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Swedish Protocol & Male Embraces

A Non-Compromised Site

Dear folks at Tradition in Action,

I am writing this short note to thank you for the well-researched, solidly-Catholic articles on your website.

In particular I would like to thank Marian Horvat for her writing about women and Church teaching. It seems that everywhere I turn lately I find Catholics, including Traditional Catholics, compromising with liberal values, especially when it comes to woman’s role. “The Home-or-Career Dilemma for a Mother” is an excellent response article in particular.

I thank you for your uncompromising views, as well as for your objectivity as historians which is apparent in the articles on your site (and is sorely lacking in so much of what is being written today in Traditional Catholic circles).

It is easy to become discouraged these days and reading articles on your website has helped me.

     C.F., Canada


Swedish Protocol

Dear Mr. A.S. Guimarães,

Thank you for your gracious response to my letter [on Francis’ recent trip to Sweden]. I can see from the photos you posted how you can take the reception for Pope Francis as an insult, since normal Swedish ceremonies for receiving secular heads of State were more elaborate.

I so wonder two things. Did Pope Francis himself request a more simple and plain reception, or, does this Pope who appears to make such heretical statements deserve more honor? Has he perhaps, not earned a bit of a rebuke? Still, one must honor the Office of the Papacy, even though the personage occupying that Holy Office may be less than what one would desire.

Well, again, I thank you for increasing my knowledge of a proper reception for a head of State in Sweden. I pray that someday we have a Pope that will inspire a return to the Faith for my ancestral people and that such a Pope will one day be received with gladness throughout Scandinavia.




Do We Fulfill Our Mass Obligation in N.O. Masses?

Dear TIA,

Thank you for the scholarly, soundly reasoned articles and analysis on your site. I appreciate the conscientious treatment of topics often treated with sensational emotion.

If you have to moment to respond to a question regarding meeting the Sunday Mass obligation. my husband and I would find it very helpful. We are members of a traditional parish. We will be without a vehicle large enough to accommodate our family for the next few weeks.

There is only one Mass that we can make it to on time on Sunday, so we will alternate going week to week in the smaller car while one of us stays home with the younger children.

There is an evening mass at a Novus Ordo parish that one of us could attend. I do not think it is binding to assist at this Mass. My husband thinks we both ought to make a good faith effort to fulfill our Mass obligation, and so while not ideal it would be binding for the one who does not go to Mass in the morning to go to the Novus Ordo in the evening.

Could you offer some clarity on this issue?

Thank you for your time.



TIA responds:

Dear Mrs. J.B.,

We appreciated your amiable words about our work. They are an encouragement for us to continue along the same path.

As a matter of principle we never recommend a person to attend a Novus Ordo Mass. We believe it has the flavor of heresy and leads people to a non-Catholic notion of the Mass: a festivity and a banquet instead of the renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross.

If someone is unaware of how evil it is, we believe he may fulfill his Sunday obligation. If someone realizes all the evil the New Mass represents, he should avoid it.

An objector may argue that this is a subjective criterion. We answer saying that it is the application of the principle that, in times of great confusion, each one should act accord to his own conscience and answer before God for his actions.

So, we agree with you that you have no obligation to go to a Novus Ordo Mass. Regarding your husband, we suggest you to let him read this post and decide what he wants to do. Regarding your children, if they are adults, they should decide for themselves; if they are minors, the two of you should agree about what they should do.

We hope this will be of some assistance to you.


     TIA correspondence desk


Are Embraces between Men Morally Right?


As your website usually talks about Catholic morality and its relation to today’s society as well as that of the past, I have a question regarding social practices of the past.

Is the level of affection among male friends found in these old photos, from around the first half of the 20th century something moral or immoral?

Would it be something common in a Catholic, counter-revolutionary society?

Looking at these old photos from a modern point of view is a bit strange. One of my first thoughts about them was: “Why did they act that way in the past”?


TIA responds:

Hello E.L.,

A man can embrace his father, his grandfather and his brothers as a manifestation of respect and friendship. Until some time ago, a man could embrace some few close friends as he did his brothers.

In past times this was taken as an expression of a great friendship and brotherhood. This custom, however, was tarnished in the Victorian era when homosexuality became frequent among men.

After that, in the wake of that old good custom, military, work or sports companions continued to do so for a while without any bad connotations. In the pictures you sent us, we see that some men are taking this normal approach, although others are clearly leaning toward a homosexual behavior either jestingly or in earnest. Those photos illustrate a clash between these two different tendencies.

Following the sky-rocket of homosexuality in the post-1960s, when all bad customs were liberated, and especially after the 2000s, that old custom of men embracing took two different directions:
  • It faded and is dying among normal men who oppose homosexuality;

  • It grew and is becoming bolder among those who are complacent with it.
An example of this last hypertrophy is the custom of men kissing each other on the cheek, a gesture that has been added to sentimental embraces. These bad habits are increasingly in style in many social ambiences today.

That said, we believe that nowadays the Catholic approach to your question is:

Although in the past, men embracing men could have had a noble connotation, today this practice is not good. It can easily stimulate a bad sentimentalism that may lead to homosexuality.

Embraces among normal men should be reserved to family greetings – father, grandfather, brothers. With other men, a man should restrain himself to formal embraces – one touching the shoulders or the arms of another, or a pat on the back, without effusive manifestations of esteem. (See examples below)

We hope this answers your question.


     TIA correspondence desk

Formal embraces

Photos from Getty Images & Internet


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted November 22, 2016

The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting - do not necessarily express those of TIA

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