I have been thinking, and I’m not suggesting that I’m qualified to start such a movement, but I think the Church in America could benefit from a “Catholic Identity Movement”
Now, I know a priority set out by Vatican II is ecumenism, and we have a lot of really smart and genuinely pious clergy in Rome and throughout the world who are devoting a great amount of time and effort in this regard.
So I think Ecumenism already has a great number of Catholics on the job.
However, I think that someone should start a Catholic Identity movement, group, organization, etc. A lay grassroots movement, that can involve the clergy if they want to be involved.
While I am a traditional Catholic, I attend the TLM at St. Stephen’s in Sacramento and the Novus Ordo at select Churches throughout the diocese, I wouldnt want this movement to be strictly Tridentine.
What I think would be a good idea is simply a group of catholics who strive to educate eachother and their dioceses on these type of questions:
What does it mean to be Roman Catholic?
Why and how is Roman Catholicism different than other Christian denominations?
Why does the Roman Catholic Church assert its primacy, and what does its primacy mean for the daily lives of Catholics?
Why is the Mass not a Church Service, what are the differences, why do we have priests?
Why do we consider other churches incomplete, in schism, or outright heretical?
How old is our Church? How is its age relevant today?
These questions are about identity. What makes a catholic a catholic.
Any suggestions on other issues this concept (work in progress) can address? More input on its purpose? How to go about and get it started? Who it should target? How it can be different and seperate from the USCCB sanctioned RCIA program, etc.
I am open to any suggestions. Also, Private Message me if you’d like to get involved. Particularly if your from the Sacramento area. I would love to personally put up the money to start an online website, presence, etc.
Its been a thought in my mind for a few years now, and like I said, I don’t assume I’m qualified for the task. I’d just like to start something, and if people who join me quickly show superior leadership and theological talent, then by all means I’d like to see them pick up more authority and responsibility in this project.
Finally, for anyone who might suggest that this movement is superflous in light of religious education (RCIA, Catholic Answers, other groups like these) I’d like to reiterate that the goal of this particular project isnt explaining the entire deposit of faith. I.E it isnt here to explain Catholicism. But rather, foster catholic identity. Explain what makes us DIFFERENT, not what we have in common.
Don’t jump to conclusions that focusing on our differences is outright bad. Like I said earlier, there already exists a thriving ecumenical movement. This project is targeted towards practicing Catholics who may not understand exactly WHY their Church is the One True Church. I want to zero in on that aspect, zero in on our uniqueness, our heritage, our tradition, our exclusive disposition in the eyes of God as his official Church built upon the Rock of Peter.
Any takers? Let’s talk.