Stay-at-homes continue to complain that they find this existence incredibly lonely and difficult, and yet they resist any efforts to resolve their common problems as a unit. Individualism — relying on oneself to the exclusion of (Catholic) society, at least — is not the answer. It may be a necessity to some extent in these times, but to fail to cooperate with fellow Catholics in activities to preserve and spread the faith is to deny the existence and necessity of the Mystical Body. Pope Pius XII specifically ordered us to cooperate with each other in spreading the faith in Mystici Corporis Christi, but his teaching has been generally ignored.
No one is asking Catholics to unite under a leader. That has been tried before and found majorly wanting. Only a canonically elected Roman Pontiff or one miraculously restored to the See by Christ Himself could be that leader. A board of some sorts where positions rotate on a regular basis is what is needed in the interim and others could sit in an advisory capacity. A head of that board would have no real power except perhaps of mediation and direction, but would be a figurehead only.
The religious guilds of the Middle Ages are a good model for this. They put out a rulebook and kept a guildhall; women were equal members with men. They wore guild livery and attended the Mass of the guild’s patron as a body; if not they were fined. They elected officers and paid dues, meeting four times a year. They cared for the poor and needy, attended funerals, invested dues in worthy ventures, founded schools and generally promoted Catholic faith and culture. I have mentioned this before on this blog and in passing, in some of the articles posted. No one has ever commented on this topic that I remember, save perhaps for one person privately.
This fly-by-night, individualistic approach to the Catholic faith, discouraged by the popes and certainly not in accordance with their collective will, has led to many difficulties within the remnant Church. Primarily it has resulted in the further splitting of those wishing to keep their faith at home into various camps, all having a different outlook on the present situation in which we find ourselves. While these various camps are not necessarily opposed one to the other, neither are they working together for the good of the Church. In fact I am not even certain that they agree on what that good is and if it even should be promoted.
As we look around, it is clear that Protestant and other sects are surpassing by far many of those claiming to be Traditionalists or stay at homes in their missionary and evangelization efforts. They somehow manage to generate the glue necessary to keep them together for the completion of their various projects. Catholics should be ashamed, but instead glibly go about their business. This has resulted in not only major misunderstandings about many important doctrinal issues, but actual indifference and even repugnance concerning those issues.
One of the allegations consistently raised is that stay-at-homes are exclusivists who believe that they alone will be saved and all the rest of those calling themselves Catholics are damned for maintaining their current positions as Traditionalists. To begin with, NO Catholic is ever assured of their personal salvation, and no one who presents as a true Catholic can maintain otherwise. The club Trads wield to deliver this accusation is a “lack of charity,” when few, indeed, even fully comprehend the meaning of true charity as the Church Herself defines it. They fail to recognize that what they really are advocating here is liberal charity, merely a more buttoned-down version of the “everybody goes to heaven” heresy of Novus Ordo believers.
Oh my, did I say heresy? Yes I did, and this is the biggest bone of contention among the various Trad sects, as well as stay-at-homes. Everyone accuses everyone else of being heretics on various issues, most of the time without bothering to offer conclusive proofs that this is even the case. This successfully desensitizes people to the horror of heresy and minimizes the various dogmas under attack. Without the requisite proofs, delivered publicly and taken directly from the teachings of the popes and ecumenical councils, no censure for heresy can be considered as incurred. It is a FACT, based on irrefutable proofs, that very nearly everyone claiming to be Catholic today has at least been guilty of material heresy. Many consider this a bold statement that is inherently uncharitable. But it is rather a truth borne out by revealed truths, Catholic teaching and Canon Law, like it or not.
“Judge not,” Traditionalists and others sternly intone, and yet there is no judgment whatsoever in making this statement above; only obedience to the Church. No one is accusing anyone of deliberate mortal sin, although this may very well be the case. Instead, Catholics only fulfill their obligation to DEFINE TRUTH BY CONDEMNING ERROR, invoking Canon Law which itself is the judge of whether or not any person should be bound over for judgment by the Church. If Traditionalists and stay-at-homes spent less time arguing with each other on social media sites and discussion forums and more time studying their faith, they would know this.
Two new articles have been posted on the Free Content section under the Recent Articles header that hopefully will dispel some of the confusion on this topic. But without at least the desire for true unity and some meaningful effort to achieve it, the graces necessary to successfully resolve such issues will never be forthcoming.