Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Servile, Legalistic and Anti-Spiritual

Did Scott Hahn mean it when he called traditional Catholics "servile" and said they have an anti-spiritual, legalistic attitude towards prayer, fasting and chant? You decide.


318@NICE said...

Its getting to the point in the Catholic Church where one can just start saying, "What's the point?" "Why go to Mass?" "Why do anything?"
The danger here is that if the old ways of the Catholic church were "wrong" and in error and were not good for Catholics, this means that until Vatican II, the Catholic Church was in error until that time. So maybe the Orthodox and Protestants were right the whole time.

Anonymous said...

Oh heresies of heresies, oh blasphemer of blasphemers, oh my goodness gracious. I can't believe an orthodox catholic would criticize schismatic trads who, with gasp, legalism and servility.

LOL, ROFLMAO! Us conscientious dissenters on sexual issues get this treatment on a daily basis. Get used to it. Unless your truly ultramontane and accept the decisions of the magisterium in your heart than you too are a dissenter.

Do you think that the first thing Jesus ul do if he returned right now is reform the liturgy? Then you just might be a dissenter!

Listen, I'm traditionalist in that I've learned a bit of Latin and I'm super high church in my tastes, I'd like the return of Latin mass, perhaps tridentine, where I can actually attend. But it's not first priority folks.

Channeling the Holy Spirit into your life on a daily basis IS first priority. Being kind to others is first priority. Helping the poor is first priority. So, OK, maybe there are multiple first priorities. And liturgical beauty and perfection is important. But it is not first priority.

Anonymous said...


It is commonly accepted that the church is ever growing into a deeper realization of the faith. The common explanation for the church's reversal on slavery is that this was a deep truth, not really found in scripture, that the church grew to realize with time and the effort of the Holy Spirit. The church is more concerned about proclaiming something to be true, then having it be in error. That is a different matter than to not have realized something immediately.

So this flip-flop on the tridentine will give us reformer types some new ammo! [rubbing my hands together gleefully]

318@NICE said...

Winnipeg Catholic,
Its not the Latin that I'm talking about, and knowing a little Latin does not make you conservative.
The problem is that if a Catholic commits themselves to the discipline of the prayers prescribed by the Church from the time of Trent for example. Are they being servile to this spiritual discipline and is it just a waste of time that is doing nothing for them?
See, what my point is this: Martin Luther was saying the same things in his day. He saw a lot of the disciplines as being foolish and a waste of time and persuaded even nuns and monks to break their vows and marry one another. So, what I'm asking was the Church wrong before and was Luther right?
Should we just be Protestant and just stop fighting to keep the Traditional Catholic faith, not just the worship, but the doctrines as well.
I know that as soon as this comment is posted, you will write another sarcastic reply to get the last word in, and that's fine, that's your way, so go ahead.
Maybe you don't like me because I'm not only a Traditional Catholic, but also a Detroit Red Wings fan, not much hockey coming out of Winnipeg these days.
But then again you are probably going to criticize me for being a hockey fan as well (a conservative that likes rough sports or something like that).


Dr. Bombay said...

What we are, you once were.
What we believe, you once believed.
How we worship, you once worshipped.
If you were right then, we are right now.
If we are wrong now, you were wrong then.

Of course, perhaps Dr. Hahn gets a pass since back "then" he was trolling the muddy waters of manifest heresy as a prot.

But then again, he's been a nominal Catholic for some many years now and he presently argues the Holy Ghost is a girl. Heretics obviously find it hard to leave their heresy behind.

And, as an aside, it does not logically follow that a freeing of the Old Rite means that someday the Church is going to sanction buggery. Silly old bear.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

"Its not the Latin that I'm talking about, and knowing a little Latin does not make you conservative.

LOL - if that were true I'd not admit to knowing any Latin! I don't mean to hurt your feelings with sarcasm but I respect Scott Hahn and he stands accused of something here.

Dr. Bombay,

I am not arguing that old ways aren't beautiful, in fact I prefer them. But I feel it is my solemn duty to fight the heretical, schismatic tendency to be a snob, and to act as shadow pope by dictating in my heart what proper form is. I think it is my duty as a christian, if I have to, to walk into the cheesiest space-capsule catholic church and worship there if called to do so for some reason, like comforting someone at a funeral.

There's a bit of humility in being able to give up the music, architecture, and liturgy that I am attached to for the virtue of obedience, or just for the sake of a community that I might be amongst, or by a hospital bed, or in a prison, or in a cafeteria.

I think that is what Hahn was getting at, though it was difficult to tell in that short, short video. Really, I think it is critical that traditionalists hang on to a life line of humility with regard to tossing about form for spirit when necessary.

Now I don't know what we're going on about with regard to female Holy Spirit.

To the jews the Holy Spirit is Ruah, I think the HS was female to them? I thought that the Muslims consider the Holy Spirit to be female in character. I thought Sirach specifically considered the spirit of Wisdom to be a female virtue. God has no genitalia, so I think that all of this anthropomorphic silliness can be overstated. But I would imagine that Dr. Hahn knows quite a bit more about it than most of us, at least more than I do. And I would say your average protestant probably knows the scripture three times better than your average catholic, for whom lay exegisis is a novelty. In short, I wouldn't want to tangle with Dr. Hahn in a debate. He'd win.

freeing the old rites helps open the window to change. My #1 issue is actually marriage for priests. But monogamous buggery is also important. I'm not sure that the church really approves the use of the word buggery for it though?

All the Best, -B

Theocoid said...

One note on the video and on the term he used.

- "Traditional" is typically used for those forms of worship that preserve our past as Catholics. I believe that most of your are in this camp. You love the TLM, and adhere to traditional interpretations of scripture, and cherish traditional devotions. You don't care for the mamby-pamby liturgy you see at NO Mass, or the weak "catechesis" you hear from the pulpit and would rather resort to the trusted spiritual guides to whom many of our saints refer in their writings. If so, you are a "traditional" Catholic in the parlance of these discussions.

- "Traditionalist" is usually used for those who claim that discipline (rubric or pratice) is irreformable, who uphold very specific, time-conditioned language as the rule of faith, who believe that the Mass of St. Pius V was truly practiced without any deviation, as is, for four centuries, precisely and faithfully preserved in every facet and detail in the 1962 Missal. This includes people who claim that the Magisterium of Trent trumps the Magisterium of Vatican II up to the present, who deny the authority or legitimacy of Vatican II as a council, and many of whom explicitly or implicitly reject the current Pope and those going back to Pius XII (more or less).

If you believe the current pope is truly the Bishop of Rome and the legitimate holder of the See of Peter, there's a good chance you are not a "traditionalist." If you accept that Vatican II was a legitimate council, even if you deplore how it has been interpreted, then you are definitely not a traditionalist (although you may well be a traditional Catholic and also a realist).

While I may not agree with Scott Hahn's take on the Holy Spirit, he does have many positive contributions to the understanding our faith. He, as a theologian, is not protected from error. However, that doesn't mean everything he has written or everything he has said is erroneous.

WC, stop trying to pretend to be a faithful Catholic. If you, as a rule, reject the sexual teachings of the Church, you reject the Magisterium, which means you reject the teaching authority handed down to Peter and the Apostles. While a theologian might have the right to private dissent based on serious concerns (see Donum Veritatis), no one claiming to be Catholic can willy nilly select the teachings to which they want to adhere based on preference. If you reject the Magisterium, you reject the rock on which the Church was built.

Anonymous said...

LOL Theocid,

I reject a few elements of non-infallible teaching, but I certainly embrace the spirit behind the rules. And I certainly embrace all of the core doctrine and infallible teachings, as represented by the indellible mark of my baptism. And I am in keeping with Canon Law on the matter.

But most of all, I am not a condescending, hypocritical, snob. Some trads are. I don't know if the trads here are or not, but sometimes it sounds like it. The hypocrisy is that I admit to being a dissenter if I reject any teaching or decision of the magisterium.

Trads, self appointed magistrates that they are, deny that they are in dissent. They lord it over other dissenters.

I follow all of the sexual teachings of the church. But I don't agree with them in my heart. So I strive for greater obedience and recognize my dissent.

But many trads disagree in their heart, they do no strive for greater obedience, they just condemn bishops and church for being wrong. It is the height of disobedience and arrogance.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Bombay said...

What we are, you once were.
What we believe, you once believed.
How we worship, you once worshipped.
If you were right then, we are right now.
If we are wrong now, you were wrong then....

how about we lose the self righteous bullcrap and call traditionalists what they are.. elitists who have formed a cult around their own egos and pride.

paramedicgirl said...

Anon, are you afraid to let us know who you are? Hiding behind a shadow, are you? I guess to a neo like yourself, Traditionalsim is a threat to your liberalism and to the heresy of modernism that you cling to.

Anonymous said...


I disagree with being too strong about it., or lumping all trads together like that.

As an analogy, a person can express a love for beautiful antique furniture and personally dislike contemporary stuff. Yet they can still visit with and happily join loved ones in a dwelling with contemporary decor. I'm OK with that.

It's not snobbery or arrogance until you DEMAND that ALL other people share your view, or else they are "Roman Protestants" because you have personally excommunicated them as a self-appointed bishop. THAT is heretical and unchristian. It is dissent, and it is arrogant, prideful dissent.

I should point out that politely expressing one's preferences to one's bishop is also in keeping with a charitable attitude. A pastor over-ruling his traditionalist flock is also, on the other hand, arrogant.

I confess that I love old, traditional catholic churches and do not like space capsule churches. That's just the cloth I'm cut from. But I'll happily go to a space capsule for a wedding, pray with my brothers and sisters in a space capsule, and acknowledge them as Christ-loving fellow catholics. I would never write them out of the church as 'Roman Protestants'.

And I hope that in that attitude I strive to ensure that i have a bit of humility in my traddiness. Ahem, a trad is not necessarily conservative.

Dr. Bombay said...

anonymous said...

how about we lose the self righteous bullcrap and call traditionalists what they are.. elitists who have formed a cult around their own egos and pride.

And here we have a perfect example of why the Church has always and will always condemn buggery. It leads to uncontrolled rage and name calling.

I'm just sayin'.....

hazardx said...

"Conscientious dissenters"?

Sounds like PC newspeak for "heretic" to me...


Anonymous said...

Dear Theocid,

I think that there are those who realize that perfect obedience is as difficult as perfect chastity and there are those that don't understand that. There are also those who feel that some truths are revealed slowly to the church and someone must bear that cross and feel that pain of separation from full obedience for the sake of improvement.

Some trads feel that due to their love of TLM and so forth. I get that. In fact, I would lik to share with yo all this article by a woman who conisders herself a 'Recovered Dissident:


i read that and I really understand the longing a lot of traddies feel. I really do. And I attempt to point out to frustrated folks like Anon that there are traddies out there with their hearts in the right place.

Now with regard to my views on sexuality. First of all that is an ad hominem attack to try to discredit say about another topic. That is an inherently incharitable act. If you want to take me to task on sexual issues, stop by my blog and debate me.

If you want to obediently express opinions about homosexuality then I think you ought to do it in the spirit approved by the church. That spirit is best captured in the vatican-approved outreach program Courage International. In that program, special efforts are made to help LGBT persons accomplish celibacy. If you really want to help, I am sure volunteers are welcome. Otherwise, I would advise a bit of caution. The temptation to uncharity is often difficult for many to overcome towards a small minority. Charitable admonition encouraging folks to chastity, is of course always welcome.

This bear on the other hand, being a bear of very little brain, is a very simple bear. It seems obvious to me that monogamous relationships can be very healthy, and would counter-act the temptation towards promiscuity.

My first motive is to protect LGBT persons from exploitation, objectification, and disease. To reach out to LGBT persons, we need a framework they can accept. To me, the Pauline framework is also simple. If you can't remain celibate, then form a monogamous union lest you become promiscuous or burn with lust. So I think that applies to homosexual persons also.

But then, none of that has anything to do with Scott Hahn, does it? Scott Hahn is a VERY orthodox, observant catholic, and here you are making an ad hominem attack on me over my dissent on sexual issues to discredit my defense of an orthodox catholic. That in and of itself is uncharitable.

St. Augustine did the same thing to the Bishop Julian. Julian was defending his taking the marital right whenever he and his wife felt it appropriate. St. Augustine immediately attacked him ad hominem, for being a weak slave to his sexual impulses. Of course St. Augustine himself was a reformed sex addict who had disowned his son and mistress.

As with Slavery, the church has grown to embrace the truth that both eros and agape love are good and that married persons are called to enjoy the marital priviledge as often as they like.