Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Both Cardinals Wuerl and Cupich have said recently that Pope Francis is reconnecting us to Vatican II and both in the context of decentralization (synodalty) and the Liturgy (the liturgy wars). This of course implies that Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict disconnected the Church from Vatican II. To imply this is a bit of snarkiness and arrogance.

We are also being reconnected to the idolatry of making Vatican II into a god. In my formative years from the time of Vatican II to well into my priesthood, we heard more about Vatican II than Jesus Christ, Scripture and Tradition. It was all about changing this, that and the other, the new and improved notion of marketing.

Give me Jesus and to heck with Vatican II rhetoric.


Victor said...

"... we heard more about Vatican II than Jesus Christ, Scripture and Tradition."

Indeed, the extent of this idolatry was unbelievable, and moreover, how much of it was just soaked in untruth. The idea of bringing the Church into the modern world was what it was all about o the surface, but underneath it was understood as changing the Church to conform to the World, because the World had the Truth all along.
And this idolatry is still strong, and growing again.

Joe Potillor said...

Decentralisation isn't so much of a problem, IF the Bishops' do their job: Teach, sanctify, govern their flocks. It is a problem when they don't....unfortunately, for much of the western church, the Bishops' do not do their job, thus decentralisation is counterproductive to whatever good it may intend. The principle of subsidiarity does suggest decentralisation....but as I often say, with Bishops' like these, who needs enemies?

James Ignatius McAuley said...

Lol! What a hoot. Father! And, so true. I remember making the same complaint back in the late 1980s.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, in the Crux interview, Cardinal Wuerl did say that John Paul II and Benedict XVI made it possible for Francis to reconnect us to Vatican II:

"if we didn’t have John Paul II for 26 years. We wouldn’t be in the Francis papacy.
When you think of it: All the energy that was unleashed at the Council, and then there was the periods of confusion, there was the period where not everything was clearly focused the way it should have been. Then we had this wonderful pontificate that basically did an encyclical or an exhortation on every single element of the [Council]. With that done, now we can say we truly have a clear idea of what the Council wanted us to do, now let’s go do it. And Francis is the one saying here’s how you do that."

Anonymous said...

Father, you might be interested to know that in the recent French interview book (not yet out in English), Francis explicitly states that he agrees with Benedict's notion of a hermeneutic of continuity with respect to Vatican II and doctrinal development in general. He also states that he agrees with Cardinal Ratzinger's condemnations of liberation theology in the 80s.

Tony V said...

I don't see what "decentralisation" had to to do with either of the Vatican Councils. In the first, the pope got himself declared infallible. In the second, the bishops tried to get on the same bandwagon.
The Orthodox aren't perfect either, but they manage to hold to the faith without the curse of ultramontanism.

TJM said...

Well, if Francis is the one saying "here's how you do it" his reading comprehension is seriously flawed, e.g. Sacrosanctum Concilium. We really aren't doing much of anything SC actually said

Henry said...

Reconnection with Vatican II is the last thing the Church needs. Is there a single Vatican II inspired change--whether in public worship, private devotion, catechesis, religious education, ecumenism, charitable works, or whatever--that has not been a colossal failure with disastrous consequences for Catholic life and faith?

If not, shouldn't the Church instead put this failed Council in the rear-view mirror and move on?

TJM said...


AMEN!!! That's why I always refer to it as "Vatican Disaster II!"

John Nolan said...

Well, if it's any consolation, there will not be a Vatican III. For a start, there are more than twice as many bishops as there were in 1962. Secondly, most of them are not competent enough in Latin to take part in debates.

In 1962 it was still possible to talk of a 'Universal Church'. No longer.

Dialogue said...


I do think that if clergy and religious had accepted the corrective leadership of Paul VI (yes, Paul VI!), St. JPII and BXVI, then Vatican II could have been saved and made effective. But it does seem increasingly futile to keep referring to documents from such a confusing era while the Church continues to hemorrhage souls. The next ecumenical council will likely be composed of representatives of the various episcopal conferences, and will be necessary to chart the future of evangelization, worship and catechesis.