A few incidents in the blogsphere over the last week or so have highlighted the different perspective of neo-conservatives (neo-cons) and traditionalists.
First there was a bit of verbal biffo over Fr Longenecker's article on apologetics and anglicanism over at Fr Z:
Then Athanasius came under attack from neo-cons at one end and sede-vacentists at the other for a blog on the small / big T distinction made in the Catechism of the Catholic Church when it came to Tradition:
And the third issue for me has been the debate going on in various places about the ideological soundness of Michael Sternbeck's Order of the Mass, criticised by some for including some of the Novus Ordo prefaces. See for example:
It strikes me that the question of whether and how we can delineate the traditionalist world-view is a really important debate to have.
We often see debate the manifestations of the debate such as those above. And I've often seen comments to the effect that the only thing traddies can agree on is that they like the Traditional Latin (Extraordinary Form)Mass. And even then they disagree on things like how much they like it (ie is one prepared to go to novus ordo mass occasionally for pragmatic reasons), should it be open to any variations in practice (such as readings in the vernacular), etc, etc.
But I think there are some common theoretical underpinnings that most of us can agree on, and that might help us gain a perspective on our differences.
I've been collecting up references and doing quite a bit of thinking about the topic ever since I started studying theology (which isn't that long!), and I've decided that the time has come to try and articulate my thinking. Let me readily admit that I'm a beginner in this area, and am hoping that others can enlighten and correct me!
I'm going to spread my posts on this over the week, because it is a complex topic, though I'll try and keep it as simple as possible!
There are, I think, three useful threads for this discussion.
The first is to try and tease out the differences in worldviews between traditionalists and neo-conservatives.
The second is to look at what the neo-con debate on the nature of Revelation and the development of doctrine is about.
The third is to consider some key propositions that effectively define neo-conservative 'dogma' on the nature of Tradition, and particularly on the relationship between Tradition and Scripture.
This week I'm just going to focus on the worldview issue.
What I plan to do is present some propositions of what I think the traditional perspective is.
I should note that a lot of this is based on Fr Ripperger FSSP's seminal article on this issue, Operative Points of View, published in Christian Order: http://www.christianorder.com/features/features_2001/features_mar01.html