Saturday, July 31, 2010

A 'Traditional' Catholic? Yes and No

Every once in a while, I run into someone online who writes something like "I'm a traditional Catholic." Sometimes what they mean is that they go to Mass regularly, accept the teaching authority of the Holy See, and try to live in fidelity to what's taught.

By those standards, I'm a "traditional Catholic."

But I'm not likely to identify myself that way: not without an explanation.

Holier Than the Pope

There's a place, not all that far from my town here in Minnesota, that's marked as a Catholic church. My family and I noticed it one day: as I recall, we were looking for a place where we could celebrate Mass.

The setting was quite pleasant: a side road leading down through woods to a graveled parking area.

Surrounded by very plain white buildings. Some of them resembled barracks, one of them was a very plain white church: apparently. The place had been used, quite recently, judging by the mowed grass and well-worn footpaths. But we didn't see anybody. At all.

I turned the van around and left.

We may have missed an opportunity to meet some nice - and possibly rather colorful - people, but I think I made the right decision.

There were, and probably still are, some groups in America who are convinced that:
  • They're Catholics
    • The only 'real' Catholics left
  • The Holy See isn't Catholic
    • Vatican II proved that
    • Their priest says so
A fair number of them would have described themselves as "traditional Catholics." Who were, as I've heard it put, "holier than the Pope."

Quite a few were also convinced that the Mass must always be celebrated in Latin.

Latin, Mass, Getting a Grip

There's nothing wrong - at all - with using Latin when celebrating the Mass.

I've been to a Latin Mass - in St. Mary's Cathedral in Fargo, North Dakota. Which is the seat of the Diocese of Fargo. Definitely in communion with Rome.

One of my daughters speaks and reads Latin.

Latin is a lovely language, and the universal language of the Church. It's the language our official documents are written in - and then translated into local languages, like English.

We've got lots of rules about the Mass, but there's no rule from the Holy See that says that everybody must celebrate the Mass in Latin. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1322-1419: and that's just the basics)

Which apparently upset some folks in America who were Catholic, and liked their Latin Mass.

So they decided that Rome was wrong, that this priest they knew who agreed with them was right - and they set up their own little churches.

Which, according to them, were the only 'real' Catholic Churches in the world.

I don't see it that way: but then I think that the Pope is the person who currently has the authority that my Lord gave Peter, about 2,000 years back. (Catechism, 551-553, 880-887, for starters)

I've discussed why I converted to Catholicism before.

About leaving the Catholic Church because I don't like something I've heard or felt? The answer to that is in the Q & A in John 6:67-69. I'm with Simon Peter: There isn't a second option.

But Vatican II Ruined Everything?!

There's more to it than a preference for Latin during Mass.

Back in the sixties, the Holy See published the documents of Vatican II. In Latin, and in English translation. Today they're available online, including the English translation.

Back in the sixties, quite a few American priests could have gotten English translations of the Vatican II documents in print format.

But apparently it was easier to read what Newsweek, or Time, or The Atlantic, had to say about Vatican II. I'll admit that the English translations of Vatican II documents tend to be a bit on the dry, academic side, in terms of style.

Here in America, in quite a few churches, altar rails were taken down, the Tabernacle hidden, and weirdly screwball versions of the Mass were presented - "in the spirit of Vatican II."

Was that liturgical two-step mandated by Vatican II? No: but that's not what many folks at the grassroots level heard.

Little wonder that some of them panicked and ran.

That was then, this is now: and I like to think that the damage done by those hotshot wannabe 'reformers' is being repaired.

"Traditional?" Yes and No

Back to being a "traditional" Catholic: I
  • Am a convert to Catholicism
  • Accept the authority of the Pope
    • It's the authority given by the Son of God to Peter
      • Handed down through the ages as empires rose and fell
  • Accept my duty to know and love God
I am a Catholic. How "traditional" I am - that depends on what's meant by "traditional."

Almost-related posts:

No comments:

Like it? Pin it, Plus it, - - -

Pinterest: My Stuff, and More


Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store

Popular Posts

Label Cloud

1277 abortion ADD ADHD-Inattentive Adoration Chapel Advent Afghanistan Africa America Amoris Laetitia angels animals annulment Annunciation anti-catholicism Antichrist apocalyptic ideas apparitions archaeology architecture Arianism art Asperger syndrome assumptions asteroid astronomy Australia authority balance and moderation baptism being Catholic beliefs bias Bible Bible and Catechism bioethics biology blogs brain Brazil business Canada capital punishment Caritas in Veritate Catechism Catholic Church Catholic counter-culture Catholicism change happens charisms charity Chile China Christianity Christmas citizenship climate change climatology cloning comets common good common sense Communion community compassion confirmation conscience conversion Corpus Christi cosmology creation credibility crime crucifix Crucifixion Cuba culture dance dark night of the soul death depression designer babies despair detachment devotion discipline disease diversity divination Divine Mercy divorce Docetism domestic church dualism duty Easter economics education elections emotions England entertainment environmental issues Epiphany Establishment Clause ethics ethnicity Eucharist eugenics Europe evangelizing evolution exobiology exoplanets exorcism extremophiles faith faith and works family Father's Day Faust Faustus fear of the Lord fiction Final Judgment First Amendment forgiveness Fortnight For Freedom free will freedom fun genetics genocide geoengineering geology getting a grip global Gnosticism God God's will good judgment government gratitude great commission guest post guilt Haiti Halloween happiness hate health Heaven Hell HHS hierarchy history holidays Holy Family Holy See Holy Spirit holy water home schooling hope humility humor hypocrisy idolatry image of God images Immaculate Conception immigrants in the news Incarnation Independence Day India information technology Internet Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Japan Jesus John Paul II joy just war justice Kansas Kenya Knights of Columbus knowledge Korea language Last Judgment last things law learning Lent Lenten Chaplet life issues love magi magic Magisterium Manichaeism marriage martyrs Mary Mass materialism media medicine meditation Memorial Day mercy meteor meteorology Mexico Minnesota miracles Missouri moderation modesty Monophysitism Mother Teresa of Calcutta Mother's Day movies music Muslims myth natural law neighbor Nestorianism New Year's Eve New Zealand news Nietzsche obedience Oceania organization original sin paleontology parish Parousia penance penitence Pentecost Philippines physical disability physics pilgrimage politics Pope Pope in Germany 2011 population growth positive law poverty prayer predestination presumption pride priests prophets prostitution Providence Purgatory purpose quantum entanglement quotes reason redemption reflections relics religion religious freedom repentance Resurrection robots Roman Missal Third Edition rosaries rules sacramentals Sacraments Saints salvation schools science secondary causes SETI sex shrines sin slavery social justice solar planets soul South Sudan space aliens space exploration Spain spirituality stem cell research stereotypes stewardship stories storm Sudan suicide Sunday obligation superstition symbols technology temptation terraforming the establishment the human condition tolerance Tradition traffic Transfiguration Transubstantiation travel Trinity trust truth uncertainty United Kingdom universal destination of goods vacation Vatican Vatican II veneration vengeance Veterans Day videos virtue vlog vocations voting war warp drive theory wealth weather wisdom within reason work worship writing

Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.