I was sent this cartoon.


“Vatican II opened up the Church… and the people left!”

The statement in the cartoon is black and white, but it provides grist for civil conversation in the combox.

One thing that is interesting is that it is a young person making the more negative statement about the Council.

ALSO… let people have their say in the combox. It’s best not to react or respond.

"Vatican II opened up the Church... and the people left!"

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  1. pawelthegreat says:

    This negative criticism towards this Council really leaves me worried about my fellow readers of this.

    Can someone tell me what would have happened without this Council? Nope!

    Please trust the Holy Spirit’s CONSTANT guidance.

  2. pawelthegreat says:

    EDIT: *of this blog.

  3. A month ago I would have voted “No, Vatican II itself is not to blame for our problems.” At the suggestion of my TLM chaplain, I am currently reading IOTA UNUM by Romano Amerio. He lays things out in a logical, calm manner (no hysterics!). There is some pretty damning evidence against the Council in there, at least in my opinion.

  4. servusmariaen says:


    “…There is a kind of papalotry going around. It acts as if no matter what comes out of Rome, it must have been inspired by the Holy Ghost. This line of thinking holds, for example, that if Vatican II was called, it means that the Holy Ghost wanted to call it. But this is not necessarily the case. Convoking Vatican II was a personal decision of John XXIII. He may have thought God was telling him to call it, but who knows? He has no special charism that guarantees he would recognize such a decision as coming from the Holy Ghost with theological certitude.

    We can say that the Pope has the power to call a council. We can say that the authorities in the Church can call upon the Holy Spirit to guarantee, in a very narrow set of cases, that what comes from this council is de fide. (And nothing in Vatican II was pronounced de fide, Ed.)

    The glory of the Church is that it has supernatural help to define truth. It has supernatural help to guarantee that its sacraments are efficacious and so on. But who said that the decision to call the council was protected by the Holy Ghost?”……

    …We have 2,600 bishops in the Church. Does that mean the Holy Ghost picked all of those? That is blasphemy, friends. Do you want to blame the Holy Ghost for Archbishop Weakland?…..

  5. wolfeken says:

    This is a healthy — and long overdue — debate. And the humor helps!

    Finally, Vatican II is not considered an untouchable, non-negotiable, completely infallible, dogmatic, papal bull of a meeting. It was not. It was pastoral.

    Recognizing the disaster that came as a result of Vatican II is not a criticism of the Church. It is a criticism of poor decisions by men.

    Let’s recognize the 16 Vatican II documents and aftermath as failure and restore what worked before the changes. It really is as simple as scrapping “New Coke” and putting “Classic Coke” back on the shelves. New Coke was digusting, and people laughed at it. Classic Coke worked for a long time and is delicious.

  6. traditionalorganist says:

    I voted that V2 is mostly to blame…but a more accurate vote would have been that the Interpretation of V2 is mostly to blame.

    I’ve always thought that V2 victim to sloppy writing. The evil that sprung from it is mostly the result of a modernist language, which is incapable of expressing the entire truth of the Church. Modernist language, in my opinion, is indirect, and implies rather than states…this leaves too much open for interpretation and veils the truth a bit mroe. I don’t think Modernist lanugage in and of itself is wrong, it is another mode of expression, but it is prone to more error.

    Maybe I’m way off.

  7. Andrew says:

    Just one example: the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy no. 36 states: “Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.” How can that statement be used to justify the all vernacular Masses worldwide? It cannot. True, the statement was followed by a provision to allow a wider use of vernacular, but with the specific provision that in such cases the faithful must know also how to say those parts of the Mass that pertain to them in Latin. So it is not the Council that caused the vernacularization of the liturgy: it is something else.

  8. Sodalis says:

    Yes, Vatican II is mostly to blame for problems in the Church today.
    No, Vatican II itself is not to blame for our problems.

    There really needs to be a fourth option. I don’t necessarily believe that VII is mostly to blame for the problems in our Church today but I believe some fruits of the council do hold a share of the responsiblity.

  9. surgedomine says:

    Romano Amerio is correct about many things and it is up to the Magisterium to clarify and define all the vague and apparently contradictory statements found in the docs of VII. The Holy Father is trying to this is in a general way with his “hermenuetic” yet the problem is not just theological, it is not a matter of “true interpretation”. The problem is also historical and philosophical. One cannot deny that certain persons present at the council intended ambiguity in the language of the council in order to hijack it, as history shows us. From vague and ambiguous theology one cannot expect very solid pastoral work. There are forces, apart from demons, who wanted and did destroy the common theological language and substance of the Church, based in one way or another on scholasticism, that with all its limitation has served the Church very well.

  10. solemncharge says:

    I think that people left because of the way the message of Vatican II was misappropriated and distorted by liberal Catholics. Vatican II didn’t change Church teachings, but it was interpreted in such a way that lacked emphasis on sound liturgy, doctrine and devotion.

  11. Manhattan Trid says:

    While some of the texts are a little problematic the worst part about “Vatican II” (the actual event and its implemenation/interpretation) is that people treat it like “Pentecost II”.

  12. acardnal says:

    pawelthegreat, may I suggest some reading:

    this recent article by Ken Wolfe:

    -The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, by Rev. Ralph Wiltgen

    – Iota Unum, by Romano Amerio

    -What Went Wrong With Vatican II: The Catholic Crisis Explained by Ralph McInerny

    -Trojan Horse in the City of God: The Catholic Crisis Explained by Dietrich Von Hildebrand and John O’Connor

    – Cranmer’s Godly Order; Pope John’s Council and Pope Paul’s New Mass all three books by Michael Davies

    -The Devastated Vineyard by Dietrich Von Hildebrand, John Crosby and Fred Teichert

  13. wolfeken says:

    Andrew — that is precisely the problem of Vatican II.

    It used logic that the ideal is we should eat broccoli and Brussels sprouts. But then if you want to eat deep fried Twinkies, that would be okay too.

    This is why Vatican II and all of the post-Council products (sadly including the new catechism) have been a disaster. Pretty please use organ, but bongos are okay too. Pretty please use Latin, but Klingon works as well. Pretty please receive on the tongue, but if you stick out your paws we’ll toss Communion on them for you. What happened to absolutes?

    Ambiguity leads to chaos. And here we are in the 51st year of it.

  14. yatzer says:

    The council itself, not the cause; the interpretation and carrying out of the council’s statements, definitely.

  15. RedComyn says:

    I think part of trusting in the Holy Spirit’s guidance is providing a clear, credible narrative on the time since Vatican II, and that might imply assessing more than celebrating. Too often I have come across bishops, priests, deacons, and church administration employees who Go Obama whenever they talk about the time since the council. Blame is handed out like party favors, with just enough to go around to everyone except for the founder of the feast. Obviously, I can’t speak for everyone, but (I’m about to), when people do not see the truth in the narrative, they lose trust in the narrator. It does no good to cling to a narrative that maintains as fact that which no one can observe. For example, in my area there’s a certain age group of priests and deacons who will matter-of-factly call VII the second Pentecost and declare that it opened wide the doors to great renewell of the Church. The problem is that our diocese is closing many parish churches and merging congregations because of diminishing attendence and a lack of priests. Renewell? The second Pentecost? I feel like the swashbucking swordsman, Inigo Montoya, in _The Princess Bride_ when he comments to his boss, Vizzini, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  16. norancor says:

    PawelTheGreat, unfortunately you cannot prove a negative.

    For all that the Council put forth that is generally lost in people’s minds, Vatican II most importantly was the occasion of replacing the form of the Roman Sacraments. The Sacraments are the most public manifestation of Catholic practice and belief. In short: lex orandi; lex credendi.

    It is known that the liturgical schema written before the Council (in the ante-preparatory committee) was the only schema of the 72 written to have not been dropped in the first session of Vatican II. That schema was written by a progressive, and therefore was deemed “acceptable” – to use Edward Schillebeeckx word. It was thus the first taken up by the Council, and public speeches of words of progressives spoke of the appropriateness of treating the liturgy first.

    This is then compounded by the creation of the Consilium in 1963 in order to bypass the Congregation of Rites, who should have been the proper dicastery to implement the document Sacrosanctum Concilium. They were bypassed because the members of that congregation were not progressive, and would have probably stalled implementation as what would become the 1965 Missal.

    Instead, the Consilium then doesn’t simply touch up or modify the Missal of John XXIII, which was already a significant change from the Missal of Pius X, but instead completely redacts the 1962 Missal and creates the 1969 Missal in two steps: redact the 1962 for the 1965 and issue the first instruction removing a large number of rubrics, and then replace the 1965 with the 1969 while issuing a second instruction that drops and even larger number of rubrics.

    During this time the other Sacraments were revised as well, including for some very odd reason, completely overhauling the Rites for Ordination of Priests and Consecration of Bishops. This is odd because 98% of Catholics never witness these Rites, but they were redacted and replaced nonetheless.

    So, without replacing the Sacraments with a new form, it would have been exceedingly difficult to altar prevailing beliefs and thought patterns of Catholics, because the replacement forms were the occasion of countless options and an ethos of change and experimentation and “change for the sake of change,” which led to countless sins and irreverence that degraded people’s faith and piety, and were used as the way to teach a new Dutch Catechism-esque style of faith. The end product was millions of laity leaving the Church outright, or withering on the vine to fall away later.

    I believe it is reasonable to hypothesize that the Church would not have degenerated at the rate or depth that it has without the occasion of the Council. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the occasion of the Great War, but it wasn’t its cause. The Second Vatican Council was the occasion of a great auto-demolition of the Church, and the entering of the Smoke of Satan, but it wasn’t the cause. The cause was the underlying lack of Faith and prevalence of modernism amongst the clergy and episcopacy.

  17. DLe says:

    Speaking of the cartoon, it’s interesting that its setting is not too bad of a church at all (ad orientem high altar, it seems, and so on–though no communion rail). Perhaps this is how many French churches are…but I suppose it very easily could have been any wreckovated church we have heard about/can imagine.

  18. mamajen says:

    Vatican II was long before my time, but based on all the people I know who have fallen away, I do not believe that it was the root of the problem. In her diary, St. Faustina predicted many problems long before Vatican II, and she cited the lack of love by priests and religious as the source of the church’s ills. I fully agree. Many people in my parents’ generation have memories of strict nuns physically or verbally abusing them in Catholic schools. Some talk about seeing the priest drive around in a Cadillac while their families struggled to pay the bills, put food on the table and donate to the church. It’s obvious, too, that the priests who have allowed or instituted wacky/sacrilegious practices at mass have no love for the Church. Vatican II made it easier for them to go their own way, perhaps. If anything I believe Vatican II (or perhaps more accurately the erroneous interpretations) was a symptom of a problem that already existed long before.

  19. Cathy says:

    I voted yes for the simple fact that “the spirit” of Vatican II seems to be the penumbra under which an anything goes mentality, beginning with the individual person calling themselves Catholic, erupted in the Church. Along with this, came the psycho-babble that if you spank your child, they will become violent having been taught to resolve disputes by hitting, as opposed to reason, and the possibility of breaking the poor little one’s spirit. I guess I would have more confidence in Vatican II had Pope Paul VI proposed excommunication for the Bishops who had signed on to the Winnipeg statement. Perhaps more than any other action in the era of Vatican II, the lack of discipline regarding this statement harmed everyone in the Church. This ushered in the era of award-winning theologians against Church teaching. How difficult is it to understand that we have Catholic politicians like Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden, when they are blessed? with a priest like Rev. Drinan?

  20. Tradster says:

    Yes, the council is directly to blame if for no other reason than the collegiality it produced. It diluted the pope’s authority from being able to stop the chaos even if they had wanted to do so.

  21. Pope Benedict (in his 10/10 audience): “If we look at the Second Vatican Council, we can see that at that moment in the journey of the Church there were no particular errors of faith to correct or condemn, nor were there specific issues of doctrine or discipline to be clarified.

    Whereas, today, there is no area (catechesis, liturgy, etc) of the Church that is not plagued with errors of faith and issues doctrine and discipline permeating all levels of Church life and infecting the laity, religious, clergy, and episcopacy alike.

    Unfortunately, this is the tangible and visible fruit and legacy of Vatican II to date. A calamitous loss of faith and morality, a disintegration of private devotion and public worship never before suffered by the Church (as I understand its history), not even in the early-century heresies or the societal chaos of the darkest ages.

    Is this tragic situation the result of the legitimate intentions of the Council Fathers? Certainly not. But, nonetheless, it surely is inconceivable that any such collapse of Church structure and discipline could have been engineered except in the name of a “supercouncil” whose authority could be commandeered by destructive forces. Vatican II may not have caused it all directly, but it made it possible, and in this sense was at least an indirect cause.

  22. disco says:

    I don’t like blaming Vatican II for the problems in the Church but like they say, if the shoe fits…

    On the other hand, what damage might the modernists have wrought upon the mass of ages if the novus ordo hadn’t been invented for them to play with? We can thank the council’s fruits for freezing what we know call the extraordinary form as it was then for our spiritual benefit now.

  23. Titus says:

    Hmm, the poll options are not comprehensive.

    Is it fair to say that Vatican II is “mostly” to blame? I’m not sure the Council itself deserves that label: many of the problems with the Council’s implementation, as well as with the naivete in the Council itself relate more directly to other causes. So the first option does not seem quite right.

    But that doesn’t mean that the Council was not a cause: it certainly was. So the second option does not seem right either.

    I vote instead “D. The Council was a contributing cause of today’s problems, but not to the level of being ‘mostly to blame’ when compared to other contributing causes.”

  24. Suburbanbanshee says:

    To use the paradigm of the US founding fathers, the Council Fathers’ problem was that they wrote for angels instead of men. If people had stayed virtuous, humble, non-self-absorbed, well educated, zealous for God, in love with the Mass, etc., and if every translator had been dedicated to producing a fast literal translation of every Council document, and if every news organization in the world had been dedicated to reporting only the facts and never speculation, and if every professor in the Catholic world had never been presumptuous about teaching his own theories as Gospel truth, and if no Council Father or visiting theology expert had had his own agenda, there would have been no problem with the Council writing vague mission statement documents full of beautiful patristic-like catenas and idealistic commentary about future hopes. Everybody would have understood what the principles were, and why there were occasional exceptions, and they would have taken the whole thing as meant.

    But we’re human, so it didn’t work. Like a lot of idealistic things in the early Sixties.

  25. The Masked Chicken says:

    Although I’m sure it had been pointed out many times on this blog, the quote from Sacrosanctum Consilium that Andrew made, above (Art. 36), which reads, in part:

    36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.

    2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.

    is related to Chapter VIII of the XXII Session of the Council of Trent, which specifically forbids Mass to be celebrated in the vernacular:


    Though the mass contains much instruction for the faithful, it has, nevertheless, not been deemed advisable by the Fathers that it should be celebrated everywhere in the vernacular tongue. Wherefore, the ancient rite of each Church, approved by the holy Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches, being everywhere retained, that the sheep of Christ may not suffer hunger, or [19] the holy council commands pastors and all who have the that they, either themselves or through others, explain frequently during the celebration of the mass some of the things read during the mass, and that among other things they explain some mystery of this most holy sacrifice, especially on Sundays and festival days.[20]

    What changed from Trent to Vatican II? Many people in the pews could not read during Trent, so it made sense to tell them what were going on, but people during Vatican II already had missals. This is very confusing.

    The Chicken

  26. The Masked Chicken says:

    The HTML editor ate part of the Trent quote.

    Although the mass contains great instruction for the faithful people, nevertheless, it has not seemed expedient to the Fathers, that it should be every where celebrated in the vulgar tongue. Wherefore, the ancient usage of each church, and the rite approved of by the holy Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches, being in each place retained; and, that the sheep of Christ may not suffer hunger, nor the little ones ask for bread, and there be none to break it unto them, the holy Synod charges pastors, and all who have the cure of souls, that they frequently, during the celebration of mass, expound either by themselves, or others, some portion of those things which are read at mass, and that, amongst the rest, they explain some mystery of this most holy sacrifice, especially on the Lord’s days and festivals.

  27. Johnno says:

    Couldn’t vote because I fall somewhere in between these two statements:
    >Yes, Vatican II is mostly to blame for problems in the Church today.
    > No, Vatican II itself is not to blame for our problems.

    I see it as being more complex:

    1. The Church’s inability or refusal to properly define many of the teachings of Vatican II is chiefly to blame. As is its laxity or perhaps inability to halt abuse.

    2. The World’s bishops who refused to stand with the Holy Father on vital teachings and refused to halt abuse or who chased after modernist heresies are perhaps the main culprits in this drama.

    3. The modernist spirit infected a good number of the Bishops of the West long before the council was convened. so it was a terrible decision on Pope John XXIII’s part because he failed to assess the current state of the Church, unlike his Predecessors who saw it as ill advised to convene another council primarily because they could see the problems within the Church and indeed wrote about it and condemned modernism several times over. So Pope John XXIII’s unbridled optimism and lack of foresight is also a culprit.

    4. God warned us far in advance that such a time was coming: A time when apostasy would be rife amongst the Catholic laity and even in the heirarchy. A time where the errors inherent in Communism would spread throughout the democratic world, where socialism would rise and tenets of atheistic communism, acting as though God does not exist, no Church involvement in politics, immoral sexuality, militant feminism, disdain for human life from conception to old age, deidain for marriage, erosion of civil rights and liberties and property and right to ones rewards for labor etc. God warned us through Our Lady of Fatima years ago! Long before Vatican II, long before even WWII got underway while the Church was hot in the throes of persecution by communists and socialists. God proved the authenticity of the apparitions via an incredible publicly witnessed miracle! Then He entrusted the Church with a prophecy to be made public, and a miraculous solution of a consecration of a nation that embodied these very errors to His Hoy Mother’s Immaculate heart. God again demonstrated the effects of this action through the example of the consecration of Portugal by the Catholic Bishops which saw the socialist government topple, widspread conversion of 99% of the population to the full Catholic Faith, installing a government enshrined in Catholic doctrine. But the Popes and the Church for whatever reason ignored it. The prophecy was hidden with only portions of it being craftily revealed in bits and pieces but never as a whole. Numerous Popes, especially John Paul II unsuccessfully attempted consecrations of Russia but either ended up only consecrating the world or never in union with the world’s bishops who refused to follow the Holy Father’s requests. The Pope could’ve commanded them by virtue of his authority, but no Pope has exercised this, probably because they know it would lead to an excommunication of a great number of dissident Bishops who will refuse to do it. Instead if releasing the 3rd Secret of Fatima in 1960 and consecrating Russia according to God’s instructions, we ended up with Vatican II as a man made solution to a problem beyond man’s scope and ability to handle.

    5. The Ecumenist attitude. This doesn’t just extend to a paranoid over-tolerance for other faiths, but also to accomodations for secular governments. The close ties the institutional Church has with secularists in education, health, and in charity, along with the concern for the tax exempt status has tied the hands of a good number of Bishops and lay people with authority in many Church-run organizations who depend on government funds for various projects to water down teh faith and accomodate further intrusion by the State into matters of the Church to the point where the State now consolidates more power to dictate what is morality and what is not, and the Church must accomodate the State so long as it receives a penny’s worth of money from it.

    6. The Church and laypeople as a whole have gone soft and lost faith in God’s divine providence. We can no longer just choose the difficult path and throw ourselves at God to help us out of a difficult situation. No, we have become too rationalist, and yes this is a problem! When Israel was threathened by a great invader who came to the gates demanding they simply just surrender in the face of his impeccable army and be slaves to their empire, the king’s action unpon seeing the hopelessness of the situation refused to compromise, he went and threw himself at the Holy of Holies and said to God that He will not sin nor compromise, He is leaving it solely in God’s hands and trusting in God to deliver them though he knew not what solution God would provide. The next day the entire enemy was wiped out by a plague by God’s angel. But we in modern times do not posess such faith as to completely abandon ourselves to God. it is too difficult for us. We feel we must always compromise, always accomodate, always tolerate, but NEVER are we taking a stand. Never a civil disobedience. After years of being indoctrinated in Scientism and worshipping human reason and human tolerance we no longer believe in great miracles anymore. A healing of a disesase is pretty much all we’ve reduced miracles to being… just another social justice initiative, instead of being world altering ones that can achieve thigns beyond our human ability to have comprehended! Precisely the sort that are designed to route men of worldly thinking who would’ve never seen it coming! It’s time to bring that faith back and be stubborn as rocks in the face of the secularists!

    So all in all, I’m saying I’m siding with a 4th option not present in the poll:

    > We are ALL to blame for the problems in the Church today! Vatican II and its shoddy implementation only turned out as it did thanks to us!

  28. Southern Catholic says:

    Most people have not even read the documents of Vatican II, so no that isn’t the problem.

    The problem is the rise of secularism, atheism, and then of course it follows from the first two is moral relativism.

  29. wmeyer says:

    My limited understanding of the post-Conciliar changes derives from my reading and study of these documents:
    – Sacrosanctum Concilium, Dei Verbum, primarily, and to lesser degree the other V2 docs
    – Msgr. Wiltgen’s The Rhine Flose into the Tiber
    – numerous of Michael Davies’ books, especially Liturgical Time-bombs of Vatican II
    – Msgr. Wrenn’s Catechisms and Controversies: Religious Education in the Postconciliar Years and Flawed Expectations
    – the anonymously written DOA: The ambush of the universal catechism, which cites Msgr. Wrenn’s C&C, and is cited by his Flawed Expectations

    The last three books in my list are very much about the rise of the “magisterium of theologians and catechists”, and the decades of failed and even heretical catechesis.

    From various sources, including Dom Alcuin Reid, it is apparent that in the 1940s and 1950s, there was a good deal of experimentation going on, in places such as Collegeville, MN (a place which seems to me is still badly out of step with Church teaching).

    Sadly, the sources of the post-Conciliar changes seem to be widespread and multitudinous.

  30. lelnet says:


    Wouldn’t continued observance of that particular command from Trent run afoul of the prohibition on inserting the priest’s own text into the Mass?

    For the record, I also cast a vote for “No, Vatican II is not at fault”. Bl. John XXIII may have erred in calling the council _when_ he did, but anyone giving the actual documents issued by the council a fair and open-minded examination on their own merits must conclude that the true source of the problems in recent decades lies elsewhere.

  31. onosurf says:

    You don’t need a poll. Go to Traditional churches (FSSP, ICKSP, & SSPX) and then go to your typical Novus Ordo church. Count the young. If there are young people at the NO, how many actually believe the creed they recite — while taking birth control, aborting, divorcing, disbelieving in the presence of Christ. Heck, poll the priest while you at it!

    I had a NO priest council my wife and I that birth control is A-OK. Regretfully, I wonder how many babies we aborted (we weren’t aware of the mechanism of action with birth control) during that period. That advice was give by the diocesan spokesman, a well respected priest in the diocese.

  32. PA mom says:

    I don’t know which to pick, but I suspect that it cannot be entirely to blame. There were so many factors and people involved. still, I hope for this accurate application of the Council that the Pope calls for. Beauty is what I most wish for a return to, in architecture, music and liturgy. It would go a long way towards a fix.

  33. Margaret says:

    I can’t reconcile blaming Vatican II for most problems with the fact that things went so crazy, so quickly after the council, at the hands of priests and religious formed and trained prior to the council. There was already a pretty serious termite infestation in parts of the Church well beforehand.

  34. Luke Whittaker says:

    I am reminded by this of something that Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said. I believe–if memory serves me correctly–that he said this in regard to Vatican II: “Whenever there is a great good great evil will follow as a result of it.” That is what I see with Vatican II. I wonder whether the Council is so much to blame for anything as much as the dawn of readily available contraceptives, which have led to widespread hedonism and the culture of death. It does seem that there was a loss of a sense for the sacred after the Council. And the only way to overcome that loss [which leads inevitably to egotism] is to regain the understanding that we are beloved of God and made to return that love according to his plan. In my experience of life I would say that the corrected translation of the ordinary form of the Mass and the return of the extraordinary form lend themselves to fostering a deeper appreciation for the sacred. Not to mention that it is much easier today to find an orthodox confessor than it was when I converted to Catholicism. I hope that these better applications of the sacraments will lead people to a life of prayer where those people can then become more open to the things of God. I wish that there was a class that we could offer in orthodoxy or that having conversations about the faith was easier but in the end only God can reach into our hearts to break down the walls that separate us from him.

  35. There were already problems in the pre-conciliar Church: the rot and corruption that exploded forth on the occasion of the council was long in the making.

    But that’s not to say the council documents themselves are not problematic. Why, for example, was the council silent on the subject of Communism, an ideology whose core components have saturated Western thought?

  36. jflare says:

    FWIW, I see a comment or two regarding the “popular” understanding of Vatican II vs what the documents actually state. I’m inclined to agree with this view. I heard lots about the “Spirit of Vatican II” throughout my teens and early 20’s.

    I didn’t know anything about the actual documents of the Council ’til age 27. Reading the four Constitutions of the Council say the least!

  37. Warren says:

    It is far too easy to blame a council and thus avoid a critical understanding of the various forces at work within and around the Church.

    Liturgical and doctrinal abuses have long threatened the Church, and those attacks have been promoted by individuals and groups with an agenda contrary to, in this instant, the letter of Vatican II. In too many ways, Vatican II has been misappropriated by charlatans promoting a neo-protestantism. It took a while for the Church to engage her forces to counter the Reformation, but once she did… !

    A wise, tradition minded monsignor once said to me back in the mid 1980s that it takes 50 years before the impact of a council is felt and its teaching starts to come into effect. It appears we are right on schedule. It has been mentioned here and elsewhere that Benedict XVI has a marshall plan. If there ever has been a call to arms, I believe we are witnessing that call happening right now!

  38. Good discussion so far. Let everyone have their say without any fear of being hounded.

  39. acardnal says:

    for pawelthegreat: I have listed some books similar to wmeyer’s above but because I have a url link in my post, it has gone to the infamous “moderation” queue. It’ll show up sooner or later. I suspect Father is traveling to Michigan at this time.

  40. Susan says:

    It’s my belief that Vatican II was an excuse for many to reinterpret Catholic teachings/theology etc. to fit their own ideas of what the Church should be – to make the Catholic church another Protestant sect. I don’t believe that it was Vatican II itself that caused the problems, as much as it was the people using it as an excuse for unholy change. Thankfully, it appears that our current beloved Pope is working on the situation.

  41. robtbrown says:

    wolfeken says:

    Finally, Vatican II is not considered an untouchable, non-negotiable, completely infallible, dogmatic, papal bull of a meeting. It was not. It was pastoral.

    Dei Verbum and Lumen Gentium are both Dogmatic Constitutions.

  42. The Masked Chicken says:

    Perhaps we should treat this the way a mystery writer/detective might. Facts: we know that Church attendance is less, people don’t understand the Faith as well, etc. Motive, opportunity, means – let’s get to it. Who stood to gain? How? Why? Accomplices? Obviously, the caper could not have been so well executed in such a short time. Were there people coming into the Council with plans in mind? Trace it back before the Council. There is where you will find your true culprit. What effect did the blatant anti-clericalism in France from 1789 to 1920 have? Was there anti-clericalism elsewhere in Europe and how did this interact with German Modernism? What about the oppression of the Papal State in Italy? Does the timing of Fatima have significance?

    Work it, people. I have to take my tin foil hat to be re-lined. See you.

    The Chicken

  43. Geoffrey says:

    I voted “No, Vatican II itself is not to blame for our problems.”

    I was born long after the Sacred Council and often heard “Vatican II did this” and “Vatican II did that”. I’ve read the documents, and Vatican II never did anything that it is so often accused of. It never ordered the new Mass, but rather a revision of the old. It never abolished Latin and Gregorian chant, nor did it mandate ‘ad populum’ Masses. It never said for nuns to wear pants and priests to wear jeans.

    We need to return to the texts of the Sacred Council. Nothing more, nothing less. Sympathizers of both the SSPX and the LCWR would be very surprised by what they say!

  44. nmoerbeek says:

    No, sin is the cause of the problems in the church today, in the past and until the end of time.

  45. anilwang says:

    I’ll have to agree with Margaret. If the Church was as solid as some would believe, it would not have fallen so far and so quickly after VII.

    Within 10 years of the council we had, the Dutch Catechism, the Winnepeg Statement, revolt over Humanae Vitae, “Green Liturgies” (actually they existed before VII), lack of Catholic outcry over habit-less nuns who consider leaving their vows and the Rock Latin Mass of Elvis Presley, the revolt of Catholic Universities, priests facing the people even though the NO did not require it and smashing altars in favour of tables, even though neither VII nor the NO said anything about it, the quick abandonment of Latin, even though the NO did not state Latin was forbidden and VII promoted it, Catholic schools teaching public school “sex” courses , etc. Most of the things listed above actually happened within 5 years of the councils.

    Given how fast things collapsed, any major crisis could have triggered it, and if it didn’t happen back in the 1960s when the Church was relatively safe and strong, it would have happened now that the Church is increasingly under siege by the secular world and the Church is weaker. I personally wish VII happened in the safer 1950s, but I’m glad its now happening now.

    As a side note, the Eastern Orthodox are trying to organize a pan-Orthodox council at the moment. It might not happen due to the egos involved, but if it does it would be interesting to watch. Reading Orthodox blogs I have noticed many belligerent modernists are ready to push forward their agendas in their council and there is already some rot (e.g. see the sacking of the OCA Metropolitan Jonah over his relatively mild pro-life/traditional marriage stance). Let us pray that if their council happens they will hold fast and not fall to their own “Spirit of pan-Orthodox Council 1”.

  46. contrarian says:

    I voted the Council and not the abuses of the Council, for it seems to me that the documents that emerged from the council do not clearly proscribe various things that are called abuses by us conservative types. Would a proper reading of the documents make my parish’s songbook (Gather) obsolete? Would it require us to can our insufferable cantors (nice folks that they are)? Would it require us to cease employing female alter girls? Would it require us to cease relying on women to do all of the readings and require us to cease relying on women to pass out the sacraments, leaving the priest to basically sit there for most of the Mass? Would it require us to put in communion rails and quite receiving in our hands while standing in a line? Do the documents clearly state that these things are to be proscribed? Would it require us to use a lectionary that isn’t so sanitized? Or orations that eschew difficult and anti-ecumenical or politically incorrect topics?

    If so, then my parish–one that, comparatively, is rather tame–is guilty of abuse after abuse after abuse. Try telling that to my very conservative priests and deacons. I think they’d say something different.

    I confess that my readings of the documents are cursory, and I rely more on smarter people than me to tell me exactly what is going on here. But it seems to me as if all of the above are clearly *allowed* and even preferred, which is why my conservative priests and deacons runs things the way they do.
    I’m not talking about liturgical dance or hand holding or kumbaya. But I’m still talking about what I assume most everyone reading this blog would consider sanitized, emasculated (heretical?) nonsense. But it is nonsense that, as far as I can tell, is clearly *not* abuse, based on what the documents say.
    I could be wrong, though. But if I am, it would make for an ironic state of affairs: a conservative parish that is guilty of myriad abuses.

    I’m happy to see that my vote isn’t winning, though. I trust that the folks on this blog know something I don’t. I mean that seriously.

  47. acardnal says:

    Herewith some books to read on what went wrong at and after V2 especially with regard to the liturgy the Church celebrated for centuries, and the influence of Protestantism and its so called “worship”:

    -The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, by Rev. Ralph Wiltgen

    – Iota Unum, by Romano Amerio

    -What Went Wrong With Vatican II: The Catholic Crisis Explained by Ralph McInerny

    -Trojan Horse in the City of God: The Catholic Crisis Explained by Dietrich Von Hildebrand and John O’Connor

    – Cranmer’s Godly Order; Pope John’s Council and Pope Paul’s New Mass all three books by Michael Davies

    -The Devastated Vineyard by Dietrich Von Hildebrand, John Crosby and Fred Teichert

  48. dominic1955 says:

    It seems to me that the way Vatican II was conducted, what it put out as official documents, the way those official documents were worded etc. was the fruit of the suppressed Modernists and other enemies in the Church for years beforehand.

    Tradition is fragile, like a marble statue. It can be dashed to bits in seconds but when the euphoria of doing something wild is gone, good luck putting it back together. So many things were torn down by the “Spirit of Vatican II” (and the Council itself thanks to the Modernists drafting the documents) and we are finally just coming out of our drunken stupor wishing we hadn’t done all we did.

    Its a shame to read some of the accounts of the goings on back then or to hear from some of the people who lived back then and drank the kool-aid. The naive optimism, the silly thirst for novelty for novelty sake, the breathless speaking of this time as if it was the apex of all history etc. is just sickening! One wonders how people can be so caught up in kinds of silly things they were.

  49. wmeyer says:

    Would a proper reading of the documents make my parish’s songbook (Gather) obsolete?

    Gosh, I do hope so!!

  50. Mike says:

    My line of thought goes like this: I don’t like the overly joyful language of the Council, and I don’t like a lot that happened after it, but as long as the Holy Father says the SSPX and such need to accept the Council to be in full communion, well…I am going to accept it. “Where there is Peter, there is the Church.”

  51. Horatius says:

    The Church was hijacked by progressive scientific and liberal materialism, after a long and uninterrupted assault. In the most prosperous nations, such as the U. S., the destruction is most obvious.

    Most histories of the Council are not histories. The point is the meaning of the Council is bound up in its texts, in light of the Word of God. That is something for the Pope and the Magisterium to decide, although I think lots of the meaning is clear enough.

  52. Mike says:

    (And just to clear things up: I despise Mass toward the people, Holy Communion in the hand, Holy Communion standing, Extraordinary Ministers, female altar boys (lol), the lack of altar rails, the throngs of lay people–mostly women–who take over the sanctuary to read, sing, etc, the lack of Gregorian Chant, the lack of the Communion Paten….I hate it all as much of the next guy.)

    But none of that is from the Council itself. It’s from later “progress”.

  53. Bea says:

    “By their fruits you shall know them”

    Nothing else need be said.

    But I’ll say it anyway:
    That cartoon is right on.
    Are we better off now than in 1962?
    The Synod of bishops is now in session because at last a problem is recognized to even exist.
    There is much talk of the “fruits of Vatican II”.
    The “false prophet of Matthew 7:15-20 doesn’t necessarily have to be a PERSON. It can just as easily be the false prophet of a COUNCIL.
    (or a COUNCIL-Misinterpreted)

    Matthew 7: 15-20
    Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.”

    May this Year of Faith put us in the right perspective to:
    Faith in Our Lord, His Word and His Teachings
    and NOT to Faith in the Council.

  54. Joshua08 says:

    All I see in the poll, and sadly most comments, are false dilemmas. “Vatican II was mostly to blame” Vatican II is not at all to be blame. There are no problems.

    All of those are false positions. Of course Vatican II is partially responsible for the crisis in the Church, both in an incidental fashion and an essential fashion. As a proportion of the population, Catholicism had declined from 1900-1962. Mass attendance in many countries was down, and we already could see the sexual revolution in several countries. Certainly the Council incidentally accelerated the crisis in the Church and deepened it. It provided cover for changes. Heck, many abuses were initiated by Rome. So this whole, but it was all a misunderstanding of the Council is bunk. The intention of the legislator is made clear by the legislator, and the pope made his vernacular is predominant now, translations should be loose and dynamic (yeah ICEL was being obedient to Paul VI), etc etc attitude clear. And the Council itself mandated more change than people really think it did. Good or bad, such change destroys discipline at a time when discipline was very necessary. Any change in law weakens discipline, as custom is the best enforcer. So you should only change, even a bad law, when the boon outweighs the weakening of discipline. At least in the historical period when the council happened, that was certainly not the case.

    But the council is also essentially responsible. Both by omission and commission. Omission because it lacks clarity on many points, it omitted addressing some real pressing concerns, favoring instead wastes of paper like Inter mirifica. And the ambiguity aided if forcing both doctrinal and liturgical upheaveal. By commission, because, while it contains no heresy, it does mandate bad disciplinary law (see the essential destruction of the Divine Office, as it has historically existed. There is nothing in common between the LOTH and the historical Roman Rite really, except they bolth use the psalms.). It also censured explicitly good things in the liturgy. Useless repetitions of the sign of the cross? See when they talk about useless repetition, it was explained on the council floor that the sign of the cross being repeated was such an instance. Frankly, I am shocked at that. Maybe they need to read St. Thomas, who defends every single one of those.

    But I would say Vatican II is mostly responsible for what it was not, rather than what it was. Compare it to the Roman synod held shortly before. If the Council had been that, it might have retarded rather than accelerated the decay of the Church

  55. wmeyer says:


    Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?


    The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine, rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it. –from the CDF: RESPONSES TO SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTS

    Read the article here, and tell me if you come away from it less than confused.

  56. Just a short reflection from a professional historian, who has taught history for 25 years in both secular and Catholic institutions.

    Historical causality is complex. Any time someone claims to find a single cause for some complex historical development, one can be sure they are wrong. When major events occur in the midst of complex change, you can bet your PhD that they are some how involved in it. The question is how are the many causes related and how significant a role does each seem to play. Some events, even major ones (I think of the League of Nations, for example) might seem important and, in fact, contribute very little to on-going developments.

    Most important of all, when trying to assess the factors involved in historical change, the most common error is the “post hoc, propter hoc” fallacy. That is the mistake of concluding that just because X followed Y that Y was responsible for X. Unfortunately we cannot “reply” the past with X removed to see if Y would happen anyway.

    Now for my guess about post-Vatican II changes and the Council. I suspect that had the council not been called, eventual developments would have been little different, perhaps just a bit slower. Finally, if people think that, had there been no Council and Siri (for example) had been elected to follow John XXIII, every Catholic parish in the world would a clone of your local SSPX conventicle, well frankly, that is a pipe dream.

  57. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    I put forth that the majority of people in the Catholic Church, and especially those who have at one time, or are considering, leaving have likely not read any of the VII documents. Further, I doubt that their priests gave accurate, unbiased readings of the documents as the Council intended them.

    Therefore, I find it highly unlikely that an essentially academic exercise lead to the mass exodus of people from the Church.

    Or another way, moral relativism, universalism, indifferentism and atheism were on the rise in western society anyways. Are we really so foolish as to think that if the Mass had been kept in Latin, the priest never turned towards us and the tabernacle never left the center of the altar, that everyone would have stayed? That would be simply naive to think, in my opinion.

    More likely is that (even as continues today), already before VII, many Catholics held onto the trappings of the faith without really holding onto its essence. The general mood of the world (not just of the Catholic faith) becoming more ‘inclusive’ simply meant it was easier for them to leave. It is no different than atheists in many other time periods (early renaissance and the American enlightenment come especially to mind), when people who, by all accounts probably were outright atheists, still claimed Christian or at least Deist ties for the sake of societal acceptance.

  58. poohbear says:

    I wanted to leave the church in the 70’s, but since I was in high school my parents made me go every week. I was only in high school, but even then I knew there was something wrong with singing ‘top 40’s hits’ during Mass. I knew there was something wrong when all the confessionals were removed and replaced by abstract paintings and all the saint statues were removed and replaced with plants. I knew there was something wrong when all the changes that had taken place happened almost overnight. I was too uninformed about the faith to know exactly what was wrong, but I knew this wasn’t the church I had always loved. I couldn’t explain it, and I felt guilty about it, and there was no one to talk to about it.
    I eventually left the Church after going off to a catholic college and having to take the required religion courses that made us learn all about Eastern religions and meditation, but nothing about Christianity, let alone Catholicism. In my thinking if it wasn’t important enough to teach at a Catholic college it wasn’t important.
    Thankfully, I eventually returned after learning more about the faith and what VII really was. I think at the time, instead of following what VII taught, many parishes did whatever they wanted to do and ‘blamed’ it on VII when people complained. There wasn’t a way for people to know what had really happened so we were at the mercy of the local parish priest and or bishop who said this or that new innovation was required by VII. How could we know? Who could we complain to if this was from Rome. People believed their priests and bishops, they had no reason not to at the time, and as far as anyone knew, the ‘fault’ was in Rome.
    I can’t be the only one who had an experience like this after VII. I only pray that anyone who left has or will return to the Church.

  59. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    Sorry, forgot one point….

    As regards the common “your local SSPX/FSSP/EF/SSPII.V church is more vibrant/active/faithful/devout/whatever than your NO parish” is absolutely no proof that VII and its subsequent interpretations and changes are to blame.

    Your local SSPX church today is sought out by those who specifically have a pre-developed faith/desire for tradition. It is a subset of the entire Catholic faith, which is drawn to that mass specifically because it offers what you want.

    Your local NO church has both those who seek it out, and those who go because, well, its what they do, and have done, etc. It has nothing to do (I’m sure those who argue this line would grant), with them being particularly Catholic, but rather simply its the Christian church they grew up with, its a matter of chance that they are there rather than the Methodist church, and could change just as easily, if they find better sermons there (I realize this is overly harsh)

    As compared to your local 1950 church, which also celebrated the EF (not so called of course), but smashed together both of the above congregations. People then didn’t attend the EF because they liked its traditions and its bells and smells and the common language. They attended it because it was the only pony in town.

    In short, the congregation at an SSPX chapel today is not anything close to being a mirror image of what it was in the 50s.

  60. poohbear says:

    Sorry to post twice in a row, but I posted my first reply before reading the other answers.

    Something people need to remember, is that in the 1960’s and 1970’s there was no internet. The documents were not available to the average person in the pew. All we knew was what we were told.

    We were told VII required the confessionals removed, VII required communion in the hand, VII required the statues be removed, VII required the sisters to not wear habits, VII required folk masses, etc.

    Without access to the documents, all people knew was what they were told. So people actually thought VII required these things because we trusted those who were telling us. People didn’t like what they were being told so they left. Today, with instant access to everything, the debacle of what happened post-VII couldn’t happen. The timing was perfect for the misrepresentation of VII at that time.

  61. wmeyer says:

    Without access to the documents, all people knew was what they were told.

    Fair enough, but the documents have been available for years, both in the inexpensive Austin Flannery book, and online. And still, few read them, much less study them, or strive to appreciate the full meaning of their content.

  62. mike cliffson says:

    Objection to the cartoon And the questions:
    Trent is far back enou to say”Trent meant this that and t’other.”
    But” Vatican 2 opened..”
    ” Vatican II itself is not to blame for…”
    “Vatican II is mostly to blame..”
    No individuals, no collectives, no vatican , no bishops, no enemedia, no liberals..not even me ..
    JUST V2?
    I bin a (bad)kid in my day, a dad, still teach…
    Seems to me like Vatican two ate my homework.

  63. Finarfin says:

    Well, I unfortuantely haven’t had time to view all of the comments on here. However, I do wish to make a few comments.

    I “side” with Pope Benedict XVI, who is our leader, appointed by God Himself to govern us all in matters of faith and morals, and his view on Vatican II is clear. The “Spirit of Vatican II” is abominable, and is of no merit. But he does not blame Vatican II itself for this, but rather says that Vatican II itself is wonderful. On the Vigil of the Year of Faith, he said this:

    “we are on the eve of the day when we will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Ecumenical Council Vatican II and the beginning of the Year of Faith. With this Catechesis I would like to begin to reflect – with some brief thoughts – on the great ecclesial event that was the Council, an event of which I was a direct witness. It, so to speak, appears to us like a giant fresco, painted in its great diversity and variety of elements, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And just like before a great work of art, still today we continue to grasp that moment of grace, that extraordinary richness, to rediscover particular passages, fragments, pieces.
    Blessed John Paul II, on the threshold of the third millennium, wrote: “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” (Apostolic Letter. NMI, 57). I think this is telling. The documents of the Second Vatican Council, to which we must return freeing them from a mass of publications that often instead of making them known, have hidden them, are, for our time, a compass that allows the ship of the Church to set sail, in midst of storms or calm and quiet waters, to navigate safely and reach port.”

    So, I think we need to follow our spiritual shepherd, the Pope, and not our own, very imperfect and fallible, understanding of what is right and wrong. Besides, as is mentioned in the above-quoted paragraph, one of these Popes who enthusiastically supported the Council was a Blessed!

  64. Chatto says:

    The cartoon reminds me of Msgr. Knox’s observation: “Dogmas may fly out of the window, but congregations don’t come in at the door.”

  65. anilwang says:


    Actually that’s an easy objection to answer. If 95% of the people you know tell you the same story for 20 years, would you even think of confirming if the story were true? Add to this people’s trust in the priesthood and the belief that the council documents were large an incomprehensible, and you’d have even less motivation.

    The reason things are different now is that enough traditionalists have raised a stink for long enough, and the internet has made the council documents freely available, so the more educated of us have actually started looking into their claims. As Michael Voris once stated, before the internet, pockets of traditionalists thought they were alone. With the internet, they realized that they were a much greater force than they realized, and the documents in support of their position were now easily accessible to all.

  66. Sissy says:

    anilwang said: “With the internet, they realized that they were a much greater force than they realized, and the documents in support of their position were now easily accessible to all.”

    Preference Cascade!!!

  67. Kevin Fogarty says:

    At this moment I am on the grounds of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD. It is the former site of St Josephs convent school for girls run by Mother Seton’s sisters next door. In 1965 they were building classrooms for overflow classes. In 1971 they sold out to the federal government.

    In 1970 I went to a high school seminary. 10 years later nearly all of them were gone. The collapse was astonishly rapid. OK it wasn’t just V2 but whatever it was that caused it was demonically thorough.

  68. acardnal says:

    I’ve been there, Kevin Fogarty, and to the shrine next door, and to Mt. Saint Mary’s seminary just down the road (as a visitor).

    Whatever happened pre-V2, the decline of the Catholic Church happened dramatically after V2. The radical disruption of the liturgy is a big factor. The least we can say as observers is that V2 DID NOT fix the problem! I, for one, think it made it worse.

  69. poohbear says:

    Fair enough, but the documents have been available for years, both in the inexpensive Austin Flannery book, and online. And still, few read them, much less study them, or strive to appreciate the full meaning of their content.

    Very true. Sadly, I think today too many people like the changes and won’t read the documents because they don’t see a need– they assume the documents support their ideas. Many people like being ignorant of certain things.

  70. Michelle F says:

    I also would have liked a 4th option. From what I can discern, today’s problems already existed in the Church before Vatican II (Pope Pius XII, for example, addressed many of them in his encyclical Mediator Dei (1947)). The only thing the Council did was exacerbate the problems.

    I think it might also be possible to say that the council itself was a product of the problems that existed in the Church. From what I have read, the idea of calling a council had been kicked around in the Vatican for a while, but the popes prior to John XXIII were opposed to calling one. I think the forces working against the Church from within the Church found an ally, witting or unwitting, in John XXIII, and used him to call a council which they hoped to use to overthrow the Catholic Church. Some of the documents reiterate some Catholic teachings, but the council’s new teachings do not square with the Church’s old teachings (e.g., ecumenism vs. evangelization). This break from the Received Faith is something both sides admit; the only difference is whether they think the break was good or bad. The “hermenutic of continuity” thing simply is another attempt by Rome to gloss over and ignore the problem.

    Anyhow, a 4th option would have been nice: Problems already existed, and Vatican II simply opened the floodgates. As it was, I voted “Yes, Vatican II is mostly to blame….”

  71. Michael Wanta says:

    The fallacy of “post hoc ergo propter hoc.” “After this therefore because of this.” It is often presumed that just because something bad occurs after some event (especially big ones) that the event was the cause of the bad thing. As the above poll shows, this seems to be the case for about half of the people.
    I, however, believe that it is unfair to blame Vatican II for the current problems of the Church. Pope John XXIII said that the Church must look at “the signs of the times” and so called the Council to which he “assigned as main task to guard and present better the precious deposit of the Christian Doctrine, to make it more accessible to Christ’s faithful and to all men of good will” (John Paul, Apostolic Constitution “Fidei Depositum,” October 11, 1992: AAS 86 [1994] 113).
    Vatican II was to be, and is, in continuity with the whole of the Church’s Tradition. Responding to the signs of the times (Matthew 16), it called, not for any change in doctrine, but for a change in the way the doctrine was expressed so that the more modern person could better relate to the Church. The problem then, is not with Vatican II, but the reactions to the Council: Those who saw the Church as becoming a new modern Church and ran away with the idea, breaking Tradition; those who held fast to the teachings of Vatican II; and those who also saw the Church as breaking from Tradition, but saw this “break” as a bad thing. The first and second are false interpretations of Vatican II, since the Council held continuity with the previous Councils of the Church. These false interpretations then could be called the source of the problems from within the Church, since both took different paths than that which the Holy Spirit inspired at the Council.

    Therefore, it is unfair to blame the Council which was guided by the Holy Spirit and carried out in continuity with Tradition; rather, the blame would be better fit to fall on those who did not deed the true teachings of the Council. Of course it is impossible to know the intentions of the heart, and many of these people were ignorant of what they were doing so no harsh judgement should be passed.

  72. muckemdanno says:

    This whole idea of blaming the “interpretation of the Council” rather than blaming the Council itself has just gone so far past ridiculous. Are the problems in the Church due to the documents the bishops wrote at the Council or are the problems due the “interpretation” the very same bishops gave to the documents after the Council?

    What difference does it make?!? The men who wrote text of the Council are the men who implemented the documents of the Council…the bishops (including those ‘of Rome’) of the Church.

    It is the bishops of the Church who forbade (de facto) the Latin Mass and who allowed and encouraged the clown masses, puppet masses, altar girls, communion in the hand, “ecumenical” masses co-celebrated with protestant ministers, etc, etc, etc. It is they who reformed Catholic education so that most Catholics today do not even know what the Church teaches about the most basic Christian doctrines.

    Whether you blame the documents of the Council or the so-called “interpretation” you still are laying blame on the bishops, the successors of the apostles.

  73. I’ll remind people: Let people have their say without responding to them. It would be nice to have NEW VOICES chiming in. Sometimes I think people are hesitant to comment because they are afraid they will be jumped on hard with both feet.

  74. JonPatrick says:

    I don’t believe Vatican 2 was the whole reason for the changes. Modernism had been around for some time. Also the 1960’s were a time of rapid change. People have commented how fast the changes were made in the church. That was true in secular life as well. I entered College in 1967 at a school that had been all male for over 100 years. The first year women were only allowed in the dormitories on special occasions and we were chaperoned. We had to wear coats and ties to dinner. The next year the school had to issue an edit that sex was not allowed in the dormitories, which was met with much derision. By the end of my senior year pretty much anything could happen, the administration had thrown its hands up and there was total anarchy. And people could wear anything to dinner. Oh and the school went co-ed the year after I graduated.

  75. norancor says:

    Miss Anita Moore, OP :: The Council was silent, specifically the committee drafting the document Gaudium et Spes, because all parties organized to insert language condemning atheism and communism were thwarted and ignored. Copious documentation is in Atila Sinke Guimaraes book In the Murky Waters of Vatican II.

    robtbrown :: just because a document has the word Dogmatic in the title in English, doesn’t make it so. Read the note accompanying these documents issued by the Doctinal Commission. Lumen Gentium Chapter 3 seems to be the only part of the document that may (MAY) have a dogmatic character.

    Mike :: you can’t separate a Council from its implementation. “Mass toward the people, Holy Communion in the hand, Holy Communion standing, Extraordinary Ministers, female altar boys (lol), the lack of altar rails, the throngs of lay people–mostly women–who take over the sanctuary to read, sing, etc, the lack of Gregorian Chant, the lack of the Communion Paten” are all outcroppings of the implementation as invisioned by the Consilium. There was a classic circumstance where Annabale Bugnini watched St. Escriva offer the 1969 like it was the 1962, after being asked to switch to the 1969. Bugnini remarked something like, “No, no, you can go back to the old rite. We do not want the new rite offered that way.” Go to the documents section on Adoremus’ website and read the two instructions that came out in 1963 and 1967. The intention to blow up the liturgy preceeded the 1969 Missal, and it was all planned with malice of forethought.

    Fr. Augustine Thompson OP :: the principle cause of decay that cannot be denied is the replacement of neo-Scholasticism of men such as your confrerer, the Monster of Thomism, with the likes of Ressourcement. If we want to point to a clear party, X, that led to decisions Y, Z, AA, BB, CC, et al, it is Ressourcement. The Holy Father had a hand in this as a young expert for Cardinal Frings. He made unfortunate company with his Communio colleagues and those of the wreckless revolting faction of Ressourcement: Rahner, Schillebeeckx, Kung, Congar, Lonergan, Murray, Chenu, and the like. I would assert two things that I believe are easily supported:

    1. redaction and replacement of the Sacraments – X, led to a dissolution of the Faith, or perhaps most accurately exploded every weakness that may have existed amongst the clergy, laity, and episcopacy – Y.

    2. replacement of Scholasticism with the untested and brand new school of Ressourcement, X, led to the doctrinal free-fall the Church as been in, and still does because the Holy Father is part of the school of thought that commanded the Council. Because of this, we see this current synod attempting to further rescue the Council, and all around the Council and its stated aims are lauded, when the 800 lb elephant in the room is that the Council itself is the source of the problems; specifically the experts and their bishops, who controlled the committees of the Council, had the ear of both Popes, and controlled the implementation.

  76. norancor says:

    Father Z, feel free to kill my last comment. I was responding to people not to take pot shots, but to posit answers, which I don’t think is a problem response.

  77. Martin the Medievalist says:

    Michael Davies ascribes to the great sociologist of religion, Peter Berger (a Lutheran, I believe) the idea that (and I paraphrase) if an evil sociologist with unlimited power had set out to destroy the Catholic Church, he could not have done a better job than the hierarchy did with all of the changes made after Vatican II. His point is that even from a purely human standpoint, for an institution to make so many significant changes so fast, and with so little preparation of the community, would be to dissolve the identity of the community and therefore make it practically impossible for the institution to function and grow. The institution would essentially be committing suicide. Of course, there were other factors, inside and outside the Church. The faith of the Catholic people is always a fragile thing, beset as it is, by the world, the flesh, and the Devil. That is why the Church over the centuries has learned to approach any change with extreme caution, and changes, with the exception (hopefully) of correcting serious error or sinful behavior and abuse, occur at a snail’s pace. It is also important to remember that all of the changes, whether they were called for in the letter of the documents of VII or not, were instituted by duly constituted ecclesiastical authority – most of them Popes and Bishops who were at the Council! The “Spirit” of Vatican II cannot be separated from the “letter” of Vatican II because of the large degree of ambiguity in the documents themselves (see @wolfeken says:12 October 2012 at 9:01 am, for some excellent examples). The Church is both human and Divine, but the protection of the Holy Spirit is only a guarantee against the Magisterium solemnly teaching error as de fide. We are still awaiting clarification from Rome as to the relative doctrinal weight of the various documents. In the meantime, the human missteps are making for quite a rough ride, with potentially eternal consequences.

  78. Matthew P. Schneider, LC says:

    Maybe I come at this from a different perspective but I always go back to two quotes from Vat II that I think are the key. (I am rushed for time so I will paraphrase, sorry.)

    1. JPII often quoted about how the Church has to have Christ at the center.

    2. Each generation is responsible for presenting the faith anew in a language intelligible to that generation.

    I think the first half of the XX century in many Catholic areas took the focus on Christ and failed to renew the Church for each coming generation. A concrete example: my grandmother was a chemical researcher with two degrees in the 1940s and decided she would never become CAtholic because of how her Catholic assistants lived this oppressive purely-negative, anti-intellectual, and non-Christ-centered version of the faith. She died a Presbyterian despite marrying a Catholic with a PhD in chemistry.

    Then, Vat II came with a renewal and different reactions came. A few actually read and implemented it, and drew fruit. A large group completely misinterpreted it (and left the faith / caused others to do so). A third group saw group number 2, a retreated to a minimalist reading of it. A fourth group went a little beyond what was meant but not as far as group 2 – I think this is the biggest section of Catholics today – they have never imagined a non-vernacular liturgy, they have leniency on contraception without denying that it’s bad, etc.

    In the end, Vatican II is a great gift to the Church. It should have caused a complete renewal but was hijacked by many. I think it has helped many develop a better personal relationship with Christ rather than be pure externalists, and if we study and apply it I think it can still transform the Church for good.

    p.s. As one who knows both forms, I would argue that they each praise God equally but a properly celebrated ordinary form mass allows “active participation” better (since I can hear the priest’s words, I can more easily identify with them and offer up my sacrifices with Christ’s one sacrifice), and is more catechetical (in general, not point by point).

  79. Clinton R. says:

    I would say Vatican II came at a time when many dissidents were looking for away to implement their novelties. And with the ambiguity in Vatican II documents, they were able to get their way since, as many have noted, there are no absolutes in the V2 documents. So many things are at a bishop’s discretion, that it’s all a matter of preference now. Looking at Vatican II now, it has not served the Church well. Was there a “spirit” of Lateran? Or Trent? Or Vatican I? What other Council caused a enormous loss of faith? What other Council was so poorly written that 50 years later, we still don’t know how it should be interpreted? Vatican II was sold as a New Pentecost. As if the first Pentecost had run out of juice. This so called New Pentecost has failed to the point where now we need a New Evangelization because Vatican II has left the Church in shambles. Yes, modernists have hijacked Vatican II and used it to create a church in their own image. However, it wouldn’t have been possible if the V2 documents had been clear and precise. They gave the modernists and progressives a inch and they took a mile.

  80. PAT says:

    Matthew P. Schneider, LC says: “. . . a properly celebrated ordinary form mass . . .”

    Serious question: What is a “properly celebrated Ordinary Form Mass”? What are the requirements, if any, for a Mass in the Ordinary Form to be properly celebrated? Who decides what are the requirements? What is required for any Mass to be licit and/or valid, or illicit and/or invalid? Must any Mass be “properly celebrated” to be valid?

    Thank you for any help with the answers.

  81. Horatius says:

    The Church decides. General Instructions for the Roman Missal is the record of that. It is online.

  82. Matthew P. Schneider, LC says:

    @PAT: what I meant was according to the rubrics and the GIRM without any liturgical abuse, and with the reverence proper to the mass. This goes beyond the minimal requirements for validity and licitude (saying the mass – in either form – so fast that the people don’t have time to speak their responses is valid and licit but not properly celebrated as I think we would all agree). Basically, I mean without any liturgical abuse. There is still a decent amount of latitude.

  83. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    This is the image that comes to my mind right now. Vatican II was like the kid who comes along and shakes the tree in late Autumn.

    It caused the leaves to fall, but it didn’t cause them to die. That had happened long before.

    I didn’t live through it, and so I certainly don’t have the experience, but it seems that if you believed the Catholic faith was the on, true faith, to leave because things were being changed (no matter how drastically), would not be considered a solution.

    More likely (to me) is that those who did already doubt, or held that Catholic was just one of many faiths, were the ones who were most likely to leave. Because if the faith is already not special, and the rites also become not special, then what is the reason to stay?

  84. heway says:

    Thank you, Mamjen, Matthew and Salvatore. I wish to agree to your premises.
    I consider mysellf a ‘daughter of Vatican II”. Having gone to school in the 40’s ad 50’s, I remember nuns who slapped, etc., pastors in Cadillacs (we never owned a car till 56 when I bought one). I don’t believe people knew more about their faith – they knew less in many ways.
    As people’s education advanced so did their questioning. Many of the problems you talk about here existed before the Council. I don’t believe that the number of churches, number of confessionals, number of people in church have anything to do with growth in the church. Instead we now have RCIA, which did not exist. Like it or not the programs designed to form faithful ‘ministers’ ie, lectors, cantors, etc, are informing our congregations. The great scandal of abuse that existed in the church even before the Council has a lot to do with current dropouts of little faith.
    How can one believe in the one true church, the power of the Holy Spirit and make all this noise about which rite is the best….

  85. JKnott says:

    My thoughts are with those who believe that the changes in the Mass are significantly responsible for the problems in the Church. Lex orandi, lex crendi
    I have read several of those good books recommended above by acardnal.
    I have also read and re-read the documents of Vatican II. They are actually quite beautiful and also direct laymen to holiness and evangelization etc….
    However, in regard to the Mass, Ottaviani is quoted as saying: “They wanted to make a clean slate of the whole theology of the Mass. It ended up in substance quite close to the Protestant theology which destroyed the Sacrifice of the Mass.” So some at the Council saw and objected to the dangers of Bugnini’s “reforms.”
    Whatever subsequent abuses resulted from the changes in the Liturgy were inevitable as with anything that begins with a cracked foundation.
    Since these changes were part of the Council I would have to vote that at least part of Vatican II is responsible for the problems in the Church
    “Save the Liturgy, Save the World”

  86. The Masked Chicken says:

    [I am so sorry that this is a long comment. I don’t know if it is worth reading. It might have been better to sit in prayer, instead, but at least some of the links are interesting].

    Thank you, Fr Z., for giving me the chance to exercise the virtue of restraint to an heroic degree, because I really, really want to make comments on some of these comments.

    Vatican II was what we call in science, a nucleation site. Literally, none of the “changes” implemented in the five years after Vatican II that so destroyed contemporary Catholic life and understanding occurred coincident with the Council and by the Council. The changes were already in the wind in small clusters of opinion, here and there, and Vatican II, with its great exuberence on updating the Church to meet the modern world acted as a site around which these disparate experimental re-workings could congeal. There is a reason that Mary wanted the Third Secret of Fatima revealed before 1960, when she said that what it contained would be clear to everyone by then. If it had been revealed (since the assassination of Pope John Paul II was twenty years later, it is hard to see why Mary would have wanted the Secret, as it is currently known, to be revealed by 1960), I suspect it would have brought into the light the shenanigans going on under cover in many places in the Church. Just to mention a few:

    Susan Benofy and Dr. James Hitchcock (with whom I had the priviledge to correspond on a related matter) has done yeoman’s work in showing that virtually all of the changes in the Liturgy that were so destructive (and not mandated by Vatican II) were actually proposed long before the Council and waiting for an excuse to be initated. The emotional exuberance of Vatican II of a new encounter by the World with the Faith provided the cover. Their articles, which should be downloaded and posted on every refrigerator for reading by concerned Catholics are (I know this will go to moderation because of the many links, but they are important):

    That Liturgical music was already waiting for a signal is covered by Msgr. Shuler and put into context by Benofy:

    It is telling that there was not a single professionally trained musician on the Consilium that implemented the changes in Scared Music after Vatican II.

    In the area of the sexual revolution, the problems with contraception and abortion were certainly nothing new as a look at Arcanum, by Pope Leo XIII in 1880 and Casti Connubii by Pope Pius XI in 1930 make abundantly clear. G. K. Chesterton even wrote a whole book on Eugenics back in 1922. It hardly seems that the Catholic position was anything but clear and unequivocal long before Humanae Vitae. Why Pope Paul even thought to investigate the issue is strange, since it really was already obvious that Tradition had spoken. It was, largely, the interaction of Protestant clergy and some liberal scientists with some Catholic Church members that clouded the issues, but the issues were there, long before Vatican II.

    I could go on and on. With regards to Ecumenism, for example, there is a myth that Pentecostalism (under the name, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal) was “suddenly” discovered by two university professors one night at Dusquesne University in 1967 (as a fruit of the New Ecumenism of Vatican II) when they were asked to be prayed over at a Pentecostal prayer meeting, but we have eyewitness testimony from the famous South African Pentecostal, David du Plessis, nicknamed, Mr. Pentecost (who was an invited observer at Vatican II), that when he met with a Cardinal at the Vatican (by invitation) in the 1950’s, he saw 300 books on Pentecostalism on his bookshelf. The whole phenomenon was well-known to the Church and sympathetically received by some in the Hierarchy long before 1967 (the whole mess is a long and fascinating history).

    If one takes the time to read the above documents, one finds that there are two words repeated over and over in them: emotional experience. All of the innovators were interested in creating heightened emotional experiences. This is what crystallized around Vatican II. What Vatican II specifically allowed to happen was a substitution of emotions for reason, the will for the intellect, power for obedience. It is a half-truth to say that Vatican II is in continuity with Tradition. Vatican II is situated within a hermeneutic of continuity of Dogma, but a hermeneutic of rupture with regards to Discipline. Therein lies the confusion. There is a dual hermeneutic bring presented within the documents of Vatican II allowing cover for both conservative and liberal elements.

    Remember, however, that many of the liberal elements were infected by Modernistic leaning, where dogma is seen to develop from a common religious subconscious impulse resulting in a manifested emotional sense of Truth. The liberal element didn’t care about the Dogma. They were perfectly willing to give it to the conservatives because they knew that to control the Discipline was to control all. To control the Discipline was to control the emotional responses of the people and if those emotional responses could be made strong enough they would act as a replacement for the Dogma – a kind of second skin covering over true Dogma by whatever they wished to make people believe.

    So many people are confused about what the Church teaches, today, because they hear a dogma from tradition and a dogma from emotional experience. Everyone knows that contraception is a sin; but, everyone knows that contraception is a matter of conscience, which means, usually, in the not-well-formed laymen, a conscience motivated by a feeling. The head and the heart are split. More than that. Romano Amerio is almost correct when he summarizes the problems of Vatican II being the dominance of charitas over veritas. Rather, the real tragedy of the post-Vatican II era, to date, has been the replacement of charitas for veritas, with charitas being re-defined as a mere emotional response. Truth has been largely replaced by a feeling of Truth.

    Vatican II is not the direct cause of the problems in the Church in 2012, but it was a catalyst, an enabler. If the various emotionally-dominated phenomena had remained separate, they might have been knocked off, one-by-one, by the Church, but Vatican II acted as a focusing agent, bringing them together and providing them with an air of legitimacy. Before the Council, they were separate streams; after the Council, they united in a mighty torrent that has swept the Church almost away.

    Can it be corrected? Yes, but not at the level of Dogma. The Dogma of the Church is just fine and protected by the Holy Spirit. The Discipline does not enjoy quite the same protection, however, and it is here that action must be taken. Change the Discipline, change the Church. Fr. Z’s oft-quoted comment, “Save the Liturgy, Save the World,” is, essentially, correct. Reducing religion to the mere emotional removes its mystery and its touch with the Divine. Until there is a recovery of the Something Beyond, the real Dogma will stay on dusty shelves (replaced by a shadow Dogma of the feelings) and never incorporated more fully into the lives of men, which is, I contend, what the true intent of Vatican II was – to make genuine Truth lived. Their hopes were subverted, not by a hidden Psuedo-Council, but by a sort of well-planned pathological hysteria, caused by a underground encounter with the 1960’s Modern World where “responses” – the responses of science and the responses of psychology were seen to comprise the anthropology of man by some. The centrality of emotions over reason, the heart over the head, that had been growing in the lives of many influential clergy for a hundred years found an outlet in that 1960’s World and, using Vatican II as a cover, overwhelmed a large portion of the Church’s good sense for a time causing it to go into an era dominated, largely, by attempts to relieve that stress (the imbalance of head and heart) – sexual excesses, bloated liturgies, quiet desperation. It is time to restore the balance. Now is not a time for hysteria, but cold, focused reason. In this Year of Faith, we must strip away the false skin of emotion-laden Dogma that has found its way onto the Body of the Church. We must debride the bone. This cannot be done without effective communication. Bishop Sheen knew that, but it is going to take some deaths before the Faith is restored to what it once was, I fear. It would be nice if those future martyrs knew what they were dying for.

    The Chicken

  87. robtbrown says:

    norancor says:

    robtbrown :: just because a document has the word Dogmatic in the title in English, doesn’t make it so. Read the note accompanying these documents issued by the Doctinal Commission. Lumen Gentium Chapter 3 seems to be the only part of the document that may (MAY) have a dogmatic character.

    1. Both documents in Latin: Constitutio Dogmatica.

    2. The Nota Explicativa Praevia is only found in LG.

    3. The NEP primarily says that collegiality does not affect the sovereignty of the pope. The college of bishops cannot be considered without the pope, but the his authority is no less without the college than with it.

    It also makes indirect reference to the Roman theory of the episcopacy vs the German, without
    advocating one or the other. A schismatic bishop lacks jurisdiction. Acc to the Roman theory that would mean invalidity of Sacraments requiring jurisdiction (e.g., Confession, Matrimony); acc to the German theory, it would mean they were illicit.

    4. I’ve noted here more than once that LG 25.2 expands the authority of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium. And Cardinal Ratzinger referenced this text in explaining why Ordination Sacerdotalis is infallible.

  88. The Masked Chicken says:

    Posted a long comment. As expected, it went to moderation. Today is the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, by the way (for you newbies – Google it).

    The Chicken

  89. Imrahil says:

    I did not vote because I will not include myself into those that say Vatican II is mostly to blame, nor can I, at least not beforehand, assume that it was unproblematic at all.

    The Holy Father is right (and thank you – if you dear @Fr Z allow it – dear @Henry Edwards for posting that citation which I did not know before) when he says that at the time of the Council there were no specific errors to refute. I believe however that some interpreters had another premise to deduce from, viz. The Council must have meant something after all, which is where part of the misinterpretations come from. A Council that did not refute an error was a thing yet unheard of.

    One thing, I do believe that the Council should have condemned Communism. According to Roberto De Mattei a very beautiful addition (to Lumen gentium, but don’t nail me down on the point) was proposed by the “right” and had a good chance of majority, but the document was accidentally (choose yourselves whether that is with ” ” s) lost by the Curia, which had promised beforehand to Russia not to treat Communism (both to get Orthodox spectators and as under a general blackmail about the Council happening at all, I think I remember). Or, if e.g. this promise really was necessary, then the Pope should have sticked to his word, leave the matter out of the Council, but in the meantime write an encyclical, which also explains just the plain truth about why the Council did not speak out. (Of course in a magisterially-technical sense, Communism was dealt with already. But then, the psychological result of not speaking should have been considered.)

    Well what the did the Council mean after all? I cannot give a real answer to the matter, because that would require studying all the documents beforehand, which is among the things I will do somewhen when I’ve got the time… but such as it is I can say that the Council was a (positive) historical thunderclap on at least the following matters:

    1. finally resolving the error concerning the allowedness of religious suppression. (A note to the SSPX: They must agree that if religious suppression is erroneous, the Council should not have been silent, but the error should have been revoked at first instant. Psychologically, although not in theology, a Council is wont to dare more than a Pope.)

    2. that in one of the probably most critical topics, the Bible controversy, the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum stroke in like a hammer (even though not dogmatic in the sense of censure in spite of the name), and did so in a more profound, albeit perhaps in some specific details less precise way than did Divino afflante Spiritu (which remains there in the books, after all). Now finally we do not where the borderline is: “the Gospels whose accurracy the Church fully affirms”. Among other things.

    3. that in what I call for convenience’s sake the Feeneyist controversy, the Council also appeared with a voice of thunder and solved it, or began to solve it. Note that the idea that the theory that the non-Catholic can be saved was, in the first recording on the dogmatic books, practically called an old hat by Pope Pius IX [and what Ex. Eccl. n. salus does mean has been often enough explained, for instance now in the Compendium]; but there had appeared the feeling that this cannot be so much right after all. Because, after all – and though I don’t know the time I have heard too many reports of the time to believe this cannot have been there at all, at least – “if a non-Catholic can be saved then why for all things in the world should I shoulder Catholicism?”; note that this question reveals a serious (if probably in the particular case not sinful) problem with the Faith. What did the Council do here? It issued its, contend-basedly, in my humble opinion most important of all documents, Ad gentes, which (of course?), at least in the general public, is also the most neglected of all documents. I’m not saying that the Council entirely did solve the problem (or didn’t; I’d have to study the document again to answer the question); but at the very least it gave an outset to the question to be answered by the theologians; and not just something to be ignored.

    4. the decision, which was controversial right enough, but which I do not oppose, to practically reanimate the Deaconate, which practically could only be done with obliging the Deacons with a heavily less obligation than the priesthood; hence, the abolishment of deaconal celibacy.

    5. although, as has been noted (please dear @Fr. Z forgive the allusion to another comment), it is more easy to deal with absolute Don’ts, I believe in the end forbidding what could also have been allowed will not lead to good results. Allowing things that in themselves can very well be allowed is a good thing. It should be accompanied by drawing the line to things that are forbidden; and, in the even more difficult case we have a general/exception division (as, in my view, with newer-style music in Holy Mass liturgy), it should be accompanied by establishing institutions to guarantee that the exception remains exception. Even though that may lead to accusations of centralism.

    6. that the wrong religious and convictions once after all were not condemned altogether without exception, but for once praised for the good things in them. (And did say “mingled with error.</i)
    An example for how things can go wrong whenever we overly wish to distance ourselves from other religions. I admit that we may quite well feel that the sentence "The Muslims and we pray to the same God" is too often repeated for political reasons. But still it is telling that, e.g., the SSPX attack it not only (probably justly) for this reason, but also as untrue in itself; and thus, they run (in my opinion) into an actual error! True, Muslims do not believe God is Trinity… indeed they say many wrong things about God, but still God, the Omnipotent Creator (out of nothing) of Heaven and Earth, the One God, is simply God, even though what we know about him may, in false religion, be disturbed by heresy.

    And also, though this is to all I know even a "Spirit of the Council" thing,
    7. an a bit less strict general attitude towards the pleasures of the world. I do not mean any changes in the Doctrine per se, but if before the Council, any sentence that contained the word “wine” contained the word “temperate amount”, then the thing is in itself correct enough, but by the constant repetition you get the image of a fun-spoiling attitude. I read a preconciliar (mid-19th century Austrian) manual of moral theology, quite fantastic as a whole, but which did contain the directive, “limit your contacts with [it explicitly said:] even the most moral female persons to the point of strict necessity”… er, no.

    What were some of the problems with the Council?

    1. It may be said that the Council overstrained the laity, or, as some with a less friendly outlook have said, “those not on the Church’s payroll”. I do believe that the Council cannot be blaimed where its clear directives were set aside, although the “I can’t study all that myself and clear the supposed ambiguities” must be taken into account; however I mean primarily something else.
    The Council did contain many statements about the role of the laity, all in themselves correct nor to abundant, even refreshing, but these apparently gave way to an (in my humble opinion) undue focus on these obligations, and the line can undoubtedly be straightly drawn to a document of 1985, Christifideles laici. Now if I was an opponent of the Council, I’d call Christifideles laici rather than any of the Conciliar documents themselves an embodiment of “the Council”; and I do admit that I can bear Christifideles laici only with heavy minimalizations (allowed to me by Bl. John Henry; fortunately I need not directly contradict it).
    Back in the day you had to believe, refrain from sinning, confess the faith (and the sins) at need, and that’s that. There were enough religious clubs, Third Orders, or just unorganized engagement if you wanted to do more. Now it is a trivial matter of stipulation that you do believe and follow the commandments or confess; and then there is a huge moralizing sermon of “Be active! Be active! Be active! Do something!” etc.; and – or so it has the appearance – when you do something in the direction you don’t have the gratification that you have contributed voluntarily. You have, I mean are at least supposed to have, the feeling that while you did at least a bit it’s still not enough. Seldom it is preached to us what precisely there is to do.
    (Note that whenever we do hear about that in sermons, it is usually a great “hello!” that this has actually been not so hard after all. “One of the things to show your gratitude towards God is go to Holy Mass: and you cannot do more than attend Holy Mass, in fact.” Gorgeous; that’s not hard after all!)

    The premise seems to be that the discovery that the laity has its place in the Church (a thing always known, in fact) makes them so grateful as to work as hard as the priesthood; and that anyway a man thinks that the harder he is challenged the better; and all this seeing that the non-Christians and non-Catholics who not only can be saved (true as that is), but even are no longer critizied and declared wrong (something quite different), have (seemingly) the easier way.
    In fact, on a human basis, I even understand (though I oppose) that such an engaged person will want his little not-so-important* exception from general morality, and share a little in the glory of the priesthood (viz., liturgy) when he has been made share in its burden. [*However: it is revealing that not perhaps the first but the very second thing they went for, was abortion. That abortion is forbidden cannot by any means be called a minor ethical rule.]

    [Note: As I said I minimalize only, do not contradict. I accept them: both on the authority of the Magisterium over me, and then, for the time being, on the imho quite tenable premises that if a layman prays as he must and maybe a bit more, works as he must, and enjoys with thanksgiving, and counts transgressions against that as sins he carries into the confessional, he has already fulfilled what the documents mean (with the exceptions of the sins of course). I do not think, and I think tenably do not think, the Magisterium actually means that Mother Theresa is just barely what can be tolerated in a Christian. I object to the fact it sounds like that. That’s what I mean by minimalization.]

    2. When the Coucil taught about religious freedom, it clearly did see that the Popes for a century had had another tone, and sometimes went to the point of directly contradicting what the Church would teach at the Council: and such things the Council should have called by name, and abrogate with the precise words “we abrogate”. Also, and I mean that theoretically, it’d have been good to say something about the Church’s historical record in the matter; practically though, I rather prefer that this hasn’t been done, because given the spirit of the time, it would have meant much more dirt on the Church’s history than necessary.
    Anyway, that the Religious Freedom issue breeds misconceptions is evident not perhaps merely from the SSPX’s criticism (there may be critics anywhere), but that hardly a defendant restricts himself to the points really to be defended, but generally they will also defend the irreligiosity of the State (for instance) – a totally different thing, and one technically still condemned in the remaining Church teaching. That (by rumour) it was the Vatican that cared that Catholicism ceased to be Religion of State (Italy, Ireland; Colombia, they say?), did not help.
    Also the Council has the sentence: “Certainly He scolded His hearers’ unbelief, but so as to put aside the chastisement for the Day of Judgment.” I see what the Council wanted to say; but I can’t help that the threat of Hell on the Day of Judgment is not particularly a cautious threat.

    3. I do not critizise the Constitution Gaudium et Spes (e. g. as to joyful or optimistic about man), but that it singled out precisely the modern times as times of great advance? the very times where many States, originally Christian, had explicitly decided to abandon that distinction? the very times when Communism was about and the Cuba crisis just over (it was not yet 1989?)?

    4. If you go along Sacrosanctum Concilium one by one, you’ll see that the doctrinary parts are fantastic, the disciplinary parts are sometimes questionable (and may be questioned) and still some parts are in need of minimalization, but still taken one on one, they do not call for that grand change which – in other parts of the same constitution – however was explicitly called for (without explaining wherein this change should consist). It seems natural enough that the thorough reform came along, whatever the Council said in detail. And then, you know — via some intermediates, the liturgical crisis.

    Of course, many things besides the Council were quite detrimental. Such as:
    1. the immediate misunderstanding which in some circles even was on Curial level (I have the Religion of State issue in mind).
    2. the general atmosphere of a thorough reform where anything can be put under discussion.
    3. the loss, against the provision of the Council but perhaps in accordance with the style of its own documents, of the clear (but, you know, disliked by non-Catholics) scholastic doctrine.
    4. that the discussions (see No.2), for reason of No. 3, did not have a fixed end datum, but “discussion”, quite alongside the student-politics of the time, was interpreted as “repeat the leftist opinion until the rightist has got tired”.
    5. that the Holy Office was barred at the very time it would have been most needed.
    6. that excommunications became uncool, at the very time they would have been quite needed.
    7. that the Antimodernist Oath was cancelled, which from the point of psychology at least must have been felt as a strike in favor of the heresies it specifically condemned (though, apart from that psychology, replacement by for instance the Credo of the People of God would have been no problem).
    8. that neither the Council (to which it was, however, a minor issue that it naturally could pass over) nor Pope Paul VI in his (fascinating, though) encyclical Sacerdotalis coelibatus dared to use the point that the celibacy has an actual connection of aptitude to the priesthood (as Pius XI officially maintained in Ad catholici sacerdotii). It could have been said with excuses to the Greeks. But, contrary perhaps to assumptions then in fashion, man does not avidly yearn to do heroic things. He has to be told why he should do so; and perhaps not only why it is a fascinating thing (as in the religious vocation) with prophetic signification (as in the religious vocation) that can lead to much efficaciousness and fervor (as in the religious vocation) and has been commanded by positive law.
    9. That in the mentioned spirit of thorough reform, it became acceptable to say things such as: “One new Christian converted from what is called Neopaganism, is well worth ten old Christians lost.”

    All in all, a thing that perhaps strikes me personally is the question: Would the Catholic Church, in the 1960s, a Church that is often sorry for its own past, a Church its fervor to be just as modern as in the Faith possible (some even forgetting the latter part, but that’s not really so much the point), with its desire to come on good terms with fashionable science and with its sometimes only too obvious disdain of the common people, the public house argumentations, and – quite significantly – the popular devotions, would it, short of a miracle of grace of different order than did happen, would it still have attracted a Gilbert Keith Chesterton so as to convert him?

    [Although when the name of Chesterton is mentioned, it must in fairness be said that he said: (quoted from memory) “The Church seems to be highly ritualistic; but it may quite possibly in the future face a heresy of some overly ritualistic.” Some might say he was prophetic.]

    But was the Council a good thing?

    Abp Lefebvre said so in 1965 (according to De Mattei). I do not contradict him on that.

    [Okay… well… ]

  90. Angie Mcs says:

    This is a very intimidating subject for relatively new Catholics, of which I am one. Perhaps many od us on this blog feel the same. I entered the Church last April, and since then so much has been going on, with the election coming up and all the issues around it, that there is a lot to keep on top of just for the present. I try to read what I can to inform myself, I read my missal, the Bible, the Catechism, Chesterton, Lewis, the list is endless.

    I don’t know where to begin to answer a xpquestion about VII. There are so many people on this blog who have been Catholics all their lives and obviously have made tremendous efforts to educate themselves about the changes in the church, and who have seen those changes as they attend mass. I am extremely fortunate that I attend a very traditional church that offers the TLM, Ns that is what my husband and I always attend. So does that mean I have been sheltered from all these dissatisfaction and awful changes? I do remember attending churchover thirty years ago with my then to be husband at our local parish and it was very unsatisfying. I didn’t know why- it was just an empty feeling I got, the sign of peace, the guitar music, you all know the details. Then church was redecorated and when we returned, the statues were removed, as were the confessionals, the tabernacle,etc. Even the stations of the cross were gone until someone complained loudly enough to make the new pastor put them back up. My husband was disgusted: ” it looks like a Protestant church” he said in dismay. I saw the difference butnit didn’t really affect me the same way. Then we found a church which offered what he wanted, a return to the old ways. And I started attending with him and was so moved that I eventually took RCIA classes there and converted. And now we continue to attend the TLM weekly: we take communion on the tongue at the rail, no altar girls, long lines at the confessionals, beautiful organ music, no Extraordinary ministers, none of the things that people here are so upset about. So, am I in a kind of time warp, pre- VII?

  91. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Without suggesting that the Council was at all in error, I believe we can certainly point to three basic mistakes:
    The first was that Pope John’s ‘aggiornamento’ dictum was taken to mean bringing the Church up-to-date – i.e. bringing the world into the Church, rather than vice versa, and that presumption governed most of the Council’s discussions, against the constant flickering background of the (back then still unresolved) contraception dispute and the vague notion of ‘lay equality’. As some will remember, the demographic was dominated by coming-of-age baby-boomers, and socialism was in sudden vogue.
    The second mistake was stuffing the sessions disproportionately full of theologians: Catholic theology had been progressively tainted by modernism and even marxism since the early 20th century, and of course reforming zeal will always out-shout conservative restraint.
    The third is that the ‘final’ documents were left deliberately imprecise, their detailed implementation left to post-conciliar working groups with the clear understanding that there would be a further Council to examine and ratify (or reject) the committees’ proposals. What actually happened was that the unrestrained committees turned their proposals into decisions, and imposed them on the dioceses, or indeed allowed individual hierarchies a free hand in ‘interpreting’ the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ – hence we had abolition of the altar, the ripping out of the altar rails, the ‘ecumenical’ protestantisation of the liturgy, and all the other abuses that were never intended or even forseen by the vast majority of Vatican II bishops and cardinals.

    For the conciliar fathers to allow this degree of ambiguity, ignoring the need for dogmatic unity and solidity, was irresponsible and destructive. Quite how the moderately forward-looking bishops attending Vatican II in Rome turned into raving modernist iconoclasts once they got home (more or less between the Council’s final session in December 1965 and the permanent revolution of 1966-74) is a puzzling question that needs a good historian to clarify.

  92. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Apologies for length, btw :-) It’s not easy to encapsulate such a huge topic.

  93. David Collins says:

    I don’t understand, Angie Mcs. When you attended a Catholic church 30 years ago with your soon-to-be husband, were you Protestant or a non-churchgoer? Thirty years later did the two of you start attending a parish with the Extraordinary Form of the mass? Or is it a Society of Saint Pius X church?

  94. Sissy says:

    I’m like Angie Mcs in that I am a new Catholic. So, I don’t know how to answer the question. It seems to me that there are two separate issues. One is that many people left in the immediate aftermath of Vat. II, in the late 60s and 70s. I’m not sure what motivated that; perhaps it is as Salvatore_Guiseppe suggests. But a secondary problem arose in the aftermath that we are still struggling to overcome: poor catechesis and formation. The abrupt change to the more protestant style seemed to include watered-down or even non-existent catechesis. My own DRE (when I was going through RCIA) told me in a very dismissive tone that she didn’t know how to say the Rosary. I found that astonishing, but she clearly thought it was old-fashioned and couldn’t see why anyone would bother. This is a woman who came of age well after Vat. II. I find that many middle- aged Catholics are completely in the dark about things like ROTT, kneeling, sacred music, sacramentals, and other aspects of Catholic identity. They just don’t know, and so continuity has been lost.

  95. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Sissy – Yes, and people leaving church after Mass to avoid Benediction, ignoring Holy Hours, Novenas, Stations of the Cross, 40 Hours devotions before the Blessed Sacrament, disinclination to attend Vespers, or to pray the Salve Regina or the Litanies, even refusing to kneel. This is more than laziness, it is a profound misunderstanding of the Faith, a disobedience born of egocentric pride.

    (What is ROTT, by the way?)

  96. David Collins says:

    I converted from nihilism to the Church in ’95. The DRE at the time told me she was a fan of process theology; apparently that means God is somewhat weak and needs human help to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven. She was very upset when I told her I preferred the indult latin mass at my parish. And yet she herself converted to the Church just before the V2 maelstrom.

  97. Late for heaven says:

    In our RCIA classes the priest dismissed holy water, sacramentals, devotions and pilgrimages as pious but rather old fashioned superstitions. He also insisted that the catechism existed only as a reference book for bishops and that laity did not need to know all those technicalities. He not believe in sin, either.

  98. acardnal says:

    Vecchio, I think that in addition to “disobedience born of egocentric pride” that ignorance on the part of the laity is at fault, too. And this ignorance is due to lack of good preaching, catechesis and devotions offered by the clergy.

    Yes, Sissy, what is “ROTT”?

  99. VexillaRegis says:

    Old Londoner: ROTT= Recieving On The Tounge, more often called COTT= Communion On The Tounge

  100. VexillaRegis says:

    …as opposed to CITH= Communion In The Hand

  101. Sissy says:

    Thanks, VexillaRegis, for correcting my typo! Arrgh.

  102. robtbrown says:

    Generally, what happened was that the by the numbers Counter Reformation Church had run out of steam, and what was proposed to replace it was at best spotty.

    1. The Scholasticism before Vat II had more in common with Scotus than it did with St Thomas. Although Garrigou strenuously opposed the Progressive theology that tried to integrate certain aspects of Protestantism (e.g., Priesthood and Eucharist), he equally fought against various strains of Counter Reformation theology that suppressed the importance of experience and tried to eliminate the virtue of Prudence.

    2. In itself there is nothing wrong with Ressourcement. The problem, as noted by JRatzinger, is that those who say they advocate it really don’t because they want to exclude the Medieval doctors from the Sources. In many cases, they produced not a Resourced Theology but rather a Post Modern Theology that used Patristic sources that seemed to confirm an agenda based on Existentialist philosophy.

    3. The question of whether a Council can be separated from its implementation is an interesting one. The progressives at the Council who were able get some key phrases inserted into texts that normally would have not been all that significant. Those progressives, however, were able to get control of the liturgy commission and produce the liturgical pig sty of past 40+ years. All the other aspects of the mess followed naturally from wrecking the liturgy. So:

    If the liturgical commission contradicted the texts of SC, then the implementation can be separated from the Council.

    But: In so far as the changes were produced by an official commission called to implement Vat II, it has to be said that it was the implementation of the Council

    IMHO, Vat II liturgical changes have been implemented–vernacular, versus populum liturgy, along with various fabrications used to justify it.

  103. VexillaRegis says:

    @Sissy: I actually thought ROTT was an new alternative to COTT :-) But it doesn’t sound good…
    Sorry for the slight derailing, back to Vaticanum II!

  104. Sissy says:

    No, I agree….ROTT is NOT a good acronym for something so sublime!!!! Let’s go with typo. Ha ha!

  105. columba says:

    This poll will accurately reflect opinion but as we know, opinion does not necessarily equal truth.
    The truth can only be deduced from factual eveidence and the evidence shows clearly that the crisis in the Church is inseparably linked with council Vat II.

  106. Horatius says:

    Really, what evidence?

  107. columba says:

    When we see the crisis being countered by a return to pre Vat II theology especially concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (hasn’t Pope Benedict moved the novus ordo already in that direction) it becomes obvious that this directection will be the only cure for modernism within the Catholic body.
    For further reassurance on this all one must do is indulge in a little research which unfortunately would take quite some time to represent the results of such here, but for a quick primer you could follow this link to Michael Voris’ latest presentation.

  108. VexillaRegis says:

    @Sissy:” The priest: CITH? Communicant: No, I prefer to ROTT. ” Not good at all. My appologies for derailing this thread a second time, may Fr.Z. forgive this notorious humourist, who is going to play the organ at a very festive latin NO Mass tomorrow morning celebrated by our very traditional pastor. Asperges me, Domine!

  109. Horatius says:

    Thanks, Columba, but Mr. Voris is a reporter or journalist, not an historian. Making the Mass a panacea for the Church is no answer, either, I think. As for the Pope, one rite, two forms, that is his will for us. He is also presently celebrating the Council.

  110. Angie Mcs says:

    I didn’t mean to post the above, and had wanted tompreview it, as I felt it really might not be answering the question. I guess what I meant to say was that there is so much to read and digest, so much to have gone through, that it is hard cor many of us newer CTholics to be able to understand the difference between pre and post VII. It would be nice to contribute the way many of you do, having gone through so much. FTher seemed to be concerned that not enough new people were commenting, but I, as an example, certainly feel I cannot answer with any authority. All I csn do is explain my experiences and wonder opif they might be an example of the differences between the two. I did get some good ideas for reading here from other commenters, and I will begin to educate myself more fully in our history. Thank you all for helping me see things more clearly.

  111. KAS says:

    IMO Vatican II is a set of guidelines for a powerful revival in the Catholic Church, a revival capable of pulling many separated brethren and lukewarm Catholics back to the true Faith. Therefore, the powers of hell have worked tirelessly to influence individuals to undermine the work of Vatican II; an undermining made possible by many years of bad or non-existent religious education and general spiritual laziness on the part of the majority of Christians. I think it will be the LAITY, loyal to the Pope and to Church Teaching, who will respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and through reform of their own hearts and lives bring about the proper implementation of Vatican II. If the Laity does not choose to begin in their own hearts, Vatican II will not do us much good. Anyway, that is my $.02 worth. B-)

  112. Alan Aversa says:

    Compared to right before Vatican II, there are now, per Catholic, at least in the U.S.,

    half as many priests
    quarter as many nuns
    half as many infant baptisms


    As a result of Vatican II, the only council in Church history called during a time of prosperity in the Church, and according to the Freemasons’ plans (cf. this), which Pope Leo XIII warned us about (cf. his encyclical Humanum Genus), we are now facing the Church’s biggest crisis.

  113. Alan Aversa says:

    Also, there should’ve been an option: “Vatican II is somewhat responsible for the present crisis.” (I voted that it is mostly responsible, however.)

  114. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    I hope that this is not too disobedient to Father Zuhlsdorf’s monitum. And many thanks to poohbear for his (or her? but Milne’s Pooh was masculine) contributions and much sympathy for his questions. BUT: Whatever weaknesses in translation it may have had, the Abbott edition of The Documents of Vatican II was readily available, in inexpensive paperback, at a very early time; I suspect already in 1965. Therefore it is simply not the case that people at the outset could not have known exactly (waiving any problem of translation, which could not for these purposes have been large) what the Council had said.

  115. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Minnesotan – Yes, 1965, and very inexpensive paperback. Very black but fuzzy print, I recall. (Which is rather ironic, in retrospect.)
    But what did the Council actually say?
    It was very gradual, and we learnt bit by bit, but in 1965 I read the documents in that paperback (but it was the long discursive form, not the edited digest that has come down to us on the VII website) and I became more and more perplexed.
    There was an ‘on the one hand, on the other hand’ quality to the texts. And so much was left in the air.
    Later I met a Serbian who told me a joke about the Yugoslavian village that decided it wanted a ‘one-handed politician’ to represent it. ‘Because they always say: ‘On the one hand, on the other hand’.
    But VII never had the chance to make up its mind. Bugnini etc made its mind up instead.

  116. catholicmidwest says:

    The Holy Spirit does inspire the election of popes and it does guide their years as pope. Moreover, the Holy Spirit does inspire the choosing of bishops, as it does the ordination of priests, the vows of religious and the baptisms of all Catholics. The Holy Spirit does NOT guarantee that we listen as closely as we should to what the Holy Spirit says after all these inspired events, and that we do as He asks us to, just as the Holy Spirit does not take away the free will after baptism. We must always keep this in mind.

    I agree that discussion is finally allowed and that’s a good thing. I believe that many of our problems–dissent, avoidance, flat-out ignorance of basic Christianity–existed before the council but were suppressed by cultural norms within the Church, and only became evident after the Church when people felt free to do things they would not have before. They look worse now, but they had been there for a great long time. There is much evidence of this.

    The problems you cite like equating Catholic teaching with the Democrat party platform and such, are caused by ignorance. And yes, the Church has some people in very high places who know all the words and somehow missed the point. It borders on ludicrous, and too often.

    The Masked Chicken,
    I enjoyed your long comment. I think you are quite correct on the dual rupture and the difficulty because it is dual. Pope Benedict XVI, though, appears to be making some headway, although the trip back is going to take a long, long time under current conditions. On the other hand, I look at this New Evangelization, and I don’t believe anyone out here is seeing that set of concepts clearly yet. People keep repeating the words because that’s what people do, but I don’t think it means much of anything to them yet, and the chances of it getting highjacked are always there as long as people don’t comprehend what it means …..

  117. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Vatican II is just another symptom of what has been going on with the Church.
    Skullduggery and progressive agendas during the Council, misinterpretation of doctrine; watering down Truth; sidestepping the Truth; promotion of evolution, de Chardinism, our ‘becoming’, Jesus ‘becoming’ and all that modernist propaganda; creating our own form of worship rather than following how God wants us to be worshipped; we are so inundated with this crazy stuff that many do not even notice the evil path some are leading us down. To know the difference, one really has to know the Faith as it used to be taught.

    Actually reading the documents of Vatican II yourself will be enlightening – not a course where you are led through certain documents, but read them all yourself. No substitute for seeing firsthand the juxtaposition of a modern statement followed by a traditional statement, as if two different groups wrote them –

    Even baptism is watered down – we were once taught that baptism had to include the intention of ‘as the Church intends’, hence the former practice that all converts were conditionally baptized by a Catholic priest. Our Lady of Good Success in 1700s predicted the difficulty of getting baptized. Leaving off little bits and pieces of crucial details of our Faith has contributed to the mess we are in today.

  118. acardnal says:

    Related to this and Fr. Z’s other post regarding VII and my “yes” vote there:

    One of the intentions of the Council was to revise the Mass which is the heart of the Church. Indeed, that is a main theme of the Council document Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC). Norms and principles for revision of the sacramental rites and the Mass are given throughout SC. For example, Chapter 2 is all about the changes they wanted to occur in the missal: #50 saying, “The rite of the Mass is to be revised . . . .” and “the rites are to be simplified”. Well, they most certainly were “dumbed down” to the point that they removed the mystery and the transcendent to making them banal. So, subsequent to SC and as a consequence thereof, the Novus Ordo Missal of 1969-70 was developed and promulgated.

    What I have always found curious is why Blessed Pope John XXIII promulgated the new Missal Romanum of 1962 (TLM/EF) in the same year that he called the Second Vatican Council. Did he know or even desire that the Mass would be radically changed as a result? I’m not sure. After all, Pope John XXIII put Archbishop Lefevbre on the Council’s Preparatory Committee which developed the schemas to be used during the Council. Unfortunately, the schemas were hijacked by the progressives who immediately took control of the Council’s agenda.

    So, yes, I believe that V2 caused many of today’s problems. I was born in 1954 so I’ve been through this entire process and have reverted to the TLM/EF in the last few years. When the liturgy was radically changed to conform more to a Protestant way of worship, the Church was detrimentally affected. No question. Why change a Mass which the Church used for hundreds of years and which created thousands of saints and converts? As Father Z says, “Save the Liturgy, Save the World” and “Lex Credendi, Lex Orandi.”

  119. Katheryn says:

    I don’t think that the council can be blamed exclusively. Having grown up knowing ONLY VII, complete with being told during CCD that the only reason the altar rails were still up was because they were expensive marble, and culminating at DePaul Univ, where my first student Mass resulted in some woman READING THE GOSPEL, I’m still here. I am a Roman Catholic. I love this church; and despite all of the abuses and stupidity and tastelessness, I still receive Jesus. I can visit Him, I can confess to Him, and I can love Him with my whole being (still working on that). I don’t bemoan the fact that if all Masses were EF that I would be a saint by now. I suffer through terrible music and watered-down preaching just like the rest, only for Jesus and Mary.
    So something was done right in my VII life.

  120. StellaMaris says:

    Fr. Z,
    I am glad to see this poll. I am also fascinated that the results are about 50/50. Many of the comments here are well thought and has given me a bit of hope for the future. I was once oblivious to the changes in the Church. I was born after the council to a fallen away Catholic father, and raised a Protestant. I was a teenager in Pope John Paul II’s hey-day. All the Catholics I knew were enamored with the Pope, Medjugorge, and lay people becoming more active. Whatever. When I returned to the Church in the 90s, I had no comprehension of my father’s faith–he never discussed it. Purely out of curiosity, in a way to connect my past to my present, I searched for videos, news clips, recordings, anything about the Church from the 1950s. I was shocked! What I saw in a video tape of my aunts wedding in 1949 was NOT the Church I was in! Then it all happened fast….I found books, I met priests, I talked to old relatives, I asked questions. They all agreed. The Church before Vatican II was different and they could tell me how. It was different in appearance, different in thought, different in morals, different in theology. I knew immediately that something was horribly wrong. Then I began reading, really reading, about Vatican II and the changes. When I discovered how Protestant ministers were invited to offer changes in the doctrines of the Catholic Church, I KNEW. It took me awhile, and lots of crying, and lots of listening to cries of “disobedience”, but our family left the Novus Ordo. I have since discovered there is a huge group of traditional Catholics out there who went through a similar process of discovery. It is hard to face the fact that we have been lied to and deceived. The Vatican II church is NOT the Church of our ancestors. The modernists thought they could wipe it away and that eventually the “old ways” would be forgotten! But they were wrong. Our Lord would not allow it. He allowed a remnant, a small few to resist, and keep the traditions alive so we would remember, so we could see that the new is not like the old. And here we are. Almost 50% of your readers agree, Vatican II is responsible for the complete loss of faith among Catholics! Strangely, it coincides with this current election. It’s a close one, but Our Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart will triumph and the Church will be restored, somehow, some way. Yes, the Holy Ghost was present at the council—He has kept the modernists from completely dismantling everything and given courage to the orthodox! Viva Christo Rey!

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