I’m going to cut to the chase: The Institutional aspect of the Catholic Church in 2020 is a total, unmitigated, almost all-encompassing failure. I’m 18 years old, and if I did not firmly believe the truths of the Catholic Church as the faith necessary for salvation, there is utterly no reason I would stay.
In 2018, I found some people online who were willing to speak about the problems I had noticed in the Institutional Church. These people were in the general “Traditionalist Catholic Media.” I used to follow them for a few years because they were the only public faces who were willing to admit the poor state of things. Before I found about about these websites and sources in ~2018, I had wondered why there were almost no teenagers my age at Mass, but nobody outside of my family seemed willing to speak about it.
Fast-forward to 2020, though, I am almost completely disillusioned with Catholic Media. I used to view them (not naming names) as future saints, fighting against a corrupt institutional church that was harming the spread and efficacy of the beautiful faith within. My disillusionment springs from one realization: In trying to resist protestantism, commentators (and their followers) are acting like protestants.
Think about some of the possible similarities of your favorite commentator to, say, a megachurch pastor for a second:
- Attacks or disrespects those outside of his opinion bubble
- Must have an opinion for everything; can almost never admit “I don’t know” to any question
- Changes opinions quietly when convenient, without notice or apology, even to groups that were previously attacked as being incorrect
- Sells a boatload of merchandise, books, films, subscriptions, tickets, constant reminders to buy merch
- May end up in fights with former allies or other well-meaning Catholics who are almost entirely on the same side anyways
- Large families, even though this may result in a conflict of interest between speaking the truth and something more profitable
It isn’t just the lack of humility or other problems listed above that bugged me. My question is, what have any of these media groups actually accomplished? Tell me,
- How many souls have these groups actually saved? Is it a measurable percentage of those who would have otherwise left? If it isn’t a measurable percentage, it’s statistically irrelevant and means we aren’t doing enough to stop the bleeding. Saving a hundred souls here or there is absolutely a noble effort, don’t get me wrong. However, that is not a plan to re-evangelize the culture or to accomplish anything major.
- Satan would happily let a few hundred souls convert here and there if it meant that we would be so utterly ineffective on a broader scale. And we’ve accepted that deal.
- How many souls have actually been confirmed in their decision to leave the Church because of the scandalous infighting? Nobody seems to have ever done the math on that one.
Which brings me back to the headline: Can we please have a plan? Take a playbook from our enemies. Despite having incredibly opposing and seemingly incompatible views, they have united in their opposition to us. Commentators and their followers may have seemingly incompatible views, but right now they are attacking each-other instead of attacking our common enemy in return. As the old saying goes, The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and commentators haven’t learned that.