|>>|| No. 439599
There's a lot that could be said here. In general I don't measure a large group of people, or an organisation of some kind, by the worst representation of the group. I'm aware that the first things that pop into the mind of many secularists when they hear the word Catholic, is financial corruption, and child rape, but It's not really something that I think about or have experienced. I've been a member of a handful of churches throughout my life, and it just hasn't been relevant to me or anyone I know for that matter.
When I hear and read about these crimes, it disgusts me, the same way I felt disgusted to find out about how China's Xi Jinping has overseen the authoritarian takeover of Hong Kong's laws, and the enslavement of over one million Uyghurs. There's nothing I can really do about these large structures tilting into corruption though, except talking honestly about them when people ask me, and being careful about where I distribute my finances. I haven't given money to the Catholic church for a long time, aside from donating to the soup kitchen, the food bank, and educational Catholic organisations like the Latin Mass Society. Starved from money, which the church is currently experiencing, the upper echelons will either collapse into irrelevance, or be forced to do something about the problems. Pope Francis, as much as I disagree with him in many ways, has moved in strides in this area, and for this very reason. There's a lot of information I'm omitting for the sake of brevity here, this has regularly been a topic of conversation among Catholics within my social circles for quite some time as I'm sure you can imagine. If you'd like to dip your toe into the water, your might be interested in 'Letter to a Suffering Church' by Bishop Robert Barron.
This brings me to the term traditional Catholic, avoiding theological jargon, the simplest way I can put it is like this. The traditional way of practicing the religion has been around for over a millennium and a half (more or less), largely unchanged. The Catholic church has tried to change the tradition considerably since around the 1960s, attempting to make it more progressive and approachable to the wider public. The original way of practicing the faith forces people to learn the Latin, learn the tradition, and actually practice the faith in what I would argue, is the correct way. The newer version turns the priest into the focal point, and well, I could list problems I see with it all day, but I'll just start ranting. I remember in the 80s there were a lot of guitars and pizza in these churches. Felt like more of a social club then a place of worship. Naturally attendance numbers for churches that practice the traditional way seem consistent, even rising slightly in popularity, but the newer way of practicing the mass, has seen dramatic loss of attendance over the decades. In another century I doubt the new version will even exist.