Tuesday, April 26, 2005


I can only imagine how pro-Traditionalists felt at the announcement of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's election to the papacy. Personally, I was relieved at the announcement --- not so much relieved that Ratzinger was elected so much as relieved that it wasn't a Tettamanzi or a Daneels. There is --- at least for a little while --- some hope that Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) now holds the office which can stop the liberalism which has slowly crept into the Church and taken root.

As a Traditional Cathlolic, I hold hope that His Holiness will regularize the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). I might even be so bold as to hold hope that Bp. Bernard Fellay, the Society's Superior General, will be elevated to Cardinal. But I realize that such things do not, and will not, happen overnight.

For years now, it seems that Ratzinger has been seen by all as an arch-conservative in the Church. It seems that many have forgotten that Ratzinger was not a liberal during the Second Vatican Council, rather, he was a progressive in the German faction that essentially hijacked the Council (cf. The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber, Fr. Ralph Witgen, 1967). How is that one can be a progressive at one point and then be seen as arch-conservative the next? Simply enough, our understanding of what constitutes liberalism and conservatism has changed. If memory serves correctly, Ratzinger explained that over the years, he had not become more conservative, rather, the Church had become more liberal. Think about that for a moment... Does Ratzinger say that he is a conservative? Not at all. His comment suggests that he is ever the liberal and in addition to that implication, the Church has become even more so liberal.

Is there anything to suggest that the Pope will move the Church towards pre-Vatican 2 days? Away from Liberalism? Towards Traditionalism? Away from Indifferentism? Towards Catholicism?

Imagine, if you will, a line onto which the words Liberal and Conservative are attached to the left and right poles, respectively. A bisecting point is marked Moderate. In my mind, the Second Vatican Council most definitely moved the Church into the "modern era" and perhaps intended to place the Church on the bisecting point of our imaginary line. This might have been the point on which Ratzinger himself stood at the time as well. But would that make Ratzinger a moderate? No. Because a "moderate" position is still to the LEFT of where the Church originally stood. In any case, it would appear that the implementation of documents of Vatican 2 by priests and bishops alike took the Church even beyond the point of the "moderate" position and closer to the left end of our imagined line. Did Ratzinger envision this? I'm not sure. But let's get back to one of our earlier questions --- How is Ratzinger a conservative? In my mind, he's a "conservative" because he promotes the imagine that he wants to move the Church closer to the center where he envisioned her being in the first place? ...and moving things to the RIGHT is a conservative position. Will he actually take the Church BACK to where she was prior to Vatican 2? I doubt it --- unless he has had some epiphany that Vatican 2 was just flat out wrong and I don't think he's going to commit to that. I believe he wants to see the council implemented the way it was intended. Moving the Church from left to center still leaves the Church in a "compromised" position of being "not conservative" and certainly not "traditional".

Liberals are upset that BXVI is too conservative. Traditionalists are upset that BXVI is not conservative enough. One might logically conclude that "conservatives" are just peachy with the status quo. And if BXVI really believes his own statements on Ecumenism, it makes me wonder just why "conservatives" might be happy. The current status quo is NOT a good place for the Church to find itself.

Only time will tell if everyone's conception of BXVI's "conservativism" is true. Making things right with the SSPX would be a step in the right direction. I think it would be funny if he were to do that, just to see novusordowatch.com's reaction... maybe they'd recant their implied references to sedevacantism.

But hear me and hear me well on this....

In order to go back to Traditionalism...
In order for the FSSP's raison d'etre to make sense...
In order to regularize the SSPX...

...the Church would need to rethink its current position on Ecumenism. Ecumenism and Traditionalism do not mix. One cannot be both "Ecumenical" and "Traditional Catholic", because to be "ecumenical" according to the current stance of the Church is to compromise on everything to which Traditionalism is attached.


At 6:15 PM, Blogger BekahS. said...

Ooooh, you said the "S" word. Haha! Great blog, especially this paragraph:
"Liberals are upset that BXVI is too conservative. Traditionalists are upset that BXVI is not conservative enough. One might logically conclude that "conservatives" are just peachy with the status quo. And if BXVI really believes his own statements on Ecumenism, it makes me wonder just why "conservatives" might be happy. The current status quo is NOT a good place for the Church to find itself."

I think I'm too new a Catholic to have found myself a label yet. I'm definitely not liberal. Somewhere, I guess, between conservative and traditional, except not ready to commit to the commute and all the inherent costs and challenges to TLM. :) I converted because I fell in love with the Church. When I was received into the Church, I promised to abide by her teachings. I just wish every Catholic would take those vows seriously.

At 6:36 PM, Blogger MKC said...

I converted almost 15 years ago into the Novus Ordo Church. It took me about 13 1/2 years to realize what was wrong.

I made the same vows you did, too. But when you do enough reading and you see what appears to be blatant contradiction in the teaching tradition of the Church, then you start wondering what you signed onto in the first place. Reconciling Lumen gentium and Unitatis redintegratio with about 1000+ years of Catholicism will drive you nuts. It's hard to imagine that right up until Vatican 2, Muslims and Jews were pretty much going to hell because of their rejection of Christ. But plug in Vatican 2, mixed with all kinds of mental gymnastics, and the post-conciliar Church will have you believe that the PRE-conciliar Church had everything wrong.

When the post-conciliar Church has CHANGED what forever was UNCHANGEABLE, then you start to wonder about things.

At 8:18 PM, Blogger BekahS. said...

I started reading LG the other day. It just about drove me crazy with its ambiguous, vague, "don't say anything in anyway that might be construed as offensive" language. What ever happened to the truth will set you free, and speak the truth in love? Sure, we shouldn't set out to purposely offend, and we need to bring other's into the Church with love, but what in VII would ever make anyone WANT to be Catholic? While many will find the truth to be divisive, God's people will find it attractive, compelling. Catholicism speaks to the heart, because it is an extension of God and has been designed for that purpose. We have no need to water it down or soften it up to make it appeal to the modern audience.

At 5:40 PM, Blogger dcs said...

I've watched my children fall in love with the splendor and ceremony of the traditional Mass. The sacrifices we make to attend the TLM, even once a month, are well worth it. The costs and challenges are not even remotely proportionate to the rewards.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger dcs said...

It would not be unheard-of for Msgr. Fellay to get a red hat. Stranger things have happened. In the wake of the Great Western Schism at least one of the former anti-Popes was made a Cardinal.


Post a Comment

<< Home