24 July 2020

What is to be done about "The Council?

How to bury Vatican II?

There have been many good books which help us to approach "the Council". Professor Roberto de Mattei on the history of the Council; Fr Serafino Lanzetta on its nature as a pastoral Council ... going back to when the splendid Mgr Gherardini opened up the log-jam in 2009 and began to ask necessary questions which, hitherto, had been unaskable in the 'Mainstream Church'. (Mgr Lefebvre, of course, had courageously asked them.)

Today, it is hard to open a computer without finding splendid stuff about the Conciliar legacy from the more courageous of the Successors of the Apostles: from a Vigano or a Schneider. How is the Bergoglian disaster to be resolved? How can the Magisterial catastrophes of this pontificate, and the problems bequeathed by Vatican II, be sorted out? Should we all begin to check through our history books to find out how long it took the disastrous pontificate of Pope Honorius to be sorted out by the definitive repudiations of an Ecumenical Council and of his own successors? Half a century? A Century?

I am all in favour of the analyses and proposals currently being made by better men and cleverer men than I am.

But I would also like a workaday fall-back plan. I want something we can be doing now; something than doesn't depend on hypotheses and hopes about future contingencies.

There is a sense in which I hope that the Council might solve its own problem. Let me explain.

Between the death of S Pius X and the Council, there was about half a century.

When the Council began and the Rhine, ordure, offal, and all, flowed into the Tiber, the cabal which successfully kidnapped the Council for its own purposes was very sure about one thing: the analysis of the needs of the Church made by S Pius X fifty years before was no longer adequate to the Church of the 1960s.

More than the same amount of time ... half a century ...  has now elapsed between the end of the Council and our own time.

Surely no-one can deny that what seemed necessary in the 1960s is now ... History.

The Cold War is no more; instead of International Communist Subversion we have the problem of Islam.

Kindly old gentlemen in the 1960s wondered if the Contraceptive Pill might be a help to nice Catholic married couples who simply wanted to "space" their clean and respectable children: now we have rampant sexual immorality: the Pill is sidelined because AIDS and all those transmissible sexual diseases with the pretty, elegiac names necessitate 'barrier' interventions in the sexual act.

"Too many mouths to feed" has been replaced as a realistic worry by a fear that the working population will soon be too small to support our society.

Above all, the cheerful optimism of the 1960s, the belief that a friendly World was just sitting there waiting to listen to the message of the Church if only we could refine our expression of the Faith ... if only we would gently open our windows ... has given place to a world that is relentlessly hostile to the Sovereignty of Christ the King. If the 1960s uncrowned Him, the 2020s are determined to get Him back on to the Cross.

Vatican II is just about as much of an irrelevancy to this new world of ours, the world of 2020, as the financial legislation of the Emperor Augustus would be to a seminar on jazz.

(Even "liberal" Catholics agree de facto with this proposition of Conciliar irrelevance. Do the Kennedys and the Pelosis, gruesome tribes, have any interest in the strong language with which the Council condemned Abortion, and did so three times?)

Getting Vatican II canonically displaced and some of the actions of PF formally repudiated is a lovely idea ... a beautiful fantasy to help one get off to sleep. I'd  vote for it twice a day. But, far more important, is the need for the Council to be forgotten and to be replaced by a Catholicism vibrantly and healthily expressive of the Gospel and the Faith of the Ages.

I'm not sure you need to be certain you have created a vacuum before you decide what to put into your vacant space.

The Council of Vienne had a Spirit of the Council. In that Spirit, the Templars were burned on probably phony charges of Sodomy and their wealth seized. The French government gathered huge sums of money on the undersnding that it would lead a crusade ... and then just hung on to it all. Does anybody give that Council a second thought? When did you last wake up in the night worrying about it?

Vatican II is as irrelevant now as the Council of Vienne is. Vatican II was every bit as fully and totally a true, valid Ecumenical Council cum Petro et sub Petro as Vienne was ... and it is just about as fully and totally irrelevant today. It is not, however, any more essential for it to be formally repudiated than it would be for Vienne to be expunged from the record. Helpful, yes; edifying, I agree; elegant and logical, most certainly; but not of the esse.

Vatican II needs to be helped to fall out of the memory of the Church, just as Vienne has been. It needs to be forgotten ... left to merge into the Church's general background murmur rather than touted around as if it offered anything whatsoever to help us to deal with Now.


Tom said...

You are, as usual, right Father. If only more Catholics read their own history! I do differ on one point: International Communist Subversion has not gone away. I think it has merely shifted its 'command centre' from Russia to China. It has also grown substantial fifth columns in academia and across the left from the socialists to the Greens along with 'useful idiots' everywhere. But you are right none the less about the Council. It has become irrelevant. Perhaps the way forward is to cultivate a new generation of vocations to the priesthood so that we have more and more traditional and orthodox priests only too willing to let the Council fade from the memory of the Church.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. Pope Paul VI claimed that Vatican Two was an attempt by the Church to know itself better.

If that were the cade, it failed.

Prior to the Council Holy Mother Church knew her own self so well that she knew who was and who wasn't a Catholic. Who hasn't read Mystici corporis and its definite definition of who is and isn't a member of The Catholic Church?

But then along came the New Theologians like Father Yves Congar and his use of subsists (He claimed to be the source of that word) dissolved the definition so that the Church could be understood to exist elsewhere.

Fr Congar claimed that Anglicans should be accepted as members of the Church without accepting the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption because ...They had no part in defining them, they would never accept them.

This is progress, this is the Catholic Church knowing itself better by ditching universal definitions?

GOR said...

I couldn’t agree more, Father! Back in the heady days of 1963-65 there was a buzz in Rome among us seminarians. While the primitive copying machines of the Gregorian, Angelicum, etc. churned out ‘first copies’ of the latest conciliar documents – almost daily, it seemed to us – we were hardly engaged with them.

The buzz was more about which purpurato had been glimpsed in the Aula Magna – “Did you see X…?” “Doesn’t Y look good for his age?” And so on. Concerned as we were to absorb almost 2000 years of Church History, Dogma and the Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law, the animadversions of assorted periti were of but passing interest.

The conciliar documents, being ‘merely pastoral’ seemed of less import as well. For me, that hasn’t changed. I expect I’m still not past Trent.

Frederick Jones said...

Did not St John Henry Newman believe that there was no necessity for Vatican I? The Church was doing well in England in the mid-nineteenth century. There must be some Newman scholars on here who can enlighten me.

John Vasc said...

I recall that the reference point constantly harped on by the restless, years before V2 opened, was not even the era of Pius X, but the First Vatican Council thirty years before that. As in 'We had a first Vatican Council a century ago, time we had another.'
The successor council for which the 'progressives' clamoured during VII itself (to 'tidy up' i.e. further revolutionise) never took place - for it would have endangered their position: it was essential that 'The Council' should be mythically associated with only one single alpha point in time. A Vatican 3 would have made it painfully clear that Vatican 2 was also alterable and deniable, revealing the partial, provisional nature of any Council. And after all, they now had a pontiff in place (Paul VI) who allowed them all the leeway they needed.

coradcorloquitur said...

What seems to escape those in this engaging discussion about putting Vatican II out of memory, as if it had been the bad dream it really was, is the dark fact that with Stalinist determination most pastors of the Church have managed to hammer into the modern Catholic (as opposed to "Modernist," where it would be a foregone conclusion) consciousness that the Church really came into existence in 1965---absurd and heretical though that notion is. Many, if not most, of today's Catholics who have a sensum fidelium in any measure simply take it for granted that Vatican II, the Super Council, superseded all that preceded it in the Church: the rites of Mass, the Church's immemorial moral teaching, the repeated condemnations of freemasonry, the de fide doctrine of "extra ecclesiam nulla salus" (properly understood), the heritage of priceless ecclesiastical music, the orientation and quality of church furnishings and sanctuary arrangements, the expected decorum in God's House, the penitential practices, etc. ad nauseam. Dear St. John Henry Newman and the English Martyrs--- among innumerable saints, doctors, confessors, and laity---would not recognize "their" Church were they to return to this vale of tears today. A cleansing of the historical memory has taken place, a rabid historical revisionism has been ruthlessly enforced by our shepherds (of varying hierarchy) themselves with such cruelty and tyranny that any Stalinist master would be both proud and astounded at the unbelievable development of just half a century. I fear it is too late and any efforts useless, short of Divine intervention, for most Catholics today have been brainwashed into a kind of historical tabula raza about their own past and heritage before Vatican Council II. In such a climate "forgetting" the Council is a moot point, as the historical memory of being a Catholic in communion with our own glorious past has itself been obliterated for countless faithful. The Gramscian march through this institution is fait accompli, so remembering or forgetting the Council is beside the point. Tragic and, in my conviction, all too true. We must begin again, as in apostolic times, with small but truly and traditional Catholic congregations led by true Catholics, accepting the melancholy fact that many who bear our hollowed name are no more in communion with us, or with the historical Catholic Church, than were the Waldensians of the 16th century or the devotees of the Pachamama today.

Frank Rega said...

Why I love ViganĂ²'s concept of a parallel church.
In his controversial essay of June 9, 2020, Archbishop Carlo Maria ViganĂ² wrote:

“. . . it is undeniable that from Vatican II onwards a parallel church was built, superimposed over and diametrically opposed to the true Church of Christ. This parallel church progressively obscured the divine institution founded by Our Lord in order to replace it with a spurious entity, corresponding to the desired universal religion that was first theorized by Masonry.”


Stuart Rackham said...

Would that you were right Father, but I fear we've still got a long way to fall -- inertia and change is driven by pleasure and pain, concupiscence and calamity -- reason doesn't seem to have a lot to do with it. Unless there's a massive material catastrophe we will simply continue to drift lazily into the twilight.

John F. Kennedy said...

"...the Kennedys and the Pelosis, gruesome tribes, ..." I agree with your thoughts in general, but not ALL of the Kennedys are in agreement with the famous, public heretics of our extended Clan.

pueblosw@gmail.com said...

As I recall, the council did not go off the rails until after Pope John XXIII died. Seems the revisionists saw their opportunity and took it. While it is true that that some fine tuning was needed for Vatican I, the various Popes that succeeded Pius IX seemed to be doing just that through pronouncement, interpretations and changes in customs to accommodate changing times. The present Pontiff is given to rather strange pronouncement on occasion but at least he does not ask for councilar affirmation. The idea of a useful synod has already been discarded by most and probably will be little heard of in the future.