Traditional Anglo-Papist

12 April 2006

Conservative vs. Traditional Catholicism

I have always liked what Fr. Chad Ripperger, F.S.S.P. has to say. His website, Sensus Traditionis, is worth a look, espeically if you like Thomistic philosophy. I found a very interesting article on The Latin Mass website by Fr Ripperger, Conservative vs. Traditional Catholicism. Here is a little quote:
In 1996, a group of friends had lunch in Rome at the Czechoslovakian college. One of the priests who offers Mass according to the new rite was a bit dumbfounded. He had written an article in which he had discussed certain aspects of the liturgical reform. His puzzlement came from the fact that traditionalists had attacked his article and he could not understand why. A traditionalist seminarian said to the priest, “We agree that something has to be done about the liturgy, but we do not agree on what should be done.” Traditionalists and neoconservatives often find each other mystifying, and the reason for this has to do with the relationship each position holds with respect to ecclesiastical tradition.

I think the article illustrates some of the modern problems in theological discussion quite well. Maybe, in the broader Anglican context, we can see the article as descriptive of on-going confusion over issues between those who are Anglo-Catholic (or who may like to consider themselves Anglo-Papist) and those who are Traditional Anglo-Papist. This confusion illustrates an underlying difference in how theology is done. After all Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi or Lege rubrum, si vis intelligere nigrum.


  • I read and may have blogged this some time ago. My friend Jeff Culbreath has made that distinction for years, noting that while accepting the Pope of course, traditionalists are actually 'papal minimalists' recognising that he can and does make mistakes in prudential judgement. The conservatives 'conserve' the mistakes since around 1970 and are like emperor's courtiers in Hans Andersen's story telling him how marvellous his new suit it.

    The Anglo-Catholic map is more complicated. It varies by country. I don't know about Australia as I've not been but know the country is liberal and the Anglicanism largely evangelical-on-steroids, like the English kind flourishing in the sunny climate. But English (and for that matter British) and American ACism are different kettles of fish! The American tends to be more externally conservative - if not a Missal man then at least he resembles one in his praxis, maybe doing his Prayer Book's traditional-language option, Rite I, with Tridentine ceremonial, etc., much like the old American Missal. He likes ye-olde-Englishe style in church The Englishman either uses the Novus Ordo or a Catholic-options version of the current English book, Common Worship or whatever it is this decade, and actually looks down on the old Prayer Book, often held up in America as a symbolic rallying-point for orthodoxy. Novus use by American Episcopalians is virtually unknown. Anglo-Papalism seems a liturgically modern and English phenom. (The old school ones are as rare as hen's teeth everywhere.) And I think their Central and Low traditions differ: American Evangelicals are like English middle-of-the-road; English Evos like Presbyterians or conservative Baptists who happen to have been born Anglican. You don't see that in the States - such actually become Presbys and Baptists!

    By Blogger The young fogey, at Friday, April 14, 2006 3:58:00 AM  

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