Kan man være så opptatt av den “rette liturgi” at det blir ødeleggende?

Jeg leste nylig om Thaddeus Kozinski, som er filosofi-doktor ved the Catholic University of America. Han skriver at selv om han mener den gamle messen er bedre enn den nye, var det uheldig at han i mange år utelukkende gikk i den gamle messen med sin familie, og dermed ble «purist» på en uheldig måte. Det er bedre å glede seg over alle katolske messer som blir verdig feiret enn å henge seg opp i detaljer og forskjeller mellom gammel og ny liturg, sier han nåi. (Han mener forøvrig at mennesker som er ovedrevet knytta til den nye messen, slik at de reagerer nagativt på alle tradisjonelle elementer, har samme problem som han hadde. Dette leste jeg i The Catholic Herald:

He believes that the old rite is vastly superior to the Novus Ordo, indeed that the NO represents a radical breach in liturgical tradition, but at the same time is convinced that many so-called traditionalists are as much children of Vatican II, and of the Enlightenment, as the liberals are. There is something about them, he contends, that is schismatic, even Protestant; perhaps even modernist. They are rebels.

Kozinski is not thinking here principally of Lefebvrists or sedevacantists, but of what we might call the far liturgical right in the mainstream Church, the people you sometimes find in the LMS and the FSSP and in parishes where the old rite is said regularly. Thaddeus calls these people «Gnostic traditionalists», and by Gnosticism he means «the attitude that leads one to believe he possesses an irrefutable insight into the truth of matters of great importance, whether natural or supernatural».

For some years, according to his account in the New Oxford Review, Kozinski attended nothing but indult Masses in the old rite. Then, two or three years ago, he moved with his young family to an area where such Masses were not available, and he was therefore obliged to attend the Novus Ordo again.

As he became familiar with his new surroundings – and found rich spiritual fruit in the new rite as celebrated by the Oblates of St Joseph – he saw that in his former unyielding traditionalism he had developed what he calls «an ideological and neurotic consciousness of being a ‘traditionalist’ «.

Kozinski believes that «traditionalism» can become an ideology that makes one spiritually sick, «as one becomes more attached to the traditionalist movement, its narratives, personages, publications, polemics, criticisms, etc than to the Church as a whole – and to Christ Himself». This ideology, he says, can manifest itself in paranoia, judgment, harshness, Jansenism, and lack of meekness.

That’s me all right, but Kozinski clearly does not want to condemn all traditionalists, and I feel I should speak up here for the thousands of hardcore trads who are not at all Jansenist or harsh but are decent, well-balanced human beings. Among them I would include the Lefebvrist godfather of my youngest son.

Perhaps, meanwhile, I should add that Kosinski’s article appeared two years ago, but under my management this column has never been at the cutting edge of news, and anyway I did not come across the article until May.

To make sure that Kozinski had not changed his mind, however, I got in touch with him last week. He has not changed his mind, but now believes that the Gnosticism of which he speaks is not confined to the traditionalist right but can be found among ultra-orthodox adherents of the Novus Ordo.

The Gnostics, in Kozinski’s assessment, see orthodoxy (whether trad or NO) as the best protection against «the world». They do not fearlessly place their trust in Christ, but live in a «constrained, fearful, and spiritually suffocating world» of their own creation. There is among these people, he believes, «fanatical, unhealthy zeal» for religious purity.

From the original articte in The New Oxford Review:

«I have recently moved to the Santa Cruz, Calif., area, where there is no officially approved, weekly Tridentine Mass within a reasonable and convenient distance, and with three small children, convenience is not an inconsiderable factor. At first, I was quite upset at this situation, but over time, I have realized that regularly attending a well-celebrated Novus Ordo — as well as the Byzantine Mass and an Indult Tridentine Mass on occasion — has been a good thing for me and my family, spiritually speaking. Indeed, I believe it has produced more abundant fruit in my spiritual life than if I were still attending, by choice, a weekly Indult Tridentine Mass. What I have just said, of course, is outright heresy for the traditionalist. Well, this suggests the problem I will be describing. In the traditionalist milieu in which I lived before I moved, I had developed what I now see as an ideological and neurotic consciousness of being a «traditionalist,» as distinct from just being what I now see that I am and always have been since my reversion, just an ordinary Catholic who loves the Tridentine Mass and the Tradition of the Catholic Church. Through circumstances outside of my control, I was enabled to see a large deformation in my spiritual consciousness and to begin the process of healing. I call this deformation gnostic traditionalism.»

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