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What different 'types' of Catholic are there?


A Yearning Heart

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I've been coming across different terms in Catholicism that seem to refer to the 'type' of Catholic word view or perspective they have on what they think Catholicism is. I've heard of 'trads', 'liberal catholic', 'conservative', 'progressive' and there seems to be a great divide between each group. 

I am still grappling with what these actually are and if there is any common ground between them. 

Thoughts?

Edited by A Yearning Heart
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  • A Yearning Heart changed the title to What different 'types' of Catholic are there?

There are two, just like there are two genders.

male and female 

55 minutes ago, A Yearning Heart said:

I am still grappling with what these actually are and if there is any common ground between them. 

However there is no common ground, in my opinion. 

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The terms are almost meaningless.

To start with, these are unofficial labels. The Church recognizes Roman Catholics, Copts, and so forth, but not these labels you're talking about. These are political labels, not religious labels. All of the people, under all of the these labels, hold the same religious tenets (I believe in God, the Father Almighty, etc.) - they are Catholics. The labels really refer to how people do things (wear veils, kneel for communion, speak in tongues, play guitars, ad infinitum). 

A group may coin its own label - We are the Group A's -  intending for it to have Definition A. But their views may change (progress, develop, evolve - again, pick your own word) to include Definitions B + C, X for a year or two, Y (as long as I like the sitting pope), and Z (but only during Lent). Outsiders may label the same group, intending for their outsider label to mean D + E - F / G-squared. And that label may remain the same even though the meaning changes, either because the insiders' (who labeled themselves incorrectly in the first place) views have changed, or the outsiders' (who labeled the group incorrectly in the first place) views have changed.

For instance, someone who would have called herself a liberal Catholic in 1965 - and may still call herself that - may now be labeled an Old School Catholic by today's liberal Catholics - they consider that she's "not keeping up" with the latest definitions of liberal. Or conservative. Or Not Traditional ENOUGH. 

The best way to think of it is Middle School. The girls don't like the boys; the older kids don't like the younger kids; the rich kids don't like the poor kids; the immigrated-a-while-ago's don't like the recently-immigrated's - and they all wish the nuns would make their enemy group go sit in the cloak room. And I don't want ANY of 'em to sit at my lunch table...

Everything I learned about the Catholic Church, I learned in Catholic grade school. 

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There are only catholics amonvst catholics.  Travelling to grace at their own pace, in different places along the path to salvation.

Via salutis, via dolorosa est.

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On 5/15/2022 at 3:09 PM, Luigi said:

Everything I learned about the Catholic Church, I learned in Catholic grade school. 

so you are "old school catholic" (unofficially)

Edited by little2add
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They are meaningless technically, I can see that. There are many Catholics though who staunchly use them to describe themselves and as a way of being different to other Catholics (Trad vs liberal for instance). It has really divided out their worship (e.g. this parish or priest does it the right way; that priest doesn't do this, this parish does that....) and social circles form around these with little blending/mixing of ideas and people.

I think my deeper question apart from those labels, is how to bridge the gaps between those differences? What's the common ground in those aspects linked to those labels? (Catholicism is common, granted, but the 'how' is a real sticking point for many).    

On 5/17/2022 at 2:26 PM, benedictaaugustine said:

I love this article in particular about this topic:

https://emilystimpsonchapman.substack.com/p/debranding-catholicism?s=r

I really like this article, thank you for posting it. 

On 5/16/2022 at 5:09 AM, Luigi said:

For instance, someone who would have called herself a liberal Catholic in 1965 - and may still call herself that - may now be labeled an Old School Catholic by today's liberal Catholics - they consider that she's "not keeping up" with the latest definitions of liberal. Or conservative. Or Not Traditional ENOUGH. 

The definitions of liberal Catholic have changed over time? What's different between a 1960's and a 2022 one?  (Showing my ignorance here!). 

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