The Trouble with Tradition


Episode 26_Trouble-With-Tradition

[00:00:00] CA: Welcome to the Catholic Experience. I’m the Catholic Adventurer. Before we start the show, I wanted to take two minutes to tell you a little something. This show is recorded on Sunday, April 7th. Today is April 8th, and the Vatican has just released a document, Dignitas Infinita.

[00:00:22] This document treats of subjects like surrogacy, and I guess most notably, the church’s position against gender surgery and gender reassignment, and so on. People have been worrying about what this, what would be in this document. People are always worrying that the church under Pope Francis is going to teach heresy.

[00:00:45] This document is very authentically Catholic. It’s authentically Catholic, it’s very good. So I want to remind you, first, I wrote a short blog post about it, you’ll find it on my website catholicadventurer. com I’ll place a link to the blog in this episode’s description, but I just wanted to say this.

[00:01:03] Please stop worrying about the direction of the church. The church is in the hands of the Holy Spirit and has the Holy Virgin Mary as its mother. There’s no reason to worry about the direction of the church. The church is not going to teach heresy. Sometimes the gates of hell may prevail over a parish.

[00:01:19] Sometimes the gates of hell may prevail over a diocese. Many of the churches that were admonished in the New Testament do not exist today. But the gates of hell will not prevail over the [00:01:30] Capital C Church. So please stop worrying. The church is in good hands. And your soul is in good care in the church.

[00:01:38] So please stop worrying about it. The document is very strong. Again, you can read my blog post for just a basic rundown of what’s in there. All right, and with that I just wanted to say those few words stop worrying about the church and now let’s get into the episode Now this episode is a fairly long one a little over an hour long But to help you navigate it you’ll find in the description I have chapter markers and time codes if you want to jump around or if you have to stop listening and you want to come Back later, you’ll find chapter markers and time codes In the episodes description and that should help you to navigate it.

[00:02:14] It’s a great episode It’s a really great episode and now on with the show

[00:02:22] Welcome everybody. Welcome to the Catholic experience podcast Episode 26 recorded Sunday April 7th in the year of our Lord 2024 It is Divine Mercy Sunday and Divine Mercy is part of the foundation for what we’re talking about today The trouble with tradition. What does that mean? The trouble with tradition?

[00:02:43] Why is tradition troublesome? Why is it problematic? What am I talking about when I say tradition? I’ve got a little clue for you. I’m not just talking about traditionalists or traditionalism. This is basically the foundation for series, a little, a little series, one or two episodes where [00:03:00] I’m gonna be talking about Catholic culture and culture itself.

[00:03:03] Starting today, setting that foundation. I’m also going to get into a little story. About a karate club that I once belonged to that may surprise you, huh? I bet you it does tying that into a little bit of advice. I want to give you especially I would I would probably say that’s particularly aiming at younger less experienced catholics, so When you get to that to the top of the show, I want you to listen tight And if you can please share that if you find it inspiring, which i’m sure that you will I am the catholic adventurer if you are not You Doing so already.

[00:03:38] Please follow my socials. I’m on X at for the queen BVM. You can find me on Facebook at Catholic adventurer. And would you please follow the show’s feed on X? The show is on X at cath experience, C A T H experience. I thank you very much for it. So at the top of this episode, I want to share with you a little story from my youth.

Lessons From a Karate Kid

[00:04:03] CA: Let’s get right into that. So this is a message that this is really for all Catholics, but especially for young Catholics who are finding it difficult to be faithful not just to Jesus Christ, but to be faithful to their own selves as Catholics, to be faithful Catholics, to be faithful to the church, to trust the church.

[00:04:22] There’s a lot of opposition out there. So, here’s my message. It goes a little something like this. Back in the day, Kung Fu on [00:04:30] TV was very, very popular. Kung Fu and wrestling. If you were a kid in the 80s, where I grew up, that is what you watched on Saturdays. There was wrestling in the morning, and there was Kung Fu sometime in the early afternoon.

[00:04:43] Now, those Kung Fu movies were pretty much Asian B movies. They were pretty much B movies. They were horrifically bad, or incredibly good, even though they were B movies. But they were very, very popular. We were so enthusiastic, my friends and I, about these Kung Fu movies, these karate movies, these martial arts movies, that we, for some reason that I can’t remember, decided to form a karate club.

[00:05:09] The Karate Club. And we gave it a great name too. It was called The Karate Club. One of the things that we did in the karate club is we would go to the park and we would square off. It was about six of us, I think, six regulars, and we would go to the park and we would fight karate. We would pair off and we would fight each other using our incredible karate moves.

[00:05:31] Now, in reality, none of us knew karate, but none of us admitted that. Do you know karate? Oh yeah, I know karate. Don’t you know karate? Yeah, I know karate. Everybody knew karate because they watch these kung fu movies. So. We’re squaring off demonstrating our, our vicious, vicious karate skills. And sometimes there would be some straggler who wanted to come and demonstrate his karate too.

[00:05:52] Because he wanted to be in the karate club, but he had to demonstrate that he knew karate. And we had to be impressed by it. So that’s how this would [00:06:00] go. And one fine day we were doing this training. And I was squaring off with one of the other kids. And during, during this karate combat, He lunged at me and I lunged at him and we leapt in the air.

[00:06:14] He flung his leg in a karate kick that was almost masterful, but I also, just by coincidence, flung my leg in a similar karate kick. And it went in such a way that my leg wrapped around his leg and my other leg came around in the other direction, and my karate kick Was not only a block of his kick, but it was also a strike.

[00:06:35] It was a block and a strike at the same time, totally by accident. I looked around the park and I saw the thousands and thousands of people in attendance watching this happen. And they were in awe. They were awestruck. They couldn’t believe their eyes. This lethal move that they just witnessed and they gathered around me and gathered around.

[00:06:53] It was obvious. I won that fight. It was very, very obvious. Everyone knew it. The karate match ended right there. It was obvious. I won with that movie. Where did you learn that? How did you do that kick? Where did you learn that? Now I’m without an answer, but I had to come up with one quick, because I show, couldn’t say, I don’t know.

[00:07:11] It was an accident. So as they’re asking me, where did you learn that? How did you do that? Who taught you that? I said my sensei taught me sounded karate ish enough. Who’s your sensei man? Who’s your sensei? I didn’t have an answer. What am I gonna say? Uh, I cannot tell you his [00:07:30]name. I said. Because he is running from the law.

[00:07:34] He is an outlaw living in hiding. Oh, yes, sir. What did he do that he’s living in hiding? I said, uh, he killed a man with his bare hands. Yes, he did. And so I cannot tell you my sensei’s name, because it is a secret. Oh, yeah. And with that, I was instantly marked the leader of the karate club. One fine day, we go back to this park.

[00:08:02] Because there is a new kid on the block who wants to audition. He wants to try out. He wants to demonstrate his karate skills to become a part of the karate club. This was not just an ordinary kid. He was Chinese. He was actually Chinese. Spoke Chinese and everything. Now, this was going to give serious street cred to our karate club to have a Chinese kid in the club.

[00:08:28] You see, there was a rival club on the North Side, and they were called the North Side Karate Kids. Their name was not as cool as ours, the Karate Club, but nevertheless, they had a following. Having this, this boy’s name by the way was Adam Chang. Having Adam Chang in the Karate Club would instantly give us automatic street cred.

[00:08:49] Far above and beyond the Northside Karate Kids. So, to the park we go. It’s time to audition, baby! Let’s see what you got! We’re in the park, [00:09:00] and we say, Okay, show us your karate. And we spread out in a circle, observing the moves of Adam Chang. Ha! Ha! Hi ya! Karate kicks are flying. Karate punches fast as lightning.

[00:09:15] Don’t blink, baby. You might miss something. We never saw anything like it. It was obvious to us, to all of us, that Adam Chang actually knew karate. And I looked. There happened to be another kid in the group named Adam. And I looked at Adam, and Adam looked at me, as Adam Chang is doing his stuff. And with our eyes, my eyes met Adam, the other Adam’s eyes.

[00:09:40] And we looked at each other and we were saying the same thing. He don’t know karate. And I went up to Adam and Adam said, he doesn’t know karate. And I said, yeah, he doesn’t know karate. After Adam Chang was done with his symphony orchestra of karate moves, real karate moves, mind you, real karate moves. We looked at him and we said, We’ve all decided you can’t be in the karate club and Adam Chang Highly insulted and furious said why can’t I be in the karate club?

[00:10:11] And we all said you don’t really know karate

[00:10:17] Adam Chang was so mad Get this Adam Chang first he started cursing in Chinese And he started saying something in English that I couldn’t understand, but I know [00:10:30] he was mad. You know, why? Because he did this leap roundhouse kick in the air straight at my face. And it was so masterful that he didn’t quite kick me in the face.

[00:10:42] He very purposefully just grazed my face with the sole of his Nike, leaving a scrape of mud across my cheek. And then he walked off into the sunset, baby. Howling and cursing in Chinese. Why didn’t we let Adam Chang in the karate club? Why did the other Adam and I look at each other, signaling with our eyes and then shortly after saying with our words, he doesn’t know karate.

[00:11:15] Yeah, he doesn’t know karate. He doesn’t really know karate. Do you know why Adam Chang could not be in the karate club? Because Adam really knew karate. And Adam being in the karate club would have exposed all of us. He would have made us all look bad because we didn’t really know karate. We were just fake.

[00:11:37] We were pretending. And that’s something that I want you to take from this. Something that I want you to learn. It goes a little something like this. Now hear me out. Listen tight. In the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 19, Jesus said, And this is the verdict. That the light came into the world, but people preferred [00:12:00] darkness to the light, because their works were evil.

[00:12:05] It’s true that people curse the light. It’s true that the light exposes their deeds, and so they curse it. Adam couldn’t be in the karate club, because his karate was too strong. It was far too strong. And that is why people in this world Curse the Catholics. Yeah, they say it’s religion. Yeah, they say it’s Christianity.

[00:12:28] Eh, maybe it’s Christianity a little bit. It’s not religion in general, that’s a lie. Maybe it’s Christianity a little bit. But particularly, it’s Catholics. Why do they curse the church? Why do they curse her children? Because our karate is strong. It’s too strong. And it makes them all look bad. This is the verdict.

[00:12:52] That the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to the light, because their works were evil. In your life as a Catholic, people will curse you. Maybe in Chinese. It may not be actual cursing. It’ll just be verbalized hate. It may not be, I hate you. It may be some other insult. It may be some sort of oppression, maybe some sort of assault, verbal, maybe physical, probably [00:13:30] social.

[00:13:31] Get used to it. The world curses Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ said, In the world you will find trouble, but take heart, because I have conquered the world. So when you run into opposition or oppression, whether it’s in discourse, debate, or just living your ordinary life. When someone tries to show you just how strong their karate is, remember that it’s just a show.

[00:13:59] They’re fake. They only think that they’re real. They’re gonna come at you with arguments that might even sound good until you start to investigate them, until you start to scrutinize them, until you see past their eloquent words to get down to the nitty gritty of the thought they are trying to express.

[00:14:19] They’re going to want you to believe that their karate is strong, that their arguments are sound, that their arguments against the church, against church history, against the Bible, against church teaching, are all sound and hold water and stand up to logical examination. But none of that is true. And you will know that it isn’t true when you logically examine their arguments, their statements, their opposition, from the perspective of reason, logic, truth.

[00:14:47] Their karate is just not strong. In fact, it’s not even really karate. It’s just a show. And they only think that it’s real. And they want to intimidate you by making you believe that it’s real, too. It is [00:15:00] not. Their karate is not strong. And yours is. So when the going gets tough, the tough have to get tougher.

[00:15:09] When this opposition happens, when oppression happens, I want you to look at the other person square in the eye and tell them, you don’t know karate. 

Culture and Traditions

[00:15:22] CA: Now let’s talk about culture. What is culture and why am I calling this episode The Trouble With Tradition? Traditionalists Are a little confounding to me.

[00:15:32] I sort of get it I get the traditionalist movement But I find it really really worrisome I’m not going to get into all of that because that’s really multi layered And we don’t have that time or space here to treat it with with any degree of uh, I guess thoroughness and completion But what I will say is traditionalism, I mean ordinary old traditionalism, I’m not talking about the radical kind, traditionalism is based on good intentions, but it’s very, very dangerous.

[00:16:07] Now, I know there are traditionalists listening to this and, and whether they’re traditionalists listening to this or not, I don’t like talking about people behind their backs. And that’s not what I’m doing here. I know there are good traditionalists out there. I know that. With a very high degree of certainty, I know that.

[00:16:28] Some of them may be listening to [00:16:30] this. So, if you are a traditionalist, don’t tune me out. Please listen to what I’m telling you because I offer this not with any hate or malice or anything like that. Also, you aren’t the exclusive target of my message here. I’m really addressing all Catholics. It’s going to seem a little bit like I’m picking on traditionalists, but I’m not.

[00:16:52] As we progress through this topic, you’re going to understand what I mean. First, let’s talk about culture. Set that foundation.

[00:17:04] I love looking at old architecture. Old buildings, um, old bridges. I love it because, or, or, really anything old. Anything old constructed by man. Or by a person, a single person, like woodworking, stuff like that. Um, art too, but you know, it’s a little bit different for art. I won’t get into that. I love looking at these things, first because of their beauty.

[00:17:29] That’s the first thing that strikes us, right, on the surface, is the beauty of these created things. But I see something deeper than that, and many of you might also. I see something deeper in that because I don’t just see the created thing. What I see is that a created thing created this thing. A person, or if it’s a building, a group of people created this beautiful thing.

[00:17:58] And why are we able [00:18:00] to do that? Why are we able to create or render the beautiful? It’s because we are made in the image and likeness of God, who is truth, beauty, goodness itself. 

Humans Create, Animals Build

[00:18:13] CA: Because God can create beautiful things, we are able to create beautiful things. Some atheists in debate have always made it a point to point out that, well, we’re not the only creatures who can create.

[00:18:27] Animals can create too. That is not true. There are animals who can build, but they cannot create. A beaver will build you a dam, but it takes a person to make it beautiful. A beaver can construct a dam, but it takes a person to identify how this dam can be more efficient. And then once it’s efficient, we then focus on how can we make it look cool?

[00:18:51] How can we make it look beautiful? That’s the difference between building and creating. Yes, there are animals who can build or construct, right? Ants make ant farms, beavers make dams, and so on, and so on. But only humans can create. Make something beautiful and ordered. And we can do it because God does it.

[00:19:12] And God made us in his image and likeness. 

The Hand of God in Human Culture

[00:19:15] CA: So what does that have to do with culture? Well, think of things like, well, let’s go back to art. Think of things like art, or even architecture. Because people with a real, who really know architecture, they can look at a building and tell you, that’s a very German [00:19:30] design.

[00:19:30] Or that’s very Eastern Europe or something, culture matters. Culture has meaning. If you think of something like art or dance, people who really know their stuff can tell you that movement is very African or that movement is very, North American, native North American, or this art style is from such and such a region or yada, yada, yada, yada.

[00:19:54] Let’s focus on dance for a second. I’m not a dancer. I can’t dance to save my life, but I love dance and I love watching it. I especially like cultural dance, cultural dance. Some people might call it folk dance. I don’t really like that term, but cultural dance, things that are very old in a culture, right?

[00:20:15] Cultural African dance, or going back to that example, Native American dance, or even cultural American dance. American culture is not that old, especially against the backdrop of all the other cultures on the earth. But there is a cultural American dance. It might be tap. Tap might be one of those things, 

[00:20:33] ballroom dancing is a cultural dance. It’s not American necessarily, but just giving you an example. The beauty of these dances, or whatever cultural product you like, could be art, could be architecture, whatever. The beauty of these dances is that what we see in front of us is a product of generations of cultural development.

[00:20:57] isn’t just that someone choreographed [00:21:00] or conceptualized this thing and now it’s being performed in front of us or it’s being displayed in front of us. It isn’t just that. It’s the result. It’s the fruit of generations of cultural development. And that’s so cool because people make culture.

[00:21:16] Individuals maybe contribute to it sometimes, but , it’s people, persons, a collective of persons. That produce culture. Persons produce culture. And God made persons. God made those. So when I look at a beautiful old building, it’s really intricate and ornate and it’s just striking. And to the people who built it, maybe it was just another building.

[00:21:43] Maybe they weren’t trying to make a masterful work of art. But it is. Maybe it is just another building. But it is a work of art. And so when I look at one of those buildings, I’m not just seeing what people built, I’m seeing God’s hand in it. Because these people, again going back to the buildings, these people made that building beautiful.

[00:22:06] And the beauty of that building is the fruit of cultural development. It comes out of culture, comes out of culture. Culture is produced by persons, and God made persons. So when I look at these buildings, I am seeing the hand of God in it. And that’s just amazing when I look at these things. Art, [00:22:30] same thing.

[00:22:30] Dance, same thing. Music, same thing. If it’s real music, if it’s good music, you know.

Types of Culture and Expression of it

[00:22:37] CA: So when we think of culture, we can’t just think of expression. It is expressional. But it’s not just expression. When we think of culture, we have to see the hand of God in it. Because culture comes from persons, and God made persons. So culture is very, very important. Very, very dear to me. Culture.

[00:22:57] Sometimes culture comes from a race of people. For instance, Humor and witticism. That’s part of the human culture. I think every human being and every human culture throughout the world, throughout time, used or uses humor and wit in their ordinary communication. A wisecrack when you’re talking to a friend about something serious.

[00:23:26] We always try to insert humor or levity or witticism in our very basic communication. Of course you’ll find it in literature. Of course you’ll find it in movies. But even just person to person communication. We’re always squeezing a joke in there somewhere, right? A wisecrack. Some kind of witticism.

[00:23:48] That’s human culture. Then, some culture is more and more progressively localized. There’s racial culture. That’s a real thing. [00:24:00] There’s national culture. Then there’s local culture. Right? Some people in one locality may use certain terms or phrases that just one town or one city or one province over, they never talk like that.

[00:24:18] You don’t have to go far to find a lot of I don’t want to say change, but a lot of difference in the culture. Thank you. So culture can be on a very great scale and can be on a very small scale. And then there’s personal culture, personal culture, things that we like to say, ways that we like to say them, maybe just a natural development.

[00:24:41] Maybe it’s on purpose for a particular reason. I can’t think of any direct examples right now, but if you understand this personal culture, I’ll get, I’ll give you one example. I call myself the other man in black. The original man in black was Johnny Cash. I call myself the other man in black.

[00:25:01] It’s me, the other man in black. Because I’m always wearing black. Well, I’m always, almost always, 90 percent of the time, I’m always in black. Usually it’s my pants that are black. And then I have a corresponding shirt. Sometimes it’s, it has color. Sometimes it’s gray. Sometimes it is also black. Jackets and coats, also black, or a very dark blue.

[00:25:28] And that’s really just to appease [00:25:30] everybody else who are always asking me, Why are you always dressed in black? Well, now I have something on that’s very dark blue or gray and I can say, I’m not wearing black. So that’s a personal culture, right? It’s a personal style choice. First, because it’s simple.

[00:25:45] Second, because I like how I look in it and I just like how it looks. It’s, it’s, it’s very, it’s very Plain, it’s very simple, it’s very easy to wear, and it’s easy to match black pants with any kind of shirt you can imagine. So, mostly it’s that, it’s just because it’s easy to wear, and secondly, just because I like it.

[00:26:07] That’s personal culture. Personal culture. Sometimes we may have mannerisms that are part of our personal culture. Maybe it’s something that we learned, something that we grew up around. Or maybe it’s just something that we developed, or maybe it’s something that we invented. Right? A wink of the eye whenever you make an important point.

[00:26:27] Maybe, maybe it’s something like that. Or talking with your hands, whatever, whatever. Personal culture. And again, in all of these cases, culture comes from persons. Culture helps to define us, it helps to remind, it helps to remind us who we are, and it helps us to, to remember and to share who we are. It helps to keep things within a lane sometimes.

[00:26:49] Sometimes it’s just for novelty. And sometimes it helps to keep things within a lane. Culture sometimes has a purpose. It sometimes has [00:27:00] utility. And sometimes, its only utility is just novelty and expression for the sake of expressing it. And in every case, remember, Culture. Culture comes from God, because culture comes from persons, or an individual person, if it’s a personal culture.

[00:27:15] Culture comes from persons, per God made persons. Okay? Then there is good culture and there is bad culture. I’m not going to get into all of that here. But I just want to at least put it out there to acknowledge that I understand not all culture is good. So what does this have to do with traditionalism, or tradition?

Issues with “Divine Mercy”

[00:27:35] CA: Let me alter course just a little bit and tell you a little story. I’m the man of a million stories, if you haven’t figured that out yet. I feel like I’ve lived about a dozen lifetimes at the very least. And I’ve got, uh, God willing, I’ve got a lot more life to live. So, God only knows what the next 30, 40, 50 years will hold for me.

[00:27:54] But, so far, I’ve lived about a dozen lifetimes, I feel like. It’s Divine Mercy Sunday as I do this recording. Maybe I’ll have this episode published tonight, maybe I won’t. So if it’s not Divine Mercy Sunday when you, when you listen to it, that’s okay. But as I record it, it is Divine Mercy Sunday. There is some chatter throughout socials and throughout, um, I don’t want to say the church because it’s not, when you say it’s throughout the church, it sounds like a forest fire.

[00:28:24] It’s not there yet. It’s on a small scale. And the chatter is [00:28:30] an anti Divine Mercy chatter. That, you know, Faustina shouldn’t have been made a saint. She was illicitly made a saint because John Paul II, uh, was also Polish and he’s the one who pushed her sainthood forward. Um, the Divine Mercy chaplet is, uh, it’s not good.

[00:28:45] , the message of Divine Mercy, if you read what’s in there, uh, it’s not good. I don’t know about that. This is the, now some of you may listen to this and say, I have never heard of any of that. And that’s possible because it’s not a forest fire yet. But it is there, and if you haven’t heard it yet, it is coming.

[00:29:04] It is coming. But you know, where did this start? Well, where do we find it right now? Mostly we find it in, in radical traditionalism. Let me explain something real quick. I’ve explained this in past episodes. But let me retouch. Or, or revisit it. There are many different, , levels or layers of traditionalism.

[00:29:25] If you start from a center, which I will call just plain, old, Orthodox, Catholic. You’re Catholic, Orthodox, you’re practicing, you believe in all the doctrines. You’re just Catholic. And because you’re Catholic, you are traditional. You adhere to sacred tradition. That’s, that’s part of the game. That’s one of the rules to being Catholic.

[00:29:48] But we don’t have to put the word traditional in there because it’s already understood to be in there. I’m going back to that component in a little while, and then you’ll know why I pointed that out. Okay, so, if we [00:30:00] put an ordinary, orthodox, practicing Catholic at the center, if we move further to the left from there, you enter into More of a loosey goosey Catholicism.

[00:30:14] It becomes heterodoxy. It becomes heresy at the extreme end to the left. But there is also a problematic progression toward the right. Toward the right. There are, just as there are, there are at least a few shades of leftism. I hate the term, but it’s technical. There are at least a few shades of leftism, um, in Catholicism.

[00:30:37] In the lived Catholic experience. I say a few because I haven’t identified too many. There is, so all the way, way over to the left, over, over the line, you have Modernism, which is a heresy. But before you get that far, you have Heterodoxy, which I would say is the next, is the first pit stop. Before you get to Modernism, you get to Heterodoxy.

[00:31:05] Then, between Heterodoxy and the center, Orthodoxy, There maybe are two or three shades, two or three little stops before you get to heterodoxy. But I feel like on the right, there are many, many more shades. Many more shades. I haven’t quite identified, not that I, you know, keep a list or a catalog or anything, but this is mostly intuitive.

[00:31:29] I haven’t [00:31:30] identified them all, but my perception is there are many shades of traditionalism. And the easiest way to talk about it is to just break them down to two, and neither one of them is heretical. One is plain old traditionalism. The other is more extreme. We’ll call that radical traditionalism.

[00:31:54] Then if you keep going further to the right, then you enter the magical world of heresy, which is Sedevacantism. Okay, but Sedevacantism is not Catholicism. Modernism is not Catholicism. So we’re not going to talk about those. We’re just going to talk about conservatism. You know, Catholicism leaning to the right.

[00:32:16] And we’re breaking those down to two. Traditionalism and radical traditionalism. Okay, but just understand that in between those two, I’ll call them pillars, There are various gradients or various grades as you go further and further and further to the right, okay? Just understand that. That’s important to understand.

How That Error (and most error) Entered the Church through Culture

[00:32:36] CA: Now I’ve set that foundation. I’m using the word foundation a lot today. Now I’ve set that foundation. Let’s go back to the story. Divine Mercy Sunday. If you haven’t heard of people casting a shadow of doubt over the Divine Mercy chaplet, St. Faustina, her diary. If you haven’t heard it yet, I promise you, you will.

[00:32:56] You will start to encounter it. Well, where does that come [00:33:00] from? Why would traditionalists have a problem with divine mercy? Strange, right? It’s not strange to me. I’m going to tell you where that came from. That actually did not come from traditionalism. From proper traditionalism. Either radical or ordinary traditionalism.

[00:33:18] That didn’t come from the Catholic culture. That didn’t come from the Catholic culture. Problems and issues, exception people take with the Divine Mercy, that started with Seti Vakantism. And I can tell you that because about 25 years ago, I was very nearly a Seti Vakantist. And I mean very, very, very, very nearly.

[00:33:38] Very nearly a Sede Vacantist myself, about 25 years ago. So I know it pretty well. And I can tell you, This anti Divine Mercy rhetoric and sentiment and philosophy and ideas and theology, this was already a forest fire in Seti Vakantism. That was just the ordinary business of the day. Everyone in the Seti Vakantist world had a problem with the Divine Mercy chaplet, Divine Mercy devotion, etc.

[00:34:05] That was just normal. That was just normal in Seti culture, in the culture of Sede Vacantism. That was just normal. And then, . It started to infect true Catholics. Catholics who are not heretical. Catholics who are within the borders of what it means to be a faithful Catholic.

[00:34:26] It started to infect ordinary Catholics. Well, why [00:34:30] did it do that? How did it do that? I’m gonna tell you. As I said, there are many grades of traditionalism. As you go more and more to the right, it becomes more and more, conservative. More and more, quote unquote, traditional. I’ll tell you later why I’m putting that word in quotes.

[00:34:47] More and more traditional, okay? There’s traditionalists, there’s radical traditionalists who are more extreme, and then there are many grades in between them, right? Okay. The radical traditionalists, who are still Catholic, they’re not over the line of heresy yet, but they’re right against it. The radical traditionalists and the Sedevacantists share a lot of, I’ll say, dispositional attitudes.

[00:35:12] Okay? Very, very, very old school. Very, very, very conservative. You’ll find that in radical traditionalism and in Sedevacantism. Even though A radical traditionalist is not a set of a contest, but their philosophies in many ways, not in all ways, but in many ways, their philosophies overlap. I will add this other component.

Radical, Traditionalist, Sede Vacantists. Different and “Same”

[00:35:37] CA: Years ago, the early radical traditionalists, and there were very few of them years ago, But, they didn’t know much of anything about the existence of Sedevacantism. So, if I was a radical traditionalist, and I was talking about the Catholic faith to a Sedevacantist, I would never know that the Sedevacantist is a heretic until they [00:36:00] said something like, Well, there actually is no Pope.

[00:36:02] The Chair of Peter is vacant. And so on and so on. Barring that, if we’re just talking about the Catholic faith, I would think I’m just talking to another version of myself. Thanks. As I speak with this Vesetti Vicontist, why? Because we’re talking alike, in many ways. In many ways, we are talking alike. Until you get to a conversation about Vatican II or the papacy, then the Vesetti Vicontist starts to more and more identify himself as a Vesetti Vicontist.

[00:36:31] Only then will the radical traditionalist realize this person isn’t really another me. So barring that, and I’ll say also city a contest tend to be very secretive about their, their heresy, because this is how they seduce real Catholics into heresy. But that’s another conversation. They’re, but they are pretty, pretty, not on the internet.

[00:36:52] On the internet, they wear it on their sleeve, but in the real world they, they’re kind of secretive about it. So. Let’s say I’m a radical traditionalist talking to a Sedevacantus, and Sedevacantus makes an argument, what seems to be a strong argument, against, um, at the time she wasn’t canonized yet, she was beatified.

[00:37:12] So they make a strong argument against the beatification and proposed canonization of St. Faustina. They make what appears to be a strong argument against divine mercy. The idea of divine mercy, the divine mercy chaplet, the devotion, San Faustina’s diary, and as the [00:37:30] Catholics, See, I’m a radical traditionalist in this example, but I’m Catholic.

[00:37:33] I’m still Catholic. I’m within the church, right? So I listen to this and I’m like, hmm, you’re right. I think you’re right. This divine mercy stuff is ridiculous. Now I’ve been seduced. I’ve been taken over by a bad idea. An idea That was defended or proposed and then defended by what seems to be a very strong argument, but I can tell you they are not strong arguments.

[00:37:59] And then for me this idea becomes real. Why? How did that happen? Well, because I thought I was talking to another me. Because our philosophies overlap. So surely I can trust this person who is telling me this lie. And so, for me, it’s not a lie. It’s a new truth. And so I share it with my family. I share it with my friends.

[00:38:20] I begin building the argument. I share it with other people in my parish. You know, there’s a divine, we’re praying the divine mercy, uh, every Friday after the morning mass and then I quietly say to my You know, my fellow parishioners, you really shouldn’t say that. That’s, that’s a heretical devotion. Did you know that John Paul II altered the translation of Faustina’s message so that she could be canonized?

[00:38:45] But what she really said was, yadda yadda yadda. And then go on, go so on and so forth. And I start to infect the people in the parish who don’t know much about the Divine Mercy. Or St. Faustina, or at the time, uh, I guess Blessed [00:39:00] Faustina. They don’t know much, but they just like doing another devotion. Well, since they don’t know much, they’re easy to corrupt and seduce into false thinking about the Divine Mercy.

[00:39:12] And then they bring it to others, who bring it to others, who bring it to others. Now this error, which started with Sedevacantism, got through the door, Over the channel of radical traditionalism, and the radical traditionalists spread it to the traditionalists, the people who aren’t quite as conservative as the radicals are.

How Error Expands 

[00:39:36] CA: How does it go from radical traditionalists to traditionalists? The same way that it went from Sedevacantists to radical traditionalists. The radical trads and the ordinary trads have overlapping philosophies. They believe in things that overlap. They’re distinct, they’re different, but they overlap quite convincingly.

[00:39:57] So the radical and the ordinary traditionalist trust each other. Right? Because this exchange isn’t, isn’t strictly speaking an exchange of thoughts and ideas or conclusions. Really, fundamentally, it is an exchange of cultures. The sette vacantist brought an idea that proceeds from Sede culture into the church through the radical traditionalist.

[00:40:26] The radical traditionalist accepts this [00:40:30] culture from the Sedes and makes it part of his or her own culture. Spreads it around to the culture of radical traditionalism in the proper church, and so on up the chain. Now the traditionalist and the radical traditionalist Also engaged in an exchange of culture because the cultures are so, so, um, compatible.

[00:40:52] Almost identical. They have philosophies and ideas and dispositions that overlap. And so the exchange of culture happens across a channel of trustworthiness and good faith. But really, it is an error that’s being spread from person to person, from one culture into the other culture. Now it infects ordinary old traditionalists.

[00:41:17] I’m not saying in the real church, I’m saying in this example that I’m making. Now this error infects ordinary old traditionalists. And not only do they, will they then spread it too, they will spread it as well, but not only that, but this component in their culture will spread it. It begins to further craft and shape their personal culture as Catholics and their collective culture as, I guess, I don’t want to say a faction, maybe a camp.

[00:41:51] It begins to infect their individual and communal culture as traditionalists. Maybe not the thought itself, [00:42:00] but the attitude that the thought comes from, which for the is an attitude of rebellion. It’s an attitude of rebellion that produces this thought that divine mercy is heresy. It’s an attitude of rebellion and seduction that brought it into the church through the channel of radical traditionalism.

[00:42:17] The radical traditionalist, not realizing where this error is coming from, or that it is even erroneous at all, begins to share What really is an attitude of rebellion, it isn’t, at the end of the day, it isn’t really about the divine mercy. The person talking about it, for them it is, it is about the divine mercy, but at its heart it really isn’t.

[00:42:43] Because what you have is the divine mercy is just the fruit of a tree, and that tree is called rebellion. It comes from an attitude of rebellion. Even if the radical traditionalist does not know that. He spreads it or she spreads it to ordinary old traditionalists. Now remember, there are many grades between radical traditionalism and traditionalism.

[00:43:05] So it takes time to make this progression. It goes through the other various grades. Eventually it makes its way to traditionalism, which it has, by the way, because I hear traditionalists saying these same things and they aren’t radical. So it’s already made it to ordinary old traditionalists, although it’s on a small scale.\

When You Don’t Know You’re Infected, You Spread it to Everybody

[00:43:23] CA: The ordinary old traditionalists don’t realize they’ve accepted and adopted Transcribed The culture of the radical, who [00:43:30] received it from the culture of Sedevacantism, and what they have then accepted, the traditionalist has, what they have accepted, is not just an idea, but an attitude of rebellion. And the attitude of rebellion sits behind a mask of an idea, which is masked as orthodoxy.

[00:43:51] But it is not. That is how that idea sprung up in the church proper. It didn’t start in traditionalism. It didn’t even start in radical traditionalism. It started in Setevacantism. And it happened through an exchange of culture. An exchange of culture because my culture and your culture so overlap, so I can trust your culture.

[00:44:12] When really, your culture maybe wasn’t trustworthy at all. You see? So why am I making us think of this in the first place? Because my friends, I’m finally starting, after many, many years, I’m starting to understand. Traditionalism and why it’s troublesome. Now, here’s where it may sound like I’m picking on traditionalists.

What Is Meant by “Traditionalism”

[00:44:32] CA: So let me make something clear. Actually, I won’t because I think as I proceed, you’re going to understand what I’m, what I’m trying to say. And I think just proceeding will better communicate that than trying to just point it out in isolation. So let me just proceed, but please hear me out. Okay. First of all, by traditionalism, I’m talking about.

[00:44:55] The culture. I’m not talking about actual tradition [00:45:00] folks. you, you have no idea. I have been a champion of capital T tradition pretty much my whole life. And I mean that literally pretty much my whole life I’ve been a champion of traditionalism or tradition capital T tradition. So you, you really, you don’t have to make the argument to me.

[00:45:16] You really, really don’t. I get it. Tradition is indispensable. I’m the first one to say that. So I already know this. All right, so let’s get that one outta the way. When I’m talking about traditionalism, mostly I’m talking about the culture. I’m talking about the culture of traditionalism. I’m not really talking about traditionalists, and I’m not talking about sacred tradition, talking about the culture of traditionalism, and it comes to bear on the whole in this way.

[00:45:43] Well, first, lemme say, I guess almost apologetically here. I said at the top of this segment. That tradition helps, helps us to keep things within lanes, within the lanes in which they belong, right? Um, there are family traditions that we do to keep things where they belong. There are individual traditions that we do.

Culture is a Teacher

[00:46:03] CA: There are cultural, I’m sorry, there are societal, uh, traditions or communal traditions that we do to keep things in the lane, right? When I was very young, I went to a preschool run by nuns. They were, they were lay people who worked there, but it was really run by nuns. And at 12 o’clock when we were outside playing, when the church bells went off, we were taught to stop, stand still, do nothing, [00:46:30] until the church bells stopped ringing.

[00:46:33] Why? Because the nuns were conditioning us to pray the Angelus. We were very young, they weren’t making us pray it yet. But we were taught, I mean, it was so ingrained that I remember it to this day. We were taught to stop, and be silent, don’t move, don’t speak. Until the church bells stop ringing. Later on in elementary school that became the Angelus and then I put it together.

[00:46:56] Ah, this maybe this was why the nuns made us stop at 12 yada yada yada at 12 o’clock. So There are traditions and cultural traditions that help keep things in a lane help prepare us condition us teach us Guide us in in an ongoing way Right And as Catholics, we rest on those a lot.

[00:47:20] We lean on lowercase t traditions a lot. It’s part of our heritage. So, I’ll use lowercase t traditions interchangeably with customs, okay? It’s written in the Catholic DNA that we rely on customs a lot. To remind us who we are. To remind us where we’re going. To remind us how to get to where we’re going.

[00:47:49] It’s part of our identity. Culture is part of our identity. As Catholics, and as an individual Catholic. It’s part of our identity. Those are three [00:48:00] things you’re going to hear a lot. Culture. Identity and being across the next maybe two or three parts of this, you know, little series, I’m calling it a series, but they’re going to be distinct shows, but covering, you know, the same topic of culture anyway.

[00:48:14] So rely, we rely on those a lot. Sometimes we rely on them in a way that’s almost religious in itself. That’s not always a bad thing, but it can become a bad thing. But it’s not a bad thing, by its nature. Fundamentally, it’s not a bad thing. Since the 70s, and, , people blame this on Vatican II, but it really was not Vatican II.

[00:48:39] Again, well, let me just proceed. Since the 70s, the lived Catholic experience progressively saw less and less of these customs, or lowercase t traditions, these expressions of an authentically Catholic culture. I even saw it in my own life, and as I say often, through the 80’s I saw no hint of crazy Catholicism.

[00:49:07] I only began seeing that in the 90’s. For most other people throughout the church, they started seeing it maybe in the late 70’s. Or early to mid 80’s. I was not seeing it. So we saw fewer and fewer of these traditions, lowercase t traditions, customs, fewer and fewer of these expressions of an authentically Catholic culture.

Culture and Identity: Lose one, lose the other

[00:49:28] CA: Oftentimes the [00:49:30] loss of culture in its expression in customs, in traditions, often the loss of culture results in the loss of identity. The loss of identity. Results in a vacuum and something else has to fill the vacuum, and usually what fills the vacuum is error. Let me repeat that.

[00:49:49] Often times, not all the time, often times, the loss of cultural expression in customs, in traditions, results in a loss or diminishment of identity. And because we, as a species, long for personal and individual and communal identity, where there’s a vacuum, we have to fill it with something. And either we do it ourselves, or the culture, the devil, will do it for us.

[00:50:17] The world, rather. The world, the devil, will do it for us. Will give us a new identity. And that happened in the church. And I don’t mean in the, in the ecclesial church, I mean in the culture of the church, in the people and, and in the priesthood. Yes, because the priesthood is people, right. The, the priests are the faithful as well.

[00:50:38] They’re just the faithful who happen to also be priests. So I’m not talking about the church, I’m talking about the lowercase C church, the people, even the priests. Right? This, not all, not all the people and not all the priests, but that’s understood, right? Okay, so the people lost their identity, relaxed their culture, their [00:51:00] traditions, the expressions of culture, and a new identity had to form.

[00:51:04] Let me propose one example of that that drives me out of my mind, and if you’re one of the people who does this, please don’t take this personally because I love you to death anyway, okay? I cannot stand seeing people extending their hands during the Our Father. I mean, I, I say I lose my mind, but really I don’t lose sleep over it, but it, it really is irritating.

[00:51:25] There’s this culture, and you know where that comes from? Protestantism. Because the Our Father and the extension of hands is the height of Protestant worship. That is not the case for Catholics. The consecration of the Eucharist is the height of Catholic worship. So this extension of hands, it’s not really imitation of the priest, although effectively it is.

[00:51:44] It actually comes from Protestantism. How it got into the church, I don’t know. I have no idea. Maybe from Catholic converts? I don’t know. I mean, Protestants who convert to Catholicism. I don’t know how it got here, but it really is from Protestantism. If you ask me. That’s my opinion. I don’t think it’s just imitation of the priest.

[00:52:01] I think it came from Protestantism. Anyway. When we have a culture that extends its hands during the Our Father, which you really shouldn’t do, you really should not do that, because it does sort of become an imitation of the priest at a moment where only the priest should be doing a priestly thing. And I’m not going to get into the general instruction of the Roman Missal right now, but, just trust me.

[00:52:26] The germ does not explicitly say the faithful should not fold or extend [00:52:30] their hands. But what the germ does say Is that priests are supposed to extend their hands, deacons are supposed to fold their hands. That’s what the germ does say. And if even the deacon in the sanctuary has to fold his hands, you can believe the people ought to fold their hands, too, because the people should not be adopting a posture that is reserved to the priest in that moment.

[00:52:49] Okay, that’s all I’ll say about that. So, a culture that extends its hands, a culture of people who extend their hands during the Our Father, becomes a culture of people Who make everything else up, too. In the absence of culture, we lose our identity. In the absence of identity, we have to fill it in with something.

[00:53:06] So we make it up, in part. The world, the world puts a lot on us, but we also make some of it up. Which is why we make up our theology. Which is why there are people increasingly, it’s just unbelievable, it’s like Catholics have become part of a hive mind because increasingly I’m starting to hear people in the pews reciting the words of institution during the consecration of the Eucharist.

[00:53:30] You’re not supposed to do that. Where on earth did you guys get that idea from? So we’re seeing that, we’re seeing made up theology, as I said, we’re seeing, oh, my favorite, my favorite. Oh, God, I don’t remember even how this started. It was a very, very friendly disagreement with someone at a parish. I don’t remember even what it was based on.

[00:53:53] It was years ago. It really came down to the authority of the priest. Whatever this argument was, my [00:54:00] argument rested on, or my, my disagreement rested on the argument for the, the exclusive authority of the priest. Again, I, I really don’t remember what it was about. Anyway, anyway. This person then said to me, yes, but By our baptism, we’re all priests.

[00:54:17] Uh, no. No. We might be, I think it’s called the ordinary priesthood, the technical term for it. We’re the ordinary priesthood. Priests, prophets, kings. We’re the ordinary priesthood. We’re not the ministerial priesthood. You can’t just make it up as you go and say, because we’re all priests, prophets, and kings, that means we’re all priests.

[00:54:37] Uh, no. And that error, or Which becomes the foundation for greater and graver errors. That error comes from a culture of people who extend their hands during the Our Father. Am I taking the Our Father thing a little far? Possible. It’s just my hypothesis. I feel pretty confident about it though. Is it absolutely the truth?

[00:55:02] I really can’t tell you because I can’t read minds or hearts. But I think the extension of hands during the Our Father And a culture that, of people, persons, who invent their own theology, who distort theology or twist it just a little to make it fit better. I believe those are all intertwined. It all comes from a culture of people who have lost their identity, and I firmly believe the loss of identity goes [00:55:30] hand in hand with the deficiency of an expression of Catholic culture.

[00:55:36] Or customs or lowercase t tradition I do believe those all go hand in hand Take a break from the action real quick If you’re not doing so already listen, I really want to I really really want to practically beg you sign up for my newsletter Please sign up for my newsletter. You’ll find the link in my bio throughout social media Or go to catholicadventurer.

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When We Lose Culture, We Lose Ourselves

[01:00:38] CA: So culture. Very important to identity. When we lose culture, when we lose expressions of culture, our identity can begin to wither and rot.

[01:00:52] And then the world and the individual begin to fill that void with something else that isn’t true. Okay? From the 70s into the 90s. The church culture did begin to become very bare.

[01:01:14] I can tell you, I felt it. I felt it, but it didn’t knock me, well, it almost knocked me off the rails. I said, about 25 years ago, I was very nearly a city of a contest. You know why? You know why? [01:01:30] Because my Catholic identity was suffering. Because The culture of Catholicism was suffering. And what, what happened to me?

[01:01:40] How did that, how did that play out for me? I nearly became a state of a contest. I mean, very, very nearly. Very, very nearly became a state of a contest. So, it affects all of us. But it doesn’t have to. It doesn’t have to affect you. Without getting into the whole thing again, you may want to go back to my podcast catalog, and my podcast is available for download.

[01:02:04] Pretty much everywhere you can find a podcast, you’ll find the Catholic Experience, okay? You might want to look for an episode called Tradition and the Desert, because what you learn there comes to bear here, but I’m not going to go over it again here, okay? Tradition and the Desert. I don’t know what podcast, I don’t know what episode number it was, just look for Tradition and the Desert in my podcast catalog, you’ll find it.

[01:02:25] Or go to CatholicAdventurer. com You’ll find a little search magnifying glass icon there, and just search for tradition in the desert, and tradition and the desert, and you’ll find it there. I believe there’s a reason why God is allowing the Catholic culture to be so bare. I’m not going to get into it here.

[01:02:47] I will only say, if we as, as a people of faith in the Catholic Church, if we believe This is something the devil has done to the church. I really think you’re wrong. If we [01:03:00] believe the Catholic Church has erred by allowing the culture of the church to become in some ways a little bit more bare, in some ways a little bit more plain, in some ways, in some ways a little bit stupid.

[01:03:14] If we believe that, that the church is to blame for this, I think you’re, you’re, I think you’re in error. I don’t think anyone is to blame. I think this is by the will of God, and it is by the hand of God, and it is for a purpose and for a reason. Go back and listen to Tradition and the Desert to learn more about that.

[01:03:35] Now, let me conclude this segment, and this is probably going to be the last segment in this episode. Let me conclude this segment this way, by explaining the trouble with tradition. First, if you haven’t figured it out, I’m not talking about the trouble of traditionalism. I’m talking about the W why tradition can get into trouble or can be the cause of trouble, lowercase t tradition, because tradition goes to identity, and identity is very, very, very personal.

[01:04:07] Which is why whenever I, whenever I criticize traditionalism, not sacred tradition, but traditionalism, even if the criticism. Is a question, where it’s not actually criticism, it’s just perceived that way. Oh my goodness, the horde comes out to get me. It’s unbelievable, why? Because it’s their [01:04:30] identity, it’s their culture, and therefore it’s their identity.

[01:04:32] And that becomes a problem, because one’s identity should first be Catholic, not traditionalism. It should first be Catholic, not Republican. It should first be Catholic, not Democrat. And it should first be Catholic, not American. And it should first be Catholic, not quote unquote traditionalism. Why am I putting that in quotes?

[01:04:52] Because traditionalism is not another religion. And traditionalism should not be a church within a church, but that’s what it has become. Effectively speaking, that’s what it has become. 

Drop “Traditional” – Not all “Trads” are the Same But They Use the Same Label

[01:05:02] CA: And I want to caution those of you calling yourselves traditional Catholics. This is not, uh, admonition. Although I do think it’s a very bad idea to call yourself that, but Do what the Holy Spirit is guiding you to do, but please consider this.

[01:05:16] If every traditionalist in the church is calling themselves traditionalists, that’s a problem, because can we agree that there are different layers of traditionalism in the Catholic Church? Can we agree on that? Because there are some traditionalists who are practically Sedevacantists. I mean they are literally practical Sedevacantists.

[01:05:43] And then there are some traditionalists who attend a Novus Ordo Mass, , and they do everything else quote unquote normal, except they like to pray in Latin. They like to pray in Latin. And they call themselves traditionalists. Well, that’s very different from a [01:06:00] traditionalist who is a practical Sedevacantist, right?

[01:06:04] So, between those two extremes, the novus ordo masco, or but, they prefer to pray in Latin, and then the practical sette vacantis, from those two extremes, in between those two extremes, there are many, many, many layers and levels. All of them calling themselves traditionalists, but they are not at all the same.

[01:06:25] But, if practical sette vacantis traditionalists, is sharing the same label as an ordinary old tradition. It could be just an ordinary Orthodox Catholic who just uses the term traditionalist loosely. Well, if they’re both calling themselves traditionalists, then what happens is the red carpet is rolled out for an exchange of cultures, not just an exchange of ideas, an exchange of cultures, an exchange of cultures, because they’re both traditionalists.

[01:06:59] Even though they’re not the same.

[01:07:01] And this is how extremism comes from Sedevacantism, into the church, and goes from radical traditionalism, on up the chain, to ordinary old Catholics in the pews, who are just calling themselves traditional Catholics. This is how that happens. Why? Because, because all of them call themselves traditional. In the next episode, I’m going to talk about, and traditionalists, you will appreciate this.

[01:07:27] I’m going to talk about the importance [01:07:30] of tradition. The importance of tradition. I guess you can almost think of it as the pendulum swinging in the other direction from what this episode was. The importance of tradition. Now, I’m really excited about that, and I wish I could take the time to talk to you about it now, but this is already going long.

[01:07:50] But, and also, I planned on doing that in another episode. Actually, it may not be the next episode. I think I’m doing an interview for the next episode. But it may be the episode after next, but it’s coming, okay? It’s coming. I also want to do an episode on, um, how to bring youth back into the church. I want to get at least one or two priests in on that.

[01:08:09] There’s another Catholic podcaster that I want to do an interview with and do a show with. There’s a lot of great stuff going on. , I just, uh, hope I have the time to do it. There’s a lot of great stuff going on. But anyway, probably not the next episode, but the episode after that. Or maybe I’ll do it both in one episode.

[01:08:29] I’m gonna be talking about the importance of tradition. But I will end with this. Tradition is important. But if you’re not really careful, folks, I mean this, please hear me. I love you. And I care about you. I’m not doing this for fame, fortune, glory. Why am I doing this? And if I’m not getting anything out of it, if it only costs me, why am I doing it?

Conslusion (From Someone Who Cares)

[01:08:56] CA: Because I give a damn about [01:09:00] you. So, please hear me and listen to this as coming from someone who cares truly about you, okay? If you’re not really, really careful, tradition can become another religion. Many of you will doubt that, but all you have to do, my friends, is open your eyes because it’s all around you.

[01:09:21] There are traditionalists who have turned the traditional Latin mass into an idol. There are traditionalists who are practicing certain traditions for the wrong reasons. And because they’re doing a good thing, what might be a good thing, for the wrong reasons, it actually becomes self destructive. It becomes destructive to one’s catholicity, to one’s catholic personality, I’m sorry, to one’s catholic character, to one’s catholic identity.

[01:09:52] And what happens? When identity suffers, something else has to replace it. And usually the devil is going to be the one to help you to do that.

[01:10:01] My friends, this is in the church. This is not theory. This is in the church. There are people calling themselves traditionalists who believe Pope Francis is a false pope. There are people calling themselves traditionalists who all they do is they pray in Latin. That’s the only, you know, quote unquote, traditional thing they do.

[01:10:22] Well, these are not the same types of people, but they call themselves the same things. There are traditionalists who have turned the mass into an [01:10:30] idol. And if you tell them that, watch how they explode. The fact that they explode tells me that it’s true. Because why would you give a damn about that indictment if it weren’t true?

[01:10:44] Why if listen if you told me I make an idol of the catholic church Well, this is what I would do I would laugh at you Okay And people have told me this you make an idol of the catholic church. You love the catholic church more. You love jesus christ I say that with a southern accent, but I haven’t only heard that from protestants.

[01:11:03] I’ve heard that from other catholics Usually Catholics on the left. You tell me that I’m just gonna laugh because I think it’s funny. I’m not gonna get angry. If it were true, I would get angry. So there are Catholics who have turned the traditional Latin mass into an idol. There are, there are Catholics who are traditionalists for whom traditionalism is really an expression of vanity.

[01:11:30] I mean, my friends, this is, this is not hypothesis. It’s not theory. This is just, this is just true. Does that characterize all traditionalists? Most certainly not. Absolutely not. But what I’m telling you is, it is present in traditionalism. And because every class and type of traditionalist calls themselves the same name, you roll out the red carpet for an exchange of cultures.

[01:11:59] [01:12:00] And an ordinary old traditionalist is only a few degrees away from practical Sedevacantism. You think I’m, you, you think that’s impossible? I said this in past episodes. I personally know people who have swayed more and more to the right, became traditionalist, and then more traditionalist, and more traditionalist, and more traditionalist, and a couple of them are Sedevacantists now.

[01:12:20] Well, one is a real Sedevacantist. And two of them are practical Sedevacantists. And these are just people in, who I personally know, and I’m just one person. I’m sure you might be able to pick out a few. And then I know other people who started out as completely balanced, strong, orthodox Catholics, who became traditional and more traditional.

[01:12:41] And now they’re not practical Sedevacantists, but they’re radicalized traditionalists. They’re radical traditionalists. So I really strongly advise caution about what Tradition is for you and how you express that. And I very strongly, very strongly advise against calling yourself a traditionalist. There was a time when that term was necessary, particularly into the 90s.

[01:13:12] The only way to say you are normal as a Catholic was to say I’m a traditional Catholic. There was a time where that term was necessary. That time is not now. Let your Catholicism tell other Catholics and the world what kind of Catholic [01:13:30] you are. Don’t add the traditional label there, because you are asking for trouble.

[01:13:35] For yourself and for your brothers and sisters. It’s not necessary. If you are an old school Catholic, as I am, just call yourself Catholic, because traditional is understood to be there anyway. And if people are wondering, I wonder what kind of Catholic he or she really is. Let your Catholicity tell them that.

[01:13:57] Don’t let a label have to do that work for you. If you go to a traditional Latin Mass, please let it be for the right reasons. Please let it be for the right reasons. I would also recommend, maybe force yourself to go to a Novus Ordo. Even if it’s a little crazy, I don’t mean loose. I don’t mean illicit or invalid.

[01:14:16] I just mean, even if it’s doesn’t have all the trappings and bells and whistles, and even what you think of as reverence, if that isn’t present, but it’s, it’s not a bad mass. It’s just not a mass that I like force yourself to go to that on occasion, once a month, maybe at the very minimum, if you’re going to traditional mass, traditional and mass, make sure it’s for the right reasons.

[01:14:39] And even then, force yourself to go to a Novus Ordo once a month, please. Because what you are getting out of the T. L. M., I don’t think you need to get it from the T. L. M. But, you take from the Mass what you bring to it, whether you go to a traditional Mass or a Novus Ordo. You take from the Mass what you bring to it.

[01:14:56] Personally, having gone to a few traditional Latin Masses, I really [01:15:00] did not like them. The, the honor and reverence of God. The connection between God and myself, I find more abundantly in a Novus Ordo Mass. Now, you, some of you calling yourselves traditionalists might laugh at that. That’s okay. That’s okay.

[01:15:15] It’s, it’s just me. It’s just me. I’m not saying it’s an objective thing. But I’m saying it is true for me. And if it is true for me, then it must be true. In other words, if that can be true for me, And I’m not special then that can be true for others if they just avail themselves of the opportunity There’s a lot more I can say about that But I don’t want to talk it to death if you go to a tlm Make sure you’re going for the right reasons if you conclude maybe i’m not going there for the right reasons then Haul your behind to a novice ordo mass and just stay there for a few months and purge yourself Of your bad intentions if you conclude that you have that you’re going to a tlm with bad intentions that’s up to you and the holy spirit to to conclude or You To, to admonish, if, if it’s, if it’s the case.

[01:16:00] And for everybody else, people who don’t call themselves traditionalists, some advice I have for you, one bit of very brief advice I have for you, is come up with something that is traditionally Catholic. I don’t mean sacred tradition, I mean like something customary. Come up with something and incorporate it into your life, because there might be a treasure to unearth in that.

[01:16:25] That’s gonna do it for me. Thank you for taking the time. This has [01:16:30] been another dashing episode of the Catholic Experience. I am the Catholic adventurer. Follow me on X at for the Queen bvm and follow me on Facebook at Catholic Adventurer. Visit the website, at Sign up for the newsletter.

[01:16:46] Consider becoming a pay subscriber. Sign out here at God. Be with you all. Bye-Bye.

Traditions and customs are expressions of human Culture. What happens in the absence of that expression, and why does it have such an impact on Catholic identity?

In this episode, the first in a short series on “Culture,” I explain that traditions in the lived Catholic Experience can be beneficial when present, depleting when absent, and dangerous when misused. 

Starting the episode with a few words about trusting the direction of the Church, in light of today’s release of Dignitatas Infinita, I get into the episode proper. I offer a message of encouragement to Catholics by telling a story of “The Karate Club” and explaining the lesson we learn from that, supported by Jesus’ words in the Gospel. 

Then we move into a discussion on Culture, using, for illustration of the point, problems some Catholics have with the Divine Mercy devotion and how error creeps into the Catholic population and spreads throughout the faithful through the channel of exchange of cultures. 


Lessons From a Karate Kid04:03
Culture and Traditions15:22
Humans Create, Animals Build18:13
The Hand of God in Human Culture19:15
Types of Culture and Expression of it22:37
Issues with ‘Divine Mercy’27:35
How That Error (and most error) Entered the Church through Culture32:36
Radical, Traditionalist, Sede Vacantists. Different and ‘Same’35:37
How Error Expands39:36
When You Don’t Know You’re Infected, You Spread it to Everybody43:23
What Is Meant by ‘Traditionalism’44:32
Culture is a Teacher46:03
Culture and Identity: Lose one, lose the other49:28
When We Lose Culture, We Lose Ourselves01:00:38
Drop ‘Traditional’ – Not all ‘Trads’ are the Same But They Use the Same Label01:05:02


Blog Post about Dignitas Infinita 

Episode Mentioned in this Podcast: Tradition and the Desert

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