Vatican II

The Second Vatican Council seems to have been blamed for everything from taking away nun’s habits to “forbidding” the Latin Mass to the fact that I can’t make a decent cup of coffee. Perhaps the problem is that nobody has actually read the documents for themselves to see what they actually say and simply rely on what they hear others say. 

I put this page up to give myself, and and anyone else who’s interested, an opportunity to go directly to the source and see for ourselves. If we are going to make judgements, we really need to hear (and see) the other side of the story. 

I have included a link to a good article to help us get started (Will the Real Vatican II Please Stand Up?). It’s well worth the read.

By the way, I haven’t found anything in anything I have read so far that explains my coffee…

BK

 

Will the Real Vatican II Please Stand Up?

 

Sacrosanctum Concilium—The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

The liturgy is no doubt the most neuralgic area of post-conciliar life. It is here that we are treated to some of the most egregious examples of ecclesial mythology. One of the first myths foisted on the laity is that Vatican II taught that Christ is as present in the liturgical assembly as he is in the eucharistic species. Here’s what the Council Fathers really said:

Inter Mirifica—Decree on the Means of Social Communication

Snide remarks about Catholic media outlets being reduced to “house organs” notwithstanding, the Council certainly envisioned our commitment to establishing Catholic media as tools of evangelization:

Lumen Gentium—Dogmatic Constitution on the Church

Catholics have been instructed by some theologians not to take too seriously the “institutional” Church, inasmuch as Vatican II did away with the Catholic hierarchical model. The conciliar bishops, in contrast, seem to provide a rather strenuous theological basis for a traditional ecclesiology:

Unitatis Redintegratio—Decree on Ecumenism

We saw earlier that the bishops at Vatican II, in their Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, did not hesitate to give “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” about who the Church is and how she sees herself. An equally forceful declaration finds its way into their Decree on Ecumenism:

Perfectae Caritatis—Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life

Abandoning traditional apostolates, moving out of religious houses, eschewing authority systems, discarding identifiable garb—all these have contributed to this downward spiral. Leaders of this new vision of religious life regularly appeal to Vatican II for justification for their campaign.

Not a single item of such an agenda can find even a hint of support in the Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life;

Optatam Totius—Decree on the Training of Priests

“Students who follow the venerable tradition of celibacy according to the holy and fixed laws of their own rite are to be educated to this state with great care. For renouncing thereby the companionship of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (cf. Matt. 19:12), they embrace the Lord with an undivided love altogether befitting the new covenant, bear witness to the resurrection of the world to come (cf. Luke 20:36), and obtain a most suitable aid for the continual exercise of that perfect charity whereby they can become all things to all men in their priestly ministry. Let them deeply realize how gratefully that state ought to be received, not, indeed, only as commanded by ecclesiastical law, but as a precious gift of God for which they should humbly pray” (OT 10)…

Gravissimum Educationis—Declaration on Christian Education

Some Catholics argue that Catholic schools are a relic of “ghetto Catholicism,” while some parents maintain that they can legitimately homeschool their children when Catholic schools are available. Both camps bump up against an eminently clear and unnuanced norm: “The Council also reminds Catholic parents of the duty of entrusting their children to Catholic schools wherever and whenever it is possible and of supporting these schools to the best of their ability and of cooperating with them for the education of their children” (GE 8)…

Dei Verbum—Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation

Along with the above problem comes a hermeneutic of suspicion that what Scripture seems to teach it really doesn’t, especially if it flies in the face of “modern” concerns or positions. The Council Fathers took aim at this mentality, particularly when it undermines the historicity of the Gospels:

Apostolicam Actuositatem—Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People

Vatican II is often dubbed “the Council of the laity,” and with good reason. Its calls for lay involvement would have gladdened the heart of someone like Cardinal Newman who, when asked what he thought was the role of the laity in the Church, responded, “We’d look rather silly without them, wouldn’t we?” But just what did the Council have in mind?

First of all, it is important to get the terminology straight. Not once does a conciliar document refer to any work of the laity as a ministry

Dignitatis Humanae—Declaration on Religious Liberty

One of the most contentious documents for some “traditionalists” is the Decree on Religious Liberty. Yet in this decree one finds another clear statement about the uniqueness of the Catholic Church, as well as the necessity for all men to conform themselves to the truth about God. Thus, while “liberals” crow about the document’s (rightful) emphasis on the inviolability of conscience and “conservatives” decry what they see as the fostering of religious indifferentism, we find the following assertions, which sound an awful lot like the immemorial position of the Church on these matters:

Ad Gentes Divinitus—Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity

In grammar school, when we were taught to be “mission-minded,” it was taken as a given of Catholic life. That truth was powerfully reinforced at Vatican II: “The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature” (GD 2). That truth became so lost in post-conciliar revisionism that, 25 years later, Pope John Paul II had to devote an entire encyclical (Redemptoris Missio) to what had been previously considered a truism…

Stake Your Claim

It is nothing but diabolical that the teachings of this Council should be hijacked by “left” or by “right”—and it is high time for the record to be set straight. So, if you:

 

To read the actual documents of the council, select your preferred language below. Or just click on the link (Documents Of The Second Vatican Council) to go directly to the Vatican site and select from there. The Vatican site also has more language options. 

 

DOCUMENTS OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL

Vatican Council II

Constitutions

Declarations

Decrees