Pope Benedict XVI moved us forward with "Reform in Continuity" and "Two Forms of the One Roman Rite" and Pope Francis will continue to move us forward as well, not backwards prior to Pope Benedict, but forward in the New Evangelization! In terms of moving forward, which group wants to go backwards the most, the organized right or the wacky left?
The Bishop of Rome, Holy Father Francis, does not want to go back 60 years, which also means, if continuity means anything, that he doesn't want to go back 50 years, 40 years, 30 years, 20 years, or 10 years. He wants to go forward with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and service to God's people, especially the poor. I suspect too, that the poor are not just the materially poor but also the faith and spiritually poor, those who do not know the love of Christ or the embrace of the Church. These people could be financially rich but extremely poor in faith, morals and discipline.
So not going backwards, but going forwards, what does that mean? We don't know because our Holy Father is sometimes vague on this or sends mixed messages.
1. Certainly we don't want to go back to the 1960's where so many theologians promoted Vatican II by denigrating and humiliating pre-Vatican II faith, morals and worship, not to mention devotion and spirituality. This doesn't mean that there were not excesses in these things 60 years ago, like superstitious practices or a disconnect in how people participated in the Mass. But to completely say that the old was bad and the new is good is, well, like going back 50 years, not going forward.
2. Certainly we don't want the clergy to ditch their sacral role and become nothing but social workers who get burned out, fall in love and get married. That happened 40 years ago in great numbers. Do we want to go backwards to that or do we want to move forward.
3. Certainly we don't want to go back to 1968 and outright rebellion against the pope and Magisterium of the Church by so many who were opposed to the reaffirmation of natural law in Humanae Vitae. We don't want to go back to a time when theologians wanted to be the loyal opposition to the legitimate Magisterium of the Church and set themselves up as a competing "magisterium" a torn in the side to the bishops and pope rather than an assistance to them.
4. Certainly we don't want to go back to clown Masses, Star War Masses and Masses that are purely horizontal, totally creative and have nothing to do with the Latin Rite Mass and its heritage of 2000 years.
5. Certainly we don't want to go back even two years to banal language in the Mass and informal celebrations of the same.
6. Certainly we don't want to go back to gender neutral language in the liturgy not only for people but more importantly and more perniciously for God.
7. We don't want to go back to the 1970's when the 1962 Missal was viewed as a pariah, seen as the forbidden fruit and banned and burned like Nazi and Communist book burnings of a previous era. We want to continue to move forward with the two forms of the one Roman Rite and mutual enrichment, not backwards to a rigid uniformity.
8. Do we want to stay stuck in a Church that has a curia with a "gay lobby" and religious life and the priesthood with the same with an ideology that opposes the Holy Father and the bishops in union with him in promoting natural law, chastity, and opposing the sin of same sex marriage and active sexuality of what ever nature in the priesthood and religious life and infidelity in marriage? Or do we want to move forward with purifying the Church of such nonsense?
You get my drift, I could go on and on and on. We could talk about going back in time and making Catholicism all about churchy politics and power-plays and empowering people rather than humility and service that Pope Francis goes forward with.
So which group is more pernicious and stealthy in highjacking Pope Francis forward looking theology and program?
Certainly it is the wacky left. This ideology has infiltrated rank and file parishes throughout the world with priests and relgious trained in vapid theologies and very wacky ones of yesteryear. I'm speaking of the extreme left that shapes parishes and parishioners into post-Catholics formed in heresies of yesteryear, like gnosticism, pantheism and Arianism. Who wants to go backward to things already condemned centuries ago?
The organized right may be shrill, may fall into some aspects of Palagianism with some of their devotional lives and how they think they should participate at Mass, but they are usually extremely orthodox in other aspects of the faith and are far from post-Catholics. Yes, the organized right tends to circle the wagons and to be afraid, very afraid of doing what Jesus commissioned the Church to do, go out to the world, even if one gets contaminated, with the Good News of Jesus Christ and the need for the whole world to be saved through the ministry of the Church. That means dialogue with the world, like Paul dialogued with the pagans of Athens. He wasn't completely successful, but he did it anyway.
The right tends to closet themselves and become an enclave. We don't want to go forward with that. One can't. That mentality opposes the Great Commission.