Trads have been vilified as “schismatic” and “rigid” for decades. Some of us are used to this, and some are weary of it—beaten down and abused by our spiritual fathers and our Catholic brethren. But we should take comfort in the fact that they have also called another man rigid, old, “closed” and, Ratzinger’s favorite insult: neo-scholastic. This man is the godfather of the Trad movement, and happens, by all accounts, to be the greatest Thomist theologian of the twentieth century: Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP.
Why is Garrigou-Lagrange the godfather of the Trad movement? He died in 1964 before the Council was even closed.
Well, a godfather is the one who has a spiritual relationship of begetting with a godchild, or a movement. Garrigou-Lagrange articulated the essence of the Trad movement some 20 years before the movement began to take shape.