Who else here is saddened by the split we have between traditional and post Vatican II people?

I have been wondering if others here have felt the same way I do that there is such a rift between those who are extremely traditional and those who are all for the post Vatican II changes. I am deeply saddened by this personally. I myself am pretty traditional I guess, but I do support and respect the post Vatican II changes (mostly because I converted after those changes had been made and so they are normal for me) I do enjoy wearing a mantilla and having constant reminders in my home of my Catholic faith and a few other things that are considered traditional. What I am concerned about is that we are supposed to be the Universal Church and one body, the Bride of Christ. Why do we cause hate and rifts between each other and silently (sometimes not always) wage a spiritual civil war with each other? Is receiving communion in the hand or on the tongue really much better than the other (as an example)? I mean didn’t the Church approve of both?
I wish we could all just get along. Jesus wants His church to be unified not divided. :crying::crying::crying:

This thread caught my eye. Just yesterday, someone mentioned “before and after” Vatican II. I honestly don’t know anything about it. :shrug: Quite embarrassing since I am a cradle catholic. :o I am just gonna “assume” that many changes were made that made people upset? Does anyone know of a site that can I can learn more about it?

It is only sad because people consider these differences “a split”. What is wrong with differences in how the externals are performed, how worship occurs, what words or rubrics are used? If you wish to wear a mantilla, God bless you. Whichever way you desire to receive communion, God bless you for seeking Him in the Eucharist.

We have always seen great differences in how people live their Catholicism by country or ethnic group. In our world today, it should not be unusual or a concern if people in different parish communities or different places in the world don’t do everything exactly the same. I recall in my youth that in the two neighboring towns in which I was raised there was a German Catholic church, a Polish Catholic church, a French Catholic church, and an Irish Catholic Church. Where I later lived there were all of those plus an Italian Catholic church. Each had been founded by people of that ethnicity, each had different festivals, different emphasis, different sacramentals. It was the same faith, but how each went about living that faith was clearly different.

Today it seems we expect everyone to be the same and do the same things, despite a greater diversity than ever before (Now in my area we have Hispanic parishes and Hmong Masses). If some want a Pre-VII Latin Mass, more power to them. If some want a Mass and a parish life that is post-VII, I say go for it. I cannot believe that during the time of the early church, when Paul and other disciples were spreading the Word, every community used exactly the same formulas, prayers, and practices. Yet they were all the church.

Unity does not have to mean the same as uniformity. Some seek uniformity, as if outward signs will make us all the same on the inside. To me, our unity is beyond those externals and is contained in the core of our faith. To place the emphasis on what language we celebrate the Eucharist in, or what exact words we use, or the music we sing, is placing the emphasis on the wrong things. Ask yourself what really defines a Catholic or a Christian in general. I can’t imagine Jesus every defining discipleship as proper words and rubrics, but rather by what is in our hearts and how we apply that in our relationships with others.

The rift you refer to is our own creation and is only there if we WANT it to be there. If we are accepting of one another, and open to our differences, and willing to let our faith communities be led by the Holy Spirit rather than by rigidly detailed rules that “must” be the same for all, there will be no division.

Thank you for your reply. I guess what I am trying to say is the exact same as you said, I just worded it funky. I guess the thing that saddens me the most is that those who do choose to create a rift and then put others down because they think it should be their way or the highway. I personally love seeing the differences that we as a Church have to honor God (cultural experiences and traditions, music, devotions, etc) I grew up in Southern California and so there was a ton of Hispanic influence in the area and i loved participating in their cultural celebrations of the liturgical year. I myself am Irish and have a deep connection with my Irish background and love the traditions that came from my ancestors. I hope that we all can be more accepting of each other :smiley:

I certainly understand your sentiments. But we shouldn’t loose Faith.
There have been similar times within the history of the Catholic Church has undergone difficult times.
All we can do is not loose Hope and Faith.

In 1859 Saint John Vianney the CURÉ D’ ARS gave prophecy about Chastisements upon the Catholic Church and the world.

Those same chastisements and warnings were echoed in the apparitions at Fatima in 1917.

What this means to individual Catholics is dependant on numerous factors.

Always remember what Jesus said;

"You are Peter (rock), and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.

It saddens me too - to the extent that some people have so hardened their hearts in one position or the other.
Truthfully, I think the vast majority of Catholics, no matter their leanings, are tolerant of other views and practices. It is just that there are the extremes who we hear from mostly.


I don’t know of any site that really addresses what you ask in any truly objective manner. Perhaps we could try to do so here, but be warned, these things can very quickly become “charged”.

Vatican II was designed to review and update church practices and so forth to better interact and evangelize the modern world.
Unfortunately there was a lot of things that came out of Vatican II that were either unclear, misread/misinterpreted, or misapplied.

These changes, which were introduced somewhat precipicously, caused much confusion. The mass at my home parish for instance went from All Latin to All English basically over night.
I know because I was training to be an alter server and had learned all the latin, was tested by our pastor and approved, and then, in the week or two between that approval and the time I served my first mass, we went from Latin to English. :shrug:
Surely if Father had known in advance, those of us in training would not have learned all the Latin.
This was followed rather quickly (just a very few years) by the new “Pauline” mass whcih turned the Alter to face the people and made many other changes in the mass prayers.
Again, this was nots omething “phased in” but was instituted rather abruptly on Catholics who had, for the most part, been raised in what they saw as an unchanging church.

The Changes in approach to Cateshesis were another thing that was very confusing - and remained so for many years. Most Schools, steeped in the Baltimore Catachsim, assumed it was now out of date, but there was no new catachism to replace it.
Likewise there was a shift in teaching toward a “social conscienceness” at the expense of teaching the underlying and fundementals of Catholic theology.
Another part of this was a shift in how the Church viewed Non-Catholic Chrisitans. Pre-Vat II there was a very sharp divide - Post Vat II that divide became blurred and many took a “live and let live” or “their just as good as us” attitude - which eventually caused many to lose or give up their Catholic faith.

The Late Great and Blessed Pope John Paul II worked very hard to reign in some of the mistakes stemming from Vat II while upholding all that is good. He saw the need for the new Catachism and saw to it that it was completed. Pope Benedict XVI is continuing this great work of looking over the various fruits of the post Vat II era and seeking to prune that which is bad, and nourishing that which is good.

I know the above is very brief and not at all complete. I’m sure others can help fill in blanks.


Thank you James! Some of what you said sounds familiar. What I find really interesting is that mass was said in Latin. I never knew that. How did the parishioners understand or get anything from the sermons?

The Church is the Church…tradition …“gets handed on” and various “clothing” of the Church change over time…

The Church in the early days is the Church of the Middle Ages…at Trent…in the 19th Century…to after this latest Ec. Council…to 2011

(of course one can like in particular certain periods, customs …ways etc…I have a particular fondness for the early Christian times…and the middle ages…and the time of St. Thomas More…and well this time now…of Pope Benedict XVI…so much richness!)

To dailey–we had missals back then that had the Mass in Latin and an English (or whatever language) translation running along the side of it on the same page. Once you got the hang of it, it wasn’t difficult at all to follow, and lots of Catholics back then had their own personal Missals that they brought to Mass with them and had pre-marked the pages.

To gatewood–I sympathize with you about the sadness I feel in how people respond to the diverse forms of the Eucharist, especially when I recall that no matter the form, it is still the true presence of Christ in the sacrament, and the true Sacrifice of the Mass. Instead of rejoicing that there is “something for everybody,” making us truly catholic (in the sense of universal,) the small-minded and the extremists have to be divisive about it. It would not surprise me at all to hear a couple of extremists from both factions start taunting each other, “My priest can beat up your priest!”

God who understands the human heart and human condition must be aghast at how creative humans can be in finding something to pick an argument over. And He must surely weep at this divisiveness.

I’m not saddened at all… I respect all Catholics no matter how they view the Mass… My focus is on my own personal relationship with God and that of my family’s.

Though I do try to attend a Latin Mass at least once a year -as a special treat. :slight_smile:

I’m glad several people noted that this rift can come from either side. I have received some really nasty comments from Novus Ordo folks, and I’m sure that sometimes the criticism from the traditional community can be biting. So, good for you to acknowledge this is a double-edged sword. Sadly, neither side is consistently aware of its cutting qualities. Thankfully, since we are both Catholic, we hopefully still believe in the sacrament of penance; therefore, we are capable of admitting when we are wrong.

This may seem like an odd quote/paraphrase from a traditionalist, but BF Skinner said something like, “Control without counter-control inevitably leads to corruption.” I believe the difference between a modern Catholic and a traditional Catholic relates to what we believe should be the counter-control. The traditionalist believes the counter-control should be prior encyclicals or customs, and the modernist believes the counter-control should be councils and the laity. There probably is a role for both, but the real issue might be which is actually a more effective counter-control.

Traditionally, change in the Catholic church occurred slowly over time. A pope, bishop, or clergy did not have the authority to just change things overnight. He certainly could not contradict previous dogma, but he also couldn’t make drastic changes just because he was in the authority to do so. Even though the traditional church operated on a very hierarchical structure, there was not an authoritarian type of atmosphere because the leader had to answer to his church, diocese, or parish.

The modern church, much like the Protestant church and much like modern democratic society, is often governed by councils or conferences. With this type of leadership, the individual bishop or priest can hide behind the collective. Thus, he doesn’t have to take the flack for changes that come down from the council or conference. There’s a kind of anonymity in this type of leadership. Furthermore, any counter-control that should come from the laity largely doesn’t happen because, frankly, the laity are often too busy to notice or care. Today, the laity seems to believe the pope has the authority to contradict previous dogma, and they seem to believe the pope can do pretty much whatever he decides.

Simply put, whatever problems (especially slow adaptation to change) that the previous traditional church had, She at least had some degree of counter-control of the process. The modern collective and laity approach only seems to breed corruption.

My sense is that much of the contemporary growth in the traditionalist movement, especially SSPX, is driven by corruption in the modern Catholic church–anything from careerism in priests/nuns to the sex abuse scandal. Add to the mix prophesies from Fatima, Lasolette, Lourdes, Equador, and you have a vision of a church that is going through a phase that was clearly predicted and warned about. Then realize that the modern church has frequently suppressed these prophesies, and you throw gasoline onto the flames.

It seems to me that, in these types of arguments, the side who can clearly articulate its own position as well as the opposing position is most likely the one who sees the total situation most clearly. By and large, I do not find that most modernists, including many of the old-timers on this website, are capable of even attempting a traditionalist argument. In that sense, they are hopelessly one-sided and narrow minded.

OOOHHH. That was pretty cutting. Sorry. Perhaps I should go to confession.

One would think by reading Youtube comments that there is a grassroots movement to return to the old mass and that younger people are drawn to the old latin mass. Is that really the case?

Another part of this was a shift in how the Church viewed Non-Catholic Chrisitans. Pre-Vat II there was a very sharp divide - Post Vat II that divide became blurred and many took a “live and let live” or “their just as good as us” attitude - which eventually caused many to lose or give up their Catholic faith.

Having been taught in London Catholic schools back in the early 50’s, I would disagree with this statement. Bishops already had a lot of authoritive and teaching power. Catholics were allowed plenty of freedom in non-Catholic countries. Catholics and Christians were already considered “brothers” under the Holy Spirit umbrella. And there were many firm ethnic communities around as well, but the thing was the Latin Mass was the same for everyone. So it wasn’t unthinkable for Poles to attend a Mass with an English sermon and English songs or vice versa.

But this “older” theology wasn’t everywhere taught the same way. Veterum Sapientia and Vatican II attempted to codify this thinking. An inspection of the documents shows this. None of it made any real or shocking news headlines. However, the thinking became more obscure and confused as the 60’s and 70’s developed. Plain and simple there was just too much misinformation spread during that time. This led to droves of Catholics leaving the Church. And since most Catholics at the most started getting instruction only from the sermon, if at all, it was becoming more and more difficult to communicate proper Catholic teaching.

I do not think this rift is really that large. First, the distance between Catholics of different forms of Mass is not really all that great. There is a far greater and more significant difference between all Catholics and non-Catholics, and between orthodox Catholics and unorthodox Catholics.

Second, I do not think the numbers are all that great. I think vernacular language difference affects more people, and we get along fine. I think it is the vocal nature of a very slim minority that enlarges the picture of their agenda and makes them appear more of a split than they are. Such is the danger of the internet.

We had missals that had both the Latin and the vernacular translation side by side, along with all the various and changable prayers and readings. In fact, in those days receiving a missal was one of those “rites of passage”. When I made my First Holy communion, I received a small, “childs” missal. When I was confirmed (in sixth grade) I received a regular “St Joseph” missal.

As to the readings at mass, they were read in Latin ad the altar, then read again in the vernacular at the pulpit. The homily was then given in the vernacular.

If your interested in learning more about the Latin Mass, it is being offered again in various locations. Generally it is refered to as the TLM (traditional Latin Mass) though it’s more “official” designation is EF (extraordinary form).
Here is a Site that lists many locations where the Latin mass is offered. These churches will generally have small misalettes available to follow along and, at least where I live, have beautiful music and a very devout congregation.


To an extent yes this is true. It is a grass roots movement and young people ARE drawn to the spirituality of the TLM.
It is in response to this “grass roots movement” (and also the problems with groups like SSPX) that the Holy Father issued the Moto Proprio on the Latin mass making it more available and even promoting it’s use.

However, this should not be construed as being an “either/or” situation. Both forms of the Mass, when properly and reverently celebrated are beautiful, fulfilling and most worthy. Each has it’s particular advantage, and each can and should be appreciated in and for itslef and for the Glory it gives to God.


originally posted by TrueLight
One would think by reading Youtube comments that there is a grassroots movement to return to the old mass and that younger people are drawn to the old latin mass. Is that really the case?

As a convert at the age of 54, I knew nothing about the Mass differences. In the past 8 years, I have learned and experienced so very much. I choose the TLM because I find it much more reverant than any of the NO Masses I’ve attended.
I do not know about the answer to your question but I do know that the TLM that I attend, everyone is younger than I am.

I think it’s largely those people who consider themselves to be “traditional” that continually try to suggest there is a divide where one does not exist. There is nothing “traditional” about wearing a mantilla. Suggesting your preference of wearing a mantilla “separates” you from other Catholics is just not true.

I have seen claims from people who like to wear mantillas and receive COTT that they are vilified by others. I just don’t think that’s the case. I think there’s an artificial feeling of martyrdom going on with some people.

I’m not sure what category I’d be in, since I don’t see a dichotomy between Vatican II and pre-Vatican II tradition. I see a continuity. What is saddening is that some want to interpret Vatican II with the “hermeneutic of discontinuity” contrary to the expressed intend of the magisterium of the Roman Pontiff.

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