Church Decline After Vatican II?
#31
(07-23-2015, 06:49 PM)richgr Wrote: I really wonder what it means to say that the remedy lies in tradition. As Renatus has noted, since we no longer live in a traditional culture but a consumerist one (I use the word consumerist; I don't know what RF would call it), tradition itself becomes a matter of consumer preference. I choose this time period, this style, this liturgy, this theology, instead of that. There are certain obvious limits to this--we can't choose something the Church has clearly condemned in the past (no traditionalist does this of course). But the problem still arises: which tradition?

Tradition can be treated as a "consumer choice," but it is what it is nonetheless. And folks who start out attending the TLM because it's "pretty" or even "trendy" can go on to embrace Tradition for more compelling reasons.

Quote: And even when we ask that question, we presuppose a condition in which no tradition is a given, but that is the very definition of tradition: that which is given, handed on as it were. To ask "which tradition?" betrays the fact that we must at some point artificially choose a tradition to resurrect and nurture. Who is to decide this?

It's already been chosen by the SSPX, the FSSP, and other trad priestly fraternities who aren't sede or in formal schism. The rite in place in 1962, that year's liturgical calendar, etc, is the form of Tradition chosen by them.

Quote:
You might think I'm being dramatic or exaggerating, but it is, in my mind, one of the fundamental problems among traditionalist communities: the internal and external divisions are delineated precisely by the differences of which traditions are given preference. Hilary White's "Neo-Catholic" makes sense only in light of putting a larger emphasis on different traditions than the so-called Neo-Cats. And imagine trying to get one single chapel of traditionalists to agree to a unified value or principle! Get 10 traditionalists, or even 5, to agree on the proper relation between Church and state, what the best form of government is, on the nature of the liturgy, on how to reverence the pope, such as Pope Francis, on the relation of science and doctrine, faith and reason, on the political implications of sanctity, on how to take back society, on the best form of economy. You will find only disagreement and perhaps radical disagreement.

The "neo-Catholics" don't value Tradition given the definition in use at this site, which I think is the only sane definition possible: http://www.fisheaters.com/traditionalcatholicism.html  What is on that page are things that every trad I know of-- not the neo-Cats -- accepts. Matters like the best form of government, the political implications of sanctity, how to take back society, etc., are not a matter of Tradition; they're matters of opinion, which the Church allows. IOW, trads don't have to agree on those things to show up at Mass on Sundays and worship together in the same way any more than Catholics before the Council had to agree on politics or prudential decisions in order to do the same. The only real divisions I see among trads are the sede-non-sede divide, and the toxic vs. non-toxic divide. The rest is nothing to worry about.

Quote: don't know what it means to call myself a traditionalist, so I have mostly avoided it. This is not to say that I don't value tradition, but my impression has often been that tradition is offered as a solution to compartmentalization when in fact tradition becomes simply another compartment, another option among other equals, or a political ideological tool to advance a provincial Catholicism or perhaps a not-so-subtle form of conservative Americanism in the guise of Catholicism.

Tradition isn't another option among equals; it is true. And the traditional form of the Mass is objectively superior in every single way aside from the fact of the Consecration itself. It's the same with all the traditional Sacramental rites. Compare them to the NO way of doing things. And all trads accept that the trad ways are objectively superior and more than a "mere" aesthetic judgment ("mere" in quotes because I don't want to downplay aesthetics at all, but am just saying that the superiority of the old rites is due to more than just aesthetics).

Quote:I find myself returning along the lines of formerbuddhist's thinking--sanctity is the solution. "Sanctity" of course is an abstract concept, the practical implications are not clear, but I think to myself in this way: what is the purpose of a return to tradition? It is a return to the true faith. What is the purpose, the entire essence of true faith? Salvation. And what is salvation but sanctification? Without this proper orientation and I would say subordination of tradition to the goal of sanctification, everything becomes a mere "external appearance," surface-level piety--your 1950s hypocritical rector.

I agree a thousand percent, and I think some trads' not "getting" this -- i.e., that some -- too many - trads are "toxic" -- is a deeply serious problem that other trads have to talk about loudly and clearly, and show the world exactly what you said:  that washing the outside of the cup isn't good enough. It's good (who wants a dirty cup?), and it's important -- not just on a personal level, but on a societal level -- but it isn't good enough. Emphasizing that very point is what makes FishEaters way different from other trad sites, and it's why FE is hated by some trads. Any talk about such things is seen by the toxic types as being "liberal," "modernist," "too emotional," "touchy-feely," and such. Encouraging niceness, gentleness, kindness to them means "Church of Nice." People have to be mean, judgmental, and forever grouchy and whining to be a "real trad."

Quote: Imagine trying to get a whole chapel to agree on real sanctity in their entire families--cutting off the evil things, proper governance, opening yourself up to complete vulnerability, total charity towards each other, admitting wrongs, forgiveness, patience, etc. I imagine the uproar would be far more violent than any call to embrace a particular tradition. The Lacanian in me (I know Renatus will roll his eyes at this!  :LOL: ) suspects that tradition often becomes one more unconscious justification to avoid pursuing true sanctity. As long as I defend tradition, I am justified, I don't need to be a saint. But then...what is the purpose of tradition, and what is tradition supposed to do? It loses its very raison d'être: sanctity

I agree with you completely. But that isn't at ALL inherent in Tradition. All that is an aspect of the psychology of some trads -- the type I refer to as "toxic trads." There is no reason at all why trads can't do all they can to restore the traditional sacramental rites, brilliant and deep catechesis, the folk traditions pertaining to the liturgical year, etc., AND engage in service, have loving and charitable attitudes toward all people (even ---- sinners! Radical, I know, but it just might be crazy enough to work! ha), strive toward virtue, and so forth. There's no reason at ALL. And the entire mission of FE is to get people to GET that -- ALL of that -- and restore Tradition while not losing their souls.
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#32

(07-22-2015, 11:46 PM)richgr Wrote: Does anyone know why Mass attendance was declining rapidly since the early '50s? Are there other statistics out there as well on these issues?

My guess is World Wars I and II, especially II. People of all types were forced together in foxholes and experienced Hell together, metaphorically speaking, and suffered through their "Dear John" letters together, all resulting in a lot of broken minds and broken hearts. Additionally, the intense battlefield camaraderie among practitioners of various religions caused the GIs and flyboys and such to come to see religion as something that wasn't "big enough" to divide. A sort of relativism crept in to their thinking.

At the same time, psychoanalysis and the Kinsey report were doing their damage alongside the Frankfurt School types, the latter preaching against "authoritarianism" as the ultimate evil, all while the Holocaust was being played up as the apotheosis of that evil (and even as the slaughter of Christians by everyone from the Russian Marxists to the Turks to the Chinese was totally ignored, of course). Via the Holocaust, Catholicism was shamed unwarrantedly as the cause of "antisemitism," and it was around that time that Jewish groups started getting in Catholics' faces, demanding that we drop this prayer or that, change our liturgy, etc., and instead of standing strong, the hierarchs started caving into those groups' demands and groveling. 

Hollywood started to change as well, moving from "The Song of Bernadette" type movies to making films in which Catholicism (along with forms of Christianity) was ridiculed and mocked (cf., "Inherit the Wind" from 1960, just 15 years after the War ended).

After all this madness, a lot of the guys who came back from WWII, along with kids born just as the war broke out, ended up as beatniks or bikers. The returned soldiers were guys who grew up during the Depression, then went to war, and were now home, in a country experiencing material abundance like they'd never seen before. Easy to get lulled away from spiritual concerns, I'd guess.

And then came the hippies, after those same guys and their wives took Dr. Spock seriously and failed to discipline their kids..
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#33
(07-26-2015, 05:12 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: Tradition can be treated as a "consumer choice," but it is what it is nonetheless. And folks who start out attending the TLM because it's "pretty" or even "trendy" can go on to embrace Tradition for more compelling reasons.
Right, I agree. But I nevertheless return to my question: what does it mean to say tradition (or more specifically, Sacred Tradition) is the solution when the standard attitude is now one of pluralism and equal choices?

Maybe I should have explained myself better. While traditionalists can all agree on certain fundamental principles of the faith, the agreement in itself is neither Tradition nor indicative of a traditional attitude. The agreement may be made for many reasons, just as an atheist may regularly go to the Latin Mass for aesthetic and historical ones. So when I say attitude, I mean the framework that couches those reasons and makes sense of them. I think the attitude is summed up well in the Traditionalists' Motto that you have on your traditionalism page.

But further, it's easy to turn Sacred Tradition into a Platonic form that remains in unaccessible abstraction, a Kantian noumenal realm that we can never really know. What I mean is--when you see trads argue, they will often argue on surface level things, such as those that I mentioned (the proper govt, relation of faith and science, papal reverence, liturgical tradition and development, etc), but if these bear no ultimate relation to "Tradition" (capital T), and it's fine to say they aren't "Tradition," then what are all those trads who do argue about such things really going on about? In other words, I think it's fair to say that Sacred Tradition often is interpreted or discussed in these compartmentalized ways--faith and science, liturgy, pope, society, government, etc., and betrays that non-traditional attitude and ultimately leaves Sacred Tradition floating somewhere for someone to "truly" discover. Isn't that what the polemical traditionalists always fundamentally base their arguments on? They have the "true" Tradition.

So yes, we have the 1962 Missal thanks to Abp. Lefebvre, but that was his choice, and one that is questioned by some traditionalists, some of whom dismiss it as arbitrary in some respect. And there is a certain arbitrariness although perhaps due to historical constraints, it was a necessary choice. I'm certainly thankful for it. I suppose I'm still trying to understand the nature of the rupture that occurred when so much of the Church's Tradition and traditions were overthrown or replaced.

I guess I'm trying to articulate a deeper division I've been noticing while being among a traditionalist community and that is that traditionalist "attitude." The divisions between sedes and non-sedes is one of which tradition is legitimate, but I'm more interested in what provides tradition itself its value, a sort of philosophy of tradition, both its nature and how we come to understand and live it. In this view, the sede vs. non-sede argument falls under a kind of epistemological argument but that argument can be had without either side ever actually having a proper orientation under tradition, just as a heretical "theologian" can repeat and even defend the dogmas of the Church based on historical and papal documents without consenting to those dogmas or the authority that makes those dogmas legitimate.

Another example, miniskirt vs. pants is a discussion of a particular tradition, but both sides might never get to the deeper issue of what does clothing mean in a traditional community?

Hence, my question: what does it mean to say tradition is the solution? Perhaps if I were to try to answer that question simply, I would say it means a process by which individuals and communities begin to understand the place of tradition in a culture and civilization, and therefore its importance, and then to embrace and implement the means that best uphold that value insofar as it helps a society reach the common good.

In this view, tradition is only one part of the package and not the entire solution itself. As I said earlier, and I think most would agree with this, tradition must be subordinated to sanctity because the end of Tradition is the glory of God and by extension, therefore, our sanctity. And so, there are several answers to what it means to say tradition is the solution:

1) a totalizing or "hard" meaning, in which tradition (or Tradition) forms the entirety of the remedy to whatever Church and societal ills are occurring (what this exactly means, I don't need to try to flesh out, I'm just giving a rough picture for simplicity sake)

2) a moderate meaning, which I think I would accept, where tradition is important but is not the entirety of the solution. Perhaps a moderate approach would say tradition is a framework that coordinates the different values that make a society properly healthy.

3) a weak view, where tradition is downplayed, and I would see that compartmentalizing attitude I expressed above as being a weak view, even if the individual on the surface level seems to have a strong dedication to defending Tradition/tradition, as for example when two people argue about papal legitimacy or skirts/pants as a matter of preference rather than principle.

I feel like I'm rambling, but I'm entering a phase now where I'm trying to grapple with what is tradition and what its implications are, so all of the above is subject to radical change without notice.  :grin:
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#34
I suppose that in the end, if tradition is really subordinated to sanctity it is not as utterly lost as you seem to think it is (the way the typical melancholic trad talks sounds really like he is Kantian or Gnostic, but on the other side). Unless, of course, sanctity is impossible today and God has completely abandoned us all.

I don't see how Dom Lefebvre was simply choosing one thing among others. Precisely he (and everybody else with him) was the one not doing that: he was formed within the Catholic (European, French, etc.) tradition, and he formed tradition and traditional communities (as he was a missionary). The folks who did the liturgical reformation were the ones putting themselves outside of the tradition to create something other, as I remarked earlier. In this way they are particularly modern. +Fellay even hints at this in his seemingly naive way: he says he just kept doing what he always did.
As baptized we are part of the tradition of the Church, and we all have our own traditions (Mediterranean Catholicism, Teutonic Catholicism, etc.). Yes, we are separated from the latter, but I wouldn't say completely (I know I said this in the skirts thread). Sure, we don't have a liturgical life, but still the foods we eat and the days we celebrate, the saints we call at moments of fear, etc., all is touched a bit by this tradition (I can see how for a Prot this gets worse since he was cut off for longer than 50 years).
This is no substitute for a traditional community/life, a thorough liturgical life. But still, it would be a lie to say we are simply automata--this is an exaggeration to shock people.

Notice I didn't capitalized tradition here, to differentiate it from tradition. I want to be obscure this way (maybe I should talk like Heideggerians and just add an s to differentiate).

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#35
(07-27-2015, 10:22 PM)richgr Wrote:
(07-26-2015, 05:12 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: Tradition can be treated as a "consumer choice," but it is what it is nonetheless. And folks who start out attending the TLM because it's "pretty" or even "trendy" can go on to embrace Tradition for more compelling reasons.
Right, I agree. But I nevertheless return to my question: what does it mean to say tradition (or more specifically, Sacred Tradition) is the solution when the standard attitude is now one of pluralism and equal choices?

First, having read through your post before I hit the quote button, I have to say once more that I so love your posts. You often send me to dictionaries and such, something I SO love about another person -- the ability to teach me things, or lead me to learn things. Thanks for that.

Anyway, to answer the above question, as it stands:  By saying "Tradition is the answer," I mean this:  that the traditional teachings of the Church -- which can't change, but which have been and are being presented as having changed -- hold the answers to the questions, "What must we do to be saved?", "What do we need to do to have a just and ordered society?", "Why are we here?", "Who made us?" etc. It answers the questions we need to know in order to have a sense of purpose and meaning, which I see as a need no one talks about in this age. The secular world doesn't ask those questions, or considers them unanswerable (which they would be if the seeker's going through life with half his brain tied behind his back, a dis-ease which empiricism and scientism prevent curing).  It's precisely now, given the scientism that rules the day and darkens our nights, that Tradition is needed more than ever. People are dying for a reason to live (hmmm, that sounds strange -- but I think I'll keep it 'cause it's true). Most don't even realize it, couldn't name the problem to save their lives (LOL the writing is getting stranger and more ironic!), but the existence of the problem is manifest in all the energy put into shallow pursuits. Fame -- er, "celebrity"; money; "looking good" or "looking buff," which means looking "hot"; the neuroses-driven, miserable (and, for women, orgasmless) sexscapades going on out there; the 45-year old "cat women" who've been hit in the face with a big brick, making them realize they overlooked the very "stuff" of life in their pursuit of "success"; the young men out there who've given up on women, marriage, the possibility of ever having a family, resorting instead to escapist video game fantasies; the incredible rise of guys in their teens and 20s suffering from erectile dysfunction because of their porn addictions; all the kids being raised without fathers, and turning into teenaged hos and thugs as a result  -- all of that stuff is a sure sign that we've lost our way in a big way.

People these days tend to be either miserable --- or just inwardly dull and lifeless. The consider the big questions as either having no provable answers, or they think there are answers, but all the answers lead to an uncreated, meaningless universe, a planet -- one of trillions, they think -- that just happened to have the right stuff for the evolution of uncreated cells to form more complicated organisms which, after  being salted by the magic ingredient called "billions and billions of years," formed man, just another great ape -- until it's time to rein him in and let him know, without a doubt, that though he's just another animal, he's a special sort of animal that, unlike all the other animals out there, should die and not engage in activity that's natural for him. His beehives cities are crap, his eating other animals is bad even if lions do the same, and though swans mate for life, he should, for some reason, emulate the bonobos who prove, somehow, that reckless sex is natural and good (just ignore those swans. They don't count).

All the illogic and taught self-hatred (most especially if the folks in question are European/European-derived people and/or some variety of Christian) are spiritually and emotionally paralyzing. And if they argue against any of it, there go their college careers, job opportunities, and social viability after the SJWs get done with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Tradition offers a way out of ALL of that nonsense, that Way of Death. The Church has the answers. And what the Church actually teaches is found in Tradition and expressed most fully in traditional practices.

Quote: Maybe I should have explained myself better. While traditionalists can all agree on certain fundamental principles of the faith, the agreement in itself is neither Tradition nor indicative of a traditional attitude. The agreement may be made for many reasons, just as an atheist may regularly go to the Latin Mass for aesthetic and historical ones. So when I say attitude, I mean the framework that couches those reasons and makes sense of them. I think the attitude is summed up well in the Traditionalists' Motto that you have on your traditionalism page.

I disagree with you that agreeing on the things lined out on the FE Traditional Catholicism 101 page doesn't indicate a Tradition in the individual doing the agreeing, at least not on the intellectual level. Tradition is about a LOT more than just the TLM!  But I agree with you that many trads' attitudes aren't traditional (cf the "toxic trads" -- the type of trad the folks of my Dad's generation would consider -- well, freaky and not very holy. 

I don't see the motto you mention as involving attitude more than an intellectual observation...

Quote: But further, it's easy to turn Sacred Tradition into a Platonic form that remains in unaccessible abstraction, a Kantian noumenal realm that we can never really know. What I mean is--when you see trads argue, they will often argue on surface level things, such as those that I mentioned (the proper govt, relation of faith and science, papal reverence, liturgical tradition and development, etc), but if these bear no ultimate relation to "Tradition" (capital T), and it's fine to say they aren't "Tradition," then what are all those trads who do argue about such things really going on about? In other words, I think it's fair to say that Sacred Tradition often is interpreted or discussed in these compartmentalized ways--faith and science, liturgy, pope, society, government, etc., and betrays that non-traditional attitude and ultimately leaves Sacred Tradition floating somewhere for someone to "truly" discover. Isn't that what the polemical traditionalists always fundamentally base their arguments on? They have the "true" Tradition.

I think what those trads are arguing for isn't anything involving Tradition, but is a matter of some trads' --- yes, the "toxic trads'" -- psychology coming out in various ways. As I've written before a bazillion times, I think the trad "movement" attracts various types, and one of those types isn't psychologically healthy at all. Many use Tradition as The Answer not just to the big philosophical questions I mentioned earlier (e.g., "Why are we here?" and "Who made us?"), but as a magical solution to all of life's problems. They do this by taking Tradition, putting as tight-ass a spin on it as possible, using it all as a cudgel rather than presenting it as a great gift from God, and then mixing into it angry, backlash attitudes toward not just the -isms that have helped destroy Western Civilization, but toward the wrong, flawed, grossly misled and brainwashed, and rarely evil-intentioned human beings who accept those -isms. IF radical feminism has helped destroy the family, THEN all women -- other than those who enter convents -- should be barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen, uneducated, sexually unfulfilled and behaving as if they're without sexual needs at all, presenting themselves and treated as maids, never express needs of their own lest they get "uppity," submissive to men not in any Biblical sense, but in the sense of coming off as a veritable doormat for whom ideas are not made, and so on. 

If the "Church of Nice" has helped destroy Western civilization, then anyone thinking that being "nice" -- everything being equal -- is a "modernist, wishy-washy, person who puts feeeeeeeeelings over Truth and sells out the Faith in order to be liked. The trad, according to this type, needs to be as un-nice as possible to prove his superiority over those aforementioned Oprah Winfrey worshipers.

If radical homosexualist activists have helped destroy Western Civiliation, then the "good trad" must go out of his way to show just how anti the radical homosexualist activist type he is. But the problem is that, for him, any homosexual is a "radical homosexualist activist," and any homosexual is a "sodomite," and every homosexual wants gay "marriage," etc.  Using words like "fag," "queer," "sodomite," "sod," "homo," etc., are akin to flying a flag. "See? I'm not the type to cave in to the liberal agenda! I call those bastards 'faggots' -- and I see no difference between a radical activist, a homosexual struggling to conquer his SSA, a homosexual who tries and fails to conquer it all, etc. They're all the same to me! I mean, anyone who'd refer to himself as 'homosexual' is 'idenfifying with a sin'! [even though being attracted to someone of the same sex is NOT a sin] Why would someone do that unless he has some radical agenda!?!?"

All the above is marked by a few things.

1) Anger at the way the world is (and I consider this anger righteous). [ETA:  I think that a lot of this anger is displacement or projection (yes, Vox used shrink terms. Guess I must be a modernist again! LOL). But seriously, I use the word "anomie" quite a bit when talking about toxic trads, and it just fits. I don't know of another word that means that same thing, so I'll likely continue to use it. Anyway, anomie prevails out there, and people want to hang on to something that provides coherence and gives meaning. Tradition, in Truth, does that. But the toxic types often take Tradition and used it as a means to vent and rage and backlash. That is not what Tradition is for or about. And if Tradition is presented that way to the world, it will fail as a "movement." I would bet everything I own on that. Treating Tradition in that manner does no good for the soul of the person doing it, either. It's all just very ugly and repulsive.

2) an almost complete lack of an ability to think subtly, to recognize nuanced differences that matter a LOT,

3) an almost complete inability to mentally walk a mile in another man (or woman's) moccasins, a retarded ability to empathize with others,

4) In some cases, an outsider AND "loser mentality" that latches on to Tradition as a means to create a persona, a way of being in the world that has a label, a coherence, and, especially, a group to back those people up. "I'm not an introverted, eggheaded suffered of Aspergers; I'm a TRAD! One of the very few on the path of RIGHTEOUSNESS! Yes, Im still a victim, but my victimhood now has a name and isn't rooted in ME, but in my religion. Even Jesus said that if they hated Me, they'll hate you, see? And I'm not the only one, either! We have a forum on the internet where we buttress each other up in our new personae! I'm not ALONE anymore! I'm not only not ALONE, but I am GOOD; I'm a TRAD! Yaaaay for me!  I think the toxic approach to non-Catholics is a HUGE giveaway that reveals that aspect of it all. They have a definite "US" vs. "THEM" attitude. To prop themselves up, they need a "THEM" to hem and haw at.

Mind you, the Church has enemies! Of that there is no doubt whatsoever! We had them way back during Gospel times, and we've got them now, only they now own the channels of culture, have gotten good with bribery, etc. But even if one were to be confronted with the worst of the worst human enemies of the Church, the goal should be converting that person, getting him to change his mind, not venting, ranting, raging, and whingeing. But those actions tend to mark the toxics' attitude toward "The Other." And it's repulsive in the deepest sense of the word. It repels people from Jesus, His Church, and Tradition. I often wonder if the toxics just don't GET it -- or if they're so much more concerned with fitting in with their group, and desiring of ranting and expressing their anger, that altering the way they do things is too big a price to pay for them.

5) a dearth of imagination which results in judging others actions -- and even their souls.  For ex., say a Catholic man and Catholic woman, one of whom had been in a Sacramental marriage that is set for an annulment, marry civilly and quickly because one of them is in desperate need to be covered by the health insurance the job of the other offers. They talk to their priest, explain things, and he condones a civil marriage as long as they refrain from sexual contact until/unless their marriage becomes a Sacrament.  The toxic type looking into that, hearing nothing about the insurance stuff, makes a boatload of assumptions and acts in a disgusting manner:  a) their actions are sinful, no two ways about it! b) no Catholic in any circumstance whatsoever can marry another Catholic civilly, c) they're doing it! They're DEFINITELY doing it! Probably while swinging from the chandeliers even! They probably even contracept while they're engaging in their fornication! She's a whore of Babylon, a Jezebel, a slut, and he's a playah! Both are adulterers big time and should stop calling themselves "Catholic" forthwith! d) "I have a right to know if they're doing it! I have the right to ask very personal questions of this couple, and if they don't answer me, it's just proof they're adulterers! e) "This is all so -- so SCANDALOUS (nevermind the definition of scandal, which doesn't mean making one clutch one's pearls), so I have the right ---- nay, the DUTY! -- to go all over the place and warn people about this couple, telling them everything I [think I] know -- that they're adulterers, that they're having sex, that she's the whore of Babylon, they no priest ever okayed anything like this. Detraction and slander? They mean nothing when the world needs to be warned against such people! I am right because I can't be wrong, so I must speak out, no matter who's hurt by it!

That sort of thing is how the toxic trad rolls. But all that has nothing, in se, to do with Tradition. Tradition is a mask, a face they put on. I am NOT saying that they're not genuine in their beliefs! I think almost all of them are! But without the masking aspect of it all, I don't think it'd have the emotional pull it has on them now.

Quote: So yes, we have the 1962 Missal thanks to Abp. Lefebvre, but that was his choice, and one that is questioned by some traditionalists, some of whom dismiss it as arbitrary in some respect. And there is a certain arbitrariness although perhaps due to historical constraints, it was a necessary choice. I'm certainly thankful for it. I suppose I'm still trying to understand the nature of the rupture that occurred when so much of the Church's Tradition and traditions were overthrown or replaced.

Read the FE Traditional Catholicism page:  http://www.fisheaters.com/traditionalcatholicism.html

Quote: I guess I'm trying to articulate a deeper division I've been noticing while being among a traditionalist community and that is that traditionalist "attitude." The divisions between sedes and non-sedes is one of which tradition is legitimate, but I'm more interested in what provides tradition itself its value, a sort of philosophy of tradition, both its nature and how we come to understand and live it. In this view, the sede vs. non-sede argument falls under a kind of epistemological argument but that argument can be had without either side ever actually having a proper orientation under tradition, just as a heretical "theologian" can repeat and even defend the dogmas of the Church based on historical and papal documents without consenting to those dogmas or the authority that makes those dogmas legitimate.

What provides Tradition its value is Christ and His Church. Jesus gave us our Sacraments and the Good News, and He gave us the 12 apostles who went all over the world to spread these things all over the world. One of those 12 He made His first Vicar, who was the first of many Popes who've led the Church, taught with His authority and guided by the Holy Ghost. What His Church has always and everywhere taught is Tradition. And, in the Roman Church, the means of worship has been handed down to us by St. Peter, with this or that thing added as we went along -- but always with the purpose of truly enhancing the liturgy and helping the people in the pews realize what was truly going on at the Mass. What happened after Vatican II was a violent rupture with all that. And it wasn't just the the Mass that was made to look mundane, to lack sense of Beauty and Mystery, to almost gloss over the fact that a SACRIFICE was taking place, that replaced Gregorian chant with PUPPETS. All the Sacramental rites were stripped down in the same way. They were stripped as Our Lord was stripped before He was made to carry His Cross. And the true and authentic (i.e., traditional) teachings of the Church have, because of the "spirit of Vatican II," been so watered-down as to taste like the backwash at the bottom of a glass of iced Lager.

It's obvious that anyone can repeat the words of authentic teaching and not mean them. But I'd rather have a bad priest do THAT then to not repeat the teaching at all, to not even respect it enough to submit to it enough to transmit it to the people he's been entrusted to teach.

In the end, allllll of the Church laws and disciplines are meant to serve Charity. One can know the Catechism inside and out (even the old, pre-Vatican II ones) -- but if he doesn't truly submit intellectually and try to conform his will and his heart to those of Christ, he might end up in Hell (depending on the reasons why he doesn't submit and conform. Only Christ alone knows an individual's heart, mind, souls, pressures, life story, etc.). And that one, simple fact is the key thing that the toxics forget. Many of them might be eggheaded and even intelligent. Many may have read more encyclicals than the average Bishop. But if his heart isn't changed, if he doesn't become more loving, then it's all a waste of time as far as his own soul goes (something only Christ can judge!).

Quote: Another example, miniskirt vs. pants is a discussion of a particular tradition, but both sides might never get to the deeper issue of what does clothing mean in a traditional community?

See the FE page on Modesty: http://www.fisheaters.com/modesty.html

Quote: Hence, my question: what does it mean to say tradition is the solution? Perhaps if I were to try to answer that question simply, I would say it means a process by which individuals and communities begin to understand the place of tradition in a culture and civilization, and therefore its importance, and then to embrace and implement the means that best uphold that value insofar as it helps a society reach the common good.

In this view, tradition is only one part of the package and not the entire solution itself. As I said earlier, and I think most would agree with this, tradition must be subordinated to sanctity because the end of Tradition is the glory of God and by extension, therefore, our sanctity. And so, there are several answers to what it means to say tradition is the solution:

1) a totalizing or "hard" meaning, in which tradition (or Tradition) forms the entirety of the remedy to whatever Church and societal ills are occurring (what this exactly means, I don't need to try to flesh out, I'm just giving a rough picture for simplicity sake)

2) a moderate meaning, which I think I would accept, where tradition is important but is not the entirety of the solution. Perhaps a moderate approach would say tradition is a framework that coordinates the different values that make a society properly healthy.

3) a weak view, where tradition is downplayed, and I would see that compartmentalizing attitude I expressed above as being a weak view, even if the individual on the surface level seems to have a strong dedication to defending Tradition/tradition, as for example when two people argue about papal legitimacy or skirts/pants as a matter of preference rather than principle.

I feel like I'm rambling, but I'm entering a phase now where I'm trying to grapple with what is tradition and what its implications are, so all of the above is subject to radical change without notice.  :grin:

#2 feels like the closest, but I I don't like the idea of referring to all this as "weak" or "moderate," etc.

What I think the human element of the Church needs to do is this:

1) Restore the Mass such that the TLM is once again normative, allowing the N.O. to die a natural death.

2) Do the same with ALL of the traditional Sacramental rites

3) Have STUPENDOUS catechesis firmly rooted in traditional Catholic teaching, watering down NOTHING -- but don't relate it using frou-frou language.

Couple it also with answers to questions the brainwashed folks of today simply haven't been taught to answer in any depth and with any conviction (e.g., "Why is gay 'marriage' wrong?" "Why are homosexual acts sinful?") etc.

Also include apologetics so that the typically educated Catholic can hold his own against any Protestant evangelist.

4) Encourage traditional Catholic devotions, liturgical year customs, etc., and ALSO praying in one's own words, just speaking to God as a child to his Father.

5) Emphasize, above ALL, loving God and neighbor, conversion of the heart, our need to trust in God, the mercy of Christ Our Judge, the incredible Love He has for all of us, even those who are fallen away or who were never formally with us to begin with.

6) Don't fall into the nonsensical thinking that everything before Vatican II was hunky-dory. It wasn't. There was a definite legalism that ran amok. Too often, laymen were treated not just as "children of their spiritual fathers," but as children intellectually. Questions demand ANSWERS, not the proverbial "rap on the knuckles."

7) Speak out loudly and firmly about "toxic trad-ness:" and put an end to it. Their (true) misogyny, nastiness toward homosexuals, and, on the part of a relatively small sub-set, (true) racism have no part in Catholic teaching whatsoever.

8) Avoid prudery at all costs (but not at the expense of a sane sense of modesty, or in ways that would incite lust, etc.) I think Catholics need to be very frank about sex, treating it as a beautiful, important, pleasurable, physically ecstatic gift of God for married couples. The fake coyness and major ridiculousness I've seen over my 20 years of dealing with trads has made me loathe prudery even more. An Italian approach to such things is the healthiest, IMO. (or, at least, an Italian American approach to it all).

9) Have a sane approach to the "us" and "them" matter. There is an "us" - those of us inside the Church, who love God and know His desires for us as taught by His Church, who've been given the duty to spread the Gospel and act as witnesses, etc., and there is a "them" -- those outside of all that, whom we need to reach out to and convert. But if the recognition of "us and them" changes to "us VS them" (outside war, etc.), then we have a big problem (see #5). We need to recognize and value the natural virtues of people formally outside the Church, just as the Church did in the Middle Ages, when it included pagans among The Worthies" (see bottom of this page: http://www.fisheaters.com/sybils.html )

10) Encourage joy, "creativity" (as it were), the arts, music, etc.  We Catholics have the greatest artistic and musical legacy of anyone, anywhere, and it is now dead. Bring back the Mystery Plays and the pageants and public processions. Take some of the great ideas from secular types and make things happen -- anything from random acts of kindness which you let the recipients know are inspired by Christ, flash mobs with a higher purpose (without being all "on the nose," ridiculous, and aesthetically awful about it), etc. Where are the Catholic comedians or comediennes? Where's the Catholic engaging in performance art? Where are the new Catholic playwrights? Where are the new -- and GOOD and aesthetically brilliant! -- books for Catholic children? Where are the new and GOOD Catholic artists? If they won't let new Catholic works into the Met, then let's start our own galleries, or host art fairs!
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#36
Why are we wondering and arguing about the meaning of 'tradition' when it's in plain black and white in the Catechism? And what is says there, is pretty much what I always understood it to mean. Growing up Lutheran with the Bible as the sole authority, you can learn a lot about Catholic tradition juts by the sheer lack of it. Most of time, Lutherans define what they believe by comparison with and rejection of what Catholics believe. As a result it is extremely difficult for me accept anything that looks, smells, and tastes Protestant as 'Catholic.' A lot of people outside the Church are totally clueless about Vatican II. If you tell them that you are a 'traditional' Catholic, they imagine that you're against laity reading the Bible, support corrupt papacy and indulgences, inquisitions, etc. You know, stuff that that was going on during the Reformation when most Protestant denominations were created. Now, obviously those things are a part of the history and culture of the Church, but have nothing to do with the Tradition.

Really, I was shocked to learn that 'tradition' was in the Catechism, because it just makes me wonder: does the post-Vatican II Church just outright ignore this part? And how on earth is that possible? Maybe it's because I grew up Protestant, but it's just very clear to me that as soon as Tradition (with a capital T  :P) is removed or ignored, Catholicism isn't 'Catholic' anymore. It's not a choice or a preference, it's the entire backbone of the Catholic Church.


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#37
I've never really been sure of the claim that tradition is a source of revelation in addition to Scripture. The Bible, after all, is itself a product of tradition and can be read in the proper fashion only when the reader is doing so in the light of tradition. More broadly, I think some theologians have a tendency to rationalize tradition, as if the term existed solely for the purpose of justifying the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and things like that.

Perhaps tradition is not a set of data that can be presented in a straightforward way, but rather the result of the irruption into time of that which is timeless. At the source of tradition, one finds an encounter with being that has granted a community its proper way of life. To act traditionally is for a person or community to comport itself toward the tradition in a responsible and faithful way. In this way, those who adhere most closely to the tradition must in one sense choose to appropriate the tradition for themselves, but in another sense, they have no choice at all, as it is tradition that comes forward to claim them. Seen in this light, sanctity is perhaps not the goal of tradition, but rather one possibility within the tradition. It is perhaps the most faithful possibility that one can choose, but it is still presented within the context of tradition and oriented toward the source of the tradition. Of course, when tradition has degenerated or been lost, as it has been for us, it presumably must be restored or revitalized from somewhere, but what this would look like for us, I can't say. However, tradition is closely related to myth and mythopoeia.   
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#38
Vox, we could collect your writings into a series of short books.  :LOL:

I'm working through everything here as time allows and will eventually post.  :P
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#39
(07-28-2015, 08:01 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: I've never really been sure of the claim that tradition is a source of revelation in addition to Scripture. The Bible, after all, is itself a product of tradition and can be read in the proper fashion only when the reader is doing so in the light of tradition. More broadly, I think some theologians have a tendency to rationalize tradition, as if the term existed solely for the purpose of justifying the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and things like that.

Perhaps tradition is not a set of data that can be presented in a straightforward way, but rather the result of the irruption into time of that which is timeless. At the source of tradition, one finds an encounter with being that has granted a community its proper way of life. To act traditionally is for a person or community to comport itself toward the tradition in a responsible and faithful way. In this way, those who adhere most closely to the tradition must in one sense choose to appropriate the tradition for themselves, but in another sense, they have no choice at all, as it is tradition that comes forward to claim them. Seen in this light, sanctity is perhaps not the goal of tradition, but rather one possibility within the tradition. It is perhaps the most faithful possibility that one can choose, but it is still presented within the context of tradition and oriented toward the source of the tradition. Of course, when tradition has degenerated or been lost, as it has been for us, it presumably must be restored or revitalized from somewhere, but what this would look like for us, I can't say. However, tradition is closely related to myth and mythopoeia. 

I too do not care for the separation of scripture and tradition, as if both could stand alone. At any rate you have some very interesting ideas here.

Today, like Martin Mosebach lamented we are too self conscious of tradition because it's been lost. We've had to think too much about what our ancestors simply picked up through living the daily life of the Church. I would say that this undermining of tradition in the Western Church started a long time before Vatican II, the papally sanctioned breviary reform of Pius X being the first major rupture. I've also heard it said that Pius XII turned Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi on its head with Mediator Dei.  In a certain sense the 20 th century was one long rejection of our western patrimony.

How do we get this back? Can we get this back? Everything is quite self conscious now. 1962 is the best we have legally speaking in the Church, but even that is tainted somehow by the 20th centuries overzealous reforms and cut and hack jobs.
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#40
(07-31-2015, 07:00 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Today, like Martin Mosebach lamented we are too self conscious of tradition because it's been lost. We've had to think too much about what our ancestors simply picked up through living the daily life of the Church. I would say that this undermining of tradition in the Western Church started a long time before Vatican II, the papally sanctioned breviary reform of Pius X being the first major rupture. I've also heard it said that Pius XII turned Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi on its head with Mediator Dei.  In a certain sense the 20 th century was one long rejection of our western patrimony.

How do we get this back? Can we get this back? Everything is quite self conscious now. 1962 is the best we have legally speaking in the Church, but even that is tainted somehow by the 20th centuries overzealous reforms and cut and hack jobs.

I don't think that Catholic tradition has been 'lost.' It's most certainly taken a blow and in retreat, but it isn't lost. The tradition of Hellenism is lost, in the sense that I understand 'lost.'
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