Gaudet Mater Ecclesia was the address to the Council on its opening day, the Feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 11 October1962. Fr Zed, on his unfailingly fantastic blog, has pointed out that the Vatican website still does not carry an English translation of this important document. I can explain why ... indeed, I think I have touched on this topic before and more than once.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will [shall?] begin.
This business goes back to a failed jesuit called Hebblethwaite, who regarded himself as an expert on the The Council. He promoted a story that the original text of GME as read out by S John XXIII contained a relativising sentence of questionable orthodoxy. According to Hebblethwaite, crafty conservatives then got together to substitute their own 'corrected' form of this passage. This narrative ... the tale of good, liberal pope John being subverted by wicked traddies ... then became the standard 'liberal' version of history. Basil Hume, incredibly, or perhaps credibly, accepted it and repeated it.
Until Professor John Finnis took matters in hand. By deft examination of the evidence (including a recording of S John XXIII reading the text, and the text as printed in Osservatore Romano the following morning), this dogged Oxford academic, a law professor, demonstrated that Hebblethwaite's narrative was comprehensively wrong ... from beginning to end. The Pope's 'official' words were authentically spoken by him in the aula and were accurately recorded by Vatican radio ... and the Failed Jesuit's account is ... whether intentionally or by accident or by virtue of the black-is-white-and-white- is-black trick ... mendacious. Smoke and Mirrors!
The crucial words as spoken by the pope were eodem sensu eademque sentententia. The holy Pontiff was emphasising the unchanging nature of the Faith. The Faith may be expressed in different ways, he said, as long as this is done keeping the same meaning and the same judgment.
Finnis explained all this in The Tablet, 14 December 1991 ... detail by detail, proof by proof.
What a glorious and heavenly hoot this simple, wholesome English story is! The authentic text of what the pope said in 1962 is still such a hot potato for the Vatican!! Ridete quidquid est domi cachinnorum ... Tee Hee, as Alison might have said ...
What is it that the trendies are afraid of? Still ... after all this time?
A five-letter Anglo-Saxon word?