Wednesday, August 7, 2013


The Rad Trad has had a very unpleasant last week or so. He combatted a nasty cold while preparing for a job interview that took place today, only to discover that the position was basically an IT job when the Rad Trad's background is in Finance! Preposterous! This Friday or Saturday there will be a post on the ascetical treatises of St. Isaac the Syrian and soon there after my [over due] review of Dr. Hull's Banished Heart.
As a quick preview of Banished Heart, I do not know what sort of reviews the work received in 1995 when the first edition was released, but the latest edition went somewhat un-noticed aside from a review in the Usus Antiquior journal. It is worth asking why the book has gone un-noticed outside of more scholarly circles while Fr. Cekada's well-researched Work of Human Hands and Michael Davies' elementary Pope Paul's New Mass continue to get traction. The Rad Trad firmly believes that most of the traditionalists of the 1970s-1990s are, or were, ultramontanists in search of Pius X and hence were wary of criticizing the Pope, Papal authority, or the actions preceding the introduction of the new liturgy (which readers of this blog hopefully realize by now was a very gradual process). An example of this attitude is a story Msgr. Fellay tells of Cardinal Journet, having read the infamous #7 of the 1970 GIRM, storming into Paul VI's office and showing the Pontiff the troublesome excerpt; the Pope then breaks down in tears, revealing that he had not read the text before signing it. This is ridiculous.
Pope Paul VI. He knew what was going on!
Banished Heart, thus far, tells of an over-extension of Papal authority into other liturgical traditions, both East and West, and the legalistic view of the Church that resulted from it. Anything that was not Roman was to be suspected of heterodoxy. Early in the book Dr. Hull asks questions such as "Is validity everything?" Some uber-traddies, such as sedevacantists, curtail the moral argument here by suggesting that the new liturgy is somehow invalid. Yet it is a serious question. Do a low Mass and a solemn Papal Mass with full ceremony not have different value? I think readers see where this is heading. Banished Heart does not play into the conventional narrative that Vatican II and Bugnini, a possible Mason, crept out of the shadows to destroy the liturgy and replace it with a primarily ecumenical service. Thus far my only criticism of Dr. Hull's work is that it contains no working definition for the traditional Roman liturgy which, given the book's subtitle, Origins of Heteropraxis in the Catholic Church, might be relevant.
The book presents challenging questions to Roman Catholics of all backgrounds, to Eastern Catholics, and to the Eastern Orthodox, whose separation from the Apostolic See in Rome is given a very different light than the one usually shone upon it by mad Romanists or by culturally-rooted Eastern prejudices.
Lastly, I am sorry for ignoring your comments, some of which have asked me direct questions. I will try to reply to a few of them in due course.
The Rad Trad, over and out.


  1. Hope things improve for you. I just finished re-reading Dr. Hull's review of Rev. Anthony Cekada's
    Work of Human Hands, and it, I am guessing, touches
    albeit only briefly some of the major themes in
    The Banished Heart. I found the review helpful.
    It can be read here:

  2. I don't think The Banished Heart is so different from the other works that you mention. Hull cites Michael Davies' books extensively, especially in the later chapters, and other popular traditionalist books as well, like The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber. (There's an amusing typo in one of the footnotes: The Wine Flows Into the Tiber. A spiked water supply would explain a few things!)

    I do not think the book is so far outside the "conventional narrative" as you imply, either. Hull just shows how the centuries (even millennia) of Roman centralization and de-emphasis of worship allowed (at best) misguided men to destroy the liturgy after VII. Hull also shows himself to be very sympathetic to the SSPX and is very critical of the post-VII popes and hierarchy. (Interestingly, Hull is largely silent on the pre-VII reforms, and even has mild praise for the Holy Week changes.)

  3. "Some uber-traddies, such as sedevacantists, curtail the moral argument here by suggesting that the new liturgy is somehow invalid."

    Totally agree, and this is what upsets me about those who otherwise have valid (no pun intended) arguments to make concerning the NO. Having just finished reading "Work of Human Hands", Fr. Cekada's assertion of the NO being invalid close to the end of the book essentially derails the whole book, in my opinion. I mean, what is the point then of writing a 400 page book? If invalid, then write a different book to prove that, for that should be enough in itself to condemn the NO. If not invalid, then the book and, at least his first thesis (i.e. the NO has a different theology), have merit and bear further analysis and effort to prove this thesis to the "The TLM is only a preference" crowd.

    I'll be adding "The Banished Heart" to my reading list. Never heard of it before, so many thanks for the tip.

  4. @smn:

    Agreed to an extent. I will say more about what I think of "Banished Heart's" proper place in my review.


    You are very right. I know of no Roman Catholic priest who has written "Big Screen TVs: A Theological Critique of the Evanglical Lord's Supper."