What is Catholic Traditionalism? Under what historical circumstances did it first appear? How can devout, knowledgeable Catholics embrace the paradoxical position that "remaining true to Tradition" entails deserting the official structure of the Church – thereby abandoning full communion with their local Bishop and, in some cases, even the Pope himself? Most importantly, what steps can be taken to help restore unity in the Body of Christ?
Matthew Arnold, a Catholic convert, answers these and other questions about "Traditionalism" and the Catholic faith. A former "New-Ager" and Hollywood insider, Matthew became deeply involved in Catholic apologetics as a speaker and EWTN Radio personality. His negative experiences of liturgical abuse, heterodox homilies, and dissent-ridden catechesis drove him to seek for more orthodox teachings and reverent liturgies when he discovered the beauty of the Traditional Mass—and the intense personal crisis that ensued when permission for that "pearl of great price" was suddenly withdrawn.
This moving first-hand account powerfully demonstrates how a faithful Catholic's legitimate desire for a reverently celebrated liturgy can lead him to tolerate the irregular situation of Holy Mass celebrated validly, but illicitly, outside the diocesan structure. But Matthew's compelling testimony also explores how the celebration of the Traditional Mass in full communion with the Pope and the ordinary has an enormous potential to positively impact the life of the Church today—including the celebration of the "New" Mass.
Told in the context of Arnold's personal witness, this book concisely documents the century-long movement to reform the liturgy. This candid, poignant, and often humorous book exposes the spiritual peril at the heart of "radical Traditionalism" while remaining compassionate towards the legitimate aspirations of Traditional Catholics. It offers a message of hope that the dire situation confronting the Church will improve in direct proportion to the fidelity of all Catholics to the Church's official liturgy in whatever form or rite.