From Road to Reform:
I was having a discussion with a friend the other day. We were discussing how we both hate being “traditionalists.” It’s not that we hate the traditional Mass. No. It’s not that we hate defending the traditional Mass. Its that we hate having to do so.
There are many times when I would just like to say “I’m Catholic,” and let that be the end of it. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in this peculiar situation in the Church today where we have to describe what kind of Catholic we are. Are you a Charismatic Catholic? Are you a Traditional Catholic? Are you a Conservative Catholic? There seems to be an endless amount of sub-categories that one can put oneself in as a Catholic.
Our discussion led to a couple of interesting, yet sad, conclusions. It seems to me that the Church herself has created an endless amount of divisions within her own fold. Granted, yes, a practicing Catholic (in my mind the only person who should be considered Catholic) must accept the authority of the Pope, believe all that the Church teaches, and so on. However, the ideological differences are endless. Should the Church extend into politics (abortion, death penalty, etc.)? What is “real ecumenism?”
And, of course, many of the issues which define Catholics result around the Mass. Rightly so! If the Mass is the crux of our lives as Catholics, if it is the pinnacle, that it should be of the utmost concern of every Catholic how it is celebrated. It seems that the main differences in ideology of the Mass run along these lines: Charismatic, Liberal, Conservative, and Traditionalist.
Let’s take a closer look.
I think that’s pretty typical of each category of Catholics. Keep in mind I left out Eastern Catholics because the issue of division is in the Western Church. The East is pretty much solid on the practice of the Faith. Also, I was extremely generous in the display of Conservative Catholics. I did this because I think that the video of the Mass I displayed is the end goal of their movement, or at least pretty close.
So, why have I posted all of this? What was the end result of the discussion with my friend? It is this. We find ourselves in a dreadful time as Catholics. In a time in which we should be united against modernism and secular influence, the Church seems divided. Secular governments are allowed to destroy life and liberty without so much of a rebuke on the grassroots level. The Church is divided on the issue. People are confused about what the Church teaches. Priests across the globe present heresy as the faith and the faith as heresy. And, in the end, we can not even agree on the proper way to worship our Lord.
Now, think what you may, be it Charismatic or Traditional, but remember this. A house divided against itself cannot stand, and when we were unified in all things, Mass looked like this