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By Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine, Aug. 3, 2022
Anthony Esolen is the author or translator of 28 books, most recently In the Beginning Was the Word: An Annotated Reading of the Prologue of John (Angelico Press), No Apologies: How Civilization Depends upon the Strength of Men (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord, a book-length poem made up of 100 poems centered on the life of Christ. …
Miniver cursed the commonplace
And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
He missed the mediæval grace
Of iron clothing.
(from “Miniver Cheevy,” by Edwin Arlington Robinson)
dead faith of the living. It’s an easy thing to criticize. You can do it by assuming that everyone who dearly loves tradition is a boor, stolid and mulish, who says that we must continue to do things this way because that’s the way we’ve always done them. Or you can assume that the traditionalist looks on the past as Robinson’s Miniver Cheevy does, turning it into a fairy tale, an escape from the grit of one’s time, all while ignoring the filth and the wickedness of the old days. The traditionalists, Francis believes, are like the one or the other….
Pope Francis has called traditionalism the
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