I sympathize with the Traditionalist currents in the Roman Church to some degree. Although I now keep the Roman hierarchy and Roman Catholicism in general at arm's distance, I cannot help but still have some concern for the current state of things.
Part of my decision to situate myself in the Orthodox Church was the result of having lost the desire to expend energy trying to make sense of a series of paradoxes related to Catholicism's foray into modernity with the Second Vatican Council and its aftermath. The years of investing much of my life into such pursuits have declined with the sunset of age.
There are things one cannot explain. Among them, how any religious leadership could willingly take their religion down a path of deconstruction amid a seeming resurgence. My wife was reading the forward to a book on that council written by a former professor of hers. This professor began by noting the teaming life of the Roman Church, especially its institutional vitality. This professor, an ardent supporter of the more deconstructionist schools, noted the filled seminaries, the filled Catholic schools, and the almost universal grasp of what it meant to be Roman Catholic on the eve of the Council. She then rhetorically asked, " how could there be a need for a reform?" What followed were the written praises of the glorious decomposition of a once vital religion and profound spiritual tradition.
Conservatives often commit themselves to intellectual acrobatics to defend that council. Even though Joseph Ratzinger offered a more sober assessment of the council, he could not resist the proposal of a hermeneutic of continuity, a principle which actually demonstrated how relativist Roman Catholicism had become at its authoritative core.
Liberals, meanwhile, exude relish for the deconstruction of their religion, pushing it on towards a sort of secular ethics club, displaying an almost pathological hatred for the first 1960 years of their religion.
It is hard to avoid that things changed. It is even harder to avoid that things changed at the behest of Roman authority. It is foolish to spend most of one's religious experience attempting to understand and explain those changes while trying to assert that nothing foundational changed. Catholicism has walked off with modernity. Most Catholics are largely content with this decision, the more astute of them realize that accepting modernity demands a reinterpretation of their religious myth. The only dissent pertains to how the myth should be recast, the extent of its modernization.
So, why do I care? Where is the liberation I had promised myself from Catholicism? The reality is, Catholicism formed me. I learned much from it. I, of course, would claim that all of its best parts went into my formation, an assertion that would no doubt be filled with partiality and perhaps a bit of dishonesty. Whatever the case may be, Catholicism formed me; much to my own misfortune, it was a Catholicism that had been discarded by the Roman Church before my birth, before I had ever known it existed. Regardless of where the journey to the eternal should lead, Catholicism is, in a very true sense, my point of origin, having a clear place in the continuity of my life and producing an effect that extends through the course of my existence.
In the above light, the charted course and reaped fortune (for well or ill) of the Roman Church is a concern. There is so much that ought not diminish into a footnote of religious history that is indeed threatened with extinction. Having read the Instrumentum Laboris of the upcoming Synod on the Family, including its pockets of vague, nearly Orwellian "new speak', analogous to the worst moments of the documents of Vatican II, it would appear that the October meeting has the potential to determine the course of the Roman Church.
Nothing may well come of the October Synod. Then again, the sides are positioning themselves. True, the institutional lethargy of the Roman Church could well draw any ideological wars to a stalemate. Yet, it seems equally possible that the Roman Church could carve out a very definitive path amid the long project interpreting itself in the wake of a council that, at least in the West, has failed to produce a meaningful renewal.