Monday, 29 April 2013

The Traditional Mass - Not Merely a Preference

There are Catholics who, though they are not traditionalists, do genuinely seek to accommodate traditionalists and allow them to have the traditional mass to attend. But for these Catholics, the traditional mass is simply just another option which one may choose if one so prefers. It's just another way of doing liturgy, another way of adapting the liturgy to personal taste. So they are fine with us traditionalists having the Tridentine mass, but only because they embrace a somewhat relativistic worldview which seeks to accommodate the whole diversity of the tastes that are out there. Traditionalists can have their mass, so long as the charismatics and others can have theirs as well.

This is a mistake. Traditionalists hold that the Tridentine Mass is not simply their preference, but something which has an objective superiority to the new mass. It is not merely an option among options; it is the heritage of all Catholics, it is their tradition, and as such, indeed, it is a part of the Catholic identity itself. The options of liturgical celebration which have come along with the New Mass with are thus a big problem, even if they allow for the free celebration of the Tridentine Mass. This is because they obscure the tradition and the heritage of Catholicism, reducing it to a low level on par with them, when instead the tradition should be glorified and venerated as the norm for Catholics.

Thus, when the Novus ordo Catholics grant to the traditionalists their hearts' desire, namely the Tridentine mass, the problem really isn't solved. Rather, another problem is created. It still amounts to a rejection and destruction of tradition, just under the guise of respecting the "tastes," the "opinions," and the "preferences" of Traditional Catholics. It's relativism all over again. Relativism, by apparently granting to each person "his own truth," ultimately winds up rejecting the very notion of truth itself. As Catholics, we ought to know better than that. Truth is not a matter of preference, and neither is the tradition of the Church. It is an obligation.


  1. Very true.

    Do you go to Mass at an SSPX church? Just curious.

  2. No, I go to an FSSP parish. There is one local chapel where the SSPX comes once a month where I'll probably be going, just for convenience, since the FSSP is two hours away. But generally I don't go to the SSPX masses, for prudence's sake.