NCRegister attacking Trads
National Catholic Register Wrote:The Good Shepherd carries a staff to help him herd the sheep. With the crook at the top, he can reach out to rescue the fallen, and with the point at the bottom, he can prod the sheep if necessary to keep them in line.

It is no mistake, therefore, when one blogger described Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) as "the shepherd prodding the flock." One commenter complained that the Pope was "a scold."

He may be scolding, but his comments are also scalding. If we listen carefully, we’ll realize that the smiling "peoples’ pope" has some harsh criticism for a whole range of people — including Catholics. His words are blunt, and we’re beginning to realize that they don’t call him "Pope Frank" for nothing!

Pope Francis says if we are to evangelize we "must not look like we’ve just come from a funeral," and "there are some Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter." After an inspirational start, in the second chapter, the Holy Father gets down to business. He opposes an economy of exclusion, decries the idolatry of money and demands an economy which serves instead of enslaves. He cries out against inequality that leads to violence and acknowledges a range of cultural problems that impede evangelization.

Then he goes on to assess problems in the Church. He says "No" to spiritual sloth and "Yes" to a vibrant missionary mentality. He says "No" to a sterile pessimism and "Yes" to new relationships in Christ. Then, in the midst of a rich exhortation that bears detailed study, the Pope makes a very astute analysis of what he calls "spiritual worldliness" — a religion that looks perfectly fine on the outside but is rotten on the inside.

Pope Francis says this spiritual worldliness takes many forms depending on the groups or individuals into which it seeps, but he goes on to define two forms of this spiritual malaise which we cannot help but see as a criticism of two tendencies among Catholics: what I call the trendies and the traddies.

He says, "This worldliness can be fueled in two deeply interrelated ways. One is the attraction of gnosticism, a purely subjective faith whose only interest is a certain experience or a set of ideologies and bits of information which are meant to console and enlighten, but which ultimately keep one imprisoned in his or her own thoughts and feelings."

Gnosticism was a heresy in the early Church that was free-ranging, amorphous and difficult to define. This was because it was based in subjective feelings, personal revelation and individualistic interpretations of the truth. Gnosticism was notoriously shaky on an orthodox understanding of the Incarnation. Some gnostics got caught up in what we would recognize as New Age-type beliefs, while others turned the faith into a bland, humanistic self-help religion.

This sounds like the "trendies" to me — Catholics who are caught up in subjective New Age spiritualities combined with politicized agendas. These modern Catholics are only concerned about worldly power, and they believe the mission of the Church is no more than to make the world a better place.

The Pope describes them saying, "This spiritual worldliness lurks behind a fascination with social and political gain or pride in their ability to manage practical affairs or an obsession with programs of self-help and self-realization. It can also translate into a concern to be seen, into a social life full of appearances, meetings, dinners and receptions."

If Pope Francis criticizes the "trendies" for their subjective worldliness, he also criticizes the "traddies" with some astoundingly erudite nomenclature. He says, "The other [form of spiritual worldliness] is the self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagianism of those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past. A supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby, instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying."

What on earth is "promethean neo-pelagianism"? Prometheus was the Greek god who, by individual genius and effort, raised humanity by stealing fire. The translators have chosen this word to express the Pope’s vision of self-absorbed Catholics who thinks they know it all and have it all worked out. And Pelagius was the heretic who taught that humans could earn their own salvation.

We can’t help but see radical traditionalists as the Pope’s target. He pinpoints their "supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline" and their intransigent allegiance to traditional worship. He also dashes their judgmental attitudes that end up as a "narcissistic and authoritarian elitism" and assesses their self-defined and determined form of Catholicism as neo-pelagianism.

Pope Francis quite rightly sees that neither the "trendies" nor the "traddies" will be able to evangelize effectively. In harsh and blunt criticism rarely seen in papal documents, he says, "In neither case is one really concerned about Jesus Christ or others. These are manifestations of an anthropocentric immanentism." By "anthropocentric immanentism," he means the idea of God being centered in human activity and ideas that mimic true religion. He goes on to state, "It is impossible to think that a genuine evangelizing thrust could emerge from these adulterated forms of Christianity."

These statements are not simply an attack on Catholic "trendies" and "traddies." In many ways, this paragraph lies at the heart of understanding Pope Francis and his whole mission. Put simply, he recapitulates the Gospel message of Christ the Lord and takes us back to the essentials.

As Jesus turned over the tables in the Temple, so Francis turns over those who have set places, established agendas and organized power structures in the Church. As Jesus undermined the Zealots and the Sadducees — who turned the Jewish religion into a humanistic political campaign or a social club, so Francis criticizes Catholics for their shallow spirituality, political agenda and social maneuverings. As Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their narrow-minded legalistic traditionalism, so Francis pulls the rug from under the Catholics who fall into narcissistic and authoritarian elitism.

Pope Francis’ first words to a waiting world included the comment that he was called "from the ends of the world" to be pope. His words carried a deeper meaning, for he is a true outsider.

His fresh approach cuts through all our expectations and categories. He shifts paradigms, moves us from our comfort zone and demands that we consider our faith from a new perspective — a perspective that is also as ancient, disturbing and table-turning as the Gospel itself.

Read more:

I had a response to his piece, I don't know if I should post it.  :Hmm:

Me Wrote:Father Longenecker,

Could you please explain, what is so evil about Traditionalists who wish to stick with what has been for centuries, instead of embracing the novelties that came after the Second Vatican Council and has led to the mass confusion and apostasy in the Church?

I find it interesting you completely ignore His Holiness's words in Evangelii Gaudium refering to his views on the papacy in which HH writes:

"It is not advisable for the Pope to take the place of local Bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory. In this sense, I am conscious of the need to promote a sound “decentralization”."

Do you think given the recent schismatic act on the part of the Catholic Church in Germany, what we need more in Holy Mother Church is more or less decentralization?

Do we honestly believe given the rejection of Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae by the Canadian bishops, the troublesome USCCB's NAB that needing many revisions, the complete and utter disregard for enforcing Canon Law 915 and now a full-blown rejection of the Church and schismatic act on part of the German Bishops.....that we honestly what we need now, is less of a monarchical pope and more democracy among the wayward bishops?

Honestly can you Father in good conscience say that with everything that has happened in the last 50 years, the biggest problems are those who want to get off this self-destructive path of novelty within the Liturgy and a water-downess of the Faith that wants to call those who pray the Rosary "neo-pelagians" and embrace something that the Church has offered for centuries as self-absorb?

Fr. Longenecker, as a traditionalist, I should point you to Summorum Pontificum. This give us Catholics every right to demand the Mass that was stolen from us, because nowhere was the Tridentine Mass last revised by Pope John XXIII ever abolished.

"...moreover, respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962."

These were the words of Bl. Pope John Paul II. Did not came from an SSPX or one of those promethian popes we tend to want to read,

Fr. Longenecker, no "traddie" seeks to change dogma (unless you believe Vatican II is a "super-dogma" something Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI would sternly correct you on) all we wish is to have the Mass that was never abrogated and to be free to celebrate it without persecution from many bishops. All we wish is the authentic Teaching of the Church as it has been for millennia and not decades.

Father, you should not be quick to dismiss "traddies" as many traddies are young men and women like myself, because we are tired of the Kumbiya-ness of the previous generation, that has sowed so much destruction in the world in such a short span of time.

We want the Truth, not a water-down version of it, that wants to teach "We have a reasonable hope that all people are in Heaven" when anyone with reading ability can pick up Scripture and read the exact opposite of what our Lord spoke.

I pray that one day us promethian, neo-pelegianians will be able to finally live out our lives in peace, without a bunch of sour-puss, wild-eyed, Vatican-II obsessed, Pharisaical, "neo-Montanists" and "neo-Iconoclasts" doing everything under the sun to persecute us...cause we would like to walk into a Church that doesn't look like a protestant church or worse some stadium "rock-band" mega-church...we are sorry that our likeness for Rosaries and statues are such a big problem for you neo-Iconoclasts. We're sorry that we don't want to ignore Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI's words regarding people view Vatican II as a "super-dogma"

Sorry we annoy you so much, because all we want to do is live the Faith.
After I read your comment, I zoomed over to the article, to see if it or other comments were there. There were none including yours so it must be being evaluated. 

On the flip side there is much truth in his trendies, and some in his traddies. Every time I read something like this my mind spins. There are so many issues, and so much miss characterizations I become overwhelmed and I'm not able to tick and tie each to sort it all out and make a comprehensive .critique. 

What's wrong with that criticism of that particular kind of traddie?

That particularly described kind of traddie may indeed be a white-washed sepulcher.
Yeah I guess you're right  :blush:

That's why I didn't post my comment, because I didn't know if this was trad-bashing, or just toxic-trad bashing
(01-12-2014, 11:45 AM)Tenmaru Wrote: What's wrong with that criticism of that particular kind of traddie?

That particularly described kind of traddie may indeed be a white-washed sepulcher.

Overwhelmingly, your (or Longenecker's) "particularly described kind of traddie" is rare if not non-existent.  Desperately modern Catholics have erected enormous barns of straw men and have engaged in serial arson, wasting time (which is a sin, by the way) by doing so. 

We are all called to individual holiness, not group holiness (traddie, trendie, secularist, or just outright modernist/heretic).  There is not a sect of Catholics called traditionalists, not by self-identification, not by assignment of others to any barn of any size.  That call to holiness is time-consuming, if it's authentic.  (By the way, the Universal Call originated with Jesus, "Be perfect, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect."  It did not originate with V2.)

Pope Francis should also not be wasting time erecting straw men, creating new lexicons of insults, and injecting more divisiveness into an already troubled and divided Church.  And yes, I get to say that because although it can be a grievous sin to waste time (depending on the length of that and the more pressing obligations we shirk), it is not a grievous sin to criticize the actions of any man, including the Pope, including a priest who writes divisive articles marginalizing Catholics trying to hold onto what is genuine and unchanged about the Faith.

Shame on him.
I tend to agree that the criticism is leveled more at the "toxic trad" type than at trads in general, although let's face it, traditionalism in any stripe is not very welcome in the Church these days. What will attract people to the "trad" cause is, more than Michael Davies books and SSPX tracts and vicious polemics,the example of trads whose life attracts by the grace and joy radiating from them and their families. No doubt polemics has it's place and one must call a spade a spade sometimes,but for those on the margins this approach often repels rather than attract,coming off as shrill fanaticism more than anything else. If the life of a trad manifests bittnerness,rage,excessive legalisms and an an obsession with externals with no real change in ones inward life of grace it shows. Even neo pagans an atheists can sense fakery and a facade of piety masking insecurity,bitterness and rage.
He certainly nailed "trendies" though. Here on Long Island and in NYC this is exactly what you see in most of our churches. My problem would be the idea that there are just as many traditional types than trendy ones, because I have yet to see a church, no matter how traditional, actually present the TLM and even the most conservative parish here is filled to the brim with "trendies".

The only "trads" I know in person are my grandparents and even they haven't been to a TLM in a long time because they can't find one. The main reason I miss mass so often is because I yearn for tradition. Fortunately my parish is the most traditional around town (by town I mean all the villages, hamlets, etc., not just my village), but it still has many modernist issues. We even have a Ukrainian Catholic Church I'd really like to go to at least once.
Fr. Longenecker has always been very Anti-Trad. He even uses articles from the Southern Poverty Law Center to prove that Trads are Anti-Semitic.

I don't know, I have the impression that some of the more orthodox NO Priests are too afraid of what they would find if they scratch too much beneath the surface of Vatican II, so they constantly have to bash Trads in order to reassure themselves that they are on the right track and everything is fine and dandy in the Church.
There is a German NO priest who is very knowledgeable and whenever he gives a talk he ends up sounding like a Trad because he knows Church History and the Church Fathers so well. He then sounds truly horrified at what they did to the Church after V2 and then all of a sudden it's like he thinks "oh no I sound like Trad" and he starts bashing the SSPX and sometimes the FSSP, just to reassure himself that he's not a Trad. It happens every time. :LOL:

For what it's worth, I liked your reply, austenbosten.
(01-12-2014, 12:25 PM)Miriam_M Wrote:
(01-12-2014, 11:45 AM)Tenmaru Wrote: What's wrong with that criticism of that particular kind of traddie?

That particularly described kind of traddie may indeed be a white-washed sepulcher.

Overwhelmingly, your (or Longenecker's) "particularly described kind of traddie" is rare if not non-existent. 

As a Traditional Catholic, I wish this were true. But maybe Trad-dom just has a hard time doing self-examination.

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