Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Karl Keating on "Radical Traditionalist"

I concede that the term "radical Traditionalist" was misunderstood by some listeners--not by a large proportion, so far as I can gather, but certainly by more than a few. It was not the term I would have used had I been on the May 31 show. (I was vacationing in Germany at the time.)

I'm not sure what term I would have preferred; perhaps more than one term would be needed, to distinguish "run of the mill" Traditionalists (the large majority) from those who have gone off to an extreme (sedevacantists and those who claim Vatican II and the OF are invalid) and from a third group consisting, chiefly, of the SSPX, which, after all, is not in full communion with the Church and which takes some positions, with respect to Vatican II and its aftermath, that I don't think can be supported. So, I'm open to finding better terminology. I hope you would be too.

I would like to see "The Remnant" drops such unhelpful terms as "Novus Ordo Catholics" and "Conciliar Catholics." I don't think such terms can be used without inadvertently conveying a sense of condescension or disdain. I don't mean that you and your associates load those terms with condescension or disdain. I mean I think many people on the receiving end will think that you intend the terms to carry that kind of baggage.

This is what you and others are saying about the term "radical Traditionalist"--that it too easily is taken the wrong way. That's a valid criticism. I think there is terminological weakness all across the board.

The very interesting discussion just got a lot more interesting. That's a major concession from Karl Keating. Before, the standard defense (one never employed by Keating to his credit) is that traditionalists were dumb mouthbreathers who were too ignorant to understand that we were being done a favor. I think Keating attempted a defense, but also realized some things just aren't worth going to war over.

I think his request to The Remnant and others to drop terms such as "Novus Ordo Catholic" (I would also add Neo-Catholic) is a sensible one. Yet even if they decide to still use the terms, Mr. Keating should take the first step. He admits the term gets used the wrong way and that it damages legitimate traditionalists. So drop the phrase entirely. He himself admits "radtrad" is a slur and Catholics should be above that. They should also be above using the long form as well. Keating should have Catholic Answers say something like the following:
Here at Catholic Answers, we are committed to explaining and defending the Catholic Faith in a way accessible to our audiences. Sometimes this involves using terms that, while not perfect, we believed were sufficient. Due to circumstances beeyond our control, sometimes those justifications are no longer valid.

Such is the case with the terms radical traditionalist and rad trad that have been in use by our apologists and our radio hosts. We thought we were making the proper distinctions to seperate good traditionalists from those who held unacceptable views such as Vatican II formally teaching heresy, the Missal of Paul VI being invalid and/or intrinsically offensive to God, or the popes since the Second Vatican Council not being valid popes. 
Despite our intentions, these terms have been taken the wrong way too often, and a lot of good traditionalists were stigmatized in the process.
In confusing times, there are a lot of imprecise terms being used, and they frequently add to the confusion. 
To avoid any further confusion, from this moment forward, Catholic Answers, Catholics Answers Live and all her employees will cease using the phrases "radical traditionalist", "rad trad", "Mad trad" or any other derogative term. We believe that a more accurate description needs to occur, and we invite our traditionalist brethren from all circles to help us in doing so, and we shall be planning several endeavors to make this a reality. This is a dialogue all Catholics should have, and we hope this first step shows our seriousness.

We also call upon our traditionalist brethren to cease using imprecise labels on their side as well, such as Novus Ordo Catholic, Neo-Catholic, Concilliar Catholic, and the like. It is hard for this needed dialogue to take place when such terms are used. Even though you as well may have the best of intentions, these terms are being taken the wrong way, and are stigmatizing people who should be your ally.

As always we thank our traditionalist community members for bringing forth their concerns in a charitable and rational manner. We would like to especially thank The Remnant Magazine, who showed the honesty and candor to get these talks started. We should also like to thank Kevin Tierney, the new face of traditionalism.......

Sorry, fingers got caught on autopilot. You know, something like this.

1 comment:

  1. This whole exchange was a win for almost everyone involved (though Patrick Coffin still takes a hit for his "Mad Trad" piece). I pray it goes further than the commbox with something truly productive.


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