Rorate Caeli

The Horrid Traditionalist

Joseph Shaw recently introduced the new book released by Angelico Press, "The Gentle Traditionalist". Is there a greater symbol of gentleness and kindness than the Holy Family, that we celebrate today?
This has unfortunately led us to be reminded of that old foe of all that is good and proper in Catholic Tradition, the Horrid Traditionalist. The Horrid Traditionalist is bitter, resentful, judgmental, duplicitous, and aggressive. As Saint Paul warns in his Second Epistle to Timothy about some men in the last days, the Horrid Traditionalist is "without affection," "without peace," "without kindness" -- they have "an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof."

Remember that the Mass is Sacrifice, and that it must foster peace and joy, not resentment and rancor. It is because of the Horrid Traditionalist in our midst, in our congregations, chapels, parishes, families, that we must often hear and read disparaging words about all traditional or even conservative Catholic faithful by bishops, and even the Supreme Pontiff, who are not the greatest friends of the Traditional Mass. They bring no one to Christ with their behavior, not even themselves. They certainly do not help to spread the Good News of the Salvation of the Lord to the world at large -- who wants to hear good news from those who seem to embody only bad news? How many have been led away from Tradition when they were just getting to know it by being humiliated by the Horrid Traditionalist and his venomous mouth and spirit?

Do not let yourself fall into this trap. If you see a loved one with the first signs of the Horrid Traditionalist, take him to spiritual direction urgently (in these cases, regular confession is not enough, but true spiritual direction from a good and meek priest). Otherwise, it may be too late. "But thou, why judgest thou thy brother? or thou, why dost thou despise thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Therefore every one of us shall render account to God for himself. Let us not therefore judge one another any more. But judge this rather, that you put not a stumblingblock or a scandal in your brother's way. ... For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but justice, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in this serveth Christ, pleaseth God, and is approved of men. Therefore let us follow after the things that are of peace; and keep the things that are of edification one towards another." (Romans 14)