HEY! YOU! Who do you think you are?!?

There is an AP story floating around, in which the undersigned is quoted, “Analysis: Pope’s revolution; not all are pleased” by Nicole Winfield of AP.

As usual, Nicole gets some things wrong and some right. My focus at this moment is this part, wherein I – and you – are mentioned.

Here is the section:

His recent decision to forbid priests of a religious order from celebrating the old Latin Mass without explicit authorization seemed to be abrogating one of the big initiatives of Benedict’s papacy, a 2007 decree allowing broader use of the pre-Vatican II Latin liturgy for all who want it. The Vatican denied he was contradicting Benedict, but these traditional Catholics see in Francis’ words and deeds a threat. They are in something of a retreat.
“Be smart. There will be time in the future for people to sort what Vatican II means and what it doesn’t mean,” the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf warned his traditionalist readers in a recent blog post. “But mark my words: If you gripe about Vatican II right now, in this present environment, you could lose what you have attained.”
Even more mainstream conservative Catholics aren’t thrilled with Francis.

It seems that I am a traditionalist.. and so are you.

That would be a surprise to a lot of traditionalists. But then again, the neo-con no-risk conservatives are squinting at us too. And liberals can’t stand us.

It sounds like, though the wording is ambiguous, that you are not “mainstream”.  Fair?

We just can’t win, can we?

I see this sort of thing all the time when I and this blog are mentioned.

Delightful!

Question for the readers, and this might lead to a poll.

How do you identify yourselves?

Are you “traditionalists”? Conservatives? Mainstream? Lefties? Just Catholics? Tradition-friendly?

I am looking for pithy, one or two word, descriptors which I could use in a poll, if I want to put one together.

HAVE AT!

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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354 Responses to HEY! YOU! Who do you think you are?!?

  1. RobW says:

    Tradition rocks. [And that describes you… how?]

  2. pitkiwi says:

    I would consider myself an “orthodox Catholic”.

  3. gregorianchant says:

    sad trad [Descriptive, I guess. Helpful for a poll? We shall see if others use that too.]

  4. P says:

    Catholic Semper Cum Petro.

  5. McCall1981 says:

    “Orthodox Catholic” or “Trad-friendly Conservative”

  6. Clemens Romanus says:

    Orthodox Catholic or Traditional Catholic. Sometimes I just go by Catholic.

  7. All: Think “poll choices”.

  8. JPMedico says:

    I tell people I am a “practicing Catholic who happens to prefer the Latin Mass”. I guess that’s more than 2 words.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Just to clarify “I Am Catholic!””

  10. pfhawkins says:

    Catholic in good standing

  11. Anchorite says:

    Poll choices:
    – Rad Trad
    – Traditionalist
    – Tradition-friendly Conservative
    – Neocon
    – (Simply) Catholic
    – Tradition-friendly Liberal
    – Mainstream Catholic
    – Catholic Bolshevik
    – “Beyond-Jesus” Spiritualist

  12. Elizium23 says:

    I am, as Francis put it, a “son of the Church”.

  13. Mark H. says:

    The only label that anyone in the Church should call themselves is “simply orthodox.”

  14. Liam says:

    Augustinian, Trentacostalist Catholic

  15. Legisperitus says:

    A Catholic.

  16. Geoffrey says:

    I don’t know if it’s “pithy” or brief enough for a poll, but I have always considered myself an “orthodox Roman Catholic Christian”.

    I subscribe to what Benedict XVI termed the “hermeneutic of continuity”. I believe the Second Vatican Council was abused, misused, and in some cases ignored. I believe all those who call themselves Catholics should carefully re-read the council’s documents. I think all parties would be very surprised.

    I love both the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite (when done right) and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, but I believe neither is what Vatican II intended. I think it will take a few more generations for the liturgical mess in the Roman Rite to fix itself, and it will. The ‘JPII’ generation (of which I am a member) and the ‘BXVI’ generation will see to that.

    I think traditionalists would call me a “neo-con” (I really dislike that term) because I refer to Blessed John Paul II as “the Great”; progressive/heretical “Catholics” would call me a conservative (a term which belongs to politics, not the Faith) or a traditionalist.

    Me? To quote Pope Francis, “I am a son of the Church”. Sentire cum Ecclesia!

  17. AdDeum says:

    I refer to myself as a “Traditional Catholic” or an “Orthodox Catholic”… I don’t like to use the term Traditionalist, because (to me) it implies one who rejects everything after Vatican II.

  18. MattnSue says:

    Faithful Catholic

  19. StWinefride says:

    I consider myself a Traditional Catholic. However, if I had been asked this question in the early 1960’s (when I was born) I would have answered Catholic. How times have changed.

  20. Eric S says:

    Traditional Catholic. I think a poll would be helpful.

  21. MarilenaB says:

    Just Catholic

  22. JP Borberg says:

    Can ‘Disillusioned’ be an option in the poll?

    If each individual has to figure out which Pope taught the correct flavour of Catholicism the Church has really dropped the ball with the whole ‘teaching’ thing.

  23. Brian2 says:

    High church catholic?

  24. Gabe says:

    Sometimes depends on who I’m talking to. Some responses might be “Catholic”, or “100% Catholic and proud of it” to non-believers/other Christian denoms.

    For fellow Catholics, I generally use either “conservative Catholic”, but sometimes I throw in “orthodox Catholic [with clarification]. I generally don’t like to use “traditional Catholic” because it’s a little redundant if you ask me ;) But I do use it sometimes.

    If talking about the mass specifically, I will try to simply say I really like the beauty of the tridentine/latin/EF mass.

    If you do a poll, some options could be:
    Rad Trad
    Sad Trad
    Mad Trad
    Glad Trad
    Fad Trad
    Crad (cradle) Trad [this is an increasingly growing segment of the population, such as myself]

  25. FranzJosf says:

    Traditionalist, SSPX admirer [although I don’t frequent their chapels]

  26. Patrick-K says:

    Roman Catholic.

  27. Phil_NL says:

    Father, if you’re running a poll, let it be clear what every option means. You refer to “neo-cons” here, and while some other commenters do so too occasionally, it’s highly unclear what that means in ecclesiastical terms. In the political realm it is, and I’ve seen the two being confused on more than one occasion.

    That said, “orthodox catholic” is probably best (though neo-con would come close politically, and depending on what you mean with it, ecclesiastically too). I reckon ‘traditionalist’ would also imply a strong preference for the EF mass even over a properly done OF, so that would be out for me.

  28. lelnet says:

    “Trad but not rad-trad”. (And yes, I do think that sentence should be an option on the poll, if there’s a poll.)

    I also answer to “orthodox”, “conservative”, “observant”, and “faithful”.

  29. Genna says:

    Hermeneutic of continuity Catholic.

  30. Magash says:

    I consider myself an orthodox Catholic. I try to think with the mind of the Church. I believe that both forms of the Roman Liturgy, when properly celebrated have their place. I also believe that the OF is most often poorly celebrated and the EF is not as available as it should be.

  31. DisturbedMary says:

    Baltimore Catechism Catholic
    Old-fashioned Catholic
    Communion-on-the-Tongue Catholic

  32. wrightfam says:

    I am a real Catholic. Conservative and Traditional is what Catholics are. All others belong to a different church.

  33. Katylamb says:

    I always describe myself as a Roman Catholic. My husband describes himself as an ultramontane Catholic. We look to the Pope as our spiritual leader here on earth and the CCC is our guidebook to life.

  34. Urget_nos says:

    Possible labels:
    John Paul II Catholic, Benedict XVI Catholic, Charismatic Catholic, Vatican II Catholic, PreVatican II Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Latin Rite Catholic, ProLife Catholic, Cafeteria Catholic…

  35. contrarian says:

    Trad-friendly Catholic.
    Sede-sympathetic Catholic.
    Frustrated Catholic.
    Joyful-but-annoyed Catholic.
    Confused Catholic.

  36. RobW says:

    Tradition rocks means that tradition is a good thing…kind of like “Tradition friendly.”

  37. Lisa Graas says:

    Well, you might call me a neo-con, but I always ID as Catholic.

    If you want to get specific: Passionist.

  38. Lisa Graas says:

    For purposes of American civil law, though, I’d settle for “human person.”

  39. NBW says:

    I would consider myself as Orthodox Catholic or Traditional Roman Catholic.

  40. RobW says:

    Just use these…“traditionalists”? Conservatives? Mainstream? Lefties? Just Catholics? Tradition-friendly?

  41. DisturbedMary says:

    110% Catholic
    1950s Catholic
    old school Catholic
    Vatican 1 Catholic : )

  42. pberginjr says:

    Catholic

    btw, based on what I’ve heard/read, I imagine this is something like how Ven. +Sheen felt like after the Second Vatican Council, too “forward-looking” to fit in with “traditionalists” and too “backward” to fit with socialist, heterodox, free-love leftists (or any degree of people holding less watered-down but still watered-down “beliefs”).

  43. Mike Morrow says:

    Ante-Vatican II Catholic.

  44. benedetta says:

    Authentic Catholic.

  45. Woody79 says:

    Orthodox Catholic.

  46. DisturbedMary says:

    Generation Sheen Catholic

  47. Choirmaster says:

    Traditionalist.

    Strong attraction and attachment to pre-conciliar forms and formulations. Severe discomfort with all Novus Ordo, Book of Blessings, and post-conciliar ambiguity. I dislike the old clericalism as much as the new, however I have the impression that other “traditionalists” may like the old clericalism.

    I don’t know what others think “traditionalist” means, but I feel most comfortable with this term.

    I feel like a “traditionalist” in many other areas such as art, design, architecture, politics, etc. etc.; but this may be better defined as “eclecticism” since I also appreciate modern advancements in technology, economics, and medicine, especially where it can simplify, perfect, or replicate classic designs or methods.

    Indeed, where would we traditionalist Catholics be without the vast, immediate, and inexpensive resources available via the Internet? What a great irony that being “stuck in the 40’s” is only made possible by a technology developed in the 60’s, taking root in the 90’s, and coming to flower in the opening decades of the 21st century!

  48. Elizabeth R says:

    Usually simply “Catholic”; occasionally “Roman Catholic”.

  49. New Sister says:

    Faithful

  50. Katylamb says:

    Wrightfam: How is it that you think you are in charge of deciding who is or is not a “real” Catholic? Those who are baptized into our Church are Catholics. If they call themselves Catholics and are baptized Catholics it is not up to you or me to try to kick them out of the Church. (We can’t anyway) It is better to point out where they are wrong then to try to excommunicate them.

  51. Jack Hughes says:

    A Catholics who would like the last 50 years to be rewound, so for the purposes of the poll I am a Trad

  52. DisturbedMary says:

    Take-no-prisoners Catholic
    Uncompromising Catholic

  53. Muv says:

    I’m with Disturbed Mary. I’m a No Chatting or Clapping in Church and Can’t Stand Trashy Hymns Catholic. Can we abbreviate the definition to Genuflecting Catholic? I’m not saying others don’t, it’s just that people within this definition wouldn’t dream of not.

    Why should Catholic need to be preceded by anything other than Roman? Tragic really.

  54. MasterofCeremonies says:

    I would consider myself a traditional-leaning orthodox Catholic. Poll ideas:

    Pragmatist Catholic
    Idealist Catholic
    LCWR Catholic (?)

    Although “orthodox” should be added to some of those… After all, if you’re not orthodox, then what kind of a Catholic are you?

  55. New Sister says:

    Faithful Catholic

  56. abasham says:

    I usually say “traditional Catholic” rather than “traditionalist Catholic.” And never Traditionalist with a capital T.

  57. MikeD says:

    I think conservative Catholics would call me traditionalist, and traditionalist Catholics would call me conservative. I may be to the “right” of a George Weigel, and I may be to the “left” of a John Rao, while finding much to praise in the output of both of them. The appellation I would like to bestow upon myself and others occupying this space is not a new one: Ratzingerian.

  58. HeatherPA says:

    A Catholic who strives to stay in a state of grace-
    That’s me.

  59. eyeclinic says:

    Trad trapped in NO body

  60. eulogos says:

    Well, the rad trads wouldn’t think I am trad at all, and even the just plain trads dont’ really think my opinions are sound. On the other hand, your typical conservative Catholic who lives where the Novus Ordo is well celebrated and therefore sees no real need for the EF, finds me suspiciously traddy.

    My road to trad-dom was through the Byzantine rite and contacts with Orthodoxy. I came to an understanding of what they mean by tradition, and wanted that same thing in the Latin rite. I definitely want the language, the words of the old rite. But I am not so attached to the silent canon as most traddies. I have been able to get some insight into interior participation recently and see what you folks are talking about, but I don’t see that ethos as necessarily the only way to celebrate our ancient rite. But I still want it, because it is our tradition. In that way I am trad.

    On the other hand, I am NOT trad on the religious freedom issue, and I am much too ecumenical, especially towards the Orthodox, but even towards Protestants, to make traddies happy. I really LIKE the Decree on Religous Freedom and the Decree on Ecumenism. Despite how it was misused, I see VII as a real council, and not one which did nothing important. So there I am totally not traddy.

    I am also not all that into traddy devotions. Rosary yes, but the words novena and chaplet are not second nature to me. I understand abstractly that “the Sacred Heart of Jesus” is a devotion which focuses on Christ’s love for us, and something similar for the “Immaculate Heart of Mary” but I am more likely to say “I know you love me, Lord” or, “I know you love Sam, help me to see him as You do” than to pray “to” the “Sacred Heart.” And I don’t really like a lot of the lower level devotional art which goes with all that “heart” stuff. After 30 some years as a Catholic it is still very foreign to me. So, I guess that makes me Not a trad in that sense.

    I guess you would have to put me down as “Trad-friendly.”
    Susan Peterson

  61. Geoffrey says:

    Regarding “Vatican II Catholic”…

    I think one would have to differentiate “real VII Catholic” (hermeneutic of continuity) and “false VII Catholic” (hermeneutic of rupture); though this latter one could encompass both SSPX and progressives, but for obviously different reasons (VII went too far / didn’t go far enough…).

    It is beginning to look like this poll could get very messy!!

  62. Ralph says:

    I hope I am a Catholic. No more, no less.

    But, for the purpose of a pole, perhaps “Observant Catholic” in that I try to observe all the tenets of the faith. Does that work?

  63. Shane says:

    I’m with MikeD. I fall in between the two appellations. It can be a tense position.

    So I second the term “Ratzingerian”. I would, perhaps, use “Balthasarian” also, but them’s fighting words in certain quarters…

  64. nykash says:

    Too bad you couldn’t make an series of ‘either-or’ questions:

    Hand-holding v. Not-hand holding during the Our Father
    Communion on the tongue v. communion in the hand
    Social justice v. proclamation of the Gospel
    Nuns on the Bus v. Nuns in habits
    Pro-life Catholic v. Pro-choice catholic
    I love Latin v. I love guitars, drums, harmonicas, etc
    I am labeled as an extremist by the SPLC v. I donate to Obama and his goons (ok, blatant question bias here)

    imho, you’re either Catholic or you’re not.

  65. netproportions says:

    Orthodox

  66. Unwilling says:

    I am a traditionalist. That means I believe that any innovation that challenges what is handed down should bear the onus for justification.

    I also use the label “conservative” which has a different meaning but seems more familiar to people. And except for respect in the Roman Catholic vision, I would have a non-anarchic libertarian bias.

  67. Glennonite says:

    Smells ‘n Bells.

  68. Mike Morrow says:

    TEA Party Catholic!
    :-)

  69. Robbie says:

    I consider myself a traditionalist. By that, I mean I prefer the TLM and believe the Church would be better off if return to the days before the Council opened. I know that won’t occur, but that is how I would describe myself. Having said, my schedule doesn’t allow for me to attend the TLM in my area very often so I attend the NO.

  70. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    A traditionalist not opposed to Vatican II. Would that then be a “Zuhlsdorfian Catholic?” [No. I don’t much care for that suggestion. Let’s keep me out of this.]

  71. Panterina says:

    Orthodox Catholic. I don’t like “conservative” because it smacks of politics. We’re talking dogma here, not opinions.

    I had the pleasant experience of discovering the TLM thanks to Summorum Pontificum. As a linguist, it made me want to brush off my high school Latin, but the most important thing it did for me was to appreciate the Sacred Liturgy even more. BTW, I’ve never had any gripes with the NO Mass, nor with Vatican II.

  72. guatadopt says:

    Faithful usually does the trick.

  73. Captain Peabody says:

    I like “Catholic” the best. I don’t find political terms applied to the Catholic Church very helpful. In fact, I find them very misleading and deceptive, and they annoy me terribly.

    “Faithful Catholic” seems rather presumptuous to me, as my confessor could attest, but if there has to be more to it, how about “Tries-to-be-faithful Catholic”?

    “Tries-to-be-faithful Catholic” seems to be a fairly good term for those Catholics, whether saints or sinners, traditionalists or whatever else, who don’t deliberately ignore or reject any Catholic doctrine or moral teaching, but honestly try to be faithful to them as best as they can. I think it cuts across a lot of divisions in the Church, and exposes those divisions that are most important. Just my two cents.

  74. mamajen says:

    I prefer Roman Catholic. Maybe Conservative Catholic.

    I used to consider myself traditional, until I learned what “real” traditionalism involves, and I realized I don’t fit. I prefer communion on the tongue at the altar rail and old hymns, but I’m happy with a reverent NO instead of the TLM. I guess “tradition friendly” describes me.

    It would be nice to get away from using labels altogether.

  75. mike cliffson says:

    Living in europe , so soontobe :
    neomazarabic (tho they took away moster the liturgy after trent, kaibosh postvII)
    either
    branch 1. martyr, RIP
    branch2 turncoat, renegade, or runnagate (God forbid , but Im weak)
    branch 3 dhimmi

  76. anilwang says:

    I don’t much care for the Conservative and Liberal terms since they overlay can be interpreted politically. Catholicism is neither Conservative nor Liberal.

    Traditional is good, but it can be misunderstood since some people are small-t traditional and balk at practises that were common pre-Vatican II in another part of the Church for centuries….or even was the praxis before Trent.

    High Church doesn’t quite cut it either since there are traditional Low Masses.

    Perhaps we just need to qualify them:
    * Ultra Rad Trad (If it departs from the 1920 Missal, it’s from the Devil. Dialogue masses are from the Devil)
    * Rad Trad (If it departs from the 1962 Missal, it’s from the Devil)
    * Hard core Traditional (Latin/Eastern Rite/Anglican Mass is the only one I can stomach)
    * Traditional (I go to Latin/Eastern Rite/Anglican Mass, but I occationally can attend NO masses)
    * Hard core Reverent (Reverent masses of any form are the only one I can stomach)
    * Tradition Friendly (I usually go to NO masses and can a moderate amount of liturgical abuse, but I support TLM)
    * Charismatic (I usually go to Charismatic masses)
    * Hard core Charismatic (Charismatic masses are the only ones I can stomach)
    * Protestant (We really need to focus more on the preaching and entertainment and have infrequent “Communion Services” since they don’t matter)

  77. Gregg the Obscure says:

    There are two phrases that come to mind, each from a priest.

    Your fellow priest-blogger Fr. Charles coined the term “all-you-can-eat-buffet Catholic”. (He added that he takes some of everything, but not always in the healthiest proportions.)

    A priest I remember from the earliest days of my conversion back in the heady days of Y2K described the “fire-breathing Catholic”.

    Absent those, I’m simply Catholic.

  78. maryh says:

    Thanks, @Genna. I think your term describes me best: Hermeneutic of continuity Catholic. Maybe we can abbreviate it for the poll as HOC Catholic, or Catholic HOC.

    I’m tradition-friendly and like Latin. In my ideal liturgical world every parish would have one EF Mass every Sunday at a reasonable time, and once or twice on weekdays, with OF Masses otherwise. The OF Masses would be ad orientem, kneel for communion, and the propers all in Latin. There might be one or two OF Masses a week all in Latin. No altar girls, and the lecturn moved off the sanctuary so that women could lector without being on the altar. Lots of beauty in the church; lots of material symbols of transcendance – statues, icons, stained glass, smells and bells.

    Music would be Gregorian chant or modern developments held to that standard. I like the way our choir director chants – it has an Eastern Orthodox flavor to me. I’d like to see what kind of sacred music we would develop if we were actually creating beautiful sacred music instead of writing hymns.

    As for the rest of it, I believe what the Church teaches as documented in the Catholic Catechism and other magisterial documents.

  79. Andkaras says:

    Striving to be faithful ’til death Catholic,…but my husband refers to me as a Shiite Catholic , mainly because of my adherence to Church teaching about artificial contraception .

  80. The Masked Chicken says:

    So many choices, so little space:

    Vatican III Catholic

    NO Mas loving Catholic (only true boxing fans will understand)

    A Catholic with Feathers, yet still not an angel

    Say the Black, Do the Red Catholic

    Red Shoe Catholic

    Evolved beyond Jesus, but not beyond myself Catholic

    A Catholic Nuns would Fear

    If-I-Were-Anymore-Catholic-I-would-Be-the-Pope

    The Webster’s Dictionary Catholic Picture Boy

    The Catholic Time Magazine Hates

    The Man of One Book

    ———————————————

    Seriously, there are only two types of Catholics: those who believe that at the heart of the Church there is a Cross and those who don’t.

    The Chicken

  81. Poustinik1 says:

    Love this Fr.
    I second Glennonite’s ‘smells n’ bells’. Perhaps I might say (as I have) “If you were to cut me, I would bleed undeniably Orthodox Catholic. I once met a nun-well more of a very liberal sister- who described herself as Orthodox during a meeting I had to attend. Interiorly something said…well if she is Orthodox, what does that make me? hmmm…Quick give us a poll! Perhaps we could have a series of them?

  82. djc says:

    Just “Catholic”. I prefer the Novus Ordo when done according to the proper rules and regulations so I’m probably an anomaly here—but I love thie website.

    djc

  83. Joan M says:

    Catholic.

    In addition, I agree with mamjen. As far as I am concerned, being Traditional Catholic means believing everything the Catholic church teaches; reverent liturgy; say the black, do the red; no happy-clappy.

  84. mamamagistra says:

    I would vote for either trad but not rad or Hermeneutic of Continuity Catholic as above. Other thoughts: (1)Reform the reform Catholic or (2)Save the Liturgy Catholic or (3)Trad with Ordinary Form sympathies.

  85. tzard says:

    I’d put “Catholic” but I’d fear being misunderstood as being “holier than thou” – which is the opposite of the case. Taking a CS Lewis approach, perhaps “mere Catholic”.

    Universal Catholic (I know, redundant, but one’s an adjective and one’s a noun – meaning OK with a broad spectrum of our Universal Church.)
    Tradition Loving (or friendly). Which points to doctrine as well as practices such as the Mass.
    Perhaps small-t “tradition loving” – different meaning but not an unworthy sentiment (think holy days, processions, home devotions, Meatless Fridays). I need all the help I can get.

    Re: referencing Pope’s aproaches, I’d think you’d get interesting responses with “JPII Catholic” or “Benedict XVI” – but maybe conflicting responses to “Paul VI” or “John XXIII”

  86. Robbie says:

    I can’t claim this for my own, but someone once said this. Before the Council, there were Catholics and heretics. Today, we have sedevacantists, traditionalists, neocons, cafeteria Catholics, and progressive modernists.

    It’s ashamed we’ve become so divided as to how we describe ourselves. Sometimes I wonder if we’re headed down the road of Judaism where you have Jews and Orthodox Jews.

  87. JoeB says:

    A Recovering Mainstream Catholic

  88. Mark Nel says:

    I am Catholic. Plain and simple. there is no other – conservative, traditional, liberal, etc., are all personal traits that have no place. I also believe it is important for all clergy, including permanent deacons, to know Latin because we are of the Latin rite after all. It’s in our DNA, surely? Laity should at least know the responses in Mass in Latin too. As for liturgical ceremonies. The priest should celebrate exactly as the Church instructs him to celebrate and keep his personal touch exactly that – personal, until of course Rome decides we should all experience his personal touch too.

  89. Therese says:

    “They are in something of a retreat.”

    Those are fighting words. You won’t find me under a rock.

    I’m Roman Catholic, period. I do frequently use the term “Traditional” in my writing and speaking, but that’s because I can’t be certain the audience will understand me otherwise. Such are our times.

    I cannot grasp how one can be Catholic without clinging to Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church. To be Traditional is to be Catholic.

  90. Ben Kenobi says:

    I’m a Catholic, obedient to the magisterium. Politically I’m a conservative, but I like to call myself a Catholic who happens to be conservative rather than a ‘Conservative Catholic’. I believe that should be reserved for the traditionalist Catholics who attend TLM on a regular basis, and especially not to converts like myself. I am very sympathetic to traditionalists, but I’ve never attended a TLM, nor do I believe I ought to attend one at present (as I am still learning my faith). If I were French I’d be a “legitimiste”, which if you’re looking for one word to ecompass me, that would be the best.

  91. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Church Militant!

    Loyal Catholic

  92. Philemon says:

    It looks like there is a kind of longing for Geek Code (please, Google it) except redone for Catholics.

    There was a movie in the 80s about Japan, the name of which I don’t recall. One of the characters said that she had lived in Japan for 15 years but could barely understand the headlines in th morning paper. It wasn’t that she couldn’t read the papers but rather that there were many layers of nuance behind what was being said. As a newish convert, I feel the same way about labeling myself; I’m not sure what side I might be taking in fights that have been underway for decades.

    On the other hand, it’s helpful to give someone a thumbnail,sketch of where you stand, without taking hours to explain your every position. The only thing that made sense for me in this regard was to adopt the 3 main labels use in Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. As a non-Jew, this gives me enough insight to avoid giving great offense and but reminds me that I don’t truly understand either. If I want to know more, I’m probably going to have to have some long conversations, do my own research, and the like. In he meantime, I’ll accept anyone’s self identification.

    In that light, I’d think those that love the Vetus Ordo, are (shall we say) less than thrilled about Vatican II and hope the next Pope takes the name Leo or Pius would self identify as Orthodox Catholics.

    Those who are very fond of Vatican II and the changes in its wake would probably self identify as Reform Catholics.

    Those somewhere in between would thus be Conservative Catholics.

    There are a few other categories I could add.

    Sedevacantist Catholics would probably self identify as such because of a belief that there is not a valid Pope and that therefore there is something dramatically wrong with the Church.

    C&E (Christmas & Easter) or Nominal Catholics would be those that think of themselves as Catholic but attend Mass only rarely.

    Lapsed Catholics are those that no longer think of themselves as Catholics but don’t think of themselves as anything else either.

    Former Catholics are those who have decamped to some other religion or even atheism.

    For this purpose, these are merely names. They are not judgments on the states of souls. It’s a self identification to be taken at face value.

    I’d self identify as a Conservative Catholic.

  93. APX says:

    Ooh. I loathe being called a traditionalist. Even worse is when someone from my parish groups me in to the group “traddies”. It makes my skin crawl.

    I just call myself Catholic. If I must use a qualifier relating to the Latin Mass, I will usually say I attend the EF Mass/Traditional Latin Mass usually. When I go home I prefer to attend the OF offered by one of the priests ordained within the last three years. I have a very difficult time being around “rad trads”. They make me just as angry as liberal priests.

    My mom once asked me “which movement I was part of” to which I replied, “The movement away from going to Hell”.

    I attend the EF because I strongly desire to become a saint and strive for holiness. If the EF environment of where I am will not provide me an environment where that is possible, I will find an environment that will. It it means moving to another city, I will do that. If it means attending the OF, I will do that, etc. What I will not do is become so attached to the EF that it would affect my choosing of a vocation, or it would cause me to attend a Mass that is not 100% in communion with Rome.

  94. majuscule says:

    Haven’t looked at the other suggestions yet.

    I am a Conservative Mainstream Catholic.

    ie. I go to my local OF Mass weekly or more often. I would like to see more TLMs closer to me. I am active in my parish, receive on the tongue, believe in the Real Presence and I don’t hold hands.

  95. future_sister says:

    Catholic

    If you add a modifier to the term universal it ceases to be universal. Most of the modifiers added to the word Catholic seem to show which Church teachings the person promotes or accepts. Simple, if you don’t accept all the teachings you aren’t Catholic. It is perfectly fine to question why the Church teaches something, as long as that leads you to seek the truth behind why so as to better understand the teaching and you don’t cause scandal by your questioning. I know I’ve questioned teachings before I understood why they were there. And the point isn’t what type of Mass we attend, the point is that the Mass is centered on the Eucharist and is reverent. Different forms of the Mass appeal to the different spiritualities of people because we are all unique individuals throughout the world. If I found a reverent Charismatic Mass I would have no problems going… issue is I haven’t yet. I prefer the silence of the Low Mass or a quiet weekday NO maybe with a little Latin chant, that’s me. Some people prefer the pomp and music of a Solemn High Mass that’s them (I do love that on occasion but not always)… That’s the beauty of being Catholic. We are all a part of the Universal Church that reaches to everyone and brings them to God through the Lamb’s Supper, Heaven on Earth.

  96. Cornelius says:

    Tradition-friendly, but nor Tradition-obsessed.

  97. Ng says:

    Catholic
    Catholic Christian
    Charismatic Catholic
    Charismatic Christian
    Christian
    Conservative Catholic
    Dissenting Catholic
    Liberal Catholic
    Loyal Catholic
    Protestant
    Orthodox
    orthodox Catholic
    Roman Catholic
    Radical Traditional Roman Catholic
    Traditional Roman Catholic
    traditional Roman Catholic

  98. Andrew says:

    Canis mortuus

  99. leon says:

    I am a ‘Cardinal Francis George Catholic’. Put me in his category.

  100. teomatteo says:

    Smitten Catholic

  101. akp1 says:

    Catholic

  102. Mario Bird says:

    Unapologetic Papist, Doctrinal Apologist

  103. johnnyDmunoz says:

    Fulton Sheen

  104. Geoffrey wrote:

    “I believe the Second Vatican Council was abused, misused, and in some cases ignored. I believe all those who call themselves Catholics should carefully re-read the council’s documents. I think all parties would be very surprised.

    I love both the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite (when done right) and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite”

    AGREE TOTALLY. I would also love to attend an Eastern rite liturgy. Agree with most of everything else he posted. As for a label? (if we really really need one at all)Catholic. Always thought that’s what we were.

  105. Jack Orlando says:

    As I see it, here’s the lay of the land:

    1. ultra-liberal: “women’s ordination, gay pride parades, pro-choice, happy-clappy liturgy, let’s canonized Katherine Schori”

    2. Latitudinarian, “Broad Church” Catholics: the anything-goes liberal, “the anti-dogmatic principle”, and “if you want the Extraordinary form, well, I guess that goes too; but don’t ask me to say it.”

    3. “Low Church” Catholics: Orthodox in dogma, Protestant in liturgy, Pentecostal in piety.

    4. Conservative “High Church” Catholics: Orthodox in dogma, Ordinary Form in liturgy, with organ, chant, and Latin

    5. loyal traditionalist: “We stay with Rome, we support the pope, we’re not against Vatican II, and we love the Extraordinary Form.”

    6. ultra-traditionalist, aka, double “ought” Shotgun Shell traditionalist: “We ought to utterly repeal and abolish Vatican II, and we ought to go back they way things were before 1955.”

  106. ChristoetEcclesiae says:

    Catholic.
    Steadfast, loyal Catholic.
    Sinful-but-striving Catholic.
    Striving-for-home Catholic.
    Catholic.

    The profusion of labels, both political and otherwise, seems self-defeating to me (even if interesting). Aren’t labels often more divisive than helpful or truly descriptive? Infighting between and among Catholics always makes me sad because I know it is pleasing to the devil. And who wants that? These labels seem to encourage infighting and discord.

    I’ve met many different “kinds” of Catholics. We’ve always shared much more common ground than not, which allowed for discussion and clarification of the differences. I wonder, does self-identifying with one label segregate me from other members of our Lord’s beautiful, universal Church? I want to belong to the whole Catholic Church. I want us all to help each other get to heaven, walking shoulder to shoulder.

    So I’ll stick with Catholic, and all that that single, wonderful word implies.
    That works for me.

  107. Yo Geoffrey this might interest you but you will have to look through http://flospetra.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-mass-is-liturgical-tlm-and-no-part.html the newer posts for parts II through IV.

  108. johnnyDmunoz says:

    Sooo, did Pope Francis’ decision abrogate any part of Summorum Pontificum? I am out of the loop.

    I also never trust the media…

  109. Marie says:

    I was recently accused to being born 500 years too late… If that’s true, I’ll proudly take “Bellarmine Catholic” over whatever history decides to call everyone else.

  110. Montenegro says:

    I consider myself a traditional Catholic. Not a rad trad or a mad trad. Simply a “traddie” as the Aussies say. ????

  111. cyrillist says:

    Mel Gibson Catholic!… Well, no, I guess that won’t do. (Although I do have fantasies of someday seeing the following on the big screen: “Vatican II. A film by Mel Gibson.”)

    “Traditionalist” works fine for me. I agree, too bad about all the labels, but nowadays, anyone self-identifying as just plain Roman Catholic is inviting a response of, “Yeah? And…?”

  112. wrightfam says:

    Katylamb: People excommunicate themselves. They don’t need me or you.

  113. Lin says:

    like Therese…..”I cannot grasp how one can be Catholic without clinging to Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church. To be Traditional is to be Catholic.”
    I am conservative in my politics and my choices. I love tradition in the Church and my family life. I am not opposed to Vatican II. I grew up with the Latin Mass but English is acceptable if the celebrant follows the rubrics. I loathe Protestant additions to the Mass. I believe all that the Church teaches. I am forever grateful that I am Catholic and have an extreme love for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the Blessed Mother, all the angels and saints. I am a JPII and Benedict XVI Catholic. I truly believe that I owe this love of faith and everything Catholic to many, many, many Catechism classes (all sisters) and my grandmother’s and great aunt’s example. It appears that most of us cannot limit our identity to one or two words. We are CATHOLIC. However, many who call themselves Catholic are not.

  114. ladytatslace says:

    Catholic
    No more, no less …. Catholic …. I belong to the Church founded by Jesus Christ.

  115. HyacinthClare says:

    I described myself in a post this week as an “unreconstructed trad Catholic.”

  116. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Catholic.

  117. lsclerkin says:

    Trad not rad-trad.
    I’m 49.
    I came up through all the “stuff”.

    Trad.
    I am NO fan of liturgical dance.
    But i will say this: i love Our Lord so much, in the Tabernacle, that i sometimes want to hold out my arms to him and waltz before the Tabernacle. In love.
    Outside of Holy Mass. But oh, how i do love Him.
    Maybe it’s a girl thing.

  118. Lori Pieper says:

    My instinct is to go with “Catholic.” Period.

    Mostly because all other appellations have very free boundaries or can’t really be defined.

    My only worry is getting confused with those people who answer “Catholic” on the Gallup poll but never go to church, think abortion and gay marriage are fine, etc.

    I guess “Orthodox Catholic” is my second choice.

  119. A poll should include both “traditionalist” and “traditional Catholic” as separate choices.

    Because in the most typical usage “traditionalist” seems associated with a desire to “turn the clock back” all the way to before Vatican II, whereas a “traditional Catholic” wants to move forward, maintaining the historical Catholic faith, but building on a proper re-interpretation of Vatican II (such as Benedict called for).

  120. WBBritton says:

    Simply Catholic.

  121. jeff says:

    Tradition-friendly.

    I’d have to second “Choirmaster” 1 August 2013 at 4:07 pm’s description.

    All you guys who refuse any classification other than “Catholic” are being disingenuous.

    FACT: there ARE different approaches and emphases to being a faithful Roman Catholic and you are probably not so unique as to refuse classification (how very Hipster of you).

    In my experience the “just Catholic”crowd tend to be conservative ultra-montanists.

  122. lsclerkin says:

    Btw,
    I’ve chosen to veil at Mass. Only woman in my parish who does.
    And it’s fun :)

  123. MarcAnthony says:

    I’m an orthodox Catholic.

    Fr. Z, I thought you were a traditionalist. If you’re not, what does the word even mean?

  124. netokor says:

    Churchofnotnice Guadalupano Catholic

  125. Pumpkin Eater says:

    Here is a box I might check:

    Loyal and orthodox, strive to be observant. No more than curious about the old Latin Mass and suspicious of the attitude of many of its modern proponents, starting with inexcusable insubordination of Archbishop Lefebvre.

    For what it is worth, I started studying Latin as altar boy in the early 60’s and have studied and loved the language ever since. So its not the Latin that bothers me.

  126. Pumpkin Eater says:

    . . . it’s . . .. Sorry

  127. cregduff says:

    This is one of those subjects that reminds me of being a bystander at the scene of an accident that you see coming, and you just can’t turn away.

    And I also can’t seem to help myself, so I will contribute…

    Nuns on Bus/NCR/LCWR
    Gay lobby
    Cafeteria Catholics
    Spirit of Vatican II
    What’s a biretta?
    NO with a side of EF
    EF-Friendly/Attending/Promotor
    SSPX
    SSPX-SO
    SSPV

  128. Muv says:

    Catholic Catholic. Or is that too pidgin English?

  129. Sofia Guerra says:

    EF Roman Catholic

  130. ReginaMarie says:

    Eastern / Greek / Byzantine Catholic.
    Some might say Orthodox in communion with Rome.
    Faithful (but often failing) Catholic is pretty apt.

  131. kneeler says:

    Latin Rite Catholic

  132. msc says:

    Catholic.
    If forced to elaborate, something like “fairly conservative”.
    Politically: palaeo-liberal.

  133. Mike says:

    Nicodemus (Crypto-Trad)

    I am a former Neo-Con Catholic, but that meant accepting too many illogical statements, such as “they have changed the orthodoxy on this”.

  134. pbewig says:

    There was some politician once who described himself as being “from the Republican branch of the Republican Party.” With that thought in mind, I will say that I am “from the Catholic branch of the Catholic Church.”

  135. Tradster says:

    Take your pick:
    Traditionalist Catholic (note the -ist)
    Magisterium Catholic

  136. wyoguy says:

    Traditional Catholic

  137. Back pew sitter says:

    Catholicism is a traditional religion that is also progressive. Catholics accept the teaching of the Church and are orthodox. It’s enough to say that I am a Catholic.

  138. SegoLily says:

    Obedient Catholic
    Disobedient Catholic

  139. friarpark says:

    Vatican II Catholic as opposed to a Spirit of Vatican II Catholic. One who wants the Mass said the way the Missal says, doing the red saying the black. One who hopes to see an ad orientum Mass said in my parish, who would like to see at the very least the latin the Council Fathers asked for.

  140. Cantor says:

    Traditionalistic, roughly Trad friendly.

    Whereas a Traditionalista sells coffee after Mass to buy new altar rails.

  141. Hidden One says:

    So I think the “Anti-Labels Catholics” are totally winning the straw poll so far.

  142. Zephyrinus1 says:

    CLUNY. 1133 A.D.

  143. anachy says:

    Actual Catholic. I actually believe and do my best to practice what the Church teaches. When people ask me what my religion is, I tell them I’m an actual Catholic.

  144. capebretoner says:

    Militant Catholic

  145. jfk03 says:

    I am a Ukranian Greek Catholic, that is,
    Orthodox in communion with the Pope of Rome.
    Most Roman Catholics are blissfully unaware that we exist.

  146. Cantate says:

    Roman Catholic! As we were before Vatican II. Now they call us “tradtionalists.”

  147. Kathleen10 says:

    Geez Louise 130 comments!
    Politically conservative.
    Roman Catholic Orthodox. (the Orthodox would be a new addition due to our current climate)
    I can’t wait to read what others are saying.

  148. MikeR says:

    I’m the sort of bloke who thinks Pope St Pius V had his ideas wired up well, so put me down as a Traditional Catholic.

    It’s a terrible pity we have to sort ourselves out by how much or little we adher to The Faith, once everybody was just a Catholic & believed what the Church believes & teaches, & all the current nonsense was not even thinkable.

    MikeR

  149. pfhawkins says:

    I think simply “Christian” should be on the poll. It’s what we were called before any schisms, and we ought to reclaim that title.

  150. Imrahil says:

    “Catholic” is generally understood as someone who is a member of the Church. A member of the Church is he who is catholically baptised, has not publicly committed apostasy, heresy or schism or been punished with vitandus-excommunication (the latter now in disuse).

    Hence, and because the judging of non-obvious crimes is beyond the competency of one who has not the office to do so, “I’m simply Catholic” does not, in my opinion, suffice. With all due respect etc. We are a party, even if the right one, and I’d love to see a simple “pithy descriptor”.

    “Orthodox Catholic”.

    Or maybe “Chestertonian Catholic”. Though there are some, I guess rare, occasions where I don’t subscribe to what Chesterton said.

    I’ll go for some more accurate description of what I am when I have the time, and if the benevolent dictator of this combox does not think that goes too far. As usual, I guess I’ll only find out a fine descriptor at the end when all is said and written, if then at all.

    Commenting here I often found myself in some “middle”. Though I would not call myself a centrist. The “middle” has that touch of being undecided, neither fish nor meat, etc. But still… I just happen to find people to the left and the right (if you suffer to use these terms) of my own position.

    As for “traditionalist”, I would take it as a compliment. I’m not sure, though, whether traditionalists would accept me as one of their own, after I had explained what I opine and do not opine. Anyway, I champion tradition (explicitly not only meaning the Deposit of Faith) on principle, including quite worldly traditions of my own country, which by formation is Catholic.

  151. yatzer says:

    Say the red, do the black Catholic

  152. FrG says:

    “Say the Black, Do the Red” Catholic

  153. cblanch says:

    Faithful Catholic

  154. Quanah says:

    I find it incredibly difficult to label myself and no one else has ever done it successfully. I also find that often times when I label people they end up surprising me and not fitting into the box. I am definitely not “traditionalist” though.

  155. Quanah says:

    I stand corrected. “Faithful” works quite well. Thank you, cblanch.

  156. dbonneville says:

    Nigrum et Rubeum

  157. off2 says:

    I’m Eastern Orthodox – a frequent reader – and tend to Traditionalist.

  158. Imrahil says:

    As for the, interesting, spectrum of the dear @Jack Orlando,

    1. (ultra-liberal) I’m not ultra-liberal,
    2. (Latitudinarian) I’d reserve my power to be dogmatic for my own, if only just for simple intellectual reasons (A or not-A is true after all), and not lie if questioned on some such points; also, I’d be among those who personally would prefer the EF.
    6. (ultra-traditionalist) I’d not agree that the Church should “utterly repeal and abolish Vatican II”.

    Hence, among numbers 3-5, plus a latitudinarian attitude in behavior though not in dogmatic opinion, and the “let’s go back to 1955″ of no. 6 (which could be expanded by “I think the SSPX are doing a good job, and are Catholic, despite possibly being mistaken on some points”), I cannot (at least not yet) exclude one for myself.

  159. Imrahil says:

    Sorry, I did not mean to invert all that.

  160. Katylamb says:

    Wrightfam, People can excommunicate themselves, that is true. However, not being “conservative” (whatever that means) and not being “traditional” (whatever that means) does not incur automatic excommunication. Therefore, your statement pretty much saying that you and those who think exactly like you are the only real Catholics is just plain wrong. I say this as a political conservative and one who loves the traditions of our Church, and obeys it to the best of my ability, seeking forgiveness when I fail. But still- we do not have the right to decide other Catholics aren’t real. Sorry.
    You said: “I am a real Catholic. Conservative and Traditional is what Catholics are. All others belong to a different church.”

  161. Jim says:

    sinner

  162. windyrdg says:

    BIG T Traditionalist. Who is old enough to have grown up when the Church, the Mass and other practices, were still Catholic instead of the pseudo-Protestant nonsense we have today. The nuns wore habits, people prayed their rosaries before Mass, we had novenas and Forty-Hour’s devotions, and the pastor was FATHER Henricks in a Roman collar and sometimes a cassock, not Fr. Joe in an Hawaiian shirt and Dockers. GRRR.

  163. GypsyMom says:

    Tradition friendly orthodox Catholic.
    I, too, have experienced being labeled a religious fanatic by the world while at the same time being labeled “liberal” and shunned by Traditionalist (re:SSPX) types. Kind of a odd middle ground to be standing in, but probably just right, kind of like the baby bear in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

  164. Gretchen says:

    Truth seeking Catholic

  165. Hibernian Faitfhful says:

    Magisterium Catholic

  166. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Robbie quoted, “Before the Council, there were Catholics and heretics. Today, we have sedevacantists, traditionalists, neocons, cafeteria Catholics, and progressive modernists.”

    How useful would the dichotomy “Non-Modernist”/”Modernist” be?

    Might it be something ‘doctrinal’ that could then be further modified with an eye to liturgy? (If so, how?)

  167. inexcels says:

    Looks like someone forgot to close an italics tag.

    Anyway: “Tradition-friendly” suits me. I really don’t qualify as a “traditionalist” but I find arguments that the traditional liturgy is superior persuasive. “Orthodox” would work too in that I (at least try to) obey the Church on all moral and theological matters that aren’t up for debate; thus, orthodox as opposed to heterodox.

    Or “moderate” would work: I kind of feel far left of traditionalists and far right of progressives so moderate seems a fair description.

  168. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    I’ve heard of ‘Comic Sans Day': have we just passed some time-zone boundary into ‘Italic Day’?

  169. Elizabeth D says:

    I have called myself traditional-minded before, but I can’t remember having ever identified myself as a traditionalist. Though, there’s a sense in which all Catholics whatsoever are supposed to be traditionalists. I am just a Catholic. I have broad interests. I am very engaged in serving the poor, also very interested in pro-life, I attend the Novus Ordo Mass seven days a week and also attend the Traditional Latin Mass on Sunday. I like all of authentic Catholicism.

  170. RafkasRoad says:

    Commenter #45 Muv,

    Simply because there are upwards of 20 other Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome who are not Roman Catholic; e.g. Anglican Ordinariate, Maronite, Melchite, Chaldean, Ukranian, Byzantine, Slavonic, Cyro-Malabarite, Coptic (Catholic), Ethiopian (Catholic) etc.

    Might I suggest Aussie Catholic; in my experience, Roman Rite Catholic Christianity in Australia though in some instances containing some concerning acretions (re music, even standards of confessor etc.) by and large avoid the polar opposite spectrum evident in North America. Even when there have been guitars etc., there have also been ‘bells and smells’ reverence throughout the liturgy, priest facing tabernacle at points throughout the mass, good sermons, even when EHMC’s in use, they are trained to efficiently and reverently give on the tongue, a largely live and let live attitude amongst Parishioners, younger priests encouraging adoration, Divine Mercy Hour, Rosary, daily prayer and Bible study, the reality of good evil, God and satan, not afraid to speak hard truths but do it in a way that convinces and draws forward to ‘go, and sin no more’ rather than crush etc. yes, there are some significant issues out there in the burbs, but the high level toxicity I’ve read of re the North American Catholic experience in on-line for a seems to be largely abscent. This is also attested to by fellow theology students who have spent time in North America and were stunned by the levels of polarisation.

    So, for me,

    Aussie Catholic,
    as another reader has suggested ‘Traddie’,
    or in my case, I self identify as ‘Hippy Trad’ (go and mull this one over for a while :-) )
    and I would very gladly wear the label of Chestertonian Catholic!! :-)

    Blessings,

    Maronite Soul (Aussie Maronite)

  171. PA mom says:

    Tradition friendly, Beauty-loving Catholic.
    Go to a reverent OF exclusively, love beautiful music, beautiful art, beautiful churches and beautiful explanations of the teachings and mysteries of the Church (that would be you, Fr Z). All of that can be new or old, Latin or English (I would love more old and more Latin, bu not exclusively).

  172. Felicia says:

    I’d call myself “hardcore Catholic”.

  173. Lavrans says:

    Oh, nothing much really.

    Just a priest, prophet, and king.

    That’s all.

  174. Lisa Graas says:

    Father, I should have said Catholic Convert. Please add a Catholic Convert option to the poll.

  175. letchitsa1 says:

    I consider myself to be orthodox Catholic. On some things I am conservative, on others, I am liberal.

  176. Former Altar Boy says:

    Practicing orthodox Catholic.

  177. KAS says:

    I am a Roman Catholic who tries very hard to be orthodox.

    I love both the Extraordinary form of the Mass AND Vatican II.

  178. Three_Kings says:

    Catholic

  179. Jeannie_C says:

    I am a Christian.

  180. jameeka says:

    Real Catholic :)– (apologies to Voris)

  181. Maria says:

    Labeling for me means classification, thus, we are not united as Catholics. I aim for unity, for us Catholics. We are here only to love, to honor and to serve our Blessed Lord for our salvation. I am only a Catholic hoping to be a good witness worthy to be His dwelling place, His temple.

  182. Seattle Trad says:

    Poor Sinner….and eschew, “Active Member of the Faith Community”

  183. Lavrans says:

    Actually, most people label me as “medieval”

    Or just “crazy”

    Those work too.

  184. patrick wells says:

    I consider myself a traditionalist but I limit my church attendance to Ecclesia Dei or Diocesan TLMs now that they are available.

    BUT I recognize NONE of those would be in existence without the SSPX. I think Archbishop Levebre will be canonized in two hundred years as one who preserved the faith and Tradition against all odds when the power structures of the Church were held by a crop of corrupt and grossly incompetent prelates that hasn’t been seen in such numbers since Arianism’s heyday.

    I look forward to the suppression of the VALID but grotesquely cobbled together by committee Missal of Paul VI. It was a vast prudential mistake and it does not deserve to go exist even a single full century. It may be valid but it is a Frankenstein mass and suffers from its flawed theology and its cut-and-paste artificiality.

    And yes, we need to fix Holy Week in the 1962 Missal. But certain battles can wait a bit longer.

  185. tnconvert says:

    When I came into full communion, I told my husband, “it’s all or nothing!”. Calling myself Catholic means just that- faithful to the teachings Christ entrusted to the Church and to his Vicar. It saddens me that so many call themselves Catholic, who are not.

  186. Bruce Wayne says:

    TraditionalISM, like ModernISM are most properly terms for heresies. We are now most familiar with modernism as it is incredibly rampant or even dominant but traditionalism was a fideistic form of heresy that did crop up in nineteenth century reactionary Catholic thought. The real problem here is the importation of terms from secular thought, from politics, into an ecclesial and theological context where the only descriptors of beliefs that should be used are ones like orthodox, dissenting, and heterodox. As for a “label” the only one that seems acceptable to me at all is “Roman Catholic.” Then as a label of my thought process it would be (I always hope) “orthodox.”

    I am surprised though that I have not noticed “Jacobite” listed above . If we are going to try and combine politics and theology into a label then let’s call for a return of an English Catholic monarchy . . .

  187. Matthew78 says:

    Catholic – traditional/orthodox

  188. joan ellen says:

    leon says:
    1 August 2013 at 5:26 pm – “I am a ‘Cardinal Francis George Catholic’. Put me in his category.”

    I like Cardinal George also. He once said: “There are some of us to the left of Rome, some to the right of Rome, and some down the middle with Rome.”

    Ben Kenobi says:
    1 August 2013 at 5:11 pm
    “I’m a Catholic, obedient to the magisterium.”
    Tradster says:
    1 August 2013 at 7:00 pm – “Magisterium Catholic”
    Hibernian Faitfhful says:
    1 August 2013 at 9:00 pm “Magisterium Catholic”

    Some of us are using: Magisterial Roman Catholic.

    But it is less confusing, perhaps, to think in terms of :
    Philemon says:
    1 August 2013 at 5:14 pm
    “It looks like there is a kind of longing for Geek Code (please, Google it) except redone for Catholics.”

    “I’m not sure what side I might be taking in fights that have been underway for decades.”
    “On the other hand, it’s helpful to give someone a thumbnail,sketch of where you stand, without taking hours to explain your every position. The only thing that made sense for me in this regard was to adopt the 3 main labels use in Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform.

    I agree as Philemon says. These descriptors make sense. I identify with Orthodox Catholic as much as I do Magisterial Roman Catholic.

  189. Ben Kenobi says:

    @Bruce Wayne

    Have a look at ‘legitimiste’. ;)

  190. TNCath says:

    Just Catholic. Labels such as “Traditional,” “Conservative,” “Progressive,” or “Lefties” only gives credence to those who disagree with Church teaching and profess to be Catholic.

  191. Jon says:

    Traditionalist.

    Novus Ordo delenda est.

  192. swilson18 says:

    In light of this verse from Hebrews:

    “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” (Heb 12:28)

    I offer these nomenclatures:

    God-fearing Catholic
    Reverential Catholic
    Awe struck Catholic

  193. Nan says:

    Catholic.

    Canon law puts me in the Ruthenian Church; sometimes eastern rite Churches are described as “Orthdox in communion with Rome,” so for those of you who describe yourselves as Orthodox Catholic, that may not be as precise a term as you believe.

    My Roman parish is strictly by the book and I don’t mean the Vatican II wish book either!

    I also sang in a parish in another country in the late 80’s, in the vernacular; it was a small enclave, the native language of which was Latin. At least I assume that’s the case as the parish is in what used to be Emona, in the Roman province of Italy.

    See. Catholic. Just Catholic.

  194. Adam Welp says:

    Catholic

    That is the only label I need. I was born 19 years into the “Spirit of Vatican II” experiment, I didn’t know what Latin in Mass was until I saw EWTN for the first time as a sophomore in high school, and it was EWTN that gave me my first taste of the EF. It is amazing that people my generation and younger were robbed of this wonderful foretaste of Heaven. I have also taken it upon myself to actually read the documents of Vatican II, and boy was I lied to when I was in Catholic elementary school. I thank God that He is sending us good and orthodox seminarians that, when ordained, will bring about the true reform that the Council called for. I hope that in my lifetime every parish is a carbon copy of parishes like St. John Cantius or St. Peter in Omaha.

  195. Inigo says:

    Roman Catholic.

    If this isn’t enough to describe someone, that is a problem. I personally think, that the hardest thing to achieve nowadays is to be simply Roman Catholic, without belonging to any factions. Factions are bad, the truth is always in the middle, and as we know, it is a narrow path to walk.

  196. jacobi says:

    CATHOLIC

  197. mimicaterina says:

    Catholic.

    This means that I find deep joy in my Faith, have no issues with the Magisterium, accept all of the Church’s dogmas and moral teachings, have no problem with either the old Latin Mass nor with a reverent Novus Ordo Mass (this means no quirky innovations), accept all of the Church’s councils including Vatican II, and don’t belong to any faction.

  198. jflare says:

    “traditional-leaning orthodox” strikes me as most accurate

  199. JabbaPapa says:

    Definition of an orthodox Catholic — A Faithful Catholic who is constantly attacked by Traditionalists, Liberals, Progressives, Atheists, Protestants, Satan, non-Catholics, Political Militants, and “café catholics”.

  200. Martlet says:

    I can’t categorise myself. Thought long and hard about this and I can’t find a label because I am 100% with the Pope and the teachings of the Catholic Church, which has friends – and most family members – labelling me a conservative. I love every legitimate style of worship as long as it takes its time. I enjoy Gregorian Chant very much, but in a different and yet still spiritual way, enjoy worshipping with LifeTeen. And I remember when Cardinal Dolan was an auxilliary bishop in St Louis. He was offering Mass for the charismatic community on the eve of Pentecost. Smiling in that broad manner of his, he said, “And to think, I started my day celebrating a traditional Mass with some nuns…” Yes, I do have a label, the same as everyone else here. CATHOLIC — to the very core, praise God!

  201. Johnsum says:

    Benedict XVI Catholic

  202. postAngloCatholic says:

    Authentic Catholic
    ‘authentic’ as in
    •of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine
    •made or done in the traditional or original way, or in a way that faithfully resembles its originators
    •based on facts; accurate and reliable
    •an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposive, and responsible mode of Christian life.

  203. Tony McGough says:

    Catholic.

    Who loves Gregorian chant, and accepts any authorised rite performed with devotion.

  204. Obumbrabit says:

    I’m a “Cafeteria Traditionalist”

  205. JonPatrick says:

    Roman Catholic.

  206. tonesing says:

    I am a “Recovering Ultramontanist” (for the last four months or so), a tradition-minded Catholic (or traditional Catholic, but never traditionalist), a Summorum Pontificum Catholic (as opposed to Environment and Art in Catholic (sic) Worship Catholics and Quo Primum-is-the-only-papal-bull–I-quote Catholics.

  207. Christopher says:

    Orthodox Traditionalist Catholic.

  208. bookworm says:

    I’m a “practicing Catholic”…. I have to keep practicing until I get it right :-)

  209. paterpetri says:

    Sinner

  210. Darren says:

    I call myself an “Orthodox Catholic”

    (which is confusing to some, even Catholics, who think the word orthodox simply refers to the eastern orthodox church.)

    Also: “Lover of Catholic Tradition” (gimme the smells and bells etc… I do prefer)

  211. The Masked Chicken says:

    Fr. Z., could you, please, fix the italics problem? It occurred way upstream at august 1, 8:14 pm.

    The Chicken

  212. JesusFreak84 says:

    Traditionalist. Sometimes I’ll say rad-trad if I want to troll a liberal, and though I’ve seen “mad trad” used pejoratively, that also fits =-p

  213. Imrahil says:

    I really like the term “Cafeteria Traditionalist” presented above.

    As for factions: We are a faction, and I don’t perceive it good to deny it. Besides, the sort of people who say “I’m just Catholic” are very likely, because pressed by the very nature of their self-description, to excommunicate many fellow-Catholics who may indeed be wrong, but are still members of the Church. Forgive the frank word.

    It is, of course, a modern democratic prejudice that truth is always in the middle. That is, in a sense it is trivially true (you can always err in both directions whatever serves as directions), but beyond that I see no value in ascertaining what the middle is. If “middle” be understood as it usually is in politics, it means indecision. Hence I’m not a middle man.

    I’m one longing for belonging to a faction and totally subscribe to its opinions, but has not found one yet.

    Ideologically, I may subscribe to the the thinking of the right, which perhaps can be summarized in the attitude that there are default-values for certain variables which are handed down to us by our ancestors and may be changed on occasion, but never deprecated except when after understanding all of it we conclude that they were really wrong, and certainly not on the grounds that they do not yet fit into a system of thinking we made up. Seems quite traditionalist after all.
    In addition, I am a liberal in the good old (European) sense of the word. I believe that rules should never be made save for reasons, and reasons of necessity or at least of virtual unanimity, not of majority. The way freedom is exercised, guaranteed and limited is subsidiarity: the smaller entity whatever it can do for itself. (Not sure yet whether to put the individuum or the family at the most important position.)
    I certainly am for Natural Law.
    And having a high reverence for Gilbert Keith Chesterton who was probably called a leftist in his days, maybe I am to extents a leftist.
    And still I have no particular grudge against Bismarckian social security (which Chesterton did).

    I deplore that Conservative parties have no ideology of their own, only the “down with the bad things” (I got this wording, which describes a previous feeling of mine, from a citation of Bernanos in a work of Kuehnelt-Leddihn), and if they have, it’s often just the caricature called Randianism. Also that they never seem to take up a fight to gain back what was lost (e. g. cancel same-sex-marriage, which they fought upon introduction, after it was introduced; re-criminalize abortion; abolish positive-discrimination-laws, and so on). “Conservatives” indeed; and who is merely conservative has no opinion of himself. If you have one (and one on this side of the spectrum), you are also reactionary.

    As the monarchy or even the Jacobitism, that very flattering English love for the Duke of Bavaria, has been mentioned: in that I am torn in two. I would not like to see a Hohenzollern restauration, and I am German and, in an election, would vote to remain German. On the other hand, in an election of a hypothetically separate Bavaria whether or not reintroduce monarchy, I would vote “yea” with a hurray alongside. A federal republic with a kingdom inside does not work though.

    Now why all these politics?
    Because while I theoretically subscribe to the idea to make political decisions of one’s own… still I have yet to find a single interesting [that word should have been italicised] political problem which, after all reasoning is said and done, remains a matter of “you can decide like this or like that just as you like”. Chesterton said (approximately) that everything is religion or politics. I think that also, almost everything is religion and politics at the same time. (I have a religious reason, the freedom of the Christianman in matters not sinful, for opposing the smoking ban in pubs.)

    No what does that make for a label?

    “semi-laxist* liturgically liberal** orthodox*** traditional Catholic”

    *the technical term is “probabilist”. Laxism, in the sense of going beyond what is called probabilism, is a position the Church condemned, for the quite justifying reason that it was nonsense. Yet probabilism itself which is held by the Church, and allows freedom when you have actual reasons for the opinion that the law does not hold, is something which sounds quite latitudianarian in itself when you hear it laid down, which is why I called it semi-laxist here to convey that impression. I include it in the labeling because I do not subscribe to the moralist tone sometimes heard among orthodox Catholics.

    **in the sense that I do not see anything beautiful as ritually impure, including the guitar or “Shine, Jesus, shine“. Not in the sense that I’d want to exile high liturgy or confine it to some limbo, on the contrary it has to be the ground of orientation. I do not either mean there was a right to break a liturgical law. I do mean, though, that there is a right to petition for a dispensation from the law to the responsible authority, and to use the allowances the law includes, even if we’d prefer them to be removed.

    ***serves to express a distanciation both from the heresy of fideism, which used to be also called traditionalism in its day despite having nothing to do what we now understand as traditionalism, and also some errors of traditionalists. I may add at this point that beyond accepting the Ordinary Form (as lesser in quality), I even attend it most of the time I attend Mass. Mass is Mass after all. I prefer the EF though and have reasons to do so.

    [Wow. Long for this sort of thing.]

  214. stillkickin says:

    I would use Orthodoxy / Orthopraxy

  215. Menagerie says:

    Catholic.

    I converted when I was 19 years old because I had been looking for the church that was one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic all my young life without knowing what I was looking for. I looked forward to the unity of the Catholic Church after the chaotic mess of Protestant churches I had attended. I have never gotten over my dissappointment that my naive hope was completely wrong.

  216. Tridentine Catholic says:

    I call myself a “Tridentine Catholic” I practice the Traditional Catholic Faith and reject the Modernist Heresy. I choose to attend the Traditional Latin Mass whenever possible, and to avoid the Novus Ordo Mass (New Mass) as much as possible.

  217. wmeyer says:

    Roman Catholic.

    I favor the EF and the traditional confessional, and would banish Haugen, Haas, et al from the Mass.

  218. robtbrown says:

    Thomist who understands the importance of Latin in the life of the Church (cf Veterum Sapientia).

  219. jeffreyquick says:

    Mackerel Snapper!

  220. Roman Catholic (old school, with a twist)

  221. my soul waits for you alone says:

    Catholic convert
    Learning to love the TLM
    (I dislike neocon, I am not on the fence, I am just not all the way there in the learning process)
    Don’t mind a correctly done NO, but those are few and far between
    personally Charismatic
    Pro life activist

    –not sure how to roll that into a concise label, but I have loved reading everyone else’s!

    +JMJ+

  222. Stephen D says:

    Whatever we might be we are NOT ‘ROMAN CATHOLICS’, a term invented by Anglicans to imply that the Catholic Church is merely part of a wider ‘Catholic’ Church that (as you would guess) includes themselves. I truly wish that Catholics would realise this fact and reject this inaccurate title for the ONE Holy Catholic Apostolic Church.

  223. norancor says:

    “Traditional Catholics” aka “trads”

    Once you say “traditional Catholic” would count seven subgroups of trads.

    For the record I am a #4 who sympathizes with #1-5, less #6, and eschew #7’s as a din of cranks and the unstable, but I still pray for them.

    1. Trads in the making: people who have no EF around, but have rejected most of the abuses of the OF, and grit their teeth through Mass until they can find a way to get, or move near, an EF Mass. Tend to be a lot of home-schoolers in this group, who loath the local parochial school system and diocese. Usually don’t care about Vatican II in any real way.

    2. Con-trads: conservatives who attend the TLM for aesthetics and the absence of abuse. If there was an OF traditionally oriented, they would go there instead. Pretty defensive about Vatican II criticism.

    3. Mainstream trads: I would count Fr. Z as a mainstream trad. Enjoy and support both forms, and tend to think very Benedictine about using the EF to rub off on the OF. Open minded about Vatican II, both the good and the bad.

    4. Dedicated trads: those that rarely, if ever, go to the OF and attend diocesan or ordered TLMs almost exclusively. Still attest to the validity of the OF and Vatican II, but are mainly critical of them.

    5. Non-sede trads: mainly the SSPX and independent non-sede chapel attendees, who have a general mistrust of the Church, their diocese and bishop, and would stay home before they would go to the OF or have anything to do with it. Eschew Vatican II and the OF.

    6. Intellectual sedes and independents: trads who are all of #4, but also believe the last five or six popes are some sort of heretic, and thus not pope, making a level headed Scholastic argument for it based on St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Cajetan, and St. Thomas. Fr. Anthony Cekada falls into this category, along with John Lane and others on sedevacantist.org. Vatican II and the OF = fake.

    7. The spittle flecked nutty crowd: there is a conspiracy everywhere, anti-popes, and almost no one has valid Sacraments anymore. Usually might not even go to Mass now because they doubt all of them, but strangely might attend an Eastern Rite whose liturgy has been uncorrupted, and doesn’t tell anybody they are a wingnut. These folks tend to troll blogs and Facebook making hey about their pet theories. Vatican II and the OF are from the anti-christ, new world order, masonic jewry network of communists.

  224. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Unreconstructed reprobate

  225. Athelstan says:

    I am a “Traditionalist Ordinariate Catholic.” I only attend the TLM and a very traditional Anglican Use (and the occasional Eastern Rite, when the occasional presents itself), save in grave circumstances.

    But I don’t know how useful that is, since there are bound to be very few Ordinariate types posting here.

    I tend to like norancor‘s divisions of traditionalist, though I think “spittle-flecked nutties” can be had by some of the folks in other groups. I also think these people are a smaller minority than most credit – they are disproportionately online, and this magnifies their presence.

  226. eben says:

    “Orthodox Roman Catholic”.

  227. Eraser says:

    Catholic & orthodox.

  228. Titus says:

    “-why are we all suddenly commenting in italics?”

    Someone left the italics tag open, so the formatting runs down the page until it’s closed. Let’s see if this works.

    As for the question, I tend to go with “Traditional Catholic.” I try not to make my practice of the Faith an “ism,” but it is accurate to say that I prefer and try to observe traditional practices where possible.

  229. Sonshine135 says:

    Prag Trad- I am a pragmatist in that I prefer the EF, but I’m not going to drive 300 miles to get it like the Rad Trad will.

  230. Jess says:

    Orthodox Roman Catholic

  231. Cosmos says:

    Traditional Catholic.

    I like labels and think they are generally helpful if applied thoughtfully.

    I tend to think Catholic history is not neat and tidy and that the Church often falls into the major errors of its day- at least exteriorly. This means its not as easy as accepting everything that the current leadership says and getting on with it. You have to stay rooted in the Fathers, great devotions, and classic texts.

  232. norancor says:

    Cheesesteak Expert Has Is (almost)

    Unreconstructed Ossified Catholic! Ooo, ooo… we need SWAG!

  233. RJHighland says:

    I would pray that one day the word Catholic, made popular by St. Ignatius, would apply to all that believe in the whole teachings of Jesus Christ and His Bride the Church and that there would be one common interpretation of these Truths. But since there is such a great divide in interpretation and application I would classify myself and family as Traditional Catholics that are conservative in our faith and politics. I personally arrived at this state in life coming from a conservative Baptist upbringing and marrying an incredible woman that helped lead me to the truth. Our journey in faith has lead us from bi-religious marriage to my conversion to the Catholic Faith and attending the Novus Ordo with conservative leaning then watching a new priest come in a take our parish to a more progressive/liberal Novus Ordo experience, which after much prayer lead us to a parish that celebrated the TLM. Our Bishop removed the priest from the parish that offered the TLM and sent him to the far end of the Dioceses which lead us to the SSPX chapel in town. We love our chapel and truly believe this is where God wants us to be and no worries about contradictory theology everybody seems to be on the same sheet music. A great place to raise our children in the faith of all time. We continue to pray for reconciliation with Rome but in our Dioceses this chapel is a safe harbor in which to raise our children and protect them from the storms that are rocking the orthodoxy of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

  234. JamesA says:

    Whew. Lots of stuff to wade through, Father. The more you read, the more you see how most labels just don’t cut it. The spectrum is just too wide.
    I usually would identify as conservative/ traditional with a small “t”.
    I thought “High Church Catholic” had a nice ring to it, possibly because I am a former Anglican. It kind of covers the field. Although that suggests that “low Church” is just as legitimate.

  235. bernadette says:

    Daughter of the Church

    Love and prefer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass but am very happy to attend a well done Novus Ordo.
    Scapular wearing, rosary praying, adoration attending
    I try to be obedient to the magisterium in all that it teaches
    “Bedazzled” Catholic. I lifted that term from the composer Messaien but it describes me well.

  236. RJHighland says:

    Norancor,
    Love your breakdown of Traditionlists, it looks like I would be a 5.

  237. JesusFreak84 says:

    @StephenD
    The term Roman Catholic isn’t completely useless; there’s Eastern Rites, too, and I’ve been one of many trads in the past who’s sough shelter there. When I’m at my parents’ house, I skip their parish all together and attend a Ukrainian Catholic parish nearby, and there’s plenty of Roman Rite Catholics there. For us in that context, using the term “Roman Catholic” actually does mean something, and can have canonical implications as well. However, when used by WASPs, yes the idea was to emphasize the “foreignness” of Catholicism, but in the USA, at least, I think this use has been totally lost.

    And in @norancor ‘s list, I’d easily count myself as 4.

  238. rayrondini says:

    I’m just Catholic, dammit!

  239. Fr Jackson says:

    How about “SSPX uniate”? :)
    Subscribing to a “hermeneutic of continuity” while respectfully rejecting the hermeneutic of continuity of Benedict XVI (in favor of something closer to a Gherardini-style hermeneutic of continuity).

    [Interesting.]

  240. Stephen D says:

    @Jesusfreak. We are Latin Rite Catholics aren’t we?

  241. JesusFreak84 says:

    @StephenD Not everyone on this blog necessarily is, and as far as the Eastern Rites, they’d probably take offense if you called them Latin Rite =-p A Byzantine Catholic, a Ukrainian, etc., is neither Roman nor Latin in any way, shape, or form.

  242. Tantum Ergo says:

    Traditional Catholic

  243. Stephen D says:

    P.S. I recall a dispute, many years ago, between an Anglican clergyman and a Catholic priest. Both had the word ‘Catholic’ on their church boards. The Anglican church was there first and the clergyman inisted that the priest should include the word ‘Roman’ ‘to avoid confusion’!! What a cheek!

  244. Chick says:

    I would say Orthodox Catholic… not quite to the uber-Catholic or Catholic Taliban level.

  245. StJude says:

    Catholic

  246. MikeM says:

    Honestly, I wish I knew how to describe myself. I suppose “just Catholic” is as good as I can find. I just want things to be done right and well.

  247. De Tribulis says:

    Catholicior te ;)

    (that’s ablative of comparison, if anyone’s wondering)

  248. Nordic Breed says:

    I am Catholic. Just plain Catholic. I am not an “ist” of anything. Don’t call me that just because I attend the EF. Please.

  249. lucy says:

    My husband and I both agree we’d label ourselves as: Traditional Catholics

    Traditional Catholics (but, not “trad” per se – that name seems to have a bad connotation, we believe that the pope is authentic, VII is a valid council, etc. We only have issues with how things changed after VII as in the liberals took their inch and ran a mile and did things they weren’t supposed to do. We are completely attached to the EF.) Our children also prefer the EF because it’s quieter and more meditative.

  250. mamafrog says:

    Faithful Catholic. By that I mean, I try to follow everything the church teaches (and of course fail all the time).

  251. Jim says:

    I think it is sad that we should have to use anything more than “Catholic” to define ourselves.

    St. Ignatius of Antioch: “See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”

  252. av8er says:

    Traditionalist friendly conservative. Formerly cafeteria catholic.

    Would go to EF if one were available where I live.

  253. JaneC says:

    I like the term mamamagistra mentioned above, “Trad with Ordinary Form sympathies.”

    The OF can be ok, but the more time I spend with the EF and with the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the more I am dissatisfied with the OF. Nevertheless–and this is what makes me not really a traditionalist–I do believe that the EF needed some kind of reform, but that the reform that actually happened made things worse instead of better.

  254. frahobbit says:

    Traditionalist-friendly

  255. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    People have come up with some pithy labels for themselves. It has been entertaining reading.

    Upon the day I draw my final breath, I hope to be found a “Love. Jesus. Simple.” Catholic.

  256. “Mackerel-Snapper” is my favourite new word so far. I’m a happy Catholic.

    (also, don’t forget to close your html tags!)

  257. JohnW says:

    Roman Catholic! I prefer the traditional Mass. The Mass of my family for over a thousand years. It is great to have a FSSP parish to attend.

  258. Cathy says:

    I guess maybe Classical Catholic with the mindset that we’ve traded, in many aspects, Rembrandt and Michealangelo for Picasso, in art; Mozart and Beethoven for the Mama’s and the Papa’s, in music; and the kitchen table for the classical High Altar for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. When the atmospheric pedagogy of the liturgy is worldly, it invites the people to be worldly. I guess I want the atmospheric pedagogy of the liturgy to be Heavenly.

  259. darkwing says:

    Usus Antiqui-curious?

  260. oblomov says:

    Roman Catholic

  261. Bruce says:

    Ratzinger Catholic.

  262. tncovert wrote,

    “When I came into full communion, I told my husband, “it’s all or nothing!”. Calling myself Catholic means just that- faithful to the teachings Christ entrusted to the Church and to his Vicar. It saddens me that so many call themselves Catholic, who are not.”

    AMEN!!

  263. PostCatholic says:

    Former Catholic,
    Post-Christian,
    Unitarian Universalist.

    I dislike:
    Ex-Catholic,
    Protestant,
    Non-Catholic, and especially dislike
    Recovering Catholic.

    Though I suspect you have no need of these for your poll. I will await the poll and its results with interest.

  264. marypatricia says:

    Practising Catholic.

  265. 1173justin says:

    orthodox

  266. I would usually say ‘Catholic’ but never ‘Roman Catholic’ – the latter often being used by Anglicans who wish to make us look like a denomination.

    Incidentally I went to a Mass at an Eastern rite Cathedral in Sydney and the priest there confirmed to me that although he is loyal to and faithful to the Pope he wouldn’t consider himself ‘Roman Catholic.’

    Sometimes I say Catholic Christian or simply Christian. It’s only when quizzed further that I say that I prefer the traditional Latin Mass, altar rails, maniples, papal tiaras and birettas.

  267. asophist says:

    I would call myself an “original traditionalist” – in other words, somebody who is old enough to have been a traditional Catholic before there was any other kind of Catholic (i.e., I grew up in the 1950’s), and have always and only been a traditionalist. Any other kind of Catholic is, to me, not exactly Catholic. Where did these other kinds of Catholics come from, anyway? Under a rock? Having more than one kind of Catholic is, I think, symptomatic of some kind of ecclesial disease.

  268. kneeling catholic says:

    Father,

    I’m afraid I’m a traditionalist, even though I think if banging a tambourine in someone’s ears would make them kneel down for Holy Communion, then I’d be all for that as well! :-)

    Traditionalist…but reluctantly so. I think the beauty of Catholic tradition offends no-one, (take for example Larissa Viana’s Panis Angelicus! or her Salve Regina!) while the new stuff, like dancing Bishops or Marty Haugen music or the Rio Zigurrat Cathedral or even the Holy Father’s mother-ship (the Hotel 6), either severely offends a significant number of pious Catholics or else leaves them feeling puzzled at best.

    Traditionalist…by process of elimination

  269. AnnM says:

    I was going to say “Catholic” but maybe that needs a qualification, since some commenters seem to be interpreting “Catholic” in their own image, as it were, ie they are the only “real” Catholics. Perhaps “Obedient Catholic” might be near the mark, in that I try to be obedient to our Pope and current Church teaching, not to something I would prefer him, or it, to be. I certainly have my liturgical preferences but I would not call things which the Church currently permits – be it EF Masses, Guitar Masses, whatever, somehow “un-Catholic”, just because I don’t happen to like them. How good if we could all just call ourselves “Catholics” and forget all those labels!

  270. Imrahil says:

    In the dear @Norancor’s neat distinction, I’m a

    mainly OF-attending non-sede trad (without, obviously, the “eschewing” part of the definition, though I would like it, prudential arguments set aside, if the Church’s legislator reversed the present statuses of OF and EF).

  271. maryh says:

    Guess I’m a 3 by @norancor’s list.

  272. Bea says:

    “Christ-Centered Roman Catholic”

    There was a time when such a poll/discussion would be ludicrous.

    You either WERE or WERE NOT Roman Catholic
    You either BELIEVED or DID NOT BELIEVE ALL (and I mean ALL with triple highlight) that the Church taught,
    otherwise :
    you were an apostate/a heretic/a pagan/a reprobate/…. (fill in your own description).
    nowadays:
    you are a “loyal dissenter”/cafeteria Catholic/progressive/reformist/…(fill in your own description).

  273. elaine says:

    orthodox Catholic

  274. Matt8006 says:

    I am simply Catholic. Nothing more, nothing less.

  275. UncleBlobb says:

    Orthodox, traditionalist Catholic.

  276. wecahill says:

    A very wise man once said “Liberal is the opposite of stingy; conservative is the opposite of destructive; radical is the opposite of superficial” (R.A. Lafferty). One might add that ‘reactionary’ is the opposite of dead. To be Catholic is to be all of these things. Yet if I call myself a Radical Conservative Liberal Reactionary, most people will be confused. I opt for the simple term “Catholic”. Alternatively, as my in-laws in Honduras would say, “Catolico, Romano y Apostolico”!

  277. BLB Oregon says:

    I’d say “just Roman Catholic”, but I suppose if a billion human beings are all doing the same thing, it has to come in flavors, doesn’t it?

    Whatever say-the-black-do-the-red-and-try-to-be-patient-with-everything-that-falls-within-that is, I guess I’m that. I’m know-it-don’t-water-it-down. I don’t believe the rubrics are arbitrary, and I do believe that the facts of the faith matter. Still, although I have my preferences that go beyond the minimum requirements of the rules that I like to think are more reverent, some of the people I know who like bad music are very devout and find a lot of real virtue in it, they’re acting so as to line up with the sheep and not the goats, so that makes that awful music a lot more edifying. God can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, it would seem. I try to measure with a generous measure on that kind of thing, even when it is like nails on a chalkboard to me, because what goes around comes around.

  278. pinoytraddie says:

    I could only describe myself as a “born again trentecoastal”,meaning that I am open to contemplative expressions of Catholic Charismatic Worship outside the Sacred Liturgy while also Promoting Renewal of the Church through the Extraordinary Form and the Fractional Doctrine behind it.

    In Terms of the Social Teachings:I am an Old School “Corporatist” in the line with the Great Heldenkanzler Dollfuß,with a Monarchistic Streak.(I have Spanish-Filipino blood running trough my veins).

  279. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    StephenD got me wondering about the history of the English-language usage, ‘Roman Catholic’, and if the old Catholic Encyclopedia might have some account of it: do they ever! A whole article from 1912 entitled “Roman Catholic” by none other than the great Herbert Thurston, S.J., who sets out among other things to correct “the ‘Oxford English Dictionary’, the highest existing authority upon questions of English philology,” where the account given although it “is in substance correct, […] cannot be considered satisfactory.” The whole article is well worth reading, but probably the most relevant section here is from where (in 1901) Cardinal Vaughan “explained clearly to his audience that ‘the term Roman Catholic has two meanings; a meaning that we repudiate and a meaning that we accept.’ The repudiated sense was that dear to many Protestants, according to which the term Catholic was a genus which resolved itself into the species Roman Catholic, Anglo-Catholic, Greek Catholic, etc. But, as the cardinal insisted, ‘with us the prefix Roman is not restrictive to a species, or a section, but simply declaratory of Catholic.’ The prefix in this sense draws attention to the unity of the Church, and ‘insists that the central point of Catholicity is Roman, the Roman See of St. Peter.’ ”

    Fr. Thurston continues, “It is noteworthy that the representative Anglican divine, Bishop Andrewes, in his ‘Tortura Torti’ (1609) ridicules the phrase Ecclesia Catholica Romana as a contradiction in terms. ‘What,’ he asks, ‘is the object of adding “Roman”? The only purpose that such an adjunct can serve is to distinguish your Catholic Church from another Catholic Church which is not Roman’ (p. 368). It is this very common line of argument which imposes upon Catholics the necessity of making no compromise in the matter of their own name. The loyal adherents of the Holy See did not begin in the sixteenth century to call themselves ‘Catholics’ for controversial purposes. It is the traditional name handed down to us continuously from the time of St. Augustine. We use this name ourselves and ask those outside the Church to use it, without reference to its signification simply because it is our customary name, just as we talk of the Russian Church as ‘the Orthodox Church’, not because we recognize its orthodoxy but because its members so style themselves, or again just as we speak of ‘the Reformation’ because it is the term established by custom, though we are far from owning that it was a reformation in either faith or morals.”

    It is interesting to note that C.S. Lewis did not seem convinced of the sufficiency of usage “without reference to its signification”, at least where discussing works of “religious controversy” in English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, Excluding Drama (1954).

  280. Lisa Graas says:

    One thing that bothers me about this entire debate re: “who is a Catholic” is something that I have learned from experience in apologetics. It is helpful to explain to protestants properly baptized that they are Catholic and just don’t realize it. We are united in baptism (provided that the baptism is done properly.) I understand that most people who ID as Catholic would probably have some form of objection to that suggestion….but from an apologetics perspective it’s a helpful thing to say, in my experience.

  281. “I call myself a “Tridentine Catholic” I practice the Traditional Catholic Faith and reject the Modernist Heresy. I choose to attend the Traditional Latin Mass whenever possible, and to avoid the Novus Ordo Mass (New Mass) as much as possible.” I call myself Catholic period. I spent part of youth attending TLM and part the NO(minus the abuses fortunately). I have no desire to see the Church return to the TLM BUT there is room in the Church for BOTH. After all we have 22 Eastern Rites. Heresy is the denial of some part of the faith which must be believed and apostasy is a total separation from the truth. If we’re not the label ‘trad’ that doesn’t make us heretics. We’re all Catholics.Schism is a refusal to submit to the authority of the Church(SSPX). and a sin against charity. Unfortunately i’ve seen SSPX around Facebook and the response from some Catholics has been one of confusion.That is one of the problems with SSPX. I don’t like the labels trad(we all accept Tradition or we wouldn’t be Catholic),liberal and conservative. One submits to the teachings of the Church or one doesn’t. What we need is a radical love for Jesus,the Gospel and His Church ( that would include the form of Mass you choose and submitting to the authority of His Church,period.)

  282. “that would include the form of Mass you choose and submitting to the authority of His Church,period.” meaning attend one of these-> TLM,NO or Eastern Rite Mass and submit to the Church’s authority.All Catholic.

  283. Sr2sr says:

    Orthodox Roman Catholic–Viva Cristo Rey!

  284. Ambrose Jnr says:

    I’d go for Anchorite’s poll choices, Fr…I believe wdtprs’ers could vote on that w/o being confused…

  285. inexcels says:

    I understand the resistance to labels, but statistically speaking, at least here in the U.S. (and in many other Western nations as well), if you’re simply “Catholic” that means you most probably don’t attend Mass regularly, reject the Church’s teaching on contraception, divorce and remarriage, and numerous other issues. Probably not what most of us want to convey.

  286. Jean Marie says:

    Tradition-friendly Orthodox Catholic does it for me.

  287. jenne says:

    Unfinished Catholic – “let it be done according to your will”

  288. Mary S says:

    While being content with a reverent Novus Ordo Mass in itself, I’m otherwise with Michael Voris, who brings clarity to the seriousness of this question. Please view, if you haven’t:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ChurchMilitantTV
    If we continue to accept the abandonment of Church traditions, the next generation will abandon all of Church Tradition.

  289. Alice says:

    I am a sinful Catholic Christian. If I must be labelled, I usually describe myself as a “confessing Catholic” because I probably have the most in common with the other regulars in the confession line.

  290. Servant of the Liturgy says:

    Catholic.

    I’m late getting into this, but I believe that labels such as conservative, liberal, and the like do nothing but cause division, whether or not that is how they are intended. Worse still is when a modifier such as mentioned in the post are thrust upon someone or a collective group.

    Our much-loved Bishop Emeritus would preach in his Confirmation homilies (on racism, but the point remains), “what if someone were to say that there is no place in the Church for people with green eyes, or blue eyes?” After hearing this homily so many times, I made the extension that the Church is open and accepting of all, as long as we are open and accepting of Her.

    P.S. Thank you, Fr. Z, for this discussion, it’s been quite illuminating and entertaining, and has really made me ponder the question.

  291. inexcels makes a good point,”if you’re simply “Catholic” that means you most probably don’t attend Mass regularly, reject the Church’s teaching on contraception, divorce and remarriage, and numerous other issues. Probably not what most of us want to convey.”
    The word we always used for someone like this when I was growing up was lapsed Catholic.

  292. btw.i do not attend Mass these days. I have a disorder(they call it a disease but that sounds contagious to me.God forbid! i wouldn’t wish this on anyone)called Meniere’s and am home bound.I do receive communion on First Fridays.confession when requestedand watch Mass every single day on EWTN. Hoping someday to be able to make it into town for Mass.
    I grew up on the TLM and NO both. So while i say attend Mass am aware there are people who cannot.

  293. joan ellen says:

    BLB Oregon says:
    2 August 2013 at 11:33 pm
    “I’d say “just Roman Catholic”, but I suppose if a billion human beings are all doing the same thing, it has to come in flavors, doesn’t it?”

    These words are worth repeating and convey a whole reality.

  294. Gemma says:

    Roman Catholic.

  295. don Jeffry says:

    I am a “Holistic Catholic”.

  296. xsosdid says:

    Magisterial-oriented, catechized and committed.

    (That’s as close to the marrow as my pith permits)

  297. introibo says:

    Traditional Catholic (“traditional” before “Catholic” should be redundant) continuing to cling for dear life in this unending wretched storm. Also with the reign of the immaculate Heart of Mary in mind – it will be here eventually!

  298. mlwalker1972 says:

    I consider myself a Traditionalist.

    Probably because the word ‘conservative’ has lost any meaning :(

  299. slainewe says:

    I really like pbewig’s description: “from the Catholic branch of the Catholic Church.”

    This is what I mean when I label myself “Traditional Catholic.” As long as Ms. Pelosi can go unchallenged by the hierarchy when she calls herself “Catholic,” how can we call ourselves the same without a footnote?

    “Traditionalist” means SSPX to me.
    “Orthodox” means Eastern Orthodox to me.

    Most everyone I meet, in and outside the Church, understand where I am coming from when I say “Traditional Catholic.” So I stay with it.

  300. theophilus says:

    1 shot of pelagianism
    2 shots of renaissance prince
    3 shots of sad trad
    4 shots of rad trad
    5 shots…. ooops. now I am disillusioned

  301. Gallia Albanensis says:

    Romaion Catholic. Spelling intentional.

  302. Gail F says:

    I say “serious Catholic” most of the time and “actual Catholic” when I’m trying to be humorous. I don’t know what categories would be good to use.

  303. VivaLaMezzo says:

    Tongue-in-cheek portmanteau: TRABID

  304. Gratias says:

    Biritual

  305. Gratias says:

    Cryptopelagian

  306. trespinos says:

    Catholic, tradition-friendly.

  307. AnnAsher says:

    Uh you didn’t know you were a traddy ?
    I consider myself traditional/faithful.

  308. MangiaMamma says:

    Glad Trads
    or
    Bad Trads
    is how we generally describe ourselves!

  309. Hank Igitur says:

    Traditional RC, 1962 missal, in communion with Rome.

  310. AnnAsher says:

    Of the suggestions listed I like : traditional, orthodox, Tridentine(for TLM onlyers), sede leaning, novus ordo and Protestant.

  311. Charivari Rob says:

    “Catholic” or “Roman Catholic” should be enough. Failing that…

    “A Sinner in the Roman Catholic Tradition” is somewhat facetious, but I say it to also convey some serious self-awareness. Anyway, it’s a little less public-planning jargon than “stake-holder in the Salvation paradigm”

    How about “Nicene Creed Catholic”?

    I love and try to live the Traditions of the Church, and I love many of the traditions and forms. I resist the notion (which I see too often) that some particular tradition has some exclusive claim to be Tradition.

  312. pookiesmom says:

    TLM Catholic

  313. Lynn Diane says:

    Long ago I decided that I am a papist. Ubi Petrus ibi ecclesia.

  314. Marlon says:

    Traditional Catholic.

    I avoid the terms “liberal” and “conservative” because they have too many political overtones. I think “Traditional Catholic” is redundant but unfortunately necessary today.

  315. JonPatrick says:

    On the “norancor scale” I guess I’m about a 3.5.

    As noted in the above posts, it seems the term “Catholic” by itself has become such a lowest common denominator that we seem to need modifiers. Part of the problem is that like Judaism people identify as Catholics for cultural reasons rather than strictly religious e.g. if you are Italian, Irish etc then you are Catholic by default.

  316. Bosco says:

    Traditional Catholic

  317. I’m a Rambo Catholic. =)

  318. LarryW2LJ says:

    Baltimore Catechism Catholic is how I define myself.

    Boxerpaws, my Mom had Meniere’s. I know what you are going through and will pray. Has your doctor mentioned / or put you on Vitamin B therapy? It took a while, but it helped make my Mom’s Meneiere’s a bit more manageable.

  319. Jack Regan says:

    What am I?

    A Catholic/ A child of God.

    Or: Orthodox Catholic

  320. Mary Ann says:

    faithful practicing Catholic

  321. Andrew says:

    Hieronymus ad Damasum Papam: “Ego nullum primum, nisi Christum sequens, Beatitudini tuae, id est, cathedrae Petri, cummunione consocior. Super illam Petram aedificatam Ecclesiam scio. Quicumque extra hanc domum agnum comederit, profanus est. Si quis in Noe Arca non fuerit, peribit regnante diluvio.”

  322. ASD says:

    I like to think of myself as a tradition-minded Catholic.

  323. Lucas.Br says:

    I hope the eventual poll will be multi-choice, it is not easy to sum it all up in one option…

    I would go for (not necessarily in this order):

    1) Innovation ex-Cathedra-only Catholic

    2) ‘Please-God-talk-daily-to-the-Pope’ Catholic

    3) Traditional-Church above the State Roman Catholic

    4) ‘Need-Latin-Mass+Gregorian-Chant-like-Oxygen’ Struggling for Eternal Life Catholic

  324. SKAY says:

    Traditional Catholic

  325. everett says:

    “Faithful Catholic.”

  326. dmreed says:

    traditonal Catholic
    (I avoid “isms” as much as possible, which is why dislike the term “traditionalists.” I don’t believe in “Traditionalism”, darn it, I believe in “Catholicism” as it has always been understood.)

  327. I would have to throw in my lot with Geoffrey by describing myself as a “sentire cum ecclesia Catholic,” which I believe puts me in line with Newman, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, to name just a few. Which is not to suggest that I think I am “in the same league” (in the colloquial use of that phrase) with any of them, but does describe my starting point for personal reflection on any particular issue or question which arises in my life. Perhaps a reasonable alternative term might be “obedient Catholic,” although, to me, the latter doesn’t have quite the same transparency as Geoffrey’s phrase.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  328. Lucas Whittaker says:

    Orthodox.

  329. Tim Capps says:

    Conservative.

  330. swissguardwannabe says:

    I am a conservative, of course, but I call my self this: THEOLITRAD ROMAN CATHOLIC. Which is, “Theological, Liturgical, and Traditional, Roman Catholic.”

  331. swissguardwannabe says:

    myself*

  332. Carpe Jvgvlvm says:

    Disgusted Catholic.

    Those who get it, get it. Those who don’t offer to pray a DM for me. Whoo.

  333. MaryRoseM says:

    Before I left the Church, I used to just think everyone was Catholic (and faithful to the Magisterium). When I returned, I realized that pursuing obedience to the faith was now considered “traditional.” I’m traditional.

  334. kelleyb says:

    I am a Roman Catholic. I do not care for ‘labels’ like Traditional, Orthodox, Conservative, Liberal, American. I am a simple person.

  335. ModTrad says:

    I usually just say Roman Catholic, that’s shocking enough sometimes.

    Then I’ll chime in with the keyword: traditional — and mention beauty of tradition, as most of the people I run into aren’t aware of EF Masses or Adoration (as I once was!).

  336. jflare says:

    Did I miss something here?
    I thought I’d stretched things a bit with a three-word phrase.
    I don’t get how these whole paragraph or whole sentence descriptions fit in.

  337. newyork says:

    I try, never hard enough, to be a good Catholic. I am interested in matters relating to the Extraordinary Form and support its freedom of use. Of more direct concern for me, I yearn for priests who will celebrate Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form using the Roman Canon, whether in Latin or English, since it expresses so wonderfully the mysteries of the Mass.

  338. Bonomo says:

    Liturgically Conventional.

  339. I am an orthodox Catholic of the Latin Rite

  340. eremitaosppe says:

    Confused Brother…

    I am a seminarian and monk and study in Rome…. Go figure! :)

  341. Ella says:

    observant Catholic

  342. Ella Minnow says:

    Practicing Catholic

  343. jpii_rox says:

    Lay Catholic.

  344. Simon_GNR says:

    Conservative mainstream

  345. Francesca says:

    Here where I live there are less than 100,000 people who identify as Catholic. And even less of all the other religions.

    I think of us as “The Holy Remnant”.

  346. adambehnke says:

    Conservative and traditionalist friendly (provided they’re not in pseudo-schism).

  347. charismatictrad says:

    Orthodox Roman Catholic.

  348. JacobWall says:

    Christian.

    The more adjectives or specific words we use to describe ourselves, the more space it leaves for liberals, disenters, heretics and breakaway groups to claim the words that rightfully belong to us. For example, if we call ourselves orthodox, tradation-friendly, true-to-the-Magisterium Catholics, it falsely implies that there can be true Catholics who are not orthodox, etc.

    Likewise, many Catholics avoid calling themselves simply “Christian” because it’s been claimed by Protestants, and because liberal “catholics” misuse it to imply that all branches of Christianity are somehow equal. We want to add something more specific to indicate that we are true to the Church – which is the same problem I just described.

    Also, avoiding calling ourselves simply “Christian” implies that the others are right; really, the word belongs most correctly to us. It’s a word we have to reclaim. Non-Catholic Christians are only Christians to the extent that they share the Catholic Faith. The more true any Christian is to the Catholic Magisterium and the more they live the Catholic sacramental life, the more Christian they truly are.

    Yet, although I would say it’s the best word to describe those who would read/enjoy this blog and the like-minded, it’s probably the least useful in any practical sense.

  349. joan ellen says:

    JacobWall says:
    8 August 2013 at 10:42 am
    Christian.

    “The more adjectives or specific words we use to describe ourselves,” IMHO this is showing how lost our Catholic Identity really is. It would be interesting to know how many before VAT II referred to themselves simply as Catholic or Roman Catholic. The other descriptors…adjectives or specific words…were simply not there. Religious affiliation questions most often…well I don’t remember…but something like Catholic or Roman Catholic, Protestant, Other. There may have been 1 or 2 other choices, but I doubt it. I found these links helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_(term) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

    “Yet, although I would say it’s the best word to describe those who would read/enjoy this blog and the like-minded, it’s probably the least useful in any practical sense.” Your call for the word Christian is appreciated, but as you say, not practical at this time.

    Since some of our Christian brothers and sisters do not believe Catholics are Christian, perhaps we should think more in terms of using that term when describing ourselves. So Roman Catholic Christian. Perhaps not. There seems to be a need to identify, IMHO, with the Magisterium in Rome in some fashion to indicate that we 1. are aware of that Magisterium of the Church, 2. are with the Magisterium of the Church, (in heart and soul) and 3. act as a support for that Magisterium of the Church.

  350. deitzcer says:

    Catholic in Toto

    As others have stated, creating separate sects in our faith (traditional, reformed, orthodox, “new”, etc) is not the answer. For the sake of the discussion, a label I suggest is Catholic in Toto. We are either Catholic, entirely Catholic, or not Catholic at all.

    I am an American. I am also a Catholic American. My faith feeds my politics, not the other way around. However, many Catholics have allowed politics to influence their faith, and, in many cases, all through assumption. For example, when I hear phrases like, “I used to be Catholic, but since the church doesn’t allow *blank*, I’m not Catholic anymore.” My first instinct is to ask, “Well, what did you do to stay? Did you talk to your priest before you left the Church? Did you research Catholic doctrine and history to understand the reasoning behind its teachings? Did you study the Bible to truly understand its lessons?” In some cases, individuals reject their Catholic faith in an effort to achieve their status as an intellectual. However, in many of those cases, there is mostly ignorance supporting that effort.

    I went to Catholic school for thirteen years. My husband and I choose to send our children to Catholic school. From 1978 to the present, I personally haven’t seen strong Bible study in the curriculum. Maybe it’s a shortcoming of the Archdiocese in which I have been raised, but any meaningful, spiritually nourishing scripture study I have done at home. The most extensive education I received about Catholic Church history I received from my secular university through an elective class. I learned about the “good” and the “bad” in Catholic history, and I’m still Catholic. It’s our own fault that there is such division in our faith. We don’t educate our children at home or school and we don’t take the initiative to educate ourselves. Honest prayer is always a good place to start. I always try to remind myself of that. Finding solid answers to questions is a continuous effort, and at times, intimidating. There’s no turning back at that point, and the right path to take may not be an easy one. I know that I am still learning.

    There are two aspects to my faith: the deep spiritual relationship I have with God, and the doctrine created by men to help me fulfill it. It is my responsibility to enrich and preserve the sanctity of both. How do we expect to receive sacraments, and to find spiritual fulfillment in the Mass if we tolerate studying the “Cliff Notes” version of their meaning, and sit back to watch the show? Many Catholics choose not to participate in Mass: no vocal participation above a whisper, and by all means, no singing. Church is the only place where I am not embarrassed to sing in the presence of others, because I am singing to praise God. I don’t care if the people around me like my voice. I’m not trying out for the high school musical.

    The majority of the Catholic Church today is so focused on making the faith easier, more modern, more “warm and fuzzy”, that we have corrupted the sanctity of our Mass, and have confused our identity. The teachings of Jesus Christ are not old fashioned, or modern. They are eternal. Through the breeding of ignorance, shame in spirituality, and ego, society views Catholicism as a source of ignorance, shame, and ego. Catholics need to move beyond all of that. They need to wholeheartedly identify their relationship with God, and decide if they are Catholic, Catholic in Toto, or not. Otherwise, the Church will continue down the path of one huge identity crisis.