PopeWatch: Spirit of Vatican II

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From the Pope’s flight interview back from his trip to the UAE:

 

Pope Francis: But not only the Muslims… they accuse me of allowing myself to be used by everyone, even by journalists, it is part of the job. But I want to say one thing. This I emphasize clearly. From the Catholic point of view, the document does not pull away one millimeter from Vatican II, which is even cited a few times. The document was made in the spirit of Vatican II. I wanted, before making the decision, to say it good that way and let’s sign it, at least on my side, I had some theologians read [the document] and even [had it read] officially by the theologian of the Pontifical Household, that is a Dominican, and with the beautiful tradition of the Dominicans not to go on a witch-hunt, but to see where is the right thing… and he approved it.

If anyone feels bad, I understand it, it is not an everyday thing… not a step back. It is a step forward. But, step forward that comes after 50 years, from the Council, that must be developed. The historians say that a council takes 100 years to take root in the Church. We are halfway. And this draws even my attention. I will tell you that I saw a phrase, but this phrase I do not know if it is sure, but it is a phrase from the Council… It has surprised even me… Also in the Islamic world there are different opinions, there are some more radical than others. Yesterday in the council of the elders there was also at least one Shiite, and that gave a very great universality, and he spoke well. There will be – I don’t know well – but there will be discrepancies, but it is a process and processes mature like flowers, like fruit.

Go here to read the rest.  Vatican II has been a flat disaster for the Church;  PopeWatch expects the spirit of Vatican II to be a disaster on steroids.

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13 Comments

  1. “…[had it read] officially by the theologian of the Pontifical Household, that is a Dominican,…”
    Vatican II and the spirit of Vatican II will go nowhere until the sovereign personhood of man is acknowledged to be the image and likeness of The Supreme Sovereign Being: “…[had it read] officially by the theologian of the Pontifical Household, (that) WHO is a Dominican,
    In acknowledging the sovereign personhood of man, man will be acknowledging the Supreme Sovereign Being.

  2. “From the Catholic point of view, the document does not pull away one millimeter from Vatican II.”

    Perhaps a slight overstatement, but just slight.

    Vatican II is a failed council. Which, if you have the long history of the Church in mind, is just one of those things. Councils have failed before and will fail in the future.

    The problem is, the one thing that unites the entire leadership of the Church, regardless of ideology, is that Vatican II Was Just Fine. So instead of accepting the fact that VToo was, by virtue of its understanding at the time and mindset, a council with a built-in sell-by date, it is instead treated a platonic form. It is a super-council, unconstrained by time or place, a totally unique event in the Church untethered from Her past.

    While the hermeneutic of continuity types would argue against the last clause, it really has been treated like that, even by the so called “conservative” popes. Both of whom took the Council as a the unalterable touchstone and functional super-event in one way or another.

    The only difference with the current pontiff is that he takes the gestalt of the council to its logical end. He’s a true believer in singing a new church and has not the slightest qualms.

    When you consider the ambiguity of the documents, the destruction of the liturgy which followed and the declarations of independence from the magisterium that where only occasionally reined in, the much derided “spirit of the council” is usually the council itself wrapped in laughing gas.

    And the fact that “conservatives” and “liberals” alike insist on using “*the* council” as a polestar in the face of the death of the Church in Europe, its increasingly gangrenous state in North America, and its moribundity in Latin America….well, that makes Vatican II the wordiest suicide note in world history.

    Vatican II spoke to the “New Frontier” era, albeit somewhat dishonestly (no mention of communism). The New Frontier era man died in 1968, both his children are divorced, none of his grandchildren go to church and one is undergoing “transition therapy.”

    Time to move on from failed nostrums.

  3. From the Catholic point of view, the document does not pull away one millimeter from Vatican II

    Correct, and that’s the problem. Funny, used to be it took 50 years for a council to bear its fruit. In the instant communication age, you would think the time would be halved, not doubled.

  4. “From the Catholic point of view, the document does not pull away one millimeter from Vatican II”

    Actually, the Document does pull away from Vatican II in multiple places. Vatican II speaks at lengths on the Missionary Mandate of the Church, while this document is a rejection of that Mandate. Compare the document side by side with Ad Gentes. If anything, it is a twisted flowering from a deficient reading of Nostra Aetate. It needs to be stated that this deficient reading of Nostra Aetate has been cut off by the document Dominus Iesus.

    Succinctly, this deficient reading is the idea that the Church’s mission is to unite people through a shared understanding of the dignity of the human person and not the Gospel which is to unite all people in Christ through baptism. It is at its heart a rejection of the separation caused by sin and the supernatural solution to that separation that is Christ’s gift of grace through faith which works in love.

  5. Dale wins yet another combox thread.

    I’ll swing at this pitch anyway: “While the hermeneutic of continuity types would argue against the last clause, it really has been treated like that, even by the so called “conservative” popes. Both of whom took the Council as a the unalterable touchstone and functional super-event in one way or another.”

    This is entirely true, and it is especially remarkable in Benedict’s case given the more skeptical line he often seemed to take as Joseph Ratzinger before his election. For example: “The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as part of the entire living tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super dogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.” (1988 address to the bishops of Chile)

    His “hermeneutic of continuity” speech to the cardinals in 2005 could even be seen as a toned down riff on this concern.

    And yet, the actual reality of his pontificate, in its daily discourse and conduct, amounted to just what you say, Dale: an unalterable touchstone. Always the reference point. Always the North Star.

    I wonder if it will ever be so until we finally have a Pope born after the Council. And not just because there won’t be much left of the Church in the West but empty buildings by that point.

  6. Lurker,

    “Vatican II speaks at lengths on the Missionary Mandate of the Church, while this document is a rejection of that Mandate.”

    Yes, but that’s been one of those dead letter texts of the Council from the moment the ink dried.

    The actual reception of the Council on this point has ever been something far more humanistic, the occasional feeble tugs of the small minority of Communio school prelates notwithstanding. It’s as if most simply had given up on the idea of mission for salvation in Christ and decided that a mission to merely “unite people through a shared understanding of the dignity of the human person” was the most they could hope for in the modern era (assuming they ever really believed in the former – which some probably did, at one point, before peer pressure beat it out of them).

    In this respect, Francis may have stepped away from these particular parts of the conciliar text, but he has not strayed at all from the reception of the Council by the vast majority of its clerical and lay leadership over the past 53 years.

  7. Don and Richard: Thanks!
    Richard, I think the reason he pulled back from his more trenchant critiques was his view of the papal office: it is a locus of unity, not the bully pulpit for a faction. It was the wrong decision if so–and regardless of the vertigo it would have given even conservative types. It seems to be of a piece with separating his Jesus books from the Magisterium.

    It is interesting to contrast his approach with the current occupant, who is very much a faction warlord in a hurry.

  8. Maybe this is a gross and parochial oversimplification, but it seems to me Benedict XVI had the same problem that President Trump has, i.e. half of the curia was actively opposed to him, like half of the American bureaucracy is opposed to Trump. Furthermore, of the remaining half, half of them were passively opposed to him, just like Trump.

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