Vatican II, Sixty Years On

On the feast of the Maternity of Mary, October 11, 1962, more than 2,000 bishops processed into St. Peter’s Basilica for the opening ceremonies of the Second Vatican Council.

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)

October 11th marks the sixtieth anniversary of the formal opening of the Second Vatican Council. In the lead-up to that day in 1962, my fifth-grade teacher, Sister Regina Rose (who just died last year at the age of 106!), told us that this would be a momentous event, and she urged us to keep a scrapbook of news clippings about the Council. I dutifully obeyed and filled several scrapbooks through the Council’s close in 1965; regrettably, that “archival” work was lost in one of our family moves.

An ecumenical council is a worldwide gathering of bishops, usually called together to deal with a specific problem. Vatican II was the twenty-first council in the history of the Church, however, it differed from the others in two important ways.

First, this council was truly ecumenical, in the sense that bishops from every race and continent participated in its proceedings. Such broad representation was possible because of the tremendous missionary activity of the Church in the previous century and also because of modern modes of transportation.

Second, Vatican II did not have to confront any immediate doctrinal crisis (at least on the surface), unlike the Councils of Nicea, Chalcedon and Ephesus, which all had to deal with serious Christological disputes.1

According to Catholic belief, an ecumenical council is the highest collegial teaching authority in the Church. In it, bishops express their unity in faith by responding to the call of the Bishop of Rome to assemble. They then have their deliberations approved and promulgated by the Pope. Thus, an ecumenical council is the most visible manifestation of ecclesial communion as the bishops representing various “local churches” (that is, dioceses) meet cum Petro et sub Petro (with Peter and under Peter).

Catholics also hold, along with the Eastern Orthodox, that an ecumenical council is presided over in a special way by the Holy Spirit. It was exactly this insight that prompted the apostolic community to observe that its early assembly in Jerusalem to resolve a major crisis was the work of the Holy Spirit: “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit, and ours too…” (Acts 15:28). The Church of the Apostles had no doubts about identifying their decisions with those of the promised Spirit who would lead them into all truth (see Jn 16:13).

Pope John XXIII convoked the Council on January 25, 1959, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This timing was no accident. One of the goals of Vatican II, according to Pope John, was to remove obstacles to Christian unity.2 Another was to launch the Church on a program of aggiornamento or “updating.” The ambiguity of that word aggiornamento, however, proved to be more troublesome than John XXIII ever imagined.

On the feast of the Maternity of Mary, October 11, 1962, more than 2,000 bishops processed into St. Peter’s Basilica for the opening ceremonies. The Council had been prepared over a three-year period; its actual working sessions would stretch out for another three years as well. In point of fact, Pope Pius XII had been planning for a council for several years.

Both internally and externally, the Church had every reason to hope that Vatican II would be one of its finest hours. The Council Fathers produced sixteen documents (four constitutions, nine decrees and three declarations – of which, a dogmatic constitution has the highest degree of authority). These statements touched on every aspect of Catholic life: liturgy, communications, ecclesiology, ecumenism, religious life, the priesthood, Catholic education, relations with non-Christians, the laity, missionary efforts, religious liberty, and the role of the Church in the modern world. The Council concluded on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1965 (thus the Council began and ended on a Marian note), under Pope Paul VI, who had inherited it from John XXIII at his death and who had brought it to a conclusion.

Many commentators have maintained that the three principal achievements of Vatican II were liturgical reform, the scriptural revival, and the development of deeper insights into the nature of the Church. Interestingly, these advances did not occur in a vacuum but had been anticipated by the work of theologians for decades and had received official encouragement during the pontificate of Pius XII who, in many ways, can be seen as the man who made Vatican II possible. Where would liturgical renewal have been without Pius XII’s Mediator Dei (1947)? Or the scriptural revival without Divino Afflante Spiritu (1943)? Or ecclesiology without Mystici Corporis Christi (1943)? In fact, the documents of Vatican II are in perfect continuity with every previous council and pope. This is especially true of the way Vatican II built on Vatican I (1869-70), linking the papal and episcopal ministries.3

While there was great euphoria during and in the immediate aftermath of the Council, things soured rather quickly.4 Truth be told, the aftermath of every council has been marked by instability as well as by certain achievements.5 The negative byproducts of this Council are four: disunity, the confusion of many laity, liturgical chaos, and a loss of identity by some clergy and Religious. All of these negatives, in turn, can be traced to a post-conciliar habit of appealing to the “spirit” of the Council to justify the watering down of doctrines and conciliar mandates. In St. John Henry Cardinal Newman’s magisterial work on The Arians of the Fourth Century, he quotes with approval an observation of St. Gregory Nazianzen in one of his letters: “If I must speak the truth, I feel disposed to shun every conference of bishops; because I never saw a synod brought to a happy issue, nor remedying, but rather increasing, existing evils.”6

Sixty years is not a long time for a Church whose life spans nearly 2,000 years. After all, people expressing impatience with the Holy See are often reminded: “Here in Rome we think in centuries!” And it is also true that after every other council, implementation took decades.7 However, given the modern means of communication at our disposal, many Catholics expected much more, much sooner.

How can Vatican II be brought to full fruition? It will only happen when committed Catholics – hierarchy from the top down, included – begin to read, prayerfully (or re-read, as for the first time), the sixteen conciliar documents, rather than read about them. Some of the best-kept secrets of contemporary Catholicism are locked away in those pages. Many people advocate programs in the name of Vatican II but have never actually read Vatican II itself. Correct interpretation of any council consists of taking the final documents as the point of departure – not what the discussions of a council may have been about any particular topic.

Furthermore, conciliar documents, like Sacred Scripture itself, are not always self-explanatory; they require careful interpretations. And so, logic would lead us to assume that the Popes closest to the Council would be its most qualified and reliable interpreters: Popes Paul VI and John Paul II were Council Fathers, while Benedict XVI was a Council peritus (an expert theological consultant). All three were of one mind on how the Council should be understood and received. Pope Benedict coined two expressions to characterize methods of conciliar interpretation: a hermeneutic of continuity vs. a hermeneutic of rupture.

All three prelates were unanimous in holding for a reception of Vatican II which sees it within the context of the preceding twenty councils. I believe it fair to say that by the time Francis acceded to the Chair of Peter, there was relative peace in the Church (not total, but reasonably peaceful). Only in the present pontificate have we heard papal support for the notion that Vatican II created a brave new Church – especially emanating from those deemed close and respected spokesmen for this Pope. It is not unreasonable to conclude that policies and procedures of the current Pope – enlivening his encouragement to the participants in World Youth Day in Rio to “hagan lío – have had a rather predictable effect as seen in the decline of every objective measure of Catholic life throughout the Universal Church – none of which correspond to the “real” Vatican II.

Three further points: First, Vatican II is one of twenty-one councils; it is not a “super-council,” any more than any other council is. Hence, it is to take its place in light of its twenty predecessors. Second, many councils were only marginally successful or even unsuccessful.8

It is fascinating to consider that the far-left and the far-right in the Church opt for regarding the Council through the prism of rupture. Third, not infrequently, Catholics of a certain age continue to speak of Vatican II as a present reality, seemingly oblivious to the fact that younger generations consider Vatican II as ancient to them as Nicea II!

Would-be “conservatives” or “traditionalists” do no favor to the Church by imputing illegitimacy to Vatican II as others can operate in like manner regarding any other council in history (or for any to come). Again, Newman comes to the rescue by reminding us of a comment of St. Athanasius aimed at those who questioned the validity of Nicea I: “The devil alone persuades you to slander the ecumenical council.”

If I might play the role of Monday-morning quarterback here by suggesting what might have been very useful: I think that it would have been most helpful if John Paul II and/or Benedict XVI had produced a document offering a definitive interpretation of the Second Vatican Council. To be sure, both Pontiffs expressed their clear understanding of the Council in numerous ways. However, something more formal and binding may have forestalled the problematic approaches to the Council of the current pontificate although – given the behavior pattern of the past eight years – one cannot assume categorically that such a document would have been accepted as “formal and binding.” Perhaps we need to await a new occupant in the Chair of Peter.


1Inasmuch as this Council was not dogmatic in nature but “pastoral,” no one should look to it for defining or teaching any “new” doctrine. Insofar as the Council had a teaching function, it could only repeat or clarify existing teachings.

2This was not some wild-eyed scheme of burgeoning ecumenism. The primary role of the Bishop of Rome is, precisely, to foster unity. How that is done is another question. It may surprise some to learn, for example, that so concerned was Pope Paul III about healing the breach that he invited the Protestants to attend the Council of Trent; they declined, fearing – they said – that it was a trap to arrest them! And so, the presence of Protestant “observers” at Vatican II was merely picking up on a practice of that earlier Council.

3It should be recalled that Vatican I was cut short due to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. Hence, that Council’s treatment of the papal office never got complemented by its intended treatment of the episcopal office – which had to be taken up by Vatican II. Very strangely, the present Pope – overtly committed to “collegiality” and “synodality” has eviscerated the powers of diocesan bishops by a re-centralization never even practiced under any pope of the twentieth century.

4I remember clearly how the first item on the evening news while the Council was in session was a report from St. Peter’s Square on just what the Council Fathers had debated or voted on that day. Not infrequently, however, the reporting was skewed toward the “liberal” side of issues, fed the reporters by theologians and bishops who were determined to make the synod what Cardinal Ratzinger would later dub “a council of the television.”

5This phenomenon led Pope John Paul II to set as the theme for the synod of bishops in 1985 a frank assessment of the Council’s effects twenty years after its conclusion. An objective evaluation, shared by the Pope and the majority of bishops in attendance, was that the reality could best be described by the word chiaroscuro – taken from the world of art critics – “lights and shadows.”

6How much more concern would St. Gregory have for the upcoming “Synod on Synodality”?

7Following the Council of Trent, implementation was not only not immediate but also quite scattered. Some have suggested that St. Charles Borromeo of Milan was one of the very few bishops who made the Council’s integration to the life of his diocese a priority of his episcopal ministry.

8Here it is helpful to consider that Nicea I (325 A.D.) was clear in its teaching but had to wait for the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.) for its full reception and realization. Similarly, the various Lateran Councils hit upon the same calls for reform, which largely fell upon deaf ears.

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About Peter M.J. Stravinskas 270 Articles
Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas founded The Catholic Answer in 1987 and The Catholic Response in 2004, as well as the Priestly Society of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, a clerical association of the faithful, committed to Catholic education, liturgical renewal and the new evangelization. Father Stravinskas is also the President of the Catholic Education Foundation, an organization, which serves as a resource for heightening the Catholic identity of Catholic schools.


  1. I recall my 7th and 8th grade teachers, Sisters of Notre Dame, being very excited about the opening of Vatican II. They both left their vocations. They were good hearted women who had given their lives to the service of the Church. Our tuition was 2$ a month per kid, up to 5 kids, thanks to their selfless devotion. When the Sisters fled their vocations en masse the Catholic Church failed to respond by finding the schools so that every faithful Catholic family could have access to a school of their choosing. Now Catholic schools are largely secular private schools for the well-to-do. And the bishops spend countless millions on sexual abuse litigations and settlements.
    “By their fruits you shall know them.”
    An ironic reflection for our homo-ecclesial malefactors.

  2. A disclaimer: I subscribe to and believe all that is contained in the Vatican II documents as the authentic magisterium of the Catholic Church.

    That said, I have one point to make and then three questions:

    1. If you’re in the progressive camp of the Catholic Church i.e. the protestant faction, you don’t necessarily need to have read all the Vat II documents in order to invoke their name and then to move on to spout heretical dogmatic notions.

    2. I wonder whether, when Vat Council II was convened, besides invoking the Holy Spirit, was there a ritualized prayer said before the image of the Amazonian Pachamama? Just wondering. If not, it would make one question the sincerity, if not the authenticity, of the Council by its participating bishops.

    3. Second question: did good Pope St. John XXIII exclude any bishops from the Council because they held unwelcome views to those of the Pontiff himself.

    3. Lastly, did the worldwide meeting of bishops open their proceedings with the hoisting of the Homosexual Rainbow flag? If not, then that certainly was a Council that was retrograde in its vision and ought to be suppressed.

  3. We read: “…it would have been most helpful if John Paul II and/or Benedict XVI had produced a document offering a definitive interpretation of the Second Vatican Council.”

    Might we propose that this purpose is largely served by John Paul II and Ratzinger as well as the world’s bishops, in the “Report from the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops” in 1985? The much needed twenty-year checkup and clarification. A real synod, which was preceded by the “Ratzinger Report” (Ignatius, 1985), and which has been followed recently by the “Muller Report” (Ignatius, 2017).

  4. The bishops, clergy and much of the laity ignored the Vatican II documents, as has Pope Francis, apparently. The Church lives with the results, more or less.

  5. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on 3 world wars
    WW1 1914-1918,
    Ww2 1939-1945,
    Ww3 1962-1965.
    “The first two paved the way for the war inside the Church, by facilitating the ruin of Christian institutions and the domination of Freemasonry, which has become so powerful that it has deeply infiltrated the governing body of the Church with its Liberal, Modernist doctrine.”

    • The fruit of Vatican II is Post-Conciliarism. The fruit Post-Conciliarism is Bergoglioism. Thus Vatican II has been brought to full fruition: the former Catholic Institution in Rome is today under total Freemasonic Control.

      Is it toi late to call for a Witch Hunt, as Bergoglioism hunts down, closes down the last of the Catholics from underground TLM in China to gymnasium banishments from consecrated buildings in the US?

      Is it too late to call for a Witch Hunt, as Bergoglioism liquidated the JPII institute designed to block the UN Abortion, Euthanasia, Child Abuse agenda?

      Is it too late to save the Catholic Church?

  6. Here in this article, we have this continuing misreading of Vatican II that perpetuates the wrong and inadequate understanding of the Council as incorrect the juxtaposition of the “hermeneutics of continuity” and of the “hermeneutics of rupture.” With this simplistic comparison it is then quick to condemn the Council as that of rupture. This interpretation of the Council, implied here in this article, is dead wrong! To correct this, it’s good to take a little history of this debate which is at play in this presentation of the author. This current thread of dispute over how to understand and implement Vatican II started during the later years of the papacy of St. Pope John Paul II. The Institute for Religious Studies in Bologna, Italy under Giuseppe Alberigo with the collaboration of top scholars on Vatican II from around the world produced the currently most scholarly historical study of the Council translated from Italian into seven languages. Its English translation coordinated with American Joseph Komonchak, the five-volume History of Vatican II (1995-2001), is until this moment still the most comprehensive quest to understand the Council. A few disagreed with the above so-called Bologna School’s interpretation of Vatican II. The loudest voice of this camp is that of the Vatican based Archbishop Agostino Marchetto’s The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council: A Counterpoint for the History of the Council which was launched in 2005 and translated into English in 2009. In this book, Marchetto started the now standard framework of critique but misreading of the Council by accusing the Bologna School in its five-volume work as interpreting the Council with the “hermeneutics of rupture and discontinuity” when as he thought the Council should be understood with the “hermeneutics of continuity.” The then newly installed Pope Benedict XVI entered into this fray to give what he called as the right way to interpret the Council so as to implement the Council in the right way. In his Christmas address to the Roman Curia on December 22,2005 here linked:
    Pope Benedict XVI corrects the misreading of Marchetto – which is the view somehow shared and implied by the author in this article – by pointing out the inadequacy of his interpretation lenses. The Pope taught that the proper juxtaposition between the right and wrong ways of understanding and applying Vatican II should be that of between the “hermeneutics of reform” and the “hermeneutics of rupture.” The Pope then quickly declared that the Council is to be correctly read with the “hermeneutics of reform,” adding and underlining at the same time that “reform” contains both elements of continuity and change.

    • “With this simplistic comparison it is then quick to condemn the Council as that of rupture.”

      First, it’s obvious your argument is with Benedict XVI, whose thought and work has only been called “simplistic” by those who either don’t get it or dislike it.

      Secondly, the essay never condemns the Council “as that of rupture”. Either you misunderstand badly, or you misrepresent badly. Not a good take or look.

  7. My (very long ago) impression of the Council Documents was that they were written by theologians for theologians, written by theologians for Cardinals and bishops. There was no bread and butter in these writings for layman. Bugnini, et al, did their jobs well.
    I could be wrong, I am a simple man.

    • Alas, I see and hear variations on your “impression” quite often, and I suspect that in many cases (maybe not yours) it comes about because certain religious educators or theologians don’t want ordinary, “simple” Catholics actually reading the documents. I’ll put it this way: if you can understand the Creed and read Scripture, you can read and understand the documents of Vatican II. Yes, they require focus and a bit of work, but that’s true of anything worth reading. I recommend beginning with Lumen Gentum, which starts with these paragraphs:

      1. Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel to every creature,(1) to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the countenance of the Church. Since the Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race, it desires now to unfold more fully to the faithful of the Church and to the whole world its own inner nature and universal mission. This it intends to do following faithfully the teaching of previous councils. The present-day conditions of the world add greater urgency to this work of the Church so that all men, joined more closely today by various social, technical and cultural ties, might also attain fuller unity in Christ.

      2. The eternal Father, by a free and hidden plan of His own wisdom and goodness, created the whole world. His plan was to raise men to a participation of the divine life. Fallen in Adam, God the Father did not leave men to themselves, but ceaselessly offered helps to salvation, in view of Christ, the Redeemer “who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature”.(2) All the elect, before time began, the Father “foreknew and pre- destined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that he should be the firstborn among many brethren”.(3) He planned to assemble in the holy Church all those who would believe in Christ. Already from the beginning of the world the foreshadowing of the Church took place. It was prepared in a remarkable way throughout the history of the people of Israel and by means of the Old Covenant.(1*) In the present era of time the Church was constituted and, by the outpouring of the Spirit, was made manifest. At the end of time it will gloriously achieve completion, when, as is read in the Fathers, all the just, from Adam and “from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,”(2*) will be gathered together with the Father in the universal Church.

      3. The Son, therefore, came, sent by the Father. It was in Him, before the foundation of the world, that the Father chose us and predestined us to become adopted sons, for in Him it pleased the Father to re-establish all things.(4) To carry out the will of the Father, Christ inaugurated the Kingdom of heaven on earth and revealed to us the mystery of that kingdom. By His obedience He brought about redemption. The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world. This inauguration and this growth are both symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of a crucified Jesus,(5) and are foretold in the words of the Lord referring to His death on the Cross: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself”.(6) As often as the sacrifice of the cross in which Christ our Passover was sacrificed, is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried on, and, in the sacrament of the eucharistic bread, the unity of all believers who form one body in Christ (8) is both expressed and brought about. All men are called to this union with Christ, who is the light of the world, from whom we go forth, through whom we live, and toward whom our whole life strains.

      4. When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth (9) was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that He might continually sanctify the Church, and thus, all those who believe would have access through Christ in one Spirit to the Father.(10) He is the Spirit of Life, a fountain of water springing up to life eternal.(11) To men, dead in sin, the Father gives life through Him, until, in Christ, He brings to life their mortal bodies.(12) The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful, as in a temple.(13) In them He prays on their behalf and bears witness to the fact that they are adopted sons.(14) The Church, which the Spirit guides in way of all truth(15) and which He unified in communion and in works of ministry, He both equips and directs with hierarchical and charismatic gifts and adorns with His fruits.(16) By the power of the Gospel He makes the Church keep the freshness of youth. Uninterruptedly He renews it and leads it to perfect union with its Spouse. (3*) The Spirit and the Bride both say to Jesus, the Lord, “Come!”(17)

      Thus, the Church has been seen as “a people made one with the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”(4*)

      Read the entire document.

      • “It is not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion”, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost


        It is “Through Christ, With Christ, And In Christ, In The Unity Of The Holy Ghost”(Filioque), that Holy Mother Church, outside of which there is no Salvation, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque) exists.

        “Come Holy Ghost.”

  8. In essence, by no longer recognizing The Charitable Anathema, in essence, it began to appear as if it were possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion, even though it is not possible for those Baptized Catholic, who affirm that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage, and those Baptized Catholic who deny that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), could possibly both be part of The One Body Of Christ, which obviously defies The Word Of God Incarnate, as it defies The Law Of
    Noncontradiction, and is a lie that defies Genesis, From The Beginning, which is a major Dogma Of The Catholic Faith.
    Christ’s Sacrifice On The Cross will lead us to Salvation, but we must desire forgiveness for our sins, and accept Salvational Love, God’s Gift Of Grace And Mercy; believe in The Power And The Glory Of Salvation Love, and rejoice in the fact that No Greater Love Is There Than This, To Desire Salvation For One’s Beloved.
    “Hail The Cross, Our Only Hope.”

  9. Looking back at the events in the Church of the past 60 years, I’d have to say that the “doomsayers” dismissed by John XXIII had it right.

  10. The Church is supposed to transcend time and space. There is a difference between a Church for the ages and a Church of the ages. The Church of the ages is one that is subordinate to the times in which it finds itself. A worldly Church that can never make promises that the ever shape-shifting fads of the world would let it keep. The whole concept of covenant and keeping promises would become foreign to its way of thinking. The clerical abuse scandal is a complete failure of the hierarchy to honor its commitments. Only a Church for the ages is one that can make covenants and promises that are worth anything and that can survive through the ages. A true Vatican II would be one where the Church keeps faith with the past and remains a Church for the ages. The “Spirit of Vatican II” ends up producing a Church of the ages that cannot keep faith with the past. The evidence of the pope’s conduct is more consistent with that of the Church of the ages.

    • Vatican II unfortunately abandoned the Church of the Ages, which it replaced with a Church of the Age, the Age of Aquarius of the late 1960’s Small wonder that so many of the reforms enacted on its authority resemble period pieces of that era, especially the reformed liturgy. The traditional Roman liturgy spoke, and continues to speak, very effectively to the ages; its present version seems stuck in 1969.

  11. I said “simplistic” here in referring to the the wrong juxtaposition between the “hermeneutics of discontinuity or rupture” and the “hermeneutics of continuity” in viewing Vatican II, which the author of this essay takes. This match is not the proper way to understand and implement Vatican II. Badly, this paired viewpoint is often used to consider the reforms the council brought as simply of rupture or discontinuity thus rationalizing the actions of those who resist and rebel against the council reforms as justified. Pope Benedict XVI rectifies this mistaken big picture over the council by rightly juxtaposing the right pair of lenses by correctly expanding the scope of the notion of one of these: “hermeneutics of rupture” and “hermeneutics of reform,” with reform duly constituting components of both continuity and change.

    • Yeah Deacon, well whatever. Reading your posts reaffirms my earlier post. You speak to a slightly over educated select few at the higher/highest levels of the Church and the academy.
      “Juxtaposing the right pair of lenses”, please stop this theological word-game gymnastics. Yes, we are a tad confused and yes, we are very unimpressed.

      • Since this article we’re discussing here talks about Vatican II, I invite you and all to read the Christmas Address to the Roman Curia by Pope Benedict XVI on December 22, 2005. It’s relatively short, clear, not elitist, and easily accessible at the Vatican website. This way you yourself can assess whether the author of this article has fully understood the Council the way the Pope wanted – or as for you, whether you fully receive the Council according to this papal understanding.

        • Deacon Dom I do not see that Fr. Stravinskas is out of line with anything indicated by Pope Benedict in his Christmas address to the Curia. Nor is he out of line with VATICAN II. Nor is he skipping on any its parts. Further the Pope addressed some aspects but not all subjects, in VATICAN II. A point I would make is that VATICAN II is not the Church’s zenith.

          It is a shepherd’s staff and it has to bear many fruits. Pope Benedict gave indications of this. Your “fully understood” and “fully received” can indeed overpower a presentation were it not for the fact that they are exaggerations or misdirections.

          The shepherd’s staff relates to us how rigidity is a virtue, by the way.

          One thing highlighted by Pope Benedict is that error professing the concept of “the spirit of the Council”. This error is more noticeable today, they want to recreate Pentecost and have a “mixed Church” as they say “like the assembly in the Upper room” that had gathered “together” after the Resurrection and who (supposedly) “all received the Spirit”.

          ‘ In a word: it would be necessary not to follow the texts of the Council but its spirit. In this way, obviously, a vast margin was left open for the question on how this spirit should subsequently be defined and room was consequently made for every whim.

          The nature of a Council as such is therefore basically misunderstood. In this way, it is considered as a sort of constituent that eliminates an old constitution and creates a new one. ‘

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  1. Vatican II, Sixty Years On | Passionists Missionaries Kenya, Vice Province of St. Charles Lwanga, Fathers & Brothers
  2. On Pope John XXIII’s opening Address at the Second Vatican Council – Catholic World Report – The Old Roman
  3. Vatican II, Sixty Years On – Catholic World Report – The Old Roman

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