FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: struggles reconciling past and present Church
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3
Hi!
I’m a frequent browser, but I don’t think I’ve posted in a long time, so for all purposes I’m new.  I hope this thread is in the right area.

I’ve been a Catholic for over 15 years and a traditional Catholic almost as long, but I’m in a place where I’m very seriously considering leaving the Church.  Because of some changes in my life I can no longer go to the parish I’ve gone to for all that time.  These same changes have led to where I’m really living differently then I always believed a traditional Catholic should (nothing sinful, I just don’t want to go into complicated detail right now so I’m being vague).  I feel like everything is up in the air and has been for a while.  This includes my beliefs on how to reconcile VII.

I’m having a really, really hard time reconciling VII/post-VII with the concept of infallibility.   Not just papal infallibility, but the Church’s infallibility and the inerrancy of Tradition.  How can we say they are internally consistent and inerrant when since VII, the Church has consistently denied the necessity of Christ for salvation, the inerrancy of Scripture, the truths around hell, etc…you all know it as well as I do. 

I know the traditional Catholic arguments, but I've begun to feel like we’re holding onto semantics while desperately looking for some way to be able to brush aside the last 50+ years.  How can we say we’re one when we have to ignore or disobey the Holy Father, the bishops, our local priests? 
I truly believe that to accept Pope Francis’ teaching (and the previous popes) I would be all but denying Jesus, and that makes me want to go back to Protestantism.   And yet I can’t picture my life without the Sacraments.  I can’t picture myself not Catholic.   And I have children, and their father has already left the Church, and yet some of them are hanging in there, and I don’t want to leave too.

I don’t have a priest I can talk to anymore.  The priest where I’m going to Mass is extremely busy and I don’t think he has time to meet with me. and is conservative NO mindset anyways.  I know many of you have been here too, and so I thought I’d just lay it out on the table, so to speak, and see if anyone has any advice or answers.
 
Thanks for your time!
Welcome!

Well the most important thing to remember is that Vatican II never made any infallible statements that havnt already been said. Even if it had claimed to do so the previous teachings would have trumped. The rules for what constitutes an infallible statement are actually very strict and precise.

As for Popes like Francis, they likewise have not made any infallible proclamations. Francis says a lot of things which are unorthodox or outright heretical but none of these are binding for belief. He would not be the first pope to do so either. If every pope who said anything contradictory or unorthodox got shunted out of office then we would have 500 popes. Popes are people too and they sin and make mistakes like the rest of us. We are not required to accept his every breath as dogmatically binding.

Dont worry, there are a lot more people out there going through this same stuff you mention than you think. We just have to have faith and weather the storm. Pray for the Church and especially the Holy Father. Be an example of traditional Catholic values to those around you. Advocate for the TLM in your parish.
I have a few thoughts, though none, unfortunately, that will probably do much to answer your question. Just a few observations, really. I was baptized and confirmed in the Church over 12 years ago. I didn't immediately fall into traditionalism. Probably more of a conservative NO. A few years ago, I became disillusioned, as you seem to be, and wandered around the Protestant groups. I can tell you, that route is a dead end. Even conservative Protestant groups have very little to offer. As you mentioned, they lack the Sacraments.

But another thing is that the only infallible authority they have is their own interpretation of the Scriptures, which is to say, they don't have an infallible authority at all. And you can see this. Even the conservatives in those ecclesial communities often disagree with one another, whether it's eschatology, Lord's Supper, issues related to baptism, etc. They might appear to be better off because they might explicitly confirm the necessity of believing in Jesus Christ for salvation, but they are divided on whether to baptize their babies and spend time hairsplitting questions like a pre-, mid-, or post-Tribulation Rapture, among many other things. So, heading into Protestantism isn't going to get you much.

As I consider the problems in the Church right now, what doubts that might try to creep in are met with what I consider facts. The arguments for the existence of God are very, very good. Natural reason confirms that God is there. From there, I feel the arguments for Christianity are solid. And once to that point, I find Catholicism to be the only logical choice. Protestantism has far more problems, most especially as it relates to issues of authority.

I've studied the Eastern Orthodox but I can't get past things like Matthew 16:18, among others. So, while I have difficulty understanding VII and post-VII in the Church, I can't think of any other Christian group that could be the Church of Christ. And so I could not justify leaving the Church, again, for something that I am certain is not Christ's Church.

It is hard to try to figure this stuff out, but I often remember King Saul and the future King David. As you probably know, Saul repeatedly tried to kill David. Yet, David always accepted him as the king, even executing the Amalekite who finished off the wounded King Saul, for having raised his hands against the Lord's anointed king. Of course, the kings of Israel were never promised infallibility, but I admire David's faith in God and loyalty to a king who tried to murder him.

I wish I could say more to help you.
Welcome to the forum, and welcome to the main point of difficulty for traddies.

In the face of the crisis in the Church there are really four positions that you can take, and each comes with pros and cons.

1. Conservative Novus Ordo
  • Deny that there is any problem with Vatican II, which was meant to usher in a New Springtime and did that.
  • Assert there are liberals who have no real connection with Vatican II who have somehow gotten into power and want to change the Faith, but have not.
  • Admit that, if there are errors, they come from these liberals, and could never come from the Pope.
  • Save the 1950s-type infallibility where the Pope is always infallible in everything.
In reality, this is to effectively deny the crisis even exists. Since it can be shown to exist, any serious look, or the obvious indication that Pope Francis is one of these liberals and is seeming to teach serious errors undermines this position.

2. Ecclesia Dei
  • Suggest that there may be ambiguities in Vatican II, but no errors in the council.
  • Liberals inserted those ambiguities to exploit them later ("time bombs") in order to undermine the Faith and attempt to teach something new.
  • Admit that there are errors and they may go very far up, but not to the Pope himself.
  • Save the 1950s-type infallibility where the Pope is always infallible in everything.
In reality, this was to lessen the extent the crisis, and worked under more morally conservative Popes like John Paul II and Benedict, but Pope Francis is more and more making this an untenable position, and many in this came have shifted farther to the next camp.

3. "SSPX" or "Recognize and Resist"
  • Suggest that there are actual theological errors in Vatican II, but since these are not imposed as binding they may be questioned.
  • Liberals wrote the errors an ambiguities in in such a way to exploit them.
  • The errors go to the Pope himself, even the "conservative" Popes, although they tried to hold a more classical liberal position, thus appeared conservative, and wanted to try to prevent any substantial change to the Faith while allowing liberal ideas into Catholic thought. 
  • The 1950s-style infallibility of the magisterium and Papacy is compromised and the position becomes very dangerous (almost like one is picking and choosing).
There is a spectrum here and in fact most traddies have moved this way in the last several years. In fact, it is surprising to see that Fr. Z is probably more-or-less a member of this camp now. I call it the SSPX camp because it was historically the position staked out by the SSPX, not because all in the camp agree with the SSPX or are supporters.

4. Sedevacantism
  • Suggest that there are actual theological errors or heresies in Vatican II, and that an Eccumenical Council is always infallibly binding in everything, thus this was not a valid council since it teaches against the Faith..
  • The errors go to the Pope himself, since Paul VI or John XXIII (or earlier), and these men were not actually Popes because they taught error.
  • The 1950s-style infallibility of the magisterium and Papacy is preserved, but at the expense of the indefectibility of the Church and traditional ecclesiology.
_____________

That people have to stake out a position is not their fault. It is the fault of the crisis.

We should not blame anyone for deciding to take one of these positions, but at the same point, should expect that they study to the extent they can and be able to justify why they take one over another. Since all come with some dangers to the Faith in some way, it will be important to cultivate the necessary virtues to combat these difficulties.

Hope this helps provide some insight and help.

In short, there is no easy solution, but whatever position you take, what is most important is to be as good a Catholic as you can, stay in the state of grace, grow in virtue and do your duty of state. If you do those things, you'll become a saint, and that's all God asks.
(06-12-2018, 02:30 AM)kunoichi Wrote: [ -> ]Hi!
I’m a frequent browser, but I don’t think I’ve posted in a long time, so for all purposes I’m new.  I hope this thread is in the right area.

I’ve been a Catholic for over 15 years and a traditional Catholic almost as long, but I’m in a place where I’m very seriously considering leaving the Church.  Because of some changes in my life I can no longer go to the parish I’ve gone to for all that time.  These same changes have led to where I’m really living differently then I always believed a traditional Catholic should (nothing sinful, I just don’t want to go into complicated detail right now so I’m being vague).  I feel like everything is up in the air and has been for a while.  This includes my beliefs on how to reconcile VII.

I’m having a really, really hard time reconciling VII/post-VII with the concept of infallibility.   Not just papal infallibility, but the Church’s infallibility and the inerrancy of Tradition.  How can we say they are internally consistent and inerrant when since VII, the Church has consistently denied the necessity of Christ for salvation, the inerrancy of Scripture, the truths around hell, etc…you all know it as well as I do. 

I know the traditional Catholic arguments, but I've begun to feel like we’re holding onto semantics while desperately looking for some way to be able to brush aside the last 50+ years.  How can we say we’re one when we have to ignore or disobey the Holy Father, the bishops, our local priests? 
I truly believe that to accept Pope Francis’ teaching (and the previous popes) I would be all but denying Jesus, and that makes me want to go back to Protestantism.   And yet I can’t picture my life without the Sacraments.  I can’t picture myself not Catholic.   And I have children, and their father has already left the Church, and yet some of them are hanging in there, and I don’t want to leave too.

I don’t have a priest I can talk to anymore.  The priest where I’m going to Mass is extremely busy and I don’t think he has time to meet with me. and is conservative NO mindset anyways.  I know many of you have been here too, and so I thought I’d just lay it out on the table, so to speak, and see if anyone has any advice or answers.
 
Thanks for your time!
Ive been in the same boat and within the last year or so it's been really hard. I finally got to a point where i just stopped trying anymore and just accepted that i was pretending by being Catholic when truly I believe in an Orthodox manner.

I will not attempt to sway you. Just letting  you know you're not alone and this stuff is NOT easy.
(06-12-2018, 02:25 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: [ -> ]Ive been in the same boat and within the last year or so it's been really hard. I finally got to a point where i just stopped trying anymore and just accepted that i was pretending by being Catholic when truly I believe in an Orthodox manner.

I will not attempt to sway you. Just letting  you know you're not alone and this stuff is NOT easy.
I too have basically given up on returning to the Catholic Church, belief-wise. I’m too convinced by Orthodoxy and its approach. The only reason that I’m a nominal member of the Catholic Church is to avoid family quarrels/tensions.

Once papal decisions regarding spiritual (rather than political matters) are questioned, then you’ve basically opened the door to Orthodoxy. This is why I think that many conservative Catholics will do all the mental gymnastics and deny that anything is wrong, because they know, consciously or unconsciously that once you begin questioning, there is no going back. If the pope, one human man, can lead the Church astray, then is he really the guarantor of right belief? I know from my own experience, that once someone takes the sedevacantist route (like I did at one point), adopting the Orthodox mentality becomes far easier. In essence most manifestations of sedevacantism require a persisting faith in right belief (some version of Traditional Catholicism) rather than right authority (the Catholic faith in papal leadership), because, per sedevacantist logic, there is no current pope. Yet the right belief has persisted for over 50 years without a sitting pope.

Anyway, these are times that, despite their adversity, will shed the truth to those genuinely seeking it.
(06-12-2018, 02:30 AM)kunoichi Wrote: [ -> ]Hi!
I’m a frequent browser, but I don’t think I’ve posted in a long time, so for all purposes I’m new.  I hope this thread is in the right area.

I’ve been a Catholic for over 15 years and a traditional Catholic almost as long, but I’m in a place where I’m very seriously considering leaving the Church.  Because of some changes in my life I can no longer go to the parish I’ve gone to for all that time.  These same changes have led to where I’m really living differently then I always believed a traditional Catholic should (nothing sinful, I just don’t want to go into complicated detail right now so I’m being vague).  I feel like everything is up in the air and has been for a while.  This includes my beliefs on how to reconcile VII.

I’m having a really, really hard time reconciling VII/post-VII with the concept of infallibility.   Not just papal infallibility, but the Church’s infallibility and the inerrancy of Tradition.  How can we say they are internally consistent and inerrant when since VII, the Church has consistently denied the necessity of Christ for salvation, the inerrancy of Scripture, the truths around hell, etc…you all know it as well as I do. 

I know the traditional Catholic arguments, but I've begun to feel like we’re holding onto semantics while desperately looking for some way to be able to brush aside the last 50+ years.  How can we say we’re one when we have to ignore or disobey the Holy Father, the bishops, our local priests? 
I truly believe that to accept Pope Francis’ teaching (and the previous popes) I would be all but denying Jesus, and that makes me want to go back to Protestantism.   And yet I can’t picture my life without the Sacraments.  I can’t picture myself not Catholic.   And I have children, and their father has already left the Church, and yet some of them are hanging in there, and I don’t want to leave too.

I don’t have a priest I can talk to anymore.  The priest where I’m going to Mass is extremely busy and I don’t think he has time to meet with me. and is conservative NO mindset anyways.  I know many of you have been here too, and so I thought I’d just lay it out on the table, so to speak, and see if anyone has any advice or answers.
 
Thanks for your time!

During the Arian crisis, they had taken over the majority of the Church. St. Athanasius, who was opposing them, was quoted as saying:

"Thus, the more violently they (the Arians) try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray. Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ." He also said,"they have the buildings, but we have the faith".

So it is not the "Church" you see teaching error all over the place, but a counterfeit church. Find a traditional Church someplace and contact the pastor through the Internet. He will help you. Don't give up the faith - as St. Athanasius says above, the Church always exist somewhere, and could even be reduced to a handful. You can still go to Mass and receive the Sacraments, but you may have to travel much farther and go less frequently.
(06-12-2018, 04:37 PM)Klemens Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-12-2018, 02:25 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: [ -> ]Ive been in the same boat and within the last year or so it's been really hard. I finally got to a point where i just stopped trying anymore and just accepted that i was pretending by being Catholic when truly I believe in an Orthodox manner.

I will not attempt to sway you. Just letting  you know you're not alone and this stuff is NOT easy.
I too have basically given up on returning to the Catholic Church, belief-wise. I’m too convinced by Orthodoxy and its approach. The only reason that I’m a nominal member of the Catholic Church is to avoid family quarrels/tensions.

Once papal decisions regarding spiritual (rather than political matters) are questioned, then you’ve basically opened the door to Orthodoxy. This is why I think that many conservative Catholics will do all the mental gymnastics and deny that anything is wrong, because they know, consciously or unconsciously that once you begin questioning, there is no going back. If the pope, one human man, can lead the Church astray, then is he really the guarantor of right belief? I know from my own experience, that once someone takes the sedevacantist route (like I did at one point), adopting the Orthodox mentality becomes far easier. In essence most manifestations of sedevacantism require a persisting faith in right belief (some version of Traditional Catholicism) rather than right authority (the Catholic faith in papal leadership), because, per sedevacantist logic, there is no current pope. Yet the right belief has persisted for over 50 years without a sitting pope.

Anyway, these are times that, despite their adversity, will shed the truth to those genuinely seeking it.
Not all Popes have been good Popes.  We can't follow the man and ignore 2000 years of teaching and Tradition, and of course, the Bible.  All must be in-sync.  At this time, they are not.
Nothing since the reign of Pope Pius has been dogmatically proclaimed. All this mischief has been done using PASTORAL language. The only dogmatic statements that came to the forefront since Pius have been Humanae Vitae reiterating Church teaching on contraception since JESUS  and Pop John Paul 2's statement that he had no authority to make woman priests that Christ selected men for that duty.
(06-12-2018, 05:13 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]2. Ecclesia Dei
  • Suggest that there may be ambiguities in Vatican II, but no errors in the council.
  • Liberals inserted those ambiguities to exploit them later ("time bombs") in order to undermine the Faith and attempt to teach something new.
  • Admit that there are errors and they may go very far up, but not to the Pope himself.
  • Save the 1950s-type infallibility where the Pope is always infallible in everything.
In reality, this was to lessen the extent the crisis, and worked under more morally conservative Popes like John Paul II and Benedict, but Pope Francis is more and more making this an untenable position, and many in this came have shifted farther to the next camp.

IMO it's more like:
  • We all know there's a crisis but let's just not talk about the problems in Rome and the Church on the whole--at least not from the pulpit. That way we'll get no trouble from the local bishop. Then we can keep our liturgies the way they've always been. 
Pages: 1 2 3