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Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition: Q & A

Latin Mass / Catholic Tradition

Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass

Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition: Q & A

Important Notice: Items herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not comprehensive. Information herein may be partial. We do not guarantee accuracy of any item herein. We may change wording, punctuation, capitalization, shorten items, etc. Translation / wording may vary. We make no guarantees regarding any item herein. We are not liable for any occurrence which may result from using this site. All applicable items subject to change without notice. By using this site you indicate agreement to all terms. For more terms information, click here.


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Catholic Tradition

Modernism / Novelties

The Traditional Liturgical Calendar

Traditionalists in a Modern World 

   Note: Includes schism, sedevacantism, religious liberty, ecumenism, etc

The 'Tridentine' Mass (& The Novus Ordo Mass)

Misc.

Also See...

Have a Question? Click Here

  

  

  

Traditionalists in a Modern World

Note: Click underlined link below to view answer

Is it True That Being a 'Traditional Catholic' is Disobedient?

Why Does it Seem Like Many Bishops & Priests Are Hostile to Traditional Catholics?

Are Traditionalists Out of Date?

Considering the State of Things, Is it Really So Wrong to Support a Catholic Organization That is Schismatic?

Which Organizations Are Schismatic?

What Happens if I Am Commanded by a Prelate to do Something Which Is Adverse to the Honor Due to God?

Isn't Being a 'Traditionalist' Divisive?

Why Do Traditionalists Tend to Disapprove of 'Religious Liberty'? Doesn't This Go Against the Vatican Council?

Why Do Traditionalists Disapprove of Ecumenism? Doesn't This Go Against the Vatican Council?

What Are Sedevacantists?

Is it Ever Acceptable to Reprove the Pope?

What Might One Experience on Becoming a Traditional Catholic?

What Can I Say to Someone Who Condemns Me For Being a Traditionalist?

Hasn't the Second Vatican Council Superseded the Other Councils?

What is the "Spirit of the Second Vatican Council"?

Can You Tell Me More About the Second Vatican Council?

I'm So Frustrated With the State of Things Today - Would it Really Be So Wrong to Leave the Church?

Does Catholic Tradition Really Matter?

What if I'm a Traditionalist at Heart, But Am Unable to Fully Practice My Traditional Faith?

Why Have So Many Good Catholics Taken a Liberal Bent?

What Rights Do Traditional Catholics Have With Respect to the Church's Current Situation?

Why Should I Care About What's Going on in the Church Today?

Top | Return to Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition Section 

  

The 'Tridentine' Mass (& The Novus Ordo Mass)

Note: Click underlined link below to view answer

CLICK HERE For Most Current Info. (7/07 & Later Updates)

What is the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Why Should One Attend the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Does the "Traditional Latin Mass" Simply Refer to the "Normal Mass", Said in Latin?

Is a Spanish Mass the Same as a Latin Mass?

How Can I Understand the 'Tridentine' Mass Since I Don't Speak Latin?

Why Has the 'Tridentine' Mass Become So Popular?

Are All 'Tridentine' Masses Said in Latin?

Are All Masses Said in Latin the "Old" Kind?

Why is the Traditional Latin Mass Called 'Tridentine'?

Is the 'Tridentine' Mass Still Available?

Is the 'Tridentine' Mass the Same Everywhere?

Why Was the 'Tridentine' Mass Replaced After the Second Vatican Council With the Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass?

What Are Some Differences Between the 'Tridentine' Mass and the New (Novus Ordo) Mass?

Was the Rite of the 'Tridentine' Mass Affected By the Second Vatican Council?

What Other Names is the 'Tridentine' Mass Known By?

What is the Status of the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Is the 'Tridentine' Mass Forbidden? / Is it Forbidden to Attend the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Is it True That the Permission for the 'Tridentine' Mass is Only For Older People?

Is the Attachment to the 'Tridentine' Mass Due to Nostalgia?

Is it Disobedient to Attend the 'Tridentine' Mass?

What Are Some Differences Between a High and a Low Mass?

What Are Some Reasons For Saying Mass in Latin?

Religious Ceremonies: Why Do They Exist? Why Are They Important? Are They Essential?

Is it Strictly Accurate to Refer to the Traditional Latin Mass as the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Were There Changes Made to the Mass Just Prior the Introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass in the 1960's?

Why Doesn't the Priest Face the People in the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Isn't the 'Tridentine' Mass Complicated or Hard to Understand?

Is it True That Some Wonder Whether the Pope Had a Right to Create & Impose a New Mass?

Is it Allowed to Pray the Rosary Silently During Mass?

Why Are There No 'Lay Ministers' in a 'Tridentine' Mass?

What Posture is Required For Receiving Holy Communion at the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Why is Communion Not Offered to the Laity Under Both Species in the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Why is There No 'Communion in the Hand' at a 'Tridentine' Mass?

Why Do Traditional Catholics Object to the 'Sign of Peace' Among the Laity During Mass?

Is it True That the People Don't Participate in the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Why is There So Much Kneeling in the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Do You Say 'Amen' at Communion in a 'Tridentine' Mass?

Do You Say Anything if the Priest Indicates That it is the "Word of the Lord" in the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Why Do Women Wear Veils at the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Is the Traditional Latin Mass of Interest to Young Persons?

Why Are Some Parts of the Mass Called 'Ordinary' and Some Called 'Proper'?

Do the 'Tridentine' Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass Use the Same Calendar?

Aren't the 'Tridentine' Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass Very Similar?

Doesn't the Novus Ordo Mass Contain the Roman Canon?

Do Traditional Catholics Consider the Novus Ordo Mass to be Valid?

Why Shouldn't the Mass be Changed in Order Not to Offend Protestants?

Why Do Traditional Catholics Reject Practices Like Liturgical Dancing?

But Didn't God Want All These Changes?

Wouldn't Traditional Catholics Just Be Happy if the Novus Ordo Mass Was Said in Latin?

But Can't One of the Eucharistic Prayers in the Novus Ordo Mass Be Traced Back to a Saint?

If the Novus Ordo Mass Really is Less Desirable Than the 'Tridentine' Mass, Why Was it Approved?

Was the New Mass Ever Officially Made Obligatory?

When Was the Mass Changed?

Are 'Tridentine' Masses Supposed to Be Available to All Who Desire Them?

Why Do Some Traditional Catholics Draw Comparisons Between Catholic Practices After the Second Vatican Council and the Issue of Invalid Orders of Anglicans?

Weren't the Reforms of Pope Paul VI Similar to Those of Other Popes?

Why Do Traditional Catholics Reject the Concept of Returning to Primitive Practices?

Where Did the Traditional Latin Mass Come From?

What Are the Parts of the Traditional Latin Mass?

But Aren't There a Lot of Rules in the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Do You Have Any Recommendations For Those Attending the 'Tridentine' Mass For the First Time?

How Can I Find Out More About the Latin 'Tridentine' Mass?

How Can I Find a Latin 'Tridentine' Mass?

Are Some 'Tridentine' Masses Considered 'Illicit'?

Is There Any Encouraging News For Those Who Love the 'Tridentine' Mass?

What Have Others Said About the 'Tridentine' Mass?

What Can I Do? / How Can I Help?

Did Vatican II Condemn Traditional Catholics Or the Traditional Mass?

What Music is Commonly Associated With the 'Tridentine' Mass?

What Does "Quo Primum" Refer To?

What is a Missa Cantata?

Is Pope Leo's Vision Somehow Connected to the 'Tridentine' Mass?

Where Can I Find a Missal for the 'Tridentine' Mass?

How Do I Use a 'Tridentine' Mass Missal?

When Do You Sit, Stand & Kneel at a 'Tridentine' Mass?

Are All 'Tridentine' Masses Perfect?

Are Other Sacraments Available in the Traditional Rite?

Top | Return to Latin Mass & Catholic Tradition Section 

  

   


 Catholic Tradition

Question

Answer

Can Catholic Dogma Ever Be Changed?

No. Dogmas are truths and truth cannot change. Consider the following:

"If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema." (First Vatican Council)

"Urge them never to allow themselves to be deceived and led into error by men who have become abominable in their pursuits. These men attempt to destroy faith on the pretext of human progress, subjecting it in an impious manner to reason and changing the meaning of the words of God. Such men do not shrink from the greatest insults to God Himself, who cares for the good and the salvation of men by means of His heavenly religion." (Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.) 

"For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence, but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated. Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding. May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding." (First Vatican Council)

"Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact - one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history - the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way." (Pope St. Pius X, Oath Against Modernism, 1910 A.D.)

Note: For more on this topic, try here.

Can the Church Reject Ecclesial Tradition?

No. According to the Second Council of Nicaea: "If any one rejects all ecclesiastical tradition, either written or unwritten, let him be anathema" 

Can the Church Add New Dogma?

No. The Church is not a creator of doctrine, but its guardian. She has authority only to pass on what she has already received, not to invent new dogma. As the First Vatican Council states:

"The Holy Spirit was not promised to the successor of Peter that by the revelation of the Holy Spirit they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the Apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth."

Note that even a so-called "new" dogma (e.g. the Immaculate Conception of Mary), is not really new. Rather, it has always been part of the deposit of faith, but it is simply put forth in a more explicit manner. As St. Vincent of Lerins, (c. 434 A.D.) has stated, "To announce, therefore, to Catholic Christians something other than that which they have received is never permitted, is nowhere permitted, and never will be permitted. And to anathematize those who announce anything other than that which has been received once and for all has never been unnecessary, is nowhere unnecessary, and never will be unnecessary". 

Can the Church's Philosophy Be Considered an 'Obsolete Monument'?

No. As stated by Pope Pius XII: 

"To be sure in this philosophy many things are treated with which matters of faith and morals are neither directly nor indirectly concerned, and which, therefore, the Church entrusts to free discussion of learned men; but in regard to other matters, especially the principles and chief assertions which we mentioned above, the same freedom is not granted. In such essential questions, one may indeed clothe philosophy with a more fitting and richer dress, fortify it with more efficacious words, rid it of certain supports of scholars which are not fitting, and also cautiously enrich it with certain sound elements of progressive human study; but it is never right to subvert it, or to contaminate it with false principles, or to consider it a great but obsolete monument. For truth and its philosophic declaration cannot be changed from day to day, especially when it is a question of principles known to the human mind per se, or of those opinions which rest both on the wisdom of the ages, and on the consent and support of divine revelation. Whatever truth the human mind in its honest search will be able to discover, surely cannot be opposed to truth already acquired, since God, the highest Truth, created and directs the human intellect not that it may daily oppose new truths to those rightly acquired, but that by the removal of errors, which perchance have crept in, it can build truth upon truth in the same order and structure by which the very nature of things, from which truth is drawn, is perceived to have been constituted. Therefore, the Christian, whether philosopher or theologian, does not hastily and easily adopt every new thing thought up from day to day, but with the greatest care places it in the scale of justice, and weighs it, lest he lose or corrupt the truth already acquired, indeed with grave danger and harm to faith itself." (Pope Pius XII, "Humani Generis", 1950 A.D.)

Should Church Laws Be Changed?

Not generally. Changes to law have consequences, which may be harmful. As St. Thomas Aquinas states:

"[H]uman law is rightly changed, in so far as such change is conducive to the commonweal. But, to a certain extent, the mere change of law is of itself prejudicial to the common good: because custom avails much for the observance of laws, seeing that what is done contrary to general custom, even in slight matters, is looked upon as grave. Consequently, when a law is changed, the binding power of the law is diminished, in so far as custom is abolished. Wherefore human law should never be changed, unless, in some way or other, the commonweal be compensated according to the extent of the harm done in this respect. Such compensation may arise either from some very great and every evident benefit conferred by the new enactment; or from the extreme urgency of the case, due to the fact that either the existing law is clearly unjust, or its observance extremely harmful. Wherefore the jurist says (Pandecta Justinum liber i, ff, title iv, De Constit. Princip.) that 'in establishing new laws, there should be evidence of the benefit to be derived, before departing from a law which has long been considered just.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Should the Church Shape Her Teachings in Accord With the Spirit of the Age to Attract Those Outside the Church?

No. As stated by Pope Leo XIII: 

"The underlying principle of these new opinions is that, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them. It does not need many words, beloved son, to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of the doctrine which the Church proposes are recalled to mind. The [First] Vatican Council says concerning this point: 'For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother, the Church, has once declared, nor is that meaning ever to be departed from under the pretense or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them.' (Constitutio de Fide Catholica, Chapter iv.)... Let it be far from anyone's mind to suppress for any reason any doctrine that has been handed down. Such a policy would tend rather to separate Catholics from the Church than to bring in those who differ. There is nothing closer to our heart than to have those who are separated from the fold of Christ return to it, but in no other way than the way pointed out by Christ." (Pope Leo XIII, "Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae", 1899 A.D.)

Should the Pope Lead the Way to Change?

The pope's role is to guard and protect doctrine, not to create new doctrine. Note: For more on this topic, try here.

What is the Church's View On Tradition?

The following may be illustrative of the Church's view on tradition: 

"Let them innovate nothing, but keep the traditions." (Pope St. Steven I, 3rd century A.D.)  

"Be zealously affected to command that in all the churches the pure tradition be held." (St. Agatho I, 680 A.D.)

"It is unlawful to alter the established customs of the Church... Remove not the ancient landmarks which the fathers have set." (St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church) 

"With these things let us be satisfied, and let us abide by them, not removing everlasting boundaries, nor overpassing the divine tradition." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church)

"It behooves us unanimously to observe the ecclesiastical traditions, whether defined or simply retained by customary practice of the Church." (St. Peter Canisuis, Doctor of the Church)

"It is needful also to make use of Tradition, for not everything can be gotten from sacred Scripture. The holy Apostles handed down some things in the Scriptures, other things in Tradition." (St. Epiphanius of Salamis)

"The best advice that I can give you is this. Church traditions - especially when they do not run counter to the faith - are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed them down" (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"It is absurd, and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old." (Decretals, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"A small thing is not small when it leads to something great; and it is no small matter to forsake the ancient tradition of the Church that was upheld by all those who were called before us, whose conduct we should observe, and whose faith we should imitate." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church)

"It will not be out of place to consider the ancient tradition, teaching and faith of the Catholic Church, which was revealed by the Lord, proclaimed by the Apostles, and guarded by the Fathers. For upon this faith the Church is built, and if anyone were to lapse from it he would no longer be Christian either in fact or in name." (St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church)

"But in regard to those observances which we carefully attend and which the whole world keeps, and which derive not from Scripture but from Tradition, we are given to understand that they are recommended and ordained to be kept, either by the Apostles themselves or by plenary councils, the authority of which is quite vital in the Church." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"Keep the talent of the Catholic faith inviolate and unimpaired. What has been faithfully entrusted, let it remain in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold, so give gold. For my part, I do not want you to substitute one thing for another; I do not want you impudently to put lead in place of gold, or fraudulently, brass. I do not want the appearance of gold, but the real thing." (St. Vincent of Lerins)

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions that you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter' (2 Thes. 2:15). From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there was much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"'Guard,' says [St. Paul], 'what has been committed' (1 Tm. 6:20). What does it mean? It is what has been faithfully entrusted to you not what has been discovered by you; what you have received, not what you have thought up; a matter not of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public Tradition; a matter brought to you, not put forth by you, in which you must not be the author but the guardian, not the founder but the sharer, not the leader, but the follower." (St. Vincent of Lerins)

"But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the Second Council of Nicaea, where it condemns those 'who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind...or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow anyone of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church' ...Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: 'I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church'." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907 A.D.)

"Surely, "blind and leaders of the blind" [Matt. 15:14] are they who, puffed up by the proud name of science, reach such a point in their raving that they pervert the eternal concept of truth, and the true sense of religion by introducing a new system, 'in which from an exaggerated and unbridled desire for novelty, truth is not sought where it certainly exists, and neglecting the holy and apostolic traditions, other doctrines empty, futile, uncertain, and unapproved by the Church are adopted, on which men in their extreme vanity think that truth itself is based and maintained.'" (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907 A.D.)

Click here for more...

Where Can I Learn About Catholic Traditions on This Site?

Click on link below to view:

Traditional Monthly Dedications

Traditional Daily Dedications

Traditional Prayers & Practices

Marian Devotions, Prayers, Feasts, Etc.

Rosary Facts, Instructions, Prayers, Etc.

Prayers & Devotions, Sacramentals, Indulgences

Latin Mass / Catholic Tradition Section

Traditional Catholic (Topic Page)

User Posts Regarding Catholic Traditions (View)

User Posts Regarding Catholic Traditions (Search)

[top]

Modernism / Novelties

Question

Answer

Should Catholics Embrace Modernism & Novelties?

No. Catholics are called to uphold tradition and to reject modernism ("the synthesis of all heresies" according to Pope St. Pius X), and harmful novelties.

What Have Popes Said About Modernism / Novelties?

Note: Click here for 'Modernism' Topic Page

Pope St. Pius X called modernism "the synthesis of all heresies" and called modernists "the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church". Bl. Pope Pius IX called liberals (modernists) "the worst enemies of the Church". Pope St. Pius X has said, "And now, can anybody who takes a survey of the whole system be surprised that We should define it as the synthesis of all heresies? Were one to attempt the task of collecting together all the errors that have been broached against the faith and to concentrate the sap and substance of them all into one, he could not better succeed than the Modernists have done."

For additional papal teaching on modernism, consider:

Classic Encyclicals (Errors / Modernism)

Against Modernism / Novelty (Reflections)

Modernism (Topic Page)

What is Modernism?

Note: Click here for 'Modernism' Topic Page

Modernists seek to change the Church from top to bottom. As Pope St. Pius X has said,

"Thus then, Venerable Brethren, for the Modernists, both as authors and propagandists, there is to be nothing stable, nothing immutable in the Church. Nor indeed are they without precursors in their doctrines, for it was of these that Our Predecessor Pius IX wrote: 'These enemies of divine revelation extol human progress to the skies, and with rash and sacrilegious daring would have it introduced into the Catholic religion as if this religion were not the work of God but of man, or some kind of philosophical discovery susceptible of perfection by human efforts.' On the subject of revelation and dogma in particular, the doctrine of the Modernists offers nothing new - we find it condemned in the Syllabus of Pius IX, where it is enunciated in these terms: 'Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to continual and indefinite progress, corresponding with the progress of human reason'; and condemned still more solemnly in the [First] Vatican Council: 'The doctrine of the faith which God has revealed has not been proposed to human intelligences to be perfected by them as if it were a philosophical system, but as a divine deposit entrusted to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. Hence the sense, too, of the sacred dogmas is that which our Holy Mother the Church has once declared, nor is this sense ever to be abandoned on plea or pretext of a more profound comprehension of the truth'."

As defined:

"Modernism is described in the encyclical Pascendi (Sept. 1907) of Pope Pius X as 'a synthesis of all heresies.' It appeared about the beginning of the 20th century, grew insidiously among the clergy and laity (many of them of blameless life), and was [driven underground] by the energetic action of Pope Pius X. Its foundation is in agnosticism (the teaching that God can in no way be the object of certain knowledge) and in Immanence (the teaching that foundation of faith must be sought in an internal sense which arises from man's need of God). From these principles, allied with various evolutionary doctrines, Modernism [tends] to demolish dogmas (which it called variable symbols), sacraments (which it reduced to faith-nourishing signs), the authenticity and genuineness of the Scriptures, the Church, and ecclesiastical authority and discipline. It would reduce Christ to human dimensions, and make inspiration a common gift of mankind." (Catholic Dictionary)

For additional information regarding modernism, consider:

Classic Encyclicals (Errors / Modernism)

Against Modernism / Novelty (Reflections)

Modernism (Topic Page)

[top]

The Traditional Liturgical Calendar

Question

Answer

What Are Some Differences Between the Traditional & the Modern Calendar?

The traditional liturgical calendar contains more feasts, more saints, more seasons, more penitential days, and has a different "ranking" system than the new (Novus Ordo) calendar of the 1960's. Also, there are different readings.

Is the Traditional Liturgical Calendar Still in Use?

Yes. The Traditional Liturgical Calendar is used (instead of the New Calendar) wherever the Mass is said according to the Traditional Rite. 

Where Can I Find More Information Regarding the Traditional Calendar?

Click on link below to view:

Search Traditional Liturgical Calendar

Marian Feasts (Traditional)

Traditional Liturgical Calendar

Latin Mass / Catholic Tradition Section

Catholic Calendar (Topic Page)

Catholic Liturgical Year (Topic Page)

[top]

Traditionalists in a Modern World

Question

Answer

Is it True That Being a 'Traditional Catholic' is Disobedient? 

No. As Pope St. Pius X has said:

"Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are promoters of tradition."

The great St. Athanasius has said:

"Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ." 

The incomparable St. Jerome has said:

"The best advice that I can give you is this. Church traditions - especially when they do not run counter to the faith - are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed them down" 

In fact, it is the duty of all Catholics to faithfully maintain Catholic tradition. Note: For more on this topic, try here.

The confusion perhaps arises since some who call themselves 'traditional Catholics' may be disobedient (e.g. by leaving the Church, rejecting proper authority, etc. - some have even elected themselves a pope, yet refer to themselves as 'traditional Catholics'). Just as one cannot refer to all physicians as Satanists simply because some physicians may be Satanists, one cannot paint all 'traditional Catholics' with the brush of 'disobedience' simply because some are disobedient.

Why Does it Seem Like Many Bishops & Priests Are Hostile to Traditional Catholics?

Many bishops and priests appear hostile to traditional Catholics (and tradition itself) for various reasons. It appears that today's situation is much like that of the time of St. Basil the Great when it was said that the only offense that wasn't tolerated was clinging on to tradition. Some reasons for their hostility may include: their loss of faith, their modern orientation, their disagreement with the traditionalist position, bad example of some traditionalists, etc. God alone knows the true reason for such hostility. Traditionalists may pray that they change, and work towards this end with respectful letters, petitions, etc.

Are Traditionalists Out of Date?

No. As Scripture declares, it is our duty to uphold tradition:

"I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:2)

"Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours." (St. Paul, 2 Thes. 2:15)

"We instruct you, brothers, in the name of (our) Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us." (St. Paul, 2 Thes. 3:6)

One must remember that "change implies imperfection" and the Church is not supposed to change - but rather exists to pass on what it has already received. She is a divine institution and cannot simply change because her members might want her to.

Tradition has always been held in high regard in the Church. For more information, try here.

Continued on Next Page

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