Traditionalism (religion)

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Traditionalism, in religious contexts, can refer to orthodox doctrines or opposition to a contemporary ideology.[1]

Tradition vs. Traditionalism[edit]


In the Roman Catholic Church, traditionalism is distinct from the doctrine that Sacred Tradition holds equal authority to Holy Scripture,[2] just as the development of doctrine is distinct from modernism.[3] Traditionalism is the current in Roman Catholicism characterized by retention of the worship and practices of the Church as they were before the Second Vatican Council (1962–65), which Church law does not forbid.[4] As Pope Benedict XVI declared in his letter to the world's bishops accompanying Summorum Pontificum, lifting restrictions on the Latin Mass, "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place."

Radical Traditionalism[edit]

"Radical Traditionalism" refers to a worldview that stresses a return to traditional values of hard work, craftsmanship, local culture, tribal or clan orientation, and non-material values in response to a perceived excess of materialism, consumerism, technology, and societal homogeneity.[citation needed] Most Radical Traditionalists choose this term for themselves to stress their reaction to 'modern' society, as well as their disdain for more 'recent' forms of traditionalism based on Judeo-Christian and early-Industrial Age values.[citation needed] Radical Traditionalism is often allied with branches of Paganism that stress a return to old cultural values that predated the existence of the state system.[citation needed]

John Paul II said in Fides et Ratio that radical traditionalism and fideism distrust the light of reason either because science debunks religious misconceptions - such as geocentrism - or because of ideologies that oppose the Catholic Faith - such as rationalism.[5] The Church condemns radical traditionalism and fideism.[6]


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Traditionalism
  2. ^ Benedict XVI, Catechesis on Saint Irenaeus of Lyons As can be seen, Irenaeus did not stop at defining the concept of Tradition. His tradition, uninterrupted Tradition, is not traditionalism, because this Tradition is always enlivened from within by the Holy Spirit, who makes it live anew, causes it to be interpreted and understood in the vitality of the Church.
  3. ^ Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, 26
  4. ^ Marty, Martin E.; R. Scott Appleby (1994). Fundamentalisms observed. U of Chicago Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-226-50878-8. 
  5. ^ Fides et Ratio, 52
  6. ^ Year of Faith. The reasonableness of faith in God The Catholic Tradition, from the outset, rejected the so-called “fideism”, which is the desire to believe against reason. Credo quia absurdum (I believe because it is absurd) is not a formula that interprets the Catholic faith.