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Pope: ‘The Council Fathers neither could nor wished to create a new Church’

By on Thursday, 11 October 2012

Benedict XVI at the weekly general audience yesterday (Photo: CNS)

Benedict XVI at the weekly general audience yesterday (Photo: CNS)

A reflection on the Second Vatican Council by Pope Benedict XVI has been published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano on the eve of the Council’s 50th anniversary.

In the essay, the Pope recalls his presence at the opening of Vatican II, which he attended as a theological adviser. He both praises and criticises some of the Council’s most consequential documents, regarding religious liberty and the Church’s relationship with non-Christian religions and the modern world.

The essay is the introduction to a forthcoming collection of previously unpublished Council-era writings by then Fr Joseph Ratzinger. The collection will be published in German this November.

“It was a moment of extraordinary expectation,” the Pope writes of the procession of more than 2,000 bishops into St Peter’s Basilica on October 11, 1962. “Great things were about to happen.”

“Christianity, which had built and formed the Western world, seemed more and more to be losing its power to shape society,” he writes. “So that it might once again be a force to shape the future, [Blessed] John XXIII had convoked the Council without indicating to it any specific problems or programmes. This was the greatness and at the same time the difficulty of that task that was set before the ecclesial assembly.”

A crucial question for the Council Fathers, Pope Benedict writes, was the “relationship between the Church and the modern world”.

“From the 19th century onward,” the Church had “visibly entered into a negative relationship with the modern era,” he writes. “Did it have to remain so?”

Pope Benedict concludes that one of the Council’s best-known documents, Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, failed to offer an adequate definition of the “essential features that constitute the modern era”.

Instead, he writes, the “encounter with the great themes of the modern epoch” happened in “two minor documents, whose importance has only gradually come to light”.

The Declaration on Religious Liberty, “urgently requested, and also drafted, by the American bishops in particular”, clarified the Church’s affirmation of the “freedom to choose and practise religion and the freedom to change it, as fundamental human rights and freedoms”, he writes.

That declaration lent itself to troubling interpretations, the Pope writes, since it might seem to imply the “inaccessibility of the truth to man”, which would make religion a merely subjective matter. But he writes that the 1978 election of Blessed John Paul II, from a country where the state denied religious freedom, revealed the “inner orientation of the faith toward the theme of freedom, and especially freedom of religion and worship”.

The Pope also praises Nostra Aetate, the Council’s declaration that the “spiritual, moral, and socio-cultural values [of non-Christian religions] were to be respected, protected and encouraged”.

But the Pope writes that a “weakness of this otherwise extraordinary text has gradually emerged: it speaks of religion solely in a positive way, and it disregards the sick and distorted forms of religion.”

In conclusion, Pope Benedict reiterates one of his most prominent teachings about Vatican II: that it must be interpreted in continuity with the Church’s millennial traditions, not as a radical break with the past.

“The Council Fathers neither could nor wished to create a new or different church. They had neither the authority nor the mandate to do so,” he writes. “That is why a hermeneutic of rupture is so absurd and is contrary to the spirit and the will of the Council Fathers.”

  • Benedict Carter

    No, that isn’t the core of Modernism.

  • Openmined

    The Vatican better not forget the words of the late good honest Cardinal Martini as well to bear in mind that time waits for no one for correct change.

  • JabbaPapa

    You seem to disagree with Pope Pius X :

    But it is pride which exercises an incomparably greater sway over the soul to blind it and lead it into error, and pride sits in Modernism as in its own house, finding sustenance everywhere in its doctrines and lurking in its every aspect. It is pride which fills Modernists with that self-assurance by which they consider themselves and pose as the rule for all. It is pride which puffs them up with that vainglory which allows them to regard themselves as the sole possessors of knowledge, and makes them say, elated and inflated with presumption, “We are not as the rest of men,” and which, lest they should seem as other men, leads them to embrace and to devise novelties even of the most absurd kind. It is pride which rouses in them the spirit of disobedience and causes them to demand a compromise between authority and liberty. It is owing to their pride that they seek to be the reformers of others while they forget to reform themselves, and that they are found to be utterly wanting in respect for authority, even for the supreme authority. Truly there is no road which leads so directly and so quickly to Modernism as pride.

    Pascendi Dominici Gregis, 40

  • Benedict Carter

    Coal or iron, your open mine?

  • Sweetjae

    Modernism is an act of departure from Tradition. The big part of which is, a catholic must give assent to a valid Council of the Church, irony eh????

  • Sweetjae

    Funny, but I like the Irish beer though!

  • Sweetjae

    is not disputable that the Syllabus articulates the Magisterial teaching of
    Pius IX, and that it was binding on his subjects. What, however, of his
    teaching was relevant at his time only and what is of permanent value and still
    binding is not up to me to judge. His documents are now part of Tradition, and
    interpretation of Tradition is entrusted exclusively to the living voice of the
    Magisterium (DV 10), for me here and now Pope Benedict and my Bishop. I can’t
    ask Pius IX for guide, and a venture of DIY interpretation of his document
    would be incompatible with my Faith.

    Once he has left to the Church his teaching that teaching is incorporated into
    the whole body of the teaching before and after him. In each moment of the
    Church history she teaches mainly through the living Pope and bishops who are
    in full communion with him, theologians help them with their expertize. It
    consists in interpretation of the whole body of the teaching received by that
    time and its articulation in terms most appropriate to their own time. And this
    interpretation and articulation is incorporated into what has been received.
    Thus the whole body of the teaching is enriched.

  • Sweetjae

    That is your own
    opinion about the Syllabus of Errors which would be easily to dismiss by an experiment: select ten friends,
    give them one item from the Syllabus, and ask them to articulate it in their
    own words, and explain you how they understand it, and you will see.

    You are not the authority to interpreter of any Magisterial documents, don’t you see???

  • Sweetjae

    True, but if one
    doesn’t know the errors to which the teaching refers he cannot understand the
    teaching. Furthermore, if the errors condemned are no longer in fashion the
    teaching itself has nothing to refer to, i.e. it is meaningless.

  • Parasum

     Coffee for me thanks. Just as well I wasn’t drinking at that moment. 

  • Parasum

    You’re taking terms that have a meaning, and using them for realities they don’t apply to. This makes the terms do more work than they are meant to; they become “thin and stretched”, and useless for their original purpose, when they meant something. This is a first-class way to make intelligent communication impossible :(

    “Protestant” keeps being used to mean something like “Catholic who doesn’t agree with the Pope” – that is the only meaning that could justify an absurdity like calling the SSPX Protestants. They are no more Protestants than a cheesecake is a computer. People who call them Protestants might as well call a rhinoceros a stallion: both have four legs, a tail, two eyes, and much else in common – that does not make them the same animal. Yet the SSPX are called Protestants on far weaker evidence than the evidence that a rhinoceros is the same creature as a horse.

    Same applies to the characters mentioned in your post – there is not a modernist or liberal in the list. Denying Catholic doctrine is by itself very weak evidence of being modernist or liberal. It gives little clue as to someone’s beliefs, because it points only to something he doesn’t believe.

  • Parasum

    “Every single one the Church’s teachings must be interpreted within the
    framework of the greatest of all commandments. Stringent teachings that
    may have made sense within constrained cultural milieu may not make
    sense later. This is specially true after the Holocaust.”

    ## The framework is too vague – the two Great Commandments are useless for interpreting Council Documents. “Thou shalt love your neighbour as thyself” is worthless as a guide to the meaning of the Council of Trent’s teaching on transubstantiation; loving God with the whole heart is no good at all for seeing why the teaching of Nicea I on the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father.

    That is not what those Commandments are for. 

    I take your point about the Shoah – my (purely personal) solution is that the Shoah is no argument against the Faith at all; it reveals no fault in God, but wickedness in man. It was legitimate, right, praiseworthy, and an obligation on the Church to preach to the Jews, because Christ is theirs first, & ours only secondarily – and the Shoah does not change that by one iota. They must still be evangelised, for Christ is their King & their God, even if they cannot see that

    If the Shoah could make a difference to the Faith, the sins of Catholics should be even more troubling. If our past sins don’t make our witness worthless, neither does the  involvement of Christians in the Shoah. The Church’s Faith is based not on our very uncertain virtue, but on Christ & Christ Alone. He is the reason it is absolutely solid, stable, everlasting, and proof against any thing man can do to destroy it. If it was true before the Shoah, it is as true & solid & universally to be preached  & universal in its claims now. The horrible wrongs done to Jews in the past are incommensurable with the Infinite Goodness of the Christ Who is the Unique & all-sufficient Saviour of mankind – so the evil that is the Shoah cannot be a reason not to preach the Gospel of Christ to all mankind, Jews included. It is not our Gospel – it is His, and it must go forth and win for Him all those who are chosen to be His. He is deprived of subjects and members, if human prudence forbids it to be preached. Christ the King cannot be thwarted, & neither can His Word. So His Church would be wise to “come quietly” & obey Him freely while it can. 

    So while – I hope – seeing the point in your words “[s]tringent teachings that may have made sense within constrained cultural milieu may not make sense later”, I disagree. There is only One Church, One Faith, because there is only One Lord, One God and Father of all. If there can legitimately be two
    Christs, there can be two legitimate Christianities. Religious liberty is good only if it liberty for the One True Church to practice the One True Faith – to allow the public practice of other religions, & give them the same freedom to spread as the OTF, is to confuse “the liberty with which Christ has made us free” with licence. “The children of this world are” indeed “wiser in their generation than the children of light”. Ideally there should be no toleration of false religions whatever – its justification is that it provides a defence against worse evils. In Heaven, there are only Catholics.

    “Nothing has changed, really.”

    ## In some respects, agreed – but in others, no, there has been immense change.

  • Parasum

    Yes, I have an opinion about the Syllabus, as do others; as do you. Some opinions are better-founded than others, because they correspond better to reality. So all opinions are not equal. You are confusing the magisterial authority of bishops (say) with authorities that have less claim on the deference of Catholics. A professor of Greek may know nothing of St. Bonaventure’s theology: that in no way prevents him being an authority on Homer. The Pope may have supreme teaching authority in the Church – it does not follow that he knows anything about Nestorianism in China.

    I don’t need “the authority to interpreter of [sic] any Magisterial documents” – where in that post have I tried to interpret anything ? FWIW, I have said nothing that has not been said by others who *are* qualified to comment. What has happened to make the Syllabus less worthy of acceptance than it was in 1864 ? If my arguments are so unworthy of any respect, shouldn’t you, as the critic of them, show that to be the case ?

    The test you propose is worthless, because it does not treat the Syllabus as a theological document.  And the same test would make the Bible worthless,and every Magisterial document ever written. Well done on your demolishing the entire Christian faith. Your comments are opinions too – what makes your opinions any better than those of a poster you criticise for…having opinions ? STM you are so concerned for modern Popes, that you are trashing the very authority they claim – which they can have only in succession to  their predecessors. The magisterium of BXVI is worthless if it not not the same magisterium as that of his predecessors.And that opinion is based on Catholic dogma about the visibility of the Church.

    If my position is so open to criticism – why do you not show why I am mistaken ? Can you fault the reasoning, or the facts ? If not, that leaves your own objection looking rather weak – which it is, for the reason explained.

  • Parasum

     Why not quote where | said you did ? Unless I make it unmistakably clear that I am quoting, I am not quoting. Quotation marks are for showing that a quotation is being made.

  • Parasum

    Since the Pope gives the reference to the text in which he condemns the error, that would tell the bishops what they needed to know about the error and in which of his letters it had been rebuked, & when – for “Quanta Cura” & the Syllabus were addressed to the  bishops, not to the faithful in general. The references are a clue to the context. As Newman makes clear.

    Is Aphthartodocetism any less erroneous, any less heretical, any less opposed to Catholic doctrine than when it surfaced in the 6th century ? By your reasoning, the errors about the Eucharist made by Berengarius of Tours in the 11th century are “meaningless” – the Pope would disagree with you. So would any Catholic with a knowledge of the history of Eucharistic theology in the 11th century. Not all errors are purely time-bound. Errors that deny the deposing power of the Pope are time-bound in a way that errors about the Blessed Trinity, the Eucharist,and so forth, are not.

    Errors remain erroneous, even when not in fashion – and many of those condemned in the Syllabus are still alive. Is the Church to cast out old condemnations, merely because they might not be of immediate current relevance ? If it did that, how could it know of its past ?

  • Paul

    Worship, glory, praise, honour, thanksgiving, to the only God and his only Christ.
    The Pope is beginning to see that some of the teachings of Vatican II are fundamentally opposed to Scripture.
    Now, Pope Benedict, I ask you to state it whole and clear:  It is more than a weakness to praise the gods of the nations.  It is the most fundamentally antibiblical thing of all.  It is the root cause of the malaise in the postconciliar church.
    Returning to biblical truth is the key to our church’s healing.
       ‘The whole world is in the power of the evil one’ (1 John 5:19)
       What is this ‘world’ that is in the power of the evil one?  Does Scripture define it?
       It does.  It consists of every spirit, human and demonic, which does not accept the truth about Jesus.
      ‘Beloved children, not every spirit is to be trusted, but test the spirits to see if they are of God, for  many false prophets are at large in the world.  This is the test of spirits:  Every spirit which confesses Jesus Christ come in the flesh IS of God: and every spirit which does not confess Jesus Christ come in the flesh is NOT of God, but is that spirit of antichrist whose coming you have heard of; he is already at large in the world.  Children, you are of God and have overcome them, because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world’  (1 John 4:1-4).

    In praising those spirits that do not confess the truth about Jesus, Vatican II brought the curse of confusion, error and spiritual disempowerment into the church.  Sections 2 and 3 of Nostra Aetate, because of the authority of their authorship, amount to the most lethal attack ever launched against the faith of the people of God.

    Praise God!  The Pope is beginning the process of rollback!

  • Benedict Carter

    many people are convinced that he is not. 


    He is
    desperately trying to rescue Vatican II from the gutter, so discredited is it
    and all the revolutionary changes it brought. But, like Gorbachev and his
    blindness to the irreformability of the Communist Party, and I say this with no
    sense of glee at all, the Pope holds on tight to the very principles of
    Revolution which permeated the Council and its documents. 


    Can it thus
    be presented fifty years on in a truly Catholic way? 


    What about
    the Mass? Here is what one Cardinal has said recently:


    In short, he says that the Mass of Paul VI IS NOT the Mass of the
    Council; Sacrosanctum Concilium never really implemented.

    So what should we look forward to now? Another Missal? Another version?


    Here is what Pope paul VI, already disillusioned, had to say in a
    General Audience on November 26th 1969:


    “Our Dear Sons and Daughters: 

    We ask you to turn
    your minds once more to the liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass. A new rite of the Mass: a
    change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects
    our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of
    being untouchable and settled. We
    must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience. It is the kind of upset caused
    by every novelty that breaks in on our habits. We shall notice that pious
    persons are disturbed most, because they have their own respectable way of
    hearing Mass, and they will feel shaken out of their usual thoughts and obliged
    to follow those of others. Even
    priests may feel some annoyance in this respect. This novelty is no small
    thing…the greatest newness is going to be noticed, the newness of language. No longer Latin, but the spoken
    language will be the principal language of the Mass. We are parting with the speech
    of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the
    literary preserve of sacred utterance. We
    will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and
    spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant.”


    Yes, Holy Father, “even some priests may feel some annoyance”!
    So much so that 300,000 of them left the priesthood and a serious number went
    insane from grief.


    And what about the several “dodgy dossiers”, the problematic documents
    of Vatican II? It is no longer enough to say that they are in continuity with
    the Church’s constant teaching, because more and more people simply don’t
    believe it. Indeed, the Holy Father has himself said and written on several
    occasions that they are not!


    The 1988 Protocol that Rome signed
    with Archbishop Lefebvre acknowledged that certain points taught by the Second
    Vatican Council or concerning subsequent reforms of the liturgy and law appear
    difficult to reconcile to Holy Tradition.

    As America Magazine
    said, “Father Edward Schillebeeckx was a Dominican priest who advised the
    Dutch bishops at Vatican II and became a major figure in the Church’s efforts
    to implement the reforms of that Council in the decades that followed.” 

    Schillebeeckx declared that the “reformers” had employed ambiguous
    language when they composed certain Vatican II texts. He said that
    “we have used ambiguous phrases during the Council and we know how we will
    interpret them afterwards.”

    That is the problem
    with Vatican II – the ambiguity and the the time-bombs.

    As Mgr. Gherardini has written, “More problematic is its continuity with Tradition, not
    because it did not declare such a continuity, but because, especially in those
    key points where it was necessary for this continuity to be evident, the
    declaration has remained unproven”.

  • JabbaPapa

    “Thou shalt love your neighbour as thyself” is worthless as a guide to the meaning of the Council of Trent’s teaching on transubstantiation; loving God with the whole heart is no good at all for seeing why the teaching of Nicea I on the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father.

    Funnily enough, it is ONLY through the Commandment of Love that the doctrine of the Trinity can start to be understood.

    If you try and understand it only with your mind and your logic, you will utterly fail at the attempt.

    It is also ABSOLUTELY necessary, in my opinion, during the Holy Eucharistic Communion in the Mass to both love God and accept God’s Love for oneself and for the whole of the Congregation, made Flesh in the Host.

    Not, certainly NOT, in the manner of a “communal meal” of course, but simultaneously Agape, Sacrifice, Repentance, Worship, Thanksgiving, and Mystical Union towards the Divine Transcendent Presence of God in Love.


    Your other points are rather excellent though.

  • Paul

    Benedict, I like to keep a narrow focus on what the root problem is.  The root problem is not, in my view, the changes in liturgy.  In fact, I prefer the new, vernacular mass. 
      The root problem is a denial of biblical truth.
      Biblical faith is not an opinion.  In revealing himself to us, God does not offer a perspective among other perspectives.  He gives us knowledge.  The source of all our security, all our spiritual power, is that we know from his word that he is the only one, and that Christ is his only manifestation, our only Saviour.
      Start giving credit to the demon gods who seek to replace him in our minds and hearts, and you really lose it.  You become disempowered, confused, subject to every kind of curse.
      That is what entered into our church through certain of the texts of V2 in which the gods of the nations and the spirit of the world, the antichrist, were praised.  Sections 2&3 of Nostra Aetate are the main ones.  There are a few others.
      We need to return to pure hearted faith, the knowledge that he alone is our God.
      We need the basic biblical truth to be reaffirmed by the highest authority in our church, the pope.  That is why I am encouraged by what Pope Benedict says.  I see in it the beginning of a realization of what exactly went wrong half a century ago. 
      The Holy Spirit is in charge, and our church will emerge clearer and stronger for the period of confusion we have been through.

  • Benedict Carter

    I didn’t say that the root cause is the Mass, horrific though the “reforms” have been in turning Catholics effectively into Protestants. 

    I also don’t see any departures from Scripture as the root cause. 

    I accept our Lady’s diagnosis – it is a loss of faith “which starts at the top”. 

    This is the Great Apostasy and I myself think the Chastisement as foretold by Our Lady at Fatima, Garabandal and Akita is coming sooner rather than later.

    If Garabandal is of God, then it is definitely within our lifetimes.

  • JabbaPapa

    If Garabandal is a Warning rather than a Prophecy, then there is no certainty to it.

  • Benedict Carter

    You clearly do not know the details of Garabandal.

    Conchita knows the date of the Warning. She is to announce it eight days beforehand. She has said it will take place in the lifetimes of her children (who are already in their 40′s). Within one year of the Warning comes the Great Chastisement. 

  • Benedict Carter

    Thanks Parasum. Perhaps he’ll think a little more. 

  • Sweetjae

    Garabandal is NOT an approved apparition by the Church. It’s has some contradictions to the Revealed Faith.

  • Sweetjae

    Though I agree with some points in your arguments but mostly they are based on misrepresentations, impressions and rants to a LEGITIMATE Council of the Church. Do you even get that to your thick head….VALID AND LEGITIMATE!!

    Benedict your position is suicidal and fatalistic, if the exercise of duly convened authority of a General Council of the Church and Popes are not quarantee for the Church not to teach or promulgate errors, then what does? If the Church can teach error at all, then she might teach error at any point in any given time thus there is no quarantee of Truth in any of her doctrines.

  • Sweetjae

    I already refuted this argument and the misrepresentions. Again, I will gladly take the SSPX rather than the modernists, no dispute. However, there are some elements (20%) that are closet Sedes. SSPX is a group that many offshoots came from that goes either way, google it. The point is disobedience breeds disobedience…..look at Fr. Kelley formerly an SPPX now a founder of his own church the SSPV, look at Bishop Williamson who doesn’t listen to anybody within the SSPX but himself, soon to be expelled!

    So before you come in here to pass a judgment to a LEGITIMATE Council, the Popes and the Church, go with your fellow ‘traditionalists’ and settle your opposing and differing beliefs from the same pre-VII traditio first. If you claim you are the true holders of tradition, then why are you so many opposing groups? You can’t be all right, right? Do you get the drip, my friend?

  • Sweetjae

    By the way your last paragraph says it all, Tradition and Scripture teach that all Christians must abide and assent to ALL legit Councils of the Church, otherwise one is a true follower of modernism, irony huh??The very principle you vehement opposed (modernism) is the very principle you have espoused!

  • Sweetjae

    It doesn’t deny the fact, it is still private judgment, until you address that intelligently, your reasoning is still a straw man argument similar with the protestant thinking.

  • Sweetjae

    Think?? Are you serious? You can’t even answer a simple question above!! NO ONE from the so called ‘traditionalist movement’ can give an answer, they either avoid it or circle around it.

  • Benedict Carter

    Bishop del Val Gallo, diocesan Bishop for Garabandal:

    “”No. The previous bishops did not admit that the apparitions were supernatural but to condemn them, no, that word had never been used.” 

    Interview question:

    Were the Garabandal Messages found to be theologically correct and in accordance to the teachings of the Catholic Church?

    A. Theologically correct, yes. But one of the details bothers me like the one: ‘Many bishops and cardinals are walking the path of perdition’ (perhaps the good Bishop was not aware of the likes of Rembert Weakland!) “it seems to me to be a bit severe. The Messages do not say anything that is against the doctrine of the church”.

    Your ignorance never stops you, does it “sweetjae”?

  • Benedict Carter

    Your inability to read what is in front of you before screeching does you no service. 

  • JabbaPapa

    Dear Benedict, you do not know what a Personal Revelation from God is actually like ….

    God can tell you one thing, then do something completely different.

    The idea that God should need to obey human logic is preposterous.

  • Benedict Carter

    Not our logic Jabba, but His own intentions as revealed by His Blessed Mother.

  • Benedict Carter

    Sorry, have you asked a question?

  • Benedict Carter

    Ahh! Just spotted it. And something incomprehensible about “drips”. Do you have a problem with your plumbing?

    So to your question: “If you claim you are the true holders of tradition, then why are you so many opposing groups? ”

    I don’t claim anything remotely like it. I say that the Church is the true holder, as you put it, of Tradition. 

    What you cannot seem to get your head round is that there are varying degrees of authority that different teachings have, and varying degrees of assent required for them. Vatican II taught no dogma (except where it cited dogma previously made explicit). It was avowedly pastoral. “Pastoral” is policy. It can be changed. 

    Your position is that anything and everything that comes out either of a Pope’s mouth or out of a Council is Sacred Writ. 

    It isn’t. Popes, Doctors of the Church and even St. Paul tell us so. 

    May be you have heard of a famous blogger called “Fr. Z”. He calls your position – which is straightforward papolatry – not only wrong, but blasphemous. 

  • Teófilo de Jesús

    I think you make a number of good points, which gives me the opportunity to clarify a few of my own:

    No, the framework provided by The Greatest Commandment is not vague at all. On the contrary, the whole Law and the Prophets – and we might even say, the entirety of Catholic teaching flows from, is suffused by, and it is directed towards the reality that God is Love, that no one claim that they love God but hate their neighbor will be saved. Our “job” here is not to hate, but to love. Hatred will be dealt with in God’s own time.

    Nor do I advocate not preaching the Gospel to our elder brothers in the faith, the Jews. After 2,000 years things have changed a bit, not in our message, but definitely in the messengers and in the recipients. Exquisite tact and thorough understanding of the Jewish ethos and sources and even arguments is needed in order to transmit the fact that Jesus is, first and foremost, the Messiah they still await. Grace will do the rest.

    When I say that some teachings make little sense today, I said so recognizing that there is a hiearchy of truths. Within this hierachy, the Uniqueness of Christ ranks all the way up there with the Triune nature of God and the Incarnation. Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular, would be unintelligible without admitting the uniquness and centrality of Jesus Christ, fully God and Man. So I grant you that. However, I had in mind other things, such as any praxis, or any secondary teachings derived by dogma, impinging on individual freedom of conscience. I agree that “error has no rights,” but this is an abstraction, what is concrete is that individuals have rights, even the right to be wrong. The evil that the Council Fathers wanted to avoid in opening conversations with other Christians and Jews was precisely the one that shaped our civilization for far too long: that in order to stamp out error, we stamped out people. We can’t do that, precisely because the love of God and neighbor – the greatest commandment – stands as a moral impediment to do so. If the uniqueness of Christ is not to be sacrificed to modern unbelief, neither is the dignity of man, precisely because *the God who is love became Man*. That’s why the Council’s opening to this kind of dialogue, now departing from the recognition of the inherent dignity of those who are in error is not really a change, but a reaffirmation and re-application of the Greatest Commandment to our relations with the non-Catholics. This reaffirmation should not be a source of anxiety for us, but of joy, as we seek the face of Christ in others, even on those who don’t believe in us, even on those who persecute and curse us. That’s the Gospel speaking in the Church and in the documents of the Second Vatican Council.


  • Sweetjae

    Your points are taken yet lacking in real substance, WHY? Well for starters, I don’t care what this or that bishop says in some very important matters as this, I wait for the proper ordained Authority. If not, do you believe in what Bishop Williamson believed? Do you believe in what St. Thomas said about the Immaculate Conception? Do you believe in what Bishop Fellay about Ecumenism and Religious Liberty? (I think you do this one, huh!)

    Again, Garabandal is NOT YET APPROVED BY THE CHURCH. If you still insist, then why do you not believe in the apparitions at Medjugorje???Eh, the local doicese Bishop said so too, so why not? oh not congenial to you, eh??

  • Sweetjae

    Because I pretty much know where you are coming from the problem is you people just can’t escape the same suicidal position you shared with the Protestants.

  • Benedict Carter

    Address the content of my posts or shut up.

  • Benedict Carter

    The Bishop I quoted, being the Bishop of the Garabandal diocese,  IS THE DESIGNATED CANONICAL AUTHORITY IN THIS CASE!

    Sweetjae, I am sick of your stalking which involves neither a proper reading nor response to anything I write. 

    It truly isn’t worth my time to debate with you. In fact, I often wonder if you are drunk when you write here. 

    I will not be responding to a single post of yours from now on. 

  • Sweetjae

    Because whatever you asserted has been refuted. The idiocity is that you are reading between the lines, where does it say in your citation by Bishop del Vall Gallo that the apparation has been approved by the Church? Can you provide an evidence to your claim?

    That is the very reason why you are getting sick, Benedict!

  • Sweetjae

    Huh?? Then why do you and SSPX claim that the 5 Pontiffs including this one, the Council of VII are all wrong in their imterpretation of the past Magiaterial teachings on Ecumenism, Religious Liberty etc. and you are right and thus the Concilliar church are not the holders of the true faith and tradition???

    One answer and question that will put an end to your assertion: WHERE does it say in Scripture and Tradition that a catholic can refuse obedience to a legit Council if its nature is Pastoral??

    Mind you Benedict, there are more than 3 Councils from the past that were pastoral in nature, so do we have the right to refuse them too? According to your logic, it’s affirmative.

  • Sweetjae

    The same charge by the Protestants if cornered, just scream “papolatry!”. This accusation can be demolished in one simple sweep, that the Teachings of a duly convened Council of the Church -VII are not mere musings and opinions of the pope! Intiende?Understood? Or do you want me to illustrate it in elementary form so you can understand?

  • Benedict Carter


  • Paul

    It is very difficult to get the simplest idea across.  I will try again.
    The whole point of Divine Revelation, in Scripture and Tradition, is that God reveals himself as the only one, and Christ as his only manifestation.
    To know this is eternal life.  To turn aside to other gods is its opposite.
    That is why, in the pre V2 church, we did not hesitate to refer to other gods as false gods, and other religions as false religions.  We knew that if they do not accept the truth about Jesus they cannot worship the true God, exactly as Scripture says.

    The root reason V2 placed our church under a curse from which it has not yet recovered is that it denied this most fundamental truth of Divine Revelation.  It praised the religions, the spiritual authorities, the gods, which reject Jesus.  It did this in Sections 2&3 of Nostra Aetate and elsewhere.

    The ONLY way our church can recover is to roll back on this error.  It needs to happen at the highest level of the church’s authority.

  • JabbaPapa

    1) Nostra Aetate is NOT one of the four central Constitutions of Vatican II

    2) I disagree with your interpretation of it — it does NOT “praise the religions, the spiritual authorities, the gods, which reject Jesus”

    It simply states that there are some teachings in these religions and of those authorities (but certainly NOT those “gods”) that are not incompatible with some teachings of Catholic Christianity.

    As for section 4, it simply restates the constant teaching of the Church concerning Judaism and the Old Covenant.

    3) Finally, the Pope himself has recently declared that the Vatican II documents did not focus sufficiently on the falsehoods and errors of the non-Christian and non-Catholic religions, and we should therefore read Nostra Aetate carefully, and in the light of this theological clarification of the Holy Father

  • JabbaPapa

    It is more than a weakness to praise the gods of the nations

    Nobody anywhere has “praised” the “gods” of their false religions.

  • JabbaPapa

    This ad hominem attack is both ridiculous and unworthy of you.

    Furthermore, Ben is absolutely correct.

  • Benedict Carter

    The same Holy Father who says in “Dominus Iesus” that the visible Church founded by Jesus Christ is something greater than and different to the Catholic Church (though, having trailed his skirts, he then declines saying what it is, and leaves it to the theologians). 

  • Benedict Carter

    He wouldn’t know what the word “refuted” meansJabba if it hit him in the face.