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THE CRISIS AND THE PROMISE THE CRISIS AND THE CRITICS. What does Vatican II symbolize? What does it stand for?. Renewal of liturgy of destruction Bringing the church into “the world” or allowing “the world” to infiltrate and desecrate the church

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what does vatican ii symbolize what does it stand for
What does Vatican II symbolize? What does it stand for?
  • Renewal of liturgy of destruction
  • Bringing the church into “the world” or allowing “the world” to infiltrate and desecrate the church
  • Sacrifice fundamental Catholic principles in an effort to update the church
  • Focus on a new evangelistic effort or a decline in evangelization with its focus on ecumenism, dialogue and understanding others’ beliefs
  • Revitalization of priesthood and religious life or creating confusion and unrest leading to a decline in priestly and religious vocations
  • “collegiality” and “pastoral” approach lead to an undermining of pastoral authority
critics of the council 1 of 4
Critics of the Council (1 of 4):
  • Some reject outright the authority of the Council or particular points of its teaching, seeing these as DISTORTIONS of or BREAKS from authentic Catholic teaching and tradition.
  • Some see themselves as the “loyal opposition,” still committed to the Catholic Church yet convinced that some of the teaching given by the council was erroneous or misguided.
  • Some criticize Vatican II for not going far enough in AGGIORNAMENTO, that is, in updating the church. These folk appeal to the “spirit” of the Council to justify going beyond its actual teachings and directions.
critics of the council 2 of 4
Critics of the Council (2 of 4):

Michael Davies (mid 70’s) a biting three-volume critique of the Council titled POPE JOHN’S COUNCIL. He states:

The Church is at present undergoing what must certainly be her worst crisis since the Arian heresy [336; Christ not God]. There is hardly an aspect of traditional Catholic dogma, morality, or practice which has not been questioned, ridiculed, or contradicted “within the bosom of the church.” The Liturgy above all has been reduced to a condition which varies from banality to outright profanity and sacrilege.

NOTE: Liturgy and Religious Freedom are key issues for dissent.

critics of the council 3 of 4
Critics of the Council (3 of 4):

AtilaSinkeGuimarares in 1997 published a book titled IN THE MURKY WATERS OF VATICAN II. He states:

For the most part, conciliar language appeared to us to have been written so that it could be interpreted either from the standpoint of sound and traditional Catholic doctrine or, surprisingly enough, from that of the doctrines of the neo-Modernist current, which had billeted itself into so many key positions of the contemporary church…. An immediate consequence of such ambiguities is t make an analysis of conciliar texts sterile and fruitless.

He concludes: The documents as a whole cannot be understood as having a unity of thought….

critics of the council 4 of 4
Critics of the Council (4 of 4):

Christopher A. Ferrara and Thomas E. Woods, Jr. in their 2002 book THE GREAT FAÇADE: VATICAN II AND THE REGIME OF THE NOVELTYIN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH outlines two opposing camps: traditionalists and neo-Catholics.

papal response
Papal Response

In light of these observations Paul VI, in the ninth anniversary of his pontificate, June 29, 1972 stated in a general audience:

Satan’s smoke has made its way into the temple of God through some crack…. One no longer trusts the Church; one trusts the first profane prophet that comes along…. Doubt has entered our consciences and it entered through windows which should have been open to the Light. It was believed that after the Second Vatican Council there would be a day of sunshine in the history of the Church. There came instead a day of clouds, storm and darkness, of search and uncertainty. This came about through an adverse power; his name is the Devil…. We believe that some preternatural thing has come into the world precisely to disturb, to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council and to stop the Church from breaking out into a hymn of joy by slowing doubt, uncertainty, problems, unrest and discontent.

Critics of Vatican II often refer to this quotation inaccurately, saying that Paul VI blamed the Council for the entrance of the “smoke of Satan” into the church. Paul VI clearly blames “the father of lies” and not Vatican II for the situation.

In 1985 John Paul II called an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops to assess the effects and implementation of Vatican II twenty years after the Council’s close.


The Synod called for a “deeper reception of the Council” in four phases:

  • A deeper and more extensive knowledge of the Council
  • Its interior assimilation
  • Its loving reaffirmation
  • Ongoing implementation

The Synod went on to suggest some practical steps to accomplish these tasks.

council support 1 of 2
Council Support (1 of 2)

At the Synod, Cardinal Ratzinger noted that the teachings of Vatican II were PROPHETIC:

Today, in fact, we are discovering its “prophetic” function: some texts of Vatican II at the moment of their proclamation seemed really to be ahead of the times. Then came the cultural revolutions and the social convulsions that the Fathers in no way could have foreseen but which have shown how their answers—at that time anticipatory—were those that were needed in the future. Hence it is obvious that the return to the documents is of special importance at the present time: they give us the right instrument with which to face the problems of our day. We are summoned to reconstruct the Church, not despite, but thanks to the true Council.

council support 2 of 2
Council Support (2 of 2)


One SENSE Of the debt we owe to the council is linked with the need for a further response, called for by faith, which itself is essentially a reply to the word of God, to the Spirit as it speaks to the Church…. It would be a mistake to not consider the implementation of Vatican II as the response of faith to the word of God as it proceeded form the Council. It is to be hoped that this implementation will be guided by the idea that the renewal which is set on foot is an historical stage in the self-realization of the Church. Through the Council, the Church has not only shown clearly what it thinks of itself, but also in what way it wishes to be realized. The teaching of Vatican II stands revealed as the image, property to our time, of the Church’s self-realization, an image which in various ways should pervade the minds of the whole people of God.

council implementation
Council Implementation

After his election to the papacy in 1978, Pope John Paul II made the proper implementation of the Council his main objective.

In his apostolic letter of January 6, 2001, NOVO MILLENNIO INEUNTE, John Paul stated:

What a treasure there is, dear brothers and sisters, in the guidelines offers to us by the Second Vatican co9uncil! For this reason I asked the Church, as a proper way of preparing for the Great Jubilee, to examine herself on the reception given to the council. Has this been done? The Congress held here in the Vatican was such a moment of reflection, and I hope that similar efforts have been made in various ways in all the particular churches. With the passing of years, the Council documents have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the magisterium, within the Church’s Tradition. Now that the Jubilee has ended, I feel more than ever in duty bound to point to the council as the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning.

what more can be said
What more can be said?

My basic assumption:

The teaching of the Second Vatican Council is a true advance or development of Catholic tradition in that it discusses the meaning of religious liberty in a broader context, taking into account the intrinsic nature of religious belief, the dignity of the human person, proper and improper understandings of religious freedom and the limits of this freedom—all of this based on both right reason and the example and teaching of Jesus Christ.

guiding principles hermeneutics of the council 1 of 3

In his February 27, 2000 address, John Paul noted that “the church has always known the rules for a correct hermeneutic of the content of dogma. These rules are set WITHIN THE FABRIC OF FAITH and not outside of it.”

Cardinal Avery Dulles summarized the principles for the interpretation of Vatican presented in the final report of the 1985 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops:

Each passage and document of the Council must be interpreted in the CONTEXT of all the others, so that the integral teaching of the council may be rightly grasped.

The four constitutions of the council (on liturgy, church, revelation and the church in the modern world) are the hermeneutical key to the other documents—namely, the Council’s nine degrees and three declarations.

guiding principles hermeneutics of the council 2 of 3

The four constitutions of the council (on liturgy, church, revelation and the church in the modern world) are the hermeneutical key to the other documents—namely, the Council’s nine degrees and three declarations.

The pastoral import of the documents ought not to be separated from, or set in opposition to, their doctrinal content.

No opposition may be made between the spirit and the letter of Vatican II.

The council must be interpreted in continuity with the great gradation of the church, including earlier councils.

Vatican II should be accepted as illuminating the problems of our own day.

guiding principles hermeneutics of the council 3 of 3

He notes that the council documents “reflect some compromises.” The Council fathers sought to formulate the documents is such a way as to “express the consensus of the whole episcopate, not the ideas of one school.” This is important to understand, and it belies the oft-stated claim that Vatican II represents the “victory” of one school of thought (the “progressive” bishops or the so=called “European alliance”) over another (the “conservative” bishops and those of the Roman Curia).

John Paul II said that the bishops of Vatican II experienced the council as the SEMINARY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.