Prefect of CDF on Anglican Ordinariate and SSPX

From the UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald with my emphases:

Head of the CDF urges Catholics to welcome ordinariate converts

Catholics in England and Wales should welcome members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has said.

In an interview with The Catholic Herald, Archbishop Gerhard Müller said: “Many of those who have entered into full communion through the ordinariates have sacrificed a great deal in order to be true to their consciences. They should be welcomed wholeheartedly by the Catholic community – not as prodigals but as brothers and sisters in Christ who bring with them into the Church a worthy patrimony of worship and spirituality.”

Archbishop Müller, who was appointed prefect in July this year, oversees reconciliation talks with the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) in his new role. He told the Herald that “the SSPX must accept the fullness of the Catholic faith and its practice” as “disunity always damages the proclamation of the Gospel by darkening the testimony of Jesus Christ”.

He said: “The SSPX need to distinguish between the true teaching of the Second Vatican Council and specific abuses that occurred after the Council, but which are not founded in the Council’s documents.”

He later continued: “Everyone who is Catholic must ask themselves if they are cherry-picking points from the Church’s teachings for the sake of supporting an ideology. Which is more important:?an ideology or the faith? I want to say to people in extreme groups to put their ideology to one side and come to Jesus Christ.”

Archbishop Müller also said that he had been an admirer of the current Pope since he was in seminary and used to read the Pope’s book An Introduction to Christianity during his formation. He said: “It was a new book at the time and the concentrated theological insights are ever present in my mind today.”

In his new position as prefect for the CDF he has a weekly meeting with the Pope for an hour. He said: “In private, we speak in our mother tongue, German, but in an official context we must speak in Italian.”

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Benedict XVI, Brick by Brick, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Pope of Christian Unity, SSPX, The future and our choices, Vatican II and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Prefect of CDF on Anglican Ordinariate and SSPX

  1. fvhale says:

    “Everyone who is Catholic must ask themselves if they are cherry-picking points from the Church’s teachings for the sake of supporting an ideology.”
    Amen!

  2. Andrew says:

    “In private, we speak in our mother tongue, German, but in an official context we must speak in Italian.”

    This comes to mind from Veterum Sapientia: “… ecclesiastici viri, ubicumque sunt gentium, Romanorum sermone adhibito, quæ sunt Sanctæ Sedis promptius comperire possunt, atque cum ipsa et inter se expeditius habere commercium.”

    Romanorum, videlicet, non Italorum sermone adhibito.

  3. Gratias says:

    The Anglican Ordinariate seems to be working just fine. It is tragic for the Church that the SSPX did not accept the Pope’s offer.

  4. anilwang says:

    “Everyone who is Catholic must ask themselves if they are cherry-picking points from the Church’s teachings for the sake of supporting an ideology.”

    I don’t think that cherry-picking really is at the heart of the SSPX dispute. I think it boils down to four things: pride, distrust, exasperation at the post Vatican II declines, and fear that it can happen to the SSPX too if it joins.

    Pride and distrust can only be overcome by charity, prayer, and faith as well as continual rapprochement so the SSPX won’t become estranged.Fear that it can happen to the SSPX too if it joins, can be solved by the right canonical structure that offers sufficient protections. Exasperation at the post Vatican II declines, is a harder issue. Traditionalists believe tend to believe it was more than just the abuses…the abuses were just a symptom of something bigger but few can agree what the exact issue was.

    Personally, I do not believe that either the Vatican II texts or the Novus Ordo are primarily the causes. Coming from a scientific background, I recognize that a good way to understanding the causes of things is to look at a similar control sample that does not contain the effects you’re trying to measure. To me, the Eastern Orthodox are a good point of comparison. Liturgically, TLM and the Byzantine Divine Liturgy are equivalent. Theologically both churches were quite close (especially before Vatican II). The key difference is that the Catholic Church had Vatican II and added the Novus Ordo. If Vatican II and the Novus Ordo were the cause of the state of the modern Church, one would expect the Eastern Orthodox statistics to be far better than the Catholic statistics. But if you look at the statistics, the Eastern Orthodox are generally worse, though not by much. See for yourself:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4P5dUgPE2Y

    So whatever sickness affected the Catholic Church, one cannot solely pin it on the Vatican II texts or the Novus Ordo, and if SSPX parishes are more successful than the typical Catholic parish it is likely because they are doing things that should and could be done in any Catholic parish (e.g. good catechesis, good homilies, reverent worship, good priestly training, etc)

  5. Sixupman says:

    As a mere layman, I could provide the CDF with a million and one issues of disunity and anti-Magisterium teaching, none of which being within SSPX. Perhaps, ++Muller could start with his erstwhile [?] German Bishops’ Conference and some of the Cardinals thereon. ++Muller can hardly be considered as even-handed and charged into the CDF like a bull-at gate – Germanic bluster will not get him very far. I ask what pressure did the Germanic Hierarchy place upon The Holy Father, using the excuse, possibly, of +Williamson, but really based upon their their post-conciliar ant-Tridentine angst? [I think it is really special that you are so able to instruct the Prefect of the CDF.]

  6. norancor says:

    It is three things: the documents, who wrote them and their underlying motives, and the mis-implementation of the documents.

    Firstly, it is the documents themselves. On about five points in Lumen Gentium, Guadium et Spes, Unitatis Redintegratio, Nostra Aetate, and Dignitatis Humanae, there are explicit phrases and concepts that are at variance with existing documents and pronouncements of the Magisterium. The Church has suppressed erroneous interpretations and applications, but hasn’t REALLY imposed a hermeneutic of reform to reconcile HOW traditional teaching, and conciliar teaching, are to be seen as an organic whole.

    It is also the non-Thomistic school of thought whose periti (“experts”) wrote the documents, and largely implemented them. These include men like: Rahner, Chenu, Lonergan, de Lubac, von Balthasar, Maritain, Murray, Schillebeeckx, Congar, and Kung. The also includes then Fr. Ratzinger, who now is entrusted with correcting, or interpreting, his own friends, and his own school of thought. The Holy Father has a palpable disdain for scholasticism, but has I think come to realize Nouvelle Theology (or its proper name – Ressourcement) has failed to lead the Church in any sort of sound, reasonable way since it took power under the pontificate of John XXIII.

    Underlying these things — the documents and who wrote them — are the revision of the Sacraments and application of the Council. The abuses of implementation are intrinsic to the documents, because the documents would have been clearer and less likely to be misapplied. They deliberately, with purpose, altered the traditional explications of our Faith. Was the intent benevolent, or malignant? The preoccupation with secularism, the social dimension of the Church, the modern world, ecumenism, and religious liberty, make traditional Catholics believe that the mind of the legislator, or at least the authors, did not have benevolent intent.

    So they write and promulgate documents eschewing dogmatic character, but now reverse themselves and insist on dogmatic character, and obedience, ex post facto.

    This lack of reconciliation with tradition on these points, in comparison to a myriad of traditional documents that cannot be ignored and cannot, seemingly, be easily reconciled, along with the problem if Sacramental reform that appears as a “banal, on the spot fabrication,” according to then Cardinal Ratzinger, are REAL problems, and the head of the CDF needs to accept this reality, otherwise they will talk past one another as they argue completely different underlying sets of assumptions.

    [If only you had been there to correct those documents when they were written.]

  7. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    The Archbishop is correct, and his words deserve reflection.

    Anglicans coming into the Church and we Traditionalists have something in common. They have indeed “sacrificed a great deal”, having lost beautiful churches, beautiful liturgy, orthodoxy in teaching, and a church close by; so have we traditionalists, watching churches reck-ovated, liturgy banalized, the Faith falsified. What is more, these Anglicans have suffered even more than we Traditionalists and Conservatives at the hands of Ultra-Liberals. We differ from each other in that the the Liberals have won the day in the Episcopal Church. Not so in the Catholic Church! We are on the winning team now!

    Let us Traditionalists and Conservatives be the first to open the door to the Anglican Ordinariates! They have indeed “a worthy patrimony of worship and spirituality”, one that will enrich the rest of us.

  8. ordinary means says:

    That is correct norancor Father Ratzinger was responsible for many of the documents of Vatican II that the SSPX are concerned with and in the article the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says Popes early writings are “ever present in his mind today”.

  9. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Quod Andreae dixit, ego quoque.

  10. tominrichmond says:

    Is it really possible that a curial official in 2012 does not understand that the SSPX does not have a problem only with abuses stemming from the Council but with many of the formal texts of the Council (eg, the assertion in Dignitatis humanae that there is a natural right to proclaim error in public; the assertion that the Catholic Church only substists in not simply *is* the Church of Christ)?

    Agree or disagree with those complaints, how can the Cardinal continue to claim with a straight face that the issue is merely the SSPX being upset with “specific abuses” and not with aspects of the Council itself?

    A five-minute perusal of the SSPX website would clarify this for the Cardinal; does he know this and is not being honest about it, or is he genuinely ignorant of the SSPX position?

    Either way, it does not add to his credibility.

  11. “Cherry picking”… “Extremist”… “Ideology” Omer the faith… Haha! Clever boy, Herr Mueller! Insulting traditionalists by using their own words. I’m sure mueller pats himself on the back all the time, but certainly not for the charitable and pastoral response that the Holy Father asked for in the letter that accompanied Summorum Pontificum.

  12. Athelstan says:

    Firstly, it is the documents themselves. On about five points in Lumen Gentium, Guadium et Spes, Unitatis Redintegratio, Nostra Aetate, and Dignitatis Humanae, there are explicit phrases and concepts that are at variance with existing documents and pronouncements of the Magisterium. The Church has suppressed erroneous interpretations and applications, but hasn’t REALLY imposed a hermeneutic of reform to reconcile HOW traditional teaching, and conciliar teaching, are to be seen as an organic whole.

    I’m with norancor on this much, at least. Whatever has been said in the private doctrinal discussions, there really has been very little magisterial treatment of how to reconcile what look to the plain eye as…well, contradictions. For example, between certain passages in Dignitatis Humanae and Pius IX’s Quanta Cura. I’m not saying that I don’t think they can be reconciled, but assuming (as I think I must) that they can, it’s probably going to be along the lines of what Thomas Pink has proposed – that these 19th century propositions were reformable doctrine. But so far, the Magisterium hasn’t really clarified that.

    I don’t know what doctrinal preamble that the SSPX was asked to sign said. But I am disappointed that a deal could not be reached, and I will leave it at that.

    As for the ordinariates, it’s a sad statement that the Prefect felt it necessary to urge the Church of E&W to be welcoming to the Ordinariate of OLW in the first place. But it’s been obvious all along that most of the hierarchy and much of the clergy there was none too happy about this development, especially given what it seemed (to them) to portend for ecumenical relations with the Church of England. And, for the most part, they have not gone far out of their way to be supportive.

  13. MichaelJ says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with ArchBishop Muller when he states ” The SSPX need to distinguish between the true teaching of the Second Vatican Council and specific abuses that occurred after the Council, but which are not founded in the Council’s documents.”, but he is overlooking a very crucial point, at least from my perspective.
    The issue is that, for good or ill, the Church has chosen not to identify “the true teaching of the Second Vatican Council “.
    As a layman, I find myself continually asking “Who speaks for the Curch?”
    An Archbishop in an interview? An OpEd piece by a local Bishop? An Ecclesia Dei ruling leaked to a blogger? Some Cardinal’s extemporaneous remarks? My own interpretation of the VII documents? His Holiness in a book (or on twitter!)?

    No doubt I can be legitimately accused of disobediance, pride, loss of Faith, and a host of other vices, but I honestly have no idea what the Church taught at Vatican II AND THE CHURCH WILL NOT TELL ME.

    Why the Church has so far refused to invoke her teaching authority an remove all doubt remains a mystery, but the crisis will not be resolved until she does.

  14. Geoffrey says:

    “The SSPX need to distinguish between the true teaching of the Second Vatican Council and specific abuses that occurred after the Council, but which are not founded in the Council’s documents.”

    Amen!

  15. Jack Orlando says:

    Müller gets it right about the SSPX:

    1. Vatican II’s documents will be neither repealed, nor vacated, or nor nullified. He who thinks otherwise is living in fantasy, to say nothing of wasting time and energy which could be better spent working within the Church, because “disunity always damages”. What we can work for and can hope for – and there are good grounds for this hope – is that these documents will be clarified, if they would appear to be ambiguous, and will be harmonized with earlier Church teaching, if they would appear to be out of harmony. By being in the Church, traditionalists can help this process of clarification and harmonization, if such a process is needed. This process will take time. Patience is required.

    2. We all need “to distinguish between the true teaching of the Second Vatican Council and specific abuses that occurred after the Council, but which are not founded in the Council’s documents”. Both Ultra-Liberals and Ultra-Traditionalists fail to so distinguish, and their arguments are examples of the post hoc fallacy.

    3 Both Ultra-Liberals and Ultra-Traditionalists “are cherry-picking points from the Church’s teachings for the sake of supporting an ideology”, and one of the ways they do this is by twisting documents to say what they documents don’t say. And so another fallacy, the Ultra-Traditionalists set up a straw man, the Ultra-Liberals a straw idol.

  16. Jack Orlando says:

    “Today [...] it is particularly important to clarify the criteria used to distinguish the authentic sensus fidelium from its counterfeits. In fact, it is not some kind of public opinion of the Church, and it is unthinkable to mention it in order to challenge the teachings of the Magisterium, this because the sensus fidei can not grow authentically in the believer except to the extent in which he or she fully participates in the life of the Church, and this requires a responsible adherence to her Magisterium.”

    – Benedict XVI, Papal Address to The International Theological Commission, Dec. 7, 2012, emphasis added.

    SSPX needs to decide to fully participate in the life of the Church. And V2 is part of the Magisterium.

  17. MichaelJ says:

    Jack, you cannot continue to beat up the SSPX( or anyone else) for failing to adhere to the Church Magisterium, when the Church herself has so far refused to definitively and positively proclaim what she is teaching. Maybe I am just to stupid or prideful to understand, but let your Yes be Yes and your No be No.

  18. anilwang says:

    Sixupman,
    Look at it this way. Suppose that the Church was exactly as it was before both the Vatican II documents were formulated and the Novus Ordo was released and there was no pressure from some bishops to suppress TLM.

    Would the SSPX still place themselves in schism because of Vatican II and Novus Ordo mass (assuming it was as reverently followed as TLM)?

    Personally, I doubt it and Bishop Lefebvre gave no indication of schism before his society was suppressed. Given this, it’s clear that the Vatican II documents cannot be at the heart of the SSPX schism. The sooner the SSPX realizes this, the sooner they can fully be a part of the Church and help push the modernist elements within the Church either to surrender to the Pope’s authority or leave.

  19. Clinton R. says:

    It might be a good idea for the Pope to issue a document detailing what Vatican II actually teaches. As some here have noted, what Vatican II teaches really depends on who is doing the teaching. Ask 50 priests, get 50 different answers. By defining explicitly what the faithful must believe vis a vis Vatican II would help with the ambiguity that continues to plague attempts at true unity.

  20. MichaelJ says:

    anilwang,
    I am more than willing, eager in fact, to allow everyone to save face and claim that V2 was “misinterpreted” or was “hijacked by liberals”, but have to call a BS penalty when you say ” it’s clear that the Vatican II documents cannot be at the heart of the SSPX schism[sic]“.

    Who actually implemented the “reforms” that we all now claim were not called for by the council?
    Yes, that’s right, the very men who actually wrote or approved them.

    So yes, the documents of Vatican II , and what the authors clearly intended them to mean , are absolutely at the heart of the problem.

  21. anilwang says:

    MichaelJ,
    But the key thing to understand is that modernists didn’t need Vatican II to advance their cause.

    As Pope Pius X stated in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, the key power of modernism is that it keeps the old language but changes its meaning to be whatever one wants it to mean. As such, it is the synthesis of all errors that can kill the Church at its root.

    So a modernist can look at infallibly reiterations of Church teaching such as Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae statement or John Paul II’s Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and turn them either into “policies that could be changed at any time” or “complex statements that can only be interpreted for mass consumption by the ‘magestarium of theologians’” or “something the individual Catholic should pray about, but can freely ignore if it violates your ‘conscious’” or “just one of many ‘magisterial teachings in the church’ that be balanced by the ‘magisterium of the laity’, the ‘magisterium of nuns’, the ‘magestarium of theologians’, and the ‘magisterium of general society’”.

    Even if Vatican II were not held, the Church would still need to deal with modernism. We don’t know what state the Church would have been had Vatican II never happened but the if you look at the link I provided above from ChurchMilitantTV ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4P5dUgPE2Y ) and compare the Orthodox (which had neither Vatican II nor Novus Ordo) and Catholic numbers, you might want to reconsider what the real sickness in the Church is today and what needs to be done to fix it.

  22. Suburbanbanshee says:

    If you want to know what Vatican II taught, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Compare it to other Catholic catechisms. Notice that it’s pretty much the same, albeit with a few points softened, hardened, or elaborated. This is how you can tell the difference between what Vatican II taught, and what is just idea stuff that you can take or leave.

    (Except of course, the part where Vatican II taught that every parish is commanded to teach the people to sing the responses in Latin. That’s not a catechism doctrine thing, even though it’s catechetical; but it’s still in force.)

  23. Jack Orlando says:

    Bravo, Suburbanbanshee, and thank you. You are exactly right. Read the Catechism! And throw in Dominus Iesus. The charge of “ambiguity” has little factual basis. The Ultra-traditionalists are, like the Ultra-Liberals, “supporting an ideology” to suit their own tastes and own agenda. Sorry to be so blunt, yet as Little John Adams once said, “facts are stubborn things”.

  24. norancor says:

    [If only you had been there to correct those documents when they were written.]

    I gave a pretty straightforward set of thoughts, without polemics. The problem is that they are too accurate. My thoughts are well founded, well researched, and accurate, and not from me, but from a large number of men and women far better educated than me. Shooting the messenger does no good.

    A man’s intellect and will govern his intentions and actions. The bishops and experts in charge of Vatican II are liable to that same set of judgments. We have every right, as lay faithful, to question the intellect, will, motivations, and objectives, of the men responsible for drafting documents that reflect our faith and govern our lives, when the documents cause as much confusion and consternation as they have. I have not read the 72 ante-preparatory schemas, but I highly suspect they were far more traditional and clear than what we were given by 1965.

    I want to understand why two years of work, in 72 schemas, were canned in the first session of the Council, with the draft on the liturgy the only survivor, and why a series of clatches formed to lock up the drafting committees for the new, improved schemas that defined the rest of the council. I want to know where there was not a single prominent curial or Roman Dominican as a peritus at the Council. I want to know where periti got the idea they could set aside the existing Deposit of Faith on any issue they didn’t like, and push through numerous schemas that appear to contradict previous teaching.

    Do I, as a layman, not have a right to Truth?

    Do I, as a Catholic, not have a right to clarity of speech, and an absence of disambiguation in conciliar documents?

    Do I, as a soul in need of sanctification and grace, not have a right to unadulterated Sacraments that do not resemble my past Protestant life?

    Are we not allowed to ask, nay demand, answers? Forget the SSPX. Forget any other priest or religious. Do the laity, who have absolutely NO say in councils (rightly so) not have a right to demand answers, even from our superiors? Do I have to be a licensed theologian to ask questions and put forth my understanding?

    The last time I looked around, I was under the impression that Catholicism was a religion of truth, and order, and right reason, based on Tradition. It is not a will-to-power, with whomever is in charge able to do whatever, and say whatever, they want, and call it Catholicism.

    Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian unity. I just wish he would actually employ the hermeneutic of continuity with the malaise we are in so that unity also meant doctrinal clarity, beyond the halcyon haze of Nouvelle Theologie. God bless you, Father. I pray for you, and priests like you with high public profiles and ministries regularly.

    Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

  25. fvhale says:

    @norancor: I do not presume to be able to answer your many questions, but one thing you asked reminded me of some of my reading this afternoon:
    “I want to understand why two years of work, in 72 schemas, were canned in the first session of the Council, with the draft on the liturgy the only survivor…”

    I was reading in Theological Highlights of Vatican II by Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), Paulist Press, 2009 (original German copyright 1966), pp. 40-48 on the First Session. Here are a few lines:
    “The schemata of the theological commission, the first of which [on source of revelation] now lay before the fathers for consideration, breathed of this same spirit. The same cramped thinking, once so necessary as a line of defense, impregnated the text and informed it with a theology of negations and prohibitions…The bishops were no longer the same men they had been before the Council. First of all, they had discovered themselves as an episcopate, with their own powers and their own collective responsibility. Secondly, the passage of the liturgy schema had given rise to a new possibility foreign to the old pattern of ‘anti-ism’ and negativity, the possibility of abandoning the defensive and really undertaking a Christina ‘offensive.’ They could now think and act in a positive manner….
    They words of Pope John’s opening speech now acquired meaning, became understandable. He had insisted that the Church was no longer to condemn but rather to dispense the medicine of compassion, that the Council was not to speak negatively but to present the faith in a new and positive way, and finally that the Council must refrain from pronouncing anathemas…And so it could happen that, without prior agreement, Cardinals Lienart, Frings, Leger, Koenig, Alfrink, Suenens, Ritter and Bea, each from his own point of view, delivered sharp criticism of the schema, something surprising to both its authors and it opponents….
    The pope [John] had asserted his authority in favor of the Council majority. This decision was obviously of great fundamental importance. The Council had resolutely set itself againse perpetuating a one-sided and-Modernism and had chose a new and positive approach. In this sense, we may consider November 20 or November 21, 1962, as a real turning point. It was a turning point, too, in the sense that, in contrast to Trent and Vatican Council I, the pope had rejected curial dominance and sided with the Council.”

    Coming back to your question: “I want to understand why two years of work, in 72 schemas, were canned in the first session of the Council, with the draft on the liturgy the only survivor…”
    From my reading, it seems that the draft on the liturgy was more positive, and the first schema considered, while the next schema, on revelation, was framed negatively and embodied the previous century of anti-modernism condemnations. Thus in November 1962, very early in the First Session, the majority of the bishops as well as Pope John decided to take a different course.

  26. Fr Jackson says:

    I’m surmising that for Archbishop Müller, saying that we must accept “the fullness of Catholic practice ” means that he wants us to accept the New Mass – what else? But that’s exactly the objection we have against the New Mass: that it is not an adequate expression of the fullness of the Faith. — An astute commenter above remarked that Archbishop Müller was cleverly turning traditional Catholic criticisms back against us in our own typical language. Interesting.

  27. skypilot777 says:

    A Catholic Layman Correctly Asserts His Rights

    These are my thoughts on two comments made by norancor, the first being norancor’s initial comment and analysis with Fr. Z’s reaction (highlighted in red), the second comment by norancor is in reply to Fr. Z’s reaction. Now admittedly, Fr. Z’s reaction could be taken in two ways – one complimentary and another extremely sarcastic. If the later interpretation of Fr. Z’s reaction is in fact correct, then in my opinion, norancor has every right to defend his original commentary and analysis.
    It is my opinion that norancor offers what is possibly the best defense of the intellectual rights of the Catholic faithful in relation to the Church that I have ever had the privilege to read.

    It is my further opinion that norancor’s defense (his second comment) should be accurately translated into Latin and sent to the Holy Father, Abp. Muller, and all the rest of the Consistory of Cardinals in Rome accompanied by a humble but most solemn request that the Holy Father write an encyclical containing a syllabus offering clarifications on the statements of the documents of the Second Vatican Council for the good of the Catholic Church and faithful laity the world over.
    This is not an original request as it has been made by no less than a Cardinal (I can’t recall his name) already.

  28. Geoffrey says:

    In addition to The Catechism of the Catholic Church, also read the writings of Blessed John Paul II: “All this is a rich patrimony that has not yet been assimilated by the Church. My personal mission is… to ensure that his documents are assimilated, because they are a rich treasure, the authentic interpretation of Vatican II” (Pope Benedict XVI).

  29. skypilot777 says:

    @fvhale:
    …while the next schema, on revelation, was framed negatively and embodied the previous century of anti-modernism condemnations. Thus in November 1962, very early in the First Session, the majority of the bishops as well as Pope John decided to take a different course.
    From my reading and study on Church history, especially from the theological developments and events of the last 150 years, and applying a little logic to the facts as I see them (based on that research) it seems to me that ceasing to oppose modernism at a time when it was quite obviously alive and well and still very much a destroyer of faith, running throughout the Church, and a favorite of all the most “respected” Catholic theologians, was a mistake in prudential judgement that has cost the Church millions of faithful, clergy, religious, and lay, who have left the her. What is more, this one unwise approach has left the flock wide open and vulnerable to the ravages of that pernicious heresy.

  30. Athelstan says:

    Hello Jack Orlando,

    Vatican II’s documents will be neither repealed, nor vacated, or nor nullified.

    Perhaps not. But some of them might end up forgotten.

    Wouldn’t be the first time in Church history that that has happened to a conciliar document or provision.

  31. Athelstan says:

    Hello Skypilot,

    This is not an original request as it has been made by no less than a Cardinal (I can’t recall his name) already.

    I think you’re thinking of Bishop Schneider of Kazakhstan.

    “In recent decades there existed, and still exist today, groupings within the Church that are perpetrating an enormous abuse of the pastoral character of the Council and its texts… Keeping in mind the now decades-long experience of interpretations that are doctrinally and pastorally mistaken and contrary to the bimillennial continuity of the doctrine and prayer of the faith, there thus arises the necessity and urgency of … a sort of “Syllabus” of the errors in the interpretation of Vatican Council II.

    “There is the need for a new Syllabus, this time directed not so much against the errors coming from outside of the Church, but against the errors circulated within the Church by supporters of the thesis of discontinuity and rupture, with its doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral application.

    “Such a Syllabus should consist of two parts: the part that points out the errors, and the positive part with proposals for clarification, completion, and doctrinal clarification.”

  32. robtbrown says:

    It is a wild oversimplification to say that before Vat II there were only two groups: those who promoted La Nouvelle Theologie and Thomists. The theology that dominated the Church f0r hundreds of years after Trent was a kind of neo-Scholasticism that had little else in common with St Thomas than a systematic procedure. In fact, despite various documents promoting the thought of St Thomas, Thomists have always been a minority among Catholic theologians.

  33. Sixupman says:

    Athelstan:

    A possible problem – who would be the arbiter as to the “errors”? After all, it would appear that the CDF, amongst others, show little inclination to support either Amerio or Msgr. Gheradini, why should they concede control of the argument.

  34. Athelstan says:

    Good questions, Sixupman.

    In any event, I doubt that this pontificate will undertake any such task. Perhaps when Ranjith becomes Pope (though I hate to wish such a burden upon him).

  35. MichaelJ says:

    This is going nowhere. The fact remains that there is a very wide range of often contradictory understandings of what Vatican II actually taught. To paraphrase Clinton R, if you ask 50 people what Vatican II taught you’ll get 50 different answers. You’ll also get 50 different suggestions about where to look for answers (as evidenced by this very thread) but curiously few, if any, will suggest reading the actual documents of the Vatican II council.
    For those asserting that the council documents are clear, unambiguous and not misleading, how do you explain the widespead misunderstandings? Ill will? Character flaws? Intellects darkened by pride? Is there really no other explanation?

  36. anilwang says:

    MichaelJ says: “For those asserting that the council documents are clear, unambiguous and not misleading, how do you explain the widespead misunderstandings?”

    The same way I’d explain how so many so-called Bible-only Christians can read “John 6″ and say that it proves Jesus meant the Eucharist to be symbolic. Many of these so-called Bible-only Christians are sincere and have a level of passion in their faith and a love for God that is lacking in the typical Catholic lay person. John 6 is not the only chapter so-called Bible-only Christians blatantly misread and many so-called Bible-only Christians can read to the same passage and come to exactly the opposite conclusions.

    So what’s behind it? I believe its the same thing that plagues modernist textual critics. They have a theory of how things are (e.g. there are no miracles, Catholics must be wrong, the message needs to keep up with the times), and read the passages in a way that supports their theory and explain away the passages that don’t support their pet theory. All people do it without knowing it.

    That blindness is precisely the reason why we need to read documents such as the Bible in a community that includes the interpretations of past ages (i.e. Tradition). Anyone attempting to do an equivalent “Sola Scriptura” reading on the documents of Vatican II will inevitably end up with precisely the same “30,000 denominations” misreadings. What’s worse is that for Vatican II people tend to talk about it with ever trying to refer to chapter and verse of each document or bothering to read the documents in light of other parts of the document or even bothering to read the footnotes. (as you say ” but curiously few, if any, will suggest reading the actual documents of the Vatican II council)

    So yes there is confusion, and it is our fault.

  37. fvhale says:

    I really enjoy the previous comment by anilwang.

    I have met just a few Catholics who favor the Extraordinary Form who will not read the documents of Vatican II because they feel the Conciliar documents are not worthy of study.

    I have met many Catholics who speak much of (and in?) the “spirit of Vatican II” who also do not want to read the documents because they feel the Conciliar documents do not embody “the spirit of Vatican II,” except for a few cherry-picked bits ideas like “I follow my conscience rather than what the Church teaches,” or “Latin is dead and gone.”

    And, sadly, the largest group of Catholics I have met are those who have never read anything by a pope, or any office of the Roman curia (and hardly Scripture, either). I have known many who, with pride, say, “I have never read anything written by a Pope,” or “Why would I read the Catechism?” or “I get all I need from the Mass (and sometimes the Rosary).”

    I think that, to a certain extent, after Humanae Vitae in the late 1960′s, it became stylish to ignore anything that came out of Rome. I certainly do get the feeling that many Catholic have not read anything since their Baltimore Catechism and whatever the nuns taught them in high school in the 1960′s. I know almost nobody who could say they read anything by Bl. Pope John Paul II.

    And maybe this is also a result of the “crisis of Catechetics” after the Council. The faith was reduced to coloring “Jesus loves me,” and “Let’s all just have a good time.” The content of the faith was left out, and the shiny wrapper passed on to the next generation. Although the good intention was to go from a negative “thou shalt not” presentation of the faith to something positive and attractive, in practice I think the message was just reduced to “whatever” at so many levels.

    Now, I have actually seen people making up stuff that was supposed to be in some document or another of the Council. I am not kidding. When I ask for specific paragraph numbers when I cannot find what they claiim the Council said, there is no response.

    The Catholic Church in the United States is laboring under a massive burden of real ignorance on the part of the faithful. So we need the Year of Faith. In a country with about 100% literacy, it seems that Catholics cannot read anything about their faith, anything from their Church, not even the actual documents of the Second Vatican Council. What a tragedy.

  38. MichaelJ says:

    anilwag, thank you. It is refreshing to read a rational explanation of observed behavior that does not resort to character assisination, with a healthy dose of gnosticism thrown in. I can agree to much of what you write, but still think it an incomplete explanation.
    That being said, I did not have the laity in mind when I made my comment. Sorry for not being clearer, but I was thinking of Bishops, Cardinals and even Popes.
    Yes, I realize they they are men, subject to the same weaknesses as everyone else, but they of all people should really know what the Church teaches.

    To bring it full circle, lets gett back to the SSPX. Everyone knows, or can easily find out what their specific objections are, but keeping them in the abstract will better illustrate what I am trying to say.
    The “SSPX” says “The documents of Vatican II teach ‘XYZ’ which is contrary to that which has been taught before”
    What is the response? Is it: “No, the documents teach ‘ABC’ and you have mis interpreted them”?
    Is it: “Yes, they teach ‘XYZ’, and the prior teachings we in error or were reformable given the circumstances”?
    Or even: “Yes they teach ‘XYZ’ and the church hasn’t ever taught anything different”?

    From what I have seen, this is not the case. The response has invariably been : “You must humbly submit to the Magesterium and have no right to even ask what it is that you are submitting to” .

  39. joan ellen says:

    Archbishop Müller says: “the SSPX must accept the fullness of the Catholic faith and its practice” as “disunity always damages the proclamation of the Gospel by darkening the testimony of Jesus Christ”.

    I do not, and cannot belong to SSPX, nor attend, until the SSPX has regularization.
    On the other hand:
    1. The SSPX accepts the fullness of faith and practices it according to the fullness offered in the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
    2. The SSPX does not offer the less full (for example: 1 Lord I am Not Worthy vs. 3 of them) Ordinary Form of the Mass in Latin as called for in Sacrosanctum Concilium.
    3. The SSPX does not offer the less full Ordinary Form of the Mass in the Vernacular as called for in/by ?
    4. The SSPX is faithful in it’s fullness and practice, in it’s following the continuity of Doctrine and Dogma, in it’s following the constant teaching of the Catholic Church.
    5. The SSPX has a ‘few’ problems with a ‘few’ words, in a ‘few’ Documents of Vatican II.
    6. If it is because the SSPX does not offer the Ordinary Form – Latin or Vernacular – and also has a ‘few’ problems with a ‘few’ Vatican II Documents that causes His Excellency (with all due respect) to state the “the SSPX must accept the fullness of the Catholic faith and its practice” as “disunity always damages the proclamation of the Gospel by darkening the testimony of Jesus Christ” then he also would have a problem with me.
    7. In the “fullness of the Catholic faith and its practice”, I made a decision several months ago. I “cannot and will not comply with this unjust” ness (Forgive me Your Eminence for using some of your words here, and out of context) to my soul any longer. I have never been able to Sursum Corda, lift up my heart, in the Ordinary Form of Mass…neither Latin nor Vernacular. I must attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in order to have peace and joy in my soul, and to raise my heart and transcend my soul. That does not mean that that is how it is for everybody. The point here is that I also have a problem with some of the words in a Vatican II Document. Must I also approach Rome and wait for a regularization of an individual? I do not mean any sarcasm…but I don’t know how to state my dissonance with this regularization problem of the SSPX more charitably.