12 April 2013

On Traditionalists

I used to run  with a Traditional crowd, sang at an EF Mass, celebrated with them when Summorum Pontificum came out, had breakfast with them after Mass.  I got to know a few pretty well.  I still try and get to an EF Mass from time to time, which, sadly, amounts to only once a year.

If I was so inclined, I could tell stories about some of the odder things that they did, and I could point out a few weirdos, because those are the easiest things to write about, and, let's face it, it can be kind of fun.  Let's face it: a good story is fueled on strangeness.  The story about average joes doing average stuff is no story at all.  I have even, from time to time, started to tell stories about some of the weirdos.

But I always end up deleting them, because I believe it helps create an unfair impression about the trads, as though those few oddballs were the rule, and not the exception.  When I think back to the time I sang for that Mass, what I am struck by now is how ordinary that group was, really just a bunch of average Catholics.  Think of all the people you see at an ordinary parish- the church lady, who tries to run the show, the elderly who talk about how things were back in the day, young people with their babies, the quietly pious, the ostentatiously pious- they were  all there, just like any other church, really.  Even if we had a few weirdos, what of it?  Doesn't every parish? Does your parish have some people who are trying to change everything?  They had some people who were trying to change everything back.   Same basic push, only in a different direction.  Sure, we had a few kooks.  But even that is common.  Show me someone who says their parish has no kooks, and I will show you a liar.  They're everywhere.  Even in that, it was just like an ordinary parish.

The cranks in the crowd may be the loudest and the most obnoxious, but they are not the whole story.  Mostly, what I remember are a bunch of happy people who attended Mass and then went on with their daily lives to the best of their abilities.  I think about that whenever I hear some loudmouth sounding off in the name of Tradition.  They only speak for themself.  By all means, shoot them down.  It is only right that such errors be corrected.  But do not make the error of thinking they represent anything other than their own sorry selves.

1 comment:

Vox Cantoris said...

I am disappointed by those who use labels such as "rad-trads" and that all are considered anti-Semites.

It's easy to slander Catholics who long or attend the EF.

They've been doing it for half a century.

You are correct, they only represent themselves.