Haters Gonna Hate – A Team Orthodoxy look at the Catholic Camp Mentality
“Being a Charismatic I feel that blah blah blah.”
“From a Traditional Catholic standpoint, herp derp.”
Whether inside the Church or outside, we always have seen the Camp Mentality. I personally think it started in Heaven with the rebellion of Satan against God, then it fell to us humans in the Garden, beginning with Team Pride. Then of course who can’t forget Team Cain and Team Abel that did not turn out too well. Team Egypt Vs. Team Israel. It even shows up in the New Testament. The Apostles were always bickering about who was the greatest. Even St. Peter who was on Team Circumcision vs. St. Paul on Team NoSnipSnip. It is part of the human condition to always look to pick a side. However the question is, what sides should we be picking?
Picking a side is not always wrong. “Choose today whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. There are certain teams we should jump on board with. However, we can see that the Team or Camp mentality can be a great source of discord.
There are also those who subscribe to the “I don’t believe in teams at all” mentality. Well, there’s a camp for them too. It’s called Camp Relativism.
One need not look far to see this camp mentality within the local church. This person is on Team Heterodoxy; this other person is on Team Orthodoxy (y’all better be on this team-lol). This person is on Team Charismatic, and this person is on Team Traditionalism. This extends through the ranks from Laity to Cardinals. It could be a fruit of the Protestant mentality, which breaks into denominations whenever someone disagrees with their theologies. One thing remains though. We only have One Lord, One Church, One Magisterium, and one Roman Pontiff. These do not subscribe to a Camp or Team as if teams or the camps are bigger than they are. They ARE the standard.
Orthodoxy has always been about a balanced spirituality. Faith and Life intersect in you, as Bl. John Paul II speaks of in his Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici. They are not two separate things. They work together like clockwork. In contrast, the number of people hanging out on the extremes of the spectrum is incredibly high. I think that reality needs a psychological survey done on why that is the case. The sad case is the number of people hanging out in the middle of the extremes is few, however these are the people that we end up calling Saints.
The Saints did in fact live lives of radical holiness. They however lived quite balanced lives as well. This is why they are declared Saints. They lived lives of HEROIC Virtue. They were able to put their selfless inclinations “underfoot” as St. Therese of Lisieux says. They served others selflessly while putting God first through prayer. They were holy. Period.
Many Charismatics attack the Traditionalists and accuse them of not being truly open to the Holy Spirit. The Traditionalists fire back saying that the Charismatic movements have brought discord to the Liturgy. However, if we look at the heart of each of these movements, we can see something authentically good AND something exemplified by the lives of the Saints. It is failures that exist in each of these movements that cause division.
The Charismatics love to lay claim to the Charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit spoken of in 1 Corinthians 12. However, before the first tongue started to flap and the first tambourine was shaken in the 60’s, these Charismatic gifts found a true home in the lives of the Saints.
Let’s take a look at them:
1 Cor 12:4-11
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
You don’t have to think hard to find a Saint in whom these gifts found a home. Can you think of one? I submit St. Pio of Pietrelcina. I think he might have had them all.
Come on, really? That custom began with the Jews. Check the Psalms. The Saints did it too. St. Peter Julian Eymard loved to raise his hands in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. This is not an uncatholic or untraditional thing. Should it appear in the Liturgy? That is a topic for another time. Though I do not want to liken these “More Catholic than the Pope” traditionalists with satanists, as they are extremely different. However one trait that they do share is they love to take authentically good Catholic things and steal them and twist them to make them seem bad for their own agenda. The Pentagram? That’s a Catholic symbol for Jesus Though I do not believe in wearing it now as it is used to do incredibly heinous and vile things to our Blessed Lord in the Eucharist in their satanic “black masses”). Upside down Cross? Yeah that’s the Cross of St. Peter. Good try though satanists. It’s something that people love to do to push their own agenda. So much for creativity. Truth is, it is not virtuous and certainly not Catholic.
“Those traditionalists have no idea what it means to be open to the Holy Spirit”.
This is obviously false. Our Saints knew how to be open to the Holy Spirit. St. John Bosco produced more converts and formed more priests than any Charismatic prayer group in history. Who isn’t open to the Holy Spirit?
Many in the Charismatic crowd say, “You can’t fully participate in the Mass of the Extraordinary Form – you just have to kneel and watch”. In response to that claim, Orthodox Traditional Catholics have a very good idea of what it means to “assist” at Mass by Hearing it and praying it in union with the Priest. They could teach us a lot about entering into the Mass.
The Team Mentality even spreads to Religious Orders. “Oh you’re a Franciscan? I can’t really talk to you about my spiritual life, I’m a Dominican. You would not understand”. A priest that I met from the Catholic Friars of the Renewal recently spoke to me about this mentality. “This team mentality has never been a Catholic idea”, Fr. Juan Diego told me. “The Catholic Church is about Unity not uniformity in everything”. He gave for an example that the great Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila, had many confessors and spiritual directions ranging from Jesuits to Franciscans. So in doing more research, Teresa was not the only one. The Saints avoided the Team Mentality
The truth is, we’re not baptized into a Camp. The Bishop does not place the oil on our forehead at Confirmation saying “Traditionalist, receive the Holy Spirit” or “Liberal Catholic, I baptize you…” We are baptized into Christ as members of His mystical Body, the Church. This is our team, this is the camp we belong to. Instead of bickering over which other camps we belong to, maybe we can begin by modeling our lives after Christ, the Blessed Mother, and the Saints, who lived holy and heroically virtuous lives and simply be “Catholic” as those great Saints were- did I mention, they were on Team Orthodoxy?
In the Immaculata,