I have been writing this blog for a little over 7 years. When I first started in December 2011, I was a staunch Catholic traditionalist, and I fully embraced everything that goes with radical traditionalism.
I believed that the Traditional Latin Mass was the salvation not just of the Church but of the whole world. My heroes were Michael Voris, John Zuhlsdorf, George Rutler, Michael Matt, ad nauseam. I basically rejected the Second Vatican Council. I was suspicious of everything and everyone in the Catholic Church who supported the Second Vatican Council in any way. I wore a veil to Mass and eschewed such things as the Sign of Peace.
I was completely obnoxious and intolerant towards anyone who did not support my views.
However, right before I began this blog, I did a total consecration to Mary. I did not really understand what that meant, but I wanted to learn. From that point on, I began to gradually see things differently.
First, I began to listen very closely to then Pope Benedict XVI, whom I greatly admired. After all, he gave us Summorum Pontificum. In my mind, that meant he agreed with me about the Latin Mass and could therefore be totally trusted.
Then I noticed, to my great surprise, that Pope Benedict said things which completely supported the Second Vatican Council. Although he opened up the Traditional Latin Mass to the Church, he still was in complete support of the dreaded Novus Ordo, saying one was as sacred as the other, and that these Masses were not separate from one another, but two forms of the same rite.
How could this be?
I never stopped attending the Novus Ordo. For many years, that was all I had during the week, so I would hold my nose and go. However, after listening to Pope Benedict, I did something truly radical. I didn't just "tolerate" the Novus Ordo. I actually began to pray the Mass. I participated in it as fully as I could.
To my shock and amazement, I found that the Novus Ordo was every bit as sacred as the TLM. Jesus Christ was as present at this Mass as He was at my beloved TLM.
Then I began to become more aware of how condescending and downright hateful I and my fellow TLM attendees were to those who did not share our beliefs. I became ashamed of myself and started pulling away from the views of others.
At first I kept my thoughts to myself. Then I found myself trying to defend Catholic hierarchy to traditionalists. BAM!! Immediate blowback. I remember one incident in particular in which I would not condemn Cardinal Timothy Dolan. The woman I was speaking with refused to ever have anything to do with me again.
My big break from traditionalism came when I did an article on my blog criticizing Fr. Justin Wylie who gave a sermon at Holy Innocents in Manhattan. Holy Innocents is basically devoted to the TLM and I regularly attended there for many years.
It was 2014, and Cardinal Dolan was in the process of closing churches. Holy Innocents was on the list of possible closures. Father Wylie attacked Church hierarchy for "persecuting" and "abandoning" traditionalists and "throwing them to the wolves", to use his words. You can read my post HERE. (Fr. Wylie's faculties to say Mass in the New York Archdiocese were shortly removed, and he was sent back by his superiors to his native South Africa.)
I was roundly condemned by traditionalists I was attacked even by those who knew me and with whom I attended Mass. I was told I needed to get sound spiritual direction. People were afraid for the state of my soul. They were sure that if I did not repent, I would go to hell. I was accused of heresy and blasphemy.
And it has continued to this day. I am very much hated and reviled among the Catholic blogosphere. At one point, John Zuhsldorf not only banned me from commenting on his blog, he actually banned me so that I could not view his blog from my IP address. After a few months and a couple of posts exposing him, he did lift that ban.
I am not allowed to post on Voris's website. Not that I care.
I really have come to a point where I can almost not bear to read Catholic websites. The articles and posts are all very negative and condemning. When I try responding to them on my blog, I find myself to be just as negative and condemning as they are.
This is not how Our Lord intended us to preach the Gospel. The word "Gospel" means GOOD news, not negative and condemning. Our Lord said that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He said He came to lift our burdens and bring us joy and peace. Our Lord said He did not come to condemn but to save.
Our Lord gave specific instructions on how to respond to those who will not accept the Church and her teachings, and it does not involve arguing and condemning:
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. (Mt 10:14)Certainly there is a time for instruction and correction. But the Catholic Internet is not interested in instruction or correction. They feel they know it all. I see no humility anywhere. Never is there a mea culpa.
As I heard one priest describe it, the Catholic internet has become the wild, wild, west with no law. Everyone has an opinion and all are convinced that their opinion is correct and anyone who disagrees with them is wrong. It doesn't matter if the person disagreeing is a priest, bishop, cardinal or even the Pope.
And like much of the rest of the Internet, there is no kindness or compassion or mercy found on the Catholic Internet. Love and mercy are considered weak and ineffectual. The Catholic Internet believes that they must hit hard, no holds barred. And most of all, Catholics believe in condemning their fellow Catholics.
I find very little on the Catholic Internet that is enlightening or uplifting. There is very little that brings me closer to my Savior. There is little that makes me want to change and become a better person. I can find almost nothing that inspires me to love and care for my fellow human beings.
I have come to believe that anyone who reads most Catholic blogs and websites is putting his soul in danger. These sites, whether consciously or not, seem designed to fill the reader with hate and prejudice. They destroy love, mercy and compassion.
St. Paul told us to think on positive things, on whatever will lift up the soul to God. Our Lord told us not to judge and condemn others, but to consider our own sinfulness first.
I realize now that people are only going to accept what they want to believe because no one is really searching for the truth. People only want to hear whatever will confirm what they already believe.
As I pointed out above, Jesus Christ does not want us arguing and yelling at each other, with each one claiming to be the true Catholic and condemning the other as a heretic. I don't want to be a part of this anymore. It is not of God. These tactics will not convert anyone. They will only turn more people away from God. And by participating in the hate, I am destroying my own soul.
One of the main reasons I have written my blog in past years is because I was struggling with what and who is true. It was very difficult to accept that those in whom I had once put so much faith and trust were not who I thought they were and that I could not trust their words. It has been very helpful to me to sit down and analyze their words and compare them to the actual teachings of Jesus Christ and the Church.
But I don't think it has helped anyone else. I have only created more enemies. Plus, I just don't want to read that hateful garbage anymore. There are only so many hours in a day, and I would rather fill my mind with the words and love of Jesus Christ.
I am shaking the dust off of my feet and moving on.