This post is a response to a couple things I've read lately.
The first is this post from Jeff about the controversy over displaying crucifixes and icons in classrooms at Boston College. As usual, he is a faithful and thoughtful voice for moderation and against the polarizing forces of contemporary Catholicism. When it comes to those who object to displaying Christ crucified at an allegedly Catholic school (!) he writes, "Oh, give me a break! With moonbats like this around, no wonder we have SSPX wingnuts around... Is there anyone sane out there?" Though made in a colorful way, this is a very important point.
The second is this post from SFO Mom, expressing her frustration over the lack of seriousness or solemnity surrounding her child's preparation for the full sacramental initiation of Confirmation. I feel for her.
So here's my point to the alleged majority of faithful, dedicated and prayerful "left of center" Catholics: I will love you and revere you always because you have raised me, encouraged me, believed in me, and handed on the faith to me. But as long as we treat the deposit of faith and the gift of the sacraments casually, as long as we tolerate the environment of liturgical abuse that makes everyone their own pope, and as long as we give in to the secularizing forces that privatize and marginalize the truths of the faith, frustrated people will react by going just as far in the other direction, and they will find the demagogues you call "ultra conservative" or "far right" with great ease.
So if you love the accessibility and inclusion of the Mass of Paul VI and are worried about the remission of restrictions on the old Mass, then let's pray the Novus Ordo Missae together with the reverence that doesn't want to change its words or rubrics. Without the nonsense of liturgical abuses and 'making it up as we go along,' many fewer will seek stability and refuge in the Tridentine Mass. If you are worried about losing the "spirit of Vatican II" to so-called "traditionalist" forces, then let's read the documents of the Council again and pray about how we can put them into practice according to the "signs of the times." And I mean the signs of 2009, not those of 1971. And the so-called "crisis" that is behind my writing today is one of those signs that needs interpretation and action in the light of the Gospel.