Thursday, 11 October 2012

There's one way in which Vatican II can be laid to rest

Today is the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. A cause for sorrow or for joy?

Most traditional Catholics accept that the Council was inherently good but that the modernists hijacked the 'apparent' outcomes very early in the proceedings.

Most liberal Catholics believe that it was the moment that Holy Mother Church shrugged off a dark, medieval image, embraced ecumenism and gave the lay man and woman a role to play in church life.
They believe that liturgical improvisation, communion in the hand, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Guitars and skiffle boards on the sanctuary and parish commissariats were outcomes rather than perversions of the Council.
They would rather labour under these misapprehensions than listen and observe the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI whom many regard with derision.

                          Thankfully, we are some way off Vat 69 but Vat III might  have potential

Sadly, I am now one of the few to remember Catholic life before the Council; it did have some reformable needs but, in the main, we were a much more balanced and united body than we are now and we cannot just carry on laying the blame for the subsequent decline at secularism.

I recall the brawls in Belgium when Mass in the vernacular was first introduced when Flemish speakers and French speakers fought in church over which faction had the vernacular right.

I remember the congregations walking out of Mass early at Englefield Green, disgusted with the 'new order' and the parish priest standing in the porch shouting: "It's still the same Mass you know".
Except that, it wasn't.

And I remember countless priest friends and acquaintances who, one minute were in their parishes hearing confessions and anointing the dying and then, were gone. Only to surface some months later with a wife in tow.
What was the point of celibacy and a life of sacrifice when all else had shifted its fulcrum?

So, if the Holy Spirit will forgive my impertinence, I have a solution; a cunning plan, even.

There is only one way to draw a line in the sand under the 'fruits of Vatican II' and that is....... hold a third Vatican Council!

But, it had better be quick.


  1. The one positive result of V II was that in 1965 the bishop allowed us left-footers to attend Anglican services; I was in the third form at the time, and because we could now go to the evening school carol service in the parish church, we also benefited from the half-holiday the rest of the school enjoyed. Also the annual Founder's Day service (ironically the founder, Bishop Foxe, was a pre-Reformation Catholic bishop)

    Apart from that, I can't think of any reason for blowing up balloons. The Council did more damage to the Church than the Protestant Reformation ever did; the Pope realizes this, but like his predecessor was too involved with it. Future pontiffs will, I suspect, pay lip service to it and quietly bury it. Where this leaves liberals like Tina Beattie, who see the Council as merely the start of an ongoing process, in her words "the painful birthing of a new way of being in the world" I neither know nor care - outside the Church, I suspect.

  2. Richard,
    Bring on Vatican 111-I say, to reverse Vatican 11-Oops I forgot nothing was changed doctrinally at Vatican 11!