Most “traditional Catholics” I beleive would simply consider themselves Catholic. The problem comes in when we label ourselves or allow ourselves to be labled. I consider myself to be Catholic, period. But something needs to be understood.
Most Catholics born after 1970 have no idea what the Church in America looked like prior to Vatican 2. The sweeping cultural and societal changes that came with it overpowered a generation.
Try to imagine this. Let’s step into a time machine and go back to the late 1950s-1970s.
You grew up going to a Latin Mass, you observed Holy Days, your family and local parish were culturally Catholic. As you get older, as with many people, the cares of youth draw you away. You’re still Catholic…but its a lot easier to sleep in on Sunday morning. You neglect the Church. No matter, the old Homestead will always be there.
A few years go on, you’re married now and kids start coming. You have them Baptized because we are all Catholics.
You see what is happening in the culture around you. But you can always count on the Church being there. NOTHING will ever change with that. It’s home. Your heritage is there. It will be waiting for you when you come back. Time goes on, the kids are getting older.The Holy Spirit reminds you that you need to return to Mass, You hear its in English now, well, that makes sense, Never did understand that Latin anyway.
You walk into the parish you have negleted over the years…and you don’t recognize it. The Tabernacle has been moved to a little room in the back of the church. A table has replaced the Altar. The beautiful statues of Mary and the Saints have been replaced with wooden monstrosities that cannot even be identified by the priest (knew of this personally). The Mass is in English, the priest is now facing the people instead of with the people toward the Tabernacle (which isn’t there anyway).
Altar rails have been pulled out. Communion is now by standing. Communion is now distributed by Eucharistic ministers along with the priest. The organ and choir have been replaced by a “folk band”. Nuns no longer wear habits. Priests are seen in the supermarket wearing polo shirts. You expect to hear homilies on Catholics remaining steadfast in the morality they were raised in. But now all they hear is the “brotherhood of man”
The ONE PLACE you thought you could count on to NEVER CHANGE is gone. It’s like going back to the old homestead and seeing it replaced with a strip mall. You feel guilty for all those years you neglected the Church, and now its gone. When they questioned the changes they were told (sometimes with words sometimes without words) to sit down, shut up, and deal with it. You’re the older generation, we’re the younger, we know best.
That is how it felt for my parents generation. I was born in 1961, so I got the tail end of it.
They did one of three things:
They stopped going to Mass.
They grit their teeth and endured it.
They found a Latin Mass somewhere.
Now I am not giving an opinion on any of those changes (I have them, beleive me). I’m just showing you how my parents generation felt about the changes.
And that cannot be easily explained away or dodged,