I am a 19 year old first year seminarian of European descent who lives in Africa. I have strong traditional leanings towards the sacred Liturgy ( I have an attraction towards the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) and the Holy Priesthood. I am also quite conservative when it comes to issues like women’s ordination, married clergy etc. Lately I’ve started to feel a bit uneasy in the seminary because of my traditional leanings and views. I’m hoping that you could give me some advice.
I get the impression from the formators in the seminary that they dislike the EF and other traditional elements of the faith. They are also under the impression that I am a bit of a traditionalist/conservative. During our Liturgy classes over the past few months we were told about those dark old days of the Tridentine Mass where the laity was totally alienated, could not understand what was going in the mass, how they had no active participation, how it was all about the priest and how Vatican II was this enlightening event which brought the Church out of those bad old days. That’s the sort of mentality I pick up about the Traditional Mass. Also, during this past week with the first reading being from Galatians in which St Paul criticises those who are too obsessed with following the law and how they are too concerned with the externals. Father connected to this in his homily by referring to an article he read which wrote about those ‘alarming’ trends of those new young seminarians in Europe being increasingly conservative. Father said that they were the ones who were too concerned about having Latin and lace rather than toward their actual faith. I felt uncomfortable with this because Father seemed to be implying that my faith and traditionalism is nothing but a superficial show of meaningless outward externals. But that’s not true I like the traditional Mass and other things because they are spiritually edifying for me. I also feel uncomfortable with the Liturgy in the seminary because it is heavily inculturated with liturgical dance and all (not that I’m saying that inculturation is wrong, just that it doesn’t suite me and it is not edifying for me)
We also get told about the wrongness of not allowing women to be ordained and that we should use inclusive language. Thats why I’m a bit weary about explicitly stating my views on these issues for fear that I will be looked down upon.
I’ve been considering traditional priestly institutes such as the FSSP. But the problem is, they are not in my region, it would be difficult to leave home and go to an international seminary because my family depend a lot on me for emotional support (my mom depends on me for support because she has difficulties with my dad and she has huge stress at work) and because of financial constraints. Now what should I do? Should I pursue what’s best and edifying for me or should I stay where I am, bear with it and not be selfish.