I don't trust "traditional catholics" right off the bat. Some can be as bad or worse than liberal catholics. So two questions...
1.) Do you recognize the validity and catholicity of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite?
2.) Do you recognize that the errors that have "come from Vatican II" have actually come from misinterpretations of its teachings and not its teachings as they were intended?
The first thing that strikes me is the discourteous nature of this inquest. Would it be polite of me to ask a mainstream Catholic if he recognized the validity of the Mass that existed prior to the Second Vatican Council, or if he accepted all the teachings of the Council of Trent?
Even if we allow that some people who call themselves traditional Catholics are worse than liberal Catholics, one would still have to admit that liberal Catholics have been afforded an incredibly higher degree of acceptance in the last 50 years than those attached to the Traditional Lain Mass have. As a former seminarian for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, I’m intimately aware of the benefits that have been afforded to liberal Catholics, not just by the Church’s hierarchy, but by the average Catholic in the pew. Am I not more justified in being suspicious of mainstream Catholics who have tolerated, even welcomed with open arms, every heterodox opinion under the sun? However, at the same time, that fact does not justify a rude remittance laced with unfounded suspicions when I first meet a mainstream Catholic.
Secondly, orthodoxy, at least in as much as it applies to traditional Catholics, is defined by recognition of the validity of the Pauline Mass and adherence to the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Why are these two things a litmus test for orthodoxy in regards to traditional Catholics? Why should any Catholic’s orthodoxy be judged by these two factors alone?
In regards to the validity of the new Mass, there are plenty of Satanists who recognize the validity of the Catholic Mass, be it the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form, but I wouldn’t consider them in any way orthodox, though I suppose some are more orthodox than some liberals and modernists I've known. As it turns out, the vast majority of traditional Catholics accept the fact that a valid Sacrament is confected at the novus ordo, but that shouldn’t be mistaken for a compliment of the novus ordo. Indeed it speaks to the tragedy of the situation in which our Blessed Lord’s infinite mercy is met by His children in a circle of near pagan Self-worship, borderline Pelagian prayers, a complete lack of interior prayer, robotic rote responses, distracting and artistically banal music and architecture, disrespect, and complacency… and that is at a novus ordo without any blatant liturgical abuses.
Our inquisitor’s second question comes from an oversimplification of what the Holy Father is calling for when he speaks of a hermeneutic of continuity and the position of most traditional Catholics in regards to the documents of the Second Vatican Council. A distinction between conservative and liberal interpretations of what the council documents called for in practical terms is facial. What is needed is an understanding of the nature of the documents themselves.
By making the Second Vatican Council into a stopgap orthodoxy barometer, our inquisitor does exactly what liberals do. He makes the Second Vatican Council into a superdogma, a position that was criticized by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Such a mistaken notion of the nature of Vatican II is the flip side of the same coin as the liberal position. According to Pope Paul VI, the Second Vatican Council was pastoral in nature. None of the documents were endowed with the note of infallibility. While Catholics are called to accept the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium, which was the organ of the Second Vatican Council, that authority is not infallible or unchangeable.
In regards to many statements contained in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the present pontiff has allowed reservation and even respectful debate. The Institute of the Good Shepherd, for example, enjoys full communion and canonical recognition even though they maintain certain reservations in regards to the Council's statements concerning religious liberty, ecumenism and the liturgy. If the Holy Father allows reservation and respectful debate concerning the documents of the Second Vatican Council, why should traditional Catholics be forced to fully accept every statement in the documents of Vatican II without reservation, as though they were dogmatic in nature?
If holding certain reservations about statements contained in the documents of the Second Vatican Council makes a traditional Catholic worse than a liberal in our inquisitor’s social circle then, I suppose, I would rather mingle in the other social circle... the Catholic one.