Canon Law defines schism as the ''withdrawal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him,'' and heresy as ''the obstinate denial, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and catholic faith.''
Some, and mostly Traditionalist Catholics of the most ignorant and bigotted kind, have accused me, of all people, of schism and heresy, and open dissent from Catholic teaching. I could well understand accusations of schism if I went frequently to communion in the churches of non-Catholics, but not if I choose to reject such recent magisterial rulings as Maxima Redemptionis or Cum Nostra, which supplanted the Tradition of the Church with the will of the Roman Pontiff in matters liturgical. Perhaps my aversion to post-'56 Holy Week arises from my own, utterly correct, understanding of Catholic Tradition rather than blind obedience to the wayward tendencies of the modern Papacy. If the Pope is wrong, he is wrong, and you are wrong by being obedient to him - just as much in the case of Holy Week, the Assumption, Joe the Communist, Evening Mass, the destruction of the Eucharistic Fast (not much going for the ''venerable'' Pius XII is there?) etc as if the Pope suddenly decided one day to start ordaining women...and he will - when there is a Modernist Pope on the throne, mark my words! The current Pope, Lord love him, simply won't budge - for all the right reasons, of course. Yet methinks that Catholic Truth is rather tenuous when the Pope is involved, all that power and authority of binding and loosing truth etc; just look at Mediator Dei and Munificentissimus Deus - all supposedly binding, doctrinally, on all Catholics and yet even I, so rustic and untutored, can spot errors in them, and very serious ones. My own opinion is that the Pope is no longer to be trusted when he has departed from the Tradition of the Church, and the liturgical reforms of the current Pope are, to put it mildly, simply ridiculous. Why are the liturgically astute shouted down in this respect when they have the temerity to point this out? It is mostly Catholics of the neo-Conservative kind, the obedience-is-everything sort, who do this - more on obedience later.
Now heresy...the Trads have brought this big gun into the battle (where exactly do I stand in this conflict in the Church, which reminds me, and not in a wholesome way, of a political difference? I am not an avant-garde liberal, but neither am I a Traditionalist, since they are ignorant...I just see myself as a simple, unassuming Catholic just amused to see so much lack of charity, and taste, on both sides, and hope that both sides obliterate each other...). Now heresy is more difficult to explain away convincingly than schism, but I'd like to know what sort of heretic people think I am. To my knowledge I do not deny any ancestral point of Catholic doctrine, but would accept remonstrance in this matter, of course. I simply point out the excesses and abuses of the Papacy, and its monopoly over the Sacred Liturgy these last 450 years, and satire not-very-tasteful Catholic devotions as foreign and rustic; totally beneath me. Liturgy is more important than devotions, something the Second Vatican Council endeavoured to define, and Catholic devotions ought to be ordered towards the Sacred Liturgy and flow from it. I fail to see how devotion to the Sacred Heart or the Rosary comes from the Sacred Liturgy, but again I may be mistaken.
Now obedience...this is the flash point, I think; and perhaps my personal understanding of obedience is slightly different from others'. Today, in the usus antiquior, that is, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite as defined, and authorized, by Summorum Pontificum, is a ''fourth class'' feria of St Mary in Sabbato. In the Old Rite, however, it is the anticipated Vigil of All Saints, abolished by Pius XII. Now, to what extent are we, as Catholics, to obey the Roman Pontiff when he says that there are two ''forms'' of the Roman Rite, the one (the common one, the one which Trads look down their noses at) as contained in the liturgical books promulgated by Paul VI and published again under John Paul II in 2002; the other, the uncommon one, as contained in the liturgical books of 1962. Now if my understanding is correct, deviation from these two designated forms of the Roman Rite would be disobedience. So why are there certain Catholics out there who take Summorum Pontificum as the yardstick of liturgical orthodoxy in the last 40 years and yet don't really take much notice of it themselves? My point is simply this: to deviate, in even the slightest point, from the liturgical books of 1962, and yet claim to be fulfilling the precepts of Summorum Pontificum, is simply hypocrisy and falsehood. I perceive Summorum Pontificum as part of the problem of modern Catholicism, and evidence enough that Pope Benedict XVI knows nothing whatsoever about Liturgy. Now I have no real problem with disobedience in this matter (as in other matters pertaining to the modern departure from Tradition at magisterial level in the Church) - I think that sell-outs to '62ism (like the SSPX, the Latin Mass Society and the rest of Una Voce) are the worst enemies of Tradition. But please, if you want me to take you seriously, don't hide behind Summorum Pontificum as justification for celebrating the Divine Office, the Mass and the Sacraments according to the Old Roman Rite - and think yourself superior to the avant-garde liberals who are being just as disobedient. Have the Old Roman Rite by all means - and good luck to you if you do, but don't justify it by Summorum Pontificum; if you do, and you continue to consider yourself superior to the Modernists who are equally disobedient, I might just grass you up to certain people (I don't know, the Archbishop, the Papal Nuncio, Ecclesia Dei...) who might impose the actual precepts of Summorum Pontificum...
Methinks that cafeteria Catholicism is just as much a part of Tradworld as it is in other parts of the Church.