As I gaze out at the Roman Catholic landscape from my distant perch amongst the flotsam on the hinterlands of ecclesial life I feel somewhat detached and a little at peace. I see the usual suspects frothing at the mouth and frantically trying to either condemn the Pope for his latest remarks or to pacify the faithful that all is well.
These days I don’t care so much. I’ve got no skin in the game of trying to reconcile modern Catholicism with its past, or of trying to be a loyal defender of the papacy. Truth be told much of the time I feel like for the most part Roman Traditionalism is Quixotic, a futile tilting at the windmills so to speak.
Roman Traditionalists are no different than High Church Anglicans trying to be ” the church within the Church.” The papal reforms of the entirety of the 20th century ( starting with Pius X’s breviary reform, reaching its zenith in Vatican II, and continuing through to today) have changed the face of Catholicism. Even the papacy has turned into a cult of personality with whoever happens to hold the office being treated as an infallible and magical oracle whose every word, gesture and off the cuff remark is debated endlessly as to whether it becomes part of the ” magisterium” or not.
My innocence is lost when it comes to Roman Catholicism. No more can I accept the narratives of ” all is well” or that of the traditionalists who think that disobedience and denial of reality are acceptable for a Roman Catholic. Than where do I stand? I don’t know really, because I know firsthand there is grace within the Roman Church, but I cannot really fully give my assent to an infallible papacy or to some of the bizarre and untraditional reforms of the last 100 years.
So so what do I do, where do I go? For now I remain at home, praying from my Horologion and Old Orthodox Prayerbook, and occasionally from my Benedictine Office books, keeping company with the communion of saints. Am I Orthodox? Perhaps. Catholic? Maybe.