Thursday, October 6, 2011
DID YOU KNOW THAT THE CHURCH PRIOR TO VATICAN II IS THE SAME CHURCH AFTER VATICAN II? WELL, NOT EVERYONE KNOWS THAT, BUT IT IS NOW BEING MADE CLEAR!
When I began major seminary in 1976, the Second Vatican Council had concluded about 12 years earlier. To this 22 year old that seem like a century had past in 1976. Today I realize that 12 years is not that long. We were taught in the seminary that Vatican II brought a great rupture in the trajectory of the Church. What preceded Vatican II was rigid, moldy, outdated, pagan, corrupted, and in need of great reform. After Vatican II the Church was purified of all of that except for a few diehards that wanted to keep the dusty old accretions of the pre-Vatican II Church. In 1976 the many theologians and many clergy and religious had moved away from what Vatican II actually taught and were embracing "the spirit of Vatican II" which was really the "pie in the sky" Vatican III that had never happened and will never happen. They were living in a fantasy land of their own making and in delusional euphoria bringing that delusion to the person in the pew who with pre-Vatican II innocence thought the clergy and the religious would not lead them astray. These good pre-Vatican II laity were wrong of course.
These were the main words of the powerful address delivered by Cardinal Piacenza, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, to seminarians in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on October 4th:
Yours will probably be the first generation that will correctly interpret the Second Vatican Council, not according to the "spirit" of the Council, which has brought so much disorientation to the Church, but according to what the Conciliar Event really said, in its texts to the Church and to the world.
There is no Vatican II different from the one that produced the texts we have in our possession today! It is in those texts that we find that will of God for his Church and it is to them that we must refer, accompanied by two thousand years of Tradition and Christian life.
Renewal is always necessary for the Church, because the conversion of her members, poor sinners, is always necessary! But there cannot be, nor could there be, a pre-Conciliar Church and a post-Conciliar Church! Were it thus, the second one - ours - would be historically and theologically illegitimate!
There is only one Church of Christ, of which you are part, that goes from Our Lord to the Apostles, from the Blessed Virgin Mary to the Fathers and the Doctors of the Church, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, from Romanesque to Gothic to Baroque, and thus until our days, uninterruptedly, without any solution of continuity, ever!
And all that because the Church is the Body of Christ, it is the unity of His Person that is given unto us, her members!
You, most dear Seminarians, will be priests in the same Church of Saint Augustine, of Saint Ambrose, of Saint Thomas Aquinas, of Saint Charles Borromeo, of Saint John Mary Vianney, of Saint John Bosco, of Saint Pius X, up to Saint Padre Pio, Saint Josemaría Escrivá and Blessed John Paul II. You will be priests of the same Church that has been made up of so many holy Priests who, throughout the centuries, have rendered the face of Christ, Lord of the world, luminous, beautiful, radiant, and, therefore, easily recognizable.