So just who are traditional Catholics? Are they the bogeyman that many have made them out to be over the years?
„First, an explanation of terminology. For the purpose of this blog post »traditionalists« specifically references those Catholic faithful who either exclusively, or primarily, assist at the Traditional Latin Mass. While my family and I attend a diocesan parish, the term could also apply to those Catholics who attend chapels of the Society of St. Pius X. While traditional Catholicism is much more than just a devotion to the Traditional liturgy, for the sake of this discussion I am limiting my focus to the Mass.
So just who are traditional Catholics? Are they the bogeyman that many have made them out to be over the years? Are all traditionalists like those obnoxious and uncharitable folks who seem to exist in the world of Facebook threads and website com boxes? It would seem that the answer is an emphatic yes if we believe what many Catholic bloggers are saying these days. (…)
During the pontificate Pope John Paul II, the Church issued both an indult (1984) and Motu Proprio (1988) with the express desire to increase access to the traditional Mass. In fact, in the 1988 Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei, Pope John Paul II wrote:
»To all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition I wish to manifest my will to facilitate their ecclesial communion by means of the necessary measures to guarantee respect for their rightful aspirations. In this matter I ask for the support of the bishops and of all those engaged in the pastoral ministry in the Church…moreover, respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.« (…)
As a lover of the traditional Mass you spend the twenty years after Ecclesia Dei waiting and watching to see what will change. The truth be told, very little changes for you.
You now have all the local parishes offering a Life Teen Mass every Sunday night featuring a full band, guitars and drums no less, playing the latest theologically unsound Contemporary Christian hit from Praise and Worship radio stations. You also have all the teens going up into the Sanctuary following Consecration (in the prerequisite jeans and graphic tees) to lock arms around each other and sway along to the Our Father.
However, you are still driving your beautifully large, beautifully Catholic, family upwards of two hours to find that Traditional Latin Mass that is your liturgical patrimony. You have been herded to the fringe and then accused by fellow Catholics of being…on the fringe. This despite an indult and a Motu Proprio that directly called for the worlds bishops to pastorally reach out to someone like yourself.
The simple truth is that, regardless of how much charitable forgiveness you are able to manifest within, you may actually succumb to a bunker mentality or »fringe« point of view at times.”