Wednesday, December 19, 2012
INFALLIBILITY APPLIED TO A SPECIFIC SCHOOL OF INTERPRETING SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM
Folks, the Second Vatican Council while one of the most authoritative ways that the Pope together with the bishops of the world fulfill their commission to teach, rule and sanctify, is not primarily a dogmatic Ecumenical Council, but rather a pastoral one. Because of that much of what is taught is in reaction to the social trends and changes of the late 1950's and early 1960's in light of the aftermath of World War II, the Holocaust and the liturgical movement of the 20th century.
What also had changed even more gradually was the relationship of the Church to Protestantism, to the Jews and to other religions. The Church at the time of the Council and certainly today saw dialogue with all of these realities as important and the need to find commonality with one another to build a better world.
With all the talk of how Sacrosanctum Concilium reflecting a new ecclesiology of the Church where the laity take their rightful, proactive place in worship by acknowledging their own baptized priesthood, the primary emphasis of Vatican II's ecclesiology powerfully symbolized by the call to holiness of the laity in addition to the clergy and religious was that they would bring their Catholic faith in a more public, less private way, to the public square, such as their home, their places of work and where they recreate. It was hoped that those public Catholics who are in high places of business, politics and government would do so in the most spectacular way of Catholic witness to the truths of the Church, not something they manufacture for themselves.
This is where Vatican II has failed and on a grand scale. Or it might be better for me to say this is where Vatican II has been neglected by liberal, progressive Catholics and even by more conservative pundits.
The priesthood of the baptized is primarily for the world and the witness that the Catholic baptized give to the world by their actions.
How then can we say that Vatican II has been fulfilled when nearly 80% of Roman Catholics do not go to Mass every Sunday, thus diminishing the hope-for participation of Catholics in a conscious, present way at Mass?
How then can we say that Vatican II has been fulfilled with the majority of Catholics who enter public politics appear to accept abortion of demand, the HHS mandate and same sex marriage?
How then can we say that Vatican II has been fulfilled with a great number of Catholics who dissent from Humanae Vitae that emphasizes the three legs of Catholic morality and from that point of view is indeed infallible, Scripture, Tradition and Natural Law?
How then can we say that Vatican II has been fulfilled when we see priests and religious in Austria and other places creating a neo-Protestant reformation that will lead to a break with the Catholic Church and her Faith and Morals?
The progressive, liberal element of the Church since Vatican II has been a miserable failure for the Church, fragmented and lacking in common sense. That truth is especially symbolized by the form and type of liturgy they would like to see for the Church and in fact have foisted upon two to three generations of Catholics since Vatican II, an iconoclastic liturgy and architecture to match it, an empty, sterile liturgy that focuses on the horizontal and leaves the vertical, the God aspect, on the periphery.
Infallibility that is creeping and creepy as it concerns Sacrosanctum Concilium is a liturgy that blurs the distinctions between the ordained and the laity, the holy of holies and the nave, that emphasizes what the symbols of the liturgy look like, taste like, smell like and act like while neglecting Jesus Christ and His clear mandates. Progressivism makes a god out of bread and wine eaten and drunk, standing to receive and liturgical actions and signs that are big and expansive. But it fails to connect the believer to God in any real sense of Mystery, awe, wonder and humility in the Divine Presence.
What really freaks progressives out is that traditionalists for the most part, while not entirely of course, accept Vatican II and the Liturgy it has wrought and appreciate Vatican II when interpreted within continuity with what preceded it. It freaks them out that the theology of Pope Benedict and his followers is on the ascendency while the post-Vatican II "spirit of the Council" is clearly descending into its own manufactured anarchy and decomposition. It is not long for this world or the next.
Traditionalists who love the hermeneutic of reform in continuity love the post Vatican II liturgy celebrated by the book (say the black and do the red) when sacred music is in continuity with sacred chant of the past, when Latin is allowed, kneeling for Holy Communion a clear option and ad orientem more frequent.
We also love the Extraordinary Form of the Mass as Pope Benedict has allowed it! We see it as in continuity with the reform when the reform is celebrated in continuity with it!
I think Pope Benedict's view of things will impact the future of the Church in a way that no one ever imagined in the 1970's, that is those from the 1970's (like me, but at least I've tried to move on) who are still living as though it is still 1970 and can't believe that God has reversed things on them through the Magisterium of the Church and by popular demand. God is good.
Being stuck in the 1970's is tiresome and the 1970's really is over except where it is still practiced by a dying generation.