Don’t call yourself traditionalist

Cardinal Sarah urges Church to embrace young Catholics who prefer the older form of the Roman Rite

Cardinal Sarah celebrates Mass ad orientem: ‘There is no reason to oppose the return to a beautiful practice’ (Photo: Fr Lawrence Lew, OP)

Cardinal Robert Sarah has praised young Catholics who prefer the older form of the Roman Rite, saying he can “personally testify to the sincerity and devotion of these young men and women”.

In a speech to the Fifth Roman Colloquium on Summorum Pontificum, held at the Pontifical University of St Thomas (Angelicum), the cardinal added that other Catholics should “open your hearts and minds” to these young people and the “good they do”.

“They are neither nostalgic nor embittered nor encumbered by the ecclesiastical battles of recent decades,” he said. “They are full of the joy of living the life of Christ amidst the challenges of the modern world.”

In turn, he called on Catholics who prefer the Old Rite to leave the “traditionalist ghetto” and mix with other Catholics as “many will benefit” from their faithful witness.

“Almighty God calls you to do this. No one will rob you of the usus antiquior of the Roman rite. But many will benefit, in this life and the next, from your faithful Christian witness which will have so much to offer given the profound formation in the faith that the ancient rites and the associated spiritual and doctrinal ambience has given you.”

Indeed, Cardinal Sarah said ‘traditional Catholics’ should stop referring to themselves as such.

“Some, if not many, people, call you ‘traditionalists’. Sometimes you even call yourselves ‘traditional Catholics’ or hyphenate yourselves in a similar way. Please do this no longer,” he said.

“You do not belong in a box on the shelf or in a museum of curiosities. You are not traditionalists: you are Catholics of the Roman rite as am I and as is the Holy Father.

“You are not second-class or somehow peculiar members of the Catholic Church because of your life of worship and your spiritual practices, which were those of innumerable saints.

“You are called by God, as is every baptised person, to take your full place in the life and mission of the Church in the world of today, not to be shut up in—or worse, to retreat into—a ghetto in which defensiveness and introspection reign and stifle the Christian witness and mission to the world you too are called to give.”

Full story at The Catholic Herald.



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  1. Please Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven let this Holy Cardinal be your next Vicar on Earth… and soon.

  2. The vetus Ordo runs strong in Southern California. We Keep the Faith with hard work. We are analogous to the Irish monks who kept Western Civilization alive by preserving ancient books. We shall overcome as the Church becomes steadily dimished by Pope Francis and his merry band of Jesuits.

    • Why in the world are so many pre-occupied by which of the VALID AND LICIT forms of the Mass people choose to attend????

      • Anonymous B says:

        A. The New Mass of 1969 represents a deliberate break with the traditional Mass of the Roman church, an authentic tradition dating back to the Upper Room with Christ and the apostles. Bugnini states so in his own book, “The Reform of the Liturgy, 1948-1975”.

        Reliance on a liturgy to be “valid and licit” is the weakest spiritual level of obligation. Many ritual acts may be “valid and licit” but are deficient in grace. Because the 1969 Mass defects from the perfection of the tradition, the deficient effects are evident: less fervor, reduced attendance, a general malaise.

  3. Linda Maria says:

    It is still strange to me, use of the term, “traditionalist”– and the strange mockery of it! Long ago, before Vatican II– there was no such term! The entire world knew what the Roman Catholic Church was all about— and that her solemn Mass and Sacraments were all in Latin! Very holy, too! Dress up, put on a nice hat or mantilla, and go with your husband and family, to take your new little baby to the church, for Baptism– it is all done in Latin!! Catholic Tradition was once highly respected! Anything else would have been ridiculous– and definitely NOT ALLOWED!! So strange– Catholic leaders, ridiculing our ancient, 2000+ year-old Tradition, of our Church! Nothing “wrong” with Catholic Tradition!!

  4. Your mission is to get yourself to heaven and bring as many people with you as you can. What you are called as you do this really doesn’t matter, but if you are an orthodox Catholic in practice, you are more likely to succeed!

    • Linda Maria says:

      I agree with Kristin! The promises of Christ are REALLY TRUE– yet, so many, even in high posts in our Church– do not truly believe Christ’s promises! They have not really walked His path, at all! The design of the Catholic Faith, left to us by Jesus Christ– is VERY EXACT!! If we faithfully follow it, with no excuses, and no deviance— just very trustingly faithful to Him– WE WILL ARRIVE AT HEAVEN’S GATE, SOMEDAY, LIKE IT OR NOT– because it is all 100% TRUE!! Christ’s teachings are very simple– even a child can follow Him! Yet– they aso can be very hard!! — but He is there, always, to help us succeed!!

  5. Matthew Da Vinci says:

    Sarah is right. Those self-described “traditionalists” seem to think that one day the EF Mass will be the basis for a new sui juris Catholic church — its own right they term “Traditional Catholic.” That’s just not going to happen.

    Pope Benedict XVI warned of this sort of divisive behavior. If those that prefer the EF Mass don’t begin to comport themselves with a bit more decorum, the EF Mass will have an even smaller presence in the Church then it does today.

  6. Matthew Da Vinci says:

    The EF Mass is no where near 2,000 years old. Closer to 600-700 years old. The Mass of the early church was actually a great deal more like today’s OF Mass.

    • Agree. Even the earliest popes celebrated Mass in Greek, not Latin. No need for a dead language that puts people to sleep when they need a bell to warn them of the consecration. And birettas look so silly.

      • So, shallow comments (“birettas”, “dead language”) aside, you wish the Mass to be in koine Greek, correct? After all, that is the Greek used in the NT.

        Or is this another empty argument for another-language and practice that, in fact, you really don’t want at all, either.

        “Anything BUT tradition”…So we can change the rite every week.

    • Anonymous 2 says:

      “The ‘EF’ Mass is nowhere 2000 years old.” New Order nonsense.

      S. Ambrose (d.397) mentions specific prayers from the TLM Canon (“Suscipe Sancte Pater”, others) in his teaching, De Mysteriis (ca.350 AD). In the major catacomb complexes, ca.100-200 AD, the prayer for “light, happiness, and peace” for the faithful dead, directly from the Roman Canon, is often cited. S. Peter recited the Mass In the house of SS. Praxedes and Pudenziana (the oldest church in Rome), ca. 50-60 AD. The Roman Canon [canon”unchanging rule”) itself cites its unbroken history, stating “in union with Peter, [The Apostles], and the very 1st Roman pontiffs, “Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus..”

      The Roman Mass dates back to the Apostolic era.

  7. Linda Maria says:

    The Roman Catholic Tridentine Latin Mass is very holy, very theologically exact– and dates back about 1500 years! It deserves the RESPECT of all Catholics!! It is a very important part of our heritage!! Some Catholics prefer the old Latin Mass, and some prefer the New Mass, which is fine. But we should all respect our precious and rich ecclesiastical heritage!

  8. I don’t know if traditionalists will survive outside the ghetto. For many the thought of being in an exclusive club causes them to be a part of it. If you take away that from them the appeal goes away.

    • Your kindness and understanding toward “traditionalists” overfloweth. Clearly the charitable fruit of your liturgical practice, no?

    • Linda Maria says:

      WONDERFUL if a devout Catholic group, seeks to get together, and provide mutual support, in a world so hostile to truly sincere, devout, faithful Catholics, of all types! Sad to say– but true Christians are always few, in this world— and have also been greatly persecuted! Those who wish to follow Christ sincerely, need the help and support of a very good parish church, and very faithful, devout priests! Regardless of the form of the Mass! There is little help and support in today’s world, for sincere, devout Catholics of all groups, in Communion with Rome! Catholic families especially need spiritual support and guidance, in raising their kids Catholic!

  9. Look out for the leftist deceivers like Da Vinci and Anomynous who preach like they are experts but only repeat hearsay from other dumb leftists. I recommend you all obtain from Tan Books “How Christ said the First Mass” written by Fr. James Meagher at the turn of the 19th Century. It is only about 400 pages of detail, but of course leftists can’t read nor comprehend.
    Cardinal Sarah is have correct. Those labeled “traditionalists” shouldn’t be; rather just labeled Roman Catholics. On the other hand, the leftist-modernists are the ones who changed and they should be named something other than simply Roman Catholics.

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