a break with the Magisterium!
Juan Valdivieso, Chile
We are constantly being told that Vatican Council II followed the same lines as previous councils and that the only difference was that it had a more pastoral character. The same people tell us that this Council should be interpreted within the continuity of the Magisterium. In reality, the latter is not possible, because those who tell us to interpret it within this “continuity” end by accepting all the errors and deviations that surged from that same Council, accepted with tranquility by the whole world. It is, in fact, impossible to do simply because no such continuity exists.
Vatican II broke the continuity of the Church Magisterium -Among the purposes of this blog is to denounce such ruses, and this is the greatest of them all - the most barefaced religious fraud that could be imagined. It is with great sorrow of soul that I say this. What is clear to me is that to remain faithful to the Catholic Faith, we should resist and not remain as passive observers in face of this true passion that the Church is suffering.
We will not attempt to make a doctrinal analysis of the Council here, since the topic is too extensive. We will only cite below some important ecclesiastic personages who confirm that Vatican II broke with tradition.
The well-known progressivist theologian Hans Kûng affirms: “Compared to the Tridentine epoch of the Counter-Reformation, Vatican Council II - in its fundamental characteristics - represents a 180 degree turn. A new Church was born after Vatican Council II.”
And another famous contemporary theologian, Yves Congar, one of the “brains” of Vatican Council II, admitted that “we cannot deny that this text [the Conciliar Declaration on Religious Liberty] materially says things different from the Syllabus of 1864, including almost the opposite of propositions 15, 77, and 79 of that document.”
In another place Congar says that at Vatican II, “the Church had its peaceful October Revolution,” referring to the well-known “Red October,” when Communism destroyed the Empire of the Czars in Russia.
Cardinal Leo Jozef Suenens, Archbishop of Brussels, affirms that the Council “marks the ends of both the Tridentine epoch and the era of Vatican Council I. It is the French Revolution in the Church.”
Karl Rahner defends that the historical-theological significance of the Council supposes a break with the tradition of the Church so great that it is only comparable to the times of the primitive Church, where, according to him, the Disciples of Christ with their initiatives broke the continuity of the past with the new teachings of Jesus. Rahner affirms: "Today we live for the first time in the epoch of a break as great as that which happened passing from Judeo-Christianity to Pagan-Christianity."
The famous Fr. Marie-Dominique Chenu, who played an important role in writing various conciliar texts, affirms that in the History of the Church, the Council signifies a break in its continuity of almost 1500 years because it put an end to the “Constantine era” of Catholicism. Further he boasts that those very points of his theology that had been condemned by Pope Pius XII became the ones that were promoted in the decade of the ‘60s by the new authorities.
Fr. Ratzinger and Fr. Congar represented Progressivism at Vatican II -When the present Benedict XVI was Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he affirmed this about the conciliar Constitution Gaudium et spes and the decrees referring to religious liberty and ecumenism: “They constitute a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of counter-Syllabus. … to the measure that they represent an attempt to officially reconcile the Church with the world as it had become after 1789.”
In this context, Card. Ratzinger continues, “the Church,” especially since Popes Pius IX and St. Pius X, “adopted a unilateral position” toward the modern world. Further, the Council and future events “corrected” an “obsolete relation with the State.”
I believe that it is important to clarify that there is some imprecision in this phrase, since the Church did not adopt what he calls a unilateral position toward the modern world only from the time of Pius IX. Rather, this was a position coherent with revealed truth that was held and maintained sound and without break by all the Popes since the beginning of the French Revolution, up to and including Pius XII.
I could continue with many other quotes, but I think that these are sufficient to effectively demonstrate that Vatican II broke with the traditional Magisterium of the Church and that this Council did not follow the light of the Holy Ghost, since God cannot contradict Himself.
I conclude with a consideration about the famous text of the Third Secret, which the Blessed Virgin revealed at Fatima in 1917 and which, by her express command, should have been released for the world to know no later than 1960. Could the Secret have been a warning about this departure from the tradition of the Church that has caused such great ravages in the Faith as a consequence of this Council? And would this be why it has not been revealed still to this day?
WAS VATICAN II AN INFALLIBLE COUNCIL?
In the Catholic world today, when the topic of Vatican II comes up, one finds two extremes: First, you have those who who would maintain that Vatican Council II was some type of "super" Council above all others, by which the Holy Spirit moved the age-old Church of 2,000 years into the modern era. For this first group, all past teachings of the Magesterium must beunderstood in light of this new Council. We can easily see the error in such thinking. Secondly, we also find a group which has reacted to the errors and excesses of the first: these are some "traditionalists" of various leanings (mostly the Sede Vacantists) who maintain that the errors that stem from Vatican Council II are such that prove false teaching was taught "officially" from the papal throne, (or at least) with the blessing of the pope. Of course, as they understand, if the popes of Vatican II are "non-popes" the whole argument about the Council makes little sense, as a false-pope cannot "teach" anything, official or otherwise. These maintain that since, on a magisterial level, the Church cannot approve error, that everyone associated with the Council is a non-Catholic and well, you know the rest! Truth be told, any discussion with either group does not end well for the level-headed Catholic. The Catholic knows, of course, that error cannot possibly be taught officially by the Roman Catholic Church.
Let's try to look at this problem by understanding some terms: The word "magesterium" comes from the Latin which means "teacher." The "teaching" authority of the Church is entrusted to Peter (the head of the Apostles) and with the bishops who are under Peter. The "magesterium" or "teaching office" of the Church is to be found both in the "solemn" or "extraordinary" exercise, when the Pope, or a General Council (presided over by a Pope) teaches infallibly that which must be believed by the universal Church. For that reason, the papal document "Quo Primum" on the Traditional Mass, is not an infallible act, since this was a directive for the Roman or Latin Rite of the Church alone. It did not contain universal teaching on faith or morals for the "whole Church." At the same time, Quo Primum cannot be tossed out lightly, or treated with disregard as it was (another story for another day).
I would ask any well-intentioned traditionalist to read the definition of Vatican Council I on the Infallibility of the Pope, prior to your writing or sending off an angry email. Please let me know as regards how Quo Primum figures into that definition of infallibility, and let me know how this was to be applied to the "universal Church" which also includes about 20 or so non-Latin Rites.
Besides the solemn or extraordinary magesterium, we also have what is called the "ordinary" magesterium of the Church. The ordinary magesterium is that which is the continual exercise of teaching. The distinctions between "solemn" and "ordinary" will be delved into later.
How do we, or how should we understand Vatican II? This Council, which ended in 1964, was in fact described as something unique: it was called as a "pastoral" Council. Something that is "pastoral" in nature would not seem to be the meat for an infallible ecumenical Council. Pastoral is often used in reference to perhaps a "pastoral letter" which might be in the form of a communication from a Diocesan Ordinary (bishop) to the clergy and faithful of his diocese. These are often read at a Sunday Mass, published in the diocesan press etc. "Pastoral" might mean that which touches the spiritual life of the people. We also have what is called as "Pastoral Theology." Would anyone maintain that Vatican II, a "pastoral" in nature Council, was on the level, or had the same authority as Vatican Council I or the Council of Trent? What dogma or teaching were solemnly defined for the universal Church at Vatican II? What does "pastoral" have to do with infallible doctrine being defined?
I would strongly urge souls, especially those who tend to either extreme mentioned above, to kindly read the words of those men who actually attended the Council of Vatican II. Cardinal Felici for one, was asked about the "theological note of the Council" (that is, the binding force of the decrees). The Cardinal replied:
"We have to distinguish according to the schemas and the chapters which have already been the subject of dogmatic definition in the past. As for declarations which have a novel character, we have to make certain reservations." -Cardinal Felici
Certainly, if Vatican II was intended as an infallible Council, a solemn act of the magesterium, the Cardinal would never urged anyone to "make reservations" -certain or otherwise! Is the Catholic ever permitted to make reservations about solemn doctrine? Doctrine is simply to be believed.
We will continue to look at "ordinary" and "extraordinary" as regards the magesterium of the Church and the very apparent and real errors of Vatican II. How can a Catholic address these errors? We will look at how other bishops who attended the Council viewed the Council:
John Cardinal Heenan of England:
“It deliberately limited its own objectives. There were to be no specific definitions. Its purpose from the first was pastoral renewal within the Church and a fresh approach to the outside.”(Council and Clergy, 1966)
Bishop Butler of England:
“Not all teachings emanating from a pope or Ecumenical Council are infallible. There is no single proposition of Vatican II – except where it is citing previous infallible definitions – which is in itself infallible.”
(The Tablet 26,11,1967)
“Vatican II gave us no new dogmatic definitions.”
(The Tablet 2,3,1968)
Bishop Rudolf Graber of Germany:
Since the Council was aiming primarily at a pastoral orientation and hence refrained from making dogmatically binding statements or disassociating itself, as previous Church assemblies have done, from errors and false doctrines by means of clear anathemas, many questions took on an opalescent ambivalence which provided a certain amount of justification for those who speak of the spirit of the Council.”
(Athanasius and the Church of Our Times, 1974)
Bishop Thomas Morris
“I was relieved when we were told that this Council was not aiming at defining or giving final statements on doctrine, because a statement of doctrine has to be very carefully formulated and I would have regarded the Council documents as tentative and likely to be reformed.”
(Catholic World News 1,22,1997)