Wednesday, April 12, 2017
THE GREAT CLARIFICATION IN GOD'S PROVIDENTIAL WAY
[The Second Vatican]Council wishes "to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion". And he continues: "Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us...". It is necessary that "adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness..." be presented in "faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another...", retaining the same meaning and message. --Pope Saint John XXIII
For the first 13 years of my life, the Catholic Church was like a rock, sure, consistent, sober, united, and proud of her 2000 year history with all the cultural additions in that period of time, some down right fun, others silly but all contributing to our Catholic identity and sense of being a worldwide community of believers connected sacramentally through a Latin Liturgy celebrated somewhat consistently and the same way throughout the Latin Rite.
Then Vatican II happened which could have led to a new springtime for Catholicism worldwide but hijacked by those who had their own "spirit" of Vatican II Council that often had little or nothing to do with what the Documents of Vatican II claimed or the paradigm it promoted.
And for the next 14 years, the Catholic Church in her chaotic division became a marshmallow rather than a rock and many left the Church disappointed in the changes or the lack of changes depending on the Pandora's Box that was opened for individuals more concerned about "me" than "we" and less concerned about the common good.
Then Pope Saint John Paul II came around in 1978 and charted a new course and the recovery of the "Great Discipline" of the Church. Pope Benedict XVI continued that course.
In fact emerging from 1978 to 2012 was the great ideological divide between prelates of the same age, John Paul II and Benedict on the side of reform in continuity in light of what Vatican II actually taught and Kasper and Kung who wanted to refashion the Church into a worldwide ecumenical experience open to the fierce individualism of the age based on Vatican II's "spirit" not intent.
And now the successor of Pope Benedict, Pope Francis, ordained well after Vatican II in the most turbulent time of 1969 has brought back that period of time in a Twilight Zoneish time warp.
But maybe it is all in God's divine providence to separate the chaff from the wheat.
I firmly believe that Pope Francis is creating, even if unwittingly, a strong desire for a Church that is true to herself, unembarrassed by her great patrimony, doctrinally, morally and culturally.
I happen to think the school of thought, the only correct one, by the way, is the one that sees reform in continuity and Pope Benedict set the agenda at his Christmas talk to the cardinals in 2005 which you can read here. Pope Benedict will one day be appreciated and extolled for all His Holiness did to lead the Church back to a sound and credible witness and to win the spiritual battle of the two schools of thought represented by those of the same age, John Paul II/Benedict school and Kasper/Kung school.