Roger Buck and the Catholic Herald
Our very own Roger Buck is continuing to get good press about The Gentle Traditionalist.

This is from the Catholic Herald:

Quote:Hving blogged about an unusual book, The Gentle Traditionalist, on Tuesday and wanting to know a bit more about its author and its genesis, I asked Roger Buck, who devised this Irish Catholic fairy tale a few questions.

For a start, what was his faith background? He tells me he was “utterly New Age till aged 34, when I first became baptised as an Anglican in 1998.” His Catholic conversion came two years later. He admits he has “progressively moved from being an ultra-liberal Catholic to my far more (hopefully gentle) traditional orientation.”

Why was he drawn to the New Age cult in the first place? Buck replies that he had “no faith in mainstream culture or Christianity as I perceived it”, alongside “a hunger for idealism.”

Indeed, he spent 20 years within a New Age mindset, including over two years at Findhorn, the New Age community in the north of Scotland. He had first visited Findhorn in 1980 and was still close to it when he finally converted to Catholicism in 2000. He has written about his conversion experience on his blog. Here is the link.

It is worth reading in full for an understanding of the depth and fervour of Buck’s faith, an explanation of how New Age Gnosticism fundamentally differs from Christianity, and how a mystical experience on the night of 18 September 1997 while he was actively promoting New Age literature in Cambridge made him recognise “that my life would change forever.”

When I ask Buck what made him decide to settle in Ireland, he informs me that he “cannot help but feel providentially guided here.” As he wrote in his book that it has only taken 50 years for Ireland to become thoroughly secularised, I am curious as to what signs of hope he finds in this country.

He answer soberly that his “real hope lies in realising how very, very deep the roots of the Christian heritage in Ireland really are.” This includes, as he wrote in his book, “the remarkable piety, humanity and kindness” of his Irish neighbours, who are “regularly praying by their parents’ graves” and “witnessing their continued devotion to family and friends.”

And what gave him the idea for his “fairy tale”? “It started as a dialogue to express the ideas; the fictional elements came second. For example, I needed to invent a reason as to why a secular agnostic would be drawn into such a long dialogue.” (I should explain here that the young agnostic in question longs to marry a girl who has become a traditional Catholic and who refuses to marry him as long as he remains in his secular, materialistic mindset.)

In his book Buck, as I wrote in my earlier blog, is highly critical of the Ordinary rite of the Mass. Here he is anxious to qualify this impression, insisting that, although he agrees with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI that the “ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy”, it certainly doesn’t mean he is convinced that “the Ordinary Form must go and that the Extraordinary Form is the only way.”

He directs me to the “Acknowledgements” at the front of his book, in which he wrote, “Whilst this book invokes the serious problems often occasioned by the new liturgy, our priest [in the rural Irish parish of Upper Badoney] is living proof that the Novus Ordo can be celebrated with beauty, dignity and reverence.”

Buck also quotes from his blog, in which he has written, “Who can count the many souls who have had the way to Christ illumined by such sincere priests of the Novus Ordo? There are no statistics for such matters. But let us render thanks to these courageous men who battle against the zany currents of the day!” By the “zany currents” Buck refers to “a very concerted, very liberal faction of the Church. This faction exists and it carries on conscious, yet undeclared warfare with those who try to consciously uphold Catholic tradition.”

Behind his gentle and prayerful manner, Buck is deeply serious about the liturgical crisis, telling me he wants to stress “perhaps pedantically, one thing here: it is only the fact that as a daily Mass-goer who has travelled a lot through several countries and who has thus been to Mass in hundreds of parishes, with well over 1000 priests, that has convinced me of the catastrophe…”

Readers should watch out for Buck’s forthcoming new book. He tells me that it will include “much more about the New Age movement as well as Catholic France and devotion to the Sacred Heart.”


This makes me very happy :)

I totally urge everyone who's read Roger's book to write a review at Amazon! You can do so on the product page here
I got my copy just today. I'll let you know what I think of it and if it makes an impression on a few pagans I have in mind.
Drmaccabees, Vox, Oldavid … thank you all SO MUCH.

All this kindness really touches me … and it's also practically very very helpful, as I'm presently run off my feet with both demands from book's surprising success and some other much more difficult personal stuff.

Despite this success, I'm very grateful for Vox's suggestion (and link!) for Amazon reviews. Yes, this would indeed help. Thank you, Vox.

In addition to thanking you all, I will just say Amazon in America has a price cut at the moment from $14.95 to $13.46. Don't know how long it will last. They've done this before and then it went back to the full price.

Also will just paste in two things.

First, my review at Rorate Caeli, written by Joseph Shaw …

New book: The Gentle Traditionalist, by Roger Buck

I'm delighted to recommend this new book, partly a novel and partly a dialogue about the Church, the world, and Ireland. A whole heap of excellent books by traditionalists have appeared recently, addressing the crisis in the Church in the context of the crisis in the liturgy. The Gentle Traditionalist is different in addressing itself to non-believers.

Thus, it does not primarily attempt to convince well-informed Catholic readers with detailed (or broad-sweeping) historical and theological argument; rather, it presents, in a charming but unflinching way, the Catholic traditionalist perspective on how things are, where we have come from, and what we can do about it.

The detailed arguments of the other works are very necessary in winning arguments within the Church which need to be won, but this book may be more accessible, intellectually and emotionally, for many Catholics as well as for non-Catholics. It is witty and articulate, and will be balm for the soul for committed trads as well as food for thought for the unconvinced.

I was allowed to read this book prior to publication, and some words of mine are on the back cover.

As Joseh Shaw says, he did a pre-publication review at the request of my publisher and I'll paste that in too:

“The Gentle Traditionalist is a tremendous book: moving and humourous, opening up the most profound issues, engaging the most strident of polemics with the lightest touch. Ireland’s place in the English-speaking world, the revolutions and counter-revolutions of the Enlightenment and the modern era, and the human weakness and divine resilience of the Catholic Church, are the book’s themes.

But it remains for all that an easy read, above all a gentle appeal to those outside the Church to reconsider the hostility which, for so many, is now an unthinking, bred-in-the-bone prejudice.

Today it is hard to know what to say to the sincere enquirer, when the Church appears to send out such mixed signals and internal disputes are take up so much of her time and energy. Roger Buck is to be congratulated for making the case for the Church at this moment of confusion. For Christ has not ceased to be our one hope, the Spes Unica; and the Church is today, more than ever, the only path back from the barbarism that seems to be engulfing the West.”— JOSEPH SHAW, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales

Just ordered my copy. After I read it, I plan to give it to my mother who flirts with New Age beliefs. 
Ordered my copy as well. Was going to hold off a bit, but decided to pull the trigger.
Will Buck be the one to popularize traddom?? I mean, secomd to the pope in the UK. That almost makes him popeble (at least in the UK, whatecer that would mean).

Anyway, I'll wait for the kindle version.
Many thanks all again. Appreciate you're letting me know and your "votes of confidence".

I'm also _thrilled_ about you handing it onto your mother Bourbon Apocalypse and interested in any pagan responses, Oldavid. When I wrote it, I wished secular and New Age people would see it, but thought that probably I'll just be preaching to the choir. "Nobody but Catholics will buy it."

But I didn't account for people giving it out. Yet it really does seem people are handing copies on and non-Catholics are actually reading it.

So very glad if I can reach beyond the choir - and I'm also glad if the book lends arms TO the choir! I pray the book can do that and not just in terms of addressing the New Age Movement, which is only one aspect of the book.

Bless you all!
Got my copy yesterday. Just finished your fantastic introduction. Hope to read the rest of it Sunday; expecting a truly wise and humane reading experience.

(Also, I've told my mom, "I think that you may enjoy reading this--once I finish it!")
My cup runneth over Bourbon Apocalypse :) Many thanks!

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