Why "progressives" beat the tar out of "traditonalists"

For some time a small group at my parish have simply taken it upon ourselves to change things so that we will be in compliance with what the Church instructs. Our efforts span from replacing a bare cross with a crucifix in our sanctuary to replacing cheap wine glasses and sundae dishes with proper sacred vessels to re-filling holy water fonts that were drained for Lent.

The effects (and backlash) due to this process has really opened our eyes and it shows quite clearly why “traditonalists” will never gain the upper hand over “progressives” in many parishes without changing tactics.

Progressives are very good at using (and abusing the system.) Traditionalists however seem more focused on fleeing to their own small spaces that make them feel secure – like the Tridentine Mass. They also seem to enjoy carping about problems (this forum is an excellent example) but I don’t see many of them enduring the strains of being a “liturgy committee” member. Just imagine, a single traditionalist in a sea of progressives. In two words it’s a lot of sacrifice and a great deal of hard work.

Progressives seem far better at organizing too. I have never seen a “traditionalist” make an appointment to meet with his/her pastor and then bring along 25 people to make a point. I have seen progressives do this. Time and time again, actually.

I have also seen progressives soak-up one position after another at more than one parish. This takes dedication and in many cases grit. It’s far easier to moan and complain and drive to a “tlm church” come Sunday.

Finally, it’s amazing just how tough progressives can be in a “street-fight” when their very existance is threatened. It’s doubly amazing to see a traditionalist force a progressive into this position without ever compromising the actual instructions of the Church.

Yeah, we can claim to take the high road and vilify the progressives’ antics or believe that our pastors/bishops will only side with the progressives, but until we are ready to get our hands dirty and work/struggle/take chances for reform, it’ll never happen anytine soon – even with Holy Ghost Power™.

It was not until I began to read forums like this, that I discovered how some people view everything in the Church as a battle of “traditionalists” versus “liberals”, “progressives” or what-have-you.

Like most of what passes as polititcal debate in our country any more, I think it’s a terribly simplified way to view things. And it really does nothing to help clarify things.

[quote=rcn]It was not until I began to read forums like this, that I discovered how some people view everything in the Church as a battle of “traditionalists” versus “liberals”, “progressives” or what-have-you.

Like most of what passes as polititcal debate in our country any more, I think it’s a terribly simplified way to view things. And it really does nothing to help clarify things.
[/quote]

Agreed. It should be orthodox versus heterodox…

That said, the “progressives” are still beating the heck out of the “traditionalists.”

There have always been these type of tensions among people of religious faith. In the Gospels, we read of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Jesus did not refrain from criticizing either group. While Jesus did not directly side with either faction, his interactions with both parties is quite insightful.

Jesus did not rebuke the Pharisees for what they were teaching. In fact, He affirmed it, and as we all know, fulfilled much of it. He did, however, rebuke the Pharisees for not living up to their teaching. In other words, he noted the inconsistency (he even went so far as to call it “hypocrisy”) between what they said and what they did. As regards the Sadducees, it is recorded in the 22nd Chapter of the Gospel According to Saint Matthew, that Jesus “silenced” them. One other interesting footnote, the Pharisees invited Jesus to eat with Him, and He accepted while the Sadducees came to Jesus only to test Him.

I like to use the words “observant” and “non-observant” because words like “conservative” or “progressive” carry political meanings and also imply that like politics there is an acceptable spectrum to Catholic belief. For example, a “moderate” catholic sounds good, but it usually entails non-observance of some teaching or another.

there are many reasons why trads dont fight the liberals well. my parents are a good example I think. with 2 of the 8 kids still at home, and both having a few special needs, they have to put the focus on that. when they have fought liberalism in the past they get ecnored. the reason they go to the “safe haven” is especially for my 13 yearold brother, they dont want him to even see a hint of an improperly done Mass, or they think they are setting a bad example. both parents being oldest children in their respective families, they are used to having to set an example. I think like the political liberal/conservative debate, the religous debate is similer in the respect that the conservatives are busy working their jobs, raising their kids, and keeping up their homes, while the liberals have neglected those things. with the jobs I worked Ive alwaysa wondered where liberals get the time for all those demonstrations myself.

because the trads parish hop, and refuse to stay in their geographic parish where they could do some good by teaching CCD, serving as RCIA sponsors, being lectors, assisting with social outreach ministries, and evangelizing. The prefer to drive miles away to their Latin Mass because it is all about being in their comfort zone, not about service or living out their baptismal vocation.

this “Us and Them” stuff is disheartening

we are all playing for the same team after all

[quote=puzzleannie]because the trads parish hop, and refuse to stay in their geographic parish where they could do some good by teaching CCD, serving as RCIA sponsors, being lectors, assisting with social outreach ministries, and evangelizing. The prefer to drive miles away to their Latin Mass because it is all about being in their comfort zone, not about service or living out their baptismal vocation.
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Those that influence those functions influence the parish…

(BTW, most “lectors” are actually “readers”)

[quote=Steve Andersen]this “Us and Them” stuff is disheartening

we are all playing for the same team after all
[/quote]

You’re showing just another way to wiggle-out of shouldering some responsibility – and maybe some pain along the way.

[quote=aspawloski4th]there are many reasons why trads dont fight the liberals well. my parents are a good example I think. with 2 of the 8 kids still at home, and both having a few special needs, they have to put the focus on that. when they have fought liberalism in the past they get ecnored. the reason they go to the “safe haven” is especially for my 13 yearold brother, they dont want him to even see a hint of an improperly done Mass, or they think they are setting a bad example. both parents being oldest children in their respective families, they are used to having to set an example. I think like the political liberal/conservative debate, the religous debate is similer in the respect that the conservatives are busy working their jobs, raising their kids, and keeping up their homes, while the liberals have neglected those things. with the jobs I worked Ive alwaysa wondered where liberals get the time for all those demonstrations myself.
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Pure conjecture…

[quote=puzzleannie]because the trads parish hop, and refuse to stay in their geographic parish where they could do some good by teaching CCD, serving as RCIA sponsors, being lectors, assisting with social outreach ministries, and evangelizing. The prefer to drive miles away to their Latin Mass because it is all about being in their comfort zone, not about service or living out their baptismal vocation.
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Amen to that! But in our diocese we have folks drive miles away from a church not for any problems with the liturgy, but because they don’t like the pastor.

Nota Bene: I’m asking out of curiosity, not combativeness: how exactly did the progressives combat you and the more traditional people in your efforts to correct the oddities? I’m afraid I’m one of these meek ones who only piss and moan to family, friends, and this forum. The last time I got mad enough to write the bishop, someone told me I was over reacting. I wonder where the progressives get their nerve. I’m no Rad Trad, I just want the Mass celebrated with reverence (that’s God coming down on the Altar) in accd. with GIRM.

Oh yes “traditionalists” are evil for leaving their “geographical parish boundaries” which are not enforced and haven’t been for years! It is trully evil to go to an Indult Mass in an beautiful, old dilapidated church which needs repairs instead of the local suburban church!!
Actually I have heard of trad’s who have taught CCD at NO churches… They were thrown out for using the Baltimore catechism.

Perhaps trads want to live and peace and raise their children as Catholics? Hmm, what can be done to a parish where the priest uses at least 5 em’s per Mass? You have to change the priest to get any progress in the parish?

[quote=Nota Bene]Agreed. It should be orthodox versus heterodox…

That said, the “progressives” are still beating the heck out of the “traditionalists.”
[/quote]

By which you apparently mean to imply that the “traditionalists” are the “orthodox” ones, and the “progressives” are “heterodox”.

Based on what I’ve seen in these forums, I will have to disagree with you. And by that, I do not mean to imply that the reverse is true either. There seem to be plenty of “heterodox” on both sides.

[quote=rcn]It was not until I began to read forums like this, that I discovered how some people view everything in the Church as a battle of “traditionalists” versus “liberals”, “progressives” or what-have-you.

Like most of what passes as polititcal debate in our country any more, I think it’s a terribly simplified way to view things. And it really does nothing to help clarify things.
[/quote]

I do not think it is over simplified in most aspects. There is a war going on within and without the Church.

[quote=JKirkLVNV]Nota Bene: I’m asking out of curiosity, not combativeness: how exactly did the progressives combat you and the more traditional people in your efforts to correct the oddities? I’m afraid I’m one of these meek ones who only piss and moan to family, friends, and this forum. The last time I got mad enough to write the bishop, someone told me I was over reacting. I wonder where the progressives get their nerve. I’m no Rad Trad, I just want the Mass celebrated with reverence (that’s God coming down on the Altar) in accd. with GIRM.
[/quote]

Actually we consider ourselves orthodox Catholics, not “traditionalists.”

The combat continues to ratchet-up. Once they found out it was us that are making the changes, they first told us to stop in a very high and mighty manner. To that we provided documentation from the Church to support what we were doing.

With that, they began to tell us in increasingly harsh terms to stop what we were doing. We are at a point where they now try to physically undo what we have done. Thankfully we have enough moles to telephone us within minutes if something is changed back. Many times other orthodox parishioners will now change things back on their own.

The process has yielded two interesting bits of information. First, these people become street-fighters when they are ignored. The key is to stay on course until they get tired of looking like bozos.

Second, they certainly don’t have the strong backing from the pastor or we would have heard from him long ago…

It takes guts and resolve to get to the point we are today…

[quote=rcn]By which you apparently mean to imply that the “traditionalists” are the “orthodox” ones, and the “progressives” are “heterodox”.

Based on what I’ve seen in these forums, I will have to disagree with you. And by that, I do not mean to imply that the reverse is true either. There seem to be plenty of “heterodox” on both sides.
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I can see where you would come to that conclusion, bu that’s not necessarily the case.

Plenty of “traditionalists” who are quite heterodox, and plenty of “progressives” who are quite orthodox…

[quote=katolik]Oh yes “traditionalists” are evil for leaving their “geographical parish boundaries” which are not enforced and haven’t been for years! It is trully evil to go to an Indult Mass in an beautiful, old dilapidated church which needs repairs instead of the local suburban church!!
Actually I have heard of trad’s who have taught CCD at NO churches… They were thrown out for using the Baltimore catechism.

Perhaps trads want to live and peace and raise their children as Catholics? Hmm, what can be done to a parish where the priest uses at least 5 em’s per Mass? You have to change the priest to get any progress in the parish?
[/quote]

The Baltimore Catechism is extremely dated. There is FAR better catechetical material available…

[quote=katolik]Oh yes “traditionalists” are evil for leaving their “geographical parish boundaries” which are not enforced and haven’t been for years! It is trully evil to go to an Indult Mass in an beautiful, old dilapidated church which needs repairs instead of the local suburban church!!
Actually I have heard of trad’s who have taught CCD at NO churches… They were thrown out for using the Baltimore catechism.

Perhaps trads want to live and peace and raise their children as Catholics? Hmm, what can be done to a parish where the priest uses at least 5 em’s per Mass? You have to change the priest to get any progress in the parish?
[/quote]

Are you suggesting that one cannot be a Catholic at a parish where “the priest uses at least 5 em’s per Mass?” That’s ludicrous…

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