Saturday, April 30, 2005

Traditionalist or Catholic? One in the Same (Part 1)

Since the post-conciliar Church, the label "traditionalist" has been somewhat of a widely disliked application amongst the school of modern thought that the Second Vatican Council so aptly pursued. Catholics today who identify themselves as "traditionalists" are likely those who are viewed as "outsiders" or "rebellious" against where the modern Roman Catholic Church is today and the changes that have been made since the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965. When a person holds to the sacred word and tradition bequeathed from generation to generation and flawlessly executed throughout the centuries, in these times they would be affixed with the label: traditionalist. The traditionalist tends to see things in black and white, not in shades of grey. The traditionalist is not afraid to be outspoken on Church teaching and practice their faith with an uncompromising belief in the authentic teachings of Holy Mother Church. But, amazingly enough, those same people just 40 years earlier would have earned a completely seperate title; one that was befitting of their religious beliefs: Catholic.

Well certainly, if I have briefly defined a "traditionalist," then I must also define it's antipodean: the modernist.
What does the modernist believe? That is certainly one of the most difficult questions to answer since it is the parity in theological beliefs that defines modernism; simply put- many modernists do not know what they believe. Modernism embraces moral and theological relativism, while opening heretical doors for the denial of the objective value of traditional beliefs as well as regarding some dogmatic proclamations of the Church as symbolic rather than literally true (dogma.) Modernism, be it political or religious, roots itself in ideaology and actualizes itself through social reforms. Modernism, in essence, takes the religious teachings of the Church and dilutes them down so as to be practiced by individual interpretation or "religious experience."

Today, standing literally at the threshold of the 40th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council (8 Dec. 1965), one of the most striking and puzzling affects it's wake has been the literal saturation of Vatican II amongst the faithful. If one were to ask the average Catholic attending a Sunday "celebration" in anytown, America whether or not Vatican II was a positive benefit to the Church, he or she would more than likely immediately say yes and look awkwardly at the person who asked the question. Sunday after Sunday, pulpit after pulpit, we hear priests and bishops refer to Vatican II as a "great gift to the Church." If one merely suggests that the Second Vatican Council was anything BUT a gift to the Church, they are immediately rebuked as heretics, poorly misinformed or grossly out of touch with the times. Since the Church has begun carrying out it's administrative functions through the corrective lenses of Vatican II, many radical changes have taken place within the Church, but also much division has occured; the division at the core being modernism versus traditionalism.

Part II coming soon..................


At 6:34 PM, Blogger BekahS. said...

What strikes me most about the errors of modernism is the complete disregard for Christ's teaching that we are to be in the world but not of the world. The sole cause of modernism is to make the Church "relevant" to the world today by making it exactly like the world today.


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