Pope Francis in his speech at the conclusion of the Synod 2014, said

One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.

The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness [it. buonismo], that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.”

Do we know who is credited with being the first to use these terms "conservatives", “traditionalists”, “progressives and liberals” for describing certain groups within the Catholic Church? When was that?

How are these labels understood within the Church?

  • I think it would be better to ask instead what Pope Francis meant by these terms. He may not have been using them in any standard way.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 7:46
  • 1
    @MattGutting I don't really think so.
    – user3961
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 16:15
  • @curiousdannii Difficult to answer what the Pope meant as only the Pope knows. But OK to ask how these terms are understood in the Church especially now, as far as I know, a Pope has used them. Pls see edit.
    – user13992
    Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 19:39
  • 5
    The fact that he refers to them as "so-called" in both cases is a clear indication that these are not well-defined groups within the church. Commented Oct 30, 2014 at 20:57
  • I can't see why it would be useful to know who first used these terms in regard to the Catholic church because there's no reason to think they would've been using them in the same way as the Pope. And considering how ordinary these words are their first uses are probably lost in time.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 22:46