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Monday, March 18, 2013

Yeah, I noticed.

We have a new Pope. Welcome, Pope Francis! Ad multos annos!

But beyond that, my thoughts are still in mid-mull. Some random thoughts, though:

I understand the panic fire from places like Rorate Caeli, but can't condone it. As I mentioned years ago, I wander the borderlands between "conservative" Catholicism and the "traditionalist" variant, or as I like to think of it: "The Great Feud Between The Clans."

My children attend the burgeoning Assumption Grotto homeschooling co-op every week, and my middle daughter received first communion there. They are learning Latin, and Rachel can recite the Glory Be and the Hail Mary flawlessly in the mother tongue of the Church. They like learning from Fathers Perrone and Bustamante, and we haven't managed to offend the hell out of everyone, which is a sign of Providence.

I'm not "there" in traditionalist Catholicism, and may never get there. I understand the centrality of traditionalist concerns regarding liturgy, catechesis, architecture, sacramentalism and the like. I even share it for the most part. But the ready FIRE! aim... mindset wears. Heavily, in fact. It's usually the product of bitter experience at the hands of the loonies unchained by the Second Vatican Council--I get that, and have experienced it myself. But not everyone wearing the tartan the wrong way is some Bolshevik looking to get his Constantine V on. [The capital A Asshole at Assumption Grotto who gave my mother grief for soft talking before Mass when I wasn't present, please take note.] Thus, while I think it is legitimate to wonder about why Buenos Aires couldn't support a TLM under SP if then Abp. Bergoglio was really in favor of it, such does not authorize the shrieky, hysterical meltdown at Rorate Caeli. The man appears on the balcony and people are sounding the alarm klaxons--or worse. That's not productive. In fact, it's more reminiscent of something I'd expect to see from the progressives.

Likewise, conservative Catholics need to quell the tendency towards a Papal-centric reading of all things Catholic. Which is not to be read as some silly National Catholic Reporter-ish I'm-so-wonderfully-well-educated-why-won't-the-Pope-admit-my-middle-class-or-better-progressive-white-American-concerns-are-correct-and-universal? crappola. Pope is Tradition. He is always and ever its custodian, expounder and occasional definer. But he's not an oracle. If he downplays or seemingly ignores a legitimate part of the collective patrimony, that is worth mentioning, and--yes--charitably questioning.

Thus, let's not forget all that Benedict did, symbolically as well as in writing, simply because we're gaga for the new guy. We can't be a Church of novelty, and the Papacy is bigger than its current occupant. It has to be.

More thoughts later as the mulling continues.


  1. Stop being so level headed. I command you to PANIC. :)

  2. There's More Than One Kind

    Here is my four-part classification system for Traddie Catholics. See what you think.

    1)Rad Trads: Think nothing good has happened in the Church since the Council of Trent. Never listen to music composed after 1720. Feels guilty attending a Low Mass, but (to his credit) allows it isn't sinful.

    2) Mad Trads: Angry about the violent suppression of popular piety in the wake of Second Vatican and at the heterodoxy on the part of the Episcopacy. Usually men.

    3) Sad Trads: Nostalgics who may or may not be catechized. "Oh, it was all so beautiful when I was a girl." Usually women.

    4) Glad Trads: People too young to remember the Classical Liturgy from their youth, but somehow tripped over it and the peri-liturgical practices (Adoration, Benediction) and popular piety (Stations of the Cross, Rosary) that accompanied it, and are happy about it. These are not usually veterans of the Liturgy Wars, but rather beneficiaries of it.

    My list may need updating some: we're now beginning to see young adults raised with the Classical Liturgy by Rad/Mad/Sad Trads, and I haven't decided whether they fit the "Glad Trad" description.

    Nobody is entirely one kind of Trad either. For example, I'm a Glad with Mad tendencies I'm trying to overcome.

    What do you think?