The hollow, empty, ugly "spirit" of Vatican II and its anti-Pope Hans:
As I have written before, there is still a huge number of Catholics my age and older (late 50's and through the 90's) who were formed in the euphoria of Pandora's Box that was opened by the unbridled implementation of the "spirit" of Vatican II. We thought way back then, i.e. 1963 to about 1978 that Vatican II's spirit could be implemented in a pre-Vatican II authoritarian way. We were convinced that we were right, the pre-Vatican II Church was wrong and pre-Vatican II Catholics were despicable and needed purification and reform and we were the light unto their path! The only thing we really liked about pre-Vatican II was its ability to tell people what to do and although we were liberal, we wanted to imposed our liberal "spirit" of Vatican II on the entire people of God and the world and at the risk of being hyperbolic, I guess I could say that this was religious liberal fascism.
Last night I preached at my former parish of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Augusta. I tried to tied the Gospel reading about the indissolubility of sacramental marriage into family life, and the Church's pro-life teachings which includes the prophetic message of Humanae Vitae and that 20/20 hindsight shows us today how wise this encyclical was and how important it is for Catholic identity today. I also touched on the rebellion it caused in the Church in 1968 from which we have yet to fully recover but there isn't the same antipathy about Humanae Vitae today amongst practicing Catholics as there was in 1968 amongst pre-Vatican II Catholics embracing the post Vatican II "spirit" of Catholicism and deconstruction of true Catholicism found not actually in the actual documents of Vatican II.
It happened that one of my former parishioners now in his 70's was in the seminary in the 1960's and at Louvain Seminary in 1968 was at this Mass and he came up to me afterward to thank me for the homily. He recalled how divisive Humanae Vitae was and its wholesale rejection by the intelligentsia of the Catholic academic world which included not only rank and file Catholics but bishops, priests, nuns and theologians. He was on their side at the time and recalled that these same people were seeking to make the Catholic Church into a Protestant enterprise as that would be the only way to have Christian Unity. They wanted to put a moratorium on ordaining priests until the priesthood was redefined according to Protestant principles of ministry that would allow anyone to be ordained. They really want to rid the world of the true Church and make the true Church into a bastardized substitution. This gentleman at the time was with that spirit and became so disgusted with Humanae Vitae and the move to restore the Church to what it was meant to be as the Second Vatican Council desired that he left the pursuit of the priesthood.
Today with 20/20 hindsight he sees that Pope Paul VI was right and there was no way that the true Church could be destroyed by this cadre of dissident Catholics in high and low places, who remain today with us in their old age still stirring the pot of dissent and trying the deconstruct the true Church and make it Protestant at best or neo-Protestant at worst. The Holy Spirit preserved the Church from being overtaken by this dissident group 40 years ago but who now are gasping their last frantic breath and they know that now as they start to die off,thus their driveling rhetoric is having its final rally before they expire.
The Tablet, a "catholic" periodical out of England has an article on Vatican II (WHICH YOU CAN READ IN FULL HERE) and laments that the Council's spirit has been hijacked by three flies in the ointment of Vatican II:
"There were, of course, two flies in the ointment [of Vatican II's spirit] – or three if one counts the 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which caused a profound crisis of self-confidence in the post-conciliar Church that has still not been overcome. The two are, first, the fact that implementation of the council’s decrees was left in the hands of the same Roman Curia whose initial drafts had been so comprehensively rejected. The second was the failure to carry out the council’s desire that the spirit of collegiality, which had been so productive, should be continued afterwards, within appropriate institutions. The International Synod of Bishops has proved a disappointment, not least because it has been too easily manipulated. Hence the council’s fundamental vision of the Church’s structure – of it being governed by a college of bishops with the Pope at its head, and the Curia subject to, and at the service of, both – has received only lip service. If a return to the texts leads the Church to rediscover that vision and resolve to make it come alive at last, a new and exciting chapter may be about to be written. The Church will be set in motion again. But the forces of anti-conciliar reaction have not yet been defeated. They did not like the council then and they do not like it now, and they will do everything they can to frustrate it."
Basically the quote above envisions a Church that already exists and in Vatican II's "spirit" in the most pristine sense and that is the Anglican Church, aka The Protestant Episcopal Church in America. The key to this kind of ecclesial institution is the removal of "natural law" from its moral authority and thus the opening up of the contraceptive and abortion mentality which allows individuals the freedom to do the immoral without guilt or impunity and the state to impose the contraceptive and abortion agenda on the world through law.
Allowing for unbridled collegiality allows the agenda of deconstructing the Church even further, such as the ordination of women, the redefining of Jesus Christ and the Most Holy Trinity and the dumbing down of the Church into a "Unitarian" understanding of self and the world. This is exactly what is happening to the Episcopal Church and through the tyranny of democratic principles run a muck.
The liberal mirror image of the Holy Father, what one might call the modern anti-pope and who some say is going senile of the fumes of the spirit of Vatican II that still linger like cobwebs in his brain, Father Hans Kung, has as recently as October 5th, called for the on-going "spirit" of Vatican II rebellion when he says in an interview in the Guardian the following (you can read the full sad article by pressing here). The following is but a short excerpt:
One of the world’s most prominent Catholic theologians has called for a revolution from below to unseat the pope and force radical reform at the Vatican.
Hans Küng is appealing to priests and churchgoers to confront the Catholic hierarchy, which he says is corrupt, lacking credibility and apathetic to the real concerns of the church’s members.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Küng, who had close contact with the pope when the two worked together as young theologians, described the church as an “authoritarian system” with parallels to Germany’s Nazi dictatorship.
“The unconditional obedience demanded by bishops who swear their allegiance to the pope when they make their holy oath is almost as extreme as that of the German generals who were forced to swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler,” he said.
The Vatican made a point of crushing any form of clerical dissent, he added. “The rules for choosing bishops are so rigid that as soon as candidates emerge who say, stand up for the pill, or for the ordination of women, they are struck off the list.” The result was a church of “yes men”, almost all of whom unquestioningly toed the line.
“The only way for reform is from the bottom up,” said Küng, 84, who is a priest. “The priests and others in positions of responsibility need to stop being so subservient, to organise themselves and say that there are certain things that they simply will not put up with anymore,” he added.
Küng, the author of around 30 books on Catholic theology, Christianity and ethics, which have sold millions worldwide, said that inspiration for global change was to be found in his native Switzerland and in Austria, where hundreds of Catholic priests have formed movements advocating policies that openly defy current Vatican practices. The revolts have been described as unprecedented by Vatican observers, who say they are likely to cause deep schisms in the church.
The Tablet's article ends with the following warning against Pope Benedict's "hermeneutic of continuity" in interpreting the Council documents and the reassertion of the true Church and her mission:
But the forces of anti-conciliar reaction have not yet been defeated. They did not like the council then and they do not like it now, and they will do everything they can to frustrate.
But I would like to paraphrase that bit of old age drivel:
But the forces of the anti-Christ and anti-Church have not yet been defeated, the so-called "spirit" of Vatican II. They do not like the hermeneutic of continuity, the pre-Vatican II Church or its Catholics and they don't like the true message of Vatican II, Humane Vitae and of the living Magisterium and they will do everything they can to frustrate, being quite frustrated themselves in their old age.