A STUDY IN TRUE CONTRASTS:
Today's truly liberal and progressive Catholics, the wave of the future, the hope of the Church:
Yesterday's neo-liberal, progressive Catholics, today's dinosaurs, waiting in the wings of total irrelevancy, a dying breed, angry and sour about their state in life and in the Church, unable to change and keep up with modern Catholicism:
Once upon a time a liberal was considered someone who lived by the "spirit of Vatican II." That meant going well beyond the documents of Vatican II and living as though one had already experienced a more liberating council such as Vatican III.
Liberals rejected hierarchy, Latin liturgy, habits, consistent ritual, and preferred to make it up as you go, not just with liturgy, but even with decision making in the church both on the parish level, diocesan level and even universal level. In other words, liberals were anarchists doing their own thing, very similar to the political anarchists of the 1960's and 70's. These groups have much in common and sometimes are the same people.
Today, these children of the 70's live in the world of not wanting to change much like those these very same people accused of doing the same thing back in the good old 1960's. Older people just don't like a lot of change especially if they have worked a life time bringing about a scenario with which they are very comfortable.
These old liberals from the 1970's fear that the new English translation of the Mass, the return of the Tridentine Mass and the consolidation of Catholic identity under the banner of the pope and bishops is like returning tO the past they overturned. They simply can't take it. This change is too much for them. They become angry, depressed old fuddy duddies! Sometimes they aren't even in their 60's yet, but fast approaching.
Today a progressive in the Church is one who embraces the hermeneutic of reform within continuity. Parishes that are liberal have two forms of the one Latin Rite, both the Ordinary and Extraordinary.
Liberal and progressive parishes today are embracing the new English translation of the Mass with great excitment and zeal. They see it as a long needed reform that will lead to a broader liturgical renweal as the Second Vatican Council envisioned.
Liberals today are not into doom and gloom. They don't lament this new changed toward a fortified Catholic identity. They embrace the present and future with a great deal of hope. They don't whine and complain about the Church, the hierarchy or how decisions came to be. They are obedient to the Church in the areas of faith, morals, canon law and discipline.
Those who want to live as though we are still in the 1970's, who want to keep things as they were way back then and try to re-accelerate the deconstruction of the Church they fought so long and hard to bring about are dinosaurs of the past. They are the living dead, walking in a daze, wondering what happened and how much more time they have left before it's all over and they are truly irrelevant for they have returned to the dust from which they came and will then meet their maker for their personal judgment, a judgment that will be rather authoritative and without an appeals process or a committee determining it.
Let us embrace our new liberals. They are the hope for the future. Let us care for the old outdated ones. Christian charity demands it.