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Abp. Pozzo – Most Documents of Vatican II Not Doctrinal? August 11, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, different religion, episcopate, error, Francis, General Catholic, persecution, Restoration, Revolution, scandals, SSPX, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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An interesting addendum to the already widely reported interview of Archbishop Pozzo of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei; after previously opining that a breakthrough with the SSPX is perhaps tantalizingly close, he also made some very revealing comments regarding Vatican II, arguing that some or even most of the documents are not-doctrinal or non-dogmatic in nature and are not binding on conscience.

Of course, many, many Catholics, most all attached to the traditional Mass, have argued this for years. There are entire books on the subject (see Msgr. Brunero Gharardini’s books) In fact, even Paul VI at least once described Vatican II as a strictly pastoral council.  Of course, where Vatican II repeats dogma already solemnly defined, it is dogmatic in that sense.  But in the novelties – which is of course where the crisis has always laid (lain?) – its binding authority on conscience has always been at least highly debatable, if not non-existent.

Archbishop Pozzo seems to argue for the latter, relevant excerpts from One Peter Five below, I add some comments:

There is a section in the interview that is especially worth noting, inasmuch as it may facilitate proper doctrinal discourse among a wide range of conservative and traditional Catholics. In it, Archbishop Pozzo explains why it may be possible for the SSPX to be fully integrated into the structures of the Catholic Church without their previously accepting some of the documents of Vatican II, namely Nostra Aetate, about interreligious dialogue; the decree Unitatis Redintegratio, on ecumenism; the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, on religious liberty; and, finally, other texts relating to the question of the relationship between Christianity and Modernity. [Such as, say, Guadium Et Spes, especially #12] While saying that “the Council is not a pastoral superdogma, but part of the completeness [sic]of tradition and the continuous Magisterium,” Pozzo makes clear that there are some texts of the Council that are not doctrinal and are thus not binding on the Catholic conscience. Pozzo stresses that “the Church’s tradition is developing, but never in the sense of a novelty – which stands in contrast to the previous teaching – but which is a deeper understanding of the Depositum fidei, the authentic deposit of the Faith.” Pozzo continues, by saying that

In this [same] sense, all [the] Church’s documents have to be understood, also those of the Council. These preconditions, together with the obligation to affirm the Creed, the recognition of the Sacraments and of the papal primacy are the basis for the magisterial declaration which the Fraternity has been given to sign. These are the preconditions for a Catholic, in order to be in full communion with the Catholic Church……….

…..With regard to the earlier-mentioned documents above – Nostra Aetate about interreligious dialogue; the decree Unitatis Redintegratio on ecumenism; and the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae on religious liberty – Pozzo explicitly says:

They are not about doctrines or definitive statements, but, rather, about instructions and orienting guides for  pastoral practice. One can [thus legitimately] continue to discuss these pastoral aspects after the [proposed] canonical approval [of the SSPX], in order to lead us to further [and acceptable] clarifications.

When asked by the journalist as to whether the Vatican has now come to the idea that the varied Council documents have different dogmatic weights, Pozzo very importantly states:

This is certainly not a [later] conclusion on our part, but it was already clear at the time of the Council. The General Secretary of the Council, Cardinal Pericle Felici, declared on 16 November 1964: “This holy synod defines only that as being binding for the Church what it declares explicitly to be such with regard to Faith and Morals.” Only those texts assessed by the Council Fathers as being binding are to be accepted as such. That has not been [later] invented by “the Vatican,” but it is written in the official files themselves. [In point of fact, numerous histories present this – and I fully believe the facts bear this out – as being a critical selling point in gaining approval for documents like Nostra Aetate and Dignitatis Humanae, even with the other shenanigans that went on, like losing the 400-odd petitions submitted on time to further amend DH in order to get the document approved as it was.  Paul VI put very heavy pressure on the Council Fathers to gain those near unanimous approvals he so coveted, but, to do so, he had to confirm on various occasions the pastoral nature of these documents.  That the liberals would turn even pastoral documents into all-conquering super-dogmas should perhaps have been foreseen, but it’s easy to say that in hindsight.]

In response to a possible critique that important Council declarations such as Nostra Aetate could thus be more fully and openly denied, Pozzo declares:

The secretary for the Unity of Christians said on 18 November 1964 in the Council Hall about Nostra Aetate: “As to the character of the declaration, the secretariat does not want to write a dogmatic declaration on non-Christian religions, but, rather, practical and pastoral norms.” Nostrae Aetate does not have any dogmatic authority, and thus one cannot demand from anyone to recognize this declaration as being dogmatic. [This is the key.  And I would certainly agree.  Unfortunately, most of the hierarchy does not, and continues to treat every document of Vatican II as a super-dogma trumping everything that came before.  There remains bitter division among cardinals, bishops, etc., as to what degree of authority these documents have.] This declaration can only be understood in the light of tradition and of the continuous Magisterium. For example, there exists today, unfortunately, the view –  contrary to the Catholic Faith – that there is a salvific path independent of Christ and His Church. That has also been officially confirmed last of all by the Congregation for the Faith itself in its declaration, Dominus Jesus. Therefore, any interpretation of Nostrae Aetate which goes into this [unfortunate and erroneous] direction is fully unfounded and has to be rejected. [my emphasis added]

Well, tragically, tell that to Cardinals Koch, Marx, Maradiaga, Schoenborn, and many others, all of which have tried to pretend that Jews still have a valid covenant and path to salvation outside of Jesus Christ.

As gratified as I am to see Archbishop Pozzo’s comments, and certainly agree with them, the fact remains, they remain in the distinct minority in the Church today.  Most high-ranking prelates and local ordinaries hold strongly to the belief that every document – every jot and tittle, so to speak – of Vatican II is not only dogmatic, but supersedes and replaces all that came before.

The ONLY way this matter will ever be settled, as a good local priest said recently, is for a future pope or pope/council to settle it.  That’s the only way to overcome the division and endless argument that has been the status quo for 50+ years.

Even then, it will be a bitter struggle to overcome the deeply entrenched, deeply erroneous views held by so many in the Church today, from the “lowest” lay person to the most powerful cardinal.  It will require a pontiff who is a truly great Saint, a Pius V or someone similar, with the enormous depth of faith and clarity of vision to overcome the resistance that will surely develop.

But, in human terms, we seem light years from that at present. In fact, we seem headed away from Restoration fast, and deeper into the endless darkening maze of Revolution.  God does have a way of working tremendous surprises and unprecedented comebacks, however.  Prayer and penance remain our most important weapons in this struggle.

h/t reader TT. Many thanks for all the good leads.

Comments

1. c matt - August 11, 2016

I think it’s “lain.”

Baseballmom - August 11, 2016

Beat me to it🙂

2. Tim - August 11, 2016
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[…] A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics – Abp. Pozzo – Most Documents of Vatican II Not Doctrinal? […]

4. Margaret Costello - August 14, 2016

Louie V. at AKA Catholic picked out a few poisons that this Archbishop managed to get in there…like “tradition develops”..uh, no it doesn’t. That’s Modernist speak. Our understanding of tradition might develop i.e. grow deeper but tradition itself, nope.

God bless~

5. mwidunn - August 16, 2016

Gaudium et Spes, albeit not called dogmatic, is still a “Constitution” of an ecumenical council — at the highest level of authority.


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