Saturday, February 25, 2023

Michael Lofton and Jim Papandrea Make a Bad Comparison About Rad Trads

Michael Lofton and Jim Papandrea Make a Bad Comparison About Rad Trads · Kennedy Hall on Liturgic Crackdowns

As a piece of biographic information about me. When I became a Trad, I did not break contact immediately with every Novus Ordo Catholic, I actually talked to some of them after this. How did they try to dissuade me around 1991 - 93? Well, they compared Traditionalism to Rigorism, for instance Jansenism. This kind of accusation maybe already should be dead, but Michael Lofton unfortunately shows it isn't.

Radical Traditionalism in the Early Church w/ Jim Papandrea
Reason & Theology, 25.II.2023

0:29 I went over the contents and timestamps.

I think already from here it is very clear, your point is basically "being too attached to tradition and unwilling to obey changing directives was the mark of early heretics" ...

I also happen to see kind of a confusion about the difference between "radical traditionalist" and "rigorist" ...

The rigorists certainly were involved in taking something out of the previous tradition and making it - more rigorist - but precisely for that reason, they were not traditional and not radical traditionalists.

A certain Anglican, formerly "Archbishop" (no such thing really), pretended Arius was a radical traditionalist. But his arguments would involve pretending Trinitarian theology is not traditional prior to Constantine ...

Tertullian, Novatians, Donatists were all of them very well described as rigorists.

But there is no chance that FSSPX or Conclavists are going to accept the equation.

5:20 Novatian and Tertullian were certainly not against the by them perceived living magisterium. Novatian was an Antipope and Tertullian followed a "prophetic" "magisterium" that "living" enough to introduce female priests.

Already one big failure to connect them to rad trads, even on your definition.

5:53 "against the way the Church has developed to this day"

Is this a coherent traditional definition of "magisterium"?

Trent doesn't define the papacy like that, as far as I can recall ... I know Newman wrote a book in 1845, which would indicate it, but he actually wrote another book after that, in which he renounced Anglican errors.

The former book from 1845 was meant to voice his motives for conversion, as they appeared to the up to then Anglican - not as they appeared in retrospect to the converted Catholic. That's why he wrote the book before receiving catechesis.

If I had written a diary in 1985, when I had already decided to convert, would you cite this for Real Presence and Transsubstantiation being the only difference against Protestantism when it comes to the Mass? Real Presence was obviously one of my motivations, but I hadn't received Catechesis yet, and so I was ignorant of the Sacrifice of the Mass.

An essay on the development of Christian doctrine actually had a new edition in 1878.* I'll quote it:

"Perhaps his confidence in the truth and availableness of this view has sometimes led the author to be careless and over-liberal in his concessions to Protestants of historical fact.
"If this be so anywhere, he begs the reader in such cases to understand him as speaking hypothetically, and in the sense of an argumentum ad hominem and à forti[o]ri. Nor is such hypothetical reasoning out of place in a publication which is addressed, not to theologians, but to those who as yet are not even Catholics, and who, as they read history, would scoff at any defence of Catholic doctrine which did not go the length of covering admissions in matters of fact as broad as those which are here ventured on."

This should be taken into account before you pretend that "Catholic magisterium develops" ... and pretend to have JHN on your side.

6:59 "The Protestant myth is that the Reformation was all about getting back to a more original version of Christianity"

Noteworthy added qualification : which had gone missing in the magisterium for centuries.

7:33 "We are the group within the Church that wants to go back to some version of more pristine Christianity"

Sounds fairly much like some parts of the liturgic movement that led up to the Liturgic reform. The exact thing that FSSPX was against.

They dug up certain expressions which were more than a millennium older, like a (probably incomplete version of) the canon of St. Hippolytus, like hand communion, and a few more.

And the traditional liturgic movement has in a high degree been involved (notably Klaus Gamber on the FSSP or EOF side) in saying "slow down, St. Hippolytus' canon is actually longer and way closer to the Roman canon, yes, some communed in hands, but they had cloths to avoid dropping even small particles when they used their hands in everyday ways again ..." ...

So, if anything I rebut the charge. On this account, as well as actual content, it's more Modernists who are like the Protestants.

8:32 "a form of extremism" ...

Am I supposed to here find an allusion to Aristotle's view of the Golden Mean?

I am reminded here, in rebuttal, to CSL's rebuttal on the golden mean. Yes, for the content of any virtue, it is normally the mean between excess and defect. But the pursuit of virtue as such is not one of the things that can have an excess.

Precisely so, Chesterton found in the Catholic Tradition the answer to extremisms like Gnostics who said no one should marry and Protestants who said everyone must marry (as they did say back then) and a few more extreme positions. But he didn't seem to say that one could be extremely attached to tradition. If anything, that could be in liturgy. One reason why I was somewhat wary of FSSPX in 1988.

On the other hand, the changes to the liturgy seem off, and some seem to forget that the Mass is a sacrifice, and that the sacrifice comes before the communal meal.

9:44 "they are not technically radical traditionalists"

Important admission, we'll see why ...

9:46 "they wouldn't consider themselves that, because"

I suppose you mean the Rigorists wouldn't ...

9:52 "they were not themselves calling on some supposedly earlier tradition, 'cause they are already in the early Church, there wasn't much earlier than them"

Tertullian, c. 155 AD – c. 220 AD If he became Montanist (debated) this happened in c. 207. 174 years of tradition before him. Novatian, c. 200 – c. 258, He is considered by the Catholic Church to have been an antipope between 251 and 258. 218 years of tradition before he became Antipope. In 311 Caecilian (a new bishop of Carthage) was consecrated by Felix of Aptungi, an alleged traditor. His opponents consecrated Majorinus, a short-lived rival who was succeeded by Donatus. 278 years of tradition before the consecration of Majorinus.

Suppose you want to compare Mgr Lefebvre's "final gesture of defiance" to this ... 1988

1988 - 174 = 1814
1988 - 218 = 1770
1988 - 278 = 1710

Mgr Lefebvre was not opposing any of what Pius VII said, who was Pope 1800 - 1823. If anything, he has a misguided too great adherence to the decision in the Settele case ... as have the Modernists.
Mgr Lefebvre was not opposing Clement XIV (elected in 1769) - except on the dissolution of Jesuits, where the opposition was already made by Pius VII.
Mgr Lefebvre was not opposing Unigenitus by Clement XI (elected in 1700, issued bull in 1713).

All that Mgr Lefebvre opposed was much more recent, and in the name of things he had obeyed, by obedience, in his youth.

You would be very hard set to find the "more recent thing to oppose" factor in the case of Montanus, Novatian or Majorinus.

Let's compare how Luther's Reformation of Wittenberg in 1522 falls on the "early rigorists" and not the "Lefebvre" side of the distinction:

1522 - 174 = 1348 Luther's new liturgy did not accord with the Roman Liturgy of 1348
1522 - 218 = 1304 Luther's new view of the sacraments had no approval in manuals from 1304
1522 - 278 = 1244 Luther's view of Transsubstantiation (denying it) would not have found approval by St. Thomas who entered the Dominicans this year.

11:33 Obviously, once you go to "no post-baptismal forgiveness of sin" - you have denied the powers given in John 20:21-23 by Our Lord to the Apostles.

This in and of itself means, such rigorists simply could not be traditionalists.

13:03 Clement of Alexandria saying sex is only for procreation can have meant simply : sex cannot be licitly had when procreation is either made impossible or is for other reasons impossible.

Sex cannot be licitly had when one makes procreation impossible is obviously the Catholic view.

Sex cannot be licitly had when it is for other reasons impossible - well, at least the Old Law forbade sex in the times of the monthly cycle when conception was least likely, and the CF St. Ambrose spoke of men not continuing sex when the prospect of children was stopping.

If it's simply about the motivation, I highly doubt that Clement would have denied the right and even duty to answer the request from the other, as per 1 Cor 7:3 - only being precise that this request to be valid must not exclude procreation.

15:24 In 207 or 208 or sth, it's certain that Tertullian wrote in an appreciating way of Montanism.

It is very much less clear that Tertullian actually joined them, according to wikipedia.

It is also abundantly clear that Montanism has more to do with Mormons and Palmarians than with Rad Trads ...

20:36 Not from video, but from chat feed.

While the TLM was not "the early liturgy" it is still extraordinarily ancient. While many changes/developments happened, if you took a time machine to like 325 it'd still be pretty recognizable

George Ortiz
the tradition of the church is in the NT,the Apostles spoke in Greek,and the NT was written in greek.

In 325 AD, Rome celebrated a pretty recognisable TGM (Traditional Greek Mass). I think it was Pope St. Damasus who decided to translate it to Latin.

Last addition to the canon was by Pope St. Gregory I.

1962 - 604 = 1358 years of stability that "John XXIII" broke. Pope Michael did not approve the books of 1962. He has however approved of making it the TEM - Traditional Mass said in English ...

23:07 Pope Michael has actually reversed the Gregorian reform on this point.

Married men can be clergy in the Latin rite, without dispensation, as per Vatican in Exile.

This is one of the few areas where discipline and theology would actually clash between FSSPX and Pope Michael.

26:34 "in the Roman world, legal marriage was only for people with a lot of money"

The Romans, like the Hindus, certainly had different marriage types depending on "caste" ... the Church ignored this and had Her own marriage.

I highly doubt any news of the Church blocking people from marrying due to insufficient billionairship ...

26:55 Ah, as I thought, Mr. Papandrea agrees with me, for once.

Matrimony was not equated to Roman civil marriages.

33:17 First attempt at Christian but not Catholic ... what about Gnostics and Ebionites?

I do know some Protestants seek a kind of "jumping" continuity between themselves and Novatians, one way this breaks down is some of the other guys they count as stones to jump across, namely Paulicians and Albigensians, were very certainly no Christians.

34:40 The idea that Dimond Brothers might have been Donatists is one thing .... but stating this about FSSPX or Pope Michael is preposterous. Supposing obviously that Donatism really was condemned for being too rigorous on EENS.

As far as I know, there are other issues.

35:36 I don't know any Rad Trads who would consider an ordination or consecration invalid for the person having been in heresy or in opposition to the faith.

Whether Novus Ordo orders are valid is another question. If "Paul VI" was no pope, the new Pontificale romanum was not valid, there could be issues with the new forms of the sacrament - as there were with Lutheran and Anglican orders, judged to be invalid as per Leo XIII.

But even if Father Viganò was a very holy man and his consecrators apart from "John Paul II" were so, Father Franciszek Macharski and Father Angelo Sodano ... well, only Wojtyla was consecrated in the old rite ... if the rite of ordination is invalid, that's a very different thing from invalidity due to unworthiness. Which was the schmuck with Donatists.

37:14 If you want to reemphasise "just how serious that is" how about asking yourself whether some of your heros were guilty of it?

"John XXIII" and "Paul VI" and "John Paul II" - were they creating schisms by changing what was supposed to be Orthodox so much that actually faithful Catholics were driven out of Communion with them? Even supposing (which I do not grant) that they were not themselves the ones entering schism, were they schismatic by refusing the apt pastoral to people who still wanted it?

38:14 Strawman.

The ones who deny validity of Novus Ordo sacraments don't do so because of analysing them as "outside the Church" but because of analysing them as Protestant.

Luther was validly ordained. But in 1522 he did not validly celebrate Mass. Not because he had left the Church, but because he had redefined Mass.

38:44 Thank you.

That is the precise point in so many Trads who deny Novus Ordo Sacraments and Novus Ordo Sect belonging to the Church. It ceases to belong to the Church because in changing the liturgy, it deprives itself and its faithful of sacraments. Not all of them, not baptisms or marriages, but those concerned with clerical priesthood. This is why the Catholic Church obligatorily becomes the ones remaining with the older sacramentology and expressing it in the older liturgy.

* Preface to the 1878 Edition