I am a Traditional Catholic, as all Catholics ought to be, considering the etymology of traditio from Latin meaning that which is handed down or passed on (along). Which means that I accept Church authority, and not just the teachings of Vatican II or the Church (presumably) that existed before then. Essentially, Catholics only have one authority to adhere to, which is transmitted, presented and handed over by God from two sources: Scriptures and Our Lord’s Catholic Church. It is through Scriptures that God formed His people, and it is through the Church that He formed Scriptures and other revealed truths which guide His people. Catholics ought only believe what is revealed or disclosed to them. And that’s where the problems begin.
Who is to say what was revealed? Throughout Church history, the faith has been riddled by heretics, schismatics and apostates. This continues through the present day and likely won’t change until She is glorified by the Lord in His Kingdom. My current beef with(in) the Church is that her own members are driving a wedge, diabolical in origin, I’m convinced, which pits Traditional Catholics against the Catholic Church and Faith often in the guise of the "Modern Church." My contention is that there is only one Church.
I find again and again that well meaning members of the faith disparage those who are not “like-minded” (whatever that means), directing their energies to combating Liberalism in the Church. I am thoroughly against Liberalism as a doctrine, of course, for as such, it is a heresy defined as the synthesis of all heresies according to Pope Pius X. Curiously, St John Chrysostom, from the 4th century, commented that “the desire to rule is the mother of heresies.” Of course, his insight follows from recognizing the inauguration of Satan’s rebellion against God’s authority, non serviam”—I will not serve!—as the mother of "heresy," which essentially means “choice.” To choose to serve oneself, or one’s proclivities, one’s understanding, one’s self over God, and consequently, over the established authority of His Church, is to set oneself up as the ultimate arbiter of deciding truth and goodness. Funny, that, because from the Garden of Eden onward, God forbade man and woman from sampling of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:17), lest we begin to think that we are can determine by our intellects alone what is truly good and evil. Look around you today and see how successful that is in general, with rampant abortion, gender confusion, strife and division of man from God and one another, not to mention specifically the scattering of Christians and Catholics one from another. What used to be bad is now good and vice versa, all for the misconceived notion that we are free to do as we wish with free will, even apart from God who is the source of our freedom. But I digress with generalizations. What exactly is my point?
I see and hear fellow priests from traditional circles (SSPX and other clergy) who will still tell people to reject the Novus Ordo and attend their masses or none at all. Sadly I have no hard data to back this complaint; only testimony from relatives and friends who sadly fall for this falderal. Now, I understand (hopefully, rightly, but you can correct me in the comments below) that the intention of these priests is to preserve the sanctity and sacraments of the Church, along with Her goal to save souls, but such divisiveness has no place in the Church that calls itself “Catholic” (i.e., “Universal”).
There are suggestions from these “well meaning clergy” (in quotes because I question what this means) that because the faithful have in canon law the right to receive sacraments that there follows a universal dispensation to use the sacraments as one sees fit. Often the claim is made that this follows from the fact that the Church is in crisis, at least for the past 50 years (while ignoring the countless crises She has gone through from the start), and so some requirements of canon law (that the permission of the local Ordinary/Bishop entrusted with control of a diocese by Rome) can be dispensed with as one sees fit. And this, I contend, is simply another manifestation of the same heresy (choice) to proclaim one’s freedom to do as one sees fit apart from the Church Herself. I’ve complained about this manifesting itself, for one, as my family choosing to promote a wedding which contravenes the universal restrictions of canon law based on a presumptive reading from another canon which grants the faithful the right to the sacraments. Canon law is universally binding. There is no picking and choosing granted by God to the faithful. Yet "authority" is sometimes presumed on the part of the faithful which allows them to go against certain mandates of Church law, and from that follows such misunderstandings and misapplications of theology to the concepts of, say, “jurisdiction” and the fluidity of clergy to choose their own champions to practice under and apart from binding canons that are simply ignored. Please tell me: how is this different from the denial of authority proclaimed by the heresy of Liberalism? How are such (though not all!) “Traditional” Catholics not separating and opposing doctrine from practice?
When “Traditionalists” (or whatever you call them) refuse to accept the Novus Ordo mass because it is in the vernacular, or because it is rife with scandal and abuse, it seems to me they are essentially doing what liberals and other heretics have done with God’s revelation and direction from the start: they oppose the established authority to set up themselves as their own authority. They are deciding what is good or evil and selling that on apple carts of “Tradition” around the world. I am certain I will be most assuredly rejected for contesting this divisiveness for the presumed sake of orthodoxy. Dispense with me; I have no problem with that. But my rhetorical plea to both Catholics Liberal and Conservative matters a great deal: how does protesting the Divine authority bestowed on popes and councils (Protestantism, essentially) please God?