Analysis of the errors of Vatican II, part II November 11, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, different religion, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the struggle for the Church.
Picking up from Monday’s post (sorry about not posting yesterday, couldn’t be helped) excerpting HJA Sire’s book Phoenix From The Ashes, concluding his 5 page analysis of the progressive domination of Vatican II, and the gravely disordered – even heretical, according to Sire – documents that resulted. Key also below is the unmistakable role the conciliar popes played in how the Council played out, with their backing of the progressive faction at almost every key juncture. In point of fact, with regard to Paul VI in particular, the connection with the situation with the pontificate of today is unavoidable (if you don’t want to read the whole long post, at least read the last paragraph; my emphasis and comments):
Looking at the council documents as a whole, we see the prevalence of the “only one theological school” with which the progressives had charged the preparatory schemas. Although the liberated countries [a term Sire uses for the countries of Western Europe who fell to the Nazis in WWII, and then subsequently seemed to embrace a very liberal ecclesiastical view] did not get their way in everything, it would not be right to say that the council documents show a balance between the modernizing and traditional views. What we find is a text written by the progressives, with an occasional bleat of caution from the conservatives, weakening its force without providing any balance of doctrine. [In some small areas, yes. For the most part, the documents of Vatican II read like a “he said, she said” to me, with a statement of relative orthodoxy followed by a BUT clause that obliterates or greatly weakens what came before. In the worst parts, Sire is right, there is a statement of great novelty followed by a slightly moderating statement of orthodoxy. Frequently, the documents of VII seem at war with themselves] The question may then be asked why one can go through long sections of the Council’s documents without the sense that one is reading anything new. part of the reason is that the progressives were not in fact very original. Since on many topics they had nothing in particular to say, large tracts of the documents consist in unimpeachable statements of the Church’s traditional teaching. This fact is used by some to rebut accusations that the Council innovated in doctrine. In most of its teaching, indeed, it did not, but the question hinges on the parts in which it did.
In a similar line, there are the efforts of some traditionalists [I don’t often see traditionalists doing this, though it is the hallmark of conservative “neo-Catholics”] to distinguish between the Council itself and the wave of heresy that later overwhelmed the Church. That position has a great deal of truth in it; the appeal made to the Council to justify the subsequent demolition of the Church cannot be justified by its real teaching. [I’m not as certain. Certainly the progressives took what they got at VII and ran with it, but they were broadcasting their intent to do so even while the Council was still in process. The elements of the Council – “time bombs” – suitable for misinterpretation and abuse were broad enough to permit most of what came later to be at least distantly attributed to the Council. You and I may agree with the interpretations the liberals put on things to achieve their revolution, but there is no denying much of the confusing, contradictory verbiage they needed to work their revolution was contained within the conciliar texts] Nevertheless, the Council cannot be wholly acquitted, as pious Catholics would wish. The bias shown in it was directly responsible for the movement that followed, however much this outstripped the intentions of the council fathers at that time. The bishops who permitted the collapse of the Church in the sixties and seventies were the same ones who had initiated the process in Rome. Some did so because they were too much compromised with the original assault on tradition to reverse their course; others because they lacked the strength to resist the tide.
Leaving aside the question of orthodoxy, there is also that of the Council as a practical blunder. As with any council, one may look not merely at the doctrine declared but at the wisdom of its policy, a historical question to be judged by effective consequences. The most obvious mistake of the Second Vatican Council must be the failure of the modernizers, in their self-assurance, to foresee the collapse that followed it. [Did they fail to foresee this? Or did they intend it all along? Is attributing such dark intent to them unfair?] The greatest share of the blame must fall on Paul VI, and on the partisanship he showed in his direction of the Council. One reason for it may stem from his very tentativeness. He shrank from the idea of himself as one invested with power, one whose actions would be decisive in the Church, and it did not seem to strike him how shamelessly he was loading the dice in the progressive’s favor. Thus the pope who had proposed a serene reassessment of the Church’s doctrine in fact arranged a three-year turkey shoot of curialists and traditionalists. Instead of insuring balance, with perhaps some benign encouragement to the liberal side, he handed over absolute control to the modernizers, and then had to intervene from time to time to counter the results of his own policy; the only effect of this was to incur unpopularity and weaken his authority. It was thus due to Paul VI more than any individual that the Council was fundamentally flawed. [I think it was simpler: these men messed with primal forces far beyond their understanding. More prudent, holy souls at the Council could easily foresee the disaster that would follow. Regarding Paul VI, however, this is a man who deliberately and purposefully changed in immemorial Rite. He directed – and was heavily involved in – the production of the Novus Ordo a “banal on the spot manufactured product.” Anyone with sufficient hubris to do that is capable of anything.]
The one-sided nature of the Council’s proceedings has been amply documented since R. M. Wiltgren wrote his account of it, but it makes little headway against the line that the Council represented a great dawn of enlightenment in the Church. Any objections are dismissed on the assumption that the progressive party was triumphantly in the right. This resembles the position of the infallibilists in the First Vatican Council who dismissed criticism of their methods on the simple plea that they were right and their opponents wrong. On pastoral grounds, if we look at the Church’s progress in the following ninety years, it would be hard to argue that history gave them the lie. [And yet I think there is significant evidence that the papalotry encouraged by VI helped make VII possible]
With the Second Vatican Council, the case is very different; the verdict on it is pronounced by the history of the Church in the next half-century. IN the light of the invasion of secularism, of the atrophy of the spiritual life, of the drying up of vocations, of the vast loss of influence and respect suffered by the Church, the conclusion on practical grounds must be that the modernizers were wrong. They were wrong because of the aggressive imposition of their policy; they were wrong because of the promotion of their ideological priorities at the expense of genuine pastoral concerns; they were wrong because their reformism was reckless of orthodoxy and tradition; they were wrong in their pseudo-ecumenism which ignored the Eastern tradition of Christianity; and they were wrong above all in their determination to blur the line between the Catholic Faith and the protestant denial of it. The fact needs to be clearly stated: the Second Vatican Council was a betrayal of the Church’s faith. Its consequences cannot be put right until that betrayal has been recognized and reversed.
I agree. I fully agree. But it appears it will be a very long time before a consensus among the Church’s leadership emerges to even begin contemplating rolling back the Vatican II supercouncil that trumps all others. There probably are not a full dozen prelates in the Church today who would accept that last paragraph quoted above without significant reservations – they have been propagandized since seminary that VII was an unalloyed good and absolutely necessary “revitalization” of the Faith. Will it take generations of prelates coming up through Tradition to eventually deal with Vatican II?
I don’t know. At best, we’re in the beginning stages of recovery, at worse, we haven’t reached bottom, yet. All I know to do is as much prayer and penance as possible and to stay close to Our Lady at the foot of the cross, while we try to reach as many souls as possible. It’s going to be a long, hard fight.