The Coo-ees have posted yet another defense of the indefensible over at their place, which I won't bother to reply to here (except to note that I really resent having my comparison to their treatment of Cardinal Pell portrayed as incitement to attack him. Talk about being verballed!!).
Why do traddies and neo-cons find it so hard to get on?
But it does all raise the question once again of why it is that those holding the middle ground in the Church - who I'll label neo-conservatives for the sake of convenience - so often struggle with traditionalists.
After all, in many ways we have a lot in common - we both dislike the liberals! We both tend to agree that something needs to be done to fix the liturgy.
The trouble is, our preferred solutions differ radically!
On this there is a rather nice article written a few years back by Fr Ripperger FSSP that I thought might be worthwhile drawing to your attention and encouraging you to read or reread.
The value of 'extrinsic' tradition
Fr Ripperger identifies reasons why key elements of the extrinsic tradition (the heritage of the Church passed down to us through the generations) of the Church tend to be ignored in favour of what he terms 'magisterialism', which the rest of us might less politely describe as varying degrees of ultra-montanism.
Basically, he argues, instead of tradition being the norm and key test for what should and shouldn't be done, the sole criteria becomes the teaching of the current Magisterium.
The difference between conservatives and traditionalists, he suggests is that:
"...the neo-conservative looks at the past through the eyes of the present while the traditionalist looks at the present through the eyes of the past."
Magisterialism and Pope Benedict XVI
In many ways the dynamic has changed since the article was written due to the election of Pope Benedict XVI - not because magisterialism has entirely disappeared, but because it is working in favour of the recovery of tradition due to the Pope's own position on the subject. The result is that there is a substantial group of conservatives who are trying (with varying degrees of enthusiasm!) to come to grips with the TLM and tradition more broadly.
The problem is that they are doing so essentially out of obedience rather than any intrinsic understanding of the inherent merit of the case for it. And that means they tend to focus only on the bits that they are told to, rather than embracing tradition as a whole. It is not, for example, that they are convinced that chant (or kneeling to receive, or six/seven candlesticks on the altar, etc, etc) is part of our patrimony, inherently superior because it is the product of tradition that they are prepared to see its (limited) revival, but because the Pope told them too/does that/likes that.
Now don't get me wrong, obedience is a good first step. It is certainly a better place to be than those who remain in the clutches of outdated ideas and simply will not change, so sit sniping from the sidelines instead.
But unless that obedience eventually gets translated into an intellectual understanding and acceptance of the case for the 'hermaneutic of continuity', it won't last past the reign of the current Pope (long may he reign!).
The Pope's strategy seems to be to build up 'brick by brick' as Fr Z puts it, and, I suspect, hope that eventually a mental switch will be thrown in people's minds, and they will get it. I guess that's kind of a variant on the idea that that the mass evangelises itself!
But I do wonder if there isn't some more ground level work that we can be doing to help this process along.
But in the meantime, we can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that Captain Kirche is on our side....