Robert Barron | – What Is Your Opinion on Catholic Traditionalism? — Bishop Barron on Vatican II

Friends, I’m a traditionalist—I stand with Christian revelation and the entirety of the Church’s teaching, from the Council of Jerusalem through Nicaea, Chalcedon, and Trent. Since the Church’s tradition includes the Second Vatican Council, it’s therefore impossible to repudiate Vatican II and claim to be a faithful traditionalist. There’s nothing traditional about rejecting an ecumenical council. Watch this video for more:

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About The Author

Bishop Robert Barron These are brief and insightful commentaries on faith and culture by Catholic theologian and author Bishop Robert Barron. The videos complement his weekly sermons posted and podcasted at

Comment (46)

  1. As a protestant searching for an ancient Church I am so disappointed by current state of Roman Catholicism basically becoming another protestant church, Orthodox Church on the other hand is much more appealing and faithful

  2. As a Christian of another tradition (and impressed by your devotion to St. J H Newman) I hesitate to enter into your internecine combat/disagreements. But listening to a few videos of yours I'm familiar with, I'd invite you to discuss the universality of the Church. It seems to me there is too much naval gazing by AMERICAN voices imbued with AMERICAN CULTURE WAR and partisan politics. Where is Christianity strongest and growing today? In Africa and in new frontiers in Asia. Certainly not Europe and certainly not among many of the young elsewhere. Moreover who appointed Americans to speak for Christianity in any denomination?

    I'm not naive, and I know why Americans have an out-sized influence ($$$$$). It takes a lot of $$$ to run a parish, a diocese, and schools and other ministries. So they have checkbook influence. But in a universal church and worldwide Christianity, where are the voices for the concerns of the developing world. The poverty, the diseases, the lack of potable water, the corrupt governments, the exploitation of resources by distant and unaccountable corporations? Most Africans and the new Christians of Asia are less than enthralled by this culture war monomania. They're worried by too little rain for their crops and a corrupt local village elder, and have neither the time nor spendable discretionary income to spend hours on the internet in the style of Americans.

  3. I am a great crossroads. The Church to me seems no longer valid in its relentless drive to embrace materialism and modernism. It also seems the current path of the Church will lead it to death in the future. So where to go? Orthodoxy or Islam?. I will never accept Novus Ordo. It stinks of sulfur.

  4. Bring back the TLM to all parishes. Let the laity decide which one they want to attend. No more music and modernization. It’s not attracting anyone. If I want a concert I’ll buy tickets to one on a Friday night or become a Protestant.

  5. This is nonsens.
    Tradition is alive in the same way as a plant that grows and unfolds.
    Tradition is not alive, as if one began to sow new seeds and graft new shoots into the plant.
    Tradition and public revelation is ended with the death of the last apostle in 105.
    Nothing new can be added, only a deepning of understanding.

  6. Look up Father Hesse. He explained it all in a plain and comprehensive way. Vatican II is not Catholic! Listen to Fr. Hesse and you'll see why. Try to find a good priest who does not compromise with the modernists and support him.

  7. I am sorry but this response did not make much sense. Using a obscure reference of Newman is a curious way to touch on fundamental doctrinal issue. Yes an animal must adapt but he cannot become a goat if he is a lion. Or simply put he cannot become something he is not. This adapting is very important when trying to understand the theology of the Church after the Second Vatican Council. Everything adapts or is updated to coincide with modernity even the traditions of the Church. As a “pilgrim people” she works tirelessly to help man discover himself. The only issue is this way of thinking and the theology it presents is condemned by Popes of the past, not to mention the First Vatican Council. The Church cannot update her doctrine and this is why there is a traditional Church and a modernist Church. You cannot include in the Churches deposit of faith something that is diametrically opposed to the past. Furthermore you cannot change the “spirit of the law” but keep the law nevertheless intact which the Norvus Ordo claims is possible.

    I would like you to speak about the Councils and their dogma leading up to the Second Vatican Council and see how they compare and contrast.

  8. We are seeing the sloppiness of a compromised modern clergy, you are trying to explain it away. People quickly go back to the basics of the Traditional Church, looking for the structure which you are simply not providing. Re listen to this muddled answer you just gave. It’s embarrassing.

  9. Bishop Barron/Pope Francis. Jesus said you can judge a tree by its fruit. Can you please tell us how what the fruits of V2 are? Or shall I say the fruits of the spirit of V2? Seems its obviously pretty rotten to me. No?

  10. So a Traditional Catholic must embrace Vatican II, despite it not being an Extraordinary Council that was not Infallible?
    Why isn’t Latin or Gregorian Chant Preserved as it is mentioned in Sacrosanctum Concillium? Do we have to believe that Hindus and Buddhists can achieve ‘perfect liberation’? Do we believe that they have ‘sacred rites’?
    So much needs looking at and either needs correcting or rejecting.

  11. He may be sincere and everything he is saying is not incorrect. However, the issue that some of us traditionalists have is not really with a legitimate assimilation to a given culture. Rather, it is more with the lack of resistance to (or positive acceptance of) certain aspects that absolutely need to be resisted. We are saying that Vatican II — and John Paul II- crossed the line into heresy. One example is the praying together with Protestants and Eastern Orthodox, which has always been forbidden by the Church. Another example is interreligious prayer meetings— such as John Paul II held at Assisi— with Jews, Muslims, pagans.

  12. A living tradition is not standing with the Catholic Church on revelation. The Second Vatican Council and its subsequent theology changed the definition of tradition and the Churches understanding of revelation. The notion of a “living” tradition was rejected by the First Vatican Council (session III. chapter 2)

    Furthermore the notion of tradition evolving is condemned most notably in Pascendi. We must understand doctrine not only as it has always been believed but in the same sense as it has always been believed. This was always a principle before the Second Vatican Council…

    You do not have to accept the Second Vatican Council to be Catholic and I strongly urge everyone of good conscience to reject the council. We must reject anything that is so destructive to the faith and hold fast to the Tradition, which is constant and unchanging, of Holy Mother the Church.

  13. You my dear Bishop are at best a semi-tradition it’s!!! What you have said and done proves that and don’t think we people of God don’t know it!!! For the most part, you are full of bull! However, God bless you…a Priest of God

  14. Good and helpful analogy, though the Church isn’t just trying to survive in a scary world. We are victorious and the gates of hell shall not prevail. We are on the offensive, not just making it until Christ comes again. How does this change things?

  15. I am 28, and I recently joined the local Latin Mass community in my Diocese.
    There is unmatched beauty in the Extraordinary Form which was missing in my life due to the "lavender Catholicism" of the demonic Spirit of Vatican 2.

  16. My parish has masses in French Portuguese and Spanish. I have no problem following the Mass i. these languages. I have access to TLM and the NO in Latin ! This at St Benedict’s Abbey Still River Mass. It’s the Sacrifice of the Mass regardless of the language the priest celebrates it in.

  17. A modernist "claiming" to be a traditional Catholic? Brahahahahaha!!!
    Spoken like a true modernist blah blah blah. You yap on and and on and on – Bob.

    Here's some tradition…
    And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard.

    God Bless

    Oh Ps… I'm all ready for the lecture on being charitable and 'judging'. Sigh.

  18. Well, seems to me that the Church is in an historic rate of collapse in the West and is pretty much incapable of influencing the cultural marxist, post modernist environment it finds itself in. In my opinion, we're not showing a lot of moxy in this present age.

  19. Bishop Baron, please explain to me what the church is resisting in this environment? Resists tradition more than wokeness environment.
    Tradition and the Latin Mass are not wrong, but the church resists what always has been, what always was.
    The church is not a "canny surviving animal" the church IS.

  20. Bishop Barron, I have noticed you erased your response to mine stating that you are not a traditionalist. For the audience reading this thread, you wrote something to the effect that and I quote "rad-trads" pick and choose what they want from tradition which leads to a form of Protestantism. I have provided a full transcript of that original message at the end of this e-mail. You retracting your comment shows to me that you are biased, do not have the salt to deal with today's severe challenges in the church and confirms my observation that many Catholics are turning to the real Catholic traditions before Vatican II before they were bastardized by many complicit Church leaders for nefarious reasons. I don't blame them with the conduct of this current pontificate where Pachamama, climate change, awards to pro-abortion politicians, off-sided and confusing statements about the faith are broadcast to the world as a matter of standard practice and without shame.

    World news has reported that Anthony Fauci, Chelsea Clinton and an Indian spiritist named Deepak Chopra who has explicitly stated the Catholic Jesus is confusing implying he is an abstract theological creation and a sketchy figure will be speaking at a Vatican conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Curia in May 2021. The title is called "Exploring the Mind, Body and Soul: How Innovation and Novel Delivery Systems Improve Human Health. Articles state that CEO's of Moderna and Pfizer will be there including Joe Perry of Aerosmith and Cindy Crawford. This is par for the course since Jeffery Sachs the pro-abortion globalist has been attending climate conferences sponsored by the Vatican for some time now. This is obviously an unholy alliance and complete capitulation to all things worldly. It is obvious that these CEO's and entertainment personalities are there to propagandize anything "the world" comes up with then translate those things through the Catholic church now in line with UN, WHO and corporate governance initiatives. It is no secret that heads of the UN and the WHO are headed by openly avowed communists and anyone familiar with the history of Communism knows it's viewpoints on the Catholic Church. Jeffery Sachs has done extensive work with the UN, WHO and Vatican…why?

    Smarmy Argentinian Bishop and co-heretic Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo stated in 2018 that " those who best realize the social doctrine of the Church are Chinese…and China has defended the dignity of the human person". This is after China implemented a one Child policy which was enforced by the state by force via abortions. Bishop Barron, are you listening and when are you going to start speaking up? For the benefit of readers here is your full e-mail response that appears to have been erased from my thread:

    Bishop Robert Barron

    No, traditionalist as in affirming the entire sweep of the tradition, including Vatican II. For the past thirty years, I've been an outspoken critic of the corruptions that came into the Church after the Council, but I don't succumb to the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. The problem with many of the "rad-trads" is that they pick and choose which parts of the tradition they affirm. This amounts to a kind of Protestantism.