Monday, March 18, 2013

Origins and Ongoing Evolution of the Term, Radtrad

Sandra Miesel: almost certainly the originator of the term radtrad

Radtrad (or sometimes, Rad-Trad, Rad Trad, etc.) is shorthand for "radical traditionalist". For background (at least from my own perspective) on the definitions of both "traditionalist" and my newly-coined term, radical Catholic reactionary (which I started using instead of radtrad on 3 August 2013), see the Introduction and Chapter One, respectively, of my 2012 book, Mass Movements.

* * * * *

Presently, my interest is in the etymology of the term. I've only used it, myself, since (best I can determine) 17 May 2008:

Radtrad Thomas E. Woods, Jr. [who has since moderated his views quite a bit] and his comrade Chris Ferrara . . .the notoriously radtrad Seattle Catholic . . .

On 23 June 2008, I made it clear that I distinguished the radtrad from plain "traditionalists":

. . . the good ole Remnant, (a radtrad organization: more radical than many -- most? -- "trads") . . . The approach was entirely predictable, and perhaps gives indication of what we can expect to see a lot in the future from "trad" circles (or at least radtrad ones) . . .

On a somewhat ironic note, my friend David Palm, himself a mainstream "traditionalist,"  applied the term to an analysis of mine (i.e., conceptually), even though I had not yet been using the term at the time, as far as I can tell. In a piece posted on 12 September 2007 ("What is Traditional Catholicism?"), that I have pinned at the top of my "Traditionalism" web page, as a helpful definitional aid, David writes (my bolding):

. . . there are loud and bitter denunciations from certain parties. Cries of "schismatics", "dissenters on the Right", and "Rad Trads" abound in neo-conservative Catholic Internet sites and publications.

One Catholic apologist [that's me, folks!] has a three-fold test to try to separate what he would consider the good Catholic wheat from the "Rad-Trad" chaff. He asks:

1. Is the Novus Ordo Mass valid?
2. Is Vatican II a valid and binding Ecumenical Council?
3. Is Pope John Paul II a valid pope? [Now, I presume, he would update this to Benedict XVI.]

These are perfectly good and necessary questions. And I should be free from all suspicion of being a Rad Trad, since I answer yes to all three.

I would note that my thinking on the matter has evolved and expanded considerably since 2007, and since the late 90s, when I developed the above "litmus test" in order to distinguish what I called a radtrad from more mainstream "traditionalism." In fact, articles like David's above, were key in helping me to develop this thought, and to make more nuanced distinctions about the larger movement under consideration.

Before then, back to 1997 or so, I used as a rough equivalent, the term (which I may have possibly coined, myself), quasi-schismatic. (I see that mainstream "traditionalist" Dr. Taylor Marshall used the term on 14 March 2013). Dr. Marshall also provides a nutshell definition of "radical traditionalism":

In case you don’t know what “radical traditionalism” looks like, here’s a snap shot:
a) the denial of the Jewish holocaust
b) the outright denial of Vatican 2 as a valid council
c) rhetorical style of the Rorate Caeli blog
d) the embrace of isolationist sub-culture of Catholicism or “Amish Catholicism”
e) the denial the charismatic gifts and the charistmatic movement
f) sympathy for the Bp Williamson’s style of traditionalism
g) disdain for Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis
h) the belief that Latin Mass Catholics are “A Team” and Novus Ordo Catholics are “B Team”
i) Gnostic ecclesiology – that “traditionalists” form the one true invisible Catholic Church

I really don’t think that most people attending the Latin Mass are all that close to the radical traditionalism expressed in the points above.
("The Latin Mass and the Franciscans of the Immaculate,"  30 July 2013)

In this last-linked paper, I discovered that other Catholic apologists and writers used the term as well. I was not alone, by any stretch. I found it being used by apologists Jimmy Akin [link] and Mark Shea [link], as well as Catholic writers Steven D. Greydanus [link] and Daria Sockey [link]: all in pretty much the same sense that I use it myself. Thus, if the word is evolving (as all words do, and especially newly-coined words), it appears to be generally in the same direction, in terms of its use by credentialed Catholic writers. There is nothing improper in any of this, as any etymologist (expert on the origin, history, and evolution of words) would quickly agree.

Catholic writer Sandra Miesel [see Wikipedia bio] has claimed credit for the origin of radtrad. Miesel holds master's degrees in biochemistry and medieval history from the University of Illinois. According to Wikipedia:

Since 1983, Miesel has written hundreds of articles for the Catholic press, chiefly on history, art, and hagiography. She wrote regularly for the now-defunct Crisis Catholic magazine and is a columnist for the diocesan paper of the Diocese of Norwich, Connecticut. Miesel is also a well-known speaker. She has spoken at religious and academic conferences, appeared on EWTN, and given numerous radio interviews.
She has co-authored [with Carl E. Olson] a book, The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci Code, a detailed critique of the popular novel based on her knowledge of Catholic history and teachings. Most recently, she has co-authored a book The Pied Piper of Atheism: Philip Pullman and Children's Fantasy with Catholic journalist and canon lawyer Pete Vere [and Carl Olson also]. The book, published by Ignatius Press, offers a detailed critique of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

On 16 March 2004, Miesel wrote about coining radtrad (all bolding added):

As the person who coined the term RadTrad, what I had in mind was a certain complex of views exemplified by the pages of The Remnant, Catholic Family News, The Fatima Crusader, and allied productions: anti-Semitic, Gallophilic, pro-Confederate, anti-American, and fond of conspiracy theories. (It's all the Illuminati's fault doncha know.) Their beau ideal of a ruler is Salazar, the former dictator of Portugal, since there's no King of France available at present. The supreme contemporary example of a RadTrad writer is Solange Hertz who views electricity and even brick-making as inventions of the Devil.
Lists of supposed Jews among the early Bolshies can be found in the works of Fr. Denis Fahey, a founding father of RadTradism. I have a whole boxful of such books obtained from Catholic Treasures and Fr. Gruner's Our Lady's Book Service.

(comment on a thread on Amy Welborn's blog, Open Book, under the post, "Instead of . . .")

Om Amy Welborn's site, Via Media (18 August 2005), Sandra clarified:

Trads and RadTrads are two very different species. I have no problem with the former at all but the latter are an ugly bunch.

She reiterated on 16 April 2008 at Ignatius Insight Scoop:

As the inventor of the term RadTrad, may I assert that it doesn't mean simply preference for the Old Mass and traditional devotions. RadTradom carries a lot of other other social and political freight that has nothing to do with praying in Latin: Integrism, Gallophilia, anti-Semitism, Confederate sympathies, attraction for aristocracy and authoritarian forms of government, etc.

Interestingly, one of Miesel's co-authors, Pete Vere (also co-author of Surprised by Canon Law, More Catholic Than the Pope: An Inside Look at Extreme Traditionalism, and Annulment: 100 Questions and Answers for Catholics), has recently claimed the same:

Regarding Dave's use of the term "radtrad" . . ., I find it interesting how the term has expanded and morphed since I first coined it. But that was due to several people and not just Dave.

Basically, in the old sandbox of traddyland way back when, I was just looking for something to counter the term "indulterer" (as I have repeated ad nauseum). I think it is fair, especially after the radtrads introduced the epithet "neo-Catholic" into the apologetics lexicon  . .

(16 March 2013 on Terrye Newkirk's Facebook page; also recorded in a paper of mine on the term)

Pete Vere wrote on a Facebook thread of mine, the following (on 17 March 2013), before I even asked him about it, almost at the same time I was writing this post (but he had read my mention of Miesel at the end of my recent paper):

With regards to the competing claims between Sandra M. and myself over who coined the term "radtrad", she may in fact be correct. Around that time we were corresponding quite a bit on traditionalist issues, because of certain trends and controversies happening within the broader traditionalist movement online - particularly among the schismatic branches. This would eventually lead to the two of us discovering a mutual love of fantasy and children's literature, which years later led to us co-authoring Pied Piper of Atheism for Ignatius Press when the whole Phillip Pullman controversy broke. Regardless, it is quite possible that I had picked it up from her during one of our earlier private exchanges.

And again, within an hour of the above:

The difficulty with on-line research is that most of the discussion took place within email distribution discussion groups that I moderated, first from my own computer (Tradition-X, FIAT) and then via CinGreg. It would later spread over to yahoogroups, but I was long gone by this time. I recall using the term "radical traditionalist" to distinguish from "papal traditionalist" back on Trad-X and FIAT. This would have been during the mid-90's and was before I met Sandra. However, I do not recall using the shortened "radtrad" before meeting Sandra. So it is quite possible that she or Mark Shea shortened it since our initial conversations were three-way, if I recall correctly. On the other hand, I believe Sandra keeps email records of many of these things.

This is not to say that I did not use the shortened "radtrad" prior to meeting Sandra, only that I have no recollection of having done so. It is also possible that we both coined the term independently of each other and then merged definitions during our period of collaboration. One thing to remember is that back then there was little vocabulary for traditionalists of an Indult persuasion to draw upon when responding to criticism from radtrads. So those of us in the mix ended up coining a number of terms and expressions that later made it into popular trad usage. The other thing is that the movement was so small and the workers so few, that we cross-pollinated many of our terms and ideas. What I can say is that I used the term "radical traditionalist" as far back as 1996 to counter the word "Indulterer" among radtrads, as well as to distinguish us "papal traditionalists" (another term I coined at the same time) from those advocating schism. The only reason I recall coining the term "radical traditionalist" is because I coined "papal traditionalist" as the same time.

. . . I really have not given much thought to how it is used today. I was more concerned about defining who we were as "papal traditionalists" than who were were not (i.e. "radical traditionalist"). So I mainly used "radical traditionalist" as a shield against radtrads and anti-trad conservative NOM's, while my sword and main focus was the term "papal traditionalist".

However, if I recall correctly, Mark Shea and Sandra revitalized and re-defined the term "radical traditionalist" (and may have shortened it at this time as well) when the controversy was breaking about Bob Sungenis's views on the Jews. From here it was picked up by St. Blog's and came into wider usage among Catholics outside of the traditionalist movement. So we are talking sometime between 2003 and 20004 if I recall correctly. At that point, both my apologetics and my canon law career were skyrocketing, as the idea of "papal traditionalism" was gaining widespread credibility and acceptance among bishops, and I was answering inquiries from canonists each day from other dioceses whose bishops wanted to offer or expand the indult, or who were wondering about the legitimacy of some obscure priest or trad group that had popped up in their diocese. So I kinda lost touch with the term "radical traditionalist" or "radtrad".

I cannot really comment on how it is used today, except to say that I never objected to how Mark Shea or Sandra M. used the term. Nor have I followed how it has since morphed. 

I agree (apart from a few quibbles) with Mark's spot-on analysis from a 2010 article (my bolding):

It is only when docile Catholics are on the receiving end of this aggressive contempt that we will sometimes use the term "Rad Trad" to describe the aggressor. But we do not mean that to refer to all self-described Traditionalists. We only mean it to refer to those Traditionalists who attempt to reduce the Faith to their hothouse subculture and to exclude those outside it from the dignity of being hailed as fellow Catholics in full obedience to Holy Church. We do not apply it to those who happen to have Traditionalist sensibilities, but who do not suggest, insinuate or say that Catholics docile to the Magisterium are second-class "neo-Catholics".

Mark Shea also defers to Sandra Miesel as the originator. In a comment on my Facebook page (20 March 2013), he noted, in his inimitable fashion:

I borrowed the term from Sandra. These days I prefer "Urine and Vinegar Wing of Traditionalism" to distinguish them from sane and happy Trads.

There is a third claimant, however: Catholic apologist Scott Windsor (who often uses the nick, "CathApol"). Writing on his own site on 9 May 2011, Windsor states (my bolding):

I also fully understand what you mean about the "Rad Trads" (I coined that phrase years ago) as I have had some ties to such "Rad Trads" - though I was never in their camp. Their position is just too untenable to logically stand. 

Later on the same thread, on 13 September 2012, he added:

I'm sure Armstrong got the "Rad Trad" terminology from me.  (grin)

When I asked Scott about the origins of radtrad, he wrote below in the combox (25 March 2013):

As for me and my part in this, I am not sure when I first used the term "RadTrad." I know when I used it, I had never heard of anyone else using it. So, while I claimed to be the person who "coined the term," I am not real concerned with proving that was the fact, so unless something comes out, I too yield to Sandra.

I definitely got the term from someone, since I wasn't using it before 2008, and its use online goes back to at least 2002, as I will demonstrate below. Pete Vere wrote on my Facebook page, on 18 March 2013:

I apologize, but I had forgotten completely about Scott Windsor. Given that he was a big contributor to early discussions and debates back in the mid-to-late 90's, I could easily recognize his claim to having coined the term "radtrad" as well. Regardless of whether it was Sandra, Scott or myself who coined the term, I think it is clear that the term goes back almost twenty years and that it was coined by traditionalists loyal to Rome (or their sympathizers) as a shield against those who attacked our status as traditionalists.

And this brings us to a central point that I vainly tried to make to one of my out-of-control, misguided accusers a few days ago: the term is used precisely in order to distinguish between respectable, "magisterial"-type "traditionalists" and those who -- at least overwhelmingly in tenor and tone, if not canonically in schism --, act in very different ways. The intention (I can't stress this highly enough!) is to differentiate between the two, so as to make clear that genuine "traditionalists" are not in schism or anywhere near it. As such, it is as much an act of charity (in this regard) as it is slightly tongue-in-cheek and biting-but-permissible social commentary (as directed against its recipient).

Pete couldn't have put it any better than he did. And a lot of the information I compile below confirms this, rather strikingly.

Some Internet History of Radtrad 
 [bolding added]

F. John Loughnan (10 July 2002):

Personally, I believe that the RadTrad schism is "smallfry" compared to the potential schism of the radical apparitionists.

Pete Vere added:

Dave, another thought on your article. John Loughnan, Bill Grossklas and I were very close collaborators from 1997 to 2002. In fact we communicated by email and by phone weekly, and sometimes daily, during this period. Thus if John Loughnan was using the term radtrad as far back as 2002, as you demonstrated, I know I would have been using the term as well.

Lane Core, Jr. (23 October 2002):

. . . the main problem was blockheaded and/or vitriolic anti-Catholic Protestants; at about the time I got out, the RadTrads were just starting to make their way in.

Christopher Blosser, at Against the Grain, wrote (11 April 2003):

James Likoudis of Catholics United for the Faith published a blistering review of the recent 'radtrad' polemic The Great Facade: Vatican II and the Regime of Novelty in the Roman Catholic Church, by Christopher A. Ferrara and Thomas E. Woods, Jr. (Remnant Press, 2002).
And on 21 September 2003:

I've referred to Sandra Meisel's article Swinging at Windmills a number of times in blogging on the radtrads.

And 11 October 2003:

In her appearance to three children at Fatima, Our Lady requested that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and the bishops of the world. It is a common allegation among the RadTrads -- among them CAI's Robert Sungenis, Christopher Ferrara, and the suspended priest Fr. Nicholas Gruner 1 -- that the Pope never followed through in said consecration, and is complicit in a conspiracy to cover up "The Third Secret".

And again on 1 November 2003:

Bill Cork posted recently on "Ecumenical Jihad", referring to a book by Peter Kreeft, a philosophy professor at Boston U. and Catholic apologist. The title of the book is apt to send some religious factions into hysterics (radtrads at the word "ecumenical", liberals at the word "jihad"), but if you glance beyond the cover the proposition is interesting: a united moral front of Christians and Muslims against the oncoming tide of godless secularists"who acknowledge no law above human desire and all the religions of the world." (Incidentally, Mark Shea invoked Kreeft back in January 2003 in a plea for anti-Catholics and radtrads to cease "niggling about niceties of some point of doctrine" and come together over what counts).

And yet again on 10 September 2005:

The issue of virulent anti-semitism as an obstacle to reconciliation was addressed on this blog back in 2003, as well as by Bill Cork (with respect to another on the radical fringe); it’s presence among “radtrads” has been copiously documented by F. John Loughnan.

Apolonio Latar (31 May 2003):

Debate with a Rad-Trad

This was a debate between a Radical Traditionalist and me.

"Secret Agent Man" (16 August 2003): 

The reason Kooky RadTrads don't twig to this issue is that, deep down, they're Calvinists.

This Rock (Catholic Answers), September 2003 issue (p. 10:  "The Apologist's Eye"; unknown author; possibly Jimmy Akin):

Mad Rad Trads

For years, Pope John Paul II has been called evil by the "radical Traditionalist" (a.k.a. "rad trad") folks at because of—well, the Novus Ordo Mass, among other things. So when the Pope announced that a Latin indult Mass would be celebrated at St. Mary Major, the folks at Novus Ordo Watch were full of Christian charity and gratitude, right? Well, no.

Jeff Miller ("The Curt Jester"), 18 February 2004:

RAD TRAD = Radical Traditionalist. Those that have joined groups like the SSPX that believe that [the]  Church has gone astray since Vatican II and some believe that there is no current valid pope or that the pope is someone other that John Paul II. This is not to be confused with traditionalists like those who have a love for the Latin Mass and wish that it was made more available. The major difference is obedience to the Church.

Ben Douglass, himself a "traditionalist," wrote the following article, with a tongue-in-cheek title that indicates something about the ongoing evolution of our term; dated  28 January 2005:

"I Make a Terrible Radtrad (On Communion in the Hand)"

By 2005, even one of the most prominent anti-Catholic apologists used the term. James White wrote (22 June 2005):

I do not trust Bob Sungenis. His credibility is shot with me, and with anyone else who has followed his tortured path to his present position, and truly, what is accomplished by vindicating Reformed theology against someone who was once with Harold Camping, and once a Presbyterian, and once a member of the International Churches of Christ, and now off on his own in the rad/trad camp somewhere, who may well be who knows where next year?

Urban Dictionary (8 April 2006):


In the Catholic faith, a derogatory word for "radical traditionalist." This generally involves the following things:
1) Rejection of Vatican II
2) Rejection of the non-Latin mass
3) Rejection of the authority of the current bishops and pope
He was so disgusted by the homilies at his parish that he started going to an SSPX chapel and now he's a complete RadTrad.

Jimmy Akin (August 2006):

This is further corroborated by the fact that his father is a known anti-Semite and that anti-Semitic views are common in the Rad Trad circles in which Mr. [Mel] Gibson apparently moves.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker (15 April 2008):

The American Catholic Church is also highly polarised. At one extreme are the ‘rad traddies’. They argue for the Latin Mass and support schismatic groups opposed to modernising the Church. These radical traditionalists want to turn back the clock to some golden age before the Second Vatican Council. They live in a black and white world where anyone outside their group is a damnable moderniser. They come across as angry, self-righteous kooks. . . . In between the ‘rad traddies’ and ‘rad trendies’ are the largest group which my friends refer to as ‘AmChurch.’

He clarified this on 8 May 2008 on the New Liturgical Movement site (in an article by editor Shawn tribe):

No, I am not against the Latin Mass, but against the extreme traditionalists who rubbish Vatican II, support cranky right wing conspiracy theories and take a sedevacantist or semi-sedevacantist position. That's why I referred to them as 'Rad Traddies' ...

Those who support and encourage the Latin Mass within the full life of the church as promoted and permitted by the Church I have no problem with.

He wrote again on 30 January 2010:

When I compare two groups of Catholics: the rad trad crowd and the vast hordes of AmChurch ordinary Catholic folks I have to ask what my impression is of them as people. As a priest I get far more negativity, criticism, sour self righteousness, suspicion and downright ugliness from the traddies than the trendies. I also get far more appreciation, respect, good humor, and open positivity from the trendies than the traddies.

See also his excellent summation and rationale: "Must We Call Them Rad Trads?" (1 August 2013)

Michael Liccione (9 June 2008):

A rad-trad converts [title]

Scott Windsor (12 January 2010):

I was recently castigated for using the term “Rad Trad” on Patrick Madrid’s blog [not by Pat himself, but by someone else] but I assume it was due more to a lack of understanding of my intention than anything else.  I was accused of “sweeping generalization” and “put(ting) down those who love Tradition.”  Perhaps we should all try to be clearer in the terms we use.  I suppose I could have included a bit of an explanation when I posted that – and in hindsight, I believe I would have had I known the way some would respond.  Here’s my initial comment from Patrick Madrid’s blog:

Catholics of all flavors need to be conscious of the potential scandal in attacking fellow professing Catholics in public. I believe some of the “Rad Trads” don’t really care – thinking they are the only “true Catholics” – but those of us who ARE true Catholics must be careful not to cause even more scandal by making public accusations against other professing Catholics. “Rad Trads” may be “true Catholics themselves, just misguided by a zeal for tradition which overlooks the “novo cedat ritui” (they may recall singing this in Benediction). In their zeal – they may be causing even more harm to the Church, but we should not increase that harm in attacking them. Let us present the fullness of the truth as God continues to reveal through His Church.
So what IS a “Rad Trad?”  Well, as the “label” implies – it is someone who is not merely a Traditionalist, but is a “Radical Traditionalist.”  An old Latin phrase goes:  “in medio virtus stat” – (in the middle, virtue stands).  One has to be careful when embracing the extremist in any movement.  Traditionalism is a GOOD thing in the Catholic Faith!  However, extremists or “radicals” who go around blasting anything new and/or anything post Vatican II are doing more harm than good in the Church.

Under fire, on the same day on Pat Madrid's blog, Scott clarified and defended his usage (first bolding and also asterisks his own; subsequent bolding is mine):

Folks, I am a Traditionalist! I support the Traditional movement, and have since I converted to Catholicism back in 1988! Please don't misread me, I do NOT "put down those who love Tradition!" "Rad-Trads" are those who would throw out the baby with the bathwater, as if - if it is not in Latin, it's Modernism. Be real folks, there are some "Rad-Trads" out there who do indeed give the rest of us Traditionalists a black-eye. Now I, for one, would not shed a single tear if Pope Benedict XVI abrogated the New Order of the Mass (Novus Ordo Missae) and reverted the entire Latin Church back to the Traditional Latin Mass - but I am also not one who proclaims the Novus Ordo is invalid and/or that priests ordained after the Rite of Ordination changed (early 1970's? - I don't have the date handy) are not valid priests. There ARE those in the extreme of the Traditionalist movement who DO make these claims - and I have engaged and been summarily condemned by them because I have ANY tolerance for anything post Vatican II. I am of the mindset that IF there is ANY defects of the "novo cedat ritui" - that "praestet fides supplementum" (faith supplements). . . .

I hope that helps clear up what I was saying. As I said, I do not oppose Traditionalism. I support bringing more and more Latin back into the Mass - as Vatican II proclaimed as well, "the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites." I also participate more frequently in the extra-ordinary rite (as it is now called) than I do the novus ordo rite.

Mark Shea was lied about by someone on the same thread, in exactly the way that I was lied about, myself and turned into a straw man to pummel, a few days ago, by a good half-dozen people or more: as if I am somehow opposed to Latin Mass or the Extraordinary Form. Mark replied as follows (14 January 2010):

Mark Shea's entire online existence revolves around complaining about Catholics who attend the traditional Latin Mass.

False. You are either ignorant of the fact that my son often attends a Latin Mass or you are just another liar. I have no problem whatsoever with the Latin Mass. I have a problem with so-called Traditionalists who treat brother Catholics as second-class Catholics and half-breeds.

His latter sentiment was, in fact, the reason for the initial post (11 January 2010) that led to the thread above, by Patrick Madrid. While not using or endorsing the term radtrad (which Mark often uses in battling the above mindset, as shown in one of my links above), Pat stated in full agreement with Mark (and with what is my own view):

Mark Shea throws down the hammer on those who impugn Catholics (such as Karl Keating, myself, and others) as "Neo-Catholics," pointing out that this epithet is simply a thought-stopping term used by some against those who, as Mark pegs it, are not "sufficiently bitter" toward Pope John Paul and Vatican II.

While Mark and I may disagree on a variety of issues, I think he's right on target in his analysis of the connotations implicit in the snarky "neo-Catholic" put down. Frankly, his push-back on this particular issue is overdue, and I am happy to see it. Thanks, Mark. You said it better than I could have.

Patrick Madrid clarifies in a comment (13 January 2010), that he, too, is a "traditionalist" (in the broadest sense), who attends the Tridentine Mass:

Just to clarify, as a life-long Catholic, I personally LOVE the Traditional Latin Mass and try to attend it whenever the opportunity arises (there's a bit more on that in my bio..). I am not a party to any antagonism toward anyone because they, like I, love the Traditional Mass.

My purpose in drawing attention to this particular comment of Mark's is that I believe he correctly identifies the problems surrounding mis-labeling certain Catholics as "neo-Catholics."

Same here. As I've stated till I am blue in the face, I have attended Latin Mass (Novus Ordo) for 22 years at my parish, St. Joseph's in Detroit. My parish also offers the Tridentine Mass sometimes, for example, at Midnight Mass at Christmas. I have attended them. They're beautiful and highly moving. Our parish cluster is one of only three or so that offer the Tridentine Mass in metro Detroit (one of the parishes, every week). There is no hostility at all (zero, zip, zilch, nada, nuthin'!) to Latin or the Old Mass here. I advocated Pope Benedict's position of freedom to worship as one pleases for my entire Catholic life, which is now about 22 1/2 years. I always receive Holy Communion on the tongue, kneeling at an altar rail (in my parish), I detest and have often roundly condemned in my writing, all violations of liturgical rubrics, massive overuse of eucharistic ministers, etc. It's not difficult at all to ascertain what I believe (me, with my nearly 2,500 blog posts). Ever heard of a search engine, folks? Hello!

Patrick Coffin, host of Catholic Answers Live, wrote in the article, "Meet the Mad-Trads," (12 July 2013):

On the Friday, May 31, edition of Catholic Answers Live, guest Tim Staples and I tackled the phenomenon of radical Traditionalism. The concept is fairly straightforward, typified by groups like the Society of St. Pius X (and the two splinter groups who had no choice but to flee the SSPX's creeping liberalism), the sedevacantists (those who believe that the last legitimate pontiff was Pius XII), and others on the ecclesial far right who have broken communion with the Roman pontiff for their own sundry reasons. . . .

Tim Staples sharply contrasted a traditional expression of Catholicism with those who willingly break communion with the Church. . . .

These people are not Rad-Trads outside the Church, they're Mad-Trads inside the Church.
What is a Mad-Trad? Well, if you accept the norms of the Second Vatican Council, to a Mad-Trad you’re a "Neo-Catholic," a misguided liberal; you know, like Mother Angelica and Blessed John Paul II. . . .

Sadly, some of these individuals have already left the Church, at least inwardly. . . .

Because of the intensity of the reactions to the May 31 show, we are going to revisit radical Traditionalism on Monday, August 12, again with Tim Staples.

A notable exception to the general trend of the evolution of the word radtrad is a man who may be considered  the father of the modern Catholic apologetics movement,  Karl Keating. Writing on a public thread on Terrye Newkirk's Facebook page on 15 March 2013, he stated:

Usually it's the Traditionalists who collapse into name-calling. . . . I have an extensive vocabulary. If I want to indicate my disdain for someone, I don't have to fall back on slang such as "radtrad" or "Fundie" or "Prot."

Likewise, staff apologist at Keating's Catholic Answers, Michelle Arnold, wrote on 20 February 2013 on that organization's site:

Some years ago, I contributed posts to my colleague Jimmy Akin's blog. One of the more controversial posts I wrote was Single RadTrad Catholic Seeks Same [Feb. 2006], in which I talked about an online dating site for single Catholic Traditionalists. (Nota bene: Following global upgrades to Jimmy's site over the years, the original byline indicating my authorship of the post was inadvertently altered, but the post was indeed written by me and not by Jimmy.) Quite a few Catholic Traditionalists, whom I will admit I might have treated more kindly by not using the faddish moniker "RadTrad" that was popular at the time, were outraged that I criticized a dating site that catered specifically to their desire to find a likeminded spouse.

These are the only critics of note (apart from the RadCathRs themselves) that I could find (and I looked very hard). Perhaps they are correct (this is not an absolute thing in the first place), but in any event, words evolve (see the study of etymology) and develop as time goes on, and definitions are determined by actual usage, not preordained proclaimed "dictionary dogmas." That itself would be another long discussion (and I love it, myself). We have clearly seen from the above survey how the new term radtrad (originated c. 1995) is evolving: overwhelmingly in one direction, with remarkable agreement across the board.

I would happily engage anyone on this topic, provided it is serious, constructive, respectful, amiable discussion (in other words, very unlike what I was subjected to over the last weekend).

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Latest Update: 1 August 2013. Terminology updated on 7 August 2013. Further updates: 8 August 2013.

* * * * *


nissa_loves_cats said...

When I hear the term 'radtrad' I always wonder if it applies to me since I prefer the Latin Mass and would love it if it were available in every parish in the world.

I do accept the authority of Pope and Church to make the decisions about the Mass, however.

Now it seems that 'radtrad' doesn't mean what I thought it means--- only I wonder what other people mean by it when they use it.

Dave Armstrong said...

It doesn't apply to you at all. This point is made by several people in this paper. If you read it, it'll clarify a lot of things for you, I think.

I'm very, VERY traditional, liturgically, myself, and have attended Latin Mass at my parish for 22 years now.

nissa_loves_cats said...

Yes, it's very helpful, and thank you so much for writing the paper at such length to clear things up.

I just hope Catholics of whatever opinion will deal with differences over these issues in a more charitable way. Those who don't--- through name-calling and attacks--- aren't doing their own side any good.

Dave Armstrong said...

I'm delighted you thought it was helpful, and I couldn't agree more about amiable discussion, even when differences are present. It's required by Christian ethics.

Neil Parille said...


I'm curious where you think that traditionalist disagreement with the Vatican goes to far.

For example, when a pope kisses the Koran, claims Paul didn't write the Pastorals, calls protestants who support homosexuality his fellow Christians or takes part in a pagan Mayan religious ritual is it wrong to call the pope out on that?

Dave Armstrong said...

See my "Traditionalism" page and two books linked there:

Scott Windsor said...

As for me and my part in this, I am not sure when I first used the term "RadTrad." I know when I used it, I had never heard of anyone else using it. So, while I claimed to be the person who "coined the term," I am not real concerned with proving that was the fact, so unless something comes out, I too yield to Sandra.

Did I hear someone calling for a group hug? ;-)


Jeffrey Stuart said...

A lot of energy directed to labeling and categorizing Catholics that I don't think provides much value added. Whether calling people "neo-Catholic" or "RadTrad," I deplore both terms and think both sides should just stop. It's akin to High School tribalism.

Dave Armstrong said...

Meanwhile, as an apologist I have to have some sort of way to distinguish between mainstream "traditionalists" who simply prefer the Old mass, and those I call radtrads.

What do you suggest? If I make no differentiation, I catch hell for supposedly lumping every sort of "traditionalist" together, as if I consider ALL of them extreme fringe wackos (which I do NOT at all).

I can't win for losing. If I seek to be charitable by drawing this distinction, I get misery. But if I just use the term "traditionalist," then I can't even make the critiques I make of excesses and errors, because people will think I'm bigoted and attacking the entire movement across its whole spectrum.

Dave Armstrong said...

Also, St. Paul vociferously and repeatedly condemned sectarianism and folks who were causing division.

There is a place to do so. One function of the apologist is to warn people of certain errors, in order to try to prevent them from falling into it. We try to protect the flock from them.

Jeffrey Stuart said...


Thanks for your reply.

Rightly or wrong, I think I sense a bit of frustration as you write, “I can't win for losing.” I think in a nutshell, that is my point. You are correct in saying that. There is nothing to win here, only potential for loss in communication. So why is that?

While I’m not going to say I am the only one in the World who has had this experience, I have at times been called both a “neo-Catholic” and “RadTrad in my lifetime. Now I am the same person in both instances. So to me, when someone uses those terms it really says more about that person than the individual they are attempting to label. It’s a “I’m not you” sort of statement depending on whatever they see “you” as being.

Also, no matter how much effort you put towards trying to define such terms, everyone uses them differently and the distinction can be so fuzzy that the collateral damage is very real as you end up offending people that you didn’t mean to offend. So then, you have to take time explaining what you meant in using the label which often, in my opinion, makes matters on worse. Think of an individual who uses the word n****r and tries to explain how he really only means a certain segment of black people. It’s a no-win situation. You only dig a deeper hole in the sand.

Further, because it is a fuzzy term and because it is often seen in an “us vs them” manner, it compels people to take sides. So, someone uses the term “RadTrad” to discuss a viewpoint he doesn’t like. Listener hears this message, reflects on the fact that the person being called “RadTrad” has very similar views, and therefore concludes that given this debate, he sides with the “RadTrad.” Net result is further polarization.

Communication can be difficult even when we try to be exacting. But ultimately, you have to reflect on whether it is working even if you think you have done everything possible to be clear and make distinctions. As an apologist, I think you would agree with me that some methods of explaining certain Catholic teachings resonate with a protestant audience more than others. Yes? While we might agree that Mary is the Co-Redemptrix and we can back it up with all manner of justification, it’s probably not the most effective means of ENTERING into a discussion with a fundamentalist. Same applies here. And if you have to take extra time to constantly explain this term, then I would say communication isn’t happening and a different approach is warranted. For instance, look at all of the effort you have to take to affirm that you have no beef with so-called “traditionalists.” I don’t think that is where your time as an apologist is best used.

My suggestion? Don’t use the terms at all and stick with words that have distinct meaning. If the person is a sedevacantist, then call him that. If the person is heterodox in thought, then use that term. If the person is just being a rude jerk, then that use that term. Label the behavior and apply it to individuals who demonstrate it openly.

To close, I appreciate the work you have done over the years and even have some of your books on my shelf. I wish you all the best and God’s continued blessings.


Dave Armstrong said...

Hi Stuart,

I appreciate very much your calm, reasoned, charitable approach and the time you've taken to explain it.

The problem still remains of how to identify a clear and troublesome category of folks. We need to have a name for them. We can't use a 17-word sentence every time they are referenced. Language doesn't work that way.

As I explained, in using "radtrad" I seek to be charitable to the mainstream of "traditionalists." It's actually an ecumenical effort at bottom.

My web page devoted to these issues is entitled, "Catholic 'Traditionalism' and its Extremist 'Radtrad' Fringe". That makes the distinction quite clear (and was designed to do so).

My recent book is called, Mass Movements: The Extreme Wing of "Traditionalism," the New Mass, and Ecumenism. You'll be happy to hear that I was persuaded to remove "radtrad" from the subtitle.

We can come up with any number of alternate terms: the people involved will be offended whatever we do. "Ultratraditionalist" has been used; I used to use "quasi-schismatic." People use a variety of epithets that are simply insults ("wackos," etc.)

You suggest "rude jerk." Like that will go over very well? :-) But "rude jerk" does not identify the essential problem; it's not primarily a matter of behavior (apologetics analysis in general is about belief, not behavior), but rather, of the "us vs. them," legalistic, exclusivistic, Pharisaical views being espoused.

My job as an apologist is to critique and refute error and to try to prevent people from being 1) harmed by it, and 2) falling into it themselves.

It's easy for the non-apologist to say, "well, don't use this term because it's mean and causes problems." I'm happy to discuss whether my chosen term is inadequate or uncharitable, and whether it should be discarded, but I need an alternative, because we still have the practical issue of identification for a distinct group.

I think I mentioned in the paper above that I have gone through almost identically the same dispute concerning "anti-Catholic," which has a long, indisputable, perfectly legitimate use among scholars.

People don't like being labelled that. But there is such a group. I am far more offended by the belief-system and lies of those who are correctly called that. They oppose Catholicism. I oppose abortion and have no problem with "anti-abortionist," so why should an anti-Catholic object to a simple description of what is so plainly their beef?

It's the same here: the beliefs that radtrads espouse and how they view orthodox Catholics are infinitely more uncharitable and offensive and outrageous than a mere shorthand term for "radical traditionalist," that uses the chosen self-description and simply adds a pointed but not inherently insulting indication of how far along on the spectrum a person is.

I still think it is perfectly justified, until I am persuaded that an alternate term (besides "rude jerk") is more appropriate and sensible. If I am, I'll revise my book and go through my entire blog and replace "radtrad" with the new alternate term.

I've modified or removed papers many times before when it was warranted (for one of several reasons). It's nothing new with me at all.

But I guarantee as sure as I'm sitting here that I'll catch hell no matter what term is used. I could call them anything whatsoever and it won't matter, because they reserve the right to use their offensive terms of orthodox Catholics, while we are supposed to have no "right" at all to identify them.

They're simply "traditionalists," according to their self-description, but the whole point is that they are NOT just that (and it insults the mainstream trads to contend that they are), and so have to be identified more specifically.

Thanks again for your time.

Dave Armstrong said...

There is nothing to win here, only potential for loss in communication. So why is that?

I would say that it is because too many people are being irrational and uncharitable in defining and using descriptive terms, whereas I am painstakingly expending effort to very carefully define terms and to be as charitable as I can in doing so.

I don't deny that "radtrad" has a certain pointedness and semi-humorous, tweaking "bite," but not nearly as much as Jesus' "vipers" or "whitewashed tombs, full of dead men's bones" or calling Herod a "fox." I think it is fully justified and as charitable as it can be under the miserable circumstances.

Definition of terms is absolutely crucial for rational discourse to take place. We have to know exactly who we are talking about, so there is not further confusion.

The only way to do that is to use terms consistently and to define them with great care. I do so at the beginning of my book and at the top of my "traditionalist" web page, so that there can be no confusion as to my use. I've even done a paper about its etymology.

But people will still be offended no matter what, because that is what happens when you disagree with folks. I've gone through this same dispute over the term "anti-Catholic." It goes with the territory in apologetics, along with being personally attacked ourselves because we dare to say that "a is right and b is wrong." People don't like that. It's human nature.

I'm not saying that you are being unreasonable. We're actually discussing the matter rationally and calmly, which is extremely refreshing to see. I'm just saying that you don't seem to realize that some concrete identifying term is needed, and "rude jerk" just doesn't cut it.

Dave Armstrong said...

Another thought occurred to me. For a radtrad to say that he is simply a "traditionalist" insults the vast majority of legitimate "traditionalists" in much the same way as a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness or Unitarian calling themselves "Christians" is an insult to ones who truly are Christians (who accept the Trinity, divinity of Jesus, etc.).

It's the very co-opting of the term to describe the narrow, objectionable group, that is completely unacceptable.

"Traditionalist" has its own difficulties that I have written about ("Traditionalists" aren't the only ones who care about and hold to "tradition"), but for now it is a term widely in use, and I am willing to bow to it, as long as I can put quotation marks around it as a mild protest: as I always do. I bow to it because the group calls itself that, and at some point, that becomes normative, inasmuch as language can be.

But the radtrad calls himself the same thing, while being radically different. Again, we have a problem of insufficient differentiation, and so we use radtrad to indicate a "traditionalist" who is "radical" and far right: almost to the point of schism, and certainly already divisive in precisely the sense that St. Paul so often vociferously, vehemently condemned.

Jeffrey Stuart said...

I’m actually maintaining that you don’t need to generalize the group at all and when you do, even when trying to be very specific, you don’t gain anything. In fact, you only lose. I suppose you could see my points as those of a “non-apologist” with an implication that there are aspects of your craft that I don’t understand. That’s fine. But in return, I could point out that I have experience in strategic communications and deal with issues like this in my current employment as a matter of course.

Clearly, your intent is a good one. I can see that. But measuring the effectiveness of communication is more than just what you actually say. You have to look at how it is received as well. And if your goal is to communicate effectively, you have to take into account that reception even though you don’t directly control it. It might me that a change in tact is in order so that you get through to the recipient in a way that works for them.

Using pejoratives to label groups of people only serves to causes more division. This is almost a guarantee. It’s a vicious cycle. And I would say we have seen that play out in spades in the Catholic blogosphere and I don’t see much value added. Instead, I see division amongst the Body of Christ. In fact, I had a well-known member of the clergy comment to me last week that “the Catholic blogosphere is absolutely toxic and it’s from all sides.”

Now let me clarify what I am proposing because I don’t think my point was clear enough. I say, do not label groups of people. Don’t call them neo-Catholics, progressive Catholics, Peace & Social Justice Catholics, Traditional Catholics, RadTrads, etc. It’s counterproductive for all of the reasons I stated before. Instead, label specific beliefs or specific individuals on their behavior.

So I’m not suggesting you exchange “RadTrad” for “rude jerks” in talking about a group of people. I’m saying that if an individual is a rude jerk, then simply call HIM a rude jerk. If someone espouses a view that there is no valid Pope, then point out the errors of Sedevacantism. Keep it specific and keep it focuses on bad thoughts and bad behavior of individuals. That’s where you energy would be most productive, not defining particular so-called sub-cultures within the Universal Church.

God bless,

Dave Armstrong said...

This still doesn't solve my problem of identifying a tangible error of a certain number of people. There has to be a label in order for folks to know what I'm talking about in the first place.

It is also relevant to point out that I didn't start this whole ball in motion. I'm dealing with the existing state of affairs as an apologist.

I didn't set out to classify people as "traditionalists." They have done that themselves, and I have registered my principled disagreement with it (on much the same grounds as you are using now: that it is a useless, unnecessary qualifier to "Catholic").

But there are different types of "traditionalists" just as there are wildly different types of Catholics (orthodox / obedient / magisterial and nominal and cultural and modernist / dissident / liberal).

This is reality. I didn't make it what it is by my labeling. It is what it is.

So in this issue there remains a definite need to classify and identify a far-right element of "traditionalism" that gives the entire movement a bad name. Someone suggested that "ultra-traditionalist" was preferable. I replied that it means the same thing (ultra = radical) and so would not resolve the "problem."

I appreciate your point about how things are received, but that can't be the final (or only) determinant, because, as I've noted, people are offended no matter what name they are given, if they know it is a "critical" classification, implying disapproval of what they believe. This is why the racist virtually never agrees that he is one or should be called that.

Do we stop using the terms "racist" or "bigot" or "prejudiced person" because of this? No! The political liberal wants to run from that term, even when it is clear that it is applicable and descriptive. Pro-abortion people want to play games with words and use "pro-choice" so they can cover up what it is they advocate (abortion on demand). Even many Protestants don't want to use that word of themselves and want to call themselves "Christians": as if that is helpful to identify what they believe.

That problem will never be solved (of people not liking their title given to them by someone else).

Again, you say that I shouldn't use any term at all, but it's not possible to do that as an apologist who is identifying an error and critiquing it. Its absolutely necessary to have some identifying term, as one can't write a long sentence every time someone on the group is referenced.

If I can't use a name for the phenomenon I am critiquing, then I can't critique it at all, pure and simple. And I think it should be critiqued and refuted, as it is a dangerous, spiritually deadly movement, drawing people in every day.

Jeffrey Stuart said...

You said, “This still doesn't solve my problem of identifying a tangible error of a certain number of people.”
If you have identified a “tangible error,” then address IT. Stay away from generalizing whole swaths of people as being associated with that error. Your generalizing only serves to create collateral damage and takes you “off message.”

You ask, “do we stop using the terms "racist" or "bigot" or "prejudiced person" because of this?” Question is, does applying a term like that to a whole group of people achieve our ends? Racism is wrong. We clearly agree on that and when such behavior is encountered, we should condemn it in individuals. But when people say things like “all of those racist southerners” then you start to offend people that you didn’t want to offend. Again, now you are reacting to collateral damage and “off message.” Wasted time and energy. Instead, stay focuses on bad ideas and individuals.

You remark that the “problem will never be solved (of people not liking their title given to them by someone else).” I see two courses of action out of this. Either avoid the problem or carry on as you suggest. If the latter, then I don’t know why others on the Catholic blogosphere get offended when some other group classifies them as a “Neo-Catholic.” All of the reasons that you present here in terms of needing to be accurate in classification and such can be used by those who employ such terminology. Both sides will claim the mantle of ultimately being “Catholic” and this amounts to “it depends on where you sit” as to which terms you apply. Not very unifying for the Body of Christ.

Ultimately, this labeling from both sides will continue to be destructive and bear no good fruit. It will further harden rhetoric and entrench people into increasingly polarized tribes. Unless some people of good will attempt to break the cycle by simply not partcipating.

As for me, while almost exclusively attend a FSSP parish, I eschew all manner of modifiers to my being Catholic and that includes the word “traditional.” I didn’t convert to the Universal Church only to fall back into loose “denominations” within the Church. That’s my perspective.

I appreciate the discussion here and leave you the last word on this point.

God bless,

Dave Armstrong said...

I would also note that mainstream "traditionalists:" themselves draw the same distinctions I do, but simply use different terms. I mentioned one "traditionalist" with whom I clashed recently. She used the term, "wacko."

Here is what Dr. Taylor Marshall, a "trad" and friend of mine, stated, referring to some radtrads who immediately bashed Pope Francis:

"Way to go, trads! We have been working so hard under the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI to demonstrate that we are not an inbred subculture of angry, hateful, quasi-schismatic, Jansenistic, holier-than-the-Pope Catholics. Everyone thinks that we who attend the 1962 liturgy are judgmental, Pharisaical, and rude (click here for details). And guess what. You just amplified that terrible reputation one hundredfold."

("Traditionalists and Pope Francis: Can We Take a Deep Breath and Please Calm Down?," 14 March 2013)

In another related article he makes many similar comments:

". . . like all stereotypes, the traddy stereotype is greatly exaggerated but based on reality."

"Judgmentalism is a problem for any Catholic who is serious about his faith. Whenever we try hard to enter the narrow gate, we occasionally pause and pity all the souls taking the other path. Pity often gives way to resentment, especially when they're having so much fun on the other path. Is there an inordinate amount of judgmentalism or Pharisaism in Latin Mass circles? Yes, it's certainly there. However, I don't think that Latin Masses causes judgmentalism."

"To summarize, most of the stereotypes are not fully accurate but do in fact touch on elements, good or bad, in communities attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Mass."

("My Initial Doubts about the Latin Mass," 8 January 2013)

In other words, these elements are really there, in a small, fringe element of the "traditionalist" movement. Taylor doesn't settle on a distinct title for them. I do: I call those who exhibit these tendencies "radtrads": precisely to distinguish them from sensible, cogent folks like Taylor Marshall.

The main disagreement seems to be over how prevalent radtrads are. We're told they are a very small minority. That's fine. Maybe they are. But it's still a dangerous error
to be confronted, and these folks are very vocal on the Internet and spreading poison rapidly, regardless of how small they may be.

Dave Armstrong said...

Exhibit #2 in my current argument is "traditionalist" Kevin Tierney. He recognizes that there is a sub-group that I call "radtrads" ("those who thrive on urine and vinegar" -- a delightful description promptly adopted by Mark Shea) but that they are so tiny that they can scarcely be found at all among "traditionalists." Again, the disagreement is about quantity: not over whether the group exists or not. He writes:

"Nobody (or at least precious few people) say that you can't have reverence and a love for the liturgy unless you are 100% Extraordinary Form all the time."

Caricaturing the critique (just as he distorted my own views in a recent fracas), Kevin opines:

"'But, but, but, buuuut Kevin! Some mean people on the Internet in comboxes believe that if you aren't a traditionalist, you are a second class Catholic. These .05% of traditionalists are a blight upon the entire movement, and until they are eradicated, nobody should ever listen to anything a traditionalist has to say!' Again, enough with the concern trolling. Internet comboxes are never the place for sanity and rational discourse. Putting them on a Catholic website isn't going to change things. Blame concupiscence. Anyone who actually spends real time amongst traditionalists in our parishes, at their events, or even at dinner & drinks realizes the Internet minority is a nasty yet irrelevant crowd that most traditionalists aren't even aware of."

("Concern Trolling Traditionalists," 20 March 2013)

So Kevin thinks they are a teentsy-weentsy dinky fringe group, but he doesn't deny that they exist.He's obviously trying very hard to distance himself from them and to give the "traditionalist" movement far better PR and a more positive "face."

I hope they are very tiny. But they exist and can be identified as radtrads. I know they exist because I've been dealing with them for 16 years. I've dealt with folks like Mario Derksen and Gerry Matatics, who are now sedevacantists. Regardless of their actual size, they are vocal and cause considerable damage to the faith of many.

They exist, and I give them a name: radtrads. If someone can come up with a better name, I'm all for it.

But I'm right alongside Kevin and Taylor in opposing what these radtrads stand for. He wants no association with them, and I don't want to associate mainstream "traditionalists" with radtrads in my analyses.

Because of that, I must have some term to differentiate the two. But the distinction has to be made, I can't just refuse to use any labels, because some might misuse labels. That holds true for anything whatever, as any good or true things can be distorted and abused.

We can't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The Discarded Imagineer said...

Brother Dave,
Not that I count your vocabulary in the least deficient, but since you requested a possible substitute term for "RadTrad", one thing that comes to mind is "repristinationism". It takes an otherwise commendable pursuit (repristination) as the times require, and blindly forges ahead with a certain golden age of practice and expression without regard for context, meaning, or need. Repristinationist may not be as fun as RadTrad, but might hit closer to the mark.

What do you think?

Your Anglo-Catholic Brother In Christ,
Steven Augustine Badal

Dave Armstrong said...

Interesting, and thanks for the suggestion (no one else is coming up with any alternatives), but I think it does lack a bit of flair and "accessibility" and this would be, in effect, the coining of a brand-new term.

I don't have any particular interest in doing so, and am bowing to existing usage (though not massively widespread or longterm usage) to some extent.

Many apologists and Catholic writers whom I respect have been using "radtrad" for almost twenty years and that is good enough for me.

But I'm still open to suggestion. I just don't think "repristinationist" is the right word. :-)