I’d like to know your opinions of why what would seem to be good, solid, orthodox Catholics end up falling away from the truth and become liberal/progressive “Catholics” and extreme Traditional “Catholics”, some fall into heresy, and schism or an error of some sort. What causes these people to “jump ship?”
Pride is at the bottom of it all, pride, the root of all evil.
I agree. To expand a little, they want to have it their way instead of God’s way. As Bishop Sheen put it “Everyone wants to go to heaven but not everyone wants to do what is required to go to heaven”.
"Pride is at the bottom of it all, pride, the root of all evil."
I totally agree, but let me expound on the nature of pride (bear with me ok? )
Pride is basically saying that one can grow spiritually on his/her own without needing to check with God and His Church. So pride means basing one’s decisions on these thoughts:
“I don’t really need to go to Church/refer to her teachings. What I feel is best IS the best.”
“God helps those who help themselves. So all I have to do is make sure I help myself to be [fill in the blanks].”
“I don’t really need to say sorry to God and change my ways. After all He’s all-loving and understands everything, right? Surely He can see things my way.”
“God can’t really love me the way the Bible and/or the Church says he does. I’m not sure I deserve it anyway.”
“I’m too busy to think of God and He’s too busy to think of me.”
“My friend/relative/whatever says God/my Church is like this/that and I accept what is said without thinking/checking with God or Church. After all, I trust them more than invisible God/faceless Church.”
Various issues, I would say the top three are:
Pride - This occurs when the Catholic feels so puffed up that they will not or even fear admitting they are wrong and would rather go their own way than submit.
Major attachment to a serious sin - I have read that the number one issue that causes Catholics to leave the Church is due to not wanting to adhere to teachings regarding sexuality (eg contraception, divorce).
Getting hurt - Many of the RadTrad type fall mostly into this category. When you are forced to listen to or pray with people (especially priests and such) who are deliberately watering down, abandoning and even mocking Church teachings and showing disrespect for liturgy, art, etc then people get hurt and leave. I don’t believe their action is the correct one, but I can sympathize with those who have been subject to such disregard for the Catholic Faith by their priests and such that these people break down and go RadTrad as a result. There is only so much one can take before they snap.
NOTE that these categories are not mutually exclusive, eg pride is common to all of them.
For so many centuries, Catholicism was so incultrated that people in many countries were Catholics because thats just the way it was. In such an atmosphere, nobody needed to learn how to explain or defend their faith, because everyone was Catholic.
When people immigrated to America, a new generation was not prepared to give reasonable answers to questions about their faith because their parents had never given them any. So, they were easy prey to protestant proselytizers, or to the lies modern secular society. My mom, for example, is first generation Italian American, lifelong Catholic, and she doesnt know diddly-squat about Jesus or the Bible.
Protestants were way ahead of us in this regard. Sola Scriptura, heresy though it is, has one redeeming quality: It causes its adherents to constantly read their Bibles, something that Catholics from the “old country” never felt compelled to do. But organizations like Catholic Answers are changing all that. I predict that a generation from now, we will have solid Catholics who are solid in their faith.
They ignore the admonition in Hebrews 13:17:
Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account.