Want a good way to figure out if the traditionalist you are talking to has been one before Benedict XVI's pontificate? Ask them if they read Peter Miller's Seattle Catholic. Between 2001 and 2006, SC was a website that served as an all purpose internet hub for traditionalists. Mr. Miller collected links from around the web that trads would find interesting, and linked them without commentary. When Peter Miller gave you a link, your traffic exploded. This was always comforting to young traditionalists such as myself, who at that time were written out of polite Catholic conversation. In 2002 at 20 years old and only starting to discover the Latin Mass, Mr. Miller always "put me over" (to borrow a wrestling phrase) by giving me a couple links every now and then. As Michael Brendan Dougherty (my original blog partner who transferred into really interesting political journalism) put it, a lot of us got our start thanks to Seattle Catholic and their influence.
When you actually wanted commentary, he always had some interesting opinion works that spanned the viewpoint of traditionalist commentary. Most importantly, it allowed viewpoints that went against the prevailing traditionalist ethos. Many believed that traditionalists were all monarchists politically and you had to be a distributist economically. Mr. Miller allowed incredibly intelligent writers to come on and argue otherwise. Some might not have realized it at the time, but he was broadening the traditionalist movement through his actions. Agree on the same faith and our love of the same liturgy, everything outside of dogmatics can and should be debated. That's what I learned from reading the site several times a day. If anything I would argue traditionalists need a modern day Seattle Catholic, if someone was insane enough to do that much work.
That's why it is with much fanfare and celebration that Mr. Miller stepped out of his self imposed exile to give a current state of the traditionalist movement promo over at Rorate Caeli. In it he talks a lot about the same themes we have covered lately, mainly about how much has changed in the past 7 years since SC went dark. They are teasing this as the first of many, and I hope that is the case.
Mr. Miller offers a very sobering analysis, emphasizing how far we've come, how far we still have to go, and stressing the importance of individuals, on all sides, doing the right thing and fighting the good fight. That's a call I made in two well received columns at Catholic Lane. Someone with Mr. Miller's influence and auctoritas will hopefully be able to get more to pay attention.