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Historical clarity and today’s Catholic contentions

Why many Catholic traditionalists (especially integralists) and a high percentage of Catholic progressives make the same mistake in analyzing the cause of today’s contentions within the Church.

(Galen Crout/Unsplash.com)

One of the curiosities of the 21st-century Catholic debate is that many Catholic traditionalists (especially integralists) and a high percentage of Catholic progressives make the same mistake in analyzing the cause of today’s contentions within the Church — or to vary the old fallacy taught in Logic 101, they think in terms of post Concilium ergo propter Concilium [everything that’s happened after the Council has happened because of the Council]. And inside that fallacy is a common misreading of modern Catholic history. The traditionalists insist that everything was fine before the Council (which many of them therefore regard as a terrible mistake); the progressives agree that the pre-Vatican II Church was a stable institution but deplore that stability as rigidity and desiccation.

But that’s not the way things were pre-Vatican II, as I explain at some length and with some engaging stories in my new book, The Irony of Modern Catholic History: How the Church Rediscovered Itself and Challenged the Modern World to Reform (Basic Books). And no one knew the truth about pre-Vatican II Catholicism better than the man who was elected pope during the Council and guided Vatican II through its last three sessions, St. Paul VI.

On January 25, 1959, Pope John XXIII, thought to be an elderly placeholder, stunned both the Church and the world by announcing his intention to summon the 21st ecumenical council. That night, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini (who would be known as Paul VI four and a half years later), called an old friend. An experienced churchman who had long served Pius XII as chief of staff, Montini saw storm clouds on the horizon: “This holy old boy,” he said of John XXIII, “doesn’t know what a hornet’s nest he‘s stirring up.”

That shrewd observation turned out to be spot on –– and not simply because of the Council, but because of the bees and hornets that had been buzzing around the ecclesiastical nest for well over 100 years.

Contrary to both traditionalist and progressive misconceptions, Catholicism was not a placid institution, free of controversy and contention, prior to Vatican II. As I show in The Irony of Modern Catholic History, there was considerable intellectual ferment in the Church during the mid-19th century, involving great figures like the recently-canonized John Henry Newman, the German bishop Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler (grandfather of modern Catholic social thought), and the Italian polymath Antonio Rosmini (praised by John Paul II in the 1999 encyclical, Faith and Reason, and beatified under Benedict XVI). That ferment accelerated during the 25-year pontificate of Leo XIII, who launched what I dub the “Leonine Revolution,” challenging the Church to engage the modern world with distinctively Catholic tools in order to convert the modern world and lay a firmer foundation for its aspirations.

American Catholicism, heavily focused on institution-building, was largely unaware of the sharp-edged controversies (and ecclesiastical elbow-throwing) that followed Leo XIII’s death in 1903. Those controversies, plus the civilization-shattering experience of two world wars in Europe, plus a rapid secularization process in Old Europe that began in the 19th century, set the stage for John XXIII’s epic opening address to Vatican II. There, the Pope explained what he envisioned Vatican II doing: gathering up the energies let loose by the Leonine Revolution and focusing them through the prism of an ecumenical council, which he hoped would be a Pentecostal experience energizing the Church with new evangelical zeal.

John XXIII understood that the Gospel proposal could only be made by speaking to the modern world in a vocabulary the modern world could hear. Finding the appropriate grammar and vocabulary for contemporary evangelization didn’t mean emptying Catholicism of its content or challenge, however. As the Pope insisted, the perennial truths of the faith were to be expressed with the “same meaning” and the “same judgment.” Vatican II, in other words, was to foster the development of doctrine, not the deconstruction of doctrine. And the point of that doctrinal development was to equip the Church for mission and evangelization, for the modern world would be converted by truth, not ambiguity or confusion.

Over the past six and a half years, it’s become abundantly clear that more than a few Catholics, some quite prominently placed, still don’t get this history. Nor do the more vociferous elements in the Catholic blogosphere. Which is why I hope The Irony of Modern Catholic History helps facilitate a more thoughtful debate on the Catholic present and future, through a better understanding of the Catholic past.

 

Related at CWR: “Catholicism and modernity, reconsidered and ‘renarrativized’”: An interview with George Weigel, by Carl E. Olson (Oct. 7, 2019).


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About George Weigel 244 Articles
George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. He is the author of over twenty books, including Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II (1999), The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II—The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy (2010), and The Fragility of Order: Catholic Reflections on Turbulent Times (Ignatius Press, 2018). His new book The Irony of Modern Catholic History: How the Church Rediscovered Itself and Challenged the Modern World to Reform was published by Basic Books on September 17.

37 Comments

    • Yo, Paul, gettalife.

      But, yes, the relevant history does go back more the Weigel’s focus on the past 250 years…

      We read: “And the point of that doctrinal development was to equip the Church for mission and evangelization, for the modern world would be converted by truth, not ambiguity or confusion.”

      Back 500 years some guy named Luther, still an Augustinian monk and confessor, was scandalized when his penitents in the box huffed that they did not have to repent and convert, BECAUSE they had already tossed a coin into the magic indulgence cup. The trigger event for the more engulfing Reformation chaos. Most of Trent was about needed doctrinal (what’s Weigel’s word again, oh yes) “clarity”.

      The exact—-and much-expanded—-parallel today is that in much of the same Germany, Mass attendance now approaches absolute zero (in one of Weigel’s recent postings: only 200 out of 10,000 registrants in one parish), BECAUSE, they huff as of old, we have already checked the box and paid the state’s Church tax (to avoid being magically and automatically excommunicated as “apostates”).

      Yet, such myopic operatives as Cardinals Kasper and Marx still do not get the big picture. For his part, Weigel simply restores a bit of historical clarity as an alternative to mandatory amnesia, ambiguity and confusion.

      • Yo, Peter, I have a life and the career and accomplishments that go with it, among which is the professional background to recognize your demi-monde salutation, pop Reformation ecclesiastical history, and pseudo-sociology as the facile substitutes that they are for critical thought, sustained study, and informed comment. To claim as you do that Weigel provides “historical clarity” — a claim that even Weigel himself wisely avoids in his book — is indicative of how slender your grasp of these issues is.

        • My opening remark was meant simply to add a bit of humor to what I took to be an ad hominem flavor to your critique. Clearly, from your most recent remark I was in error. Mea culpa.

          Three substantive responses to your thoughts:

          FIRST, governing my comments on these pages, my notion is that people glaze over with analytical verbiage. My deliberate style, then, is more one of making a point directly by supplying contrasts and contradictions. (The reader, of course, is free to then analyze and agree or disagree.)

          SECOND, regarding the documents of Vatican II—they have been exploited in the name of a disconnected/fictive “spirit of Vatican II”, surely the strategy all along of the termites at the table in 1962-5. That is, smoothly insert ambiguous wording and then find a position on the later implementation committees. I get that.

          I would simply propose that the many-handed drafting of the documents resulted, therefore, in rogue insertions strategically placed, but then elsewhere, other offsetting insertions sometimes even in a different document altogether.

          Here’s an example:

          Gaudium et Spes genuflects to the thought of Teilhard de Chardin et al when it asserts: “The Church further recognizes that worthy elements are found in today’s social movements, especially in evolution toward unity [!], a process of wholesome socialization [not to be conflated with Socialism] and of association in civic and economic realms” (n.42).
          But, then, in Dei Verbum, this: “The Christian dispensation, therefore, as the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away, and we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf 1 Tim 6:14, Tit. 2:13)” (n.4).

          And, especially regarding collegiality, the entire Prefatory Note of clarification (located curiously at the end, rather than the front of Chapter 3) was one of some 42 interventions proposed by Pope Paul VI, of which 19 were accepted (many and perhaps all of the others were either too late or less critical matters of preferred wording).

          THIRD, during their pontificates, John Paul II and Benedict XVI set about reclaiming the Council and the (admittedly muddled) documents from the hands of the termites. As for what has actually transpired (quite apart from a careful reading of the documents?) since the Council, might this disaster, about which you and I fully agree, be different matter?

      • Many thanks for Mr Weigel’s remarks, with which this traditionalist, seeing History glaring at those who see only black when Vatican II is mentioned must agree. The aberrations that reared their ugly heads afterward surely were not the intent of all of the holy men at the council. One has only to read Benedict XVI to see that. Nor does one need to be a theologian to know that good intentions often go awry—or, perhaps, that the Prince of this World often has more influence than we know.

    • If someone found the cure to cancer (or any other lethal disease), would you also call this person: “…smugly narcissistic… reviewing, praising and promoting his/her own medical cure”? I think you probably would, because Mr. Weigel does nothing at all of the sort that you SO smugly pontificate about him. I personally detest narcissism at a gut level and can “smell it miles away”. Narcissism is a big blocking wall to God’s Grace and Work on souls, minds, hearts, society and the whole Church.

      What Mr. Weigel is doing here is actually dissipating the infiltrated, political, divisive, obsessive narcissism that has separated the Church in two large, opposite, non-communicating camps, a scrumptious feast for those who hate the Church and its life-saving, life-changing, history-changing Truth. He is not a narcissist, he is a true, legitimate anti-narcissist, something absolutely needed in the Church and the world today. It was Satan’s choice for narcissism that turned him into the top demon and brought sin, suffering and hell to Earth.

      You are evidently and graphically projecting your own narcissism on Mr. Weigel and, intentionally or not (the result is the same), would love to see and have the Church remain in a growing state of disarray, division, weakness and decay. No such thing for True, Authentic, Devoted, Sacrificial Catholics, always aware that Jesus Christ, not Karl Marx or any other sentimentalist/manipulating impostor, died for our salvation and redemption!! One Church, One Faith, One Baptism, One Lord and Savior!!

      • To equate Weigel with someone who “found a cure to cancer” as you do is grotesque and absurd. What “smells a mile away” is your own pathological irrationality and the ridiculously insulting cant your comment exudes.

    • For those who share Weigel’s straw-man views of Vatican II, I quote from Bishop Schneider’s recently published book-length interview Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age (Angelico Press):

      “I continued to believe [as a young man] that there was no substantial problem with the Council texts. On one side, I observed the Council texts being abused by the liberals, and on the other side, it seemed to me, in those years, that the criticisms of Archbishop Lefebvre were exaggerated. It was for me impossible to think that a Council or a pope could make any mistake. Implicitly I considered every word of the Council and the pope as infallible, or at least without error. …
      “It was for me a kind of unconscious and total ‘infallibilization’ of the Council—unconsciously, not on the theoretical level—and of all pronouncements of the popes. I was uncomfortable when there were critics, and I did not like to follow or study the critics because I was afraid of going in a direction that would be unfaithful to the Church and to my devotion to the pope. Instinctively, I repressed every reasonable argument which could, even in the slightest, be a critique of the Council texts.
      “Nowadays, I realize that I ‘turned off’ my reason. However, such an attitude is not healthy and contradicts the tradition of the Church, as we observe in the Fathers, the Doctors, and the great theologians of the Church over the course of two thousand years.” (116–17)
      “An honest examination shows that in some expressions of the Council texts there is a rupture with the previous constant tradition of the Magisterium. We have to always bear in mind the fact that the chief end of the Council was pastoral in character, and that the Council did not intend to propose its own definitive teachings.” (119)

  1. Although I am confronted often by those who must know more than I do with the idea that Vatican II was the greatest thing since sliced bread, I sadly find myself unable to share that vision. Post-Vatican II, the Church lost its most powerful representation of universality, the Latin Tridentine Mass (apparently because our betters decided we laity were too stupid to understand it) and subsequently seems to have been in decline ever since. I want to share this enthusiasm, but, alas, I am unable…

    • I never “got” Vatican II either. I came along a little too late for the old Latin Mass, or at least to have any real memories of it, but I’ve always felt we had lost much more through Vat.II than we had gained.
      Why we would give up Latin as a universal liturgical language is beyond me. And post Vat. II liturgical music……arrgh!

      • What Vatican II said, in part, about use of Latin in the Western rites: “Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.” (SC, 36).

        Latin is not a “universal liturgical language” in the sense that the entire Church has used Latin in liturgy; the Eastern Church (over 20 rites) do not. But, of course, Latin has long been the main ecclesiastical language of the Church, especially in formal texts and such. The point here, however, is that the texts of Vatican II did not get rid of Latin or indicate that vernacular should become the norm.

        I am a convert from Evangelical Protestantism who became Catholic, in part, through reading the Fathers, Aquinas, Newman, etc. And I’ve attended a Byzantine parish for 20 years now. And I think “Lumen Gentium” is one of the finest texts ever produced by the Church. Alas, I find that most Catholics don’t actually read the major texts of the Council.

        • Thank you Mr. Olson for the reminder that Latin was not the default liturgical language for Eastern Rite churches. Those of us who are Latin Rite can tend to forget about the other rites in the Church.
          I had the privilege of attending Mass at a Byzantine Catholic church in Florida years ago and it was wonderful. Very friendly, welcoming people there too.
          But in reference to the pre Vat.II Latin Rite Mass, I still believe the use of Latin as a liturgical language was unifying and even though there’s nothing essentially sacred about Latin,just having a language set aside for worship and prayer seems like a wise idea.
          I remember that there were orthodox Jews in Israel who refused to learn Hebrew for every day communication and persisted in speaking Yiddish. They felt that Hebrew should be set aside for prayer, not spoken on the street.

          God doesn’t need any aids in perceiving what’s sacred, but we do. Language and music can help us or distract us from that.

          • Good question; thank you for the clarification: 23 churches, with 5 rites: the Alexandrian Rite, the Armenian Rite, the Byzantine Rite, the East Syriac Rite, and the West Syriac Rite.

    • I agree strongly. The objective results of Vatican II and the indisputable discontinuity of its texts with Catholic dogma and magisterial teaching are obvious to all but the willfully blind. Vatican II is precisely the problem.

  2. ” There, the Pope explained what he envisioned Vatican II doing: gathering up the energies let loose by the Leonine Revolution and focusing them through the prism of an ecumenical council, which he hoped would be a Pentecostal experience energizing the Church with new evangelical zeal.”

    Yeah, how’d that work out?

    “Finding the appropriate grammar and vocabulary for contemporary evangelization didn’t mean emptying Catholicism of its content or challenge, however. As the Pope insisted, the perennial truths of the faith were to be expressed with the “same meaning” and the “same judgment.” Vatican II, in other words, was to foster the development of doctrine, not the deconstruction of doctrine.”

    “Was to” maybe in the sense of “was intended to.” That is not what happened, though, is it?

    Whatever the intentions were, we were left with the “Spirit of Vatican II” and a widespread destruction of tradition and beauty; lousy catechesis; and a falling-off-the-cliff decrease in vocations, belief, and practice. The only argument against that would be ‘Well, but without the Council it would have been so much worse,” and I doubt very much that that is true.

    • The catastrophic results of Vatican II are incontestable, notwithstanding the condescending flummery of Weigel’s pseudo-professorial word salad.

  3. For book reviews, I like use Amazon as another source to see what others are saying. So far there are 2 reviews, one positive and one negative. Right now thinking I will buy it. However, my thoughts on V2 are not positive. Going into V2, many described the Church believers as a mile wide and an inch deep. After V2 my opinion is that, except for a few traditionalist, thanks to V2 and its implementation the Church is now a puddle wide and an inch deep. V2 pretty much jettisoned Catholic culture in favor of what I still don’t know. Today’s Church seems to promote Food Bank, Polish Day, Irish Fest, October Fest etc. but the Rosary and Eucharistic adoration not so much. However it seems there is a slow return of traditional Catholic devotions. Will end by saying I get that the world was changing before V2 and maybe a V2 or something was needed. However the Catholic intellectuals driving V2 and implementing V2 seems to have limited interest in listening to the Holy Spirit. The pride of those intellectuals to disregard the Holy Spirit have lead the Church down the wrong path.

  4. I agree — except that Weigel is off by about 50 years. As Dr. Julian Strube of Heidelberg University (the one in Baden-Württemberg, not Ohio) has shown in his large body of work, much that people today assume is modern invention or even traditional belief was first widely articulated in the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries as part and parcel of the movement first known as “the democratic religion” and later as the various forms of socialism (which is not all that social), modernism (which is not really modern), and the New Age (which is not particularly new). The goal was to replace traditional political, religious, and domestic institutions with something new, although the countless forms of these “new things”, as Alexis de Tocqueville pointed out, could not agree on the precise form the new society would take, and attacked each other at least as much as they attacked the existing order. They could agree, however, that the Catholic Church was the chief enemy and that it must be subverted or destroyed before any real progress could be made. As a result, even today there are people absolutely convinced that what the Catholic Church “really” teaches consists of different or modified forms of socialism, modernism, and New Age thought. The Second Vatican Council didn’t cause any of this, but it did give the dissidents a bully pulpit and a rationalization in the form of the so-called “Spirit of Vatican II” to justify what they’d been trying to do for well over a century and a half in its modern phase, anyway. As Msgr. Ronald Knox related in “Enthusiasm” (1950), this sort of thing has been going on since the beginning of the Church.

  5. “This holy old boy, he said of John XXIII, doesn’t know what a hornet’s nest he‘s stirring up” (Weigel on Montini). Savvy comment savvy Weigelianism [he’s sold and promoted so many books that consequently must be of value that he deserves an ism]. Although agreed the crisis killing the faith of many is not entirely isolated to post Concilium error because the errors were already fomenting prior to Vat II otherwise Montini would not have foreseen moral debacle. “American Catholicism, heavily focused on institution-building, was largely unaware of the sharp-edged controversies (and ecclesiastical elbow-throwing) that followed Leo XIII’s death”. Again astute Weiglianism. Bishops defenders of the faith became efficient organizers builders and practical executives. Spiritual heroicism in preaching the hard truth to Catholics and especially to Govt and the world slipped away. What brought us to this point of deep crisis is not quite the reasonable reasons proffered. Rather it’s the immense almost preposterous doctrinal moral inside out upside down event engineered by a man now ensconced mistakenly thought infallible simply by election to office who managed to ascend by [some say] questionable means to the Chair of Peter.

    • By adding ism to Weigel as Weigelianism indicates a common thread or theme. George Weigel certainly well informed astute impresses with an overflow of analyses usually correct though ending in non conclusive generalities. Except in his essays on the Cardinal Pell crucifixion. And except in this essay ends more succinctly with “And the point of that doctrinal development was to equip the Church for mission and evangelization, for the modern world would be converted by truth, not ambiguity or confusion”. He putatively comes to my conclusion regarding the Pontiff yet states it a tad ambiguously. Sometimes a tad of bluntness couched with genteelness doesn’t harm professionalism and is quite in order.

  6. There was talk that Pope Francis was uncomfortable with the Lord’s Prayer and the passage “and lead us not into temptation”. I can’t imagine that our loving Lord would actually lead his flock anywhere but Heaven. Since that modification of the Lord’s prayer might be considered by some of the hierarchy as off limits, the Pope must act on the change because the passage sends a potential wrong message. Now when I say the Lord’s prayer without fear, I have my modified version.

    • Yet, Almighty God allowed the serpent into the garden or did you conveniently forget about that, morgan?

      Now when I say the Lord’s prayer without fear, I have my modified version.

      When can we expect the release of the corrupted, heavily edited and abridged morgan bible?

      “And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, brethren, knowing these things before, take heed, lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own steadfastness.” 2 Peter 3:15-17

    • Hi! MorganB
      I do not see an existing problem with ‘The Our Father’. Rather I see men with dubious intent, wanting to set a dangerous president, in changing (Manipulating) the Will (Word) of God, as in

      “do not abandon us to temptation.”

      The implication been that it is God’s fault when we succumb to temptation. God never abandons anyone who asks/calls in trust for His help, to teacher that He does is blasphemous.

      Proverbs 17:3 A crucible is for silver and a furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.
      Matt 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil

      Pray not to be put/’led to the Test/temptation’ as He was, rather, Father protect/‘deliver us from evil”

      Jesus has given us this pray
      ”Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”
      Because “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”

      kevin your brother
      In Christ

      • When is it really manipulating the [inspired, not dictated] word of God? With various translations for each, Matthew gives seven petitions, while Luke gives five–with different wording for the final petition. And the Aramaic (from the Internet, but I’ve lost the source) appears differently again.

        Matthew

        “‘Our Father in heaven,
        hallowed be your name,
        your kingdom come,
        your will be done,
        on earth as it is in heaven.
        Give us today our daily bread.
        And forgive us our debts,
        as we also have forgiven our debtors.
        And lead us not into temptation,
        but deliver us from the evil one.

        Luke

        Father, hallowed be your name.
        Your kingdom come.
        Give us each day our daily bread,
        and forgive us our sins,
        for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
        And lead us not into temptation.

        The original Aramaic

        Abwûn
        Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,
        d’bwaschmâja
        who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.
        Nethkâdasch schmach
        May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.
        Têtê malkuthach.
        Your Heavenly Domain approaches.
        Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d’bwaschmâja af b’arha.
        Let Your will come true – in the universe (all that vibrates)
        just as on earth (that is material and dense).
        Hawvlân lachma d’sûnkanân jaomâna.
        Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,
        Waschboklân chaubên wachtahên aikâna
        daf chnân schwoken l’chaijabên.
        detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma)
        like we let go the guilt of others.
        Wela tachlân l’nesjuna
        Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations),
        ela patzân min bischa.
        but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.

        • Thank you Peter for your response, the majority of Christians, like myself do not read Aramaic and put their trust in the perennial teachings of the Church, which have been inspired by the Holy Spirit.

          To my knowledge the term “Lead us not into temptation” Until very recently was historically used throughout the Church. Yes the words/teaching could be described as confusing as God Himself does not tempt us to sin, but He does permit us to be tempted as with

          :6-12 Job’s afflictions began from the malice of Satan, by the Lord’s permission, for wise and holy purposes.

          Who was ‘put to the Test’ ’for wise and holy purposes’.
          As my two other examples given within my Post above do also.
          The Italian bishops’ conference in 2008 adopted a new translation of the Bible; for the Lord’s Prayer both in Matthew 6 and Luke 11, they chose

          “do not abandon us in temptation,”

          God does not abandon us in temptation, to say He does is blasphemous, for then you could say God abandoned me to my sins it is His fault that I sin We abandon Him when we deviate from the Light of Truth, within our own hearts.
          Do you have anything to say about this interpretation from the Italian Bishops Conference.

          Pope Francis has now officially approved a change to the translation (See the link below) of the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:13 that replaces “lead us not into temptation” with “do not let us fall into temptation,”

          But God allows us to be tempted and is a normal part of our spiritual development.

          I am of the opinion that “lead us not into temptation” when ‘reflected upon’ is the better/best interpretation as do the two Theologians within the link given and presumably many learned men in the past, who were guided by the Holy Spirit.

          https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/cwn/2019/june/pope-francis-officially-approves-change-to-lords-prayer

          kevin your brother
          In Christ

          • I am asked, “Do you have anything to say about this interpretation from the Italian Bishops Conference”? “Do not abandon us to temptation”?

            (A security fence is blocking my response. Here’s the first part.)

            I am no authority. Clearly the Pope is trying to remind the audience of a God who is merciful rather than something else. Of course God does not abandon us. And, to imply that “it is his fault that I sin” would negate what we know by Revelation from salvation history.

          • (Here’s the second part.)

            An expression that might be relevant to your question is this. Instead of holding that we “fall into sin,” the better expression might be that as persons originally formed “in His image”, “we fall sinfully.” We begin to sin even before we sin…to be fallen.

          • (third and final part)

            …“But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has ALREADY committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt 5:28).

            Perhaps we are to remind ourselves in prayer that God is always here to help us to not fall sinfully. That he is always here, enough before us (in front of us, so to speak), that even our most embedded (fallen) predispositions/temptations might be graciously silenced: “lead us not into temptation.”

            I seem to recall that there is an early translation somewhere (Greek?) that reads, “put us not to THE test.” Meaning that we are petitioning protection from an ultimate and (nearly) overwhelming test—-perhaps diabolical doubts in our final hour—-rather than only the many more routine temptations, 24/7.

            Thank you for your thought-provoking question.

          • Thank you Peter for your comment
            I posed this question

            “Do you have anything to say about this interpretation from the Italian Bishops Conference”? “Do not abandon us to temptation”?

            Because it originates from a twisted (duplicitous) heart, most probably the same heart, that connived to have the blasphemous Divine Mercy Image installed in God’s House on earth.
            And cannot be dressed up as “Clearly the Pope is trying to remind the audience of a God who is merciful rather than something else”
            As clearly someone is attempting mock God.

            I think that you final paragraph concurs with this statement from my first Post.

            “Pray not to be put/’led to the Test/temptation’ as He was, rather, Father protect/‘deliver us from evil”

            kevin your brother
            In Christ

        • “The original Aramaic”

          Really? You’ve found an original text of the Gospels in Aramaic? Have you notified the archaeologists?

          No, you haven’t done either of those things.

          That version of the Lord’s Prayer that you provided is fraudulent.

          Here’s a post from a Scripture scholar:
          “After it came up on this blog a while back, I’ve wanted to return to the topic of the “Original Aramaic Lord’s Prayer.” Why? Because the thing that can be found online referred to in this way is not original, not Aramaic, not a translation, and not the Lord’s Prayer.

          “Let me elaborate further.

          “This prayer can be found online in a number of places, and stems for the most part from books like Prayers of the Cosmos: Reflections on the Original Meaning of Jesus’s Words by Neil Douglas-Klotz.

          “The transliteration is poor, and so anyone reading the English letters will not get a sense of what the words sound like. The transliteration is based on the Syriac version of the Lord’s Prayer. Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic, but it differs in some respects from Galilean and other Palestinian dialects of Aramaic, and so even to the extent that the Syriac prayer is Aramaic, it is not the original Aramaic.”

          “Let me go through the alleged translation of the alleged original Aramaic prayer line by line, and explain why it is not a translation of the meaning of the Aramaic into English (whether the Syriac or a reconstructed Galilean version), and thus does not deserve to be considered a form of the Lord’s Prayer.” https://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2012/02/the-original-aramaic-lords-prayer-is-none-of-the-above.html

          • I do stand corrected and humbled. Thank you.

            But, my wording was simply “the Aramaic” and “the original Aramaic” as in the original language of Aramaic. Not knowing the source–as I said–I at least did not actually say “the original Aramaic Lord’s Prayer.” Yes, a weak defense…so I am rebuked if that is part of your lofty purpose, but also better informed, especially about one Neil Douglas-Klotz.

            A good thing that CWR fosters an educational and mutually respectful conversation of this kind.

  7. I think Weigel would be hard-pressed to find an actual traditionalist who would conform to his thesis. I don’t know anyone who thinks that the Church prior to the Council was a “placid institution, free of controversy and contention”. In reality, the popes from St. Pius X onward had had to fight tooth and nail (with varying degrees of success) against the rising tide of revolution in the wake of 1789 that was sweeping through the Church.

    The Modernist heresy had infected large segments of the Church, especially the Jesuits through the influence of Jesuits like George Tyrell and later Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Weigl chooses not to mention them, in favor of pinning the “revolution” on acknowledged good guys like Newman, or unknowns like Ketteler or Rosmini (who?). Even as the popes suppressed it as best they could, the Modernist heresies were spreading through the seminaries, rectories and chanceries. What changed at the Council is that Pope John XXIII sought to rehabilitate some of the worst offenders, brought them into the spotlight as pereti, and then these guys used Vatican II to mainstream all of their bad theology. I did a quick google search on some of most heretical pereti from the Council. Henri De Lubac was ordained in 1927, Karl Rahner in 1932, Hans urs Von Balthasar in 1936, and Hans Kung in 1954. These guys didn’t spring fully formed from the forehead of the Council, they had been at work on the revolution for years beforehand. Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange denounced the New Theology on the strongest possible terms as far back as 1946, almost twenty years before the Council! Placid institution?!

    Weigel expresses John XXIII’s hopes for Vatican II, that it would express afresh the truths of the Faith to modern man. He glides over the indisputable fact that the Council has completely failed to accomplish that very thing. Had the Council realized John XXIII’s optimistic hopes, our parishes would be swelling with modern men and modern women. This demonstrably has not happened, and in fact the reverse has been true.

  8. A helpful reflection on what lead up to the Second Vatican Council and what the Council actually intended. His most recent book seems to be a helpful contribution to the ongoing discussion with the Catholic Church. We Catholics who have differing views need to dialogue not dispute with each other, not dispute. The ecumenical and Catholic/Jewish dialogues begun by the Council can provide guidelines for us on how to do this within the Church.

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