At The Catholic Thing today there is a piece by Michael Pakaluk, “Is Vatican II ‘Spent’?
My immediate answer is, yes. It was “spent” almost as soon as it ended. It is “time bound” and not very “evergreen”. Bits of it are evergreen, of course, as when it deals with perennial truths, such as why the Lord came into this world (GS 22), how Mary is the Mediatrix of grace (LG 62), and “full, conscious and active participation” in sacred worship is desirable (SC 14), etc.
What does Pakaluk say?
Honesty might seem to require us to say that the Council is now a dead letter: Or better to say, not that it is dead, but that it has achieved whatever it could achieve.
After the “Vatican II is valid” blah blah, he makes the point that a “pastoral Council” (whatever that is), is practical as well as limited by the extent to which it is received. Frankly, very few people have paid attention to what the Council really said over the last almost 60 years, though a lot of rubbish has been undertaken in the name of the Council.
the teaching of the Council lacked incisiveness apart from a firm adherence to certain key ideas that were clarified, rather, in JP II’s encyclicals.
We need another Council that diagnoses, indeed, but also anathematizes, brings to an end an implicit schism by drawing lines as to who belongs and who does not.
I got to that line and shuddered a bit. A new Council… NOW? Heck no. My blood runs cold at the thought of today’s bishop’s meeting about anything more than then their lunch orders.
That said… yes, we need proper diagnoses, clarity about some issues. A Council? Think about what a magnificent success the last few Synods have been. Get back to me. I’ll wait.
We do need to move forward regarding the Second Vatican Council. Important? Yes. More important than other Councils? Well… the wreckage wreaked in its wake has been monumental in important spheres of the Church’s life. Important? Sure. It is one Council in a chain of many. It looms large in our view because it is the one closest to us. It is, however, hardly one of the more important Councils.
So, let’s move forward, not by forgetting the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council but by putting it in its proper place, as somewhat bound to a context that no longer applies (the early 1960’s) and taking it at its word: it’s a pastoral Council (whatever that means) that did not intend to define doctrines, etc. And results varied.
That said, there are progressivists out there who view Vatican II as if it were the be all and end all of all Councils, a super-dogma (even though it defined no new dogma.. formally), through which all liturgy, law and doctrine (Cult, Code and Creed) must be REinterpreted. Some of these are so dogmatic in their view of the superness of Vatican II that they are close to not even being our co-religionists. They have, in effect, put their view of Vatican II into their modernist blender and a golden calf came out.
Remember what Ratzinger wrote in Spirit of the Liturgy about the golden calf in the context of immanentism? They wanted a religion that was easy. Hence, all that old stuff about propitiation and transcendence has to go. Hence, the ironically titled Traditionis custodes. If there was ever a joke in the title of a document, this would be it.
Moving forward in this post, look at the piece in First Things by Clement J. Harrold (a junior research fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology – think, Scott Hahn), “Tradismatic Trentecostalism”.
Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know my prediction about the future. As the demographic sink-hole keeps evacuating large swathes of self-identifying Catholics… and catholics… under the sands never to be seen darkening the door of a church again, there will be a smaller, more intense church comprised of committed Catholics who, out of necessity, will band together. I foresee a time when more charismatic types, along with converts from Evangelical communities, will fuse together with Catholic traditionalists. There will be frictions for a while, but the fusions will be awesome, as a greater attention to Scripture, the gifts of the Spirit and works of mercy are undergirded by traditional sacred worship. I believe that the magnet which will draw and bind them and blend them will be the Traditional Latin Mass, notwithstanding the vicious and pusillanimous attacks on it – and on the people want it – by craven, weathervane watching prelates.
As a matter of fact, the charismatic, Evangelical, trad conjunction is already taking place. Talk to young people who are committed to the Faith. It is happening.
The First Things piece focuses on Steubenville, which had strong charismatic renewal connections at its origin. Over time there increased also an orientation to “tradition”.
As graduate student Maria Therese remarked: “Franciscan exemplifies the reality that tradition and charism are not opposed to each other but are fundamental pillars which build up the Church.” For my part, I am a student of the Latin language and see great beauty in the ancient rite, though I typically attend the Novus Ordo and routinely listen to praise and worship music, much of it written by Evangelical Protestants.
In a Church where 70 percent of the faithful no longer believe in the Real Presence, legitimate differences between charismatics and “trads” pale in comparison to the differences that separate orthodoxy from heterodoxy. Faithful Catholics of all stripes increasingly find themselves allies against the common foe of a corrupt Church and a post-Christian world. In the words of Jacob, a recent graduate now studying for the priesthood, “it is primarily the youth who are working through the false dichotomy of charismatic and traditional divisions in the Church.” The “tradismatic” spirituality found within the student body of Franciscan is a vibrant synthesis, one that modern Catholicism ought to prize.
Yet this synthesisis unwelcome in some quarters. Some in the episcopacy view the movement toward greater reverence and tradition with alarm and disdain. Pope Francis’s recent motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, which attempts to restrict severely the celebration of the Latin Mass, betrays this sentiment. Nostalgic for their vision of the 1970s Church, the Holy Father’s advisors cannot seem to understand either the charismatic zeal or the love of tradition that characterize many of today’s Catholic youth.
Frankly, what the “advisors” see terrifies of them because – as it may be – they are no longer true believers. What they see makes them feel guilty for their loss of faith. So they attack it… no.. they attack the people who obviously do believe and are ready to stand up for their Faith, who want something that isn’t watered down with buzz words to the point of insipidity.
Tradismatics, Tradicals, Trentecostals, Born Again Catholics: These are what the Church of tomorrow will be made up of,…
Exactly what I have been saying for years now.
And it is happening, exactly as I have been saying for years now.