Thursday, June 22

Sticks and Stones
On the Meaning of a Curious Slur

The feud between "orthodox" and "traditional" Catholics is well known and often (at least from one side) bitter. The feud is as old as Vatican II, certainly, and perhaps one of the Council's least-happy results: in a time which often witnessed the abandonment of Sacred Tradition, those two groups which determined to hold fast to Sacred Tradition were not infrequently at each other's throats.

What, then, is the difference between those who tend to profess themselves "traditionalist" Catholics and those who labell themselves "orthdox" Catholics? Put neutrally, both groups see themselves as holding fast to Sacred Tradition. The "orthodox" Catholics, on the one hand, have continued to cede the right to determine what CONSTITUTES Sacred Tradition to contemporary Church leaders; the "Traditionalist" Catholics, on the other hand, have reserved that right from contemporary bishops, which--in the resulting lack of ecclesial oversight--requires some exercise of their personal judgement in determining what constitutes Sacred Tradition.

This, then, seems to be the long definition of that curious neologism, "Neo-Cath"--a less-then-creative slur used by "Traditionalist" Catholics against their "orthodox" Catholic confreres: the "Neo-Cath" is ridiculed for allowing the continuing hierarchical Church to define the bounds of Sacred Tradition. One might point out that this is rather like St. Ignatius of Loyola, confessing that he "would call black what appeared to be white, if the hierarchical Church so said." (Spiritual Exercises)

Update: Originally, this post linked to the material which inspired it, but I've decided that isn't really necessary, as I've become more curious about exploring what separates "orthodox"--the sort of "orthodox" that might well attend, as I do, the old rite, and are increasingly optomistic about contemporary Catholicism--from "Traditionalists," who have little good to say about contemporary Catholicism.

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