There are traditionalists and there are traditionalists. Some traditionalists when it comes to liturgy are quite liberal in social issues ranging from social justice to accepting the LGTBQ etc, etc, etc movement. In other words, they are flexible.
Other traditionalists are rigid, fearful of the world and unable to adapt to social and political movements which challenge their comfort level. This has nothing to do with spirituality but everything to do with psychological development. The Church should not be into psychoanalysis which is a faux pastoral solution to bringing people into line with a clericalist attitude which opposes their mentality.
I am very familiar with Pope Francis’ disdain for tradition and the pre-Vatican II Church.
When I was in a very liberal seminary in the late 70’s, I was open to what was being taught to me. But like most Catholics prepared for the Catholic Faith prior to Vatican II, a kind of dogmatism of that period was brought to being open to what Vatican II desired.
As I have always said, Vatican II was imposed on Catholics in the most pre-Vatican II authoritarian way. So was being flexible! The manner of implementation was of that clericalism which is authoritarianism. The two are the same and inseparable.
But after Vatican II, authority was challenged on all levels, be it in traditionalism or liberalism in the Church. Thus authoritarianism by shear mandate did not always work. Manipulation was necessary as well as grooming. Those two aspects are at the root of all kinds of abuse, from emotional to sexual.
Look at how Pope Francis has tried to crush young traditionalists. He relies not on theology, but rather psychology to ridicule them. He hurls name calling at them and labels them rigid and backwards thinking. It is unseemly to hear a pope speak like a psychiatrist and pontificate on psychological and sociological issues which are beyond the realm of his competence. But an authoritarian personality, coping with its own issues, has to rely on this kind of abuse to get what it wants.
His diagnosis may well be correct but does a rigid person not deserve respect and understanding? Isn’t it cruel to denigrate them in the way this pope does?
My seminary in the 1970’s was concerned about rigid candidates for the priesthood. They were rooted out as were potential seminarians by so-called liberal vocation directors. Signs of this rigidity or the litmus test was if they were too Catholic in the pre-Vatican II sense. Did they agree too much with Pope Paul VI who in his last years lamented so much of the division of the Church at the end of his life. He ruled out female priests around 1976. The liberal seminarians at my school were apoplectic and wanted to organize protest rallies. That was a sure way to find favor with the faculty of that period.
Were they opposed to female clergy, be it deacons or priests? Did they oppose altar girls and female lectors? Did they oppose Communion in the hand and homemade bread with many sweet ingredients for Holy Communion. Did they despise folk music and other contemporary idioms? Were they unecumenical?
Did they want to wear clerical clothes or God forbid the cassock?
In other words, were they pre-Vatican II and unable to move forward with Vatican II that was imposed form above and in an authoritarian way?
Pope Benedict was correct. His hermeneutics was correct. And he made sense. Pope Benedict is the true liberal because Pope Benedict isn’t an authoritarian monarch. His method was to propose not impose. If that had been the case after Vatican II, I wonder what the Church would be like today, if that mentality which is far from the clericalist’s mentality had prevailed.
What Pope Benedict said in this photo below is liberating! And it isn’t dictatorial: