I’ve heard protestants say that they’re put off by the Catholic Church because Catholics have a tendency to act “holier than thou”. What they don’t know is that there’s another level to it. The keyboard warriors who will bash you for even looking at a Parish that doesn’t have TLM. The “if it ain’t Latin, it ain’t Catholic” crowd.
Now it’s a very strange thing, as I’ve been to Traditional Latin Masses and even a TLM wedding. No one there acted brashly to me or others. The most “aggressive” thing I ever saw in person was a sign asking visitors to dress modestly (legit said you can’t wear shorts to mass). Yet when you go online to even a simple Catholic Facebook group, there will be someone saying a certain priest isn’t Catholic because they give Norvus Ordo Mass which is “actually Protestantized Freemason heretical ceremony”.
They’ll often regurgitate talking points made by SSPX YouTubers and personalities that I don’t want to even name. They’ll claim they’re free of all heresy and anyone who upholds Vatican II is a heretic (which is ironic because isn’t denying the indefectibility of the Church is a heresy? Correct me if I’m wrong).
Vatican II. It always revolves around Vatican II. It’s as if the Church never did anything wrong until Vatican II, yet there have been groups of Catholics left quite unhappy after every Church council ever. I understand that there have been major moves by the Church that are not favorable to TLM enjoyers. There are people who all they know is the TLM. Their local Parish only has TLM, their parents took them to TLM as a child, their Grandparents went to TLM. I’m on their side when it comes to leaving the TLM alone and letting people enjoy it. If it helps someone connect better spiritually and grow closer to Christ, then alright. Seems on the line with someone joining the Capuchins to better serve Christ.
I personally don’t care. I didn’t feel anything special at the TLM Masses and there really wasn’t anything special going on Ministry wise that wasn’t already at my NO Parish. I do care when someone tries to shove it down my throat and tells me I’m not Catholic because I follow modern Church doctrine. Doctrine that has been validly put into effect by the Holy See. That I’m a sinner for attending NO Mass and that every diocesan priest is a sex offender. That the NO liturgy is bastardized and invalid. That the communion I receive is worthless.
Worth less. To the Toxic Trads we are worth less. A stain on their shoes. The thing is that while this voice is loud on the internet, it’s mute in the real world. Your chances of someone telling you those things in person are extremely slim. It’s just another flavor of internet group think. The big issue is that it becomes a “the voice of the minority hurts the majority” situation. When another article comes out about the Vatican putting more restrictions on TLM, why should you care? All those jerks do is whine and bash people on the internet.
But hold on, a Traditionalist Catholic hasn’t been mean to me in person, and I bet they’re in better standing than a Liberal Catholic. Maybe I should care? Oh my, I just got called a heretic again on Facebook.
In this digital age, senseless ideologies spread like wildfire. The internet can be a hellhole. Satan’s greatest warship. But it can also be a place of enlightenment. A place to learn more about how to better follow in Christ’s footsteps. It’s about finding what is true and what is cooked up bologna. Who is pushing what and why. Toxic Trads muddy this water. Casting doubt on your Faith. Yes, Catholicism isn’t cut and dry, it’s a wide road. An endless font of knowledge. Bricks laid by many different people in different situations that all are meant to guide you down the narrow path to Heaven. When you’re trying to navigate your way down this path, a person behind a screen picking up one of these said bricks and yelling at you that it’s wrong and shoving it in your face doesn’t help.
Maybe the answer then is to cut the tree at the roots. A person can say a billion things on social media, but it doesn’t matter until something happens in real life… Which leads to more posts on social media. Leaving the pools where these people gather may be the answer. I wholeheartedly admit that I am addicted to the social media machine. I’ve tried to justify it by having everything on it be about Catholicism, but the constant infighting and the “I’m better than you because I’m a totally based Trad” have worn on me. Weaning off social media is hard, and the makers of it want it to be hard, but I want to grow in my Faith I believe I need to leave the wolves to eat themselves.
I think any sensible person can see that I am not attacking Traditional Latin Catholics, I am merely looking past the beam in my eye to see the splinters in a minority group who is very hard to ignore. Have you had run ins with them? What’s the most absurd thing a Catholic has condescendingly told you online? Do you think this is just another plague brought about by social media?