I suppose the opposite reaction to the problem I raised a short while ago about the term ‘traditionalism’ implying that no one else is a Catholic is just to say ‘yes, that’s right’ (while throwing in a little material/formal distinction). In a round about way that seems to be the approach the LMS Chairman has been taking on his blog in a series of posts (1, 2, 3, 4 & 5) analysing why Pope Francis’s approach to a number of issues is far more fatal to Neo-Conservatism than to Traditionalism. In fact, he argues it is really rather Traditionalist in spirit because of his hostility to Ultramontanism and Legal Positivism, the two pillars of Neo-Conservatism. He also points out that the Pope, like almost all prelates of his generation, has probably never met a Traditionalist or read any serious literature written from a Traditionalist perspective. Of course, this was certainly not true of Pope Benedict which raises the elephant-in-the-room question of ‘why did Benedict not do more?’. The answer to that question, I fear, is that, in the end, Ratzinger is too mired in the Nouvelle Theologie to go beyond the symptoms of the crisis to strike at the disease itself. At the heart of the darkness lurks Henri de Lubac and Hans Urs von Balthasar. Until they are condemned the roots will remain and the poisonous weeds of Neo-Modernism will survive any attack. There is an ideology of the Vetus Ordo (the same ideology as that of the Byzantine, Coptic, Maronite, Syrian, Armenian and Assyrian Rites) and it is called Catholicism. Whether or not there is an ideology of the Novus Ordo it certainly came from an ideology and it certainly wasn’t Catholicism, as even Paul VI seemed to recognise by the end of his life.
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