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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 14 Jul 2003

Liberals vs. Ultra-Traditionalists QUESTION from Kim July 13, 1999 You mentioned two groups within the Church in a recent response regarding Jehovah's Witnesses: Liberals and Ultra-Traditionalists. Could you please give brief definitions of each and, if possible, some identifiers for those of us (Catholics) who wish to avoid these extremes?
Thank you.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on July 13, 1999 Dear Mrs. Kim:
The short answer is that a liberal is a person who asserts their personal opinion above the Church. This is using the term liberal in the old fashion way. It has nothing to do with politics.
With this definition liberals include people we might normally label as liberal or left-wing in the Church AND ALSO the ultra-traditionalist. Both groups are liberal because both groups think they know more than the Church and will assert their personal interpretations and personal opinions above the offical opinions and teachings of the Church. They are two sides of the same coin.
Anyone asserting their personal opinions above the Church is acting in a liberal manner.
One of the aspects of liberal mindset is explained in my essay, Three Secret Strategies.
Both liberals and ultra-traditionalist, because they set for themselves their own standard of orthodoxy apart from the Church and consider their own opinions above the Church, they tend to be disruptive in a group of loyal Catholics. Thus we do not allow ultra-traditionalists or liberals into our chatrooms and mail lists on this website.
The following is an excerpt from the Real Catholic Chat Membership Application that may serve as an example of what liberals and Ultra-Traditionalists are.
Here is an example of the Ultra-traditionalist:
Please do not apply if you are a member or supporter, or have personal views consistent with, or attend the Masses of, the Society of St. Pius X, the Society of St. Pius V, or if you believe the Vatican II Council was invalid or not binding or led the church astray, or if you believe Pope John Paul II, Pope John Paul I, Pope Paul VI, or Pope John XXIII are not all valid and genuine Popes, or if you think any of these Popes were heretics or in any way leading the Church astray.
Here is an example of the liberal:
Please do not apply if you are a member or supporter, or have personal views consistent with those of Call to Action, Catholics for Free Choice, Planned Parenthood, National Organization for Women, National Abortion Rights Action League, Dignity, or any other organization that promote abortion rights, contraception use, women priests, liturgical dancing, homosexual marriages or normalization of homosexual sex, and other so-called liberal views contrary to the official teaching of the Church.
Also, follows is a excerpt from our Oath of Loyality concerning the heresy of feminism. It gives a good summary of the heretical views associated with liberals:
Feminism: I further declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the feminists, who hold a basic assumption of androgynous utopia in which specifically states that all forms of domination and oppression of man by man are social expressions of that dualism that is rooted more deeply than any others: the elevation of the male sex above the female (Catharina J.M. Halkes, God Does Not Only Have Strong Sons, 1980); and who holds a rejection of hierarchy in any structures of society or Church promoting the idea of a circular community and which believes that those who hold office are only the self-articulation of the life of the community negating the order of God in regard to creation, roles, function, and appointment and negating the proper dignity that God has given to women; and who holds the belief that experience takes priority against the administrative structures of the Church and religious teachings; and who assert inclusive language as a political instrument and in particular to subvert the paterfamilias nature of God and the Church; and who promote ideas of ecofeminism in relation with nature, asserting the idea that the ills of our earth come from the technological plundering of the earth allegedly traced back to a traditional understanding of an account of creation written by priests; and who hold the interpersonal community deriving from the self-experience of sisterly groups which leads to a feminist socialism; and who hold that the ecological concern of the experience of sisterhood evolves a new spirituality linked to a cult of mother earth where God is seen in terms of motherly images that effectively push His world-transcending authority into the background; and which finally may be summed up as being understood as calling into question the male cast of both the image of God and the office of priest (Women in the Priesthood by Fr. Manfred Hauke, 1988).
Bottom line transation?
Ultra-traditionalist will assert the the Mass of Paul VI is invalid or serious flawed and will usually tell people not to attend. The most severe types will actually say Pope John Paul II is a heretic and not really Pope.
Liberals may be in favor of reproductive freedom and maybe even abortion, will be in favor of women priests, liturgical dancing in the Latin Rite, standing at the consecration, nuns giving the homily, and most anything that is progressive regardless of what the Church has to say about it.
One does not have to have every element mentioned to belong to that category. These descriptions are only examples.
The intensity of an individual liberal or ultra-traditionists may differ. Some may barely be in the category, others may be full-fledged activists and dissenters.
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