Today is the anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council in 1962. At the opening, John XXIII (whose feast it is today) gave a famous speech which is known by its incipt, Gaudet Mater Ecclesia.
John XXIII’s speech is imbued with a sense of hope and optimism. He described the situation of the Church in the modern world as he saw it. He spoke about how the Council was announced. He described in poetic terms what it felt like to be there in that moment, in the Vatican Basilica.
The most important thing John said, however, was (my emphases):
The manner in which sacred doctrine is spread, this having been established, it becomes clear how much is expected from the Council in regard to doctrine. That is, the Twenty-first Ecumenical Council, which will draw upon the effective and important wealth of juridical, liturgical, apostolic, and administrative experiences, wishes to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion, which throughout twenty centuries, notwithstanding difficulties and contrasts, has become the common patrimony of men. It is a patrimony not well received by all, but always a rich treasure available to men of good will.
Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, pursuing thus the path which the Church has followed for twenty centuries. […]
… But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.
He goes on to speak about how in dealing with errors in the past, the Church had often issued severe condemnations. Now, however, “the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity.”
Decide for yourselves how well that has worked.
This comes to mind today, especially, because I saw a video in which the Archbishop of Chicago, presently in Rome for the Synod (“walking together”) made a video along with his theological advisor, Fr. Louis Cameli.
— Archdiocese Chicago (@archchicago) October 9, 2018
“Cameli”, thought I. The guy who uses Scripture in an odd way so as to undermine Christ’s words about marriage. HERE
A few years ago, Cameli published something in Jesuit run Amerika in which he quoted Gaudet Mater Ecclesia in such a way as to entirely distort what John XXIII said. I wrote a post about that HERE. Let’s see what he did (from that post). He is writing against the Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia:
Cameli pits St. John XXIII and his opening speech, “Gaudet Mater Ecclesia” at the Second Vatican Council against the Four Cardinals, whom he has already accused of being disingenuous.
I don’t think we should allow St. John XXIII’s words and the Second Vatican Council to be so abused.
Watch how the meaning of Gaudet Mater Ecclesia is completely changed by the cuts Cameli makes. Read these side by side, taking note of the ellipses (those are the little dots…):
|GME 6 used by Cameli||GME 6 more accurately translated||GME 6 Original Latin|
|The salient point of this Council is not…a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all.||The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all.
|Neque opus nostrum, quasi ad finem primarium, eo spectat, ut de quibusdam capitibus praecipuis doctrinae ecclesiasticae disceptetur, atque adeo fusius repetantur ea, quae Patres ac theologi veteres et recentiores tradiderunt, et quae a vobis non ignorari sed in mentibus vestris inhaerere merito putamus.|
|For this a Council was not necessary…
[HERE HE LEAVES A BUNCH OF STUFF OUT]
the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faith and perfect conformity to authentic doctrine….
[HERE HE LEAVES MORE STUFF OUT]
|For this a council was not necessary. But from the renewed, serene and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the acts of the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciences in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought.||Etenim ad huiusmodi tantum disputationes habendas non opus erat, ut Concilium Oecumenicum indiceretur. Verumtamen in praesenti oportet ut universa doctrina christiana, nulla parte inde detracta, hic temporibus nostris ab omnibus accipiatur novo studio, mentibus serenis atque pacatis, tradita accurata illa ratione verba concipiendi et in formam redigendi, quae ex actis Concilii Tridentini et Vaticani Primi praesertim elucet; oportet ut, quemadmodum cuncti sinceri rei christianae, catholicae, apostolicae fautores vehementer exoptant, eadem doctrina amplius et altius cognoscatur eaque plenius animi imbuantur atque formentur; oportet ut haec doctrina certa et immutabilis, cui fidele obsequium est praestandum, ea ratione pervestigetur et exponatur, quam tempora postulant nostra.|
|The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another.
[HE LEAVES CRITICALLY IMPORTANT STUFF OUT THIS TIME, AND WITHOUT THE ELLIPSES]
|The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith or the truths which are contained in our time-honored teaching is one thing, the manner in which these truths are set forth – in the same meaning and understanding – is another.||Est enim aliud ipsum depositum Fidei, seu veritates, quae veneranda doctrina nostra continentur, aliud modus, quo eaedem enuntiantur, eodem tamen sensu eademque sententia.|
|And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character [emphases added].||And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration, with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.”||Huic quippe modo plurimum tribuendum erit et patienter, si opus fuerit, in eo elaborandum; scilicet eae inducendae erunt rationes res exponendi, quae cum magisterio, cuius indoles praesertim pastoralis est, magis congruant.|
Cameli made these cuts not simply because he had a word limitation on his article. He wanted to diminish the stress that St. John XXIII placed on continuity between the Second Vatican Council and earlier Catholic teaching, including Trent and Vatican I.
In any event, today, the anniversary of the opening of the Council and Gaudet Mater Ecclesia, after seeing Cupich and Cameli from Rome, I thought you might like a fuller picture of what is going on in the minds of those who are involved in the “walking together”.
Lastly, today is also the anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992.
If you want to hear Gaudet Mater Ecclesia, I made a PODCAzT about it some time back. I finish reading the speech at about 35:00. The last part is my rant, which is appropriate also for what is going on today.