So, fast forward to my re-entry into Catholicism. As I started to reacquaint myself with ancient prayers and rites, I soon discovered divisions within the church. Some don't like to refer to it as a conservative vs. liberal approach, but at this time, I don't have a large vocabulary to distinguish the two. Some understand the word "Orthodoxy" to mean Eastern Orthodoxy, which I know isn't the same thing. Orthodox to me seems to mean a strict adherence to the Magisterium, the motu proprio regarding the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of Mass, and others that I don't know about.
I'm almost at the end of Colleen Carroll's The New Faithful:Why Young Adults are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy. She said something I found profound and not a little convicting:
This really gave me some food for thought. As much as I am ecstatic to find like-minded believers on the internet and starting to meet a few in real life - I realize I am going to be faced with this tension the rest of my life: how to balance my own growing love with orthodoxy while still treating my more liberal brothers and sisters with love and respect.
The most committed members of a denomination frequently are the least likely to work with outsiders and understand views that contradict their own. Strains of that insularity are plainly apparent in this crop of orthodox believers, especially among conservative Catholics, evangelicals who inherited heavy doses of anti-Catholicism, and members of some Orthodox churches.
That insularity also will damage the credibility of their movement, relegate it to the fringes of society, and perhaps even repel their own children, who are apt to rebel against the subculture as did some of these believers and many of their parents.
I know, for instance, that the priest of the parish who celebrates the Latin Mass, has been known to poke fun at the more liberal parishes. The liberal parishes, in turn, criticize XYZ parish for being behind the times.
I agree with Carroll's assessment. I think we need to be careful of our hearts because just as liberals show their prejudice toward conservatives by sneering at their beliefs, so conservatives should be careful not to fall into the same hole.
Now, after saying all that, I will say this: truth is truth. The Roman Catholic church has stood for centuries, amid many upheavals, because (in my humble opinion), they've sought truth. Rome has admitted its mistakes and I'm sure more will happen in the future. Still, there is a hierarchy of procedure and structure for a reason, and most of those reasons come straight from the Bible.
I'm half-jesting regarding the patron saint question. I know that my responsibility as a Christian is to love and forgive others. Personally, I think most of the exhortations of the New Testament are meant to bring the brethren together to dwell in unity.
Because if anything tests our faith - it's getting along with one another in church.