How should we think about Vatican II?

Some have misunderstood this and accused the Council of a wholesale infidelity that uprooted the theocentrism of Christian faith. It is difficult to imagine a more ungrounded allegation.

pope john xxiii leads the opening session of the second vatican council in st. peter's basilica at the vatican oct. 11
Pope John XXIII leads the opening session of the Second Vatican Council in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 11, 1962. (CNS photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo)

Editor’s note: The following essay was originally delivered on January 8, 2021, as the Convocation for Spring 2021 Semester at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota.

——-

Introduction

There is an old story about the devil calling an emergency staff meeting because the latest statistics showed that too many people were getting into heaven. He called for new strategies. One lieutenant suggested, “We will tell them there is no God,” and another proposed, “We will tell them there is no heaven and no hell.” The devil replied, “They won’t fall for that. It’s simply too obvious that God exists and that there is a final reckoning.”

So, he opened the floor, and the following proposal came forth: “Let’s distract them with concerns about things other than God, and, if they experience a moment of conscience, realizing that their principal obligation is to seek God by seeking eternal truths, acknowledging those truths, and living them, then we’ll tell them, ‘Relax. Don’t worry. There are too many important things right now—other truths, truths of a practical nature, truths concerning worldly well-being. You can always return to God tomorrow. There is no hurry.’” “That’s it,” the devil exclaimed, with an unholy eagerness. “That will work.”

The devil knows the wisdom of King David, “If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart” (Ps 95:7–8). He is the master of distraction. Good things, after all, are not intrinsically evil. They are created by God, and they are good. His ruse is to play on that goodness, and to lead people to love the good things created by God with excess. This, it seems to me, is behind that pervasive distortion of conscience seen in those who consider themselves basically nice people and in a right relationship with God simply because they are “not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers …” (Lk 18:11).

Vatican II may be thought of as a counter staff meeting, of the leaders of Christ’s apostolic Church, for a reinvigorated implementation of the only strategy for getting to heaven, namely, the proclamation of the mystery of Christ.

The Pastoral Nature of Vatican II

The Council should be seen as the Church’s response to the deterioration of Christian conscience. It was an assembly of those whom Christ Himself calls and ordains to succeed His apostles, over which the successor of St. Peter presides, impelled by a pastoral solicitude spurred by the success of the enemy’s strategy. Unlike the challenge faced by previous councils, which addressed heresies and clarified the correct understanding of the Catholic faith, Vatican II’s challenge was to set forth the Church’s faith so that people—especially the faithful—could perceive the faith’s meaning-for-life. Of course, this presupposes the fact that the faith is true and has a claim on the assent of faith because it is revealed by God.

By the time of the Council, Western society and culture had become self-satisfied and self-assured with an increasingly militant secularism. The very concept of God was treated as a superstitious holdover from a more primitive era. God is irrelevant, even hostile, to man’s new fascination with securing his own liberation and a better future. A materialist philosophy reduced his world to the sphere of things that he can manipulate. The denial of man’s transcendence, implicating a rational order the precedes him, completely undercut most important dimension of what it means to be human, namely, the moral dimension. Even as his conquests over the material world advanced, moral confusion and decadence accelerated. If man cannot control himself, what assurance is there that the control he thinks he exercises over the world around him will contribute to his integral well-being?

In a cultural situation like this, the new emphasis had to be on the question of why one should believe in the first place, on how faith in the God of Christian revelation is the only definitive answer to the questions that man confronts about the meaning and purpose of life. The essential message of Vatican II is that man cannot fully know himself, and consequently he cannot direct his life to the fulfillment that he seeks, without reference to God. This is why the Council is often referred to as anthropocentric, that is, on proclaiming the integral truth about the human person, made in the image of God and called to communion with Him. Some have misunderstood this and accused the Council of a wholesale infidelity that uprooted the theocentrism of Christian faith. It is difficult to imagine a more ungrounded allegation.

Well before the Council, some were reading the signs of the times and sounding the alarm. For example, in 1958 Joseph Ratzinger gave a lecture titled, “The New Pagans and the Church.” Too many souls—not only in the world but even among those who are baptized—are “living as if God does not exist.” They may attend Mass and profess their faith on Sundays and say a prayer before meals. They may receive and be present at other sacraments, but when it comes to daily life, their decision-making is based more on the hierarchy of values of the secular culture around them than on what God has revealed and entrusted to His apostolic Church. They do not overtly reject God, Christ, the Church, and faith. Rather, they live in a state of what St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI called a “quiet apostasy.” Theirs is not a principled, thought-through materialism, but a practical materialism (and related practical atheism).

Like the Israelites of old, the Church’s contemporaries of the mid-twentieth century, including her own members, had forgotten God. Their fascination was no longer on the event that gives definitive meaning to all of life, the paschal mystery, but on the prospect of a more secure and comfortable life promised by science, technology, and clever management of the modern political and economic systems. God is not relevant to such a view, to such an understanding of human happiness. There is an increasing eclipse of the moral dimension and with it the loss of the sense of sin, the stultification of conscience, and the relegation of God to a pre-scientific, pre-technological past.

Paul VI summed up the God-centered preoccupation of the Council as the Church’s response to the new age of paganism—Godlessness—in terms of the virtue of religion:

We should like to devote this precious moment to one single thought which bends down our spirits in humility and at the same time raises them up to the summit of our aspirations. And that thought is this: what is the religious value of this council? We refer to it as religious because of its direct relationship with the living God, that relationship which is the raison d’être of the Church, of all that she believes, hopes and loves; of all that she is and does.

To appreciate it properly it is necessary to remember the time in which it was realized: a time which everyone admits is orientated toward the conquest of the kingdom of earth rather than of that of heaven; a time in which forgetfulness of God has become habitual, and seems, quite wrongly, to be prompted by the progress of science; a time in which the fundamental act of the human person, more conscious now of himself and of his liberty, tends to pronounce in favor of his own absolute autonomy, in emancipation from every transcendent law; a time in which secularism seems the legitimate consequence of modern thought and the highest wisdom in the temporal ordering of society; a time, moreover, in which the soul of man has plumbed the depths of irrationality and desolation; a time, finally, which is characterized by upheavals and a hitherto unknown decline even in the great world religions.

It was at such a time as this that our council was held to the honor of God, in the name of Christ and under the impulse of the Spirit: who “searcheth all things,” “making us understand God’s gifts to us” (cf. 1 Cor. 2:10-12), and who is now quickening the Church, giving her a vision at once profound and all-embracing of the life of the world. The theocentric and theological concept of man and the universe, almost in defiance of the charge of anachronism and irrelevance, has been given a new prominence by the council, through claims which the world will at first judge to be foolish, but which, we hope, it will later come to recognize as being truly human, wise and salutary: namely, God is—and more, He is real, He lives, a personal, provident God, infinitely good; and not only good in Himself, but also immeasurably good to us. He will be recognized as Our Creator, our truth, our happiness; so much so that the effort to look on Him, and to center our heart in Him which we call contemplation, is the highest, the most perfect act of the spirit, the act which even today can and must be at the apex of all human activity.

Secular humanism … has, in a certain sense, defied the council. The religion of the God who became man has met the religion (for such it is) of man who makes himself God (Address for the Closing of the Council, December 7, 1965).

Guided by the Holy Spirit, promised by Christ, Vatican II adopted the only strategy that has ever worked, the strategy of God Himself. Like the prophets, Christ Himself, and the apostles, the Council calls men to conversion. For this, they must enter their hearts and consciences, the only “place” where God can be encountered. While the devil contrives to keep people out of their hearts, the Church of Christ reminds them of their dignity as image of God and exhorts them to “discern their destiny beneath the eyes of God, Who probes their hearts and awaits them there” (Gaudium et spes, 14). The human heart or conscience is the battlefield of salvation. The devil detests moments of truth of conscience, while Christ’s Church professes, based on St. Paul in Romans 2:14–16, “In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law … which holds him to obedience.… For man has in his heart a law written by God. To obey that law is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged. Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depths” (Gaudium et spes, 16).

There is an understandable reason why people readily allow themselves to be seduced by the superficial enjoyments of worldly prosperity. It is the intuitive insight that to meet God in the heart and conscience will surely entail an encounter with sin. But this is precisely why the Council’s teaching on divine revelation, on the Church, on the liturgy, and on the Church’s mission to the world places the paschal mystery of Christ at the center, as does the Creed. The paschal mystery is the ultimate revelation of God’s merciful love. For this reason, it is the definitive answer from heaven to the questions that come forth from the experience of evil and suffering on earth, especially the moral evil of sin and the corresponding suffering of a conscience burdened by unreconciled guilt.

To reinforce this teaching, Vatican II calls on all those who have ears to hear to bear witness to the transforming power of God’s merciful love in word and by the way they live. For, both words and actions have the same root, namely, the human conscience. In the apostolic kerygma, Baptism confers the gift of a conscience purified by the blood of Christ (Heb 9:9, 14; 10:2; 20–22; 1 Pet 3:21). Christ shed His blood to reveal His love and to send the Holy Spirit, the light of consciences. Men and women with consciences purified by the blood of Christ—that is, saints—are the most powerful apologia for Christ and His Church. Nothing is more relevant, more practical, more powerful for shaping history, than the life of those whose freedom has been set free for love. Holy men and women take up the mission of building up Christ’s kingdom, restoring Christian culture, and promoting a civilization and culture of love.

Thus, the Council teaches that “every benefit which the People of God during its earthly pilgrimage can offer to the human family stems from the fact that the Church is ‘the universal sacrament of salvation,’ simultaneously manifesting and exercising the mystery of God’s love” (Gaudium et spes, 45). This continues the mission of Christ, Who “by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear” (Gaudium et spes, 22).

In the end, that is the goal of Vatican II—the restoration of Christian culture, which is the fruit of the actions of men and women guided by consciences purified by the blood—that is, the love—of Christ. It cannot come about as the result of the privileges the Church enjoyed because of her historically unique relation to the secular power that typified the Age of Christendom. It has to come about by conquering consciences with the truth—the truth about God and His love, and the truth about man.

How should we think about Vatican II?

With this background in mind, we can turn to the original question, framed by the organizer of this lecture: How should we think about Vatican II? This question implies two things: first, that there is a right way to think about Vatican II, and, second, that there exists a certain disposition to do so. Regarding the latter, I am reminded of the refrain in the writings of St. Luke: “What should we do?” (Lk 3:10, 12, 14; 10:25; 18:18; Acts 2:37; 16:30; 22:10). And, St. John: “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (Jn 6:28) Those who are rightly disposed realize that God’s word, whether proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus Himself, or the apostles, calls for a response: What must we do? It is no different for Vatican II.

So, let me give a direct answer: receive the teaching of Vatican II, in faith, as the gift and word of the Holy Spirit to the Church of our age, and live it. That is the response of two saints, St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II. That is what they did. And, they have crossed the finish line. When it comes to getting to heaven, there is no such thing as an excessive pragmatism! Do what the saints did, and what they advise you to do. The first and foundational relation of each Catholic to Vatican II is based on faith, which the Council beautifully described in the words of St. Paul as obedience to God that entails a total self-entrustment to Him by the full submission of our highest faculties, intellect and will, an entrustment that manifests itself both in assent to what God has revealed and in living out what faith holds to be true (Dei Verbum, 5).

Before the Conciliar documents are the object of theological investigation, they have a claim on Catholic faith. For, theology is faith seeking understanding. Understanding is not a condition for coming to faith, but the blossoming of faith.

Catholics Disagree

It is only too painfully obvious that not all Catholics perceive Vatican II in the same way. This is a lamentable aspect of the historical context in which this address on the Council is being delivered. I might add: some very intelligent and devout Catholics disagree. Much could be said about this, but perhaps the most important thing to say is that what other Catholics do or say or hold has no claim on my faith—or your faith—our faith. Only God’s revelation in Christ can make a claim on my faith—and your faith—our faith. And, since that revelation has been entrusted by Christ to His apostolic Church, the teaching of that Church is the norm of my faith—and your faith—our faith.

The unmasked criticisms of Vatican II tend to place the faithful, who have not acquired the theological competence to verify those criticisms for themselves, in the position of having to choose between the personal views of some theologians and the apostolic Church of Christ. This reminds me of St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians:

For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius; lest any one should say that you were baptized in my name. (1 Corinthians 1:11–15)

To apply this to today: None of us was baptized in the name of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Taylor Marshall, Peter Kwasniewski, or Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. It is no small irony that at a moment when a secular culture places Catholics in a position of having to choose between being thinking, scientific, technology-using—modern—beings, on the one hand, and being a person of faith, on the other hand, some members of the Church are effectively placing Catholics in the position of having to choose between a pre-Vatican II Church and a post-Vatican II Church.

Let me directly address especially my younger brothers and sisters in Christ here in the University of Mary community of faith. Recall the devil’s strategy of distracting people, including the faithful. He is not averse to enlisting the unwitting cooperation of self-proclaimed defenders of the truth, and who are even now placing Catholics in the position of having to choose between defining their fidelity to Christ either as fidelity to the Church of Vatican II or fidelity to a pre-Vatican II Church. To repeat St. Paul’s rhetorical question: “Is Christ divided?” I exhort you: Do not let those who have confused their personal crises of hope in Christ’s promise to be with His Church, with issues of doctrine. Do not let them cause you to rethink your Catholic faith and your relation to Christ’s apostolic Church.

Thinking about Vatican II within the Faith

Does this mean that there is no place for asking questions about the teaching of Vatican II? Certainly not! The Church has always encouraged the intellectus fidei—faith that seeks understanding—and has never exhorted the faithful to believe without asking questions about the foundations and intelligibility and coherence of faith. That, in fact, has been condemned as fideism—another strategy of the Church’s enemy to undermine the credibility of the faith. What she does insist on is that dealing with questions that arise because of faith be done in a certain way—within the faith, not as a pre-condition for faith. So, my appeal to the Catholic community of the University of Mary is simply this: Think about Vatican II within the faith!

For this, your Patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a sure guide. When, at the Annunciation, she was confronted with the unimagined way in which God decreed to fulfill His promises—in her and through her—she responded with the question, “How shall this be?” This is the paradigm for thinking within the faith.

A most important corollary that follows from this is that for anyone who values his Catholic faith and is serious about living in conformity with all of its implications, it is not permissible to substitute any authority for that of the teaching office of Christ’s apostolic Church—the magisterium. In study and research, it is inevitable that the theologian will encounter difficulties. This is one of the occupational hazards of exercising the gift of theology in service to the Church.

It is, however, salutary to recall two important things. The first is St. John Henry Newman’s insight that a thousand difficulties do not constitute a single doubt. To refer again to Mary’s faith at the Annunciation, the prospect of a virginal birth presents a difficulty, but she never doubted the truth and efficacy of what Gabriel announced. Second, for the sake of the common good of the Church, a theologian or anyone who has encountered a difficulty and finds himself withholding the assent of faith should not teach it or publish it, lest the faith of others be shaken.

My appeal, directed especially to the student members of the Catholic community of the University of Mary, is to bear in mind two things. First, that another’s difficulty is not your difficulty. In order for it to become truly your difficulty, you have to do the research required to see the difficulty for yourself. Second, that to choose to side with someone who thinks he is justified in withholding consent to the teaching of Vatican II is to choose a merely human authority in place of the teaching authority of the apostolic Church, established by Christ and assisted by the Holy Spirit. And that is a grave offense against the virtue of faith.

Final thoughts, on grumbling versus believing

To conclude, let me propose a lectio divina of St. John’s account of two quite different responses to our Lord’s Bread of Life discourse. Today, some respond to the teaching of Vatican II as some among Jesus’ disciples responded to His teaching, “This is a hard saying, who can listen to it?” (Jn 6:60). In the following verse, John tells us that Jesus was aware of their grumbling. They grumbled because they could not see how to reconcile the teaching of Jesus with what they already believed. They placed themselves in the position of having to choose between continuing to follow Jesus, with all the difficulties that this presented to their faith, and leaving Him in the name of fidelity to that very same faith.

This verb, to grumble, is theologically supercharged. It is the word that describes those Hebrews in the desert who lost hope and complained against Moses (Ex 15:24; 16:2, 7, 8; 17:3). They grumbled rather than believed and trusted, and this despite all of the marvelous works of God that they had witnessed (Ps 106:21–25). It is the same verb that describes the Pharisees who cannot read the signs of the times in the mission of Jesus, especially when He associates with sinners (Lk 5:30; 15:2; 19:7)—again, despite all of the signs that Jesus had performed.

Grumbling is opposed to faith; it is a sin against faith. To grumble as the Hebrews and the Pharisees did is to disapprove of the way that God is conducting His affairs. Those who grumbled against Jesus’ Bread of Life teaching “turned back and no longer walked with Him” (Jn 6:66). The translation of the New American Bible elaborates: “As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him” (Jn 6:66). Presumably, they left Him in the name of being faithful to what they already believed because they thought Jesus’ teaching contradicted it. They did not approve of what God was doing to bring their faith, and the hope rooted in it, to its fulness and fulfillment. Like the Hebrews in desert who wanted to return to what they thought was the preferred security of slavery in Egypt, they retreated into their former way of living because they had become comfortable with it.

Surely, the disciples who were scandalized by Jesus’ Bread of Life teaching had followed Him in the first place because they had begun to believe that He would be the One to fulfill their eschatological hopes, their desire to witness the consolation of Israel. Yet, despite the signs that had led them to Him, His way of fulfilling that hope caused them to grumble because they could not get beyond their own expectations for that fulfillment. Peter experienced the same thing, when Jesus first predicted that His mission would lead Him to be rejected, to suffer and to die. Peter, too, disapproved of God’s way of conducting His affairs, of fulfilling His promises; he grumbled interiorly, and rebuked the Lord.

You perceive the spiritual reading of this text that I am proposing. Vatican II is like a new Bread of Life discourse or a new prediction of the passion. For some it has become the occasion for grumbling. They have believed in the Church and followed Christ in His Church, but now it is apparent that it is a qualified following. The Church must conform to their expectations, to what they think must follow from what comes before. Like Jesus, the “sign that is opposed,” the Council has become the occasion for “the thoughts out of many hearts to be revealed” (Lk 2:34–35).

It is profoundly ironic that some who so ardently desire to see the Church renewed and robust in her mission are unable to see in the Council God’s answer to their desires! But this is how God always answers our prayers, with the surprise of the divine wisdom that we cannot fathom. His answers to the prayers that express our desires are always the occasion for a choice: to grumble and to return to the way life was, or to purify and to deepen our faith and hope. Jesus’ words are ever relevant, and the Second Vatican Council is the occasion for them to echo anew: “Do you also wish to go away?” (Jn 6:67).


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


About Douglas Bushman 10 Articles
Douglas Bushman holds a licentiate in sacred theology from the University of Fribourg. He is the Pope St. John Paul II Chair of Theology for the New Evangelization at the Augustine Institute in Denver, and author of the adult faith enrichment program In His Image, published by Ignatius Press.

138 Comments

  1. This is an exercise in unreality from beginning to end. Reinvigorate the church? Are you kidding me? The Church in the Western world is, for all intents and purposes, as dead as a doornail. Proclaim the mystery of Christ? The Church today proclaims everything except the mystery of Christ. This is utterly delusional.

    • There’s no delusion here. The Council’s full implementation remains to be accomplished: a reinvigorated Church which proclaims the mystery of Christ. That’s precisely Bushman’s point.

      • Chris, Stop fantasizing. This article wants to give us a mirage of the greatness of Vatican ll. Lets get real! The Council of which he speaks has destroyed God in the hearts of the faithful. Its good only for the trash bin.

      • I affirm the Council with faith – and in harmony with the strict interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus(EENS), the Athanasius Creed which says all need to be Catholic for salvation, the Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius IX which calls for an ecumenism of return and the Catechism of Pope Pius X( 24 Q, 27). Is this the understanding of the author ?
        I have explained this in detail on my blog Eucharist and Mission.
        I am a Catholic lay man in Rome and I write on the two interpretations of Vatican Council II, rational and irrational, with the false premise and without it.
        I think the writer has reviewed the Council with the common false premise as did our pope, John Paul II.
        For more information I can be contacted at : lionelandrades10@gmail.com

        • Lionel Andrade, When you view the two Councils of Vatican ll as revealed by Pope Benedict XVl in his Biography, then we can start getting real. My understanding was that his Biography was to be released after his death. But for some reason he called for it to be released now. Pope Benedict I’m sure knew his revelations of the 2 Vatican ll’s would trigger off a battle in the Church. It is a necessary battle in order to bring about what the prayers after Low Mass ask of God, “For the Liberty and Exaltation of Holy Mother the Church”. St. Pope John XXlll retained these prayers in his Vatican ll 1962 Missal.

          Now we can understand why St. Pope John Paul the Great, and Pope Benedict XVl held Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and his SSPX with such importance. They were and are only placing into effect the Second Vatican Council of St. Pope John XXlll.

          • Andrew,
            I would like to ask you if you consider Lumen Gentium 16 ( invincible ignorance) as referring to a person personally known; seen in the flesh; objectively visible in 1965-2021 or some other year, who is saved outside the Church i.e without faith and baptism ? Or does it refer to a hypothetical case only. It refers to someone speculative and theoretical, something hoped for with good will ?
            This is an important question since it will determine how we interpret the Council.
            For me LG 8( elements of sancification and truth in other religions), LG 14( baptism of desire), UR 3( salvation with imperfect communion with the Church), GS 22 ( people saved with good will),NA 2( a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men and hopefully results in salvation) refer to only hypothetical cases. They cannot be any thing else in reality.
            But for Pope Benedict they were exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, the Athanasius Creed and the Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius IX. So for them to be exceptions they would be have to exist, they would have to be visible and real. Invisible people cannot be practical exceptions to EENS etc.
            So Pope Benedict like the popes from Paul VI to Francis were saying that LG 16 refers to a known and visible non Catholic, saved outside the Church without faith and the baptism of water.So there was salvation outside the Church; known salvation.
            So his premise is different from mine and so of course will be our conclusions.
            The Council is not a hermeneutic of rupture with Tradition for me but it is for him.
            In an interview with Avvenire Pope Benedict clarified that EENS today was no more like it was for the missionaries in the 16th century. There was ‘a development’ for him with Vatican Council II , which he interprets with an irrational premise.
            The same mistake was made by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Cardinal Ottaviani.
            We now have found the missing link. The 55 year old common interpretation of Vatican Council II is obsolete. Also sedevacantism based upon Vatican Council II interpreted with a false premise is obsolete. -Lionel

          • Lionel Andrades, I have not read all the Council Documents. In light of the revelation that there were actually two Vatican’ ll’s cause me to think it useless and a waste of time to read the Council of the Modernist takeover. The Council of St. Pope John XXlll which contained 70 Vatican ll Council Documents, over 2000 pages, made with the help of over 850 Scholars and 100’s of Theologians. The real Council did not begin on October 11, 1962. That day was to finalize the Council of St. Pope John XXlll. The Council that began on May 17, 1959, with 70 Council Documents. The 1962 Missal of the Second Vatican Council, and the Apostolic Document that cemented Latin as the living language of the Church. The Modernists plotted the taking over on the day of October 11, 1962. They stole the Council of St. Pope John. It was an act of treason. I ask as did Archbishop Vigano, “By what authority, by what right did they do this”. We must face the reality that there were two Vatican ll’s. I reject the man made Council and uphold the Holy Ghost Guided Second Vatican Council of St. Pope John XXlll. I have termed the false Council as the Counterfeit Council. Counterfeit because, it looks like a Council, It was planned as a Council etc… But it was Counterfeit. We must reclaim the real Council that Began on May 17, 1959. The Pope chose October 11, 1962 and said, “It is a done deal” ” Now we can move forward fearlessly” I suppose he said that because he dodged the Modernist heretics. For October 11, 1962 His Holiness called all the Bishops of the world to come to Rome, ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINALIZING THE COUNCIL!!! With their signatures on the 70 Second Vatican Council Documents. Then the Modernists diabolically overthrew the actual Second Vatican Council and made their own Counterfeit Council. Consider that! Just consider it! I want the real Council of St. Pope John XXlll and I will settle for nothing less.

      • So basically you are saying that it’s all an abject and miserable failure. The Church is now so way off the mark if the intent is returning the focus to Christ. Pope Francis and bishops are Exhibit A.

        • Peter Santos, Vatican ll is in fact a miserable failure. “Know them by their fruits”, after Vatican ll 10’s of thousands of Priests left the priesthood and it all had to do with Vatican two, there was a mass exodus of Nuns who left their convents in the name of the spirit of Vatican ll. Mass attendance in the US for Sundays and Holydays was 75%, now its only 17%. With the spirit of Vatican ll Catechesis has rotted. Now very few know their Catholic Faith, and those few would be the Traditionalists who have preserved it. Vocations are lacking except in Traditionalist Seminaries. That “the Church is now so way off the mark” YES! As they say “Wake up and smell the coffee”. We can’t deny the facts anymore with excuses of defending a Council that failed miserably. This Vatican ll voted out the “second Holy Vatican Synod” which is what the Council of St. John XXlll is called. His was a powerful Council, I call it the new Council of Trent. Many I know out of love for God are trying to salvage Vatican ll, but its of no use to do so. I know because I was one of them.

  2. The critical notion cited in the title is “think.” The pious lens taken here to the mid-century council, which has produced consequences quite antithetical to its stated goals, is not only inadequate but an exercise in deception. There is the unmistakable tenor of desperation in this article and it provides its own critique of not only the article itself but of what transpired from 1962 until 1965 in Rome. We know the tree by its fruit. It has been almost sixty years and more than ample effort has been provided to redeem that exercise in disorientation, not only by good willed saintly men, but those of far less virtue. Far beyond time to cut it down — far more time than suggested in Luke 13.
    Let’s abandon wishful “thinking,” pitch the rose colored glasses and get to work in being about the release of captives to licentious atheistic secular materialism. Faux evangelization is no substitute for authentic evangelization.

  3. If everything in the documents of Vatican II is of faith, then there should have been some dogmatic definitions of faith but there are none on purpose. Second, there should have been assertions by the original Pope, St. Paul VI, that all the doctrinal statements within Vatican II (put in bold print) are taught by and reflect the ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church and are to be accepted as definitive and believed with divine faith. Third, it should have been declared that the disciplinary decisions of a practical nature are to be accepted with the obedience of faith as matters of prudence and therefore non-definitive. None of these clarifications were done at the time, which has over the years unfortunately led to contradictory understandings and dissent among the Christianfaithful. The translations are understandable for most ordinary people who do not read Latin, the official version of Vatican II; however, most readers do not look up the footnotes when they read the documents thereby creating their own private interpretation of the documents even to this day often leading to confusion in the parishes, notwithstanding the teachings of St. John Paul and Pope Benedict XVI interpreting Vatican II.

  4. By the same token, we were not baptized in the name of Vatican II, nor in the name of Paul VI, but in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, into the Religion of Jesus Christ who changeth not. In the name of Vatican II there is not one sacrament, one practice or one doctrine that someone hasn’t tried to change. “By their fruits you shall know them.” The young Catholics coming up who are vibrant and having families have (for the most part) ignored Vatican II and they believe and practice the way Catholics have always believed and practiced. Good. I am an older guy, but I am comforted to know that the Holy Faith of my youth will continue on, no thanks to those who perpetrated Vatican II on us.

    • Robert Beaurivage, Your words to me have been the greatest response to the author yet. I am really considering copying and pasting what you said in order to frame it. Thank you.

  5. The Documents of Vatican II, English paperback, runs over 1,000 pages. This tells me, among other things, the Council attempted far too much, in too short of a time, and then expected……well, what, exactly? Second, the number of Catholics who have read all of the documents must be very small, and that would include bishops and clergy. More modestly, how many lay Catholics have read even one document from beginning to end? Again, few, I would suggest. And if one did, how well would it be understood, unless an individual had some sort of theological education?
    I have no doubt that the Council was well intentioned. Its massive set of documents and implementation are another matter entirely.

    • I tried to read them all. I really did. I got through only Sacrosanctum Concilium and Lumen Gentium. The rest I read only here and there. It was insufferable boredom. What is most apparent is that the sheer number and length of the documents – as in the logorrhea of Medjugorje – were intended to confuse and to conceal, to allow the implementation of the Council to take whatever shape the modernists wished. Somewhere, in all that verbiage, a line or two can be found (and have been found) to justify everything.

      • I have read and reflected upon all the key documents of Vat. 11 and find them clear, often inspiring and thoroughly imbued with truth. No doctrine of the Church is denied or undermined. The fact that the council was held during a huge social revolution which involved challenges to authority and long established sexual mores, influenced the way it was interpreted. False claims were made by liberal Catholics about its contents and the fact that few Catholics have actually read the documents led to what we now call the so-called “spirit of Vat. 11” which has caused enormous damage to our beloved Church.

    • Virgil, if I’m thinking of the book that you’re referring to, it includes not just the conciliar texts, but numerous post-conciliar documents as well. GS is only ~110 pgs in pamphlet format; LG ~105; SC 44; DV 22. And those are the four constitutions, the most important texts. So we’re talking a few hundred pages at most.

      • Thank you, Chris, I stand corrected. The Documents of Vatican II , Austin Flannery,, Ed.,is 1,000 pages, and that is what the potential reader would see on a book shelf. Looking within would present a less formidable experience. The question in my mind still remains, how many of the faithful have actually read any of the documents. The question also goes for clergy.

        • Ignatius Press has a book called The Second Vatican Council: The Four Constitutions. It’s a much better format than that paperpack brick you mentioned – thinner, larger, with a better typeface, and much easier to read.

    • Virgil Evans, The Real Council of St. John XXlll contains 70 Decrees and more than 2000 pages in clear traditional language of the Church. In a language that could not be misinterpreted. You can find this information in the Biography of Pope Benedict XVl. Just jump to what is tiled “The Council”. It was to be a GREAT! Council. Solid, unambiguous. It was a reaffirmation of the 2000 year history of the teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Council of St. Pope John XXlll to his dismay was voted out by the modernists.

    • Vatican II was a cure worse that what the purported problem was.
      “By their fruits you shall know them”
      To understand the documents of Vatican II Read, “The Second Vatican Council — the unwritten story”, by Prof. Roberto Mattei. Recommended by Cardinal Mueller. Illuminating: Although the language of the documents themselves is stultifying, –this book summarises their meaning and intent, and more importantly Shows what the motives & agendas behind them were.

      The author accessed old diaries, letters, and interviewed many who were there years afterward, to learn what skulduggery went on. Everything is meticulously documented and footnoted for sources. I thought it would be dull — it turned out to be a page turner, despite its sometimes translation from the Italian. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

        • Alistair Barros, Traditionalists are the only ones who can look at and give a correct interpretation to the whole Mess in the Church. Anyone else would just give us a litany of senseless and useless talk.

          • Andrew, I go to Latin Mass and I thank the Lord for Archbishop Lefbvre holding onto the Extraordinary and timeless form of the Mass, without which I’m doubtful we would have it today. But I am baffled at the poor grasp so many traditionalists about what the Council taught. So many claim for instance that the Council taught that all Christian churches or communities carry the same degree of truth, along side that of the Catholic Church. Blind Freddy could read that it simply did not teach that. Dominus Iesus building upon the Council shocked the world by upholding what the Church taught in that regard from Vatican II namely that the Catholic Church fully and uniquely is (subsists in) the true Church of Christ. Ut Unum Sint continued this, admonishing that there are true and false forms of ecumenism. What world media could grasp from Dominus iesus has proved an intractable in basic 101 comprehension for many, many trads. I’m glad Fr Nichols wrote what he did in his book preface – or what Bishop Barron said in his recent speech published in CWR today. It is high time to stop tearing up the body of Christ and get down to the formidable challenge of engaging a world that’s fast losing all its marbles.

          • Alistair Barros, Amazing! You and I are on the same page. But we certainly may disagree. I’m a Traditionalist and I get frustrated with other Traditionalists who can hold some bizarre views. But I also know Traditionalists who are solid practicing Catholics. Who have not closed their minds, but keep a watchful attitude. And are valiant staunch defenders of The Church founded by Jesus Christ. At this time please understand that what Pope Benedict XVl told in his Biography that there were two different Councils. He reveals the plot to overtake the Council. Pope Benedict says how he played a major role in voting out the real council and still has qualms about it. You may disagree with me but understand that I take the Biography of Pope Benedict XVl in the utmost serious manner. It is of major importance. From my understanding the 70 Documents of Vatican ll contains the new springtime in the Church. It contains the open windows of the Church to let the fresh air of heaven in. The Modernist heretics have nailed shut the windows of the Church, and what we have is stagnant air with a horrifying stench. There is much decay in the Church today and the remedy is the 70 Vatican ll Documents of St. Pope John XXlll. Also we need the revised Vatican ll Missal called the “1962 Missal”.

      • R Wenner, Thanks for telling us about this book you recommend. Your description sounds like what I am really interested in. After decades of defending the Faith, Pope Benedict XVl’s Biography is a Bombshell that has reinvigorated me.

  6. Trying to be in good terms with the Devil and with God is never a Christian atitude. But yes, trying to please all is always easier. At least in the beginning. What I don’t understand is why intelligent Catholics don’t see the errors and heresies in the documents of Vatican II. What is an error ? What’s the meaning of heresy ? How many know the documents of Vatican since early 18th Century that deal with these concepts ? Vatican II was the much needed destroyer of Vatican I ! In 90 years, Modernists, Marxist/Leftists, Masons, had to find a way to finish with Vatican I. They found a way. Did John XXIII came up with the idea ? No. The idea was already in vogue in Masonic and Marxist circles, some inside Vatican. John XXIII was only the herald urbi et orbi of such idea. Vatican II is not the proper name to call to what happened and led to the fast growing destruction of the Catholic Church. Catastrophe is a more suitable name to what has been happening since John XXIII. John Paul II and Benedict XVI were not strong enough to swim against the stream. The problem with many Catholics is the confusion they make with important concepts: through Modern Philosophy they shall never find clarity, but if they stick only to Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Word, all concepts will become clear. Never try to please both the Devil and Our Good God. Those who try it are, maybe, smart, but not intelligent, and certainly not Christian. The Word of God is to be understood with a humble heart: it is not for the arrogant, like Pagan Pope Francis, who seek their glory surrounded by the princes of this world and their agendas.

    • Someone preferred not to reply to me, doing it in another comment, so I won’t reply to that person, but shall give some examples of errors and heresies in Vatican II. Catholics should spend time reading and studying these documents. I am always happy to do it and to write about it. I tried to be concise, objective and short.

      I shall focus only on the main heresy (there are others) of the Protestant sects discussed in the Trent Council: Justification by faith considered Anathema/Heresy, Decree Concerning Justification, Pope Paul III, January 1547, see Canon 9 and next.
      See now the whitewashing of Protestantism and the invitation to heresy.

      Excerpt from the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1964, on the possibility of Salvation outside the Catholic Church:

      “15. The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honored with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. For there are many who honor Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God. They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood. In all of Christ’s disciples the Spirit arouses the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the earth”.

      Today’s Gospel is the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ. God Almighty says: “this is my Beloved Son…listen to Him !”. And in another moment of the Gospels Our Lord Jesus Christ says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).
      Did God say: listen to Mohammed, or listen to Buddha, or listen to the Jewish priests, or did God say listen to my Beloved Son Jesus Christ ?
      Did Our Lord Jesus Christ say that we can go to the Father through the teachings of Jewish rabbis ? Or through the teachings of Mohamed ? Or through the teachings of Buddha ? Or others ?

      Let’s see the following, still from the referred Vatican II document:

      “16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God. In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh. On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues. But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel. She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life. But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator. Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, “Preach the Gospel to every creature”, the Church fosters the missions with care and attention.”

      Now excerpts of the Declaration Nostra Aetate, by Paul VI, 1965, stating that Jews are no more responsible for the death of Christ than Christians. That the Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions.” Mentioning especially Buddhism, but also other sects:

      “True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ.”

      “Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination. Likewise, other religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing “ways,” comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions.”

      “The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.”

      These are some examples of errors and heresies in the documents of Vatican II: the idea was and is to finish with the Council of Trent and with Vatican I. New erratic methods are indicated here:

      GAUDET MATER ECCLESIA
      Opening Declaration of the Vatican II Council, by John XXIII, 1962, concentrated on new times and not on the tradition of the Catholic Church:

      “15. Nor is the primary purpose of our work to discuss some of the chief articles of the Church’s doctrine or to repeat at length what the Fathers and ancient and more recent theologians have handed on, things which we have every right to think are not unknown to you but reside in your minds. To have only such discussions there would have been no need to call an Ecumenical Council. What instead is necessary today is that the whole of Christian doctrine, with no part of it lost, be received in our times by all with a new fervor, in serenity and peace, in that traditional and precise conceptuality and expression which is especially displayed in the acts of the Councils of Trent and Vatican I. As all sincere promoters of Christian, Catholic, and apostolic faith strongly desire, what is needed is that this doctrine be more fully and more profoundly known and that minds be more fully imbued and formed by it. What is needed is that this certain and unchangeable doctrine, to which loyal submission is due, be investigated and presented in the way demanded by our times. For the deposit of faith, the truths contained in our venerable doctrine, are one thing; the fashion in which they are expressed, but with the same meaning and the same judgement, is another thing. This way of speaking will require a great deal of work and, it may be, much patience: types of presentation must be introduced which are more in accord with a teaching authority which is primarily pastoral in character.”

      And more erratic Secularist methods are announced, to be mixed with the Doctrine of the Catholic Church, to be mixed with the Word of Our Lord Jesus Christ. See this:

      Excerpt from GAUDIUM ET SPES, 1965, by Paul VI, on the need of Modern Philosophy and Modern Theology in the Catholic Church.

      “62. Although the Church has contributed much to the development of culture, experience shows that, for circumstantial reasons, it is sometimes difficult to harmonize culture with Christian teaching. These difficulties do not necessarily harm the life of faith, rather they can stimulate the mind to a deeper and more accurate understanding of the faith. The recent studies and findings of science, history and philosophy raise new questions which effect life and which demand new theological investigations. Furthermore, theologians, within the requirements and methods proper to theology, are invited to seek continually for more suitable ways of communicating doctrine to the men of their times; for the deposit of Faith or the truths are one thing and the manner in which they are enunciated, in the same meaning and understanding, is another. In pastoral care, sufficient use must be made not only of theological principles, but also of the findings of the secular sciences, especially of psychology and sociology, so that the faithful may be brought to a more adequate and mature life of faith.”

      There are much more. I suggest a full reading of the most important documents of the Vatican since the beginning of the 18th Century until today. Then anyone shall understand the magnitude of the Earthquake that was Vatican II. Masonic ideas, Marxism and Modern Philosophy infiltrated the Catholic Church: Vatican II and the documents of Pagan Pope Francis are the result of that infiltration. Churches are empty and closing for ever. Vocations are rare. All Catholics are responsible for not paying attention to all these important sad facts.

      • Thank you for your post Pagan Pope Francis, it is good to have someone point out in detail, the heresies contained in the documents of Vatican II. It is very hard for me to read long docs, so you are a great help. Let’s not forget that Vatican II cannot be an Ecumenical council, as Ecumenical means “inhouse” exclusively, and the council had heretics, schismatics, and antichrist’s in attendence. (Why would they be invited to a Church council anyway?) Not to mention that “Pastoral” actually means changing dogmatic doctrines without changing dogmatic doctrines.

        God Bless you in Jesus+Mary+Joseph

        • The question you ask is a good question and only shows how ill-intentioned Vatican II really was: the idea was to destroy the Trent Council and Vatican I. They succeeded.
          I only pointed out some errors and heresies, some wrongdoings. There are much more.
          More than one person here are already whitewashing Vatican II, saying that the clergy before Vatican II was already feeling the sign of the times. Well, those who were in Vatican II were educated before Vatican II, already feeling the influence of Masonic ideas and Marxist ideas, but it was Vatican II that opened the doors to the wicked ideas of the world. Catholics don’t understand that the word of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the only garantee against wicked, evil, mundane ideas. The Word of God can not be changed !
          For instance, Pagan Pope Francis was made priest in the late 50’s, but it was Vatican II that configurated his mind and the minds of those who are his associates.
          About Humanae Vitae. This Encyclical’s date is 25 July 1968, about three years after Vatican II. It is the only significant good moment of Paul VI, and maybe because he was already feeling some sort of remorse about his wrongdoins in Vatican II.
          What John XXIII, Paul VI did and now Pagan Pope Francis is doing can be seen in two ways: Pure wickedness and bad education, or there was/there is some sort of blackmail behind their actions. Maybe homosexuality, or other things. Masons and Leftist Communists usually control persons through these schemes.

          • Pagan Pope Francis! You’re striving to increase dissension by your diatribes against Vatican II.
            Thus, confirming that “ the evil one” does not serve to confuse “evil doers” but manifests itself among those who do good. You’re in a no-win position , in my view.
            We are to “ become as little children”. Little children are born with pure, innocent minds. As they mature they are muddled by contentious teachings and examples foisted on them by addled adult minds.
            Consider “ pagans”…your identity.
            Since humans have lived on earth eons before any established religion, and some humans continue to dwell atop mountains or other isolated locales wherein a “ Catholic” Christian faith wasn’t proffered or known in their world, do you consider them “ unsaved”?
            In God’s Name, and in God’s mercy , we are all saved.
            Who are we to determine who are God’s friends?

          • Answer to Diane Kurtz since her comment doesn’t allow answer, I do it from my comment. You are into Religious Indifferentism and Moral Relativism. All can be saved if they repent and stop sin: this is what Our Lord Jesus Christ said to the adulterous woman. Now about Pagan Pope Francis and Vatican II, let’s go back in time.
            Pope John Paul II wanted to finish the Jesuits, unfortunately he didn’t do it. Of course he was stopped: not by one, but by many ! The result is before our eyes: a Jesuit pagan pope dismantling the Catholic Church. This pagan pope is not inventing: everything he’s doing was written down during Council Vatican II. Indeed Pagan Pope Francis was implementing Vatican II when he participated in the Pachamama ritual (see Vatican II Decree Ad Gentes, paragraph 18, on the need of the Catholic Church to be “ harmonious with the Nature” and “assimilate…ancient cultures”). And when signing The Abu Dhabi Declaration promoting Islam, Pagan Pope Francis was also implementing the Council Vatican II (see Council Vatican II Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, paragraph 16, promising Salvation to Muslims; and to other sects). These are only two examples, I could give many more.
            Pagan Pope Francis is pro-Protestant, pro-Marxist and pro-Mason and as we know he has many close friends among these sects. But Council Vatican II was also pro-Protestant, pro-Mason and pro-Marxist. All Vatican II documents are corrupted with sinful concepts of these sects. Since Roncalli announced the council until it started, about four years passed. During those four years pro-Protestant, pro-Masonic and pro-Marxist specialists worked in detail all concepts and documents to be presented in Vatican II. All documents were “cooked”, prepared, way before the commissions were formed. And when those commissions were formed the pro-Protestant, pro-Masonic, pro-Marxist controlled them. Some bishops complained that the documents were already prepared and the voting process was also controlled. From “inside” and from the Media.
            In my opinion the Council Vatican II is not valid because the process before and during the Council was done through BAD FAITH. And the Errors and invitations to Heresy in Vatican II are so many that make it impossible to take Vatican II as a serious Council.
            Roncalli and Montini are to blame. I mean, John XXIII and Paul VI are to blame. I feel that when Humanae Vitae came out and Paul VI fought for it, he already had remorse about many things in Vatican II.
            Today Pagan Pope Francis is only implementing Vatican II, and he’s good at it. He has a road book, an agenda written by the Sankt Gallen Mafia. This pagan pope is defenseless on accusations because he was ordained priest still in the 50’s, before Vatican II, but he assimilated all Errors and Heresies of Vatican II like he didn’t know the difference between right and wrong. But his preparation was made before Council Vatican II: he should know. He knew. He knows. Vatican II has all the needed engineering in itself to destroy the Catholic Church. Our Lord Jesus Christ said about the Temple in Jerusalem that it would be left without stone on stone. In the same manner today, the Catholic Church is almost dismantled. Only few faithful remain and are aware of the destruction.

      • I read the quote from Lumen Gentium, a document that I read over 50 years ago. Given the generous view the Council Fathers took where non-Christian religions are concerned, I began to wonder if a subtle relativism is at work. After all, if I can follow my spiritual vocation as a Buddhist, why bother considering Christianity? I don’t think that the Council fathers meant this, but it could be an unintended consequence of their document.

      • Pagan Pope Francis, Thank you for the observations you give us. But you list one error that we have all made. “The opening declaration of the ll Vatican Council of, by John XXlll, 1962”. From the Biography of Pope Benedict XVl one can see that this declaration was NOT the beginning of the Council but rather the Completion of Vatican Council ll. The Bishops of the world were called for October 11, 1962 for the sole purpose of the signing of the 70 Decrees of the Council. It was expected to last only 2 or 3 weeks. Enough time for the 2500 Bishops to sign all the 70 Council Decrees. The “Open windows of the Church to let the fresh air in” were the 70 Council Decrees. The Council was announced on Jan 25, 1959. The Council began on Pentecost May 17, 1959. There were over 850 Scholars and hundreds of Theologians who prepared the 70 Decrees of Vatican ll, over 2000 pages. Before October 11, 1962 St. Pope John XXlll stated, “Its a done deal” “We can now fearlessly move ahead”. Then the earthquake began. The Bishops who were gathered to finalize the Second Vatican Council, voted out the actual council of St. Pope John XXlll. These evil men were Modernist heretics. Archbishop Vigano rightly asks that the Council of the Modernists be declared illegitimate. He asks, “By what authority, by what right did they do this”. So the address of St. Pope John XXlll was not for the beginning of the Council, it was for the end of the Council.

        • Pagan Pope Francis, You need to be corrected on blaming Angelo Roncalli. Just take the chance of reading my comment of May 03, 2021 3:59 PM. What I’ve said is in the Biography of Pope Benedict XVl. Pope Saint John XXlll is to be blamed for nothing. He is to be hailed for his Second Vatican Council. We have facts coming from Pope Benedict XVl. Let’s not distort the Traditionalist truth. I can’t believe that you hold the views you presented to the Modernist Diane Kurtz.

          • I sympathize with Pope Benedict XVI but don’t agree with all he has done in the past, and certainly I don’t agree with the Hermeneutics of Continuity. Vatican II has destroyed 300 years of papal documents that rejected Modern Ideas, Modern Philosophy. Bishop Athanasius Schneider says that we can erase all errors and heresies in the documents of Vatican II. I find that very difficult to do since concepts there are all entwined. And I think that there was Bad Faith from the beginning,and before the beginning. And during the council. Bad Faith implies that it is not valid. There is one case I recall from Wiltgen’s The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber, of one cardinal, I think it was a cardinal, that was speaking on the microphone before the council explaining his ideas, he was not a Modernist, and the microphone went off. And he was not able to explain his ideas. There’s so many problems involving Vatican II ! For me it was a disaster. As I meant to say in my previous comment to you, facts are facts. Indeed there are many irregularities in Vatican II.

        • In his opening speech that you refer John XXIII says : “…the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council is being solemnly opened here beside St. Peter’s tomb.” This is fact.

          • Pagan Pope Francis, I wanted to give you a sample of just 2 Paragraphs of the Council of Pope St. John XXll, the Council of his opening speech just before the Bishops of the world were to sign the 70 Decrees of Vatican ll.

            1. The Serious Duty to Defend the Deposit

            Before God and the Redeemer of the human race, the second Holy Vatican Synod is fully aware that unless the deposit of faith is preserved pure and inviolate the Church cannot at all fulfill its heavenly mandate to teach, sanctify, and rule so that it may be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.(see mt 5:13 -14). The defense of this sacred deposit is only entrusted to individual pastors as a duty for which they will render an account to the Lord (Hb 13:17); it especially belongs to all the Bishops gathered into one apostolic group by the Spirit of Christ and under the Roman Pontiff.

            For the sacred and ecclesiastical hierarchy with its pastors and teachers was established so that we may “all attain to the unity of faith” and may no longer be children, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human wickedness, from cunning in the wiles of deceitfulness (see Eph 4:11-14). Upon this hierarchy appropriately falls the duty of which the Apostle warned Timothy: “Guard the deposit, avoiding godless novelties and the contradictions of falsely so-called knowledge, by professing which some have fallen from the faith” (1 Tm 6:20-21).

            This is just 2 Paragraphs of 2000 pages of the Second Vatican Council of St. Pope John XXlll voted out by the Modernists. We must reclaim the real Council.

        • In his opening speech that you refer John XXIII says : “…the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council is being solemnly opened here beside St. Peter’s tomb.” This is a fact.

        • Here’s the excerpt of Wiltgen’s…referred important book:
          ”When Cardinal Ottaviani reached fifteen minutes,
          Cardinal Alfrink rang the warning bell. But the speaker was so en-
          grossed in his topic that he did not notice the bell, or purposely ignored
          it. At a signal from Cardinal Alfrink, a technician switched off the
          microphone. After confirming the fact by tapping the instrument,
          Cardinal Ottaviani stumbled back to his seat in humiliation. The most
          powerful cardinal in the Roman Curia had been silenced, and the
          Council Fathers clapped with glee.” This was the spirit of Vatican II.

          • Pagan Pope Francis, I have read your comments with great interest. Just about everything you have commented on I agree with. You have great insight and I admire that. But when you blamed Angelo Roncalli who became Pope John XXlll for the mess in the Church. I most certainly have to disagree. Perhaps if you read the 5 Schemata that have been translated into English that are the Council of St. John XXlll, you will see that St. John XXlll intended a Council in line with the Council of Vatican one and the Council of Trent. They are on the internet. I too once blamed Pope John XXlll for the shipwreck in the Church. It happened because of the lies of the Modernists. They claimed the Council was that of Pope John XXlll, they attributed the words of “the open windows of the Church to let the fresh air in” to the hijacked Council. Its all been a lie, those words of Pope John XXlll were meant for his completed council. Just think 70 Vatican ll Council Decrees, 2000 pages of Documents, the 1962 Vatican ll Missal, The Apostolic Constitution on Latin. We must reclaim the Council of St. Pope John. It is of great importance to me when I learned that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was one of the architects of the Council of St. John XXlll. He said in a letter to Cardinal Ottaviani in 1966, “What we feared would happen, is now happening. Had the Council gone as planned we would have had a great Council”. We can now see that Lefebvre was never implementing the hijacked Council but rather the Council of St. Pope John XXlll, because he knew that Council only too well, as he was one of the experts who was called upon by Pope St. John XXlll to be one of the architects for the real Council. St. Pope John XXlll cannot be blamed for what happened after what I term the counterfeit Council. If we truly love the Church then we must reclaim his Council for a fruitful renewal of the Church. It would mean the end of the Modernist Heresy. And we can rebuild the Church by reclaiming all that was lost through the Counterfeit Council. God Bless in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

  7. It is hard to believe that this sort of article is still being written in 2021. For some people at least, the human mind has an infinite capacity to delude itself in the search for comfort. Nowhere outside of academia – universities, institutes, schools of theology – is this sort of nonsense still believed. The remaining members of the dwindling remnant of the Church have moved on. We know that only a radical “about face” can salvage what was lost, what was destroyed by Vatican II.

  8. “The unmasked criticisms of Vatican II tend to place the faithful, who have not acquired the theological competence to verify those criticisms for themselves, in the position of having to choose”? Maybe it is the ambiguity of the documents themselves, along with the fuzzy statements of pontiffs like Francis?

    “For this, your Patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a sure guide. When, at the Annunciation, she was confronted with the unimagined way in which God decreed to fulfill His promises—in her and through her—she responded with the question, ‘How shall this be?’ This is the paradigm for thinking within the faith.”

    So Vatican II unfolded as a riddle and a confrontation to reason along the lines of the Virgin Birth? Haha! I am not sure that proposed parallel helps Bushman’s appeal.

    As a former Protestant, Vatican II helped me appreciate the Church from the outside looking in. Yet I saw it also energized the careers of liberal theologians, and served to dilute the faith of countless cradle Catholics. We have plenty of Raymond Brown acolytes who use Dei Verbum as a hatch from which to undermine Scripture along with all the apprentices of Scott Hahn who now quote it to promote inerrancy. So while I think one can make a convincing case for the Council, lumping critics like Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Peter Kwasniewski in with the shriller voices of Taylor Marshall or Archbishop Carlo Maria seems a little much. For me, my faith in the Church would be in trouble if it depended on the truthfulness of every line of Vatican II, or the wisdom of declaring Paul VI a saint. It depends instead on the truth of Scripture, the presence of the eucharist, and the Church’s enduring existence down through generations. If that is what Bushman means when he invokes Newman’s “difficulties,” I can roll with him. But here he sounds like he is equating the authority of Vatican II with a Mormon’s conception of a living prophet. And as the past ten years have taught us, “living tradition” suds great but is a squirrelly thing.

  9. Many things can be a have been said about the Council good and bad. But why waste valuable time and energy? It failed as a way of renewal, worse yet: it precipitated a decline of Catholic faith and culture, particularly in this country like a snowball triggers an avalanche. The author of this essay must think the audience just walked off the prairie after centuries of solitude and would believe everything they hear from the speaker at this podium. If his audience did not walk out on him was due to their still intact sense of politeness. As a friend of mine used to say, the new springtime message about the Council is a dog the just won’t hunt. What ever had this man in mind saying these things?!

    • Since you clearly don’t know anything about Dr. Bushman, perhaps it would be wise to not guess what he was thinking. After all, his thoughts can be found in the essay he wrote.

      • The only thing I know about Dr. Bushman is that he’s wrong.
        V2 is a Council like Constance: the latter spread seeds that blossomed with evil flowers for the following 150 years, until Trent. Let’s see then, if history repeats itself, the Church has about a century to go of turmoil, schism and heresy before a truncated Church emerges in the springtime of the clear teaching of a “new Trent”.
        That’s where faith and hope come into play. We must have enough faith to have hope that Our Lord will guide us, our children and our grandchildren to the hour of reckoning with the modernist forces that made V2.

      • The theologians Balthasar, Ratzinger and Wojtyla interpret the Cushingite passages with a false premise. So there is a rupture with Tradition 

        The Council is traditional notwithstanding who were there. Vatican Council II can be interpreted in harmony with Tradition even though Balthasar, Ratzinger and Wojtyla were there in 1965.There are the conservative passages in Vatican Council II which support the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus(EENS) and there are the ‘controversial passages’ which when interpreted rationally do  not contradict the conservative passages.
        The conservative passages I refer to, as Feeneyite passages.The  controversial passages I call Cushingite passages.Balthasar, Ratzinger and Wojtyla interpret the Cushingite passages with a false premise. So there is a rupture with Tradition.
         I interpret the Cushingite passages without the false premise. So they do not contradict the Feeneyite passages for me. They do not contradict EENS.The Feeneyite and Cushingite passages in  Vatican Council II are a continuity with Tradition. There is no hermeneutic of rupture for me. Since I have identified the source of the problem and know how to avoid it. 

  10. I have been confused by the comments of some Catholics questioning the legitimacy of Vatican II. Dipping into Gaudium et Spes recently I was astonished to read the robust defence of the Church’s teaching on contraception in a manner that clearly looked forward to Paul VI and Humanae Vitae. I am beginning to wonder how real is the faith of these “Traditionalist” Catholics who will travel 50 miles to a Latin Mass while sneering at the novus ordo churches on the way. They seem to forget they are supposed to be attending a sacrifice, not a personal satisfaction event (“balm for the soul”, said one). This article has helped to steady the wobbles I have had about the Council with so many apparently good people criticising it.

    • Lionel Hanaghan, You have absolutely no understanding of what a Traditionalist is, or how he thinks, or why he thinks the way he does. I’m a Traditionalist and being a Traditionalist means living for the greater Glory and Honor of God, in the Hope of attaining to Eternal Life with Him. Is this possible with Vatican ll? NO!

      • Thank you for your reply. I think you have just proved my point. I was talking factually – Traditionalists are constantly asserting their superiority over the rest of us; their disdain for us is visible in many places in the Catholic media. They seem obsessed with ad orientem and communion in the hand.

        • Lionel Hanaghan, You say I proved your point, rather it is you who proved my point. You know nothing about Traditionalists. We do not assert our superiority over anyone. We do not disdain non-Traditionalists. Its all about GOD! I say with charity, like most of us you have been tainted with the effects of the Modernist heresy, that’s what Vatican ll has done to us.

          We Traditionalists disdain heresy, not the heretics whom we pray for. St. Pius X officially condemned the heresy of Modernism. But man ignored the condemnation. That heresy has brought the “Great Apostacy” foretold in scripture into the Church. With us Traditional Catholics, we are aiming to restore God back into His Church. Its no secret that the Vatican ll Church dethroned God. It is He who is our Creator, it is He who knew us by name before the world was made. It is He who is Master of all that is created, etc… Its not about us. It is about Almighty “God whom we all live for” as Our Lady of Guadalupe instructed Man. We Traditional Catholics are on the path of “Knowing God, Loving God and SERVING God”, as the Catechism of Jesus Christ instructs us. And in this is our burning desire desire for the salvation of souls, which leads us to shout from the rooftops the Truth as taught by the Holy Roman Catholic Church. And it is Your type that DISDAINS US for it. In short, its ALL about God and not us. Lay down the Modernist heresy and surrender to the Thrice Holy God!

        • Jeffrey, That I need to do a lot more studying is the truth. That is what we must all do in this moment, and I will no longer look at things through the Modernist heretics lens. But by the facts shown by Traditionalists. We are many and we are increasing in numbers. We are by virtue of our Sacrament of Confirmation an army of Soldiers of Christ. The Battle for Gods One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. May God the Creator and master of all he created be Praised and Glorified for all Eternity. May all the errors of us men be abolished.

  11. There was a reason for the summoning of Vatican II. When the cultural supports of the “good old days” of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s disappeared, so too did the faith of those catechized in those years. The so called Greatest Generation abandoned their faith as the culture unraveled beginning in the late 50s. They thought it more important that their Baby Boom children become lawyers and doctors rather than faithful Catholics. Returning to an imaginary Golden Era is a retreat into the self, a deformed self that worships a Golden Calf of its own making.

    • Jad, Living in the Golden Era of the pre-Vatican ll Church. It is done the way St. Pope John XXlll suggested it. That is to follow and obey the Fulness of Truth in an undiluted form. Receiving from God Graces and Mercy through the unchangeable Missal of St. Pius V which produced countless of Saints.

    • My project is Fr. Owen Francis Dudley (d. 1952): as a result I read a lot of books, and newspaper articles from that period. It seems to me that it is we who are living in an imaginary Golden Era and worshiping a Golden Calf of our own making. I see no evidence that they were the benighted fools that we like to pretend.

      Christ told us to judge by fruits, but of course we are so far advanced from Christ: we know about “post hoc ergo propter hoc”! But what if we really don’t know more than Christ, and since He was talking about religious matters, we really can judge by fruits, because God is all powerful.

      In any event, how many souls have been saved by our endless debates about Vatican II? In round numbers, I would say 0…which, after all, is a pretty round number.

      • Stephen Augustine, An imaginary Golden era. It was there, but Modernism had already destroyed the faith of millions. The perfect Church was indeed there but there was a great loss of Faith. St. Pope John XXlll did not change what is the imaginary Golden Era. Imaginary because the Faith was there but the faithful were not. The Council of St. John XXlll with the 70 Vatican ll Decrees, the 1962 Missal and the Apostolic Constitution on Latin was meant to open the windows of the Church and let the fresh air of heaven in, it was a renewed look and acceptance of the Spiritual Riches of the Faith. It held the promise of a new springtime. But the Council of St. John XXlll was voted out. I saw about 10 years ago an interview on TV with an aged Cardinal who had this to say, “At the end of the first session of the Council, Pope John XXlll called his closest Cardinal collaborators together. I know because I was one of them. Pope John called on us to think of a way to gracefully end the Council as he saw trouble ahead”. It is recorded that Pope John XXlll’s last words were “End the Council! End the Council!”. Pope Pius Xl called for the Second Vatican Council. But then was informed that the Modernists were very happy and were already starting to make plans. Pope Pius Xl then scrapped the Council. Ven. Pope Pius Xll also called for the Second Vatican Council. He had a lot of work already started. Suddenly he too scrapped the Council saying it was an inopportune time for a Council. Then St. Pope John XXlll called for the Council, it was done without the presence of the worlds Bishops, the Bishops were kept informed and were given the chance to give their input. When the Council was finished the words of Pope John were, “Its a done deal. Now we can fearlessly move ahead” The Bishops of the world were called to Rome for October 11, 1962, not to begin the Council but to finalize it with the signature of each Bishop on all 70 Decrees on the Council. That is why it was expected to last only 2 to 3 weeks. It was the end of the Council and the beginning of the new springtime. A certain Bishop at the gathering asked for the microphone, he was told it was against the rules. He grabbed the microphone anyway and that is when the Completed Council of St. Pope John XXlll was “hijacked”, his council was voted out. Modernist heretics took over and since then like the serpent have caused the ruin of souls. The Council of the Modernists is a complete failure and I detest it. I want the real Council of Pope John XXlll reclaimed. Most of this can be found in the newly released Biography of Pope Benedict XVl. Don’t knock it till you’ve read it. God Bless!

          • Athanasius, There is a “Golden Era”. It began on the first Pentecost Sunday 2000 years ago. Man in union with the serpent has been trying to destroy the New Golden era for 2000 years. The Church is intact, it cannot be destroyed, Man today has only obscured it with the Modernist heresy. Our Lady has already crushed the head of the serpent and she crushes all heresies. She is now going to crush the Modernist heresy to oblivion. I believe that the Biography of Pope Benedict XVl is the work of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For the purpose of ushering in Her Triumph. God Bless and Protect His Holiness Pope Benedict XVl

  12. Despite my misgivings about Vatican II, I do not think it should be overturned, as it would set a bad precedent. What next? The First Vatican Council? Trent? Nicea? Where will it stop? This is especially the case since many of the abuses blamed for the decline of the Church (turning our back to the Lord during Mass, the removal of Latin from the Liturgy, Communion in the hand, the watering down of doctrine and catechesis) have no basis in the Church documents themselves.

    I tend to agree with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, in that a future Pope should specifically address those parts of the documents of the Council that are ambiguous, and then restate the correct Catholic position.

    • Chris, When St. John Paul the Great was elevated to the Papacy he said, “The Church is always in need of reform and I shall continue to reform it according to Vatican ll”. Among the first things he done was to order Nuns back to the Habit. He ordered priests to wear the Cassock again. He started the restoration of the Vatican ll 1962 Missal. Pope Benedict issued Summorum Pontificum permanently restoring the 1962 Vatican ll Missal of Pope John XXlll. Pope Benedict started to use the throne of Peter again, he also brought back the rich vestments of the Church’s 2000 year history. Most important of all, these Popes called for the “Reform of the Reforms”, they intended to reform the serpents V2 Council. Wouldn’t you say that these two great Popes were implementing the real Council of St. Pope John XXlll?

      • In 2016 Peter Seewald published an interview with Emeritus Pope Benedict, entitled “Last Testament” (Bloomsbury Publishing). In it, Benedict covers the same ground you find so new in the new biography by the same journalist.

        Benedict explains (in part, pp. 119-142) his desire at the Council “to clarify the proper relationship between Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium, so that this relationship could really be understood and justified. That was then picked up” (p. 132). For this clarification, he was known as a “liberal”, but other “liberals” were intent more on actually severing the Church in history from the Magisterium (Hans Kung is mentioned as among those with this agenda and, therefore, as working directly with the media… “He was certainly able to shape the opinions of bishops along the way, but he did not take part in working on the texts,” Benedict, p.136).

        And so, with Benedict, we have the aggiornamento (“todaying”, not simplistically updating) and the ressourcement (going to sources, in Scripture and the Church Fathers) of the “real” Council, versus the “virtual” council portrayed by others of the “progressive wing”, intent, for example, in fully overturning even the neo-scholastic style, for example, with modernist sociology (think we now of Germania and the “synodal path?”). Again, might the chaos that has come after the Council be distinguished from the actual actions and (less-than-perfect) texts of the Council as a legitimate Council indwelled by the Holy Spirit, rather than not?

        But, why retain such an informed distinction, such clarity, when we now have self-authenticated armchair experts intent, instead, on marketing “the serpents V2 Council” (sic).

        As for the controverted speech at the beginning of the Council (the speech by Cardinal Frings on Nov. 19, 1961; actually, written by his theological advisor Ratzinger, and the follow-up, so-called “coup meeting” of October 15, 1962, a term which Benedict rejects), “Cardinal Frings later had intense pangs of conscience. But he always had an awareness that what we actually said and put forward was right, and also had to happen. We handled things correctly, even if we certainly did not correctly assess the political consequences and the actual repercussions. One thought too much of theological matters then, and did not reflect on how these things would come across” (Benedict, p. 142).

        Angelo, among your avid readers are those of us who are simply more inclined to accept Benedict XVI’s own portrayal of his views (e.g., the above) over your terminal fixation and branding of the Council as “counterfeit”, based on only the early days of the real and whole Council.

        To “reclaim” this Council (Pope St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, the 1985 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, etc.), then, refers to retrieving Vatican II itself from the termites, and not to reincarnating the initial schemas which your/our and the Church’s Benedict himself, had a key hand in revising. Not to mention, the real Council itself.

        This writer is no expert on this stuff, but simply proposes that Benedict XVI knows his own mind on these matters.

        • Peter D. Beaulieu, Pope Benedict XVl says he still has qualms about taking part in the ousting of the Second Vatican Council of St. Pope John XXlll. There is no remedy for the counterfeit Council. The Counterfeit Council was a grave act of evil. Archbishop Marcel Lefevre in a letter to Cardinal Otaviani in 1966 stated, “Had the Council had gone as planned, we would have had a great Council”. We cannot any longer deny that the counterfeit Council was from satan himself. It was diabolical that the Council of St. Pope John XXlll was “hijacked”. I wonder why Pope Benedict XVl gave so much hard hitting facts to Seewald. Is he trying to call on Catholics to wake up to reality? I truly believe we are on the path to reclaiming the Council that would open the windows of the Church to let the fresh air in. And it would result in throwing the Modernist heresy out that open window. An expert I am not, and it is obvious. I am just a man who loves the Bride of Christ, who will no longer stand to see Her abused by the wolves. Or rather by devil incarnates. We can no longer pretend that the counterfeit Council came from God, it was from the devil himself. The pangs of conscience and the qualms, according to St. Catherine of Sienna always comes from the evil one. The time of playing pretend is over.

          • Nevertheless, the term “counterfeit” (as in “a fraudulent imitation of something else; a forgery”.) is your airbrush invention. Not Benedict’s. A seriously flawed council is one thing; a non-existent council (“counterfeit”) is quite another.

            We need not concede the entire Council to a grinning Satan in order to now address its flaws. Consider the not-quite-counterfeit role of John XXIII himself in continuing the Council:

            “The question being put to the vote [the Frings presentation] was very complicated. Those who wanted new things had to vote no. And those who wanted old things, had to vote yes. Anyway it was a very close vote. Those who won were those who wanted to stay with the original schema [the ‘tipping-point’ schema on Revelation]. So from a legal perspective there was a very slight majority in favour of maintaining the first draft of the text. But then Papa Giovanni [himself! John XXIII] saw that the majority was too thin to be viable, and decided that the vote should be reopened […]” (Benedict, in Seewald, 2016).

            Your grievances about the fallout since 1965 are not contested here, only your gratuitous and self-congratulatory branding of the 21st Ecumenical Council as “counterfeit,” as not a real council. (Spin cycle here, back to Benedict’s own distinction between this “real” council and the “virtual” council.)

            Perhaps we can agree that those who “love the [violated] Bride of Christ” are now called to “reclaim” her from the ditch and tend to her wounds. This, instead of very simply (!) moving to the other side of the road and dismissing her (the conciliar Church) where she is today as a “counterfeit.”

          • St. Pope John XXlll called all the Bishops of the world to come to Rome for October 11, 1962. Only to sign the 70 Decrees of Vatican ll. And for no other reason. His Council by an act of evil, evil which is always from the evil one, was over turned by men who had no authority to do so. Then they created their own Council that brought unbridled destruction to Christs Church, unbridled because the destruction continues and its getting worse. By all that transpired I can find no other term to use but the Counterfeit Council that replaced the Council of St. John XXlll. If you have a different way of using the term Counterfeit then I would certainly appreciate you telling me. Please no Modernist sweet and sugary terms. Lets stop pretending that a bad Council with bad effects happened. Its all around us.

            I have no reason to congratulate myself for speaking the known truth. How did you invent such a thing?

          • Some might ask: How did [I] invent such a thing” [your self-congratulatory tone in myopically reporting the more complete contents of Seewald’s “Benedict XVI: A Life”, 2020]? Invent?

            As in Seewald’s earlier “Testament” (2016), Benedict distinguishes between the “real” council and the (same) “virtual” council marketed by Kung et al for media consumption. Benedict’s goal was/is to clarify the relationship between Scripture/Tradition and the Magisterium, while the goal of the revolutionaries was/is to view Scripture/ Tradition/Magisterium through the slippery “signs of times.”

            But, with Benedict, what is the transcendent Truth as compared to our lesser “knowledge” of the Truth? Of the initial and watershed schema on Revelation, Ratzinger explained: “But the language we have here does not go to the depth. It operates on the level of our human knowledge. But on the level of being [!], there is only one single source, which is revelation itself, the Word of God. And it is very regrettable that there is nothing, almost nothing, said about it in this schema” (2020, p. 402).

            What followed was a vulnerable (and later exploited) council, but not a “counterfeit” council as proclaimed in Andrew’s comments (proclaimed, as he says, to not only his family and friends, but ALSO to a surely waiting audience, on this international website).

            Tragically, the Council efforts to defend the very same Christ as does Andrew Angelo is selectively misconstrued as a repudiation of that (yes, imperfect) Council itself. How to be St. Augustine’s resident aliens, but also St. Thomas Aquinas’ “pilgrims” by our very nature [!], without genuflecting to historicism?

            The lasting contribution from Andrew Angelo, I submit, is the welcome prod for the inquisitive reader to study ALL of Seewald’s very thorough “Benedict XVI: A Life–Vol. I” (2020). Where Benedict concludes: “To make clear what we really want and what we don’t want. That is the task I have undertaken since 1965.”

            Volume II (2021)—following the real Council (1962-5) and to the present–is eagerly awaited.

  13. Most of the comments about this article are hostile. One refers to the errors and heresies of Vatican II. It would inform this discussion if one of the critics could point to a particular error or heresy in any of the documents of Vatican II.

    The Council published sixteen official texts. Each text has numbered paragraphs. It should therefore be easy for a critic to identify a particular error or heresy by reference to the title, chapter and paragraph number.

    For the moment, I do not believe that you will be able to successfully identify an error or heresy in any of the texts. But I have an open mind and await developments.

    • Absolutely, Observer. It is extremely frustrating to me to see presumably committed Catholics characterizing a Church council as heretical without providing chapter and verse on what specific errors were made.

      The problems that have taken place in the Church following Vatican II are hardly prima facie evidence that the council promulgated error. Indeed, we cannot logically say that the problems in the Church over the past fifty years would not have been worse without the council.

      Speaking for myself, the documents of Vatican II saved my faith. I read them in the early 1970s, when I was in full rebellion against my parents and everything I had been taught during my very long and somewhat sketchy Catholic education.

      What I found there made total sense to me — about the nature of humanity and the human individual, about God’s plan for the world, and about the role of the Church. Reading those pages, I was invigorated. The insights I uncovered ended my search for a faith tradition to commit myself to.

      (Incidentally, John Wesley was my favorite of the Protestant thinkers I was surveying at the time. Actually, more precisely, I thought Wesley was the only Protestant founder not completely off his nut.)

      Anyway, I have always been amused by the hand-wringing about the ludicrous “spirit of Vatican II” nonsense that’s been going on since the council ended. None of that “spirit” stuff was ever pronounced or promoted by Vatican II.

      And it is just as frustrating is seeing people rhapsodize about the pre-Vatican II Church. The Church I saw in the 1950s was operating pretty much on fumes, with the faithful fulfilling their duties by habit, without much question, discussion or thought.

      I called the Baltimore Catechism we learned in school the “Because I Said So” Catechism, since that was about as much explanation it contained.

      The John Paul II catechism published in the early 1990s is, by contrast, a precious gem that explains the origins and purpose of the Church’s teachings concisely, in terms that laymen like me can understand.

      Yes, clearly, the Church has seen better times than these. But I would submit that the fault lies not in Vatican II, but in ourselves.

      Indeed, I would further submit that the solution to our problems as a Church are contained in the pages of the documents of Vatican II.

      And I thank Mr. Bushman for his very spirited and finely crafted defense of them.

      From where I sit, those who continue to target Vatican II are guilty of arguing against a straw man — or, if you prefer, a straw council. Because, as far as I can tell, the council they’re talking about never existed.

      • “Anyway, I have always been amused by the hand-wringing about the ludicrous “spirit of Vatican II” nonsense that’s been going on since the council ended. None of that “spirit” stuff was ever pronounced or promoted by Vatican II.”

        That’s the point. Those of us who complain about the “spirit stuff” are (and were) told “Well, that wasn’t in the Council.”

        However:

        The people who inflicted the “spirit stuff” on us pretended that it was.
        The people who pushed the “spirit stuff” used ambiguously phrased things from the documents of the Council as backing.

        “And it is just as frustrating is seeing people rhapsodize about the pre-Vatican II Church. The Church I saw in the 1950s was operating pretty much on fumes, with the faithful fulfilling their duties by habit, without much question, discussion or thought.”

        At least they were fulfilling their duties. And it is not necessary to question or discuss in order to accept the Faith. And how do you know they weren’t thinking? Because they weren’t talking about it to you?

        “I called the Baltimore Catechism we learned in school the “Because I Said So” Catechism, since that was about as much explanation it contained.”

        Whereas, of *course* what they should have provided was a complete course in theology for each person in his early childhood. The Baltimore Catechism starts with simple questions and answers and builds from there, each of the books longer and with more information. And there were plenty of other books available to help those who wanted to explore further, building on the lessons they had already learned.

        The Baltimore Catechism which you so blithely dismiss was replaced by fluffy puffy clouds-and-rainbows, insubstantial, saccharine books that conveyed almost no information about the Faith; or, worse, undermined it.

        • Leslie!

          You make fair points. I just think it’s a shame more people haven’t read the Vatican II documents.

          If they had, the innovators who have been pushing for ordaining dogs or replacing the church organ with musical saws “because it’s in keeping with the spirit of Vatican II” would be exposed as the frauds they are.

          I don’t deny that the rainbows and unicorns you describe exist. They certainly do, along with liturgical dance and polka Masses and multifarious other Worship-a-looza type “innovations”.

          I just heartily object to associating those cringeworthy oddities with Vatican II, which — agreeing with Mr. Bushman here — actually succeeded admirably in doing what it set out to do, which was to clarify the role of the Church in today’s world.

          I suspect that you and I agree that the churches built in the seventies or eighties that contain statues that look like more like stalactites than saints are depressing and ugly.

          Where we differ is that I don’t think they have anything at all to do with Vatican II.

    • Observer 70, Their are passages in the Council texts that are heretical, I’ll point out just one. The Documents say, “Catholics and Muslims worship the same God”. This is a blatant heresy that has been Dogmatically decreed to be a heresy. We do not worship the same God. The prayers of the Muslims are only human prayers, wile the prayers of Catholics are supernatural by virtue of our Baptism. The Muslims reject Jesus Christ as God made man. They reject the Sacraments that Christ gave us and so on. That we Catholics and Muslims worship the same God has long been declared a heresy. There you have but one of the heresies of Vatican ll.

      • I’m not expert on the Muslim religion but don’t those same arguments hold for Jews?
        Are we to believe that Jews worship a different God?

        • No, actually. Island’s doctrine of God is qualitatively different than Judeo-Christian theology in that regard. This is particularly true for the Muslim understanding of divine sovereignty.

        • mrscracker, The Holy Catholic Church teaches that any religion that is not Catholic, worships a false God. That is the reason why Catholics are not allowed to pray with non-Catholics. The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith is the one true religion established by Christ himself. Although many Protestants are truly Baptized they do not possess the fullness of Truth. They reject some or all the Sacraments. They reject many Dogmatic Teachings. The Catholic Church is Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. This is what the real Council of St. Pope John XXlll was all about. “The fullness of Truth in an undiluted form” Both St. John XXlll and St. John Paul the Great taught this as the Rock solid Truth.

      • Andrew!

        You’re not quoting accurately. The question of whether Muslims and Catholics worship the same God is a nuanced one.

        Here’s a snip taken from a 2014 article written by Tim Staples that is published in catholic.com:

        <<>>

        I fear, Andrew, that you are not doing the documents of Vatican II justice. Please at least provide a citation so we can review the context.

        • brineyman, The heretical passage, “Catholics and Muslims worship the same God” is in fact in the official 16 Documents of Vatican ll. The Dogmatic teaching that we do not worship the same God is in the Church’s Dogmatic teachings. I do no injustice to your Vatican ll, rather I do Justice only to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

  14. It is pointless, not to say disingenuous – oh, what the heck, I’ll say disingenuous – to defend the Second Vatican Council without paying any attention at all to “the spirit of Vatican II.”

    That would be the spirit that
    Stripped Latin from the Mass
    Stripped the Mass of most of the sacred language
    Cheered on a lousy translation even of that more mundane wording
    Discouraged and sneered at traditional acts of piety
    Maimed old churches by removing the items that had always supported the faith of the congregations – statues, altars, altar rails, even crucifixes – and building new churches without those things, thus turning churches into cold, alien, unwelcoming buildings that bore a strong resemblance to sports arenas. Or
    refrigerators.
    Removed the Tabernacle from the altar to any old place.
    Introduced happy-clappy, hippy-dippy worldly tripe as music at Mass.
    Encouraged disobedience by rewarding it, and always in the direction of the modern. “Holy Communion is to be received on the tongue. Oh, wait, you’ve disobeyed that and now whine that it’s a general practice and to change it would be just so terrible. Well, okay, now you have permission to do it” is just one example. Altar girls is another.
    Refrained from disciplining people who had “theological competence” and used it to spread heresy among college students and others.

    No, the documents of Vatican II didn’t call for any of those things. And nobody with “theological competence” defended the faithful from those things.

    • No, the documents of Vatican II didn’t call for any of those things. And nobody with “theological competence” defended the faithful from those things.

      And there, I would argue, is the key point. Bushman shouldn’t have to address the fake “spirit of Vatican II” in an address/essay on how to think about the real Council. That wasn’t his goal. Besides, plenty of books and essay have addressed the many wrong-headed or even horrific things done in the name of the Council.

      • Carl: good points. Can you recommend one of those books? There seems to be such a deep discrepancy between the Council’s stated intentions and its observable outcomes. It would be helpful to think through that question carefully.

        • A popular-level, older book worth seeking out is What Went Wrong With Vatican II: The Catholic Crisis Explained by the late Ralph McInerny, published by Sophia in 1998. More recently, and more involved, is Vatican II: Renewal within Tradition, edited by Matthew L Lamb and Matthew Levering. There are others.

          • A very traditional Byzantine Rite (Catholic) archimandrite proposed this to me:

            “Traditional-ISM is the dead faith of the living; TRADITION is the living faith of the dead.”

          • Good on you for suggesting some books. Thank you. I like Ralph McInerny’s writing – not familiar with the Leverings, yet.

            Being a little facetious here:

            This is like trying to get a fat foot into an old dried up leather shoe.
            The replies are supplying the oil to soften the leather. Well, at least people are engaging. So far no broken glass.

        • If you read no other book, “The Second Vatican Council” — An Unwritten Story,” by Prof. Roberto de Mattei, summarises each document (I can’t get through their stultifying language, myself) which is worth the cost of the book alone,
          However he then says who and why and what the agenda was for proposing approving, (or throwing out) each document. It’s an eyeopener, as the author had access to the journals, letters, and some interviews with people who were there, years after the fact and much hidden sculduggery came to light. Cardinal Mueller recommended this book.

      • The problem I have with this “real Council” vs. “false spirit” argument is simply that the same prelates who approved the documents of Vatican II also implemented them in their respective dioceses, leading to our present shipwreck. If those who read and signed the documents “misinterpreted” them, what possible value could these documents have?

        • I see your point, Timothy. I wonder if the explanation is that the false spirit folks were organized and duplicitous and pushed through their implementations that way, a little at a time.

          Sort of like political life these days, seems to me.

        • Dr. Williams, if the Council documents were vague in places, that let them open to interpretation, correct?

          Et similiter intellectus species, corporum, quae sunt materiales et mobiles, recipit immaterialiter et immobiliter, secundum modum suum, nam receptum est in recipiente per modum recipientis (ST I Q.84 a.1).

          Interpretation is, then, subjective. If you had a modernist bishop, he’d read the ambiguity one way. If you did not have a modernist bishop, he’d read the ambiguity another way.

      • And there have been excellent and illuminating books on the theological foundations of Vatican II, by Fathers Thomas Guarino and Aidan Nichols. Reviews of these and great articles by Douglas Farrow and Father Thomas Weinhardy on Vatican II debates have appeared in Catholic World Report in just the last 18 months I believe.

    • Thank you Leslie. I don’t know how many dreadful innovations and destruction of beautiful sacred spaces have been defended as being done in the “spirit of Vatican II”.
      Argh…

    • Leslie, The Council Documents didn’t outright say those things but they were certainly intended by the ambiguous language of many of the evil Council Fathers. They made many proposals that were outright condemned, but after the Council they went out and did what was condemned in the name of the spirit of Vatican ll. Think of this, before the Council even ended 350 Council Fathers gathered at the Catacombs of St. Domitilla in Rome. There they signed a Document of what they planned to do after the Council. They signed a Document of the damage they planned for the Church. The Council Documents were deliberately written in ambiguous language, they did this for what they really planned as Vatican ll. Bishop Athanasius Scheider said that with the ambiguous language anyone who reads the Council Documents can make it mean whatever they wanted. So in a way all you state was in the Council, some were cryptic words to justify the evil they planned. So what do you think of the Council now? These are just tid bits of the evil that went on.

      • Leslie, All the errors you mentioned were intended by the Council Fathers. In the “Rhine flows into the Tiber” one reads of a Council Father who made the suggestion at the Council, to scrap the whole Church and start brand new. Cardinal Ottaviani blasted him for saying that. St. Pope Paul Vl called on that Council Father and ordered him to never make such a suggestion again. Yet after the Council that is what the Modernists tried to do. In the 70’s and 80’s they went on and on about “New Wine into New Wineskins”, they were talking about scrapping the Church and starting all over again. My point is all the errors of Modernism began to take shape at Vatican ll. The Council Documents may not have them written into the Documents but many of the Council Fathers intended to do all the evil they had proposed and it was done in the name of “The spirit of Vatican ll”. And now Bergoglio tells us we must accept all the errors or we are outside the Church, too late, we don’t buy that kind of talk anymore. Such were the men who overthrew the traditional Council of St. Pope John XXlll. Now with the biography of Pope Benedict XVl we have the tools to overthrow the Modernist Heresy and bring back the real Vatican ll of St. John XXlll.

  15. The condemned heresy of Modernism is what tore the Church apart. My Baptism into Christ is being defended by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Taylor Marshall and Archbishop Vigano. They do not call attention to themselves but are faithful to the Christ of our Baptism. Vatican ll must be declared illegitimate. St. Pope John XXlll announced the Second Vatican Council on Jan, 25, 1959.The Second Vatican Council began on Pentecost May 17, 1959. With over 850 Scholars and 100’s of Theologians. All the Bishops in the world were included. They were given the opportunity to respond. From the Second Vatican Council we got 70 Decrees, the reformed Missal called the Missal of 1962. There is an Apostolic Constitution that deals with Latin, signed by St. Pope John XXlll on the Altar of St. Peters Basilica. For the end of the Council all the Bishops of the world were called to Rome for October 11, 1962 to finalize the Council with the signature of each Bishop. It was to last 2 or 3 weeks. This was to be the end of the Council with 70 Decrees full of no nonsense reaffirmations of the Fullness of Truth, unambiguously proclaimed. Then satan took over, a Bishop demanded the microphone, he was told NO, that it was against the rules. In an act of disobedience he took the microphone and then began the hijacking of the Council of St. Pope John XXlll. They voted the whole Second Vatican Council out. They had a better way to conduct a Council. All of this information can be found in the recently released English Edition of Pope Benedict XVl’s Biography. In short there were in fact 2 Second Vatican Councils. The real Council voted out and a counterfeit Council that was a Modernist takeover. They trashed the Council of St. John XXll. “What goes around, comes around” I now trash the Council of the Modernist Heretics who have destroyed the Church with their Counterfeit Council.

  16. “Bushman shouldn’t have to address the fake “spirit of Vatican II” in an address/essay on how to think about the real Council. ”

    I think that most of the people who are accused of “not accepting Vatican II” are actually not accepting only “the spirit of Vatican II.” Those wrong-headed or even horrific things were done in the name of the Council; and nobody protected us from them. Therefore Bushman should have addressed it.

  17. “I am beginning to wonder how real is the faith of these “Traditionalist” Catholics who will travel 50 miles to a Latin Mass while sneering at the novus ordo churches on the way.” Well, if you create a straw man, you have every right to torch it, I suppose. But we have every right to call you an ignorant bigot.

    • Timothy Williams, You claim every right to call us Traditionalists ignorant bigots. I then call all Modernists insane in the first degree, not true Catholics as they are excommunicated Latae Sentenciae for holding to a condemned heresy. Before I became a Traditionalist the Novus Ordo Church HAD NOTHING TO OFFER ME!!! When I started traveling to a Tridentine Mass, that is when I discovered God. They ran their Chapels like the Second Vatican Council of St. John XXlll. The Novus Ordo Church had nothing to offer me and it still doesn’t. Perhaps you should try Traditional Catholicism for a rude awakening. You may even want to take the Traditional life and enjoy the peace God grants through it.

        • Tyler Lefebvre, I didn’t misunderstand that Dr. Williams called me as a Traditionalist an “Ignorant bigot”. Of course we’ve been called worse and I ask why? Actually I know why, Modernists have programmed people that way. We are not defending ourselves, we are defending Truth as the Holy Trinity teaches us through His Holy Roman Catholic Church. I must say it is Dr. Williams who is an “Ignorant bigot” when it comes to Traditionalists. Why such bigotry against Traditionalists, of which I really don’t care why, but I ask?

          Tyler Levebvre through the lens a Traditionalist, how do you understand Dr. Williams comment?

      • I was responding to Lionel Hanaghan’s slander (above) against Traditionalists, of whom I am one (as are all real Catholics). Not sure how my comment ended up way down here.

        • Timothy J. Williams, I am deeply sorry. I really thought you were calling me an ignorant Bigot. With Seans comment I now see I surely was mistaken. I have been reading so much lately that I am starting to lose track of paying attention as I should. Sean, Thanks, I really need to take in that deep breath. This subject is the culmination of 43 of my 61 years battling error against Truth. I hope both of you can understand my over excitement as this is the most important moment in my life. Yes, I love Holy Mother the Church that much.

      • Please god take me back to 1920 or 1930. Please may i take communion on my kness from a priest only. Please save us from eucharist ministers who do what priests should only do. Please no more clapping . Please save us from bushman olson catholic world report.

        • Srubin, Your are correct, but we don’t need to go back to the 1920’s or 30’s. We must live in 2021. In the great battle against the Modernist Heresy and their false Vatican ll. The real Council of St. John XXlll was illegally voted out. His Council was so Traditional that the Council Fathers who were Modernists voted it out and we must reclaim it.

          “Eucharistic Ministers”, that term was condemned by St. John Paul the Great. He said they are “Extraordinary Eucharistic ministers”, and said it was only a temporary solution that would be only for a time. Rules were made and they have been disobeyed by Modernists.

          “Clapping” Pope Benedict XVl condemned this practice and ordered an immediate end to it. But of course Modernists disobey. Disobedience is the mark of Modernist heretics. We must reclaim our Church.

        • Srubin, I forgot to add, bushmans ideas on Vatican ll does not exist in the Council. His views are great but they have nothing to do with the Vatican ll we got. Archbishop Vigano has called for Vatican ll to be declared illegitimate because they threw out the actual completed Council of St. John XXlll. He asked “By what authority, by what right did they do this?”

  18. At the counterfeit Council there were 450 Traditionalist Council Fathers who fiercely battled for the Church, the Holy Ghost was in them but the Progressives won. Won the destruction of our Holy Catholic Faith.

    Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre walked out of one session yelling at the Bishops, “You will destroy the Church!!! You will destroy the Church!!!”

    Cardinal Ottaviani after one of his proposed texts was dismissed, sternly said to the rest of the Bishops with disappointment, “I don’t look forward to hearing the usual litanies from all of you. Litanies such as, it’s not ecumenical and it’s too scholastic. It’s not pastoral and too negative and suchlike complaints. This time I want to tell you something: Those who are long accustomed to saying “Take it away and replace it”, are already equipped for battle. And I’ll tell you something else: even before this schema was distributed, an alternative schema had been prepared. So all that remains for me to be silent. For as scripture says: when no one is listening it is pointless to speak.”

    So there were great Traditionalists (and that’s what they called themselves) at the Council. The greatest of the Traditionalists Pope John XXlll was dying. Rorate Caeli ran an article on we Traditionalists reclaiming St. John XXlll as our own. He is not the Pope of the Modernist heretics as we’ve been led astray to believe. I wish we knew more of the battles for the Liberty and Exaltation of Holy Mother Church at the counterfeit Council.

  19. This is the most lucid reflection on how to make sense of Vatican II I’ve read in years. Thank you Douglas Bushman. I’m smiling when even here in the comment section I’m seeing the “grumbling” the essay talks about on the part of those who reject Vatican II or those who are the disloyal and disrespectful bashers of the reining Pope.

    • When I saw your pseudonym of “Pope Francis the Greater,” I thought you were satirizing the Pope. Now I realize you are serious, which means you are quite delusional. Very telling who defends Vatican II! May the blessings of Pachamama be upon you!

  20. It is time to accept that Fr Fessio and all he has wrought over the decades amount to a confident relentless and joyful surrender to what an earlier and now outdated, unfashionable, and utterly ignorable Magisterial document called the synthesis of all heresies.

    I wasted a lot of money on your industrious labors over the decades.

    I regret every penny of it.

  21. The need to deal with the “spirit of Vatican II” is that it is very evangelistic. Probably more evangelistic than the true Council. How effectively has the Church countered this New Evangelization of the “spirit of Vatican II”? A number of clerical bad eggs got promoted during the post-Vatican II era. These bad eggs appear to be trying to subvert the work of St. JPII and B16.
    *
    In the USA “Catholic” politicians feel free to thumb their noses at historic Church teaching, all the while receiving Holy Communion. Whose teaching is a poorly catechized Catholic going to believe, a fellow pewsitter who knows their faith or the faith professed by the “Catholic” politicians who get lots of fawning media coverage? People like Cardinal Gregory, by giving Holy Communion, are pretty much admitting in public that the gospel of the world as preached by these “Catholic” politicians is no problem. Too many members of the USA Church hierarchy actively run interference for these “Catholic” politicians. There are clergy out there who will say that 2+2=5. I thought that the glory of Apostolic Succession is that the Church is the sure guide of faith. If so, many in the USA Church hierarchy are not living up to their Apostolic duties. St. Paul and St. Clement were both willing to administer fraternal correction to the Church at Corinth. In the New Evangelization who has the back of the lay evangelist? This article assumes too much literacy. In today’s world you can’t assume faith literacy.
    *
    In the building trades there is such a thing as a building as per blueprints and a building as built. The as built building is the actual structure that you live in. How much of the post Vatican II Church is as per the blueprints, and how close are the Council blueprints to those that God gave the Church at her founding? Where are the building inspectors?

  22. Brineyman, I think I am of similar age to you: I remember the Church (in England) of the 1950s. I agree there is little evidence that the Council was the cause the lessening of faith that seemed to erupt in the 60s and 70s; at a conference I attended at the time of the Council, the modernists were already in full voice, seeming to know better than the Church about faith in the modern world. The documents of the Council seemed to offer guidance in a very confusing time that was going to happen anyway.

    • Yes, Lionel, thank you.

      It’s odd, isn’t it? The modernist revisionists hijacked Vatican II early on by spinning off their own bogus takes on “the spirit of Vatican II” — presumably because they didn’t like what the actual council decreed.

      And the rad-Trads, who oppose everything about the modernists, don’t like Vatican II because they buy into the modernists’ false claims about the council.

      So they end up agreeing with each other.

      Go figure.

  23. A lot of the defenses of Vatican II end up reducing the Council to being an object d’ art, purely decorative. Christ and the Holy Spirit gave the early Church an actionable mission. As I recall the Council was billed as being based on aggiornamento, on modernization. People had every valid reason to wonder what this modernization meant for Church teachings. The catechism that was released in 1992 should have been ready to release with the closing of the Council. What actionable mission did the Council give to the Church? The Council was worthless when it comes to managing expectations and evangelizing its work to the Church. You can’t get away with that kind of behavior in the modern world of instant communications. The “spirit of Vatican II” is the proof of this.

    • Recent, Yet Helpful Resource > Anyone check out Brandon Vogt’s course on Vatican II at his website, claritasu.com ?
      “Stay in the boat!”

  24. It seems many think the disintegration of the Faith that we see today was the fruit of Vatican II. This is simply incorrect. We can argue the Faith, but lets look at it practically.

    The Faith was hollow before the Council. The mythical golden age is pined for by those who’ve seen movies or read books about how strong the faith was. The faith of too many people, including the clergy, was a mile wide and an inch thick.

    It was the faith of pre-Vatican II clergy that folded like a house of cards in the face of the cultural revolution of the 1960’s. It was the pre-Vatican II formed bishops and priests who turned their back on Humanae Vitae. It was pre-Vatican II formed priests and religious who bailed from their religious vocations. It was pre-Vatican II formed bishops and priests who happily used the excuse of “the spirit of Vatican II” to de-sacralize the liturgy in a way that was not called for in the missal.

    Going back to pre-Vatican II will not solve anything. It couldn’t handle the 60’s and 70’s in the first place. Going forward with a focus on Jesus Christ, as the Council proposed, is the only way. It is about time we tried that route.

    • Steve Gajdosik, The “Pre-Vatican ll Church” is a misnomer on the part of us Traditionalists. What we are reclaiming is the Church Herself, that was done with the 70 Decrees of Vatican ll of St. Pope John XXlll. His Council was voted out by men who no longer believed or perhaps never did. This horrid nightmare didn’t begin at the Vatican ll that I term as the Counterfeit Council. This counterfeit Council was not new, it was the fruit of the Modernist heresy that began before the reign of Blessed Pius lX, it was condemned by him, it was also condemned by Pope Leo Xlll. Finally St. Pope Pius X officially condemned this heresy and it was he who gave it the Name of “Modernism”. This condemnation was ratified by Pope Benedict XV. Ven. Pius Xll said in the early 40′, “Though Modernism has been officially condemned by the Church, it is still widespread today”. It was the fruit of Modernism that voted out the real Council, The Council of St. Pope John XXlll with the 70 Decrees of Vatican Council ll. His Council was the cure for ridding the Church of Modernism once and for all. But it was voted out. And we must now reclaim it.

      • Andrew, my point is the belief that turning back the clock in worship, etc. is the answer to combatting Modernism, secularism, etc. is an empty one. The Church employing those means utterly failed. A new focus on Jesus Christ and personal holiness, not merely trust in ritual and doctrine (though those are both necessary), is a path the Church has not tried in recent decades, and is the only answer to what ails the Church.

        • Steve Gajdosik, What you have said is the utter nonsense talk by Modernism. The type of talk that has destroyed God in the hearts of millions. As a Traditionalist I seek the updating of the Church by the declaration of illegitimacy of the counterfeit Vatican ll. Updating by the restoration of the original 70 Decrees of Vatican Council ll of St. Pope John XXlll, updating by the restoration of the Vatican ll 1962 Missal, updating by finally putting into Practice the Apostolic Constitution on Latin by St. Pope John XXlll. updating by eliminating the Modernist empty talk you have just displayed. One cannot go back to the dark ages of the 1960’s and 1970’s. As a Traditionalist I reclaim the Church of 2000 years. The Church was not founded by Christ at the counterfeit Vatican ll. He founded it 2000 years ago. We aim to update the Church of 2000 years by its restoration.

  25. Andrew Angelo says that the statement that Moslems and Catholics worship the same God is heretical. That is not a heresy. It is an assertion of fact which is either true or false and as such says nothing about dogma or doctrine. Mrscrackers response to Andrew that his points apply equally to Jewish beliefs seems to me to be conclusive against him. It is clearly not heresy to say that the Jews believe in the same God as Catholics.
    Again, the several examples cited by Pagan Pope Francis from the texts of Vatican II are not heretical. They do not deal with dogma or doctrine. I would agree with the critics of Vatican II that some – perhaps many – have misunderstood and responded wrongly to Vatican II but the sins of others do not invalidate the Council. I wonder however, about a more fundamental point which seems to follow if all of what the critics say is generally true.
    At the Last Supper, Our Lord Jesus said that he had revealed all that he had learned from his Father, that they would not fully grasp what he had revealed but that he would send them the Spirit of Truth who would lead them in to all Truth. Elsewhere he said that he would be with us always and that the gates of hell would not prevail against his Church.
    Surely, if the critics of Vatican II are correct, it follows necessarily that they are saying that Jesus and the Spirit of Truth have abandoned the Church? Where were They during the alleged great heresy of Vatican II? The critics cannot be right about this: Jesus and the Spirit of Truth remain with the Church, in spite of all of its failings. The reality of the Church as a spiritual entity – the mystical Body of Christ – transcends in importance all of the concerns of the critics and it exists in Jesus Christ through the response of its people in faith by the sacraments centered in the Eucharist in prayer and in the context of the dogmas and doctrines which have been present from the beginning. Against this spiritual reality, everything else is trivial.

    • The gates of hell not prevailing only applies to the Church as a whole. Individual Catholics can certainty lose their salvation through unrepentant sinning. We have plenty of free lessons in the Old Testament about what happens to people who are faithless. The Israelites constantly failed to live up to their covenant, they followed their own way. Often God will let us live with the consequences of our own choices, to learn things the hard way. The question is, is the new Israel of the Church any more faithful than faithless Israel?

    • Observer 70. Jesus indeed promised the paraclete who would teach us all Truth. But you and those like you seem to think that Jesus Christ fulfilled that promise only at Vatican ll. 2000 years late! That promise was fulfilled on the first Pentecost Sunday. The spirit of Vatican ll people have a spiritual amnesia of the 2000 years in between the First Pentecost and Vatican ll. Please no more of that type of Modernist talk. Through the years we have found that kind of talk irksome, it used to make us cringe. But for Traditionalists like my self, those are bygone days. I find confidence in that Modernism is now before a God sent spiritual firing squad.

      • Observer70, It is Dogmatic teaching that any non Catholic, worships a false God because they do not worship in Spirit and in Truth. This is Dogmatic teaching that carries an Anathema for anyone who rejects it. Sounds like the Counterfeit Vatican ll has already been Anathemized. Praised be Jesus Christ!

  26. For revolutionary times it was bad optics to use aggiornamento, modernization as part of the brand of Vatican II. It invited hijacking by the revolutionaries within the Church. The “spirit of Vatican II” was the hijacking of the Council.

  27. The prevailing thought processes of Vatican II were infused with various forms of social science and there is a reason why thinkers who employ a social science mindset, at the core of what is often referred to as modernism, have managed to replace sound theology, philosophy, and common sense over the past 150 years as Pius X implicitly warned in his condemnations.
    Academics were becoming communist oriented even before Marx become famous. Rather than basing a healthy civilization by inspiring its peoples to living lives of virtue, group identity and group dynamics were increasingly thought to explain history and inevitable conflict. Morality is mere cultural convention and contrivance. How many millions of times over how many generations will college freshmen announce that they discovered free love as a cure for all of humanity’s ills like no one ever proposed the idea before?
    For greater than 150 years, for the whole of history actually, humanity has been in love with its sins. Humanity has also been in love with denying its sins. Its intellectuals have seldom resisted the temptation to generate continuous theories to explain evil in the world in terms pleasing to their own vanity as well as their audiences where evil is presented and understood as exclusive to people easy to dismiss as being dissimilar to themselves or where evil is the product of “outmoded” ways of thinking that will be eradicated once the right people are allowed to control everyone else, for their own good, of course. Tyrants and warmakers love this sort of “thought.” Various “Catholic” theologians have not been immune to supporting such vanities, and just as oblivious to how utopianism slanders God in the process by implying that God failed to provide adequate knowledge of right and wrong to the peoples of the past.
    A denial of original sin is a nasty business. It always produces mass murder, and eventually war. The denial of sin generates more sin, exponentially, individually and collectively. Vatican II began less than twenty years after World War II. You would think the Church would have been the most interested in leading the world to a renewed understanding of the realities of the human condition, a horribly sinful condition. The only purpose of religion is to heal the gulf between God and His creation which only exists because of the sins of His creation.
    Instead there was a lot of happy talk in the documents of VII. With all the watering down of Catholic practice post VII, today’s Mr. Rogers Neighborhood homilies have to be the most repulsive. It’s antecedents were in the documents.
    The fact that a greater percentage of professed Catholics in America could care less about abortion than the general population says more about the post VII Church than Pizza Hut Church architecture. A current Pope, with an established record of duplicity, who praises the work of population planners, and turns his back on his persecuted Church by governments with forced abortion policies, least it not offend the forces of Marxist progress, is a logical progression that completes the story.

  28. My prior post above was a posting of a first draft of my comments by mistake. Below is what I ment to post.

    The prevailing thought processes of Vatican II were infused with various forms of social science and there is a reason why thinkers who employ a social science mindset, at the core of what is often referred to as modernism, have managed to replace sound theology, philosophy, and common sense over the past 150 years as Pius X implicitly warned in his condemnations.
    Academics were becoming communist oriented even before Marx become famous. Rather than basing a healthy civilization by inspiring its peoples to living lives of virtue, group identity and group dynamics were increasingly thought to explain history and inevitable conflict. Morality is mere cultural convention and contrivance. How many millions of times over how many generations will college freshmen announce that they discovered free love as a cure for all of humanity’s ills like no one ever proposed the idea before?
    For greater than 150 years, for the whole of history actually, humanity has been in love with its sins. Humanity has also been in love with denying its sins. Its intellectuals have seldom resisted the temptation to generate continuous theories to explain evil in the world in terms pleasing to their own vanity as well as their audiences where evil is presented and understood as exclusive to people easy to dismiss as being dissimilar to themselves or where evil is the product of “outmoded” ways of thinking that will be eradicated once the right people are allowed to control everyone else, for their own good, of course. Tyrants and warmakers love this sort of “thought.” Various “Catholic” theologians have not been immune to supporting such vanities, and just as oblivious to how utopianism slanders God in the process by implying that God failed to provide adequate knowledge of right and wrong to the peoples of the past.
    A denial of original sin is a nasty business. It always produces mass murder, and eventually war. The denial of sin generates more sin, exponentially, individually and collectively. Vatican II began less than twenty years after World War II. You would think the Church would have been the most interested in leading the world to a renewed understanding of the realities of the human condition, a horribly sinful condition. The only purpose of religion is to heal the gulf between God and His creation which only exists because of the sins of His creation.

    Instead there was a lot of happy talk in the documents of VII. With all the watering down of Catholic practice post VII, today’s Mr. Rogers Neighborhood homilies have to be the most disagreeable. Its antecedents were in the documents. All liturgical abuse where we have shifted worship of God to worship of ourselves is only logical when we lose sight of our sins. Self-worship is the very definition of sin.

    The fact that a greater percentage of professed Catholics in America could care less about abortion than the general population says more about the post VII Church than Pizza Hut Church architecture. A current Pope, with an established pattern of duplicity, who praises the work of population planners, and turns his back on those in his Church persecuted by governments with forced abortion policies, least it not offend the forces of Marxist progress, is only the logical progression of the revised ecclesial culture that now views mercy as guilt free living, requiring mercilessness towards the victims of sin, an interpretation of love and marriage that is a war on first wives, a Synod on the Amazon where hundreds of prelates displayed coldblooded indifference to the practice of burying children alive if, having shown concern, might have upset the parade of idols.

    Bishop Barron might consider that I’m excommunicating myself merely for contemplating this impertinent question about Vatican II, but I submit that the only important overarching question pertaining to the endless debate would ask, did the Council maintain or not maintain the Church’s God given mission to save souls by forcefully recognizing original sin and the permanent imperfectability of the human condition?

  29. The documents of V2 were written by theologians for theologians, not for the pewsitter. Not a coincidence no one has read them.
    Angelo Bugnini and his thugs did their best to put their disoriented agendas into place. They succeeded.
    We now have the likes of the German bishops, Martin SJ, the Vatican/China treaty and very empty churches.
    “Go make a mess”, as the Pied Piper said. A hearty ‘well done’ to all concerned.

    • I first read most of the documents of Vatican as a young Evangelical Protestant; I also read the (then newly published) Catechism, along with Church Fathers, Doctors, Councils, etc. I had some theological training, but was not a theologian: I was a Protestant layman. And I found documents such as “Lumen Gentium” to be rich, Scriptural, patristic, edifying, and challenging. The documents of Vatican II helped me, in many ways, along my journey into the Catholic Church. Yet, having now been a Catholic for close to 25 years, I consistently find that most Catholics have never read even just the four Constitutions of the Council. Furthermore, the documents are often misused and/or misrepresented by a wide range of Catholics: by progressives to pursue agendas not found in the documents or by hyper-traditionalists to dismiss anything they deem modernist or heretical. The reasons for this are certainly complicated and are rooted in factors that existed long before the Council, but what is clear is the growing level of distrust and anger that accompanies this topic. More on some of those factors in upcoming CWR pieces.

      • I too read all the documents during my journey into the Church from a background of atheism. My training as a physicist eventually led me to appreciate intelligent design and the anthropic principle before the concepts became popular, not to mention how my own capacity for altruism belied a purely materialistic explanation for my existence. If my being had transcendence, there must be a source for transcendence. So eventually reading my way into the Church, made easier by having always been pro-life even as a non-believer, I favored scholastic thinkers, and the commentary I read about the Council seemed to indicate their historic influence on the mind of the Church was being somewhat intentionally undermined by elements of what I agreed sounded like secular optimism. True, I agree 99 percent of the content of the documents are orthodox, but I can not help but agree with sober traditionalists, who do not condemn everything, but reason that if a 200 pound healthy man went to the doctor who told him he had a two pound malignant tumor, the doctor would be negligent if he told him not to worry, that 99 percent of the cells of his body are perfectly healthy and fine, so what bad things can possibly happen?
        As one with multiple degrees in science, I know that correlations do not prove causality, and honest critics of Vatican II that I know of do not blame the collapsing Church entirely on Vatican II. But my entry into the Church in the seventies was slowed by getting no positive feedback from Catholics who seemed more proud of their willingness to trash their faith than defend it and justified their attitudes with references to Vatican II.
        I’ve read many books about modern Church history, but unless I missed it, I know of no sober debate between honest, theologically well-formed defenders and critics of Vatican II on the same stage presenting their arguments and acknowledging the arguments honestly of the other side. I’m getting tired of Bishop Barron’s boring, snide, ad hominem dismissal of the critical side. I would love to watch something along the lines of at least a 2 hour Firing Line style debate that the late Bill Buckley used to host. Perhaps CWR could be involved in organizing one.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. What To Do About Vatican II

Leave a Reply to Leslie Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*