If Vatican II was supposed to usher in a new “springtime”…

Here’s an informal thought exercise.

If Vatican II was supposed to usher in a new “springtime”…

I saw something – HERE

“Only a part of the cultural heritage”.

According to the President of the French Bishops’ Conference, the Christian faith is being massively questioned today, even in Europe. He explained this to the faithful at the Mass in Honour of Blessed Charlemagne in Frankfurt Cathedral on Saturday evening.

“It no longer gives the majority of people in our countries a basis for their lives, their actions, for weighing decisions, for their ideas about the world,” said Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort of Rheims on Saturday evening, according to a sermon distributed in advance at the traditional Mass in Honour of Blessed Charlemagne in Frankfurt Cathedral.

For many people in Europe, the Christian faith is “only part of the cultural heritage”, and only a few are still intent on seeking in faith “a living source”, said de Moulins-Beaufort (60). The words of Jesus may still touch people, but often “only like a passing feeling”.

Church as a “relic of the past”

Across the European continent, the Church is “no longer the mother that enables people to live in the Spirit”, said the Bishops’ Conference president. “It no longer offers provides the resources of meaning, consolation and commitment that compensate for their own inadequacies.”

To many, the Church is seen “as a relic of the past” and is seen as more of a nuisance. The Catholic Church even appears to many people “as a disturbing force whose social usefulness is largely diminished by the hitherto covered-up crimes committed within it”.

Mass in honour of Charlemagne

Looking at the congregation gathered in the cathedral, the Archbishop asked, “Can we not recognise that we are in a period of purification, so that the Gospel may reappear as the fire that renews our ideas about the world?” In this way, he said, the Church can once again become the place “where an unexpected measure of freedom” and a deep joy can be experienced. The Catholic Church in today’s Europe can no longer be the force that unites the inhabitants. Rather, it resembles a “small, humble remnant that nevertheless becomes the bearer of a promise for all humanity”.

The service in Saint Bartholomew’s Cathedral in honour of Charlemagne (c. 748 to 814) has been held since 1332. Every year on the last Saturday in January, the Catholic Church in Frankfurt commemorates Emperor Charlemagne, who died on 28 January 814. He is revered as the founding father of Europe and is the Patron Saint of the City of Frankfurt and the Imperial cathedral.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Save The Liturgy - Save The World, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. TheCavalierHatherly says:

    Our family daily prays for the intercession of Blessed Charlemagne. The modernists barbarians may think they have the upper hand, but at any moment God might show mercy and send one of his servants to free us from their depredations, just as he has done many, many times.

    Meanwhile, we the faithful ought to strive to be a people worthy of such a leader.

  2. Benedict Joseph says:

    We all are aware that you can tell a tree by its fruit. How many seasons does the Master walk by without judgement?

  3. TWF says:

    I read today that there are more Catholics at Mass on a given Sunday between Nigeria, Kenya, and Congo than in all of Western Europe and North America combined.

  4. JabbaPapa says:

    Across the European continent, the Church is “no longer the mother that enables people to live in the Spirit”, said the Bishops’ Conference president. “It no longer offers provides the resources of meaning, consolation and commitment that compensate for their own inadequacies.”

    I realise that this is an ill-framed attempt to illustrate how the Church is seen in Europe, but it’s still borderline heretical, and not demonstrative of any great Faith on his part.

  5. Bthompson says:

    Re: TWF

    There are more people at the nearest FSSP parish on any random weekday Mass than the whole Sunday attendance of some of our diocesan parishes.

  6. monstrance says:

    How is it borderline heretical ?

  7. Gab says:

    Our Faith is serious business. It really is life or death, for eternity. Clown masses don’t exactly convey that message, neither do watered-down homilies and closing of churches and refusal of sacraments because of a serious cold/flu season. Confession advocated once a year. Once a year! That’s certainly not taking the Faith seriously.

    ”Across the European continent, the Church is “no longer the mother that enables people to live in the Spirit” ” (Why is it never the HOLY Spirit?)

    Fruits of changing the Church to be ‘of the world’ instead of a Church that changes the world. It really does come down to Lex orandi. Lex credendi. Lex vivendi

  8. DeeEmm says:


    Have you examined the Church in Germany, Italy, Ireland, or maybe France the eldest daughter of the Church? Let’s not fool ourselves about a tragic and devastating reality. The people have abandoned their faith, and what have the Bishops in those countries done over the last, 50, 60, or 70 years to dilute the teachings of the Church? How is it heretical to point out what is patently obvious to any practicing Catholic?

  9. Cornelius says:

    Two delusions (some might say lies) that persist in some quarters in this post-VII age:

    1. That the Novus Ordo Mass was what the Council Fathers wanted, and,
    2. That we didn’t get the post-Council Springtime because the Council was never really implemented, i.e., we need MORE guitar Masses, groovy hip priests, doctrinal flexibility, ordained women, etc.

    #1 is an outright lie. #2 is a delusion brought on by ideological blinders that will probably persist in some quarters until the Final Judgment.

  10. Not says:

    We have 2 wonderful Priest. They have been telling us this about Europe for several years. Yesterday Father spoke of Christ sleeping in the boat as the storm raged, waves crashing over the boat. The Apostles waking him crying we will all perish.
    Sometimes we are of little faith. The Church will never fail, good Popes, bad Popes. My words…Even Vatican ll. I see greater faith in the people and families attending the Latin Mass than ever before. God Bless Pope Benedict.

  11. Kathy T says:

    The bishop is correct in saying that most of Europe views faith with scorn but it’s certainly not helpful. He’s like the neighbor who brings upsetting news, not the leader who takes the flock out of the wilderness. We’re in the same situation here in the desert: no leadership but lots of priests jumping up and down saying “believe” “donate money” “no you can’t have the TLM “. No solid Catholic teaching, just believe because…because…. Give money because the local priest wants to put screens up so we can follow along. Certainly no TLM because …well, just because. Each week fewer people show up.

  12. GregB says:

    The post-Vatican II era and the current synod reminds me of the forty years that the Israelite people spent wandering in the wilderness. God did great work in the Exodus. The Israelite people responded by mostly grumbling and being hard hearted and stiff necked, no different than Pharaoh. One minute they are swearing a solemn blood covenant and the next they have their Golden Calf synod and break their covenant. That generation was denied access to the Promised Land. Even Moses fell short and was also denied access to the Promised Land. The people longed for the fleshpots of Egypt and were very rebellious.
    In the post-Vatican II era the New Israel of the Church often displays the same behavior that the Israelite people did in the wilderness. The same worldly longing for the fleshpots of Egypt. The same grumbling. Unrepentant sinners, hard of heart and stiff of neck, can be very rigid. The wanderings in the wilderness were a reflection of the spiritual aimlessness of the Israelite people. Christ gave the Church a mission with the Great Commission. He also left us with His New and Everlasting Covenant. How faithful is the New Israel of the Church to this covenant? Is the modern Church creating all-weather Catholics or is it turning out fair-weather Catholics who falter like the Israelite people did in the wilderness?

  13. JabbaPapa says:

    monstrance :

    How is it borderline heretical ?

    Removing the fluff, he says :

    The Church … no longer offers provides the resources of meaning, consolation and commitment that compensate [people] for their own inadequacies.

    It is both bad ecclesiology and bad theology to make such a claim, because the Church is the Congregation of the Faithful with the Saints and Angels, in Christ, and she is the Mystical Body of Christ.

    To reduce the Church to the Earthly Church alone in some statement can be OK with the proper qualifiers, but even so, the Archbishop is preaching against even the Institutional Church by claiming it not to have several goods that belong to her by Divine Institution.

    The Church does in fact provide the resources of meaning, consolation and commitment that compensate people for their own inadequacies.

    But I’m saying “borderline” because I think it’s a case of poorly controlled expression rather than one of willful heterodoxy.

  14. diaconus_in_urbe says:

    If I remember Church history, we are consistently very bad at getting any council right until the generation(s) which lived before and during said council are dead. So, I’ll wager the ‘springtime’ starts right about the 2040’s, and really takes off about 20 years after that. Yes, most of us alive today will be dead or close to it at that point.

    Nicaea I had Arianism hang on for centuries afterwards, and the Counter-Reformation lasted well into the mid-1600’s, after Trent closes in 1563. So, an expectation of a ‘springtime’ immediately following the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican is probably moving the timeline up about 100 years. That being said, a LOT of Byzantine artwork was lost before Nicaea II fully has its effect of quelling the iconoclasts; so I’d expect non-trivial damage to the Church’s physical plant before the ‘new springtime,’ happens.

Comments are closed.