Eric Sammons has written an interesting post on Pope Benedict XVI in which he calls the pope a “Progressive Traditionalist”:
At a recent address on the liturgy, Pope Benedict said the following:
The liturgy, … lives a proper and constant relationship between sound ‘traditio’ and legitimate ‘progressio’, clearly seen by the conciliar constitution Sancrosanctum Concilium at paragraph 23. … Not infrequently are tradition and progress in awkward opposition. Actually though, the two concepts are interwoven: tradition is a living reality that, in itself, includes the principle of development, of progress.
This idea of the relationship – and tension – between tradition and progress has been a theme of Pope Benedict’s for his whole ecclesiastical career. We see it in his most recent book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, in which BXVI notes that Jesus himself was also a progressive traditionalist – adhering to the Law (”I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it”), yet also taking no issue with going beyond calcified ideas of how to follow God…
Perhaps. But I don’t know. In my own sphere, the traditionalists seem a bit more happy with the current pope than the progressives that I know.