Saturday, September 29, 2012
NEO-PROTESTANT ATTITUDES AND NEO-SCHISMATIC PRACTICES AND THE TRUTH ABOUT VATICAN II AND CATHOIC OBEDIENCE TO THE MAGISTERIUM OF THE CHURCH
My Comments first: One of the things I have consistently challenged on my blog is what I call neo-Protestantism and neo-schismatic attitudes about Vatican II, Church authority and fidelity to the Holy Father in the areas of faith, morals and canon law. This fidelity has to go beyond personal tastes and preferences in politics and religious practices.
For example it is perfectly acceptable to prefer a quiet Mass over Mass with music, which on Sunday is the norm according to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. It is perfectly fine to prefer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to the Ordinary, normative Form of the Mass.
Where Catholics become neo-Protestant or neo-schismatic is when they think their personal tastes and perspectives on politics and religion trumps the Church, the Magisterium, the Holy Father and the normative experience of Catholicism.
For example, unless and until SSPX is regularized with the Magisterium and unity in the ministry of Peter, that of the Holy Father, they are what I call neo-schismatic even though they hold on to the faith that most Catholics practiced prior to the Second Vatican Council, with the major exception that most pre-VAtican II Catholics were extremely faithful to the pope, bishops and living Magisterium of the Church as well as canon law! But who in the name of God has set the SSPX up as the parallel Magisterium to keep the faith in tact? Who has made them the center of Church unity? Yes, their trajectory in rejecting large parts of an ecumenical council and direct disobedience to the Holy Father is very similar in attitude to that of Martin Luther and John Calvin except the latter two had heretical views that they foisted upon their followers who broke communion with Rome.
Perhaps we can say that Martin Luther and John Calvin did fit into God's plan for the Catholic Church to make the Magisterium address internal corruption and clarify doctrine and dogma in the Counter-Reformation and the Council of Trent. Maybe the neo-schismatic SSPX will help the Church do the same today, especially as it regards the Liturgy.
However, I do not believe that the 1962 Liturgy or any missal prior to that must be frozen in time, but what develops must be in continuity with our Tradition. The 2012 Missal in English can easily be celebrated in continuity with the 1962 missal with only minor tweaking and can at least look and sound like the 1962 without any radical adjustment, simply doing what is allowed when celebrated ad orientem and in Latin.
The Second Vatican Council is being interpreted correctly by the Magisterium. Other neo-schismatics in the corrupt, progressive "spirit" of Vatican II have hijacked the council and made it appear to be that which it really never was. Some of this was outright disobedience, others though sincerely thought they were doing the work of the council in their hermeneutic of discontinuity. Our Holy Father has the correct hermeneutic for interpreting the Council and Cardinal Levada below does too. Nothing can be done overnight to rectify the breach in Catholicism brought on by the wrong hermeneutic of interpretation, but a great deal of progress has been made since Pope John Paul II was elected in 1978 and more so since Pope Benedict's papacy. Patience is a virtue and not everything will be accomplished in one's lifetime. Union with the Holy Father and the Bishops in union with him is the only faithful position of any Catholic! And yes, that take humility which is the opposite of the deadly sin of pride.
Cardinal William Levada, until recently the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, delivered a 13-page keynote address at a Catholic University of America symposium on the Second Vatican Council.
“The truth of our faith has been safeguarded and illumined by the work of the councils, as promised by Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles,” Cardinal Levada said. “Today’s culture is often skeptical about claims to know the truth: so we get along by agreeing that one person’s opinion is as good as another’s, and that we must live by ‘our own truth’ … In my view, a renewed apologetics for our time should be placed among the unfinished tasks bequeathed to us by the Council, and an important project for every Catholic university.”
“It is true to say that Vatican II was by intention a ‘pastoral’ council,” he continued. “From this, however, one cannot infer that the Council’s teachings are not “doctrinal.” Teaching the Gospel of life and salvation is the chief ‘pastoral’ task of the Bishop; it is doctrinal in its principles and pastoral in its applications … The teachings of Vatican II, even if not infallibly proclaimed, must be taken as ‘normative’ (always in accord with their intention and purpose) by all of us Catholics today,” he added. “Rather than pastoral or doctrinal, we should say of the Council that it was pastoral and doctrinal.”
Cardinal Levada criticized the rejection of conciliar teaching by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the “hermeneutic of discontinuity” that followed the council in some places. “The Council, like all of the Apostolic Tradition, finds its authentic, authoritative interpretation, not in the judgment of individuals or groups (such has been the origin of schisms from the Church), but rather in the judgment of the Church’s Magisterium, according to the promise of Christ to the Apostles,” he said, adding:
(My comment about the following two paragraphs--I was taught in the 1970's seminary that the following would be the future of the Church, but indeed it is heretical): About four years ago the Dominican Province in the Netherlands sent a letter to every parish in the country outlining their position on how to meet the shortage of priests that prevents people from having Mass offered in their own parish church every Sunday. They proposed not only the ordination of women and married men, but also advanced the theory that in the absence of an ordained priest, the worshipping assembly could designate its own presider who could lead them in a valid Eucharist.
It does not take an expert in theology to recognize such a view as heretical, since only a validly ordained priest can celebrate a valid Eucharist (cf. CCC n. 1411). Here is an example of the confusion caused by an attempted interpretation of Church doctrine that is “in discontinuity, even rupture” with the Tradition of the Church. In order to repair the scandal caused, the Master General of the Order required the Provincial to send to the same parishes an article prepared by the Dominican theologian Fr. LeGrand, OP, presenting the correct Catholic doctrine on each of the points raised by his Dutch confreres.