There has been much activity going on in the "Trad" blogosphere as of late, and much commentary has been flying around with regards to a number of issues, all with a common thread. The issues are:
1) Criticism of a lay professor, Dr. Tracey Rowland from Australia, after she gave a speech on what from the perspective of the layperson, prevents others from attending the Latin Mass and why the Latin Mass should be valued. I currently posted a highlight from another blog who put the main points of her Sacra Liturgia 2013 lecture online, here.
2) Catholic Answers recently hosted a show called ``Radical Traditionalists``, which receive very heated action, likely from the very people the show was trying to address. They have since posted a reflection piece AND will be revisiting this topic in future on their ITunes Podcast radio show to give those people a chance to rebuttal or speak out on them.
3) I have noticed in and around my diocese, as of late, a lot of postings on the issue of sanctuaries and desecration thanks to concerts in the church body (including sanctuaries), coupled with modesty. Unfortunately, not all has been positive surrounding this discussion and the amount of posts are increasing in number as the days go by from the initial event that sparked all this.
4) That with (1) - (3), the central link binding all of these posts, seems to be, once again, the radical or reactionary replies by certain members of the traditionalist communities to all these events, and the refusal to stop giving stereotypical examples of what the church views Traditional Catholics as, via their actions.
I was going to go through these issues step by step, and really lay on things in a two-part post I initially created. However upon reflection, I have decided that it is better to be shorter about everything with some reflection and shorter commentary, and to pour my feelings/heart out a little.
On the first issue, the professor, whose main points from Sacra Liturgia Rome 2013, I highlighted here, states some barriers from the perspective of the average lay-person that are preventing them or intimidating them with regards to the Latin Mass. Some blogs have taken issue with what she said because it was perceived another attack on trads everywhere, or dismiss her concerns as hogwash. However, not all traditional blogs are agreeing with the attacking parties. Some are viewing the speech for what it's worth, such as this highlight I have indicated in the left side of my blog as a "Defender against Rad Trads", Mary Victrix. Please see this Holy Priest's commentary on the issue here.
On the second issue, while highlighting the radical traditionalist groups who express a willful disobedience from the Holy Mother Church a.k.a. "Rome", a number of people took to the caller lines and e-mails and fired off again, perceiving another "attack on the trads." Because of this, Catholic Answers now has identified another group amongst them, one who I have reflected upon here on occasion under different descriptors: The "Mad Trads" as they now call them. These Mad Trads are inside the canonical laws and legalities of the Church, as in they aren`t adherents of the radical societies e.g. SSPX, attending valid and licit diocesan Latin masses, and are defined by the following, anti-Catholic behaviours:
" ... if you accept the norms of the Second Vatican Council, to a Mad-Trad you’re a "Neo-Catholic," a misguided liberal; you know, like Mother Angelica and Blessed John Paul II. The main Mad-Trad hobbyhorse is strident resistance to the Second Vatican Council and all its pomps and all its works. The Catholic charismatic renewal is frequently singled out for tarring and feathering, despite (or because of?) strong papal support of that movement since the late '60s. Further, in addition to a strange attraction to conspiracy theories involving Jews and Masons, Mad-Trads tend invariably to reject the position of the Catholic Church regarding the 1984 consecration to Russia by Blessed Pope John Paul II as requested in 1917 by our Lady of Fatima. In the face of repeated affirmations by the Holy See to the contrary, Mad-Trads say that consecration didn’t “take” because her request was not fulfilled...."
Catholic Answers` reflection on the bombardment of hate mail and commentary is here. By the way, they are giving another chance for people to vent their criticisms in a second upcoming Catholic Answers Live radio broadcast, so they aren't being close minded.
Sadly, the third issue just won`t die. Not to mention I found another traditionalist blog, in another diocese outside but neighbouring Toronto`s, that has joined the fray on this issue. While I get the whole issue of sacredness of the Church, the loss of the concept from the public, and proper dress and decorum, the ``dead horse keeps getting kicked``, along with cries of non-repentance and continual persistence, even on events that have happened more than a year or so ago. The one that keeps getting touted was the cabaret concert in St. Michael`s cathedral with an ``Angelica.`` Worse, additional negative mention of the Archdiocese of Toronto and it`s office, and my Eminence, ++Collins, are also featured in one entry, because ++Collins mentioned to the youth at a pub night I attended at the Duke of York in Toronto, what exactly destroys Catholic discipleship: elitist, close minded communities who `take it upon themselves as their own magisteriums` [my words], and act as if they are more ``C``atholic than others. The link is further below in this posting.
This leads me to reflect and comment on the final tie in issue: More criticism, reluctance to accept feedback, and un-charity that has been expressed online from SOME elements of the ``Mad Trad``/radicals/whatever-you-want-to-call-them, etc.
What really sickens me, spiritually and to my heart, as someone who altar serves within the EF of the Roman Rite and is a part of these communities, is the sheer reluctance of these bloggers and other members of such communities, to truly listen to valid arguments and criticism, and to keep on mis-representing those who attend the EF or are "Traditionally Catholic". I am not the only one saying this. Fr Angelo at Mary Victrix, says this with regard to Prof. Rowland's video, but also encompasses what I've witnessed flying around the blogosphere in the past few weeks:
".... I would have suggested a fourth reason why there are people who might otherwise attend the EF who don not: 4) that the EF movement shows a habitual resistance to the most respectfully delivered critique, even when it comes from a sympathetic source. It seems to go largely unnoticed that Dr. Rowland is simply pointing out a fact that any fair-minded person with experience in the matter can verify. There are a significant number of people who stay away from the EF, not because they have an aversion to the liturgical form of 1962, but for the reasons which Dr. Rowland mentions...."
For that matter, it seems that you cannot critique, or even say anything out of Catholic fraternal love at all to these types. All you seem to get at the end is more defiance, bitterness, and sharp and bitter rebuttals, laced with anger, with possible harassing phone calls, e-mails, even threats. Such reactionas are ironic. Often a time, the Conservative/Trad Catholics online, and in person, criticize liberals for having that same reaction when anything pre-Vatican II, proper theology, catechesis, etc. is presented to them. Yet, these online examples, show these Mad Trads as C.A. calls them, that they are over-reacting in destructive ways, no different from their `peers` on the left.
Worse, one post I read, even addressed issue 1) above, and in reply, it's the CATHOLIC LAITY who are to blame for not coming to the Latin Mass! Yes, it's their fault ENTIRELY for being resilient to the Latin Mass! Wow, that is just disappointing, and quite hurtful at first glance. I am sure that kind of deduction and mention will encourage many of the Novus Ordo people to come and explore such beautiful worship.
This above is not the proper approach to take to attract more Catholic to the Latin Mass. What we should be doing instead, is educating the people, and encourage them (and even go with them) to attend the Mass. That is why, at the very start of this blog, I created a Q and A posting, which you can find under my Latin Mass serving stuff at the right side page link of this blog. It's the Part 1 of the Q and A, but for your convenience, I've linked it here. Further, what ever happened to realizing that our fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ are sinners, and weak as humans? We need to assist them in their spiritual journey, and help them come to the Lord. Even our own Lord told those who were seeking the Truth to simply, "Come and See," amongst other things in the Gospel.
And this brings me to the reflection portion of this post. Once again, my heart dips with sorrow and doubt at being part of the EF/Traditional Catholic community.
As a young Catholic, practicing male, I hate to wake up in the morning, encountering anywhere from every week to even daily, another EF blog criticizing another Catholic or wrong practice, without solid argumentation, reasoning, etc. because they do not fit the "profile" or desires of these Mad Trads. I hate to see yet more calls of defiance, stating I/we will continue to blog about this till kingdom come. How prideful!
I hate to continue to witness my archbishop, being criticized and assaulted when clearly he is better than most bishops that are in their positions in the Catholic Church, all because he rightly called out what he knows to be divisive elements in our Church working against the Body of Christ [See from 13:20 onward] and the Works of the Lord. And these elements do not just stay in the EF realm or the OF realm, but attack both areas of the Roman Rite. In fact, my bishop should NOT have to warn the young people to avoid these types. There should not be 'elitists' in the Catholic Church at all, even within our archdiocese. Sadly, he must .... he clearly knows about these bloggers' actions online and these groups, and the damage they do to the faithful.
++Collins also mentioned that he personally detests being an authoritarian, and only when needed, to bring his crosier down. He has only done it once. I shudder to think one day he might have to swing his "crosier down." I hope to God this does not happen because of the actions of a few. It would be a depressing blow for the Church and a great treasure would be lost to the archdiocese if the Latin Mass was banned from Toronto, or at least from its properties they take place in (a.k.a. the actual Churches, shrines, chapels, etc), and the Latin Mass is forced back to hotel conference rooms in secret, despite Summorum Pontificum and Ecclesiae Unitatem. By the time the letters would be written to Ecclesia Dei in Rome, it would be too late.
Personally, it saddens me to think what other young people are possibly thinking about the Latin Mass when they go exploring on the Internet in our diocese. We are the "wired" generations who use the "Google(TM) machine" as our first source of searchable info. When the main "spokespeople" for the EF with their blogs or their societies like the SSPX, outnumber voices like mine, what will they conclude? Will they want to explore the Latin Mass, or will they find those extremist voices and groups? Further, I hate doing this, but I now confess I have to tell my fellow friends, and warn them about, the said groups Collins refers to. I have to tell them to avoid certain EF offerings/ groups, or if they do go to them, only to go for the Latin Mass and to worship our Lord, but not get heavily involved to avoid all the politics and darkness. This sadly includes altar serving in those areas. I hate doing this, and harming the Latin Mass in any way, but I must protect those I care about and who care about me. I cannot in good conscience, allow for the loss of any more friends or allies to these elements in the Church, and possibly to the Devil's darkest sin of pride mixed with religious scrupulosity.
I tell you. One of these days, I would like to wake up to a day, even a week, where I see all the Latin Mass blogs talk about positive growth. I would love to see them not dishing it out on the latest target, what liturgical law or code they have broken (save those of the UTTER MOST NECESSITY e.g. pedophile priests, attacks on our Holy Father ...), and should commentary be done, that it is done in a firm, yet Charity-filled matter. I would love to see instead of Latin Mass groups, societies, bloggers, etc. attacking someone who discussed problems with the rite, suggesting solutions to the problems mentioned by those such as Prof. Rowland.
But for now, I guess like Christ, I will have to suffer more a the moment as one who partakes in the EF of the Roman Rite. Perhaps, everyone, would you say some extra prayers for the Latin Mass communities, for those who need to become more skilled at the ability of proper, Catholic, fraternal correction, and for those who are wrongly at the receiving end of such actions? Finally, also for our Holy Mother Church. It would be appreciated.
Sadly, but Pax tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.
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