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Orthodox view of Tridentine Catholicism

trevor72694

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I was sorely disappointed by what I saw in the novus ordo, when I impulsively decided to join the Roman Catholic Church.  (I have since come back to Orthodoxy, but I'm not active around here much anymore). 

After I'd hit my limit with altar girls, communion in glass vessels, and cotton candy sermons in the NO, I thought I would go straight back to the EOC.  In stead, hoping to get a more holistic view of the Roman tradition, I found a Tridentine community.  Its priests are members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a Tridentine community in communion with the Vatican. 

I attended for a few months.  They are very much about the rules.  I didn't understand why Orthodox critique the Roman Church on being overly legalistic while I was attending the Novus Ordo (where rules go out the window).  Now I get it.  Everything is so well defined.  I enjoyed it at first - these people were serious about following every tenant of the Roman Catholic Church, as much as possible.  But after a while, things started to look more restrictive.  Everything is so well defined - who goes to hell, what is sinful, etc.  I now understand why Eastern Christians respect the fact that some parts of our faith are mysteries, and they aught to remain that way.

I want to know what you think.  Are the ideologies regarding holy tradition very much the same in the Eastern Orthodox and Tridentine Roman Catholic groups? 

Also, was modernism ever a thing in the Orthodox Church?  I didn't understand it before, because I was never exposed to it, but I've come to detest it.

Do you, as Orthodox, feel more sympathy for traditionalist Roman Catholics who are suppressed by Rome, just for saying the Latin Mass, facing east, etc.?  (honestly, though I appreciate their situation, the more my traditionalist friends tell me I'm damned for coming home to Orthodoxy, the more my sympathy decreases.) 
 

katherineofdixie

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With the caveat that I am certainly no expert on various Catholic groups or Catholic theology, I think that these sorts of problems are bound to happen when you paint yourself into a theological corner.
As far as Tridentine Catholics, I, and I would be willing to be that a majority of Orthodox also, don't distinguish between various groups of Catholics at all. We're no closer to Eastern Catholics or Tridentine Catholics than we are any others. Shoot, most of us probably don't even think about Catholics from one day to the next. ;)
 

TheTrisagion

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I can't say that I think much about NO Catholics or Traditionalist Catholics. I look at the former as not being too serious about their faith and the latter as being too legalistic. I'm not sure I have sympathy for either of them.
 

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As a Catholic with longstanding Traditionalist leanings and a little bit of experience with other "trads", this subject interests me deeply...

Let me say, off the bat, that modern "Tridentine" Catholicism is Not. What we see among trads today is an eclectic mix, but the overarching tendency is toward Victorian ultramontanism and its attitudes. What we understand to be "Sacred Tradition" on a practical parish level is, in fact, the saccharine holy cards and rosy-cheeked statues of an age just predating the First World War. The Catholicism of Trent is very different from the Catholicism of Pope St. Pius X. Different Psalter. Different ways of commemorating Saints. Different piety. Different outlook. Different theological emphases. Overall, though, the "We are still in the Counter-Reformation" attitude seems to prevail above the others. A trad friend of mine is so strictly legalistic that even I find it scary... and I'm quite the penny-pinching canon-law-obsessed Latin.

Most Orthodox I've spoken to one-on-one (i.e. 4 people :p) seem to have an ambivalent vision of the old Catholic ways and the "Old Mass". They tend to want its return to the Novus Ordo world, but only as a stepping stone to an even more ancient Latin worship. St. Gregory the Great and St. Benedict tend to be their Western heroes, not Cardinal Ottaviani or Pope St. Pius X. Don't forget that the Tridentine "Rite" and all its trappings & rituals makes a tremendous display of the Scholastic, Rationalist, and Humanist vision of Grace, Theosis, Merits, and Atonement.

What I've found about my Orthodox friends is that they like the Tridentine mindset in some ways for its reverence... but they like the Novus Ordo mindset in some ways, notably for its openness to things other than a restrictive "Peter celebrated the first Mass using the Roman Canon of 1570" Western traditionalism. Say what you want about the "Spirit of Vatican II'; in the end, it created such liturgical and doctrinal chaos that everything is up for grabs! If you're sly enough, you can insert your head into the most excellent Catholic Seminary classroom and say "divine grace is the uncreated light and life of God!" They won't know what to say. It'd anger the Trads, but it might end up changing the West.  ;D
 

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Traditionalist, or a least people who call themselves traditionalist that I encounter online as a whole are an angry and offended group. Of course I'm sure that's not necessarily reflective of them in real life. I imagine a lot of that has to do with the type of people in general who take time to frequent internet forums. People in will speak to other people online in ways they would never imagine speaking in person. I will say it seems to me from Trent to Vatican II it was a lot easier to figure out what Catholics actually believed. I mean in those times you were either under the pope or you were gonna burn, the filioque was an absolute dogma and if you committed something listed as a mortal sin you were damned. Since then they seem to have backtracked on a lot of stuff and tried to redefine them in a way to seem more ecumenical.
 

Paisius

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Heorot said:
As a Catholic with longstanding Traditionalist leanings and a little bit of experience with other "trads", this subject interests me deeply...

Let me say, off the bat, that modern "Tridentine" Catholicism is Not. What we see among trads today is an eclectic mix, but the overarching tendency is toward Victorian ultramontanism and its attitudes. What we understand to be "Sacred Tradition" on a practical parish level is, in fact, the saccharine holy cards and rosy-cheeked statues of an age just predating the First World War. The Catholicism of Trent is very different from the Catholicism of Pope St. Pius X. Different Psalter. Different ways of commemorating Saints. Different piety. Different outlook. Different theological emphases. Overall, though, the "We are still in the Counter-Reformation" attitude seems to prevail above the others. A trad friend of mine is so strictly legalistic that even I find it scary... and I'm quite the penny-pinching canon-law-obsessed Latin.

Most Orthodox I've spoken to one-on-one (i.e. 4 people :p) seem to have an ambivalent vision of the old Catholic ways and the "Old Mass". They tend to want its return to the Novus Ordo world, but only as a stepping stone to an even more ancient Latin worship. St. Gregory the Great and St. Benedict tend to be their Western heroes, not Cardinal Ottaviani or Pope St. Pius X. Don't forget that the Tridentine "Rite" and all its trappings & rituals makes a tremendous display of the Scholastic, Rationalist, and Humanist vision of Grace, Theosis, Merits, and Atonement.

What I've found about my Orthodox friends is that they like the Tridentine mindset in some ways for its reverence... but they like the Novus Ordo mindset in some ways, notably for its openness to things other than a restrictive "Peter celebrated the first Mass using the Roman Canon of 1570" Western traditionalism. Say what you want about the "Spirit of Vatican II'; in the end, it created such liturgical and doctrinal chaos that everything is up for grabs! If you're sly enough, you can insert your head into the most excellent Catholic Seminary classroom and say "divine grace is the uncreated light and life of God!" They won't know what to say. It'd anger the Trads, but it might end up changing the West.  ;D

I've seem the TLM online and I like it a lot better than the NO. I don't understand if they wanted a more accessible liturgy why they didn't just translate the Tridentine Mass into the vernacular.
 

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I attended a Tridentine mass a month or so ago. It was beautiful and I felt right at home. That never happened when I attended NO few times.
 

Heorot

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What you say about the internet disposition is true. It's sad how I contort myself into a false image...

Paisius said:
I will say it seems to me from Trent to Vatican II it was a lot easier to figure out what Catholics actually believed. I mean in those times you were either under the pope or you were gonna burn, the filioque was an absolute dogma and if you committed something listed as a mortal sin you were damned. Since then they seem to have backtracked on a lot of stuff and tried to redefine them in a way to seem more ecumenical.
Be careful here. Rome does not have a gradual, fluid, and organic way of defining things, as Orthodoxy seems to. Although there may appear to be attempts at change in doctrine, for example, you can rest assured of this principle: "Nothing is changed unless it is explicitly said to have changed in an Ecumenical Council and/or by a Pope". Ironically, this requirement of specificity allows for chaos because we simply avoid defining things now. All the little asides and remarks of liberals like Francis are mere indications, not changes per se. I think the Roman way is a dishonest way of presenting this, but we must keep the severity of her legalism ever before our minds when speaking of "things that changed in Vatican II".

Paisius said:
I've seem the TLM online and I like it a lot better than the NO. I don't understand if they wanted a more accessible liturgy why they didn't just translate the Tridentine Mass into the vernacular.
If by "they" you mean the various bishops of different cultures and languages: they did. Both parts of the internationally-agreed-upon English version of 1965 are online here: www.ccwatershed.org/blog/2013/nov/15/1965-missale-romanum-online

The 1965 English Tridentine Mass is beautiful. They began working on it almost immediately after the liturgical document Sacrosanctum Concilium was issued during Vatican II in December 1963. This vernacular Mass survived for 4 years until the radicals Bugnini & co. gave the completed text of the Novus Ordo Missae to Pope Paul VI. The Pope must've known of the vernacular translations of the old form, but he accepted the Novus Ordo regardless. Tragedy! Treachery! Misery.

A lot of B.S. and unjustifiable assumptions have come up in the years since 1965. For example, the Wikipedia page for "Sacrosanctum Concilium" contains a photo of a bishop celebrating the Novus Ordo Mass facing the people. The subtitle for the image says: "Eucharist in Catholic Westminster Cathedral in London, celebrated with the use of the Roman Missal, published according to the principles set by the Sacrosanctum concilium." - but S.C. never even once says that Mass should be celebrated facing the People.
 

Nephi

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Alpo said:
I attended a Tridentine mass a month or so ago. It was beautiful and I felt right at home. That never happened when I attended NO few times.
It was a few months ago for me, but same. While there are some nice changes in the OF (i.e. it's less of a spectator event for the laity), there's just a lot to be desired in standard practice. As videos have shown online, there are some beautifully done OF Masses that could easily rival the EF, but they are rare exceptions.
 

Agabus

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Tikhon.of.Colorado said:
Also, was modernism ever a thing in the Orthodox Church? 
Aesthetically, not really.

In reality, of course.
 

Nephi

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Tikhon.of.Colorado said:
Do you, as Orthodox, feel more sympathy for traditionalist Roman Catholics who are suppressed by Rome, just for saying the Latin Mass, facing east, etc.?  (honestly, though I appreciate their situation, the more my traditionalist friends tell me I'm damned for coming home to Orthodoxy, the more my sympathy decreases.)  
I'm a never-Catholic so that no doubt changes things, but I have a great deal of sympathy for my trad friends. Having attended a Catholic university, I've seen more than enough "modernism" and standard American Catholicism, with a Catholic professor openly professing that St. Luke's Gospel taught a created Jesus, that icons/images/statues distract from the Mass, that Jesus wasn't resurrected physically/historically (a Marianist priest), that Catholics should only have two Sacraments like Protestants do, that females should be priests/bishops, that the Eucharist can be transported by a layperson like a trinket ("Hey you, so-and-so couldn't make it to Mass today. Can you give this to him if you see him today?"), that Judaism is true Israel and the Church isn't (also meaning that Judaism possesses a salvific covenant with God outside the Church), that liturgical dance and all instruments are just dandy in the Mass and make it more accessible, that churches and chapels can be used for interfaith prayers and non-Christian scripture readings, etc. etc.
 

katherineofdixie

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Nephi said:
Having attended a Catholic university, I've seen more than enough "modernism" and standard American Catholicism, with a Catholic professor openly professing that St. Luke's Gospel taught a created Jesus, that icons/images/statues distract from the Mass, that Jesus wasn't resurrected physically/historically (a Marianist priest), that Catholics should only have two Sacraments like Protestants do, that females should be priests/bishops, that the Eucharist can be transported by a layperson like a trinket ("Hey you, so-and-so couldn't make it to Mass today. Can you give this to him if you see him today?"), that Judaism is true Israel and the Church isn't (also meaning that Judaism possesses a salvific covenant with God outside the Church), that liturgical dance and all instruments are just dandy in the Mass and make it more accessible, that churches and chapels can be used for interfaith prayers and non-Christian scripture readings, etc. etc.
Lord have mercy!
 

MalpanaGiwargis

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I've always been a Catholic with traditionalist sympathies, but would never have described myself as a "Traditional Catholic." I am sympathetic to those who simply wanted and still want to be Catholics as their forebears had been Catholic for centuries; during the nonsense in the 70s, that was just about the only thing clearly forbidden - as it still is in some quarters even today. A guitar-strumming Jesuit with no vestments saying Mass on the underside of a canoe is tolerable, but thou shalt not say the Old Mass! So I am sympathetic with that desire for continuity, and I suspect many Orthodox who thought about the issue could likewise be sympathetic with that, but I have very little sympathy with the idea that Catholicism as it existed in the 40s and 50s is really "the ancient way" of the Roman Church. That form of Catholicism barely reaches past the 19th century!

The liturgical degradation of the Roman Church goes back at least to the 13th century and the ascendancy of "Low Mass," which turned the laity into spectators, and replaced paying attention to the words of the liturgy with private devotions. Even if that isn't per se sinful/heretical/whatever, it is hardly a liturgical ideal worth recovering. The desire to reengage the laity with the Liturgy itself was a good one, but the whole reform was implemented poorly. The Roman Church has a problem with extremes - loosening the strictures of the suffocating rubricism that impaired the Roman liturgical spirit and sensibility for so long let loose full-scale liturgical anarchy. The pendulum never seems to settle in the middle!
 

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MalpanaGiwargis said:
I've always been a Catholic with traditionalist sympathies, but would never have described myself as a "Traditional Catholic." I am sympathetic to those who simply wanted and still want to be Catholics as their forebears had been Catholic for centuries; during the nonsense in the 70s, that was just about the only thing clearly forbidden - as it still is in some quarters even today. A guitar-strumming Jesuit with no vestments saying Mass on the underside of a canoe is tolerable, but thou shalt not say the Old Mass! So I am sympathetic with that desire for continuity, and I suspect many Orthodox who thought about the issue could likewise be sympathetic with that, but I have very little sympathy with the idea that Catholicism as it existed in the 40s and 50s is really "the ancient way" of the Roman Church. That form of Catholicism barely reaches past the 19th century!

The liturgical degradation of the Roman Church goes back at least to the 13th century and the ascendancy of "Low Mass," which turned the laity into spectators, and replaced paying attention to the words of the liturgy with private devotions. Even if that isn't per se sinful/heretical/whatever, it is hardly a liturgical ideal worth recovering. The desire to reengage the laity with the Liturgy itself was a good one, but the whole reform was implemented poorly. The Roman Church has a problem with extremes - loosening the strictures of the suffocating rubricism that impaired the Roman liturgical spirit and sensibility for so long let loose full-scale liturgical anarchy. The pendulum never seems to settle in the middle!

That's curious. How would you say Catholicism of the 17th century differs from that of the early 19th?
 

Alveus Lacuna

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I'm fascinated with traditional forms of Christianity, really of any theological tradition, including Nestorians and whoever else. I think that traditional Western liturgies are beautiful, no matter who's doing them: Roman Catholics, Anglo-Catholics, etc. But it's mostly academic curiosity. Nothing really makes me attracted to the world of the traditional Latin. There whole church is against them. It would be like feeling persecuted by your own church.
 

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Paisius said:
That's curious. How would you say Catholicism of the 17th century differs from that of the early 19th?
I think it differs in two ways: the manner of celebration of the liturgy and popular devotions associated with traditional Catholicism today. In the manner of celebration, it has to do with a lot of the punctiliousness of the celebrations (the exact distance the priest should hold his hands from each other when praying, etc.), the shape of the vestments, the lace, the rather "dainty" decoration of the vestments, etc., are all very Victorian, and yet are treated as sacrosanct. But the real difference is in the realm of popular devotion.

I think you are wise to ask about the 17th century, as that century saw the beginnings of two popular devotions that exploded in the 19th - the devotion to the Sacred Heart and to St. Joseph. A traditionalist, as we would know him now, maintains devotion to the Sacred Heart, which typically means observing the First Friday devotions and awaiting the 12 Promises, and probably includes Sacred Heart-centered prayers during Eucharistic expositions. These devotions are virtually inseparable from traditional Catholicism, but they really only came into being in the 19th century. That century saw the establishment of the feast of the Sacred Heart for the whole Roman Church, and it was soon after elevated to the highest rank (double of the first class). Though there was some local devotion to the Heart of Jesus before this time (the promises stem from St. Mary Margaret Alacoque in the 17th century), it attained its characteristic (and arguably mechanical/superstitious shape) in the 19th.

Likewise, the devotion to St. Joseph reached its apotheosis in the 19th century. Though this had origins in earlier devotions to the Holy Family, the 19th century saw St. Joseph being proclaimed "Patron of the Universal Church," receiving, in addition to his double of the first class feast on March 19, an additional double of the first class feast on the Wednesday of the Second Sunday after Easter, with an Octave. Popular literature is filled with hyperbolic imaginings of the "glories" and "prerogatives" of St. Joseph, even speculating that he had never committed even a venial sin in his entire life. Most tellingly, St. Joseph effectively displaces the Forerunner in prayers; the ancient Roman prayers, such as the Litany of the Saints or the Confiteor, always list the Virgin Mary after the Trinity, followed by the angels, then St. John the Baptist, then the holy apostles. St. Joseph isn't even in these prayers until quite late. When Pope John XXIII added St. Joseph to the Roman Canon in 1962, he broke tradition by inserting St. Joseph directly after the Blessed Virgin.
 

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Alveus Lacuna said:
The whole church is against them. It would be like feeling persecuted by your own church.
The Traditional Latin Ghetto.™
 

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I guess I can't answer most of this question as asked, since I"m OO and not EO, but my experience in RCism is that those who are actually traditional don't paint themselves as "Traditionalist", but also might suffer at the local N.O. mass just as a self-proclaimed "Traditionalist" would. Here I'm thinking of, for instance, the monks of the Benedictine abbey I visited in Oregon, who seemed committed to their order's traditional life, or even my old Father of Confession, Fr. Augustine, who privately over many hours in discussion with me admitted that there were many things that were done at the local RC church that he would not do if he were the senior priest, and not acting as a subordinate to the more modern-thinking senior priest that actually ran the place (and though that since we were in a college town, we needed things like a jazz band, a bunch of ridiculous cutesy fluff sermons, etc. or else we wouldn't be "relevant" enough to the college-aged crowd and they'd all leave).

So I do have a certain amount of sympathy on an individual level for people who want a more traditional form of Catholicism, whether they're stuck in the N.O. as my FOC was or whether they're "Traditionalists", but of course at the same time as an Orthodox Christian I can't think of anything more truly traditionally Catholic than Orthodox Christianity, so there is a limit to my sympathy. Tridentine Catholicism, such as we know it (e.g., the pre-VII, 1962 Missal) isn't really less wrong than Catholicism is now -- only perhaps less outwardly offensive to the senses or sensibility of those who prefer traditional liturgy across the board (so, everyone from Roman Catholics themselves to Orthodox and probably even members of other religions, for all I know).

This whole dichotomy of traditionalist vs. modernist strikes me as weird and foreign in the first place, as though we are to respect other peoples' relative degree of irritation with their own church when we can clearly see from the outside that the roots of their decay in either form go far deeper than whichever external form they may hold to. Were they to confess the right faith, I would welcome being in communion with, e.g., the Mozarabs who use their traditional liturgy already (both RC and EO in Spain, though still too few overall since it is restricted to maybe half a dozen places in the country), but not with any yahoo with a penchant for Latin for its own sake, as though praying in a dead language magically makes heresies not be heresies anymore. You can have a terrible liturgy entirely in Latin (or Coptic, or Syriac, or Greek, or whatever) and it will still be terrible. I'm against putting band-aids on an exsanguinating near-corpse and calling it a day.
 

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MalpanaGiwargis said:
Paisius said:
That's curious. How would you say Catholicism of the 17th century differs from that of the early 19th?
I think it differs in two ways: the manner of celebration of the liturgy and popular devotions associated with traditional Catholicism today. In the manner of celebration, it has to do with a lot of the punctiliousness of the celebrations (the exact distance the priest should hold his hands from each other when praying, etc.), the shape of the vestments, the lace, the rather "dainty" decoration of the vestments, etc., are all very Victorian, and yet are treated as sacrosanct. But the real difference is in the realm of popular devotion.

I think you are wise to ask about the 17th century, as that century saw the beginnings of two popular devotions that exploded in the 19th - the devotion to the Sacred Heart and to St. Joseph. A traditionalist, as we would know him now, maintains devotion to the Sacred Heart, which typically means observing the First Friday devotions and awaiting the 12 Promises, and probably includes Sacred Heart-centered prayers during Eucharistic expositions. These devotions are virtually inseparable from traditional Catholicism, but they really only came into being in the 19th century. That century saw the establishment of the feast of the Sacred Heart for the whole Roman Church, and it was soon after elevated to the highest rank (double of the first class). Though there was some local devotion to the Heart of Jesus before this time (the promises stem from St. Mary Margaret Alacoque in the 17th century), it attained its characteristic (and arguably mechanical/superstitious shape) in the 19th.

Likewise, the devotion to St. Joseph reached its apotheosis in the 19th century. Though this had origins in earlier devotions to the Holy Family, the 19th century saw St. Joseph being proclaimed "Patron of the Universal Church," receiving, in addition to his double of the first class feast on March 19, an additional double of the first class feast on the Wednesday of the Second Sunday after Easter, with an Octave. Popular literature is filled with hyperbolic imaginings of the "glories" and "prerogatives" of St. Joseph, even speculating that he had never committed even a venial sin in his entire life. Most tellingly, St. Joseph effectively displaces the Forerunner in prayers; the ancient Roman prayers, such as the Litany of the Saints or the Confiteor, always list the Virgin Mary after the Trinity, followed by the angels, then St. John the Baptist, then the holy apostles. St. Joseph isn't even in these prayers until quite late. When Pope John XXIII added St. Joseph to the Roman Canon in 1962, he broke tradition by inserting St. Joseph directly after the Blessed Virgin.
Thanks for sharing this. All of this is really foreign knowledge to me. Would you recommend any resources on learning about these types of developments? I'm fascinated by the Western Latin Church. Even though I was baptized and catechized in the Roman Catholic Church, I know really very little about it. I like to nerd out on this kind of history stuff so if you have any other gems, keep them coming.
 

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MalpanaGiwargis said:
Paisius said:
That's curious. How would you say Catholicism of the 17th century differs from that of the early 19th?
I think it differs in two ways: the manner of celebration of the liturgy and popular devotions associated with traditional Catholicism today. In the manner of celebration, it has to do with a lot of the punctiliousness of the celebrations (the exact distance the priest should hold his hands from each other when praying, etc.), the shape of the vestments, the lace, the rather "dainty" decoration of the vestments, etc., are all very Victorian, and yet are treated as sacrosanct. But the real difference is in the realm of popular devotion.

I think you are wise to ask about the 17th century, as that century saw the beginnings of two popular devotions that exploded in the 19th - the devotion to the Sacred Heart and to St. Joseph. A traditionalist, as we would know him now, maintains devotion to the Sacred Heart, which typically means observing the First Friday devotions and awaiting the 12 Promises, and probably includes Sacred Heart-centered prayers during Eucharistic expositions. These devotions are virtually inseparable from traditional Catholicism, but they really only came into being in the 19th century. That century saw the establishment of the feast of the Sacred Heart for the whole Roman Church, and it was soon after elevated to the highest rank (double of the first class). Though there was some local devotion to the Heart of Jesus before this time (the promises stem from St. Mary Margaret Alacoque in the 17th century), it attained its characteristic (and arguably mechanical/superstitious shape) in the 19th.

Likewise, the devotion to St. Joseph reached its apotheosis in the 19th century. Though this had origins in earlier devotions to the Holy Family, the 19th century saw St. Joseph being proclaimed "Patron of the Universal Church," receiving, in addition to his double of the first class feast on March 19, an additional double of the first class feast on the Wednesday of the Second Sunday after Easter, with an Octave. Popular literature is filled with hyperbolic imaginings of the "glories" and "prerogatives" of St. Joseph, even speculating that he had never committed even a venial sin in his entire life. Most tellingly, St. Joseph effectively displaces the Forerunner in prayers; the ancient Roman prayers, such as the Litany of the Saints or the Confiteor, always list the Virgin Mary after the Trinity, followed by the angels, then St. John the Baptist, then the holy apostles. St. Joseph isn't even in these prayers until quite late. When Pope John XXIII added St. Joseph to the Roman Canon in 1962, he broke tradition by inserting St. Joseph directly after the Blessed Virgin.

That's interesting, thank you. I always thought that traditional Catholicism was pretty much in it's current form by the Council of Trent. I think one of the reason it seems that way is that Catholics in general tend to quote Trent a lot and and very rarely quote saints or councils from the first millennium. At least it seems that way to me.
 

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A very interesting thread. I've always wondered if my father-in-law, a Roman Catholic, who seems to dislike the NO but who can't get to a Tridentine mass, would like the Eastern Liturgy and find it more comfortable to him than the NO. This seems to give me at least a little bit of a notion of how that would go.
 

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Alveus Lacuna said:
Thanks for sharing this. All of this is really foreign knowledge to me. Would you recommend any resources on learning about these types of developments? I'm fascinated by the Western Latin Church. Even though I was baptized and catechized in the Roman Catholic Church, I know really very little about it. I like to nerd out on this kind of history stuff so if you have any other gems, keep them coming.
A lot of this kind of stuff is my own takeaways from reading perhaps too much about Roman liturgical reforms. I'm particularly interested in the nuts-and-bolts changes made to the Divine Office and the calendar. While Pope St. Pius V had a very sober (some might argue spartan) liturgical sensibility, very much in keeping with the spirit of the Roman liturgy through the first 12 centuries of its existence, very few popes after him did, and they consistently seemed to have no sense of the importance of the ranking of feasts. St. Pius V pared down the calendar and readjusted the rankings so that truly important feasts (the Lord, our Lady, the Forerunner, the Apostles) were doubles; ordinary Sundays and a few feasts were semi doubles; and all other saints' days were simples. The subsequent popes came along, filling the calendar with feasts of Italian confessors hardly known outside of Italy, and giving them a double rank. This had the effect of outranking the older simple feasts, many of which are the great martyrs of the Roman Church. This liturgical oddity has reverberated, in my opinion, in popular devotions and in theological work - the cult of martyrs is virtually non-existent, and Roman Catholic piety is focused much more on second-millennium confessors rather than first-millennium martyrs. Pope Paul VI is hardly the first pontiff to muck up the liturgy!

As far as sources, anything about the liturgy is good since I really think the second-millennium changes to the liturgy have given modern Catholicism its shape. I think Pierre Battifol's History of the Roman Breviary (available on Google Books) gives a good account of the remote origins of the Office and the peculiar changes that happen in the second millennium that led to the liturgical mess St. Pius V tried to fix. Any 20th or 21st century account of the liturgical reforms is worth reading.
 

MalpanaGiwargis

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Paisius said:
That's interesting, thank you. I always thought that traditional Catholicism was pretty much in it's current form by the Council of Trent. I think one of the reason it seems that way is that Catholics in general tend to quote Trent a lot and and very rarely quote saints or councils from the first millennium. At least it seems that way to me.
Oh, that is very much the case. Traditionalists accuse liberal Catholics of thinking the Church was born at Vatican II, but they are guilty of the same thing with respect to Florence and Trent. I think it's due to the fact that traditionalists in the main have adopted a "Catholic vs Protestant" prism through which they view everything, and naturally Trent is the main source of doctrine with which to attack Protestantism. This obsession with Trent also partially explains to me the fundamental misunderstanding of Orthodoxy and treating it as a phenomenon of the same species as Protestantism.
 

brastaseptim

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I'll be honest- I, as traditional (lower case, it's an important distinction) Catholic feel equally ambivalent towards guitar-strumming, polyester poncho-wearing, Jesus-is-our-buddy, four-hymns-and-a-homily-sandwich kind of NO Mass, and the imitation baroque, if-its-not-in-Latin-its-evil, fiddlebacks-and-French-lace wearing, prescribe-everything-down-to-the-tiniest-detail Tridentine Mass. To me, they're a result of two equally foolish mindsets; that the Church was reborn from the ashes at Trent and everything not codified in stone there is heretical, and that the Church was reborn from the ashes at Vatican II. In both cases, it's trying to constrict the Church to a specific period in time, whether it be 1970s or the 1570s. Personally? I'd like to see the development of new legitimate Diocesan uses of the Roman Rite as well as restorations of the old, within the context of correct liturgical theology, of course. The Church doesn't stop growing, nor does the Holy Spirit confine himself to only consecrating the bread and wine on the altar when they're said according to one version of the Roman Missal.
 
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