The Catholic Church, along with many other Christian denominations, has more than a few problems to address: loss of religious freedom, heretical beliefs becoming mainstream, mass pornography addiction, huge drops in attendance, and reopening churches after COVID-19 lockdowns. Churches have been devastated by these challenges, some never to recover. Moreover, the general incompetence, corruption, and weakness of so many faith leaders only worsen the situation.
Despite all that, if one read one of the several recent essays and statements from prominent Catholic bishops and writers, they’d be forgiven for thinking the real problem facing the church is traditional believers, a toxic and radical bunch who endlessly troll well-meaning (if sometimes heretical and abusive) bishops and priests, use the label of tradition to vent their innumerable prejudices and excuse their own personal mediocrity, and whose men are cowards who take to social media to score points against modernity.
The most recent piece against traditional Catholics was from a well-known advocate of traditional Catholicism, Steve Skojek. In a long and quite personal article, Skojek concludes so much of traditional Catholicism is “a long-running Live Action Roleplay — a LARP — in which participants act out what they think Catholicism looked like in ‘the good old days’ while perpetually running down any kind of Catholicism (or Catholic who practices it) that isn’t traditionalism.” He laments the snobbery, excessive nostalgia, pettiness, and hypocrisy that predominate in the traditional world.
I sympathize with Skojek and agree with him on many points. Having written a similar criticism almost two years ago, I have many of the same qualms. Some traditional Catholics tend to cut themselves off from reality to the detriment of themselves and those around them. This causes many of them to be socially awkward, out-of-touch, and paradoxically smug about all of it.
Unlike Skojek and his many like-minded followers, however, I don’t feel betrayed, nor do I feel threatened like Bishop Barron and others. I believed, and still believe, that traditional devotion and religious practices are the way forward, particularly today.
In a world filled with falsehoods, evils, and ugliness, the truth, goodness, and beauty of the Traditional
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