AS I WAS LAMENTING, recently on Twitter, when Catholics go Trad they seem to go all right-wing, if not alt-right. When I heard of Tradinistas I took hope that maybe, finally, the Catholic “High Church” folks were going to go the way of the Anglican High Churchmen of the last century whose liturgics lead them directly to socialism. An old website devoted to this subject still lives at the Internet Archive in all its early-internet glory: Anglo-Catholic Socialism. There’s more in this blog post.
Yet, despite the fact that it was Roman Catholics who invented Liberation Theology, there was no Trad version of it. There was no Trad version of the Missal 1962, offering meditations that would – were one uncareful – lead one towards a radical care for the poor, for antiracism, towards an active participation in building the kingdom of God here, where it can never be and yet must be. There are lots of Trad things for purifying our souls and lives, but none for getting our hands dirty.
And yet Dorothy Day was radicalized by the Old Mass. The Anglo Catholics were sent off into socialism by an English language version of the same known as the Knott’s Missal and the People’s Anglican Missal. The Gospel must still be the Gospel and it didn’t take “Eagles Wings” and felt banners to make the radical pacifist peace actions of WW1 and WW2. So it must be possible.
I decided to write some of my own. So we’re going to try to make a series of meditations on the Sunday and Holy Day propers from the 1962 Missal which you can find at your local Trad Parish and in a few places online. But not many will have as many sickles as the illustration above which – along with the other illustrations I will use in this series – comes from the 1962 St Andrews Missal published by Dom Gaspar Lefebvre, OSB. Enjoy the ironic name. I added the red star but here’s the starless original:
This project is dedicated to my patron, Bl. Stanley Rother, who was slain in Guatemala working for what was called a “progressive Catholic mission”. I’m going to bet it was Liberation Theology that got him killed by right-wing death squads, but I may be wrong.
Pages in the People’s Missal Project:
6th Sunday after Pentecost (Posted 6 July 2020)