I thought I would drop a brief note. I found this passage when reading Kurt Rudolph’s Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987):
“When Tertullian mockingly observes with regard to heretics ‘the catechumens are ‘perfect’ (perfecti) before they have received full instruction,’ this preseresnts the viewpoint of the fossilized hierarchical mother church rather than that of the gnostic conception of the community which was differently constituted. Allowance was made for example, for participation by ‘laity’ and ‘women’ (Tertullian waxes wroth about this too), on the basis of their ‘gifts of grace’ (charismas) and both were permitted to take leading positions” (208).
The gnostic ritual identified in this passage sounds strangely like the calls for reforms by the modernist architects of Vatican II as well as the entire trajectory of the papacy of Pope Francis. This passage gives the lie to the modernist view that the ancient and medieval Church was comprised of laid back, egalitarian hippies (or polite bourgeois for the neocons). Rather, the gnostics saw themselves as the laid back “personalists” and “humanists” in contrast to the rigid and uptight early Christians We also see
- The leadership of women (feminism is a manifestation of gnosticism).
- The leadership of the laity.
- The idea present in the modern Charismatic cult (which is just a modern, dumbed down version of shamanism, Dionysianism, and sex magick) of individuals receiving personal inspirations and gifts that give them authority.
Gnosticism, which is basically paganism (aka Satanism) for intellectuals, is the heart of modernism and is the religion that inspired the Novus Ordo Missae.