What does it mean to reject Vatican II?

The continued battle over Vatican II seems to be more about an idea of the Council and its implementation, rather than focusing on its actual legitimacy.

Pope John XXIII leads the opening session of the Second Vatican Council in St. Peter's Basilica Oct. 11, 1962. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) was a unique ecumenical council. The previous twenty were assembled to address particular doctrinal or ecclesial crises, while John XXIII called Vatican II to layout a new pastoral program for engaging the modern world. It was not a particular crisis but a general one, focused on finding a new way of conveying the Christian life in the modern world.

In the aftermath of the Council, both progressive and traditional wings viewed it as revolutionary, a sharp break from the previous practice of the Church. It did not help that the 1960s were a period of great cultural turmoil, adding fuel to the fire of confusion and disaffiliation that occurred in the Church.

Pope Benedict XVI, who as a peritus or theological expert at the Council had helped draft some of the documents as part of the progressive party, looked back with concern and identified two major ways of interpreting the Council: a hermeneutic of “discontinuity and rupture” and one of “reform” in continuity with the tradition. The “Spirit of Vatican II” belonged to the former interpretation and came to stand for a whole new way of thinking, praying, teaching, and living as a Catholic in the modern world, marked by a much greater openness to the world and aversion to traditional Catholic practices.

It seemed that the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI were steering the Church toward continuity, although Pope Francis has led a reemergence of the progressive camp.

Francis has repeatedly called attention to what he views as a growing rejection of the Second Vatican Council. Speaking to editors of European Jesuit journals on May 19, he related this view: “It is very difficult to see spiritual renewal using old-fashioned criteria. We need to renew our way of seeing reality, of evaluating it. . . . Restorationism has come to gag the Council. The number of groups of ‘restorers’ – for example, in the United States there are many – is significant. . . .They had never accepted the Council.”

Commenting on these remarks, Ed Condon at The Pillar made an important clarification: “Vatican II is more of a feeling, or state of mind, than an historical event that produced tangible documents.” An outright rejection of the Council is rare, although many people have questioned the effectiveness of the pastoral and liturgical approach that sought to implement the Council’s vision.

The continued battle over Vatican II seems to be more about an idea of the Council and its implementation, rather than focusing on its actual legitimacy. Does Vatican II have to remain a “super Council” that guides all aspects of the Church’s life and approach? As a pastoral Council, has its approach failed and is it time to move on to the next phase of the Church’s life? Can we even have this debate or is it off limits according to some churchmen? If Vatican II a “feeling, or state of mind” then to what does it refer?

I think we can actually get clarity about this “idea.” Following the debates for years, I would identify three major areas: liturgy, conscience, and synodality as three particularly relevant points of disagreement over the legacy of Vatican II.

1) Liturgy

Pope Francis’s move to limit the traditional Latin Mass in his motu proprio Traditiones custodes focused largely on the legacy of Vatican II: “Art. 3. The bishop of the diocese in which until now there exist one or more groups that celebrate according to the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970: § 1. is to determine that these groups do not deny the validity and the legitimacy of the liturgical reform, dictated by Vatican Council II and the Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs.”

That Vatican II called for a liturgical reform is beyond dispute, as it laid out principles for renewal in its first document, Sacrosanctum Concilum. Having taught the documents of the Council many times, I can attest that an introductory reading of the document made it clear to my own students that the Mass of Paul VI is not an exact implementation of the Council’s wishes. Pointing this out does not reject the legitimacy of the new Mass, even if it sees it as a loose interpretation of the Council’s vision. In his book The Feast of Faith, Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, pointed out that “it is simply a fact that the Council was pushed aside” in liturgical reform (84).

Is it a rejection of the Council to point out this discrepancy?

2) Conscience

A Salesian missionary to Korea, who was a young priest during the Council, told me with all sincerity that the purpose of Vatican II was to allow people to decide for themselves what was right and wrong. Conscience became a predominant flash point immediately following the Council in the overwhelming dissent of clergy and laity against Paul VI’s encyclical on contraception, Humanae Vitae. John Paul II sought to steer the Church back to the objective reality of right and wrong in his own encyclical on moral theology, Veritatis Splendor.

It has been widely noted, however, that Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, contradicts Veritatis, including its teaching on the nature of conscience: “We also find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations” (37). Francis wrote this in relation to difficulties in marriage and sexuality, although the Second Vatican Council clearly taught that in this sphere “spouses should be aware that they cannot proceed arbitrarily, but must always be governed according to a conscience dutifully conformed to the divine law itself, and should be submissive toward the Church’s teaching office, which authentically interprets that law in the light of the Gospel” (Gaudium et Spes, 50). Vatican II requires upholding the role of authority in guiding conscience.

3) Synodality

Vatican II is often seen as balancing the First Vatican Council’s teaching on papal infallibility by emphasizing the authority of the whole college of bishops: “Just as in the Gospel, the Lord so disposing, St. Peter and the other apostles constitute one apostolic college, so in a similar way the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are joined together” (Lumen Gentium, 22).

In order to make this reality more prominent in the Church, the Council called for more frequent synods: “This sacred ecumenical synod earnestly desires that the venerable institution of synods and councils flourish with fresh vigor. In such a way faith will be deepened and discipline preserved more fittingly and efficaciously in the various churches, as the needs of the times require” (Christus Dominus, 36). This led to the establishment of regular synods in Rome and the encouragement of synods throughout the world.

Francis’s current push for synodality must be seen as a key element of his own vision of implementing the Council. His seemingly contradictory centralizing moves (whether related to the liturgy or the approval of new religious communities) appear ordered toward controlling the narrative on Vatican II, ensuring that bishops are not allowing reactionary groups to form and flourish throughout the world. Although Francis speaks of the rejection of the Council by reactionary groups, synodality has been used by others, especially in Germany, as a pretext for rejecting the very faith upheld by Vatican II and all previous councils.

Syndolity, however, cannot trump the Church’s magisterial teaching, but should rather finds way of communicating it more effectively in the modern world, which was the stated goal of the Second Vatican Council.

Conclusion: What Do We Need for the Next Sixty Years?

Although much more could be said about the fight over the legacy of Vatican II, these three issues appear as major flashpoints. In the end, the Church will have to discern whether or not the vision of Vatican II is adequate for leading the Church to the renewal in mission so desperately needed as she continues to decline throughout most of the world. Beyond rejecting the legitimacy of Vatican II and its teaching, it is different matter to question the effectiveness of its pastoral strategy and its continued relevance for pointing the Church toward the future.

Stephen Bullivant, in his book Mass Exodus: Catholic Disaffiliation in Britain and American since Vatican II (Oxford, 2019), related the following conclusion to his own sociological study:

It is difficult to imagine a scenario in which the Council’s reforms are not causally related to the very significant decline in Mass-going among British and American Catholics—and ultimately, to the high and growing levels of Catholic disaffiliation. The beginning of this decline coincided, more-or-less exactly, with the beginning of a sustained period of far-reaching changes, first to the Mass, and then to many other aspects of Catholic life. This inconvenient fact is most easily explained by the hypothesis that the reforms, as actually enacted and experienced, did not achieve what the Council evidently hoped that they would. (256).

We need an honest assessment of the last sixty years, including what has worked and what has not. It should not surprise us if the next sixty years requires a pivot in pastoral approach. In this ongoing discernment, we cannot allow rhetoric to inflame division within the Church by insisting upon only one interpretation of the Council. It is absurd to claim that thinking in light of the Church’s entire tradition within a hermeneutic of continuity constitutes a rejection of the Council.

It will be more helpful to shift the conversation away from debating the last sixty years to what is now needed for the changing landscape of the Church and world. No solution is worthy of consideration unless it puts God in the center, unlike much recent ecclesial reflection, and enables the Church to fulfill the true goal of Vatican II: the more effective transmission of the Gospel to the world.

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About Dr. R. Jared Staudt 53 Articles
R. Jared Staudt PhD, serves as Director of Content for Exodus 90 and as an instructor for the lay division of St. John Vianney Seminary. He is author of How the Eucharist Can Save Civilization (TAN), Restoring Humanity: Essays on the Evangelization of Culture (Divine Providence Press) and The Beer Option (Angelico Press), as well as editor of Renewing Catholic Schools: How to Regain a Catholic Vision in a Secular Age (Catholic Education Press). He and his wife Anne have six children and he is a Benedictine oblate.


  1. You can’t really understand Vatican II without understanding that it was intended to complete the work of Vatican I, and you can’t understand Vatican I without understanding that it was called to counter the “new things” (rerum novarum) of socialism, modernism, and the New Age found primarily in the “errors of Lamennais,” as Pope Gregory XVI put it in 1834. The story can be found in brief in our book from TAN, “The Greater Reset”:


    • Lammenais was rescripted by the Pope in SINGULARI NOS for a booklet he published anonymously, Paroles d’un croyent. The Pope decreed the booklet “perpetually condemned”.

      Lammenais never repudiated the position he adopted, very individualistic and boldly invested in anarchy. I am unaware that Lammenais was considered as Modernist.

      Modernism as identified and condemned by PIUS X, in PASCENDI, is the synthesis of all heresies; and I doubt it can be held of Lammenais that he had already arrived at that.

      The lesson from Gregory XVI in SINGULARI, is still relevant today and very helpful in understanding some wrong interpretations of the Council as well as content of our age.

      ‘ 4. The mind shrinks from reading through those things in which the author tries to break the bond of loyalty and submission toward leaders. Once the torch of treason is ignited everywhere, it ruins public order, fosters contempt of government, and stimulates lawlessness. It overthrows every element of sacred and civil power. From this, the writer transposes the power of princes, through a new and wicked idea, to the power of Satan and an omen of subterfuge, as if it were dangerous to divine law, even a work of sin. He brands the same marks of wickedness on the priests and rulers because of the conspiracy of crimes and labors in which he dreams they are joined against the rights of the people. Not content with such temerity, he thrusts forth every kind of opinion, speech, and freedom of conscience. He prays that everything will be favorable and happy for the soldiers who will fight to free liberty from tyranny, and he encourages groups and associations in the furious combat which engulfs everything. He stands so firm in such heinous thoughts that We feel him trample right from the beginning Our advice and orders. ‘


    • I think it should be pointed out that the Latin expression “res novae” (“rerum novarum” in the genitive case, plural number), which literally means “new things,” was an ancient (going back to Caesar and Cicero) Roman figure of speech meaning “revolution” in the most literal sense, and that is the sense in which it was meant in Pope Leo’s encyclical. In its opening line, the expression is officially translated into English as “of revolutionary change.” Leo’s Rerum Novarum was essentially a commentary on communist-socialist revolution.

  2. “In the end, the Church will have to discern whether or not the vision of Vatican II is adequate for leading the Church to the renewal in mission so desperately needed as she continues to decline throughout most of the world. Beyond rejecting the legitimacy of Vatican II and its teaching, it is different matter to question the effectiveness of its pastoral strategy and its continued relevance for pointing the Church toward the future.”

    Oh, brother! Not very enlightening at all, I’m afraid. Vatican II achieved exactly what it set out to achieve. A person who thinks the purpose of a Council is to establish a kind of “Catholic paradise” in which practically everyone, for the next 100 years, is practicing the faith and is clear on all matters religious and moral is simply out to lunch, living on a level of abstraction that fails to appreciate the vast complexity and innumerable factors that shape the direction of societal evolution (which makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to “explain” such an evolution, as if a single answer can adequately explain it). The more one studies the pre-conciliar period on a very concrete level, the more Vatican II is seen to be the fitting and remarkable Council that it is. How can it not be relevant for pointing the Church toward the future? If you are suggesting we need a Vatican III, perhaps that is the case. I am quite convinced that such a Council will only continue in the direction of Vatican II (hermeneutic of continuity), rather than turn back as simplistic traditionalists would like.

  3. Kudos to Jared Staudt for a much-needed contribution. Accepting Vat2 does not necessarily mean what Pope Francis says Vat2 says and means.
    Martin McDermott, sj

  4. In order to effectively transmit the gospel to the world, you first have to possess a clear idea of what the gospel is, and isn’t. Listening to the pope and many of the bishops, I don’t get the impression that they do. They seem to think that it’s about making the world a better place. Jesus would have been surprised.

    • I sense an inconsistency here. You say the gospel is not about “making the world a better place”, yet the article pooh pooh’s Vatican II for not making the world a better place (speaking about imprudence and the decline of the faith in the world).

      In any case, Jesus said: “I came that you may have life and have it abundantly”. Wouldn’t that abundant life make this world a better place? Start listening to Pope Francis’ homilies. He proclaims Christ, the good news of the resurrection. Don’t get Pope Francis from the “trads” or from those who don’t like him, like many who read CWR. Get him from his own mouth. Lots of audio books on his homilies and addresses.

      • One of the key challenges in the Documents of the Second Vatican Council is their composition by committees intent on leaving nothing out. Points and counterpoints. What, exactly, does it mean to “have life and have it more abundantly?” Take especially Gaudium et Spes, for example:

        “Earthly progress must be carefully distinguished [!] from the growth of Christ’s kingdom. Nevertheless, to the extent [!] that the former can contribute to the better ordering of human society, it is of vital concern to the kingdom of God” (n. 39, citing Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno, 1931).

        This too, “They are mistaken who, knowing that we have here no abiding city but seek one which is to come, think that they may therefore shirk their earthly responsibilities [….] The Christian who neglects his temporal duties neglects his duties toward his neighbor and even God, and jeopardizes his eternal salvation [!]” (n. 43).

        About both earthly life and salvation, and as for listening to Christ “from his own mouth,” also this:

        “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Mt 7:13-14).

        For all of us there remains the riddle between having abundant “life” and having this “life more abundantly”…But, not to worry about the pilgrim path, so long as the papal ghostwriters can dismiss half the Church, e.g., readers of CWR, as rigid bigots and cretin restorationists unfit for the synodal path.

        Too bad, too, about old-fashioned stuff like the Sixth and the Eighth Commandments…(no one faults the German synodalists for the Ninth—-coveting thy neighbor’s wife!).

          • Jesus’ harsh denunciation of the Pharisees was focused on how that particular school of men rightly focused on keeping the Law, but then both lost sight of the purpose of the Law (love of God, love of neighbor, holiness, right worship, etc) and also found ways to avoid really keeping the Law themselves while creating endless additional laws for others. Their “rigidity” was not found in upholding the demands of the Law (after all, Jesus made it clear that he both fulfilled the Law and made even more radical demands, cf Mt 5-7), but in refusing to see how the Law could only be fulfilled through radical love and self-denial, not incessant carping about additional rules that aimed to deflect from their own failures to live and really love the Law. This is why, in part, Jesus uttered his seven great Woes in Matthew 23; here are three:

            Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and rapacity. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. (Mt 23:23, 25, 27)

            The Pharisees certainly exhibited a certain bigotry toward Jesus and His disciples. But, again, Jesus didn’t condemn them because they demanded too much, but because they themselves avoided doing what they demanded of others: “…so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice” (Mt 23:3). We all know that hypocrisy is a sin, but I don’t think we always recognize the various forms of hypocrisy; we tend to think of them as “conservative” or “right-wing” in nature. But the progressive/liberal who gives lip service to Church teaching while giving a wink and a nod to avoiding the demands of the Church’s moral doctrine is very much a Pharisee–and is, I think, the most common sort of Pharisee today.

          • There is never anything rigid about responding to God’s law. It is profoundly foolish to suggest that it is. Those, who have, when referring to Scripture, never separated ritual law from moral law, like the idol of your personality cult. They have an easy time acting as though they are the same when their real agenda is to weaken a sense of the binding nature of moral law by using vague references to “law” without making appropriate distinctions. Charity is morality. It is moral law. And it is impossible to be too charitable. It is impossible to be “rigidly charitable.” When that silly characterization of “rigidity” is used, it is used as an anti-Catholic bigot abuses language, in this case to be dismissive of moral truths that are popularly and childishly found to be burdensome.

      • “Start listening to Pope Francis’ homilies. He proclaims Christ, the good news of the resurrection. Don’t get Pope Francis from the “trads” or from those who don’t like him, like many who read CWR. Get him from his own mouth.”

        Right. From his own mouth:

        “Fomenter of coprophagia!” “Specialist of the Logos!” “Rosary counter!”
        “Functionary!” “Self-absorbed, Promethean neo-Pelagian!” “Restorationist!”
        “Ideological Christians!” “Pelagian!” “Mr and Mrs Whiner!” “Triumphalist!”
        “Rigid Christians!” “Modern gnostics!” “Liquid Christian!” “Superficial Christians!” “Slaves of superficiality!” “Museum mummy!” “Renaissance prince!”
        “Airport Bishop!” “Leprous courtier!” “Idealogue!” “Long-faced, mournful funeral Christian!” “Gnostic!” “Careerist Bishop!” “Sourpuss!” “Authoritarian!”
        “Elitist!” “Querulous and disillusioned pessimist!” “Sad Christian!”
        “Pickled pepper-faced Christian!” “Children! Afraid to dance! To cry! Afraid of everything!” “Asker for certainty in all things!” “Christians allergic to preaching!” “Closed, sad, trapped Christian who is not a free Christian!”
        “Pagan Christian!” “Little monster!” “Defeated Christian!”
        “Creed-reciting, parrot Christian!” “Watered-down faith, weak-hoped Christian!”
        “Inquisitorial beater!” “Seminarians who grit their teeth and wait to finish!”

        I’ve listened enough to him, but thanks anyway.

        • It’s about time we had a pope who challenged hypocrisy, clericalism, rigidity, self-righteousness, and a host of other vices disguised as reverence. The Holy Spirit gives us the Pope we need at this time.

          • I wish that we had a Pope who could honestly face the mass exodus from the faith that has occurred since the reforms of VII were enacted, instead of one who berates and insults those who still remain. And if I may ask, how exactly are you able to discern the mind of the Holy Spirit?

          • Thomas James, that the Holy Spirit has given us the Pope we need at this time is what I, too, have been saying – even here. All over the world millions of Catholics are praying for him but, sadly, some in the west have been throwing stones at him. The latter would love the Pope and the Church to be in their image.

          • Sinners who are hard-hearted and stiff-necked are no less rigid than the Pharisees. This was the charge that was leveled against the faithless Israelites. Pharaoh in the Exodus is an example of a hard-hearted, stiff-necked sinner. Despite signs and wonders he continually refused to grant the requests of Moses.
            Did the publican have a pride movement, and/or claim that he was born that way? The Good Thief on the Cross confessed his guilt, the justice of his punishment, and defended Christ. In the most public way possible. It’s interesting how one-sided the charge of rigidity is in the modern Church. How completely lacking in balance it is.

          • There is never anything rigid about responding to God’s law. It is profoundly foolish to suggest that it is. Those, who have, when referring to Scripture, never separated ritual law from moral law, like the idol of your personality cult. They have an easy time acting as though they are the same when their real agenda is to weaken a sense of the binding nature of moral law by using vague references to “law” without making appropriate distinctions. Charity is morality. It is moral law. And it is impossible to be too charitable. It is impossible to be “rigidly charitable.” When that silly characterization of “rigidity” is used, it is used as an anti-Catholic bigot abuses language, in this case to be dismissive of moral truths that are popularly and childishly found to be burdensome.

    • Yes…
      “Nowadays the opinion surfaces occasionally even in ecclesiastical circles that a man is more Christian the more he is involved in Church activities. We have a kind of ecclesiastical occupation therapy; a committee, or at any rate some sort of activity in the Church, is sought for everyone. People — according to this way of thinking – must constantly be busy about the Church, they must always be talking about the Church, or doing something to or in her…but a mirror that reflects only itself is no longer a mirror…but gets in the way of the view, has lost its reason for being…We need, not a more human, but a more divine Church; then she will become more human…[italics]. And for this reason everything man-made in the Church must recognize its own purely ancillary character and leave the foreground to what truly matters.”

      Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), Called to Communion, Ignatius, 1996, pp. 145-6.

  5. Jared Staudt correctly comments on conscience as redefined by Francis in Amoris Laetitia. I add [as he suggests] that this undermines the entire spectrum of Roman Catholic perennial doctrine. Dr Staudt also correctly indicates the Synod on Synodality as an effort to implement a radicalized new idea of Christianity that is foreign to Christ’s revelation, the Church Deposit of Faith.
    Insofar as the Council, that’s a more complex highly controversial issue that continues to engage Catholics in distancing themselves from others on different views and as such harming unity, distracting from the basic need to practice the faith whether one attends Novus Ordo Mass or traditional. Our bishops must engage the pontiff and cease dilly dallying and act like men with faith. The handful Cordileone, Naumann, Aquila and others should be a rallying nucleus to restore [and be quite happy to be castigated as restorationists] the faith and identify the subversion of it. Vatican acquiescence to Biden and Nancy Pelosi is the indicator as to where the pontiff wishes to lead the Church through the Synod on Synodality, the German Synodal Way, a useful canard.

    • An added note on what is rejection of Vat II. At this stage of the game it’ll be a virtual impossibility to expect the majority of Laity to revert back to the traditional Mass. As a practical matter, and insofar as a need perceived by the Church during the Council a perceived moment to offer a more relevant liturgy. For the Laity,who many prayed the Rosary unable to follow or fully understand what was taking place at the altar. Taking these main factors in account it would be beneficial to reinvigorate the Novus Ordo exactly as recommended by Benedict XVI. And to allow complete freedom for those who wish to remain with the traditional Latin liturgy and Mass.
      To reject Vat II is to refuse and repudiate any change that emerged from the Council, most especially the unwillingness to acknowledge any credibility to a Benedict revised Novus Ordo. And the adamant intractability in refusing to acknowledge any pastoral good in the documents of Vat II.

      • Added again as a form of rejection that is the consistent, fact finding of what was wrong with the Council, how it was subverted, a constant tiresome broken record followed by overtures of piety and faithful willingness to be faithful to the real Council. While much may be correct the constant drumbeat does nothing to reconcile a divided Church, rather it seems to increase the division by offering reason to reject it [the Council].

      • Father, I haven’t seen any one who regularly posts here at CWR or in similar venues who argues that the EF should become the standard Roman rite again. However, I would very much like to revert to the terms of Benedict XVI’s motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, so that the EF can be readily available for those who want it, as you say. And as I’ve often noted here and elsewhere, I’ll say again that the clerical hostility I’ve encountered when I’ve requested that the NO be celebrated in Latin is indistinguishable from similar reactions to the EF. There’s an intriguing task awaiting some future psychologist, to explain why so many of the clergy – at least those ordained at the time of VII and for some years after – are so vehemently hostile to the traditional liturgy. I can’t see where it has anything to do with pastoral needs.

        • Glenn I have similar difficulty with why. I came off the streets so to speak when I became a priest. I never felt I entirely fitted in with most. So what apparently motivated me was more objective than some a priori sentiment. What deeply impressed me during a virtual complete reversal of direction was attending Mass at the Monastery of the Precious Blood, Brooklyn NY. It was the cloister for contemplative nuns of that name, and where Msgr Joseph B Frey, director of the Confraternity of the Precious Blood offered daily Mass. Fr Frey wrote extensively on prayer and the spiritual life. He wrote a pocket missal, MY Mass 1958 with beautiful illustration. When I attended his Mass the Church was already practicing the NO. I haven’t experienced the NO Mass offered with deeper faith and spiritual joy than his expression of love of God. The nuns sang in Latin. That Mass became my model years later after ordination.
          So there’s a golden thread for me when I offer Mass back to Msgr Frey. My experience with other priests has been similar to your’s. Some pastors I volunteered to assist were curt and dismissive when I suggested a Mass in Latin. When I offer a private Mass it’s always in Latin [the original Latin for the NO never changed during the years and was used for the translation into English for the revised NO under Benedict XVI].
          I do take umbrage with some, with a self assumed religious autocracy dismiss the revised NO, and priests who offer that Mass suggesting ill on the day of judgment. I’m deeply cut by such remarks. My offer of Mass is my sacred moment with God when I offer myself with him for sinners, and for those who express that kind of remark. If we’re actually motivated by Christ, our knowledge, however impressive, and our predilections would not stand in the way of caritas.

          • With all your wisdom Father, I am surprised at your difficulty at understanding this hostility towards traditional liturgy. The anger reflects an undercurrent of a psychology of neophilia and human vanity not adequately examined in this endless VII controversy. As a convert, I mostly consumed books in apologetics, so I am no scholar, but I know enough philosophy to know there are only two philosophies, everything else is derivative. Either God is a fool or we are. Were it the first, truth would always be mutable, as the modernists say it is. Since it actually is the latter, it is for this reason that we often fail to see or refuse to see that God did not abandon us to a capricious understanding of how we ought to order our lives together.
            Faith implies that we accept this latter view, but our sins create our vanities, both to deny that we have sinned and that we can become pretentious with our intellects, fantasizing ourselves as revolutionaries, creators of “new truth,” which is impossible since all truth is simply a reflection of the eternal unchanging mind of God. Discovery exists. But we only discover what God knows. Liturgical coherence is a reminder of the changelessness of eternity, which can easily become an affront to human vanity.
            All of this points to the continuing disaffection with Vatican II. One doesn’t have to reject the good, the vastly, mostly good, to identify the bad. And anyone who claims there was no language in the documents that expressed secular utopianism, characteristic of a universal human vanity that can seep unconsciously into the soul of a well-intentioned theologian, let alone a prideful theologian is flat out lying. The good theologians present at VII warned about it frequently, as noted in Professor Roberto deMattei’s definitive history of the Council. The most malicious consequence of “the spirit of VII” became the denial of sin, a logical consequence of documents that talked about man’s evolution, as though the Church will finally abandon that “silly notion” of original sin. The creators of the documents had no right to be anything but perfect. That they were not justifies future redress of the documents. I overcame my atheism when, as a physicist, I came to realize I was observing the fingerprint of God in the perfect design of nature. God reveals himself also when we stop lying to ourselves about our sins and their far-reaching consequences.

        • Glenn, I will disagree with you. I do believe that the church should abandon the Novus Ordo. About the only thing that I would advocate for the addition of new Saints to the old liturgical calendar. I do post and read here. I have kept my opinions to myself for many years for professional reasons, but I do not care anymore as the institutional church no longer signs my checks. Many of us who have worked for the church in good faith and will have feared reprisal, losing our wherewithal to provide as fathers.

          • Joseph, that is something I also wouldn’t mind seeing, especially given the perceptions of those who still attend regularly as to exactly what the Mass is, and the regular unchecked abuses that attend the celebration of . I simply can’t see it happening as a practical matter, especially given the current pontificate and the attitudes associated with it. It may happen over the long haul by default, however, as church attendance continues to decline and priestly vocations along with it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that, in France, Mass attendance and religious vocations are thriving principally in the FSSP and the SSPX. The French church otherwise is a graveyard. Very sad in any case, especially since none of this was inevitable.

          • Joseph DeLisle. I taught as a layman at a seminary in Malawi in the late Seventies. While the Church began it’s rapid falling apart here in the US, in Africa it was thriving with the NO. When I returned to the US to begin my studies for the priesthood the rector of the Malawi seminary wrote me saying this major seminary in Mchinji Malawi had to be moved to Zomba the old capitol because of the great increase in priesthood applicants.
            Apparently, in the US a rapidly declining Church, many pastors caught up with the fake Spirit of Vat II, parishioners sought refuge with the SSPX and churches had offered the traditional rite.
            It’s essentially not the Rite, it’s the orthodoxy of the priests and bishops. Later when I returned to Africa as a priest [Tanzania] vocations to the priesthood continued to multiply. The people showed real faith in their practice of the Apostolic faith given them. Now we have African priests as devoted missionaries to the States, while very few Americans choose to be missionaries in Africa among the scarce number of newly ordained.
            It’s the fire of divine love❤‍🔥inflaming the hearts of Africans, whereas here it’s winter.

          • This, Fr Peter, is true also in China, South Korea and many other non-western countries. In Australia, we now have priests and nuns coming from the Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and, of course, India.

      • I wasn’t anti-Vatican ll until Francis taught us to reject it. If the Council is what Francis says it is, then how can I accept the Council? I will keep my pre-Vatican ll Church. Thank you, Francis, for giving me back the pre-Vatican ll Church.

          • Relax. And please know that moderating comments, which we take seriously, is not always a pleasure.

        • You have a free will and so you can choose to do that. Just do not try to hinder those of us Catholics who are still walking forward with the Church with the faithful Pope Francis at the helm.

          • Does God get to tag along to this magical amorphous land of “forward?” Or does God also have to have “faith,”as redefined by Francis, as Faith In Francis, which means God needs to accept his role in the great Hegelian march through history that redefines everything to accommodate the contingencies of history, as Francis now defines faith.

  6. Pope Benedict said that Vatican II was high-jacked. Obviously, it was high-jacked by those hostile to the Church, its doctrines and history. The high-jackers thereby denied its very legitimacy as The Moral Authority. Why did not the Church leadership anticipate such a high-jacking. Could they be so ignorant of the politics that have infected the world for the last 100 years? I say, the Holy Spirit did not guide the Church in this endeavor. I say Vatican II is null and void.

  7. We read: “Synodlity [synodality], however, cannot trump the Church’s magisterial teaching, but should rather finds [find a] way of communicating it more effectively in the modern world, which was the stated goal of the Second Vatican Council.”

    Emeritus Pope Benedict cleared out the smoke long ago by reaffirming that “councils are what the Church does DOES, not what the Church IS.” The same applies even more to the misuse of synods.

    But, surely, the synodal thing will be fully cleared up next year by the likes of Cardinal Hollerich, relator for the Synod on Synodality!

    After all, he already has signaled, through the magisterial secular media (with Marx and Batzing), that synodal derailment should lead at least to rejection of the inborn natural law and Church teaching on complementary and fecund human sexuality. The Holy Spirit made me do it!

    The liturgy? Conscience? The Magisterium–as the Church’s acquired immune system–has been fatally compromised; the clown masses of yesteryear have gone viral and variant; now they’re cross-dressed and unmasked as block-party synodality.

  8. “Progressives” in the Catholic Church use Vatican II as their counterparts in the extreme leftist Democrat Party use Congessional hearings and subcommittees i.e. to delegitimize and disenfranchise those who disagree with them. It’s not about the pursuit of Truth but rather the lust for power.

    I’ll say this once again: Vatican II has no relevance to the day to day faith life of a vast number of Catholics. And it’s not just a matter of personal opinion. If you disagree, stand outside any Catholic Church on a Sunday and randomly poll just 10 people. Ask them one question: “Tell me one salient teaching promulgated by Vatican Council II”. I dare you.

  9. Dr. Staudt, would you consider it off-limits to suggest that the guiding principles of Sacrosanctum Concilium were based on psychological principles of its day that have largely been abandoned even in the secular field– for example, the need to for the liturgy to be “easily understandable” and simple? I would counter that symbols speak to us and teach us in a deeper way than SC’s “left brain” approach would seem to indicate.

    • Dave, I think you make a good point. For many who have been pegged as “Catholic Restorationists” and who gravitate to the Extraordinary Form, the symbols seem to speak to them in ineffable ways that are poorly understood by Pontiff Francis (and not very pastoral on his part, by the way).

  10. This is to be brief and to respect Staudt’s framing things in questions.

    Liturgy -the Council Documents speak about reform in general senses and they do not abolish the Tridentine Rite. It’s about “upkeep”, authenticity, witness. Another way of saying this is that the interior renewal St. Paul holds up is not leading anyone to imbibe false doctrine and wayward ideas like “fraternal vaccination”.

    Conscience – the Church always had a practice of respecting consciences which she learned from our Lord and also, related, of affirming a reality that conscience must be formed properly in the sense of bearing directly on personal responsibility and right purpose. The Documents never made for “absolute individuation of conscience” -whether for doctrine, nature, science, etc.

    Synod – this is an area for prudence. The Synod on Synodality is open-ended and world-wide-all-at-once until the Pope decides what it brought to the front; which seems to be re-doing VATICAN II “after” Paul VI’s example of collaboration with the bishops. But the now-concluded Council Documents do not reflect baling up the whole Church and never pointed to that.

    General – positive statements by Paul VI were meant to indicate and suggest where and how there could be meaningful apostolates, they weren’t meant to freeze the Church at that understanding. Any Council can produce rebels and rebellion; and when that happens, that is the challenge.

  11. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/pope-francis-and-romano-guardini-the-next-stage-of-liturgical-renewal – a parallel, more appreciative article on the efforts of the Holy Father as being in step with the observations of the well respected theologian – Rev.Guardini , who too saw the need to form the person , to help in greater appreciation of the Liturgy to make its impact in lives.
    A relevant point, in the background of the flood of the media culture since the 60’s – hearts and minds exposed to the media stimulation and arousals , to the varied persons of dubious backgrounds , the related unholy soul ties – all such multiplying the fires of carnal appetites.. to be put out by multiplication of graces – a phrase recently used by the Holy Father, a pertinent theme in Divine Will
    – apologies again – still very much a beginner in same 🙂
    The grace to love God with His own Will and Love, in the gift of the Divine Will ,its sanctity that reigned in Adam and Eve before The Fall , as revealed and gifted to The Church through writings of S.O.G Luisa – esp.as narrated in the Book of Heaven – meant to be shared with the laity mostly in guidance from the higher ups ..

    The Council itself – a fruit of that effort and intent ..

    Frustration of the yearning and desire to Love God with His own Will and Love as worthy of Him, to thus also have more trust in being Loved – as the ? root of the many issues in The Church .. manifesting as hidden envies, hatreds and competitiveness , esp.towards women and as lusts and confusions of the role and dignity of the genders …the cynicism and ignoring of the issues around life and marriage as the fall out of the above ..
    Seeing instead , the unbroken net in the efforts of The Church in these past years – may our times be blessed to rejoice in just that along with the Holy Father , to also behold what The Spirit can do -as a wide catch …sooner or later ..

    • J.P.G./ M. – this looks like your map is fuzzy:

      ‘ the ? root of the many issues in The Church .. manifesting as hidden envies, ….. ‘

      You say the “deeper” things are not envy or hatred etc. that get “manifested”, but “many issues” lying under them; and you put a question mark in a wrong place.

      The “grace to love God” is not “frustrated” in the sacraments.

  12. For me, to “reject” VII is to take the view that it was illegitimate, that the pope who convened it, John XXIII was not the “real” Pope, that it was the product of some modernist conspiracy. No, it was indeed a legitimate, valid council called by a legitimately elected pope, and its enactments were indeed authentic. And by the words of the Pope who convened it, the Council was “pastoral” and not intended to address major doctrinal issues as Trent and VI had been.

    All of that, however, does not preclude the conclusion that VII’s policy prescriptions, especially its liturgical reforms, were seriously flawed in their conception and largely ineffective or even destructive in their practical effects. The present pope, to the extent that I understand him, seems to require that one also accept that the Council was in all things a smashing success. to the extent that he treats its reforms as “irreversible,” and for all practical purposes dogmatizes them.

    That’s the sticking point for me, at least.

  13. “Pope Benedict XVI, who as a peritus or theological expert at the Council had helped draft some of the documents as part of the progressive party…”

    Is this correct? Was Benedict a progressive who became more traditional over time, or was he involved in drafting the more traditional arguments at the council?

    • The former. His book “Spotlights on Vatican II” is a head scratcher. He came to be a championn of belief, but he caused a bit of damage earlier.

    • “…But the theologian Hansjurgen Verweyen is right to call the idea of ‘Ratzinger’s great change’ a myth. Ratzinger had never been progressive or conservative in the usual sense. Rather, he had always tried to unite tradition and progress, history and the present, out of a ‘mystical awareness of faith'” (from Peter Seewald, Benedict XVI: A Life, Volume I, 2020, p.456).

      A key point explored in this volume is an opening speech delivered by Cardinal Frings (ghost written by Ratzinger) calling for a redrafting of the schema on Revelation–to the point that the Document must be based on the fact and the event of the Incarnation (and ressourcement), rather than simply on earlier Vatican documents which he found to be too theoretical, to textbook-like, and insufficiently pastoral. The issue was not against the doctrine, but against the inadequate way of expressing it. This caused a stir. Seewald adds (last pages 462-3) that Ratzinger had “definitely underrated the power of the developing mass-media society” (something which John XXIII had already warned about in October 1961).

      So, we have the “real” Council of Benedict, versus the “virtual” Council of those who knew how to work the media, especially Hans Kung (and his zombie-spawn today). Of the split between Communio theology and the “progressive” Concilium, Benedict summarized somewhere (I think in “The Ratzinger Report,” 1985), “I didn’t leave them, they left me.”

      Benedict was not a progressive who became more traditional over time. He was a peritus and later pope of the highest order, who is very likely an eventual “Doctor of the Church.” In 1985, already, Ratzinger gave better definition to “restoration” than anything we find in the dismissive slogans of today (Jacob Burckhardt’s “terrible simplifiers”):

      “Above all I should simply like to recall what I really said: there is not return to the past. A restoration understood thus is not only impossible but also not even desirable. The Church moves forward to the consummation of history, she looks ahead to the Lord who is coming. If, however, the term ‘restoration’ is understood according to its semantic content, that is to say, as a recovery of lost values [!], within a new totality, then I would like to say that this is precisely the task that imposes itself today in the second phase of the post-conciliar period [after the first twenty years]. Yet the word ‘restoration’ is linguistically laden in such a way for us moderns that it is difficult to attribute this meaning to it. In reality it literally means the same as the word ‘reform’, a term that has a wholly different sound to us today. Perhaps I can clarify the matter with an example taken from history. For me Charles Borromeo is the classic expression of a real reform, that is to say, of a renewal that leads forward precisely because [!] it teaches how to live the permanent values [!] in a new way, bearing in mind the totality of the Christian fact and the totality of man” (“The Ratzinger Report,” p.38, fn.5).

      Of the debased Liturgy in the 1980s, Ratzinger wrote: “…we must be far more resolute than heretofore in opposing rationalistic relativism, confusing claptrap and pastoral infantilism. These things degrade the liturgy to the level of a parish tea party and the intelligibility of the popular newspaper” (ibid, p.121).

  14. Mr. Staudt quotes Pope Benedict XVI as saying there are two major ways to interpret the Council. That is the problem. We had twenty dogmatic councils, and one pastoral council. Maybe a pastoral council was not a good idea. It is hard to have two interpretations of, “If anyone says that… let him be anathema” of previous councils.
    It is not a matter of whether the council was valid. Lateran V council was valid, but not useful. It was hardly over when Luther posted his 93 thesis. Vatican II was valid, but given the past 50 years, it is hard to say how useful it was.

  15. Untangling the web of Papa! Come soon Lord Jesus.

    1 John 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

    1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

    Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

    1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

    Words for all to consider and live by!

    • Can I ask what your intentions are when you repeatedly post a list of Bible verses in response to the articles on this site? Are you Catholic or are you an evangelical Protestant? Instead of quoting verses rather mindlessly, how about reading the article carefully and then posting a thoughtful response of your own.

      • Though I generally admire your postings, to discard God’s word serves no one well.

        To speak a word in season may bless one. If it does not, then it reminds me of God’s divine all encompassing word, lifting me up. However, where you deem the post not to be connected, I respect that and will try harder.

        Finally, some very thoughtful responses are given by other people. To present scripture in connection with the article adds another dimension , if you will permit me to say!

        God bless you. Continue to post for you bring clarity and blessing.

        • Thanks for the response. I find that putting individual posts into a broader context helps me understand where people are coming from and what they are trying to communicate. Thanks again for the clarification and be well.

      • Kevin, God bless you dear brother.

        Have you had an opportunity to connect with Bishop Fulton Sheen’s messages? I remember how compelling he was.I would be sitting on the floor giving full attention to his words.

        Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

        Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

        Romans 5:3-4 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

        2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

        Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,


  16. “In the aftermath of the Council, both progressive and traditional wings viewed it as revolutionary, a sharp break from the previous practice of the Church.”

    The patriarchate of Rome, not the Church Universal.

  17. ““It is very difficult to see spiritual renewal using old-fashioned criteria.”

    No, no it is not. Unless you are a cloistered Jesuit embittered by culture wars.

  18. Read the episopal reactions to the Dobbs decision. The message, especially from the bishops (and there are many) who always treated pro-lifers like lepers while giving out Communion to abortionists, is: Now that Roe is behind us, we need more Seamless Garment. The Jesuits’ America mag has offered: Now that we (“we”!) have defeated Roe, we must focus ever-more-intently on Trump’s treason, insurrection, and incitement to murder.

    One reform the Church desperately needs is cleaning the pro-abortion Democrat party hacks out of the episcopacy, presbyterate, and diaconate.

    • The Jesuits are as a general rule (with noble exceptions like Fr. Fessio and the late Fr. Mankowski and the late Fr. Schall) colonized by the LGBT sex ideology and the Marxist political ideology. They are a branch who have severed themselves from Jesus the Vine, and can do nothing as they are apart from Him.

    • Be not deceived! The “seamless garment,” especially of America Magazine under the editorship of poster-child James Martin, is not Trump bashing. Nope, the seamless garment is the self-will which links abortion to the homosexual agenda, to gender theory, and to transgenderism. Consumerism on steroids.

      But, yes, to giving generous support to those in crisis pregnancies—not an evasive seamless garment but rather the “consistent ethic of life.”

      But, from the ambo and even bishops, also the needed work to undo the Sexual Devolution of the 1960s. By some accounts, young and unmarried women account for 85 percent of all abortions. Nearly half of these become “revolving door” clients who have had at least one previous abortion. Some 70 percent of all abortions are performed on women in their twenties or even younger.

      Something about the Commandments, and not only the Beatitudes? And who can seriously doubt that the uptick in (non-reproductive) homosexuality is due to experimental sex and grooming at an early age rather than to a non-existent gene?

      Fraternal collegiality requires more international signatures calling out the corruption of the German synodal way. As if synodality can still mean something more than “walking (or whatever) together.”

  19. There have been 22 councils in the church and not 21.
    The Council of Jerusalem is in the Bible – in the Acts.
    It decided that any non-Christian can be baptised – no need to become a Jew or be circumcised first. This decision has been in force ever since and is still today.

    • There have been 21 ecumenical councils. The first ecumenical council was at Nicaea in 325 A.D.
      The Council of Jerusalem or Apostolic Council (c. 50 A.D.) is unique among the ancient pre-ecumenical councils in that it is considered by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox to be a prototype and forerunner of the later ecumenical councils.

  20. I certainly believe that the Pontiff Francis and his team (as Austin Ivereigh er al call themselves) believe in the ideology of Vatican II as the rupture Council event, and therefore conclude, as implied by B16 in his account on “the hermeneutic of continuity vs discontinuity?” that the Pontiff Francis and his team reject the Second Vatican Council, and conform to the Council as rupture.

    Hence they reject Veritas Splendor, among many other things, and greater, that they reject, like the Sixth Commandment, and say, Jesus’ bodily resurrection (as declared by His Eminence Kasper, who labels it and other Gospel accounts of witness to supernatural events as “mythology” that “we probably don’t need to believe.” (Kasper, “Jesus the Christ,” 1974, and re-issued in 2011 to keep the destruction of the true faith hoing in yet snither generation).

    I agree with B16’s regard for tradition and scripture, and I wholeheartedly reject the supreme arrogance of the creed of Team Francis, declared via their spokesman (it was either “Rev.” the plagiarist-Rosica or “Rev.” the homo-erotic-curator Spadaro) that the Church is now “ruled by a man,” who they hold superior to mere “scripture and tradition.”

    The head of the Catholic Church is Jesus Christ, as professor Farrow reminded us, not this Pontiff, or any other Pontiff. The Pontiff is the Head Steward, whose faithfulness is judged by his stewardship of scripture and tradition.

    Vatican II was a council of the Church, lime other Councils, and the documents themselves are not scripture, and are not a “new tradition.” Some of the documents are very strong and dome are weak and ambiguous.

    The only possible good understanding of them is reading them through the lend of the 2000 year deposit of scripture, tradition and other Councils, and winnowing out the wheat from the chaff.

    The spirit of Vatican II, is a false and idolatrous ideology that richly deserves to be rejected.

  21. Regarding the Second Vatican Council, and the “Spirit of V2” ideology, readers and observers might look at 2 prayers in the “Roman Rite,” and state which prayer is more fitting for Catholic people to pray at Mass, and give a reason for that opinion:

    A – By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the Divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

    B – O God, who in creating man did so wonderfully exalt his nature, and yet more wondrously did establish it anew: by the mystery of the mingling of this water and wine, grant that we might partake in the Divinity of Him who consented to partake of our humanity, Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ….

    Which is a more fitting Catholic prayer for the Mass, and why does each person think so?

    • Definitely “B” as it more fully and more beautifully expresses the theology of Christ’s action to deify man by man’s entering into communion with Him. God’s intent from the beginning always was to share His divine life with man. This was the case until the Fall which the “New Adam” came to restore.

      In any case, when I as Deacon get to pronounce these words at the preparation of the altar of sacrifice, it envelopes me in the Incarnational Mystery.

      • Amen Ed.

        And of course, the invocation of God the Father, and the supreme atoning act of His Son, was prayed at all Masses until its bring erased in the “New Order of the Roman Rite.”

        I hold that it is erased because those who erased it did not believe in the Atonement theology thst the Church prayed st Mass through 20 centuries.

        As their representative Bishop Robert Zolllitch of Germany declared on his televised interview on Holy Saturday 2009, “the Church no longer says the Jesus died to save us from our sins (atonement). He died only to show his solidarity with the suffering of mankind.”

        In other words, the admitted reason for erasing the invocation about Jesus’ act of atonement = Apostasy (i.e., the widespread apostasy noted by Fr. Imbelli in his 2021 (?) essay “No Decapitated Body.”

        And we can be affirmed in our conclusion that the erasure is motivated by apostasy by apostate Bishops and Cardinals, among such men being His Eminence Walter Kasper, who was ordained a Bishop and thereafter made a Cardinal despite having published his apostasy in his 1974 book “Jesus the Christ,” republished in 2011, wherein he outright denies the bodily resurrection of Jesus.

        Thus fo they affirm the subversive intentions of Msgr. Bugnini, who outright declared (in I believe it was l’Osservatore Romano), that the goals of the ecumenical movement required that the Catholic Church erase Catholic theology and content from its liturgy and prayers.

        Apostasy…in exchange for 8 minute long homilies about perpetuating mediocrity.

    • Prayer Two is the better prayer. Simply, Prayer Two begins and ends with God.

      As man’s creator, as God’s exalting the ‘nature’ of man (not individual man himself but the ‘nature’ of men) the prayer alludes to mankind’s utter reliance upon God. The prayer honors Jesus as “Our Lord.” The prayer notes the deferential obedience of Jesus to His Father by the words, “Your Son.” Again, the prayer is TO GOD to whom man owes deference, worship, praise, honor, obedience, awe, and gratitude. This prayer mysteriously brings about the grace prayed for when the rightful object of the prayer leads one to ‘participatio actuosa.’

      [The attitude of the one prayer is similar to the prayer of the pharisee; the attitude of the other prayer is similar to that of the publican.]

      • Amen Meiron, and I point to my reply to Ed above.

        And while I do hold that the motivation of Msgr. Bugnini and his like-minded Bishops and Cardinals is apostasy, I certainly don’t accuse ordinary church-going Catholics or good shepherds among our priests. It’s just the men who are Apostates: thise lime the sbove who have declared themselves so, and the silent apostates who are parasites on the Body of Christ.

    • If Hebrews 12:22-24 describes the liturgy, do the prayers of the NOM–reduced, simplified, banalized–or those of the EF best honor it?

      But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, who are written in the heavens. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the just made perfect….

  22. Today’s Mass is not the Mass of Vatican II. Sacrosanctum Concilum calls for a potential reduction in the use of Latin, not its exclusion. It also calls for the continued use of Gregorian chant, Nowhere is there any indication of turning the alter around to face the people or removal of the Blessed Sacrament to a remote location. The “spirit of Vatican II” was a mentality that wanted to make the Catholic Church look more like Protestant churches in order to promote ecumenism. New churches looked more like an assembly hall than a place of worship.

    Freedom of conscience does not include “cafeteria Catholicism” where one picks and chooses teachings that they will accept or reject. Those that are living according to true Catholic faith are obligated to form their conscience in accordance with doctrine as formally handed down from the apostles through the Magisterium of the Church and taught as unchangeable doctrine.

  23. I have read many, but not every word of the documents of Vatican II, and some of the writings of popes concerning Modernism. One thing I have learned the last 40 years or so, is that Vatican II is an amazing lightening rod. I have heard clergy say that it is THE deity, and the Trinity should be subservient to it. It is the BE-ALL, END-ALL, BEES-KNEES, etc…I have heard other clergy say that Vatican II should be named “The Satanic Council” because of the Modernist, Freemasonic, Communist influence in the writings of it. I suppose there is a middle ground, somewhere, but I don’t know where all this will lead.

  24. Great article! Who understood the Council better? Francis who was not at the Council, or Benedict who participated in the Council? Pope John Paul II who was at the council, or Francis who was not even a priest at the time? Does not the church hold the teachings of the Apostles in higher regard than those who came after? I go with the eyewitnesses who became Popes, not the ones who were not even there.

    • Well, you can pit one against the other and then do your picking on those grounds, but I see them as all working, honestly and faithfully, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

      • They are themselves opposed this one against the two, as is all plain for the world to see.

        That’s simply reality…

        and for the Francis-Pontificate, as it moves toward its sacramentalization of its sex revolution, it is insisted that all must pretend that reality is not happening.

        • Francis has not changed a single doctrine of the Church. He wants us the be disciples of Jesus outside the Church building in which we worship ritualistically.

          • He hasn’t formally changed them, Mal, he simply doesn’t defend or promote them in a secular world that is deeply hostile to the Church. The only topic on which he seems to speak plainly and unambiguously is his fierce dislike of the EF of the Mass, and to deride and insult those of us who are nourished by it. Otherwise, Francis is a rather shallow imitator and follower of the secular world’s trends, rather than one who robustly reaffirms the Church’s core teachings.

  25. This was a good, balanced article.
    But I think that, in the end, VII will be seen as another Constance. The Church, somehow, will move on in continuity, with VII and Constance in asterisks. We’ve done it before, we can do it again.
    I lived through the VII era as a high school boy. I was appalled by the infidelity and blasphemy that suddenly were outed everywhere in its name. But that only got me called an “integralist” by my “Catholic” teachers and “Catholic” college professors — before I knew what an “integralist” is, though I now proudly own the epithet (as defined by Msgr. Fenton, the distinguished theologian and peritus to Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, Pro-Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Holy Office at the time of VII).
    I say of VII, now, let the dead bury their dead.

  26. I prefer “JPII” and “BXVI” styling, it accords with the Latin transcriptions and how we verbalize them.

    B16 could be a futuristic bomber or an old model Nissan 4-stroke 1600cc very peppy run-about sedan (like a K car but smaller).

    JP2 sounds like Formula One racer John Player (Extra-) Special and somebody will want to say it supports “F1” for Francis.

    Please avoid B16 and JP2. And F1.

  27. Pope Francis is, regardless of what his critics say, a keen listener. The Holy Spirit is active in mysterious ways among those voices. Yes, we have Vatican 2, but there have been other voices too. In a recent interview, Pope Francis said: “Everything I have done was neither my invention nor a dream I had after a night of indigestion. I picked up everything that we the Cardinals had said at the pre-Conclave meetings, the things we believed the new Pope should do. Then, we spoke of the things that needed to be changed, the issues to tackle. I carried out the things that were asked then. I do not think there was anything original of mine.”
    And about tradition he said: “There is a quote by composer Gustav Mahler that had an impact on me: ‘Tradition is the guarantee of the future’. It is not a museum piece. It is what gives us life, as long as it makes you grow. Going backwards is something different: that is unhealthy conservatism. ‘It has always been done this way, so I won’t take a step forward’, they say. This topic may need further explanation, but I am sticking to the essential: the dialogue between young people and the elderly being the true meaning of tradition. It is not traditionalism. It is tradition that makes you grow, that is the guarantee of the future.”

    • “Alma [Mahler’s wife] was not initially keen to meet Mahler, on account of ‘the scandals about him and every young woman who aspired to sing in opera’ [….] Mahler was by nature moody and authoritarian—Natalie Bauer-Lechner, his earlier partner, said that living with him was ‘like being on a boat that is ceaselessly rocked to and fro by the waves’” (citations in Wikipedia). Lucky we are that Pope Francis consults the Magisterium of theologian-composer (!) Mahler on the meaning of going backward and forward, or rather, “to and fro.”

      Mal, you are correct, by the way, is repeating yet again and again (above) that Pope Francis has not changed any doctrines of the Church.

      But this is not the point of misunderstanding or controversy…Instead, the choreography is to carve out, or remain silent about, categories of activity for which moral doctrines are both formally affirmed and then set aside in practice. Signaling, with the subjectivity of conscience replacing the shelved Veritatis Splendor.

      Most recently, to remain silent when others (namely Marx, Batzing and Hollerich) use the Magisterium of the media to call for the reversal of natural law and the teachings of the Church on sexual morality. Likewise, and earlier (the dubia), silence in response to requested clarification of Amoris Laetitia (Ch. 8 and fn. 351).

      Pope Francis wants dearly, at this late hour, to underscore Divine Mercy (already given its place by Pope St. John Paul II). Maybe he simply lacks the chops, or the coherence, or the appointed (!) support to simply govern. Perhaps not entirely a personal shortcoming in an imperfect world, given the obvious infiltration by “the smoke of Satan” (ever since this clear diagnosis by Paul VI).

    • What is “unhealthy” about recognizing that truth, because it all comes from a perfect unchanging God, never changes and that we need to “GO BACK” and recover truth whenever it has been tossed away by fools fantasizing about a magical mystery land of “forward” of human vanity?

  28. Was St. Vincent of Lerins talking about Catholic Tradition in his getting to terms with “development”? Wasn’t he rather talking about DOCTRINE and the organic nature in its growth? They believe they have got something to pin their hopes on, in Patrology, but they have misdirected themselves thus and tripped over head-long?

  29. A conversation between the elderly and the young can amount to anything, it is just a generic. Let’s say it’s a good thing: then, it doesn’t mean it’s a “tradition” for them, it means they have shared in their love for one another, proper to them – pure and simple.

    In terms of personal relationships tradition is not a necessity. That would even apply with friendships between religious. Moreover merely using the word “tradition” does not point to anything Catholic per se.

    What seems somewhat contrarian is, the Holy Father berates traditionalist Catholics imparting their customs yet he wants to laud it that grandparents-presumably-of-other-types, hand on traditions to grandchildren. Why the get-up and why get embroiled in that?

    In ordinary life grandparents’ nostalgia is a happy thing and at least there should be some advice not to get too carried away with it -is what would make more sense I think.

    Oh! how I wish I didn’t have to making a pulpit for me!!!! And you know what, it’s hard, too. This subject matter involves things people long to have had and never will; and have to mortify it. How can you get at that sensibly if it’s thrown into in a muddle.

    As Catholics, if you want to talk about raising Catholic children, “new generation”, etc., you should address the matter of Catholic parents’ primacy of responsibility on it, in respect both of faith and of reason. It is not transferred to grandparents for beauty’s sake -or nostalgia’s.

    From what I see, Freemasons can begin a “tradition” at last night’s capon roast and at once it is a most serious business for every single time thereafter that it is mentioned. If grandparents are already stewed up in that, what are you telling children about their own parents!

    What enraged the Jews against Jesus wasn’t that he took their language for Himself; it was that He spoke truth. If you do not speak truth and it upsets Catholics -traditionalist or other- that you don’t, your then telling me they are “rigid” does what exactly.

    We hear we must see individuals as God would; surely at times a line has to be drawn and we cope with the consequences, in true Christian love! The Mahler quote occurs here, where you will also encounter the expression, “cut bait” -:



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