Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pete Vere to Catholic Commentators: Stop using "Radical Traditionalist" and "RadTrad"

Most of you reading this won't know who Pete Vere is, unless you are a canon law wonk, or a veteran of the early days of Catholic Blogging. Mr. Vere was a well known canon lawyer who had done extensive work on the SSPX. What makes him interesting today is he was also one of the people who did the most to make "radical traditionalist" and "radtrad" a popular phrase. As someone who not only went to the Extraordinary Form but someone who helped guide a lot of Bishops into establishing indults (remember them days? If not, blessed are you!), when he used the phrase, it stuck. The big name apologists of the world got their info about "radical traditionalists" from Pete. I include all of this backstory for a reason: namely Pete's surprising reversal on using the terms in a post on his facebook page. Here are the money quotes:
But that does not mean Kevin is wrong. Rather, like Shawn, I suspect Kevin is right... And deep down inside I think that is what bothered me most about Kevin's response- the fact that him being right means I have to let go of old prejudices formed during yesteryear's battles. battles that today's generation of trad never faced...
In essence, the expression "radtrad" was coined to allow traditinoalists to escape the menu. It served its purpose. However, today's generation has been invited to eat at the table.
I'm not a fool. I realize a lot of people will keep using radtrad and other insulting terms. Yet I think they should really reflect on Pete's words. He is known as an old school scrapper when it came to debates. Yet he also realizes that such an approach actually harms everyone today: it harms the SSPX, it harms loyal traditionalists, and it harms every other Catholic as well. If you think there deserves to be a spot for traditionalists at the table (and at least in public these individuals profess for that to be the case), then it really is simple: drop the terms. The man who made the term mean what you think it means today is telling you to do so.

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