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Friday, October 12, 2012



Fascinating link, especially given where it appears.

The Vatican truly does need to offer some help in explaining the evolution of doctrinal interpretation... Why a Richard O'Brien remains in communion, for example, while a Bernard Fellay cannot. Also, a collar-less Ratzinger at VII?! A few words from the primary source would be enlightening there as well.

All polemics aside, Vatican II is a strange puzzle piece. I'd argue the scholastic logjam it broke needed breaking, as well as the ossified Catholic culture that so quickly shattered in the aftermath. But an authoritatively-teaching Church must teach with a firm hand, and some or too much of that firmness was lost when the window opened. Especially now, "Modernism" must be identified and countered, free of the indecipherable prose its advocates favor. We seem to be moving in that direction.


Thanks for your comment and the link, Joe.
There are disturbing things about VII, it's almost scary to dig deep.
I don't know.


" of the indecipherable prose its advocates favor." -joe

I like that expression joe. It reminds of the idea that I've heard expressed many times over the years and again recently on the anniversary of VII, that the council was generally attempting to take Catholic teaching and put it into words that the modern man could understand. And we see how that ethos, in an of itself has been attempted since, sometimes with success, and many times to the great detriment of the message itself.

It seems a fine line to walk, if we accept that premise. Certainly, many have given the example of St. Paul the Apostle who, when in Athens, seeing the statue to the "unknown God" seized the opportunity to use that part of their culture to preach the truth of Jesus Christ.

But all of this goes to the great "why" of the council, which I note in the article referenced by Miller, gets the shortest shrift. If we consider it, the "why" is the most important question to answer in determining the meaning of the council in those aspects which many, with justification, have deemed ambiguous, and in countering the movement that has come to be known as the "Spirit of Vatican II" which Benedict XVI has essentially branded as the hermeneutic of discontinuity.

If in fact the purpose of the council was to re-connect with the world around the Church, it seems then appropriate to not just take that fact and run off to our own devices, but to see precisely, in totality what the Council had to say about it in specific practical terms, ie., the liturgy and catechesis, as well as in principle.

It seems to me that sadly, both JPII and BXVI have spent vast amounts of time in simply reigning in the extremes from those who deliberately overlooked the practical instructions of the council which did teach a hermeneutic of continuity in catechesis, liturgy and ecclesiology as well, as so that 50 years later we are only now coming to the point where the New Evangelization, which I think was needed in 1962 as much as it is today (our current moral and spiritual circumstances being the ripened fruit of the tree already planted), can actually begin to be implemented without the heresy.

So it is appropriate to think about that kind of statement you make joe about the indecipherable prose. I sometimes wonder if it is stilted theology at the core. Just recently I saw a note in our Sunday flyer about a talk being given by a young priest of our diocese with a title (I won't give it) so stale as to almost guarantee a no-show event, except for the fact that this young priest is one of the most universally liked in the entire area. That struck me as very odd. He is what I would consider the ultimate in appealing young orthodox priests fresh from the seminary, well liked by the children, youth and adults, energetic, charismatic (personality wise), a good singer and not the least bit heretical. Yet, when it comes to stepping out of the well defined pastoral role of the priest into the area of evangelizing, there seems almost a disconnect, a defaulting back to the staid language of seminary lectures, an inability, even in the naming of the subject to bring the theology to language of the ordinary reasonably educated people.

Is there something still missing in seminary training regarding evangelization? I am sure some would say a lot is missing in a lot of areas, but how is it that there seems to be a default when talking about theology back to the language of 100 to 200 year old encyclicals aimed primarily at the clergy? To me it seems that for all their vaunted connection with the modern man from those radical folks in the Spirit of Vatican II, they deliberately left out any serious talk of serious Catholic theology in anything resembling modern language and so there now first a lot of ground to be covered by the orthodox in updating language and methods, at least on the part of the clergy.

We hear it in homilies Sunday after Sunday, and that is the perfect and primary setting for straight talk. How often is the message there, yet all but obscured by the presentation? And we occasionally ask why young people are bored at Mass and the knee-jerk reaction among some is to call for guitars and drums and syrupy or cheesy songs, when first and foremost a good, forceful, direct and unapologetic sermon might just be what is required.

Fortunately, there are quite a few among the laity that are for the moment filling some of the gap, and many of them are converts from the evangelical world wherein language and methods are constantly in flux and so that work of connecting to long-time Catholics and errant Catholics comes as second nature, adaptability being something of a virtue.

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