Sunday, May 15, 2011
SCHISMATICS DON'T LIKE WHAT BLEW IN AFTER VATICAN II
The article below was written by a priest of the Society of Pope Pius X. That group is the schismatic group that Pope Benedict XVI has been trying to reconcile to the Church but so far in vain. Apart from trying to be more Catholic than the pope, they've become actually more Protestant than Fr. Martin Luther.
But in the brief article below they get some things right although unwittingly. My comments follow this brief article:
An Opening in a Double Direction
In his homily for the beatification of his predecessor, Benedict XVI proposed an interpretation of the famous “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!”, pronounced by John Paul II at the beginning of his pontificate. For Benedict XVI, “what the newly-elected Pope asked of everyone, he was the first himself to do. Society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ.” Vatican Council II, which was John Paul II’s “compass”, claims to be the council of the opening of the Church to the modern world, but Benedict XVI tells us that the Pope who for 27 years applied this council with zeal, “opened society to Christ”. A double question arises: is it the spirit of the modern world that entered into the Church? Or is it the Catholic spirit that has transformed the modern world?
Paul VI had answered the first question, without proposing any remedies: “Doubt has entered into our consciences, and it has entered in by windows that should be open to the light. (…) This state of incertitude reigns even in the Church. It had been hoped that after the Council a sunny day would shine on the history of the Church. Instead, it is a day of clouds, tempests, shadows, groping and incertitude that has come.” (Insegnamenti, Ed. Vaticana, Vol. X, 19972, p. 707)
John Paul II himself gave an answer to the second question, without drawing from it its concrete consequences, recognizing that the time we live in is one of “silent apostasy” in which there reigns a sort of “practical agnosticism and religious indifferentism, which leads many Europeans to give the impression of living without a spiritual loam and as heirs that have dilapidated the patrimony bequeathed to the.” (Ecclesia Europa, June 28, 2003)
In both cases, the desired opening turned into a tragic disappointment.
Fr. Alain Lorans
Fr. Lorans actually gets two of his points correctly. The first is that Pope Paul VI was very concerned and I would even suggest clinically depressed about what was happening to the Church worldwide in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council that collided with social unrest and political and sexual revolution of the 1960's. The secular revolution that affected also the Church was one that opposed authority, whether religious or secular. In America this led to the term "generation gap" which only people my age would get, which is really niffty when you think about it! I remember when it was cool to call cops "pigs" and anyone over 30 the enemy. But I digress.
Blessed John Paul II who ascended to the Chair of Peter in the fall of 1978 by shear force of personality tried to restore the great discipline of the Church and was quite successful on many fronts. He did not compromise Catholic identity in his dialogue with the world. That helped to bring down communism and liberation theology. That would not have happened if Blessed John Paul II compromised on our Catholic identity!
Fr. Lorains correctly writes what Pope Benedict said about Blessed John Paul II:
“What the newly-elected Pope asked of everyone, he was the first himself to do. Society, culture, political and economic systems he opened up to Christ.”
In other words, Pope Benedict gets the gist of Vatican II as teaching us that we should dialogue with the world in order to bring the world to Christ and His Church. Keep in mind that after the Protestant Reformation, the Church was in the "circle the wagons" mode and afraid of the assaults of Protestantism and modernism and this persisted until the Second Vatican Council. By the 1960's the Church's hierarchy was more than ready to open up that circle of wagons and create a dialogue with the world. The initial steps were not very fruitful, but what Blessed John Paul II showed the world is the right way to do it. Pope Benedict sees his own papacy in continuity with Blessed John Paul's.
Therein lies the rub, though. In this new and unbridled desire to be successful at dialogue and to become optimistically modern, so much of Catholic identity, especially little "t" traditions were thrown out the window. But worse yet, a solid foundation of knowing Catholic faith, spirituality, devotions, and moral teachings were also thrown out the window as that was seen by many modern theologians as the only way to dialogue successfully with the secular world and also with the Protestant world and non-Christian world.
When you throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to your identity and then think you can dialogue with those who oppose you, you will be the one who will lose in the long run. Rather than opening the world to Christ, the Church opened herself to the world who does not recognize Christ as the Church does and thus the Church began to conform or be converted to the world. Blessed John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI have sought to turn that mentality around. Especially the attention that Pope Benedict has given to the Liturgy, both the EF and OF is a rather significant development for it is in her liturgy that the Church finds the source and summit of her Catholic identity. A corrupted form of celebrating the liturgy will corrupt Catholic identity.
So a recovery of Catholic identity, including all our little "t" traditions, as well as the EF Form of the Mass, faithful celebrations of the OF Mass, our Catholic spirituality, doctrines and morality will go a long way in recovering what Vatican II presumed the Church would bring to the world, her unabashedly Catholic identity. This will lead the world to Christ, not Catholics who have lost their Catholic identity. In this way, we all will truly become Vatican II Catholics.