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The Winter of Catholicity

The Legacy of Vatican II  

David Martin POSTED: 12/6/12

"Outside this sole orthodox interpretation unfortunately exists a heretical interpretation, that is, a hermeneutic of rupture, (found) both on the progressive front and on the traditionalist one. Both agree on refusing the Council; the progressives in their wanting to leave it behind, as if it were a season to abandon in order to get to another church, and the traditionalists in their not wanting to get there, as if it was the winter of Catholicity."

- Archbishop Mueller, CDF -


( While the gale force of the post-conciliar tempest continues to uproot the Faith, blow apart revered Catholic practices, topple the Church's edifice, and spread doctrinal debris throughout the Church, there are those in Rome who continue to circumvent the issue by exonerating Vatican II and insisting that we acquire the proper "hermeneutics" to understand its continuity with tradition. 

But is it proper for educated men of God to be engaging in false hermeneutics that causes them to lose their objectivity and miss the obvious? Saying that the liturgical reform evolved from tradition makes as much sense as saying that heresy evolved from the Apostles. Is depraved rock-music the continuation of Mozart and Beethoven? Is graffiti the continuation of Michelangelo and Rembrandt? Is today's political debacle on Capitol Hill and the ensuing culture of death the continuation of Washington and Jefferson? 

Neither is the post-conciliar reform a continuation of Holy Tradition. Clearly a rupture has occurred in recent history, and this rupture was the Second Vatican Council and its novel reform as outlined in its documents. "By their fruits you shall know them." (Matthew 7:20)

According to Michael Davies and those in the know, a number of "suspect theologians" hijacked the opening session of Vatican II by seizing control of its drafting commissions, whereupon they scrapped Pope John's plan for the Council and proceeded to draft a new agenda of their own. It was this illicit intervention that gave birth to the conciliar reform, which was novel, and not continuous. 

Hence, the problem with Vatican II did not lie in the misinterpretation of its documents, but the problem lied in the documents themselves which, under a certain appearance of orthodoxy, introduced subtle changes to the Church. Half-truths and ambiguities were woven into the documents by a coterie of renowned modernist theologians, including Cheno, Kung, Schillebeeckx, Fring, Danielou, Rahner, de Lubac and others whose teachings had formerly been condemned or censured under Pius XII.

They in turn were assisted by six Protestant delegates and others who were invited to the Council as consultants on matters of liturgy and doctrine (Michael Davies, Pope John's Council, 1977). Augustine Cardinal Bea, who headed the Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity, boasted of the contribution made by these delegates in formulating the Council's decree on Ecumenism, saying, "I do not hesitate to assert that they have contributed in a decisive way to bringing about this result."

If the claim is true that infiltrated enemies and heretics infiltrated Vatican II, then certainly their fingerprints will show up in the documents. One needn't look too far to find them. For instance, it states in Unitatis Redintegratio, the Council document on Ecumenism: "The Holy Spirit does not refuse to make use of other religions as a means of salvation." This contradicts the Church's dogma that the Holy Spirit works only through the Catholic religion, outside of which there exists no salvation (extra ecclesiam nulla salus).

This adulteration of doctrine was largely fostered by the reform of liturgy. The 1964 conciliar instruction, Inter Oecumenici, article 91, called for "celebration facing the people" which shifted the focus onto the community. The emphasis was now for "active participation by the faithful" around which everything was to revolve, as expressed in section 14 of the Council's document on liturgy: "The full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else." This new socialist ideal was most effectively spearheaded by the new liturgical celebration, thus protestantizing the masses.  

The document on the liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, proposed unprecedented changes to the Mass (e.g. use of vernacular), and called for an overall revision of the liturgy wherein archaic "elements" accumulated through time "are now to be discarded" and "the rites are to be simplified" so that "active participation by the faithful may be more easily achieved." (article 50)

It was this perfidious plan that prompted Cardinal Ottaviani to sound the alarm at the opening session, when he said, "Are we seeking to stir up wonder, or perhaps scandal, among the Christian people, by introducing changes in so venerable a rite that has been approved for so many centuries and is now so familiar? The rite of Holy Mass should not be treated as if it were a piece of cloth to be refashioned according to the whim of each generation."

The Concilium also stated that "other elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored." (article 50) Would this include the injury suffered by Luther and the Reformation through their expulsion by the Council of Trent, which Vatican II reformers lamented as an unfortunate "accident of history"?  Elements of Protestantism indeed were "restored" after the Council to desacralize the Mass so that we would see the Mass as an assembly or community gathering where the common people perform the liturgical prayers. Take for instance article 53 of the Concilium:

On Sundays and feasts of obligation there is to be restored, after the Gospel and the homily, “the common prayer” or “the prayer of the faithful.” By this prayer, in which the people are to take part, intercession will be made for holy Church, and for the civil authorities.

In the centuries prior to the Council there never existed a "common prayer" in the Roman Rite, yet Vatican II calls for a "restoration" of this as if it had been lost. The common prayer in fact is a Protestant practice stemming from the Reformation, and is among those elements which "suffered injury through accidents of history" which were now being "restored." The plan of the reformers was to reinstate these elements under the pretext of a renewal in order to justify it before the faithful. With this same pretext they proceeded to change the Liturgy, as we see in article 21 of the Concilium:

Holy Mother Church desires to undertake with great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself. For the liturgy is made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change. These not only may but ought to be changed with the passage of time.

No! The old rite of the Mass is the inspired, immutable work of God that may never be changed by dissatisfied men. Did they forgot the warning of Pius V that any efforts to alter the formula of the Mass as mandated by the Council of Trent would "incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul?" (Quo Primum) Their quest for restoration accused Holy Tradition of having been deficient, as we read in this same section:

In this restoration, both texts and rites should be drawn up so that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify; the Christian people, so far as possible, should be enabled to understand them with ease [e.g. vernacular] and to take part in them fully, actively, and as befits a community. [21]

Here the document apologizes for the Traditional Rite, and tempts the faithful by proposing a new and easy format that caters to the basic, fallen nature of man of wanting things his way. And too, it accuses the old Mass of having alienated them, thus causing them to turn against their own spiritual heritage.

Yet, the document feigns fidelity to Tradition. Throughout the Concilium the claim is made that uniformity and traditional discipline should remain intact, whereupon in the very next section proposals are made to the contrary. Consider the apparent discipline and uniformity proposed in article 23:

Notable differences between the rites used in adjacent regions must be carefully avoided.

Compare now to article 37:

In the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity [old Mass] ... rather does she respect the genius and talents of the various races and peoples. Anything in these peoples’ way of life which is not indissolubly bound up with superstition and error she studies with sympathy... Sometimes in fact she admits such things into the liturgy itself.

Here the Council opened the door to the secularization of the liturgy which is so wide spread today with the use of vernacular and elements of pop culture, pagan dress and music, etc. The genius of the God was cast aside for the so-called genius of races and peoples who are neither capable nor authorized to introduce elements of worship to the Mass. Contradictions and denials of this sort are not difficult to find in the Council documents. Note the false allegiance to the Council of Trent in the following verse:

The dogmatic principles which were laid down by the Council of Trent remaining intact, communion under both kinds may be granted when the bishops think fit, not only to clerics and religious, but also to the laity.  (Concilium 55)

The Council of Trent decreed:

Laymen and priests not celebrating are to communicate under the one species of bread only... under no circumstances is the use of the chalice to be permitted to anyone.

Herein we see violated the decree of Trent as well as "the dogmatic principles which were laid down by the Council", since receiving under two kinds fosters the heretical notion that the consecrated Host is the Body of Christ only and that the consecrated Wine is the Precious Blood only, and that the reception of both therefore is necessary for a valid Communion. It also assists the reformist plan to treat the Eucharist as a symbol of Christ's Body and Blood, since the symbolic connection is made much easier with the two species (bread and wine) than with one. And too, it encourages the idea of the Mass being a community meal and gathering, which was the view of reformers in Luther's time.

Also, with Vatican II came the new definition of priesthood as The People of God. It sees the whole Church as one hierarchy or priesthood but in different ranks, with the ordained ministerial priesthood being only one rank thereof. "The people of God is not only an assembly of various peoples, but in itself is made up of different ranks." (Lumen Gentium 13) What is promoted here is the fallacy that we are all priests of one hierarchy. 

The common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood are nonetheless ordered one to another; each in its own proper way shares in the one priesthood of Christ. (Lumen Gentium 10)

For the record, there is no such thing as a "common priesthood of the faithful." This too was Luther's idea, and places a devious twist on the figurative scripture verse about the church being "a royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9) to encourage the idea of lay people assuming priestly functions as lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, etc. The priest alone offers the Holy Sacrifice as the Alter Christus, and there is nothing lay persons could possibly do to offer this Sacrifice for the simple reason that they are not empowered from On High; they don't have that special anointing from the Holy Spirit.

This empowerment of the laity was promoted to instigate a spirit of revolt against the Mass and priesthood in keeping with the Council's theme of human rights and dignity.

In many ways the Second Vatican Council undermines the Christo-centric concept of the Eucharist as opposed to the old Tridentine formula which so beautifully nurtured it through the centuries. This is seen in article 7 of Institutio Generalis which sets forth a new and humanistic definition of the Mass never before seen in Church history:

The Lord’s Supper or Mass is a sacred meeting or assembly of the people of God, met together under the presidency of the priest, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. Thus the promise of Christ applies eminently to such a local gathering of holy Church: “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in their midst” (Mt. XVIII, 20).

Here we see the Mass reduced to a meeting or assembly in which Christ’s sacrifice is merely remembered. There is no reference made whatsoever to the reenactment of Christ’s sacrifice, which is the very essence of the Mass and the very center of all Christian worship. The miracle of Transubstantiation alone is what brings about the physical and supernatural presence of Christ at Mass, yet the document implies that His presence is brought about by the assembly of people numbering two or more, as if they collectively were the priest. The gathering of two or more has absolutely nothing to do with the Mass, nor is their presence necessary for a valid Mass. This is a protestant idea which underscores the new post-conciliar church of man.

Because of these democratic principles of lay empowerment that were introduced at the Council, the role of the priest has been greatly diminished where he is now seen as little more than the "president of an assembly." The idea of appeasing God through the Holy Sacrifice has virtually been replaced with appeasing the people with change. The constant fuss today about "Scripture" and "Liturgy of the Word" was deliberately introduced to take away from the Mass and to plug the Protestant idea of "Bible only."

The constant harping on pet terms and clichés foreign to the Church’s vocabulary (e.g. People of God, ministry, reconciliation, initiation, renewal, etc.) was a clear signal to the faithful that a new program of indoctrination was underway. The clamor circulated at the Council about human rights, human dignity and religious liberty worked together to nourish this tumor of intellectual pride so that the Church in our time is now infected with its cancer.

The remedy for eliminating the cancer is to eradicate the tumor, but the doctors of hermeneutics are now prescribing that we nourish the tumor and study it with greater care so that it will produce spiritual health for Christ's Mystical Body. Hasn't fifty years of spiritual disorder taught them anything? Can they not understand that the only recourse for liberating the Church from this post-conciliar quagmire is to confess that a mistake was made at Vatican Council II? 

We pray that the Holy Spirit which guided the Church through the centuries will also guide the hierarchy to understand that this same Spirit of Truth was not the guide of the conciliar reform. If there was ever a time to confess the truth, it is now during this 50th Anniversary of the Council, which is also the best way to live the Faith as we're called to do. "The truth will make you free." (John 8:32)   

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