Neo-Cons (ecclesiastical)

A comment posted recently on this website asserted that I am ‘a neo-con’, and I noticed this morning that a venerable diarist of my acquaintance has received a similar accusation (or possibly compliment, I really don’t know) from one of his own readers.


cherie_blair_145.jpgI am aware of this term being applied to politicians in the States and I’m roughly aware of what it means in that context, but I have until now been quite unfamiliar with it being used in relation to ecclesial affairs.


I suspect it may be a derogatory term attached by certain ‘traditionalists’ to what they find to be a most annoying group of people – those who  aren’t ‘traditionalists’ but don’t believe Cherie Blair would make a great Archbishop of Westminster. But I really don’t know.


Moreover, we at the RCC being cricket fans, of course, are all in favour of unfamiliar and unlikely sounding bits of jargon with which we can confuse people, and so I wonder if anyone out there has any idea of what this phrase might mean, in the ecclesiastic context?


One thought on “Neo-Cons (ecclesiastical)

  1. Great blog chaps!
    Yes, having read ‘The Great Facade’ I can enlighten you to the meaning of the word ‘neo-con’ when applied to a certain group of Catholics.
    The distinction before Vatican II was between ‘progressives’ and ‘conservatives’. However, after the council the group formerly known as ‘conservatives’ were shunned, and became known as ‘Traditionalists’ (or even schismatics!) because they would not ‘move with the times’. The former ‘progressives’ then broke into 2 factions: those who wanted the change to keep going and were never happy (liberals) and those who were happy with certain changes, but didn’t want to push the doctrinal barrier (conservative in the consiliar era, hence ‘neo-conservative’).
    Therefore, a ‘neo-con’ is applied to the group of Catholics who will defend the consiliar church, no matter what they come up with (‘obedience’ being the key word, even if they are obeying preposterous changes), often being conservative when compared with ‘liberals’. This group cannot truly be called conservative because the truly conservative catholics are the ones who opposed innovative change at the second vatican council.
    I hope this comes some way to help? Incidentally neo-cons like to refer to themselves as ‘orthodox’ Catholics, and deny that any real innovative change happened after vatican II (as opposed to traditionalists and liberals who both clearly see that there was a rupture in the Church).
    I myself would further classify neo-cons into ‘neo-trad’ and ‘other’, since there are many neo-cons who love to worship in the traditional style, in Latin, etc. but refuse to side with traditionalists who like the old rite of mass (Adoramus and the Asoociation of Latin Liturgy definately count, in my eyes, as ‘neo-trad’!!).
    So rejoice that you are all neo-cons! It means that you will defend the Church and her hierarchy no matter what they do! That is true allegience.

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