RobertFrom a reader…
I was watching Bishop Barron’s videos about Vatican II and traditionalists. I can’t shake the feeling that something is missing in them. What do you think about these videos? I can’t put my finger on it. But I know that he had a secret meeting about the growing problem of so-called “trads” now. Is he organizing a movement against tradition and the Latin Mass?
I’ll lead with a Tweet…
Why is it that +Barron takes Protestant objections to Catholic teaching seriously and tries to dispel confusion, but when Catholics have trouble reconciling passages in VII with traditional teaching we are dismissed as “Protestants”?
— Owen (@DumbOxOfSicily) August 16, 2020
I don’t know what Bp. Barron is doing.
Folks, I am genuinely perplexed by him. He clearly does some good.
It seems to me that he isn’t formally organizing some movement against tradition. He’s not dumb. There’s no upside to doing something like that. Zero. As a matter of fact, there would be a tremendous downside.
I don’t think that Barron is hostile towards tradition, in the way some bishops are. It seems to me that he is so wrapped up in Vatican II and the notion of “New Evangelization”, that there’s no room in his thinking about traditional Catholics. Unless they come across his screen for attacking him or things he has associated himself with, trads don’t live in his Church.
Moved by the query I looked at some of his recent videos.
On 14 August 2020 he posted a video of himself, apparently to the 2020 Napa Institute gathering. HERE He says that something “on his heart” now is the fact that there are people who criticize Vatican II. He says this “cuts across” the integrity of the Church (whatever that means). He is concerned that “strong voices” use social media. Later in the video he effectively calls these people “protestant”. He is thinks that attacks on Pope Francis are unjustified. He goes on to describe what he thinks are great influences on Bergoglio, including Gaston Fessard, SJ.
On a positive note, he made a good point about the point of Vatican II being about “bringing the light (lumen) to the nations (ad gentium)… Lumen gentium.
During July 2020 Bp. Barron posted short videos on YouTube which are clearly excerpts of a larger event with the highly valuable Hildebrand Project. Several of these short videos, just a couple minutes each, touch on traditional issues. Barron responds to different questioners. In one video he addresses himself to “John Henry”
whom I assume is Weston of LifeSite who is probably John Henry Crosby of the Hildebrand Project. In another, a “Rocco”, who is, Rocco Buttiglione. Maybe there was yet another questioner, I’m not sure. In any event, these short videos are snippets of a longer video (Zoom?) interview with different people.
Barron posted one short video – from this event – in which he purports to unfold his opinion of the Traditional Latin Mass… which he absolutely does not. HERE He talks instead about the qualities of the Novus Ordo and how John Paul II said Mass. Moreover, the Novus Ordo fed the spiritual lives of Mother Theresa and John Paul. I will add the obvious: the Mass that formed them as Catholics in the first place was the pre-Conciliar form, not the Novus Ordo. Barron munificently adds, “I have zero quarrel with Benedict XVI opening things up to a wider practice of the Extraordinary Form.”
Another video: Buttiglione seems to have asked: “Should Bishops allow priests to offer Mass in Latin?” HERE He goes off the rail here. Firstly, even though the question obviously concerns the Traditional Latin Mass, there was no hint that the Novus Ordo really ought to be celebrated in Latin. Barron refers to his time as rector of Mundelein Seminary and how he dealt with seminarians who were interested. He required them to have some knowledge of Latin. Good! Apparently the others were not required to work on Latin. Bad! That, of course, would be a blatant violation of Can. 249 of the Code of Canon Law, whereby formators in seminaries are required to make sure that ALL seminarians are “very well skilled” in Latin (lingua latina bene calleant).
Bp. Barron has another video in which he says he is a “traditionalist”. HERE He explains what he means by that word. What he says is entirely acceptable, in a sense, though it seems to me that his explanation was a dodge. I don’t think that he answered the question that was put to him. Surely the questioner intended to ask about what is going on today with “traditional Catholics”, that “traditionalism”. Barron expands the definition of “traditionalism” to embrace pretty much everything through the history of Christianity. His answer isn’t bad, but I don’t think it was an answer to the question he was asked.
Another video: “How Have Catholic Extremists Missed the Point of Vatican II? — Bishop Barron on Vatican II”. HERE Does he answer this question (from Buttiglione)? Sort of. I am not sure whether or not the questioner meant “extremists” on both left and the right, but Barron talks about how both left and right miss the point about what Vatican II was all about: evangelization. Remember: John Paul II disciplined Hans Kung! Moreover, on the extreme right there is desire to go back to the “bastione” (a reference to a comment in another video about von Balthasar’s call to tear down the bastions, Schleifung der Bastionen). Once again, he expatiates about John Paul II.
His response to “What Does Vatican II Say About the Mass?” is pretty good. HERE He seems to get the integrating function of the Church’s liturgical worship. In that, his position and mine are very close. Where his view is deficient is his being stuck entirely in the Novus Ordo.
In this series of videos the answer to every question – no matter what the topic of the question is – seems to be an amalgam of “John Paul II!” and “new evangelization!” with smatterings of John Henry Newman and Hans Urs von Balthasar.
I would find Bp. Barron more convincing were he also to extend a little of his considerable energy to reach out in a friendly way to the single most marginalized group in the Church today: traditional Catholics. That would boost his credibility with me considerably, though it might hurt his prospects within the USCCB.
In his Napa address Barron goes on for a rather long time about Francis’ emphasis on mission and avoiding introversion. We have to “raze bastions”. We have to be personally involved in evangelization.
However, traditional Catholics have for a long while been shoved by their pastors to the periphery. Will Bp. Barron personally meet these people where they are?
HENCE…. I extend here for the THIRD time an invitation to Bp. Barron to come to Madison to celebrate a Pontifical Mass in the Traditional Roman Rite. If he has concerns about traditionalists or others in the Church, then such a moment would be a sign that he is willing to do something – and not just talk – for people on the periphery.
In regard to the Second Vatican Council….
I maintain that in the Church’s long history there have been really important pontificates and not so important, really important councils and not so important. I am of the mind that Vatican II, when lined up with other Councils, does not rank anywhere close to being among the most important. It seems like a big deal to us because it was within living memory. Also, because councils tend to create a period of disruption, and we are in that period, Vatican II seems to us to be more important than it will eventually be seen to be.
We still to have a sober consideration of the long-term fruits of the Second Vatican Council. Half a century out, results have varied and they are not entirely in the positive column, to put it mildly.
One might say that Vatican II was hijacked and badly implemented. Thus, it is unfair to say that the Council caused the massive wounds that were inflicted after the Council. Okay. However, the fact that a Council is “hijackable” is itself a problem.
Enough of this.
I don’t know what Bp. Barron is doing.
His secret meeting with catholic media types – during which the“disturbing trends in the online Catholic world,” including the rise of “radical Traditionalist” movements were discussed – doesn’t point in a good direction. HERE
The moderation queue is ON. I will simply not permit knuckle-headed Barron bashing in the combox. If you don’t have something thoughtful to contribute, don’t bother posting.