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Trad Environments Should Not Exist?

[Image: Smoking+jacket]
Bad Behaviour according to Fr. Gaud?


By N.D.C. Wansbutter, Esq.

http://rencesvals.blogspot.com/2012/04/t...exist.html

"I recently came across the following from an S.S.P.X priest in France:
Quote:Relevant thoughts: "Trad environments" should not exist

A true Apostolate must, in order to be fruitful, share two characteristics: supernaturalism, and being adapted to the environment that is to be converted. "Spectacle-Masses" have attracted crowds but have not produced the expected results. This Naturalism does not show forth the Apostolate techniques of the Savior...

Our priories, if they try to be truly supernatural, do not attract as many as they should. Why? We are undeniably often inaccessible to the men of this age. Our nearest goal is not to attract everyone, clearly, but those souls that display a certain openness to the Faith and to God's Love. Even these souls are sometimes discouraged when coming to our chapels. The reasons? A heightened mistrust, divisions and criticisms that show only pride, disparaging comments on clothing, bitter and useless political arguments. Thanks to the subliminal instruments of the devil... Thanks to those people who know better than God the speed with which souls should move forward... Let us try to lower the obstacles for conversions rather than heightening them. But that is not enough: we must attract. Missionaries have always achieved this for 2000 years: adapting as much as possible to the target population, guided by a sense of finality and by Christian moral principles.

THE "TRAD ENVIRONMENT"

There should not be a "Trad environment". Catholic Tradition is not supposed to be a social milieu, because Christianity is not that. Tradition must ressemble all social environments, and welcome them with their own identities. We are not for the elimination of classes. The dressing trends that have, little by little, become dominant among us reflect modesty - which is necessary -, but modesty is not limited to Trad dressing fashions. By willing to impose clothing rules, we put people off more than we form them. The consequence is a sort of freeing oneself excessively from those rules, which then moves onto immodesty. A further consequence is a sort of sclerotic portrayal of Tradition, which seems to live in the 1950s - not very attractive!

Yet the force of bringing people together within Catholic Tradition is in the logical relationship between our Faith and our daily life. This coherence must reflect our conviction and our sincerity, and not only rules. Catholic Truth is truly brought into light by it. And this is what attracts. But let us remain always as close as possible to our contemporaries of good will. We must then be firm with regard to ourselves, but shine with mercy and understanding for our neighbor. Then he will love our firmness!

Father Guillaume Gaud, SSPX
(Apostol, newsletter for the priories of Fabrègues and Perpignan, France
- La Porte Latine - "The dilemmas of our bastions of faith", excerpts)


Firstly, I'd like to know what Father considers modest yet simultaneously hip attire? It seems to me that the defining feature of modern attire is its immodesty.

That aside, I concede that a certain prudence is necessary, especially with potential converts. Some could be overwhelmed, and we all advanceat our own pace, as Fr. Gaud says. Yet it seems to me that prudence only demands that we be circumspect in how we treat these newcomers and does not require that we clothe ourselves according to the lowest common denominator.

It could be that Fr. Gaud's complaints are specific to France. My experience has been that no one says anything to anyone about clothing, on the whole. From my observations, it seems that the danger is not of the scandal of these mythical clothing police but rather the scandal of long-time (often cradle) trads who dress like slobs (if men) or tarts (if women). In discussing this with my co-editor, Mr. Amesse, he related that he, too, has never directly commentedon the dress of others in his chapel, but has, on the contrary, been on the receiving end of attacks from blue-jean wearing trads who took umbrage at his button-down shirt, dress pants, and jacket.

Which begs the question, where are these militant Trad environments Fr. Gaud complains of? Is this not, rather, an attack on the minority handful of "Rad Trads"? And are these "troublemakers" really such a big problem? It occurs to me (again anecdotally from my experience) it seems that after the first visit few people are interested, not because they've been shunned but because they simply aren't interested in the demands of the Faith. Those who are interested in those demands expect the people at Mass to dress and behave like Catholics are therefore attracted rather than repelled by a Catholic environment.

Trad environments (if they exist) are not an attempt to recreate the 1950’s,but rather the reverse. The desire to remain indistinguishable from one's contemporaries is fiftiesism. Is Fr. Gaud saying that what our grandfathers did is too passé, too counter-revolutionary? Has it come to this? It seems to me that the Church in Canada and America fell well before the Council, precisely because of this sort of reasoning. Because of Original Sin man will most frequently take the easy path. As such, it seems to occur more frequently that the trads assimilate with the more liberal crowd whereas the lady who clings to her pants will stick with them even if everyone around her wears skirts to Mass.

Dare I say that Fr. Gaud's comments smack of a certain compartimental mentality concerning the faith? That the Faith should not inform our manner of dress and way of being? On the contrary, as we've argued many times before on this blog, a Catholic should have a Catholic understanding of culture and politics. We are rational creatures!

We are, in fact, social creatures made of body and soul. We are not pure spirits, unaffected by the culture and the environment around us. Catholicism creates and purifies culture and society. Therefore, the is a Catholic environment -- and once upon a time the Catholic environment was the "mainstream". That a priest would suggest that to work for a restoration of this is to unwittingly work for the devil is really too much.

A final thought: does Fr. Gaud wear a cassock?

Posted on Easter Friday, a.D. MMXII"
What the hell is fiftieism ?  What Father is seeing and telling us is the notion that participating at the TLM is not an adventure for would be tolkiens, nor beknighted hobbits.  Affectations have crept in and now considered to be the authentic practice of the Faith. This is really from the abandonment of tradition with a small t as Dr. Rao has pointed out. Beards, pipe smoking, women in A-line denim dresses to the floor are symptomatic of this. In short women in pants is not a motal sin.

tim
(04-18-2012, 10:01 AM)Tim Wrote: [ -> ]What the hell is fiftieism ?   What Father is seeing and telling us is the notion that participating at the TLM is not an adventure for would be tolkiens, nor beknighted hobbits.  Affectations have crept in and now considered to be the authentic practice of the Faith. This is really from the abandonment of tradition with a small t as Dr. Rao has pointed out. Beards, pipe smoking, women in A-line denim dresses to the floor are symptomatic of this. In short women in pants is not a motal sin.

tim

I don't think Fr. is trying to make a judgment on any particular matter, especially regarding faith or morals.  It seems that he's simply saying that the TLM and traditionalism should imbue our culture and not merely become a fringe group for those with a particular set of tastes.  Obviously with the TLM being removed from the public eye, often times those who do find it find it because they are a certain sort of person.  This seems especially true for those of us who were born well after the TLM was pushed underground.  Most of us are quasi-intellectual, into tweed, the Lord of the Rings, smoking pipes, hanging out in old book stores, etc.

However, that makes it seem as if traditionalism is just a club for like-minded individuals.  Obviously Catholic traditionalism is a worldview that claims that it is objectively true, and indeed, that it is the true religion which all should espouse.

There should be clubs or groups within the Church that love to form their own amateur Inkling hour, but there should also be construction workers, plumbers, scientists, jocks, etc. etc. 

Traditionalism isn't a chess club.  It's not a Wes Anderson movie.  It's not a crew-cut, Cary Grant picture.  It's for everyone and should be viewed and practiced as such.

At least that's what I got out of this.
1950s-ism is basically another form of baggage, basically a cultural worldview, that has attached itself to traditional (ie true) Catholicism.
Quote:However, that makes it seem as if traditionalism is just a club for like-minded individuals.  Obviously Catholic traditionalism is a worldview that claims that it is objectively true, and indeed, that it is the true religion which all should espouse.

I agree. And tendency to look for sin and any kind of Jansenism (especially with regards to innocent things like music or drinking) should be avoided. I have been blessed to see many trads of different races and economic backgrounds.
At sspx ordinations a couple o years ago in Winona, my friend and I decided to play a little game, "Spot the goofiest looking Trad dilletante", I then preceded to turn around and discover a "gentleman" in bow tie, breeches, pinc-nez glasses and a  funny little short brimmed hat.  He was all of maybe 19 and will never get a date to start his family, but I bet he turns and scowls at the mother with 8 little kids trying to keep the herded at mass.  Hey guess who won? 
(04-18-2012, 10:21 AM)Crusader_Philly Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:However, that makes it seem as if traditionalism is just a club for like-minded individuals.  Obviously Catholic traditionalism is a worldview that claims that it is objectively true, and indeed, that it is the true religion which all should espouse.

I agree. And tendency to look for sin and any kind of Jansenism (especially with regards to innocent things like music or drinking) should be avoided. I have been blessed to see many trads of different races and economic backgrounds.

But this is where it gets tricky.  A wide variety of tastes and interests are fair game within Catholicism so long as they are morally neutral.  When we get into music and drinking, however, we get into morality.  

There certainly are certain types of music that trads ought not to listen to.  There are certain types of music that are better for the soul than others.  Often times we are overly biased by our own age and culture so that we fail to see the true and healthy middle, or the good.  When our biases lay too much on the liberal, modern side (as many of ours do, myself included) we see virtue as extremism.  

If hip hop is really sinful to listen to then it is not Jansenism, even if it may seem an extreme view.  The same can be said for any number of things, like calling The Sound of Music pornography.

My point is that we shouldn't jump to conclusions nor should be dismiss a moral claim just because it sounds extreme.  In light of modern philosophy and morality, even the most obvious and generous Catholic teachings are seen as extreme.  We ought to carefully weigh these things and not denounce something as Jansenism without solid grounds to do so.

Quote:If hip hop is really sinful to listen to then it is not Jansenism, even if it may seem an extreme view.  The same can be said for any number of things, like calling The Sound of Music pornography.

What would you call this, then? Because hip hop per se, or rock, aren't sinful to listen to. Certain types are. But not all of it.
(04-18-2012, 10:41 AM)Crusader_Philly Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:If hip hop is really sinful to listen to then it is not Jansenism, even if it may seem an extreme view.  The same can be said for any number of things, like calling The Sound of Music pornography.

What would you call this, then? Because hip hop per se, or rock, aren't sinful to listen to. Certain types are. But not all of it.

It may very well be Catholicism as many would argue that they are inherently sinful.  If you have some theological argumentation to back up your claim, or to debunk those who argue that they are sinful, then that's fine.  But we can't just take it for granted that those claims are extreme.
Why would listening to pop music, with no profanity, no sexual lyrics, just clean lyrics, be sinful?

A traditional priest told me in confession that unless the music I listened to was clearly pornographic, there's nothing to worth about. And he's been a trad priest for decades.
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