Sunday, September 8, 2013

Useless Division leads Nowhere

Social media has been quite lively especially within Catholic circles with regards to hostility between 'Conservative' Catholics as opposed to 'Traditional' Catholics.  This unfortunate battle, (authored by satan) is sadly dividing a camp that in theory should be united.  This trend has taken shape especially in light of the last 6 months.  Ironically, since the start of the Papacy of Pope Francis.

To be fair, I have never hidden the fact, that I am more of a Traditional mindset.  I have said before on this blog, that there is a disctinction between being 'Traditional' and being a 'Traditionalist.'  The latter presupposes an ideology.  While I generally tend to avoid labels, preferring Catholic as opposed to not Catholic.  (When I hear a person call themselves progressive Catholic, I ask them what they think of fluffy goldfish or three sided circles to illustrate my point.) I believe in the Church's teachings, (all of them) and affirm them when questioned about them.  My methodology with regards to apologetics, is to try and teach.  Using philosophy (metaphysics) and Theology, to show the 'Why' of controversial teachings.  Truth in itself can be confrontational, and the intellect then must make a choice to accept truth or not.  As Aquinas said, though,..'Information will only be received by the mode of the receiver.'

Conservative Catholics, the EWTN type, produce an incredible amount of solid television, apologetics and from what I can tell seem to act as a bridge especially for former protestant pastors on the way into Holy Mother Church.  This is a good thing, but perhaps the danger of being a 'professional' Catholic never set in.  You see, much of their staff have turned their 'guns' on Michael Voris, founder of Church Militant.TV.  Why?  Because in one of his Vortex episodes, he critiques the salaries of some of the people over at the establishment Catholic media.  It is true, that perhaps, Mr Voris could have gone to them in private first, yet nonetheless, these outlets have been constantly critical of him.  As far as I', concerned, I've met Michel Voris and found him to be quite charitable and accomodating.  A dude who sincerely cares for Holy Mother Church, and wants to do right by God.  The question is, when both groups, conservative and traditional start attacking each other, the question remains Why?  Sooo,..That being said, lets try to distinguish them.  A conservative Catholic accepts all teachings of the Magisterium, all papal encyclicals etc.  They will be more or less open to 'altar girls' and Extraordinary Ministers of Communion.'  A Traditional Catholic sees 'altar girls' as an exception to the norm (what it is)  See here .  Along with other 'exceptions' that are seen for what they are.  Tradtional Catholics usually prefer the Ad Orientum posture in Liturgy, in both Ordinary and Extraordinary Form of Mass.  The 'Conservative' is content with the 'Versus Populem.'  Both Conservative and Traditional are loyal, prayerful and have great devotions.  They both love and seek to do what is right by Holy Mother Church.  While both 'groups' are solidly orthodox, the Traditional will protect the identity a little more.  The error they can fall into is phariseeism and can come off as having a lack of love.  The 'conservative' will go with the flow, and the danger of their error is that they will accept the status quo and play ostrich.  A just middle must be found, still, why all the bad blood?

The short answer, as highlighted by Michael Voris, can be summed up by explaining that the crazy heretic crowd is heading into extinction.  So, there can only be two left.  As I've prayed about this shift, the reality is that the mainstream Catholic crowd, which takes on elements outside the Church is hesitant about exposing things inside.  Pope Paul VI, mentioned the smoke of satan, and well, we need to acknowledge it.  To defend the mainstream groups however, we need to see the Church as a family.  Nobody wants to admit mom and dad are fighting especially to the outside world.  While this may be noble, I feel that the time is coming to expose those inside the Church who are silent or complicit.  Pope Francis has thundered against 'career' ism, and can we not heed his call?

My friends, Traditional, Conservative, whatever,.. I believe the question is one of reverence and identity.  Our world is in a mess, and we, Catholics need to be together with regard to life issues and protecting Natural law.  Liturgical style? Ad orientum, Versus Populem, Byzantine, Melkite,.. All good, as long as we follow the rubrics set out.  The Liturgy is God's work, not our attempt at theatre.  I think all of us need a reminder.  Finally, we have to stop kidding ourselves that everything is fine, especially seminarians.  Pray for us, we need it!

God bless!


Suzanne F. said...

My beef with this discussion is that progressive Catholicism *isn`t* dying fast enough. In many parishes, you will get looked at like a two-headed monster if you mention the word "Magisterium" or say you're pro-life.

Most baptized Catholics don't go to Church and we're on the Titanic arguing over furniture.

(And I don't think the Titanic will sink but still...)

Marco Mastromonaco said...

You are right,.it isn't fast enough,..