3 of 19
added 5 characters in body
user avatar
user avatar

Demonstrate '[t]here are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format'

##Inviting especially Flimzy, fredsbend, Andrew Leach, Mawia, and Affable Geek to each answer the question so as to demonstrate the reason advanced for their hold.

Noting that this Q&A arose from: For Catholics who object to Vatican II, what are the key issues? | MonicaCellio and it currently has 4 good answers with current upvotes 9, 7, 6, and 5

cf. When are the various assorted labels for Catholics applied and how are they related? - on hold by Flimzy, fredsbend, Andrew Leach, Mawia, and Affable Geek

##The Q

This question arises from: For Catholics who object to Vatican II, what are the key issues? | MonicaCellio, and as a complement to it.

From the Catholic Church's Credo Chart, Catholics believe in the holy catholic Church. However there are any number of labels being used for various groupings, apparently under the "Catholic" umbrella. In what context are all these labels used, what do they signify, and what is their canonical status according to the RCC? Are some or all of them considered schismatics by the RCC?

  • It seems after Vatican II, there appeared those who identified themselves as Traditional Catholics ('I am a Trad,' as Hilary Jane Margaret White blogs). Then there are organizations like the SSPX - Society of St. Pius X.

  • Another Catholic Institution that came into public consciousness with Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code, is Opus Dei, that is described as 'Ultra-Conservative'.

  • When the Pope was elected, we came to learn that he is a Jesuit.

  • Then, especially in America, one hears of Conservative and Liberal Catholics. Perhaps mirroring the country's political divide?

  • Adding to these, a new term has emerged: 'Neo-Catholic'.

  • Our fellow user AndrewLeach tells us that he is 'a Roman Catholic in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the UK'.

  • Finally, in a reply to a comment under an online article, one lady wrote, '[p]lease do not condemn the Orthodox church - an Eastern Rite Catholic lady'.

The question is seeking an answer to who all these Catholics are - and how does the Roman Catholic Church view those who –say– identify themselves as Traditional, Liberal, etc.?

##& A

FMShyanguya Answer

The Catholics who are Catholics as the Church sees them - These are all Catholics and recognized as such by and in the Catholic Church!

For the Catholics who are Catholics as the Catholic Church [note the avoidance of the term 'the RCC' here] sees them, are best understood and explained by:

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” - St. Augustine of Hippo.


  • The various Rites [A Christian rite, in this sense comprises the manner of performing all services for the worship of God and the sanctification of men], being or deriving from the three major groupings of Rites based on this initial transmission of the faith, the Roman, the Antiochian (Syria) and the Alexandrian (Egypt).

Thus the Eastern Rite Catholic lady belongs to one of the Eastern Rites [Churches] of the Catholic Church.

  • The Ecclesiastical Structures like a Personal Ordinariate [erected to enable (groups of) Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church] and a Personal Prelature [a juridical structure introduced by the Second Vatican Council. The Council decree Presbyterorum Ordinis stated that, among other institutions, “special dioceses or personal prelatures” could be established “to carry out special pastoral tasks in different regions or among any race in any part of the world”.].

Thus Andrew Leach belongs to an Ecclesiastical structure called a Personal Ordinariate in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

Note: Opus Dei is currently the only Personal Prelature. During the pontificate of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, SSPX was offered the canonical status of a Personal Prelature as part of a deal to heal the group’s rift with the Catholic Church. The deal fell through.

  • The innumerable ways as there are individuals or stars in heaven to achieve sanctity and express holiness within the Church, the ways to manifest the holy in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Hence religious orders [cf. Religious Life | New Advent] like the Jesuits.

Thus Pope Francis belongs to the Religious Order of the Jesuits in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

SSPX does not have a canonical structure within the Church like a Personal Prelature. Whether they are in schism is not clear as there appears to be no formal declaration from the Vatican. A Catholic ought to consult with their Ordinary regarding SSPX.

**Labels** - *There isn't a 'page and line' for any of these in the Catholic Church!*

As for the labels Conservative and Liberal (and the others in the spectrum: ultra-conservative, moderate, progressive, etc.), these seem as from the US sociopolitical landscape and a lens through which those familiar with them, attempt to understand and thereafter apply to individuals and groups in the Church.

Traditionalist/Trad is the label some Catholics identify with. They describe themselves as being or wanting to be the Catholics of the pre-conciliar Church.

Note: Wikipedia applies this label to SSPX.

A Neo-Catholic as a term coined by Mr. Gerry Matatics and popularized by Mr. Chris Ferrara in his book The Great Facade, is:

[A] combination of conservative and liberal elements representing a progressive tendency overall. They are not usually the cause of liberalism but enablers of the liberalism in the Church [...].

Further reading: