Friday, 14 December 2012

It's trendy to be traditionalist!

The Economist magazine this week features an article titled 'Catholic Conservatives: A traditionalist avant-garde', and subtitled 'It's trendy to be a traditionalist in the Catholic Church'.

In fact the story is mainly a statement of the obvious: even as the 'mainstream Church'  - or rather that small and ever declining part of it that didn't walk out the door after Vatican II  - fades into dust, traditionalist numbers are rising, spurred by Pope Benedict XVI's legitimization of the traditional Mass, and aided by the Ordinariate.

The article also makes the point that most traditionalists are young people, who weren't even born when Vatican II took place.

But it is the article's concluding paragraph that is pure gold:

"The return of the old rite causes quiet consternation among more modernist Catholics. Timothy Radcliffe, once head of Britain’s Dominicans, sees in it “a sort of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ nostalgia”. The traditionalist revival, he thinks, is a reaction against the “trendy liberalism” of his generation. Some swings of pendulums may be inevitable. But for a church hierarchy in Western countries beset by scandal and decline, the rise of a traditionalist avant-garde is unsettling. Is it merely an outcrop of eccentricity, or a sign that the church took a wrong turn 50 years ago?"

Yes, well, the answer you give to the final question probably defines whether or not you are a  traditionalist...

Do go and read the whole thing.