Friday, February 19, 2010

Stand up iv VII

Mac is having a go at the Stand up 4 Vat 2 crowd, they want every bishop in the country to "celebrate", the Second Oecumenical Council of the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October, 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI on 21 November, 1965, for those of you too young to have been alive during it. As you can see from Mac's post this sad little group seems to have a strange notion of what the Council actually taught.
I am a great believer in getting back to the texts, so getting bishops to face up to what the documents actually said would be a good thing, reading VII in the light of VI, of Trent etc would be nothing but a boon. I presume these people want something to happen two months after the Papal visit; after a good dose Benedict's teaching on the hermeneutic of continuity, on dissent, on Newman and the evils of liberalism. Such a 45th anniversary celebration would be an interesting test for any bishop on how well he had picked up Papal teaching. By that time there should some hint from the talks between Rome and the SSPX on the "correct" interpretation of some of the trickier bits of VII.
I am taken by this idea, I will celebrate a 45th Anniversary Mass, in the Rite of the Council, Missal of Blessed John XXIII, I'll have to think about who will preach. Who wants to be deacon and subdeacon?


Londiniensis said...

This is a brilliant idea! I wish that there were more priests willing and able to stand up to the Bologna School bullies and hope that your example is followed the length and breadth of the country. Now how does one get The Latin Mass Society onside?

Antonio said...

Why on earth would the LMS want to celebrate the anniversary of something that is indirectly responsible for the unlawful prosciption of the old rite, in favour something completely mangled up?

Can we have an anniversary mass for a council that was actually sucessful?

Mulier Fortis said...

I'm tempted to offer my traddy womynpriest services as Subdeacon (I'm sure you have a beautiful Humeral Veil) but somehow I don't think it would go down too well...

Paul Knight said...

Surely an even better idea would be to consign Vatican II to the rubbish heap and just forget it ever happenned.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Antonio, have you ever read the document, especially the Dogmatic Constitutions?
I think you have been taken in by the Spirit of Vat 2ers: read the texts in the context of the Church's teaching!

Paul, and which Council will next be consigned to the "rubbish heap". Catholics tend to believe the Church is kept free from error not a producer of rubbish.

Independent said...

The only sure way of deciding what a Council says is to actually read the documents. The "Spirit" of a Council can be subsequently invented whereas the letter stands for all to see.

Manning and Ward wanted the First Vatican Council to teach what they wanted and afterwards pretended that it had, but Newman stuck to the text which was moderate. The only way to decide is to actually look at what it said.

Vatican II 's actual liturgical proposals are very moderate, fully in line with Summorum Pontificum which enviseages a growing together of liturgical uses, they are not revolutionary. Its teaching on religious liberty, on other religions, and on the Jews is often exemplified by Pope Benedict. He is the Pope of what the Council actually said.

Anagnostis said...

We celebrate the vindication of "NII" this Sunday (Nicaea II)!

(The first Sunday in Lent is of "The Triumph of Orthodoxy" - the vindication of the Council following 80 years of martyrdom for its teaching. We carry the holy icons around the Church in solemn procession at the end of the Divine Liturgy. The Council itself has a separate liturgical commemoration).

Patricia Phillips said...

Apparently, dissident priest Fr Ray Lyons was at the Stand up for Vatican 2 meeting, sounding off as usual. He used to be in Portsmouth Diocese, but I heard he is now in Westminster, although I'm not sure. Either way, his involvement with this crowd is further proof of how 'off-the-wall' they are. See for article on Fr Lyons

Paul Knight said...

"Paul, and which Council will next be consigned to the "rubbish heap". Catholics tend to believe the Church is kept free from error not a producer of rubbish."

Father, I just wonder how much Vatican II can be read in the light of Tradition when much of it seems to be in direct contradiction to it. But I guess that's what we get when a council breaks from form and goes out of its way to be "pastoral" rather than dogmatic. Even this aspect of the council isn't clear, at least there doesn't seem to be any general consensus on it. Wouldn't it be best, therefore, just to forget it and start again, firstly by unequivocally repudiating all the innovations that have crept into the Church especially during the twentieth century by anathema, as the councils before Vatican II had always done?

Father, I agree that the Church is kept free from error, but only when she intends to be, and the intentions of the council fathers seems to less than clear on this.

georgem said...

As one of dear Oscar's characters observed:
"Nothing is so dangerous as being too modern; one is apt to grow old-fashioned quite suddenly. I have known many instances of it."

David Joyce said...

Father, the trouble with the "what the texts of the Council actually said" versus the "Spirit of the Council" thesis is that the spirit often feeds off the texts themselves, whether through ambiguity, contrasting articles or articles that at least appear to contradict previous teaching. Clearly, this "Spirit" of the Council also exaggerates convenient articles and ignores others, but the liberal Fathers scored a huge victory. Father Wilgen with his book "The Rhine flows into the Tiber" documents this brilliantly.

Take something as relatively straightforward as the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. It contains what could be called "conservative norms" and "liberal norms". Christopher Ferrara wrote an excellent piece on this:

Fr William R. Young said...

Celebrating the closure of the Second Vatican Council is a great idea. Of course, Masses would have to be celebrated in the same uses and rites as the Council Fathers actually used and experienced.
Even more importantly, we also need authoritative and accurate translations of the official Latin constitutions and decrees, etc. Just as we still do not have the Mass as the Council wanted it (but are unaware of this), so too we do not take sufficient heed of what the Council actually said because we are actually ignorant of it. Shallow, ignorant, and ungrounded criticism of the Councils is as bad as shallow, ignorant and ungrounded adulation of its alleged spirit.
I was at the 10th anniversary Mass of the closure of Vatican II. It is time to digest and move on.

Garnet Silk said...

Paul Knight, I disagree with you. Vatican II was a wonderful council of which there has not been enough reflection. This is largely because in my opinion it has been hijacked by people who have no real interest in Vatican II at all but their own shady agendas.

It was Vatican II which declared in ringing historic language that abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.

I think Vatican II needs to be looked at afresh, indeed I think it needs to be reclaimed.

Patricia Phillips, yes Father Ray Lyons is in Westminster and yes, he was at the Stand up meeting.

For what it's worth I think Ray Lyons is one of those essentially good people who somewhere along the line took a wrong turning. Hence he has ended up in some inappropriate company. I think his real problem is naivete and rash mindedness.

What Father Ray Lyons needs is love, love and yet more unlimited love. He isn't bad just ... mistaken.

Garnet Silk said...

Another thing about Stand up for Vatican II and why Father Ray isn't, or shouldn't be the target here while other people should be.

He's actually a lot more thoughtful than people may realise. His heart really did start in the right place - and please trust me on this - he's just fallen in with the wrong crowd. We should show him the error of his ways in charity and humility because none of us is perfect either.

Far more important and immensely far more worrying is a) Myra Poole who gave a vainglorious self-obsessed speech at the meeting.

Even more to the point, Myra Poole has publically compared Pope Benedict XVI to BNP leader Nick Griffin.

As the great granddaughter of a man who was murdered by Nazis in Dachau and the grand daughter of a woman who was incarcerated, tortured and miraculously survived a Nazi concentration camp I take Myra Poole's disgusting comments as a personal spit in the face. My grandmother and great grandfather did not suffer under the Nazis to give her religious cover for her hate-campaign against the Pope and Church.

No less significant is the fact that one, Valerie Stroud, gave the final blessing at the meeting. Valerie Stroud is the UK co-ordinator of a group called We are Church. She has close links with a notorious anti-Catholic group which has taken funding from pornographers, Catholics for Choice (CFC). Active supporters of CFC include Mary Honeyball MEP who achieved notoriety a few years ago when she openly questioned whether Roman Catholics should be discriminated against in public life.

In 2003 Stroud was one of the signatories to a letter sent by soi-disant "religious leaders" to then President George Bush calling on him to maintain funding UNFPA.

UNFPA is a cheerleader for the Chinese government's one-child policy. In the 1990s it also funded and supported Alberto Fujimori's mass forced sterilisation campaign against Quechua women in Peru.

It is Poole and Stroud people should be looking at. Not Father Ray Lyons.

Patricia Phillips said...

Garnet Silk - Re: your view on Father Ray Lyons "He isn't bad just ... mistaken". I wasn't making a judgement on whether he is a good or bad person, merely stating what is a fact, that he dissents from Catholic teaching (and used The Universe as a platform to do this for some years). By virtue of the fact that he is a priest, makes it a far more serious problem and has greater ramifications than the likes of Myra Poole or Valerie Stroud dissenting from Catholic teaching. I wouldn't dismiss any of the people who support SU4V2 / CCC / WAC as harmless. I'm sure someone who knows Myra or Valerie could make excuses for their behaviour - perhaps they are essentially good but just fell in with the wrong crowd at some point...

gemoftheocean said...

If Mac gets to be subdeacon, can I be MC? I can't kneel very well, but since the MC doesn't get to sit down...I should be fine. Besides, I like correcting people when they are wrong.

FR MARK said...

Fr Ray
I am uncomfortable with talk about "tests" for bishops on "how well (they have) picked up Papal teaching". It is not for us priests or for lay people to impose tests of orthodoxy or receptivity to papal teaching on our bishops. We may express disapointment when we believe that they are leaving us with scant or inapopriate nourishment, but we should not present ourselves as judges of successors of the apostles. The English Catholic blogosphere is beginning to fill with strident voices sounding like a lynch mob, and I think we priests should beware of talking as if we were well placed to propose tests of our own devising for our superiors to pass or fail.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Fr Mark,
I am not proposing any such "test" but I think that that is behind the SU4V2 thinking, in the light of the visit etc.
It is an act of politicisation of the Council.

gemoftheocean said...

Fr. Mark, I think it BEHOOVES the laity and the priests to call the Vatican's attention to it when bad bishops are allowed to remain.

Frankly, the Vatican ISN'T always "all seeing, all knowing" bishops recommend bishops to be, and the Vatican only can go on having a certain amount of trust in those who tell them "so and so will be good." And then "so and so" is on his best behavior before the appointment, Then goes "rogue" afterwards, the Vatican can't admit it made a mistake. THAT'S what's unforgivable. Not that they make mistakes, it's that they won't admit they made them, NOR CORRECT THEM.[Or only correct them until after YEARS of damage were done while they were sitting their with their thumbs up their backsides] Which is galling.

I can think of plenty of bad apple bishops. The sooner those cancers on the church are removed from doing damage and often scandal to the faith the better.

I think it's a good idea to remove bishops who don't seem to believe in the Real Presence, who decide it's okay to baptise people in the name of "the creator, the redeemer, and whatever else we care to call the Holy sprit Today", etc. ad infinitum.

How many years of SCREAMING from the US Catholic population that there were pedos in the church did it take? And then those poseurs in Europe, specificially the Vatican turned their noses in the air and said "oh, just an American problem to sort out." Well, when you have the wrong people in charge for years, don't be surprised if a boobocrasy devlopes and it's hell to repair the damage.

The surprising thing is these people act "Surprised." The Peter Principle in action.

Richard said...

The Ferrara article linked to above is quite chilling.

I too had accepted without too much examination the line that the Novus Ordo is not what the Council mandated, but I hadn't realised how much of a blank cheque the Council had given the reformers.

Jacobi said...

Father, you are right, lets go back to the actual documents.

The current commotion of the "Stand up " lot is the death throes of the Relativist, Neo-Modernist, movement, call it what you will, who attempted to hijack the Council.

They used manoeuvre, ridicule, bullying and ambiguity. It was a close run thing, but thanks to Paul V1, assisted may I suggest by the Holy Spirit, the documents are in continuity with Trent and before, and as the Holy Father has said, defined no new dogma at all.

The Relativists did however succeed in hijacking the intended limited post-Council liturgical reforms, with consequencies we are familiar with today, and prompting
Paul V1's outcry in 1969 that they were "crucifying the Church".

Antonio said...

It was Vatican II which declared in ringing historic language that abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.

And before Vatican II, the church failed to reiterate this to the world, did it?

Anyone who is keen enough to read the history of the council, will know that John XXIII called it at the worst possible time in history. Every conservative Cardinal in the curia was against it precisely because of this and how right they were. After the death of Pius XII, the modernists like Rahner, Lubac, Congar, Chardin et al. were resurfacing in seminaries everywhere. The "liturgical" movement of the 40s and 50s was bold enough to be proposing all sorts of sweeping changes before John XXIII were ascended the throne of Peter - indeed many of the demands of Sacrosanctum Concilium were already composed in the 1950s by the very people who went on to make up the Novus Ordo. At the progressives at the council are honest enough to admit that something big DID change in the church.

The whole idea of a so-called "hermeneutic of continuity" is a cop-out. Since when did the church ever have to use such a terminology so many times, when the situation is very much opposite?

Exactly what good has come from this council? Are our churches fuller for Sunday mass than before? How many Catholics practise their faith and reflect in their everyday lives? How many so-called Catholics in the USA voted for Obama despite the fact he was overtly pro-choice? Just look at how much the church is losing followers in South America to the heretical evangelicals? And yet the bishops don't do anything because they all believe that Pentecostals and Catholics are more or less different expressions of Christianity and we all get to Heaven somehow! Our own bishops are asleep when the CES has sold out to the government to polute the minds of children in schools. So what on earth is there to celebrate?!!Is this the new springtime we are told to parise and be deleriously happy about?!

Garnet Silk said...

Patricia Phillips, you make a good point which is difficult to argue with and your concerns are more than valid. That said, I don't think priests should be held to a higher standard than the laity, even though they of course have vital pastoral and spiritual responsibilities.

I don't want to go into details but Father Ray Lyons is ... well, saveable, if one can put it that way without, I hope, sounding too priggish. If I were chief bureaucrat in Westminster Diocese I'd keep him the hell away from ministering as a parish priest - he's too much of a loose cannon for that sort of role, too prone to rash statements and possibly even rasher judgements - but I'd make him Head of English at a school in an ethnically-diverse, working class area.

He's very good at what Americans call the liberal arts subjects and is the kind of thoughtful creative type who'd make an inspirational teacher. I deliberately said I'd put him in an ethnically-diverse, working-class area because I think, a brush with his roots would do him the world of good. It would get him out of that pretentious faux-liberal, faux-Catholic milieu which is leading him, a man I persist in thinking has an inately good, if naive heart, which is leading him astray. It would bring him down to reality and I think, a renewed comprehension of the authentic radicalism of the Catholic faith.

It is the authentic radicalism of the Catholic Church which has made it a voice for the dispossessed and voiceless from age to age. Today the Catholic Church is the one international institution which opposes population-control and defends the human rights of Chinese women with any kind of vigour.

By way of contrast, Valerie Stroud has done the complete opposite, that is she has provided religious cover for the oppression of Chinese women by the Chinese state. She should be ashamed of herself.

So should the egregious Myra Poole. Neither Stephen Lawrence nor my great grandfather died at the hands of Nazis and racists for her to be able to make outrageous comparisons between Pope Benedict XVI and Nick Griffin.

Anthony Bidgood said...

Dear Father,

To mark the forthieth anniversary of Vatican II a group of us, beginning in 2005, read and studied the documents of Vatican II over a period of some months. Our priest, who led the discussions, studied at the FSSP seminary in the USA and almost all of those attending, on average 25 but sometimes higher, were regular attenders at the EF of the Mass. At the end what the Council stated was accepted by almost everyone who attended.

The issue of ambiguity raised in a previous comment can perhaps best be resolved by referring to Tradition.

In Christo,

Patricia Phillips said...

Garnet Silk - Thank you for your response to my comment. Look, I think I know where you're coming from about Fr Lyons. If you have contact with him, don't give up on him. Good for you if you can help him in any way, and I sincerely mean that. But the fact remains that Fr Lyons was at the SU4V2 meeting, encouraging them in their dissent, and this should concern us greatly. If we are publicly critical of SU4V2/CCC/WAC/CWO etc, etc, as you and I have both been, then we just can't leave their priestly supporters out of the equation, however 'saveable' we may think they are. Hopefully all of us are saveable! Fr Lyons' columns in The Universe always showed such utter contempt and disrespect for the Holy See, and I fear that if he were in a school - any sort of school - he may pass on that contempt to the children. But it's not up to us where the bishop sees fit to place him. Ultimately all we can do is warn others about those who sow error and then pray. But there are so many public dissenters out there - priestly and lay - sowing so much confusion and distress, it's impossible to pray for them all by name, but I think it is helpful to list the groups and pray for them collectively. Also, I'm sure it helps to give the names of the groups to good priests and religious who will offer Mass and pray for them. Consecrate these dissenting groups to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I'm sure this will help as well.

pelerin said...

Readers who understand French may be interested in following the Lenten talks being held each Sunday in Notre Dame Paris starting today.

They can be watched live on the internet on kto and will be followed by a debate.

The talks are titled 'Vatican II - Une boussole pour notre temps?' (A compass for our times?) Note the question mark. The debates could be lively depending on who will be taking part. Today's talk is 'Vatican II - ancien ou moderne?'

The talks start at 16.30 French time, 15.30 here in GB. I am hoping the sound will be better than a programme I watched yesterday on kto about Vatican II on which the sound was not only muffled but the accents were Canadian! To be fair it was taken from the Canadian station 'Salt and Light' but I found this very difficult to follow.

Richard Collins said...

I seem to recollect that Pope Leo XIII was the Pope who, after celebrating Mass one day, had a supernatural experience. He was transfixed for around 10 minutes at the foot of the altar and afterwards relayed that he had heard the voice of Our Lord in conversation with a harsh, gutteral voice, that of satan.
The devil was claiming that, given time, he would win the world over to the side of evil. Our Lord asked him how long he needed and he replied: "between 75 and 100 years"
"Very well" replied, Our Lord: "You have the time, now do your worst"
The year was 1884 and, 75 years later (1959), Pope John XXIII announced the advent of Vatican II.
As a result of the apparition, Pope Leo instigated the prayers at the foot of the altar after Mass (now largely discontinued).

Anonymous said...

Paul V1's outcry in 1969 that they were "crucifying the Church".

Interesting, as it is the same year as the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae.

Truly a man of contradictions.


Jacobi said...

"Truly a man of contradictions".

The remark "crucifying the Church".
was made on the Wednesday of Holy Week 69. His later "Smoke of Satan" speech,which was also referring to liturgical abuses, was in 1972.

I think this paints a picture of a Pope under enormous pressure, holding the orthodox line on doctrine, and desperately worried about the liturgical liberties being taken by the liberal elements in the Church at that time.

Anonymous said...

I am old enough to remember, It Vat 11) closed on 8th December, 1965, not 21st Nov. :-)

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