Catholic traditionalism finds a following in Latin America

There has been a growth of Catholic traditionalism in Latin America as seen by the spread of the celebration of Latin Masses, reports Julie Gomes in the conservative web site, The Church Militant (December 25). Latin Masses are mushrooming in the main South American dioceses of Rio, São Paolo, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Lima and Santiago, often attended by youth and young families. The website cites a frontpage article in the Italian newspaper Il Giornale, which reported on the spurt in the Catholic traditionalist movement in Latin America: “Right-leaning blogs are multiplying, animated by young and very young people, with millions of followers. New political and cultural groups of conservative orientation are arising. Online conferences of traditionalist orientation are gaining notoriety. Stores of modest clothing are spreading, in open contrast to today’s immoral or extravagant fashions. After decades of virtual cultural monopoly of the Left, more and more books are being published and more and more conferences in the center-right area are being held. Sometimes the phenomenon can even be dazzling. For example, polls show 37 percent of Brazilians in favor of the restoration of the Brazilian monarchy.”

Brazil’s traditionalist Catholic Good Shepherd Institute is also reporting a boom in vocations, with its members extolling the Gregorian liturgy. Juan Miguel Montes of the conservative Catholic group Tradition, Family and Property attributes the interest in traditionalism to the same trends driving the ascendancy of Protestantism as a reaction to a “sociological turn of preaching in the Catholic Church,” which he associates with liberation theology. He also associates this interest with the practice of traditional devotions, such as Marian practices, adding that such Catholics “are not afraid of introducing themselves for what they are, conservative Catholics, even in the way they dress. In politics, they are increasingly demanding from candidates…the non-negotiable principles preached by Benedict XVI, that is, the defense of life from conception to natural death, the family founded on the union of two people of different sex and the inviolable right of parents to choose education for their children.”

(The Church Militant,