I was recently castigated for using the term “Rad Trad” on Patrick Madrid’s blog but I assume it was due more to a lack of understanding of my intention than anything else. I was accused of “sweeping generalization” and “put(ting) down those who love Tradition.” Perhaps we should all try to be clearer in the terms we use. I suppose I could have included a bit of an explanation when I posted that – and in hindsight, I believe I would have had I known the way some would respond. Here’s my initial comment from Patrick Madrid’s blog:
Catholics of all flavors need to be conscious of the potential scandal in attacking fellow professing Catholics in public. I believe some of the “Rad Trads” don’t really care – thinking they are the only “true Catholics” – but those of us who ARE true Catholics must be careful not to cause even more scandal by making public accusations against other professing Catholics. “Rad Trads” may be “true Catholics themselves, just misguided by a zeal for tradition which overlooks the “novo cedat ritui” (they may recall singing this in Benediction). In their zeal – they may be causing even more harm to the Church, but we should not increase that harm in attacking them. Let us present the fullness of the truth as God continues to reveal through His Church.
So what IS a “Rad Trad?” Well, as the “label” implies – it is someone who is not merely a Traditionalist, but is a “Radical Traditionalist.” An old Latin phrase goes: “in medio virtus stat” – (in the middle, virtue stands). One has to be careful when embracing the extremist in any movement. Traditionalism is a GOOD thing in the Catholic Faith! However, extremists or “radicals” who go around blasting anything new and/or anything post Vatican II are doing more harm than good in the Church.
I threw in that piece from the Tantum Ergo, for those who have the English translation in their missals and/or hymnals – if you don’t, here’s that whole verse:
Tantum ergo Sacramentum Venere mue cernui
Et anti quum documentum Novo cedat ritui
Praestet fides supplementum Sensuum defectui
Down in adoration falling, Lo! the Sacred Host we hail,
Lo! o’er ancient forms departing, Newer rites of grace prevail:
Faith for all defects supplying, Where the feeble senses fail.
Truly “traditionally minded” Catholics should not oppose “newer rites of grace!” The traditional Tantum Ergo (traditionally sung during Benediction) declares that the “ancient forms departing” and “new rites of grace prevail” and goes on to say that for any defects – faith provides, where our feeble senses fail.
My statement holds true for those who hold to the “rigorist” or “extremist” view of EENS too (see the other entries and ongoing comments on this here in CathApol).
I have offered a similar explanation on Patrick’s blog as well.