tradition set the Catholic bible in stone. The Free-Masonic attack to separate “Sacred” from “tradition” began there. Today, a Marxist acting Bishop of Rome can berrate St Paul as less enlightened than himself, to the horror of Catholics and many sincere victims of Protestantism alike – for Popes before the Modernist heresy were guardians of the sanctury over the Tomb of St Peter and the deposit of Sacred Tradition to ensure Jesus continues to be present through time.

        • “The Latin language was used to fix Sacred Scripture in stone.”

          Especially in the sense that Latin is a fixed or “dead” language, such that the meanings of words and phrases are permanent and, shall we say, not vulnerable to textual abuse.

      • Mal, One important thing to never forget, through the Holy Ghost Latin is the sacred language of the Church, even Vatican ll made it clear, “Latin is the official language of the Church and shall remain the official language.” That translates until the end of the world”, like it or not. So all the silly talk comparing the use of other languages needs to stop, it is vain and useless talk. Latin as the language of the Church is written in stone.

      • Mal, “Our Lord’s Apostle and Vicar of Christ did not and does not rely on this agreement”. Francis was the Grand Master of this evil against Chinese Catholics. If he really cared he had months to do away with it. After the agreement Francis praised it. After the terror that the agreement brought to Chinese Catholics, Francis asks us to pray for the very people he himself caused to be tormented. He can still do something about it, but he liked the plan and hasn’t backed off. And then he has the gall to call on us to pray for those who he himself sought a lifetime for torment, imprisonment, and Martyrdom. The Chinese people are suffering and more suffering is on its way. Do you think the Chinese Catholic faithful are grateful to Francis???

  10. Sept. 8 – glorious occasion to celebrate Nativity of Bl.Mother – who very likely would like to see the children all around , striving to be in Oneness in The Divine Will as she did , since the moment of Conception… and all these back and forth discussions too on issues , more or less as endeavores from same intent .

    Good to see various other perspectives on the topic too that highlights a good point in the above article – ‘ no new innovations unless the good of The Church genuinly and certainly requires them ‘ as given in the related Vat 11 document .

    https://wherepeteris.com/personal-reflections-on-traditionis-custodes/

    https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/pope-st-pius-v-and-quo-primum-did-the-pope-intend-to-bind-his-successors-from-changing-the-tridentine-mass-1132

    The initiative the Pope Emer. took in putting up the statue of St.Anibale Di.Francia at The Vatican can also be seen as concurring , that the ‘ordinary ‘ is indeed ‘ extraordinary ‘ , in helping to raise our minds and hearts to The Lord in oneness with all in His Divine Will .
    May our gratitude and prayers for our Fathers as they ever strive to discern the good of The Church as well as the humility in openness to recieve and requite the blessings be genuine and fruitful !

    • J.P.G., I’m sorry, but your post sounds like the unreal talk of the Modernists. We must have unity but by God’s way, through his 2000-year-old Church that He continues to Guide, using Traditionalists as an army in His battle for the Church from lucifer.

    • the ‘ordinary ‘ is indeed ‘ extraordinary ‘ , in helping to raise our minds and hearts to The Lord in oneness with all in His Divine Will.

      JPJ, That is exactly how many of us feel all over the world. There is a lot of wisdom, honesty and faithfulness in the ordinary mind that is bereft of pride and pompousness.

  11. Fr. John Hardon, S.J. sees tradition as part of the Holy Spirit’s Gift of Piety: “Piety binds us to previous generations still alive, it moves us to remember and to pray for the dead. Piety, then, is tied closely to tradition, and like tradition, this gift of the Holy Spirit is not simply backward-looking but forward-looking.” I like that he says tradition is forward-looking. This definitely applies also to Church Tradition.

  12. People will never coming up with theories as to why Benedict resigned. However, I would prefer to go with what the Pope Emeritus himself said. Yes, he resigned because “the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.”
    He was very aware of world’s changing socio-spiritual environment (what was once called “modernism”), its political landscape and the problems caused by abusive clergy and recalcitrant Catholics. As he said today’s world is “subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith,” he believed “both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me.”
    Of course, conspiracy theories have been around and will continue to make a show but I, for one, will not be buying them.

  13. PPBXVI said: “The ‘always’ is also a ‘forever’. My decision to resign the active exercise of the ministry does not revoke this. I do not abandon the cross, but remain in a new way beside the crucufied Lord.” This is clarified: in the video by his resigning the active ministry, but not the Munus; in Ganswein’s text on the Extended Petrine Ministry – just republished in 2021 in his new book; in the title Cardinal Sarah uses for PPBXVI: “the martyr pope”. Just a “conspiracy theory” does not really do justice to the evidence. As a lay Catholic Ido not intend spending more time on the subject, having concluded that I am in full communion with at least one of the popes in Rome.

    • Benedict, the Pope Emeritus, told the Cardinals at the time of his resignation: “among you, in the College of Cardinals, there is also the future pope to whom today I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience.”

      • He is very deferential, and took his vaccine shot as ordered. I complete all my admin documents at work and pass them deferentially to the free masons for signature in apparent obedience. I know that by staying alive I can do their enterprise more harm than if I were dead. If you get my drift.

  14. Lets be honest, Mal. PPBXVI has striven to pass on the Church Tradition from the apostles to the future. It is called Summorum Pontificum. The second Bishop in white – Jorge Bergoglio who said after reading those words in Fatima “That’s me!” and never a truer word was spoken – has announced “This is rupture”. Rupture in relation to Sacred Tradition cannot be divinely inspired. Two Popes in antithesis. Take your pick Mal. They cannot both hold the Munus.

    • And note in your PPBXVI quote Mal, “to an adequate exercise of the Petrine Ministry”. He thus resigns the exercisr, the action, but NOT the charge. He must retain his white zucchetto, Mal. If you buy into what he said “because white are the only clothes that fit me” we are fundamentally at odds on what the martyr pope is about… God Save The Pope! And may our lady’s heel crush the sankt gallen lavender mafia and their leader.

      • I do not have to pick a Pope. I am not meant to. The Church has a Pope who took the name Francis, and like the Pope Emeritus, I promise him my unconditional reverence and obedience. And I pray that our Lady’s heel may not crush but heal any Catholic individual or group, that is walking down an erroneous path.

        • To recognise and resist what is alien to the Catholic Tradition does not necessarily require laymen to “pick a pope”. However, when one Pope writes that he finds it curious Francis coauthors books with men considered ennemies of the Church, and that he will not be reading or reviewing them, I can discern that a living Pope who loves the church doesn’t approve of those books and avoid such materials and authors… But I believe PPBXVI holds the Munus, and so will logically not read the Francis coauthored anticatholic books… The lettergate missive was published in full. Our lady’s heel crushes heresies, as I understand it. May Divine Will be done.

  15. Mal, a couple of books I have read cover to cover and that helped me understand the seriousness of the present situation in the light of sacred history. https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Benedict-XVI-Still-Pope/dp/1621384586/ref=mp_s_a_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=pope+francis+heresy&qid=1631641517&sr=8-14
    https://www.amazon.com/Papacy-Filial-Resistance-History-Church/dp/1621384551/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=pope+francis+heretic&qid=1631641768&sr=8-2

    • Thanks Mike. Obviously you have your reasons for believing what you do. I too have my reasons for my belief. There was a time when I was very critical of Pope Francis but it changed when I started reading the Pope’s messages and interviews rather than relying on columnists.

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