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Let’s stop pretending: something DID go wrong after Vatican II
By Phil Lawler | Aug 23, 2017Something went wrong—seriously wrong—in the Catholic Church in the years after Vatican II. Can we all agree on that much? Leave aside, for now, the familiar debate about the causes of the problem; let’s begin with the agreement that there is, or at least certainly was, a problem.
Eric Sammons makes the point in a provocative essay that appeared in Crisis last week:
If an entirely objective social scientist were to study the Catholic Church in the second half of the twentieth century, he would see one fact staring him straight in the face: the Church experienced a precipitous decline in the Western world during that time.The problem (whatever it is) is compounded, Sammons remarks, by a general refusal to acknowledge the reality of our post-conciliar difficulties: what he terms a “soft censorship” of unpleasant news. Bishops and pastors, diocesan newspapers and parish bulletins have bombarded us for years with reports that the Church is “vibrant,” that programs are booming, that the liturgy is beautiful, that religious education is robust. Never is heard a discouraging word. Yet we know better. We know about the shortage of priests; we see the news of parish closing; we notice the empty pews on Sundays. Something is wrong; we know that.
Sammons argues persuasively that this “soft censorship,” this see-no-evil approach, is now an impediment to evangelization, because it thwarts serious discussions about Mthe current state of the Church. Evangelization means bringing people to the truth, he reasons, and that process “cannot thrive in a censored environment.”
Read the rest there.
Vatican II is what it is and we know that much of it has to do with pastoral theology not dogma or doctrine, except where existing dogma and doctrine are cited.
The optimism of Vatican II and the post Vatican II Church can be traced to the optimism of the secular 1960's, that people could conquer all the problems of the world from war and peace to poverty--remember President Johnson's war on poverty and how successful it was/is?
This optimism, which infected our Church's leadership, turned the Church away from the four last things, death, judgement, heaven and hell, to a Utopian ideology that foresaw heaven on earth by virtue of the Church, a new, ugly and heretical triumphalism that replaced the Church previous and quite healthy triumphalism based upon our movement to the Church Triumphant in heaven symbolized by the trappings and aspiration of the Church Militant on earth.
We cannot undue an Ecumenical Council and the papal magisteriums that were authoritative and codified in bulls and encyclicals. But we can make course corrections.
And Pope Benedict set forth that course direction in his papacy that is going to be viewed soon as a very prophetic moment in the life of the papacy and the Church.
It means continuity between the pre and post Vatican II Church, her liturgies, sacramental theology and the thrust toward preparing for the Kingdom of God as the four last things approach all of us and also with an eye on the Last Judgment. Earth isn't heaven try as we may to make it heaven.
Vatican II has to be read, understood and properly implemented as Pope Benedict insisted.
The current pontificate is informing a whole new generation of much young Catholics as to the deleterious effects of liberal, progressive ideology when applied to the Church in a political way and horizontal way. This generation is seeing the very same authoritarianism in implementing a progressive theology/ideology and the subsequent division it creates and the loss of the Catholic Faithful to either schismatic sects or the creation of new ones or to Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy or to becoming "nones" from a complete loss of faith.
Leadership based upon Pope Benedict's vision is need now more than ever and it will come--that is called faith, hope and love!
Lawler talks about the Catholic decline in the Western world, a pure devastation indeed. When millions and millions upon millions of people leave the Church like that, the demonic is certainly involved. The Church has been growing much in some places like Africa, but Western godless ideological colonialism, particularly from USA, will change that shortly, as the god of money becomes more important than spiritual beliefs. Moreover, strong centers of Catholicism such as Latin America are already declining fast, often to the more conservative and less "pastoral" Protestant sects.
Lawler mentions a point which until very recently has been anathema to discuss, that the Council itself is to blame. St John XXIII was naive in thinking that the modernists in the Church had been comfortably held at bay since the time of Leo XIII and Puis X when he called for the aggiornamento, a call that was needed because after the A-bomb the world was radically different from the time of Jesus of Nazareth, a call to update the Church to be able to speak intelligibly with the modern world. But as soon as the Council began, the preparatory documents were thrown out, and the participants replaced them with their own, and with their own agenda. It seems the modernists had been in hiding all these years, and armies of them came out of their hiding when the Council began.
You can see that quite clearly in the liturgical document that was the first to appear, pretty well encapsulating Richard McBrien's ideological claim that the pre-Vatican II Church was nothing more than the defensive counter-Reformation Church of the 16th century, which obviously needed to be modernised. I was startled to read over at the NLM site yesterday what William Durandus had to say about the silent Canon, because all that he said is a sin against the actuosa participatio of the Consilium.
It would not have made any difference to tell the Consilium that Durandus lived in the 13th century, not the post Reformation 16th. Ignorance, false historicism, deception, ideological manipulation, were what the liturgical movement was about, a movement that saw its greatest success in the liturgical reforms already begun after WW2, reforms further made possible by the devious ambiguous language already in Sacrosanctum Concilium that the modernists were able to imbibe into the document.
And in all of these goings on, the faithful were pawns of the modernists, feeling betrayed, and leaving the Church.
In my opinion, another council needs to be called before another great schism occurs, a real council that deals with doctrinal and dogmatic issues, to once and for all cast judgement on the claims of the modernists. That ain't gonna happen with this papacy, which knows that such a council would put a stop to the modernist effort of surreptitiously changing Church teaching.
When I see the crop of newer priests, I see hope. They are far more traditional than the priests who came of age in the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. They will reform the Church and bring the Liturgy back to a much more traditional expression that the Council intended, in stark contrast, to what the Consilium foisted upon us.
If Vatican II were completely deleted what from it would we not be free to do anyway? If we started with a list of things that were done directly as a result of Vatican II that Cardinals Sarah and Kasper both agreed were good to have what would be lost that we now have that would cause an exodus in the next ten years like we had in the first ten of Vatican II?
The only thing Vatican II really did that was relatively positive, was fix relationships with Eastern churches, or improve their relationships with them. Otherwise, Vatican II was the perfect storm of everything happening at the wrong time.
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