Saturday 15 March 2014
Tradition & Liberalism: the Wheat and the Tares Post Vatican II
Since Vatican II we have a phenomenon in the Church which sees it divided down the middle; divided between Tradition Catholics and Liberal Catholics. There are dangers to being a Traditional Catholic and a Liberal Catholic. Traditional Catholics court the danger of seeing Doctrine and practice as somewhat fossilised; rather static and devoid of growth. Perhaps they have been forced into this position by seeing the Faith whittled away bit by bit and chunk by chunk. They may go on to defend the Faith so devotedly that they criticise the liberal person rather than the liberal position. Liberals on the other hand, court the greater danger of losing their Faith by seeking ways to adapt Christ’s Church to the modern world as though the world as teacher of Christ rather than Christ Teacher of the world; they may go on to oppress all things Traditional which confronts their desire for change (as distinguished from growth).
I have (but rarely) seen any of the courted dangers present in the Traditional Catholics I know, but we are seeing a real loss of faith in Liberal Catholics: the desire to adapt to the world is everywhere and has influenced even sincere Catholics, to the point where there seems to be a noticeable intolerance of Tradition. While we do not yet know the full facts of the FFI saga, or of the case at St Thomas More College, these are examples of the oppression of Tradition. It is of a kind such as we have not seen since the 1970’s and the formation of the SSPX. As such, I find within me a resonance with today’s post at Rorate Caeli (seehere), and a question arising for me: why are so many Catholics -from Rome down to the man in the pew- hostile to their own Tradition?
I believe what we are seeing is a Church whose members are afraid of being labelled ‘uncompassionate’ and ‘backward’ by the secular world which focuses on feelings; a Church membership so caught up with caring for a person’s feelings rather than their soul that they adapt the Faith to gain credibility fin the world and feel themselves to be ‘compassionate’. That indicates not only a fear, but a loss of Faith. Unfortunately, since all things Traditional threaten their adaptation of the Faith, the Liberal Catholic will always persecute Tradition wherever it is found. But what have they to fear from their own Tradition; from their own foundations? Nothing. It is our Tradition upon which we stand or fall. As such, all things Tradition should be allowed to grow unchecked. If it is from not God it will wither and die; if it is of God -as we believe it is- then liberals who oppress it will find themselves answering to God for fighting against Him. At the end of the day, only the devil can have fooled souls into viewing as a tare to be rooted out that which the Church has always regarded as her finest wheat.