Originally Posted by Peppermint
Traditional (big T) Catholics, always attend Latin Mass and may or may not be SSPX. (...) I go the NO, but am "traditional" in that I believe in *all* of the Dogma and Doctrine of the Church, am faithful to the Magesterium and the Pope.
Maybe I've been living under a rock, but I've never seen this particular distinction between "Traditional" and "traditional" Catholics anywhere but here on MDC. To be honest, I'm finding it quite strange and confusing.
Please bear with me in my pregnancy-insomnia-fueled verbosity, as I feel the need to unburden myself on this matter.
Catholic tradition (with a small t) refers to everything that has been handed down to us (Latin root traditio
) related to our faith. It's a term that covers an enormous range of beliefs, customs, and practices. These include mandatory and unchangeable beliefs -- such as the Bible and Catholic dogma -- as well as disciplines that are binding on the faithful but can be changed by Vatican decree, such as fast days and clerical celibacy. At the same time, our traditions also include practices that the Church strongly encourages, but doesn't mandate, e.g. Gregorian chant, the rosary, and the use of Latin in the liturgy; and many more things that are a matter of personal or local preference, e.g. devotion to approved apparitions, optional prayers, and specific feast dishes.
On the other hand, Tradition with a big T means something quite specific: Sacred Tradition. This is one of the two pillars of our faith, along with Sacred Scripture. All Catholics are obliged to follow this Tradition, as conveyed to us by the the living magisterium, i.e. the teaching authority of the Church.
Given these meanings, the definitions mentioned above -- which I've seen used by several people on this forum -- seem, if anything, kind of backwards. After all, "big T" Tradition is shared by all Catholics who are faithful to the magisterium. At the same time, one of the defining features of self-described "traditional Catholics" has always been their concern for preserving and promoting the full range of "small t" traditions that have largely fallen by the wayside after Vatican II.
I happen to know many faithful, orthodox Catholics who have practically no affection for the Latin liturgy or traditional sacred music, haven't read much in the way of spiritual or theological works predating Fr. Groeschel and Scott Hahn (or papal documents predating John Paul II), and basically view their faith through a post-conciliar lens. I don't mean this as a put-down; I'm sure a lot of them are much holier than I am. But if they're now being labeled as traditional Catholics, it kind of takes the meaning out of the term. Of course, there's a need to come up with a shorthand for "Catholics faithful to the Pope and the magisterium." "Conservative Catholics" has too much of a political ring, and "orthodox Catholics" is just confusing. My favorite is "magisterial Catholics;" it's a bit awkward, but it gets the essential point across.
As for the OP's question, I do have some concerns about the way young people -- especially young women -- are railroaded into higher education. There needs to be a great deal of prayerful and thoughtful discernment as to how this will contribute to the fulfillment of each person's vocation. But I think college is a wonderful thing for some women. IMO, Bishop Williamson's blanket disapproval, and his belief that "ideas aren't for true girls," are just plain wrong, and kind of bizarre.
There's certainly traditional Catholic support for the opposing side of the issue. St. Thomas More, the great humanist and martyr of the 16th century, made sure that all his children, male and female, were given the same (first-rate) educational opportunities. In 1890, Pope Leo XIII is said to have to personally intervened so that Maria Montessori could become the first woman to attend medical school in Italy. St. Gianna Beretta Molla
was also an Italian physician. And there were many Catholic women's colleges in the US before Vatican II, most of them started by religious orders.
BTW, Bishop Williamson has also frequently cautioned against watching "The Sound of Music," which he believes is a feminist manifesto that borders on pornography.
I'm not sure why he has so many fans among SSPX members. I've never come across any traditionalists outside the Society who've thought highly of him. He's well spoken on some theological topics, but when it comes to pretty much anything else... um, no thanks.