Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Vatican II: Blessing or Curse?

The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously.
Blessed Pope John XXIII

October 11, 2012 was the 50th Anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council.  The Vatican II Council basically defined the 20th Century Catholic Church.  Everything that happened in the Church prior to Vatican II is referred to as "pre conciliar", and everything after Vatican II is called "post conciliar".

Alas, the Vatican II Council would also seem to be the most divisive event in the Church, not just in the 20th Century but possibly in her entire 2000 year history.  Casual Catholics probably don't give the Council a second thought, but more serious Catholics have very strong opinions, both good and bad, when it comes to the Second Vatican Council.  The problem is, too many of us don't base our opinions or beliefs regarding Vatican II on what we are told or taught by the Magesterium, but on what we have heard or been told by others.  It's like forming an opinion about a person based on gossip and never actually meeting the person face to face.

I most definitely consider myself a "traditional" Catholic.  I love the Latin Mass and am fortunate enough to be able to go to a Latin Mass several times a week.  Many of my friends are "traditional" Catholics and I have a great affection for them.  But I have to admit that sometimes my fellow "Trads" go a little over the top.  Mention "Vatican II" to a Traditional Catholic and often you will get a "Slowly I Turn" response.  You will see an otherwise mild mannered, soft spoken person become somewhat unhinged, not holding anything back in voicing his or her disdain for Vatican II. Many "traditional" Catholics point to Vatican II as basically the root of all evil in the church, calling it, in effect, the door through which Satan entered into the Church. This is seen very clearly in a recent article written by John Vennari entitled, "Celebrating a Catastrophe, the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II".  This article appeared in Catholic Family News, an ultra conservative newspaper.  The title tells us everything we need to know about Mr. Vennari's views on Vatican II:
To commemorate the anniversary, Pope Benedict inaugurated the “Year of Faith,” which we can observe is yet another one-size-fit-all slogan that everyone in the Church from conservative to the most liberal will adopt according to his own lights.  [Has Mr. Vennari read Pope Benedict's letter in regard to the Year of Faith?  Has he read any of the talks the Holy Father has given on the Year of Faith and its meaning and purpose?]
What would be more appropriate on the Council’s 50th Anniversary would be a “Year of Mourning” for the countless souls whose faith was destroyed by Vatican II, or a “Year of Reparation” for the abuse of Catholic authority in promoting modernism and liberal Catholicism by means of this troublesome Council.

The fact remains that the Second Vatican Council is nothing to celebrate. It ushered in perhaps the greatest crisis of Faith in the Church’s history. An objective, thoroughly Catholic measuring rod was laid out by a clear thinking American theologian even before the Council convened. This realistic standard established by Msgr. Fenton demonstrates the Council as a colossal disaster.
One of the many books written
by Catholics condemning
Vatican II
Whoa!! These are some mighty strong accusations to make against the Magesterium.  Vatican II was a "colossal disaster"? It "ushered in perhaps the greatest crisis of Faith in the Church's history"?  The article becomes even more scathing:
It is the proponents of liberal Catholicism who celebrate Vatican II as victory for their cause.

The progressivist Cardinal Suenens exclaimed with joy, “Vatican II is the French Revolution of the Church.”

The liberal French Senator Marcel Prelot celebrated that Vatican II accomplished the triumph of “liberal Catholicism” as “official” Church policy.
The modernist Father Henrici celebrated that Vatican II also saw the triumph of the modernist “New Theology” that had been condemned by the pre-Vatican II popes. [What is the "New Theology" and how is this connected to Vatican II?  Mr. Vennari doesn't give us an explanation.] Young Father Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Karol Woyjtyla were firm adherents of this new theology at the time of the Council and throughout their entire lives.  [This statement comes dangerously close to condemning our current Holy Father and his immediate predecessor.]
On this 50th Anniversary, it time for the charade [???] to end. Traditional Catholics should be long past simply defending their position against the architects of destruction. The situation calls for an all out offensive against the catastrophic Second Vatican Council, and for hard questions to those who, in a delirium that comes straight from the sickbed, celebrate Vatican II as a glorious grace for Catholicism.  [Is Mr. Vennari suggesting that Catholics rise up against the Church??  And is he suggesting that Pope Benedict XVI, who most definitely is celebrating Vatican II, is in a "delirium that comes straight from the sickbed"?]
We need to ask those enthused about the Council: why do you love an event that has been cataclysmic for the Church? Why do you love bubonic plague? Why do you love tonsillitis? Why do you love gangrene? Why do you love decay and death? [Again, are these questions directed to our Holy Father?]
Pope John XXIII signing the bill
invoking the Second Vatican Council
Mr. Vennari is condemning a Council that has been lauded by at least four popes:  Blessed Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Blessed Pope John Paul II and our current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.  (I could not find any statements by Pope John Paul I either positive or negative about Vatican II.)  Is Mr. Vennari trying to tell us that he is able to judge the hearts of those men who were chosen by the Holy Spirit as the Vicar of Christ on earth?  Is Mr. Vennari trying to tell us that these popes are/were "proponents of liberal Catholicism"?  Is it really Mr. Vennari's place, or the right of anyone else, to judge the men chosen and led by the Holy Spirit to sit in the Chair of Peter?

I'm not playing Pollyanna here.  Vatican II had some very contentious moments, and there was most certainly a struggle between the liberal and conservative elements of the Church at the Council.  In fact, I would think it could not have been any other way considering the times.  The Council took place at a very momentous time in both Church history and world history, and the forces of good and evil were then and still are engaged in a tremendous struggle.  The world in 1962 had been through two horrific world wars and experienced suffering and destruction on a scale never before seen in history.  This was less than 20 years after the end of World War II in which it is estimated that 60 to 70 million people died, and many of the survivors were still shell shocked.  Pope John XXIII and all of the bishops at Vatican II had lived through those times, and many had seen the horrors of World War II up close and personal.  Many were old enough to remember World War I as well.  Humanity was desperately in need of Christ's saving message, and Pope John XXIII wanted to share the saving Gospel message of God's mercy and love with the world in the best way he could find.  That was his hope for the Council.

Pope John XXIII Addressing the
Opening of the Second Vatican Council
Pope John XXIII made the following statement at the beginning of the council on October 11, 1962, strongly affirming that the aim of the Council was not to lessen the authority of the Magesterium, as so many Traditional Catholics now claim, but to actually emphasize the infallibility of the Magesterium and at the same time to make the Church even more accessible to the world:
In calling this vast assembly of bishops, the latest and humble successor to the Prince of the Apostles who is addressing you intended to assert once again the Magisterium (teaching authority), which is unfailing and perdures until the end of time, in order that this Magisterium, taking into account the errors, the requirements, and the opportunities of our time, might be presented in exceptional form to all men throughout the world.
Warsaw, Poland in World War II
The Holy Father also gave a strong message of God's mercy to a war weary world.  It was a message which fit in with the proclamation of Divine Mercy given directly by our Lord to St. Faustina less than 30 years before the Council:
[T]he Catholic Church, raising the torch of religious truth by means of this Ecumenical Council, desires to show herself to be the loving mother of all, benign, patient, full of mercy and goodness toward the brethren who are separated from her. To mankind, oppressed by so many difficulties, the Church says, as Peter said to the poor who begged alms from him: "I have neither gold nor silver, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise and walk" (Acts 3:6). In other words, the Church does not offer to the men of today riches that pass, nor does she promise them merely earthly happiness. But she distributes to them the goods of divine grace which, raising men to the dignity of sons of God, are the most efficacious safeguards and aids toward a more human life. She opens the fountain of her life-giving doctrine which allows men, enlightened by the light of Christ, to understand well what they really are, what their lofty dignity and their purpose are, and, finally, through her children, she spreads everywhere the fullness of Christian charity, than which nothing is more effective in eradicating the seeds of discord, nothing more efficacious in promoting concord, just peace, and the brotherly unity of all.
St. Peter healing the beggar
Blessed John XXIII went on to succinctly state the problem faced by the Church and by all mankind since the founding of the Church 2000 years ago,  Far from endorsing other religions, as many Traditionalists claim, the Holy Father showed that to reject the Catholic Church is to reject Jesus Christ:
The great problem confronting the world after almost two thousand years remains unchanged. Christ is ever resplendent as the center of history and of life. Men are either with Him and His Church, and then they enjoy light, goodness, order, and peace. Or else they are without Him, or against Him, and deliberately opposed to His Church, and then they give rise to confusion, to bitterness in human relations, and to the constant danger of fratricidal wars. 
Many Traditionalists accuse Blessed John XXIII of trying to break new ground spiritually or replace traditional church doctrine with liberal ideas.  These Traditionalists don't seem to know of the following statement from His Holiness:
The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously.
So if Blessed John XXIII's intention was to strengthen the message and teachings of the Catholic Church, then how did it turn out that Vatican II had the exact opposite effect in which we see millions of Catholics falling away from the Church, a huge drop in vocations, apostate priests and religious, etc etc.  These tragic circumstances which have developed in the last 50 years would seem to confirm the very troubling assertions made by those like John Vennari who reject Vatican II.

However, much to the chagrin of many Traditional Catholics, we have the added problem that all of the Holy Fathers since Blessed John XXIII have given their approval to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.  This produces a real conundrum for Catholics.  If we are to believe those who reject the teachings of Vatican II, then we must also believe that our Popes are not infallible when it comes to faith and morals.  If the Popes are not infallible, then it is possible for a Pope to rebel against the guidance of the Holy Spirit when it comes to the teachings of the Church, thus making Jesus Christ a liar.  Our Lord told us that the gates of hell would never prevail against the Church, but if our Popes are giving us false teaching, then hell has prevailed in the Church.   To quote the Apostle Paul, we are of all men most miserable.  They may not realize it, but people like John Vennari are telling us that our Catholic faith has been destroyed and we have no hope.

But is this really possible?

There have been many books written about Vatican II, but there is one book that approaches the Council in a truly unique way. What Went Wrong With Vatican II was written by the late Ralph M. McInerny, who is best known for his Father Dowling mysteries.  In his book on Vatican II published in the 1990's, Mr. McInery freely admits and laments the great crisis that has engulfed the Catholic Church since Vatican II.  He lays out the statistics of dropping attendance and the loss of vocations.  He discusses the great rebellion among Catholics that we have all witnessed since the 1960's.

He also methodically and clearly shows that the root cause of the crisis in the church is not and, in fact, cannot be the teachings of Vatican II.  Whether we like it or not, Vatican II is part of the Magesterium of the church, and it is not possible for the Magesterium to give us false doctrine.  Following is Mr. McInery's answer to John Vennari and all others who reject the teachings of Vatican II:
Since the close of the council, tens of thousands of pages have been written discussing the meaning and proper implementation of hundreds of points made in sixteen documents.  In some of these many books are heard the voices of critics who claim that the Second Vatican Council contradicts earlier councils and other solemn teachings of the Church and therefore is itself invalid.
To these critics I say that whatever problems may be posed by the documents of Vatican II, contradiction of earlier councils cannot be one of them.  It is the Pope who calls an ecumenical council into session; he monitors the work of the assembled bishops; and he promulgates the documents expressing the judgment of the bishops.  When he does that, those documents become the measure of our Faith.
That which makes Vatican II valid is what made Vatican I, the Council of Trent and every other council valid.  To accept one council is to accept them all; to reject once council is to reject them all; we cannot have pick-and-choose conciliarism.
I do not, therefore, defend the Second Vatican Council against those who think it is suspect and in contradiction to earlier councils or to solemnly defined teachings of the Church.
Mr. McInery has made some very serious statements here, and those who stand in opposition to Vatican II should take them to heart.  Many and probably most of the Traditionalists who oppose Vatican II do so out of what they perceive to be loyalty to the teachings of the Church.  But these Catholics should be the first ones to realize that the Church is not a democracy.  Our own personal opinions and beliefs carry no weight whatsoever.  We must always follow the teaching of the Pope.  He is the Vicar of Christ on earth, and if we stop believing that, we have stopped being Catholic.

Mr. McInerny goes on to address those Catholic liberals who misuse the Council to justify going against sound Church teaching:
On the contrary, I take as a necessary premise the fact that we are bound by the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. Yes, I grant that many passages in the sixteen documents of Vatican II require careful study and interpretation, but study that begins with an animus against the council is bound to go astray. For my part, I embrace the council wholeheartedly and with gratitude. My aim is to clear away the impediments to its proper fulfillment.

And that itself is urgent work. For among those who accept the authority of the council, some have tried to use its documents to justify practices that the council Fathers never foresaw or intended. A comprehensive evaluation of such abuses of the council documents is essential for understanding much of the history of the Church since Vatican II. It would produce a very interesting judgment on the kaleidoscope of changes in the Church these last thirty years, changes that many have welcomed and that many abhor.
As I pointed out, Mr. McInery fully admits that there is a major crisis in faith in the church and is as appalled as anyone else at the many Catholics who have fallen completely off the rails.  But if he doesn't attribute Vatican II to this crisis, then what does he feel is the basis of the crisis?
Nonetheless, although I accept the council and reject the abuses of it, I have not in these pages attempted such a kaleidoscopic survey. Volumes could be devoted to it, but I believe they would obscure rather than illuminate the most fundamental answer to the question, "What went wrong with Vatican II?"

To give the very deepest answer to that key question, I have written a lean and focused book. I purposely avoid hundreds of important but lesser issues that might be raised by a thoughtful and receptive reading of the documents of Vatican II.
Why? So that I can concentrate on the one issue that gives life to so many of the other controversies swirling around the council and the Church today: the crisis of authority, which is the single most important focus stirring up the choppy seas through which the Barque of Peter has been navigating since the close of Vatican II.
For thirty years [now 50 years], the Catholic faithful have been confused and troubled by a single question: Where does authority in the Church really reside? Only a sure answer to this question will expose the roots of the problem of what went wrong with Vatican II. Only a sure answer to this question will enable us to see what must be done to bring the council back to its intended goals.
Is Vatican II the reason for the rebellion and the crisis of authority in the Church?   As Mr. McInery writes in his book:
War seems to have broken out within the Church Herself: appealing to Vatican II, prominent theologians deny the authority of the Pope and urge the faithful to ignore it. Yet how can the council be right and the Pope be wrong?
When did this war actually break out?  Many Catholics tend to forget about the events surrounding the release of Pope Paul VI's encyclical, Humanae Vitae.   This document  IMHO, is the most important document of the 20th Century.  Humanae Vitae contains the answer to at least 90% of the problems in our world.  If the teachings in this document had been followed, we would not have the probably billion plus abortions (both chemical and surgical) that the world has witnessed in the past 50 years.  We would not have the scourge of AIDS and the hundreds of other sexually transmitted diseases.  Our families would be intact instead of disintegrating before our eyes.  We would not have pornographic programs on our TVs and computers and even our cell phones.  Women would be treated with love and respect and not as objects intended solely for sexual gratification.  We would not have had the sexual abuse crisis in the Church.  We would not have the rise of militant homosexuality and the threat to marriage.  Barack Obama would not be President  because people would never accept his evil and heretical ideologies.  There would not be a war against the Catholic Church in the United States.  The list goes on and on.

Pope Paul VI warned us of all these dangers in his encyclical.   For anyone who questions whether our Popes are guided by the Holy Spirit, a reading of Humanae Vitae will immediately rid them of those doubts.   It is the most prophetic document of our time.

But when the Pope released Humanae Vitae in 1968 and confirmed the Church teaching that use of artificial birth control was a mortal sin, all hell literally broke loose.  It was at this time that the great rebellion began in the church.  Although there was a buildup of at least 100 years or more to this rebellion, it did not actually come to full bloom until the release of Humane Vitae.  The crisis in the church did NOT originate with Vatican II, nor did it even find its roots there.  The roots go back much, much further.  And although there were admittedly many at Vatican II who tried very hard to push the Church off the rails at that time, it did not occur there.  It occurred three years after the end of Vatican II with the release of Humanae Vitae.

Many Traditionalists complain, and rightfully so in my opinion, about the disintegration of the Mass and its terrible effect on the faith of Catholics.  Our current Holy Father wrote a book about the crisis in the Liturgy in 2000 called The Spirit of the Liturgy.  Most Traditionalists attribute the liturgical crisis in the Church to Vatican II, saying the seeds for the liturgical abuse we have seen through the years were sown at the Council.

This is just my opinion, but I see a direct connection between the rejection of Humane Vitae, which was rejection of the Vicar of Christ and by extension, rejection of Christ Himself, and the introduction of the New Mass the following year in 1969.  It seems to me that our Lord said that if we reject the authority of His Vicar, His response was to take away one of the most precious gifts He had given us:  the Holy Mass.  Many wonder why Pope Paul VI wanted to give us a New Mass.  I believe he was directly inspired by the Holy Spirit to do so, but this was as a punishment for our rebellion.  Is it just coincidence that veneration and devotion to Our Lady also seems to have faded in the Church?  Again, I believe this is a direct response to our rebellion and rejection of God's command to the church.

The Israelites in the Wilderness
But God in his Great Mercy and love for the Church, despite our rebellion and rejection, did not and would not allow the Mass to be totally destroyed, and it is slowly but surely coming back.  It is not unlike the Israelites' journey from Egypt into the Promised Land.   Just as the Israelites rejected Moses and the authority of God and as punishment God forced them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until that rebellious generation had died, so God has allowed the Church to wander in the spiritual wilderness after our rejection of Him when we were given Humane Vitae.  But that rebellious generation is slowly dying out and a new, faithful generation is taking their place.  We need to ask ourselves where we individually stand.

A clear and unprejudiced view of the recent history of the Church reveals that Vatican II is not our problem. It is rejection of Humanae Vitae.  That is where rebellion came into full bloom.  For a full and illuminating look at this subject, I cannot recommend enough that you read Ralph McInery's book, What Went Wrong with Vatican II.  

If Traditionalists are to be truly honest with themselves, then they must face the brutal truth and admit that they are guilty of the same sin of which they accuse their liberal counterparts:  rebellion against the authority of the church.  A very holy priest once told me that Satan is rarely in a problem.  His deception is almost always in the solution.  He will take whatever problem you might have and steer you to a solution that will lead you away from God.  I'm afraid that has happened to many Catholics who are very upset with the apostasies they have seen in the Church, but instead of trusting in the Vicar of Christ who cannot lead them astray, they have listened to others who sound good, but are leading in the wrong direction.  And to be totally honest, this can also be a great sin of pride because it gives us a chance to look down on others and puff up our own ego at how righteous we are.  Remember, Martin Luther had some legitimate grievances, but that didn't stop him from becoming a heretic.

Ralph McInery quotes one of the shepherd children of Fatima:
Jacinta, one of the three children to whom Mary appeared at Fatima, once said, "I can't say how, but I saw the Holy Father in a very large house, kneeling before a table with his face in his hands. He was crying. Many people were in front of the house; some were throwing stones, while others were cursing him and using foul language."

Has anyone better described the beleaguered state of the Papacy and the Magesterium of the Church since Vatican II?




10 comments:

  1. I think that you confuse some groups. There are those traditionalists that do not reject the Council itself but still claim that it's fruits aren't as good as everybody is presenting them(majority of clergy naively speaks of some kind of springtime of Church, of Church's reawakening, opening up to the world, a better Church - but we know that Church and Her members nowadays are in a deep crisis). There are some innovations in the documents, and the ambiguous language is by itself an innovation(There are points of good and sound doctrine aslo).

    There has also been a certain modernist and protestant influence on the Council. There was a discussion on Mary and what to do with Her in regards to the documents. To make a separate document(and spak of Her as a mediatrix and coredemptrix - maximalist approach) or to include Her in LG(and to purify our Marian piety by omitting such titles as minimalists and among them most prominent, Karl Rahner suggested; also protestants threathened to interrupt the dialogues if maximalist approach on Mary should be taken)? We know that the latter happened. Also, although LG14 reiterates EENS, subsequent paragraphs seem to be in opposition to 14.

    Dignitatis Humanae is seen to be a serious rupture from previous teachings of the Church and the most notorious example of such ruptures.

    Sacrosanctum Concilium has some serious loopholes and time bombs. Many argue that this Mass is not really what the Pope and the Council wanted but this couldn't be further from the truth when the Pope Paul VI himself had a speech on how disturbing this needed change will be. Even when "tridentinized" the New Mass faces some serious dificulties. Also i don't think that the revision of any of the sacraments was needed but the revision of them all was mandated. Revision of nearly every ceremony of the Church was mandated.
    Some modernist notions that were condemned in Pascendi are present in SC. The whole liturgical reform was in itself archaelogistic, and archaeologism was condemned by Pius XII in Mediator Dei.

    Gaudium et Spes brought an overly optimistic view of the Church in the times. Also it brings about easily-wrongly interpreted notion of evolution of doctrine. Also it says that all things are pointed towards man(in fact all things are created for God's glory).

    Unitatis Redintegratio makes statements that present the Church of Christ as not truly Catholic and One or United in Herself. In other words that there is some other, Church of God which is broader than the Catholic Church.

    Nostra Aetate asserts that Muslim god is the same as our's which is not true. It could be said that their notion of God is somewhat similar to our's but it is not the same God. Jesus and His Divinity are inseparable. They deny His Divnity and therefore reject the True God - Most Holy Trinity.

    And i could go on and on.

    And let me get this straight. All of this doesn't invalidate the Council. I think that sedevacantists are the only ones who believe it was an invalid Council.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your very thorough and thoughtful comment. However, as a Catholic, I must accept the authority of my Holy Father, and he doesn't agree with you.

      My point with this post is that we need to see what was the real cause of the great crisis of faith during the last 50 years. My contention is that it was the rejection of Humanae Vitae, when both laity and clergy refused to accept the authority of the Vicar of Christ. When they rejected Pope Paul VI, they rejected Christ himself, and just as the Israelites were forced to wander in the desert wilderness for 40 years after they rejected God's authority, so we as a Church, and by extension the entire world, have been wandering in a spiritual wilderness after rejecting God's authority.

      Delete
  2. Also may I say you don't seem to understad the notion of Papal infallibility? Not everything Holy Father says and thinks on Faith and Morals is infallible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm afraid you're wrong on this one. EVERYTHING the Holy Father says in regard to faith and morals is infallible. That was what Vatican I was all about.

      http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Councils/ecum20.htm#papal%20infallibility%20defined

      From the Vatican I documents:

      we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that
      when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when,

      1. in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians,

      2. in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority,

      3. he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church,

      he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.


      Being Catholic means accepting that the Vicar of Christ cannot mislead the faithful concerning faith and morals. That is what makes the Catholic Church unique, that is what the Keys of the Kingdom are all about.

      All of the Popes since the convening and ending of Vatican II have put their stamp of approval on all the documents and everything in them. To question the authority of the one who sits in the Chair of Peter is to question Christ himself.

      Delete
  3. I'm sorry for spamming but i have just one more thing to say.
    http://iteadthomam.blogspot.com/2009/12/reader-asks-is-vatican-ii-infallible.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Be very careful here for the sake of your soul. The Vatican I documents warn us in regard to their definition of papal infallibility:

      So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.

      Delete
  4. May I ask, which parts of Vatican II (which supposedly Traditionalists 'reject') do you consider infallible? And no, the Pope is not infallible in EVERYTHING he says (the doctrine addressed in papal encyclicals or general audiences, e. g., is not infallible), but only when he is teaching in capacity of the Supreme Pastor of the Church in matters of faith and morals which he intends to declare as definite. Like Pope John Paul II did in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis when he said expressely that he as Supreme Pastor of Church proclaims as definite that the Church can not ordain women to the priesthood. But none of this conditions are present in Vatican II, and if I may say as I consider myself Traditionalist, I really don't see a necessity of rejecting any of the doctrinal teachings of Vatican II as all of the controversial points are either 1) if they are doctrinal - ambiguous, so there is really no positive error in them, 2) or disciplinary or practical matters in which there is an obvious contradiction towards traditional practice (e. g. a policy that state should grant liberty to false religions, or that we sould have a communicatio in sacris with heretical and schismatical sects), but here one could make a justified reservation or even critique if there is an obvious contradiction. I son't see anything more than that being said in 'The Great Facade' which I think you are characterising in a really unjust manner.

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    1. My thoughts and opinions have no bearing on anything. The only one who counts is the Vicar of Christ, and he says ALL of Vatican II is valid. Even though Vatican II wasn't doctrinal in nature, it is as much a part of the faith and morals of the church as all other councils. You cannot pick and choose which part of this Council you will accept and which you will reject. Pope Paul VI, in his capacity as the Vicar of Christ, signed off on each and every document that came out of Vatican II. All popes since then have concurred with him. You may not personally like these documents, but as a Catholic, you are not free to accept and reject them as you deem fit. We can and should question our bishops and priests, but we must never, never question the authority of the Pope in regard to faith and morals.

      Ralph McInery said in his book that the crisis in the church is one of authority. I am sure you agree that was most definitely the problem when it comes to Humanae Vitae. Well, it is just as true when it comes to the documents from Vatican II. That is why we have been in a spiritual wilderness for the last 50 years.

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