Hva med tradisjonalistene?

Jeg leser nå som nevnt boka: Kenneth Whitehead: Mass Misunderstandings. Han er positiv til det konsilet prøvde å gjøre med liturgien, men negativ til en hel del av det som skjedde i praksis. Jeg kommer nok tilbake til boka flere ganger, og tar opp ting som jeg leser der.

I et kapittel han kaller: Hva med tradisjonalistene?, tar han opp de tradisjonalistene (i motsetning til de ‘konservative’, som vi har diskutert litt tidligere) som nok ikke har brutt med Kirkens autoritet, som SSPX, men som likevel er svært negative til det konsilet prøvde å gjøre, og ofte til det Kirken/paven gjør i dag. Her er et (litt usammenhengende, kanskje) utdrag:

… … Since it is far from clear whether the pope’s new approach will succeed in reconciling many of those who have gone so far as to reject the authority of the Council and the Church, it may be that the greatest effect of Summorum Pontiflicum will in the end turn out to be the effect it has on those tradition-minded Catholics who have stayed with the Church all along, but who also have been deeply dissatisfied with the way some things have gone in the Church since the Council, particularly with regard to the sacred liturgy.

The actual numbers of Catholics in this latter category are neither precisely known nor are these numbers apparently easy to come by; but it is surely not an insignificant fact that so many serious and even fervent practicing Catholics (whatever their total number) have evidently been dissatisfied with and sometimes even alienated from the Church in various ways as a result of the Vatican-II enactments. One thinks for example of some of the stable orders of monks and nuns, consecrated religious, that have continued to remain attached to the old liturgy, a liturgy ….

Similarly, some of the most committed of Catholic activists in various good causes such as the pro-life movement often turn out to be devotees of the «old Mass.» I myself know a number of such Catholics, some of whom have not abandoned their parishes. They can often even be seen regularly at daily Novus Ordo Masses – but they are nevertheless also happiest when they are able to attend an «indult» Tridentine Mass somewhere on Sundays! … ….

Another area where Pope Benedict XVI may in some ways have been more hopeful than realistic lay in his belief that those in the Church who continued to prefer the Tridentine Mass were also and presumably always necessarily accepting of the «binding» character of the Second Vatican Council. This may well be true of many and perhaps even of the majority of them, but anyone who has sampled some of today’s traditionalist-type publications, such as the Latin Mass magazine or The Remnant, for example, cannot help but realize that there are at least some traditionalists out there – exact numbers again being impossible to estimate – who evidently do not necessarily believe in the permanent binding character of Vatican Council II. … …

Many of the traditionalists who exhibit this way of thinking appear to believe, rather, that Vatican II was simply a mistake, a mistake which needs to be rectified. How this «rectification» might actually come about is generally not a question that is very concretely addressed with any seriousness by most of them, however. Usually, the attitude of those who tend towards this kind of thinking comes out, precisely, in their call for a revival of the Tridentine Mass. …. ….

Many of those of this way of thinking have not necessarily broken with the Church; they may attend Novus Ordo Masses in their parishes, at least some of the time, especially if an indult Tridentine Mass has not been easily or frequently available. They may readily agree that the pope and the bishops do indeed possess the authority to regulate the sacred liturgy, as they have done in the case of the reforms called for by the Council. But they nevertheless tend to see all this as really temporary. Does not the Catholic Church think «in centuries,» after all? Some of the people with this caste of mind appear to think that the Church will eventually have to go back to the Tridentine Mass on a regular basis, and no doubt to other pre-conciliar usages as well, considering how poorly the conciliar reforms, in their view, have turned out. Again, the Council, as they continue to see it, was simply a mistake. It may not at all be clear when and how they think that this mistake might actually be rectified, but they still go on thinking what they think.

Moreover, at least some of them are now disposed to view Benedict XVI’s motu proprio, like John Paul II’s indult earlier, as simply another step in what they see as the right and necessary direction that the Church needs to follow in order to escape from the ill-effects of the ill-starred Council. We are not necessarily at the end of a road, they think; rather, we may be at the beginning of one. Some of these same traditionalists are almost certainly interpreting Pope Benedict’s action not as trying to reconcile the alienated, or finally establishing or settling anything permanently, but merely as the necessary first step in getting out from under what they see as the intolerable burden of the Council.

Interestingly enough, though, Catholic traditionalists of this particular bent usually also tend to regard themselves as papal loyalists; they may not actively «fight» the Council in the way that the SSPXers do – or as the «sedevacantists» do, who hold that the popes themselves have not been legitimate since what they believe to be all the «nonsense» about the Council began. These anti-conciliar traditionalists who do still remain within the bosom of the Church, however, largely simply ignore the Council in practice, pretty much as if it had never taken place. They seem to profess loyalty instead to a kind of «papal» Church, which they see as the only authentic «Catholic» Church.

Immediately after his election to the chair of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, in his very first message to the cardinals the day after his election, immediately called for what he called «an authoritative re-reading of the Second Vatican Council» (emphasis added). He then went on to state that: “… as I prepare myself for the service that is proper to the successor of Peter, I also wish to confirm my determination to continue to put the Second Vatican Council into practice, following in the footsteps of my predecessors and in faithful continuity with the 2000-year tradition of the Church. This very year [2005] marks the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Council (8 December, 1965). As the years have passed, the conciliar documents have lost none of their timeliness; indeed, their teachings are proving particularly relevant to the new situation of the Church and the current globalized society.” (Initial Message of Pope Benedict XVI to the Cardinals, April 20, 2005)

Nobody who had followed the career of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before his election to the chair of Peter would have been surprised in the slightest that Pope Benedict XVI should have spoken in this vein. Similarly, anyone who had paid any attention to the words and actions of Pope John Paul II- in the course of his long pontificate would have to have realized that he too constantly spoke about nothing else but the Second Vatican Council, and always in pretty much the same positive terms employed by Benedict XVI. … ….

There is thus, then, quite plainly, some evident «disconnect» here between what some traditionalist Catholic «papal loyalists» apparently feel, and what the popes, on the contrary, assume and take for granted to the contrary, and, indeed, regularly affirm with regard to the Council even while they also recognize what most Catholics too are certainly aware of as well, namely, that many mistakes, missteps, and disappointments did follow the Council, along with all the positive work that the Council also accomplished for the Church. … …

Not all of those who prefer the Tridentine Mass, of course, fall into the category of the kind of «anti-conciliar» Catholics being described here, the kind of Catholics, that is, who tend to act as if the Council never happened, or who, at any rate, seem to be content to allow it simply to go by the board and perhaps, in their view, be mercifully forgotten.

Nevertheless, probably the great majority of the traditionalist Catholics who have stayed with the Church do, in fact, understand that the Council took place, however its results might be judged; and that we therefore necessarily do have to go on from there, even while we may still dislike some of the results of the Council.

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