Ok, so maybe not the ‘whole’ world.
There are plenty young traditional Catholics around this world but it sure feels like that when it seems like I’m the only one willing to fight and lose everything in defense of tradition. After seeing what has happened to me, I don’t blame those few who agree with me for staying quite. However, it’s easier for those fighting against me to destroy one man versus taking down an entire group.
So this all started with our parish’s Facebook group. Let’s call my parish “St. Anonymous.” I’m borrowing this naming idea from the book “Confessions of a Traditional Catholic” by Matthew Arnold, which I highly recommend you read. Anyways, recently I began posting links to articles and blog posts. The posts were usually centered around reasons why we should be receiving the Eucharist only on the tongue and preferably kneeling. Let’s just say this didn’t go over well with the other parishioners, but I will get back to that after a quick explanation of my re-version and how I got to this point.
Almost three years ago I decided to get Confirmed and fully enter the Church. I was raised “Catholic” because my mom was but my dad wasn’t. I was baptized as an infant but didn’t receive any other Sacrament. We were basically C&E (Christmas and Easter) Catholics and we didn’t know anything about the Eucharist. We just received it, not knowing we shouldn’t or how bad it was for us to. This could play a part in why I have such a huge devotion to the Eucharist and why I can be pretty scrupulous. I don’t ever want to commit sacrilege by receiving unworthy ever again.
I joined RCIA at St. Anonymous because it had the classes at a time that worked with my college schedule, even though i was much closer and even currently live across the street to another parish. Part of my decision to join RCIA was because I was dating a Catholic girl and I wanted to get married in the Church, this wasn’t the only reason but it certainly gave me the extra push. However, that family didn’t know much more than mine and openly rejected some Church Teachings. I learned to recognize what those were and why the Church teaches it as I went through the classes. Well the relationship I was in didn’t work out and she broke up with me before I finished RCIA, but at that point I was so interested in the Church that I finished, got Confirmed and received First Holy Communion on the Easter Vigil in 2015.
Soon after I was Confirmed, I joined the young adult group that had just started, I heard about it through a friend that I met while going to RCIA. We started slow and were pretty disorganized up until recently, but we worked at it and became a real close group that was on fire for Christ and His Church. Then almost a year ago I was asked to help out at a youth retreat from my friend the youth minister (also a member of the young adult group). The retreat went great and I began to volunteer as a core member helping with the youth groups. Pretty much the entire young adult group was traditional (at least when it came to the Eucharist) but I was the most into tradition and was the only one to push for it. And there lies where I started to get myself in trouble….
So back to Facebook and this parish group. Most of my posts were from another blog called Liturgy Guy, if you haven’t read his blog, you should because it’s really good. I posted from a few other sources that promote people treating the Liturgy with more reverence and respect. (I will post links to most of the things I had posted at the end of this) The first one I posted was an article about how a priest had proof that particles of the Eucharist were falling on the floor when people received on the hand and even on the tongue without the use of a Paten. Well the next day I noticed that my post was nowhere to be found! It had been deleted and I had no idea why. I was just showing people that they should begin receiving on the tongue to protect the Eucharist.
After a few more posts getting deleted I found out through my friend, the youth minister, that parishioners were calling in and complaining about my posts. The way I see it, if they had a problem with me or what I posted, they should have commented and tried to justify why they think it’s ok for Christ to fall on the floor and be stepped on by parishioners. Instead they just went around me and got me censored without even a challenge or explanation. So a few more posts and a few more deletions later, I get a comment on one of my posts that the pastor of St. Anonymous wants me to make an appointment with him to discuss all of this…
I should point out that I had already met with him a few months earlier to discuss questions and concerns I had with discernment to the priesthood. This second meeting went much differently because now I’m on the defense of tradition and the Eucharist. Part of the reason I am so concerned with protecting the Eucharist, by way of requiring people to receive in the tongue, is because at this parish a Consecrated Host was found TWICE on the floor of the bathroom!! Once is once too many and if I was the pastor I wouldn’t even let it get to that point. He even told the parish that everyone was going to have to start receiving on the tongue that next Sunday but he never followed through with it. I was told that he had talked with the deacons and that they all decided not to enforce it after all.
In my meeting, I had brought all this up and even explained that even the permission for receiving the Eucharist in the hand, given by Pope Paul VI, gave six requirements and that we were not following pretty much ANY of them. He wasn’t having any of it and I was told multiple times throughout the course of the meeting, that he was not going to change the practice short of a mandate from our bishop. I guess this means even in the case of another Host being found in the bathroom!
Towards the end of the meeting I was told I can still post stuff but I should ‘mix it up.’ I told him that what ever I posted would probably still be deleted but he kept saying that we will see. So I took it as I was allowed to continue to post in defense of the Eucharist if I sprinkled in some other stuff (traditional obviously). I was still irritated on how the meeting went but at least it was over, that is, until later that day…
I got a call during class that day, so I went outside and answered it. It was the pastor, he told me that after viewing the Liturgy Guy Facebook page he determined that it didn’t follow “where the parish was going” and that I couldn’t post from him anymore. I took this as I wasn’t allowed to post my views on there either because I agree with everything that page posts and if that kind of thing isn’t allowed then neither is anything I may post supporting tradition. I thought that would be the end of it, but things were about to get much, much, worse….
The next week, I’m still pretty upset about what had happened but I knew things would be ok. I had God on my side and I still had a platform to show others my love for tradition through the youth ministry and the young adult group. At least that’s what I thought…. I get off work and had a voicemail on my phone. It was the pastor telling me that I have been removed from the core team for the youth ministry and removed as an Admin for the Young Adult Facebook page. I was told that I didn’t “represent where the parish was going.” Sound familiar? So as you can imagine I am pretty upset about everything that’s happened! To avoid being around those who sought to destroy me, I decided to step away from the young adult group for the time being. It wasn’t anyone from the group’s fault but I need to be away from this parish as a whole to get my thoughts sorted out.