5 April 2010

Canon of S Peter's calls for review of Vatican II

Perhaps, amid all the press and hubbub of Easter, you might have noticed, with the Sovereign Pontiff at S Peter's, the 85-year old but sprightly figure of Mgr Canon Brunero Gherardini ... whose many distinctions include that of being a consultor of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and a professorship in the Pontifical Lateran University. Monsignore published last year Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano II: Un discorso da fare. This has now appeared in an English Translation as The Ecumenical Vatican Council II A MUCH NEEDED DISCUSSION. It is published by the Casa Mariana Editrice, who offer not an ISBN number but an email address: cm.editrice@immacolata.ws

The sharp-eyed will notice that this publication is due to the Franciscans of the Immaculate; the rapidly growing order of friars, pictures of whose ordination of new friars (what Fr Zed would call eye-candy) in some pokey little place called All Saints Florence appeared on NLM only last week (needless to say, the superb set of nearly a hundred images is due to an Anglican seminarian, the soon-to-be-Fr James Bradley). Their corresponding order of sisters have provided, of course, the vibrant young community at the ancient Cornish recusant house of Lanhearne (in which the reservation of the Sacrament of our Lord's love has never ceased since before the Reformation). This new family of Extraordinary Form religious are to be much thanked for making such an important book available to a wide public.

My blog, of course, has often referred to the large amount of work to be done with regard to the authentic siting of Vatican II in the life of the Church. This too is the implication of our Holy Father's emphasis on a hermeneutic of continuity (these words actually mean something; they are not simply the title of England's premier Catholic Blog!). That Council can only logically be seen as a phenomenon which was in continuity with the (antecedent) unbroken tradition of the Church. But it is one thing to assert this important principle; quite another to demonstrate such continuity by an engagement with the texts of Vatican II side by side with earlier and reiterated statements of the Magisterium.

The Vatican and SSPX are at this moment getting down to this very task in deadly secret. I understand some reasons for this secrecy, but I am a little unhappy about it. The question concerned is perhaps the biggest task facing Benedict XVI's slimmed-down Church, because it involves nothing less than the reintegration of the Church's dogmatic theology after the disorders of the second half of the twentieth century.

You can't be a fly on the wall as the SSPX discussions take place, but the admirable Franciscans of the Immaculate have given you the opportunity of doing your own study of this question in parallel with the Vatican negotiations. It's not just me that suggests this; no lesser figure than Mgr Fellay has made a similar point.

I shall be returning to this book.

Get it and read it. You're already out-of-date if you haven't done so.


Woody said...

Many thanks for this "tip", Fr. H. I have sent my request to the FI's and hope to have a reply telling me how to order and pay for at least a couple of copies.

As to the SSPX-Vatican discussions, I am hoping that there will be a mutually satisfactory conclusion, which would likely involve the Holy Father's issuance of the interpretive document that I believe Gherardini also urges.

Sorry I missed you when you were here in Texas, but hopefully you will return. Needless to say, Fort Worth presents only a few aspects of our variegated state, so you still have much to see.

Anonymous said...

For US readers, his book can also be ordered through the Academy of the Immaculate, a traditional Catholic apostolate in the USA.

Copies of Msgr. Gherardini's book are US$25 each plus shipping. Mike Coffey, FTI can be contacted for orders directly at mimike@pipeline.com or +1-888-906-2742.

I spoke with Mr Coffey this morning, which was a pleasure, and he has stock on hand.