Saturday, January 5, 2013


The blog, Chiesa has an interesting article which you can read here where the author describes a new term for us,"a cafeteria conciliarism." Here are some excepts:

My comments are in BOLD and the article excerpts from Father Robert Imbelli are italicized.

Is this a new hermeneutic for us and my blog where I can challenge not only progressives but retro, neo-traditionalists?:

Hence, in my view, the Council’s deepest “ressourcement” was a re-Sourcement: a recovery of the Church’s and humanity’s foundational identity in Christ. This “return to Christ” is far deeper than the social moralism of the “progressives” or the invariant propositionalism of the “traditionalists.” Rather, it is the invitation to enter into a life-giving and life-changing relationship with the living Lord, Jesus Christ.

Are we more preoccupied with the roles of laity and clergy and miss the role of the Head?

...mysticism is proclaimed in chapter one of "Lumen Gentium" on “The Mystery of the Church.” This first chapter is the too often neglected matrix of the subsequent chapters on the “People of God” and on the “Hierarchical Structure of the Church.” We can become so preoccupied and fixated upon the respective roles and responsibilities of lay people and ordained that we forget that we are only branches of the vine who is Christ. The Church, as chapter one of "Lumen Gentium" proclaims, is “sign or sacrament of unity” with God and all humankind only to the extent that it is “in Christ.” Otherwise it is a lifeless de-capitated body, detached from its Head.

As I have repeatedly said, we as Catholics are obliged to receive the documents of the Second Vatican Council as the Magisterium interprets them, especially the living Magisterium of any period along with the Holy Father. Of course, Pope Benedict interprets the Second Vatican Council documents through the powerful, corrective lens of reform in continuity, which of course makes perfect sense!

In receiving the Council, then, it is imperative to appropriate the documents in a comprehensive way, with pride of place given to the four Constitutions. They must each be given their due, both in their entirety and in their connections with one another. Otherwise, we will fall into “a cafeteria conciliarism,” choosing only those aspects which accord with our pre-determined agenda.

However, in line with what I have said above, of the four Constitutions I suggest that "Dei Verbum" serves as “prima inter pares.” For, if God has not revealed himself fully in Christ, then there is no basis for either the Church’s doctrinal claims or its social teaching. Only in Christ do these take on compelling coherence, not as programs, but as a Way of life in ongoing and transformative relation with the living Lord.

Finally, it is Jesus Christ who saves us as mediated through the Church and her liturgy and teachings. The danger in Catholicism in meltdown is that other things replace God and His Word incarnate, such as debates on the liturgy and its correct expression and what Vatican II actually taught or worse yet making Vatican II into a false god which the progressives of the Church are prone to do. Growing up I actually heard the word Vatican II more than I heard the word Jesus Christ in homilies.

I don't worship the Magisterium, the Pope or Vatican II and no one else should either. We worship God through Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let's fixate on Him and His true identity in Whom we find our true identity and then maybe we will celebrate the Liturgy of Vatican II in a way that is worthy of the One who give us our identity. And of course that Liturgy in the Latin Rite has two forms, Extraordinary and Ordinary!

In "Novo Millennio Ineunte," the magnificent Apostolic Letter written at the conclusion of the Great Jubilee Year 2000, Blessed John Paul II wrote: “We are certainly not seduced by the na├»ve expectation that, faced with the great challenges of our time, we shall find some magic formula. No, we shall not be saved by a formula but by a Person, and the assurance which he gives us: I am with you!”

Such is the conviction and the challenge posed by the Year of Faith which occurs not merely this year, but every year. That conviction and challenge is the ever new realization that “the Mystery is this: Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). This is the truly Good News we seek to share with all people.


Clare said...

The thing I have an issue with, is that the typical post-Vatican II form of Catholicism that I encounter is all about social justice. Its all very humanistic, one might go as far to say, socialist. All the homilies I hear these days are about encouraging us to do volunteer charity work, to help our neighbor, to fight injustice. This is all very well and good, except that the sacred, the mystical, the spiritual has been all but eliminated from the typical Catholic parish. We've gone from being a "faith and works" religion, to just a "works" religion, the opposite of the protestant "faith" only. To be perfectly honest, I'm kind of burned out on the constant nagging about social justice and works I hear from the mainstream Church today. It kind of makes the "faith only" approach a lot more appealing to me.

rcg said...

I am happy to claim to be a cafeteria Catholic if it means I am free to chose the best and most appropriate form of worship from what is allowed and presented. I do not think the EF is the only valid form or Liturgical expression, either. But I will point out, respectfully, Father that your exemplar OF Mass has undergone extensive modification to reflect the benefits inherent in the EF. You previous Masses were valid and acceptable, yet when you became aware you changed. If you had done otherwise I think you may have supplanted yourself or your agenda for the One we worship. That you knew Who was the object of worship is what made you turn around.

Anonymous said...

I find this article a little bit problematic, because it seems to be a disguised defense of the progressive relativists and manages to do so by accusing traditionalists of being "preoccupied" with the blurring of roles between laity and ordained and with liturgical propriety.

The problem is not that traditionalists are "preoccupied" with anything. A better word would be VIGILANT. Overall, too many in the Church have FAILED to be vigilant about what the author seems to be trivializing. By failing to be vigilant, Catholics who knew better have allowed the gradual, but complete encroachment of liturgical abuses and inappropriate roles for the laity that have cause devastating confusion and sometimes outright heresy. If that seems a stretch, just take a look at a recent letter in the Southern Cross, where an elderly Catholic woman writes in defense of an excommunicated priest--the letter is filled with so much misguided anti-magisterial nonsense that one would be tempted to laugh if not for the fact that so many Catholics actually believe the same things and believe they are living as Catholics in good standing.

We have to be vigilant. Call it preoccupied if you like, but if it wasn't for us "preoccupied" Catholics, there would be no indult for the EF today.

Henry Edwards said...

On the traditional side where I have wider experience (as opposed to the progressivist side), I don't see much problem in accepting the documents of Vatican II as the Magisterium interprets them.

For instance, for the last year or so, our TLM celebrant Fr. John Orr--who has written two 5-star books on the documents of Vatican II (amazon search "John Orr Vatican II")--has devoted a part of each TLM (and OF) Sunday sermon to a "Year of Faith" tour of these documents in the light of the Magisterium and Popes John Paul and Benedict, and I've not heard a single negative comment by a trad in the coffee sessions afterward.

The main problem with these documents is those instances where no magisterial interpretation has been supplied.

James Ignatius McAuley said...

There is a lot of glorious things to be found in the documents of Vatican II. Personally, I have always liked the proclamation of Our Lady as Mother of the Church. The votive mass of her under this title is beautiful. One can sit and just meditate on the prayers that make it up.