... a liberal or a conservative catholic.
It's because of something Pope Benedict said back when he was still Joseph Ratzinger. What he said was that if you accept the authority of Vatican 2, then you have to accept the authority of Vatican 1 and if you accept the authority of Vatican 1 then you have to accept the authority of Vatican 2. And, he went on to say, you have to accept it because it is the authority of both stems from the same source.
And you can't make them disagree with one another. You can't say Vatican 2 reversed Vatican 1. (Not least BTW, because if you actually read the documents of Vatican 2 you will notice that they fall over themselves saying that they do not contradict any earlier church teaching.)
So I tell my conservative friends, I'm sorry but the development of the Novus Ordo is clearly authorized by Vatican 2 and yes it is a legitimate mass. And I tell my liberal friends, no, Vatican 2 did not outlaw the old or Tridentine, mass and yes it is legitimate and there is absolutely no reason it should not be said anywhere and everywhere there are priests willing and able to say it and Catholics willing to attend.
And that is just one example. I could go on but I'm sure you get the point.
I will say further that I have had no generally negative experiences with either liberals or conservative Catholics. I know and like lots of both species and neither is any more or less hypocritical, or any more or less caring about the poor than the other.
I have been regularly shocked at how amazingly loving and tolerant many conservative Catholics are towards gays and lesbians and I have been regularly dismayed at how intolerant many liberal Catholics can be towards individual gays and lesbians in practice despite professing tolerance towards them in theory.
On the flip side of the coin, I am regularly shocked at how often supposedly conservative Catholics innovate with the liturgy or mistake what is just popular piety for church doctrine or even just make traditions up out of whole cloth.
And I could go on and on and on ...
I couldn't join either camp and, more importantly, I refuse to make or accept other peoples' generalizations about either camp.