Wednesday, August 8, 2012
More Questions Than Answers....
I recently re-read an article of Fr. Robert Fox's which speaks toward Vatican Council II. It can be found here at: Catholic Education Resource Center.
It is clear what Vatican Council II did not do. It isn't so clear what Vatican Council II did do. That is the "tip of the spear," so to say. And while all of Fr. Fox's words are nice and all; they don't really address the question that is being asked by traditionalists and conservative Catholics.
What did Vatican Council II do for the Church? We know what it attempted to do. We know what the reformers AFTER the Council have done, but what exactly did Vatican Council II do for Holy Mother Church?
This is the ultimate question. This is all the traditionalists want to know and it is all that they have been searching for, these many years. While it hasn't been asked that way, that is the question.
We know that the documents speak one way and the actions of the reformers after the Council did something totally different.
While there are some who flat out reject Vatican Council II, I think that it can be a little overboard to say that because some question the Council, they are heterodox. We have to, because the reformers after the Council made it so, including Paul VI, JP II and their cardinals.
The statements of the hierarchy haven't exactly been consistent. And even stating that we should look at it as Fr. Fox does and just accept it, well....that's a problem. We shouldn't have to just accept it. That was one of the whole tenants behind aggiornamento, that we were to exercise religious freedom? Where is the freedom in that attitude? The renewal which aggiornamento called for is not an authentic renewal, no, it is a contrived way of, as Fr. Fox puts it, the Magisterium asserting itself. Pope Pius XII didn't, as Fr. Fox asserts, start this all "years before." It was the liturgical movement started by progressive Benedictines in the 1930s, latched on to by curialists (including Roncalli, Montini, Tisserant and others) in the 1940s, taken over by Fr. Bugnini and his cohorts beginning in 1948 and finalized in the late 1960s with the calling of the Council.
Just because some say that the Church was acting too fast and some say that the Church was acting to slowly doesn't justify aggiornamento, but rather it compounds the problem. It is far better to wait and be more certain than it is to "bull rush" ahead and create problems because the china cabinet has been ruined. And the most obvious jewel ruined was the Mass.
Fr. Fox shows the troublesome language of the documents of Vatican Council II, but rather than take issue with them, he supports them. How can one find salvation only inside the Church, yet belong to another ecclesial communion? Openness, charity and humility became the buzzwords for the Conciliar age. But was it authentic? Is it authentic to just accept error and allow it to continue in the name of Ecumenism? No, but that is exactly what has happened.
I don't accept all that Fr. Fox has to say and I can guarantee you that I am not heterodox. I don't disagree with him 100%, but I certainly don't agree with him 100% either. And that's ok. Within Holy Mother Church there can be a diversity of ideas, but that diversity needs to be rooted in tradition, not in something wholly new, contrived, banal and on the spot.
So, I'll bring it all back around and ask the question the traditionalists really want to have answered:
What exactly did Vatican Council II do for Holy Mother Church that hadn't been defined, discussed or addressed before this Council was convened by John XXIII?