On a lighter note: So… SSPX Bp. Fellay calls the Vatican and says…

I saw this on the blog Catholic Church Conservation:

Yes, this is an exageration, but there is a grain of truth in it, no?

A while back I read a comment that if some members of the SSPX have turned Vatican II into a “Super Heresy”, some liberals have turned it into a “Super Dogma”.

We need to read every Council in the light of the others, but especially Vatican II in light of those that went before.  Vatican II cannot be properly read apart from the other Councils and the Church’s Magisterium

We need a hermeneutic of continuity and not a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture – in either direction.

As my old pastor used to say, you can go into the ditch on either side of the road.

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31 Responses to On a lighter note: So… SSPX Bp. Fellay calls the Vatican and says…

  1. wmeyer says:

    A while back I read a comment that if some members of the SSPX have turned Vatican II into a “Super Heresy”, some liberals have turned it into a “Super Dogma”.

    And worse, many parishes–or the committees that dominate them–take the Super Dogma view.

    Points I would like to see come out of this:
    - recognition that V2 was only a council, and not the most important of them, at that
    - universal acceptance of the CCC as the foundation for teaching the faith (or the Baltimore Catechism, for those who find it more useful in a classroom, especially in lower grades)
    - universal acceptance that the Missal is the source of all the liturgy: Say the Black, Do the Red!
    - an end to ad libbing in the liturgy
    - banishment of clown Masses, “liturgical dancing”, and other abominations

  2. petrus69 says:

    Yes!!!!!!!and while they’re at it abolish the Easter bunny mass and the puppeteer mass, and beach mass.

  3. anilwang says:

    WRT ” some liberals have turned [Vatican II] into a “Super Dogma”.

    I wish that were actually true.

    If liberals actually believed what’s written in Vatican II, Gregorian Chant and Latin would have prime of place in the liturgy, there would be no liturgical abuse, liberals would actually still submit to the bishops, the Pope, and the Magisterium, nuns would still wear habits, and the damage to the Church and liturgy would have been so minimal that the SSPX would never have separated and thus considered Vatican II a “Super Heresy”.

  4. wmeyer says:

    anilwang: Perhaps it is not the Council, but the Spirit of Vatican II which has become “Super Dogma”.

  5. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Today I was browsing my cathedral’s bookshop (oddly located in the nave, along with the new Bauhaussian “Vatican II” sanctuary), checking out the latest titles by Richard McBrien, Richard Rohr, Charles Curran (“Loyal Dissent”), Joan Chittister, James Allison (“Constantine’s Sword”), and (not kidding!) John Shelby Spong.

    I looked out around the city, where half the Catholic churches are vacant, demolished or now owned by secular businesses for secular purposes.

    I look around my extended family, and I notice that I’m the only practicing Catholic among 5 siblings and 30 first cousins, that my parents (6 failed marriages between them) and all of my aunts and uncles (11 each) are now either Protestant or in silent apostasy.

    Thinking of all these things, I think I can begrudge the SSPX’s perhaps exaggerated failure to appreciate the many fruits of Vatican II.

  6. Jim of Bowie says:

    Except for what people think is in the VII documents that isn’t there, I don’t see what’s the big deal. I have studied Lumen Gentium, Dei Verbum and Sacrosanctum Concilium. The first two, except for some confusion over the role of the laity, collegiality and salvation outside the church, seem pretty innocuous. And the third was pretty much ignored. The controversy must be in Gadium et Spes, but isn’t that mostly touchy, feely stuff?

    But why is the good bishop depicted as Richard Nixon?

  7. Choirmaster says:

    I see four distinct problems with the treatment of Vatican II:

    1. Vatican II is invoked as a mandate for modernism in all aspects of ecclesiology, liturgy, faith, and morals without respect to any actual declaration or mandate.

    2. Most people who have an opinion about Vatican II know almost nothing about it (except for their experience of #1). Corollary: most clerics are culpably ignorant or willfully duplicitous in their conclusions about Vatican II.

    3. The documents from Vatican II are cited–even in orthodox works–to the complete exclusion of all other sources, including the acts of other councils, popes, saints, and theologians; as if it cannot be found in Vatican II then the argument is invalid!

    All of this seems to be nicely summarized in that cartoon!

  8. Legisperitus says:

    It’s not a bad drawing, but he should lose the 5 o’clock shadow, lighten the eyes, and add the dimple in his chin.

    Content is bang on.

  9. wmeyer says:

    checking out the latest titles by Richard McBrien, Richard Rohr, Charles Curran (“Loyal Dissent”), Joan Chittister, James Allison (“Constantine’s Sword”), and (not kidding!) John Shelby Spong.

    Wow! All in one place? I don’t suppose they stock the CCC? ;)

  10. Simon_GNR says:

    Back in the 1980′s I knew one or two seminarians who seemed to regard the documents of Vatican II as equal in status to Holy Writ!! No doubt some of their tutors had passed on this attitude….

  11. aviva meriam says:

    Father, Its interesting that you used the following analogy…..
    “As my old pastor used to say, you can go into the ditch on either side of the road.”

    Not to bring in a similarity to Judaism, but Jewish law is refered to in Hebrew as “Halacha” or roughly translated as the WAY….. the thinking behind this is that the Way or the Road is wide enough for to fit all of those who work to to STAY on it. In the same way, following the Magisterium is possible through divine grace if we commit ourselves in obedience to it.

  12. Finarfin says:

    I agree with anilwang and Choirmaster. There’s nothing wrong with Vatican II, just the way it is evoked by liberals who have no reason to think that’s what VII desired. Also, the Pope certainly doesn’t need to be taught that the other councils need to be accepted (I get it’s exagerated, but to the extent that this is the conversation, I think it is uneccassary on Fellay’s part). The Pope clearly understands the Faith. I’m not sure about Fellay, as good of intentions as he has.

  13. Choirmaster says:

    @Finarfin: (great screen name, by the way!) I do believe that the texts of Vatican II, either in part or in majority, are problematic (at worst) or vague (at best). I also believe that the bishops of Vatican II actually did intend all of the fruits that we now see ripening. After all, the drafters of the document were the very people that “implemented” them in the trenches.

    I think it’s a false premise to say that the only problems with Vatican II are in perception and implementation. That being said, the biggest problems are from the implementation and interpretation. It’s the Pope’s job, now, to put it right. Unfortunately I don’t think the current Pope is doing that as a major project of his pontificate. The hermeneutic of continuity is a great start, but it’s a weak premise. I’m looking for a strong premise, such as a possible “hermeneutic of correction” to that re-interprets, condemns, clarifies, or affirms specific council clauses or specific dangerous/heretical trends that are the fruits of the council.

  14. disco says:

    The only “super dogma” I’m aware of is anything goes except Latin.

  15. wmeyer says:

    I think it’s a false premise to say that the only problems with Vatican II are in perception and implementation.

    Not really what he said.

    I would argue that the problem in the parishes, especially among the laity, is perception, as few, if any, have read, much less studied, any of the documents. Instead, their awareness probably derives from what they have been told by such as McBrien, Rohr, Chittister, and their fellow travelers.

    As to implementation, it is quite clear, if you read Wiltgen, that some of the bishops had an agenda quite different to that displayed in the documents. And if you read Michael Davies, or the Ottaviani Intervention, you will see other problems which exist in the documents, and which existed with the bishops in power at the close of the Council.

    What is happening among the laity is a supercharged version of cafeteria Catholicism in which they believe that the liturgy is subject to committees in the parish, the local liturgist, and few if any own a Missal.

  16. acardnal says:

    All I know as someone who attended the TLM/EF Mass in my youth is “do the math.” BEFORE Vatican II – and especially the revised Missal of Paul VI in 1970 – 80 percent of Catholics in the USA attended Mass every Sunday, Confession lines were very long on Saturday afternoons, we had hundreds of thousands of nuns and priests. AFTER, we now have approximately 30-40 percent attending Sunday Mass, virtually no one goes to Confession and we have very low numbers of nuns and priests. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Holy Father regularize the SSPX soon so I can attend their parish in my diocese.

  17. jhayes says:

    What Pope Benedict said was:

    “The hermeneutic of discontinuity is countered by the hermeneutic of reform.” He did not say it is countered by the “hermeneutic of continuity”

    For him, the hermaneutic of reform was not a simple continuity but a renewal of continuity:

    “On the other, there is the “hermeneutic of reform”, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. ”

    “In this process of innovation in continuity we must learn to understand more practically than before that the Church’s decisions on contingent matters – for example, certain practical forms of liberalism or a free interpretation of the Bible – should necessarily be contingent themselves, precisely because they refer to a specific reality that is changeable in itself. ”

    Full Text

  18. Ignatius says:

    Choirmaster says: “I also believe that the bishops of Vatican II actually did intend all of the fruits that we now see ripening”. So, Abp. Lefebvre wanted what happened after CVII… Isn’t yours a sweeping -and, thus, unfair- generalization?

  19. AnnAsher says:

    I like the math suggestion so here goes.
    1bugnini + Smoke of Satan = Spirit of Vatican II.

  20. i bet if you really checked the theological credentials of people like Sabelius, Pelosi, Biden and the like you will find their views blessed by old nuns and priests who wanted the “new church”. How sad it is that things have gotten this bad, for everyone suffers in the wake of such heretical opinions. They have now become so commonplace due to the fact that they espouse the spirit of this world and then can claim that that all of these opinions are done in the name of inclusiveness. This is the new dogma of the modern world. The spirit of Vatican II?

  21. UncleBlobb says:

    @fatherz: Would that we also had the old fashioned interpretive keys with V II! In light of Cardinal Brandmuller’s book et. al., I was reading that not only the two “Dogmatic” Documents – Verbum Dei and Lumen Gentium, there are also “sections” in the other Documents which are also Magisterial, and which are recognizable by their language. Is there some kind of index rolling around the Holy See Offices which tells a guy which ones are Magisterial teachings, and which ones aren’t?

  22. Geoffrey says:

    “If liberals actually believed what’s written in Vatican II, Gregorian Chant and Latin would have prime of place in the liturgy, there would be no liturgical abuse, liberals would actually still submit to the bishops, the Pope, and the Magisterium, nuns would still wear habits, and the damage to the Church and liturgy would have been so minimal that the SSPX would never have separated and thus considered Vatican II a ‘Super Heresy’.”

    Amen to that!!! All sides need to carefully, and prayerfully, read (or re-read) the actual council documents. All sides will be very surprised at what they find!

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  24. Sixupman says:

    There is a correlation between the arguments concerning the documents of Vatican II and those of the European Union, many pontificate but few have read and I might guess the majority of the hierarchies, who have left it to their self-important advisers – as with UK politicians. They were both generated in France, Germany and the Low Countries – Witgen: The Rhine Flows into the Tiber bearing the truth of the matter.

  25. Blaise says:

    It seems to be interesting that some of the parts of Vatican II that perhaps give some support to the Spirit of Vatican II are not in the four main documents but in some of the subsidiary ones. How many people actually look at and now read all of the documents from Vatican II, not just DV, SC, LG and G+S?
    But really, the Year of the Faith and the 50th Anniversary give us an opportunity to reclaim the VII documents in a Hermeneutic of Continuity rather than rupture. Maybe we should all be asking our parishes to set up programmes for people actually to read what is really in these documents in the context of the former councils and subsequent papal teaching / the CCC.

  26. Jan B. says:

    I don’t understand people who say, ‘but read the text, there is so much good there!’ Oh yes, the poison apple had so much good apple and so very little poison, take another bite, love.

    Bishop Fellay looks the most like Brer Rabbit. And I will follow him when he, too, says he will follow the good bits. But I think what he needs us other little rabbits to do is spit out the bad parts with all our hearts, and that means not defending the Council and getting our poor destroyed families and parishes to hear and learn to flee it.

  27. ivan_the_mad says:

    @Jan B.: Be very, very careful. Bishop Fellay is _not_ the authority here.

  28. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Sixupman,

    while I’m not completely sure what you mean, there is one thing that really strikes me as odd:

    Now I’m not making this up… The official position of the Federal Republic from the 195os to 1972 was: “Germany-as-a-whole is identical with the Federal Republic; the Soviet Zone is just that, a Soviet-occupied zone with a satellite regime styling itself as separatist.” (Hallstein Doctrine) This policy changed in 1972 to a – wait for it! – Germania tota subsistit in Rempublicam Foederalem. Have I said changed? It changed not really, as neither is subsistit in a change to Church doctrine; but the gap between what was said before and what was said after is identical, the arguments against the reorientation were identical, and the total forgetting of the still-official position (upheld by the Constitutional Court) by those not critizising the reorientation, who said that now Federal Republic and GDR are two states side by side, was identical.

    [The Constitutional Court did not say subsistit in, but believe me, what it says about the Federal Republic - GDR relationship reads like a catechesis on it.]

    I’m not critizing the subsistit in, just explaining a coincidence that strikes me as interesting… Also, God, to Whom is praise forever and ever, allowed as to enjoy a little piece of “come-back ecumenism” which was, who’d a thunk it, despised as utterly reactionary up to some days before the Berlin Wall fell.

    Dear @John B., what precisely is the poison?

  29. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Jan B., sorry for mistaking (or rather: anglicizing) your name.

  30. ivan_the_mad says:

    @acardnal: Are you sure you’re not confusing correlation and causation? As my pastor, who tells Mass in both the EF and OF every Sunday, told me: “Being ordained in 195X, I am old enough a priest to remember the Council and the abuses that followed. I am also old enough a priest to remember the abuses that preceeded it.”

    Things are perhaps somewhat more complicated than “Before VII good, after VII bad, because of VII”.

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