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Can Vatican II be interpreted in the light of Tradition?
CMRI Web site ^ | June 29,1994 | Bp. Mark Pivarunas

Posted on 03/29/2006 12:18:14 PM PST by pravknight

Vatican II "in the Light of Tradition"? Pastoral Letter by Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul June 29, 1994

Dearly Beloved in Christ,

In the past few years, there has been a rise in the number of conservative publications which attempt to excuse the chaos and confusion in the modern Church of Vatican II by the erroneous argument that there is nothing theologically wrong with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council and that the problems supposedly are caused by misinterpretations on the part of liberal priests, religious and laity. These publications enumerate the abuses perpetrated in the Conciliar Church and yet insist that the problem has not been caused by the modern teachings of the Council. They insist that the Vatican II decrees must be interpreted “in the light of tradition.” Let us briefly examine some of the many modern teachings which emanated from the Second Vatican Council and see if they can be interpreted “in the light of tradition.”

First of all, when the term “in the light of tradition” is used, it should mean that references can be found in the Church’s tradition to the particular doctrines in question. To interpret a doctrine “in the light of tradition” should mean that the doctrine has been previously taught by past Popes and Ecumenical Councils.

Let us begin by the examination of Vatican II’s “Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.” As we quote from this official Declaration of the Council, let us ponder how this Declaration could be interpreted “in the light of tradition.”

Declaration of the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Vatican Council II; October 28, 1965)

“From ancient times down to the present, there has existed among divers peoples a certain perception of the hidden power that hovers over the course of things and over the events of human life... Religions bound up with cultural advancement have struggled to reply to these questions with more refined concepts and in more highly developed language.

“Thus, in Hinduism men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible fruitfulness of myths and a searching philosophical inquiry. They seek release from the anguish of our condition through ascetical practices or deep meditation or a loving, trusting flight toward God.”

Before we continue with the text, let us consider the overwhelming depth of error contained in these praises of Hinduism. Hinduism is a pantheistic as well as a polytheistic religion. It recognizes various gods in the created world. The world and everything in it, including man, is god. Among the various Hindu divinities, there are three of great importance — Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the destroyer. Hindus worship many animals as god. Cows are the most sacred, but they also worship monkeys, snakes and other animals. Man is supposedly involved in an endless evolution of birth and death called reincarnation.

How then can this Declaration of Vatican II use the terminology that Hindus make “a loving, trusting flight toward God”? — Which god is referred to? Certainly not the true God.

“And express it through an inexhaustible fruitfulness of myths and a searching philosophical inquiry.” — How can one express “the divine mystery” (which is not defined) through myths and philosophical inquiry?

Did the authors of this Declaration ever hear of the First Commandment of God:

“I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before Me”?

Continuing the text of the Declaration:

“Buddhism in its multiple forms acknowledges the radical insufficiency of this shifting world. It teaches a path by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, can either reach a state of absolute freedom or attain supreme enlightenment by their own efforts or by higher assistance.”

Buddhism, like Hinduism, is a pantheistic religion which equates the natural order of creation with God and also believes in reincarnation. How then could the Second Vatican council officially declare the praises of this false religion? What kind of doctrine is it to proclaim that Buddhism “teaches a path by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, can either reach a state of absolute freedom or attain supreme enlightenment by their own efforts or by higher assistance”? What is this ambiguous “absolute freedom” and “supreme enlightenment”?

This Declaration, besides its ambiguous language of the Hindu’s “divine mystery” and “loving trusting flight toward God” and the Buddhists’ “state of absolute freedom“ and attainment of “supreme enlightenment,” is purely and simply the ultimate display of religious indifferentism! Religious indifferentism is the false belief, so often condemned by the Catholic Church, which holds that all religions are equally good and that men can attain salvation in the practice of any religion. This is manifestly false because God has revealed the true religion by which He is to be worshipped through His Only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was truly a historical person and He worked the most stupendous miracles to prove His Divine Mission. To maintain that all religions are acceptable is to imply that Jesus Christ wasted His time to reveal the true Faith and found the true Church. Why should He have accomplished this, if, in the final analysis, the man-made religions of the world would also be acceptable.

The Second Vatican Council’s Declaration continues with praises of the Muslims:

“Upon the Muslims, too, the Church looks with esteem... Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet.”

Herein lies a subtle contradiction. If Jesus Christ is acknowledged at least as a prophet by the Muslims, and prophets are truly inspired by God, how do the Muslims deny the Divinity of Jesus Christ Who solemnly and explicitly proclaimed Himself to be God — equal to the Father? Did the Catholic Church ever in its history look with esteem upon the religion of Islam? How can this be interpreted “in the light of tradition”?

Then comes the most preposterous statement of this entire Declaration:

“The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions.”

What can be “good and holy” in the worship of false gods and in the practice of false religions?

Following this quote in the Declaration, there is a footnote which is the most damning of all statements:

“Through the centuries, however, missionaries often concluded that non-Christian religions are simply the work of Satan and that the missionaries’ task is to convert from error to knowledge of the truth. This Declaration marks an authoritative change in approach.”

Since Vatican Council II, no longer is it the role of the missionaries to convert the people of these religions to Catholicism; their new role is merely to promote the “good” in them?! This doctrine is directly opposed to the mission of the Catholic Church.

Christ founded His Church to teach all nations all things whatsoever He commanded. This was His solemn command to His Apostles and their successors:

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:19).

“Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

Where would the Catholic Church be today if the Apostles and their successors did not attempt to convert to the true Faith the followers of false religions? Where would the Catholic Church be today if the Apostles and their successors merely tried to promote the “good” found in these false religions?

Continuing the text of the Declaration:

“The Church therefore has this exhortation for her sons: prudently and lovingly, through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, and in witness of Christian faith and life, acknowledge, preserve and promote the spiritual and moral goods found among these men, as well as the values in their society and culture.”

How does one “in witness of Christian faith acknowledge, preserve, and promote the spiritual and moral goods” of false religions? Is Christianity, is Catholicism compatible and reconcilable with the worship of false gods?! What are the “spiritual and moral goods” to be found in false worship? Why is there not any reference to the work of conversion of the people of these religions?

Should it be any wonder why so many Catholics since Vatican II have involved themselves in the practices of the Eastern religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islamism?

Should it be any wonder that since Vatican II, John Paul II and his modernist clergy have publicly gathered together for worship in common with the leaders of these false religions and a multitude of other religions, including Animism, Voodooism, Shintoism, etc.?

What then are we to think of the argument that the decrees of Vatican II must be interpreted “in the light of tradition”? No where in tradition will we find such absurd doctrines. And as for interpretation, we only need to look to the ecumenical affair held in Assisi where 150 religions of the world assembled at the invitation of John Paul II to pray together. As Pope Pius XI so aptly defined such false ecumenism — “it is tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God” (Mortalium Animos).

In Christo Jesu et Maria Immaculata, Most Rev. Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI


TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Moral Issues; Orthodox Christian; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; cmri; orthodox; tradition; traditionalist; tridentine; vaticanii

1 posted on 03/29/2006 12:18:17 PM PST by pravknight
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To: pravknight

Anything a schismatic has to say about the matter isn't worth the pixels it's posted on.


2 posted on 03/29/2006 12:20:33 PM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

Put your hands on your ears, right?

Card. Mahoney isn't a schismatic, so are you going to worship every word out of his mouth, or Bishop Thomas Gumbleton for that matter?


3 posted on 03/29/2006 12:22:21 PM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: pravknight
Should it be any wonder why so many Catholics since Vatican II have involved themselves in the practices of the Eastern religions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islamism?

Should it be any wonder that since Vatican II, John Paul II and his modernist clergy have publicly gathered together for worship in common with the leaders of these false religions and a multitude of other religions, including Animism, Voodooism, Shintoism, etc.?

Ping to watch the fireworks later. It promises to be a good show!

4 posted on 03/29/2006 12:22:33 PM PST by Alex Murphy (Colossians 4:5)
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To: pravknight
Put your hands on your ears, right?

I've read all these arguments and these non sequiturs before - and the recommended remedy is always: commit the mortal sin of schism!

No sale.

Card. Mahoney isn't a schismatic, so are you going to worship every word out of his mouth, or Bishop Thomas Gumbleton for that matter?

As a Roman Catholic, the only word I worship is the Incarnate Word.

Gumbleton and Mahony will pay the price for their misrule in due time and this fake bishop will pay the price for his as well.

Both Mahony and Pivarunas assault the Body of Christ even though they both know that what they are doing is evil.

One is no better than the other.

5 posted on 03/29/2006 12:28:32 PM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

How about St. Athanasius or St. Maximos the Confessor who stood up against the heresies of the church of their day?

A pope can become a schismatic if he falls into manifest heretic? What about the so-called Papal Schism of the 14th century? Who was the schismatic then because there were rival claimants to the papacy?

Sometimes, resistance to heresy is preferable to submission to heterodox bishops and clergy.

Besides, your argument is one of an ad hominem attack that doesn't rebut the substance of Bishop Pivaruas's arguments.
Sometimes schism is a necessary evil if it preserves the faith of the faithful.

That necessity, thus mitigates the mortal sin of schism.

He is a valid, but illicit bishop.

Where the bishop is there is the Catholic Church. (St. Ignatius of Antioch Letter to the Symrneans.)


6 posted on 03/29/2006 12:42:18 PM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: pravknight

Are you aware the Catholic Church venerates saints who were also schismatics?

St. Meletius of Antioch of the 4th century, not to mention the fact the Vatican has approved Byzantine Catholics adding St. Gregory Palamas, St. Photius of Constantinople and St. Seraphim of Sarov to our liturgical calendars: all of whom were Eastern Orthodox saints.

My Melkite parish has several icons of post-schism Orthodox saints.


7 posted on 03/29/2006 12:49:40 PM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: pravknight

This actually was one of the strangest documents to come out of VatII. While the principle is not particularly remarkable - even virtuous pagans born before Christ were deemed to have been seekers after the true God (which one could tell from their virtuous lives)- never before was so much praise heaped on the religions themselves. And it does indeed seem in that fatal footnote that Catholics are being told that everything's groovy, I'm OK, you're OK, and what is Truth, after all?

I think he does make an interesting point, which is that we need to examine whether all of the bad things that came out of VatII were a result of its "misinterpretation" or whether some of them were actually supported by the documents themselves.

I think in general most of the documents are harmless, that is, vague and wordy and open to misinterpretation but not fundamentally wrong. However, it could be that it's time to review some of them.


8 posted on 03/29/2006 1:14:02 PM PST by livius
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To: livius

Vatican II has made chances of reunification with Eastern Orthodoxy less likely, not more.

It would be a cold day in hell before the Eastern Orthodox hierarchs would accept Vatican II.


9 posted on 03/29/2006 1:17:05 PM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: pravknight
How about St. Athanasius or St. Maximos the Confessor who stood up against the heresies of the church of their day?

You mean two great saints who stuck with the Holy See through thick and thin? What do these great saints have to do with self-serving schismatics like Pivarunas?

A pope can become a schismatic if he falls into manifest heretic?

You confuse schism and heresy - one has to do with the Church's organizational authority and the other has to do with the Church's teaching authority.

No Pope has ever taught heresy ex cathedra and no Pope can do so, by definition.

What about the so-called Papal Schism of the 14th century?

It was not a schism, as you yourself acknowledge by labelling it "so-called."

Who was the schismatic then because there were rival claimants to the papacy?

In each case there was a legitimate claimant and an illegitimate claimant or sometimes two.

The illegitimate claimants were, of course, in schism.

Sometimes, resistance to heresy is preferable to submission to heterodox bishops and clergy.

One can resist heresy without committing the mortal sin of schism. You yourself provided signal examples: Athanasius and Maximus.

Besides, your argument is one of an ad hominem attack that doesn't rebut the substance of Bishop Pivaruas's arguments.

You are confused as to the meaning of the term ad hominem - if I call a Communist a Communist in a economic discussion, it can be considered ad hominem because being a Communist is a pretty bad thing to be. However, "Communist" is also descriptive - it indicates precisely the set of flawed economic assumptions the Communist holds.

Likewise calling a schismatic a schismatic in a theological discussion is not just an epithet but a descriptor.

Sometimes schism is a necessary evil if it preserves the faith of the faithful.

If you think that it is ever "necessary" to do evil - that is, to commit the mortal sin of schism - then you have much to learn about orthodox moral theology.

That necessity, thus mitigates the mortal sin of schism.

There is no demonstrated necessity whatever. This is special pleading.

He is a valid, but illicit bishop.

What proof have we that he is a valid bishop? The word of another schismatic or two?

I certainly don't take his word for it.

Where the bishop is there is the Catholic Church. (St. Ignatius of Antioch Letter to the Symrneans.)

Ignatius was clearly referring to a validly and licitly consecrated bishop accepted by his brother bishops - not renegade schismatics.

Try reading the Fathers in context, instead of prooftexting them Protestant-style.

10 posted on 03/29/2006 1:17:48 PM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

St. Maximos and St. Athanasius were NOT in communion with their bishops. St. Athansius was NOT in communion with Pope Liberius who arguably was an Arian.

Address the content of his arguments. Pivarunas is a Thuc bishop.


11 posted on 03/29/2006 1:24:21 PM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: pravknight

My Melkite parish has several icons of post-schism Orthodox saints.

So you went ELCA to Melkite, fascinating, I bet you have a very interesting conversion story.

You should ask NYER to be put on her ping list, she posts some good stuff about Eastern Catholicism...it's also a bit short on Melkite articles so maybe you could add a few to the pot.


12 posted on 03/29/2006 1:25:19 PM PST by Cheverus
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To: Cheverus

I went to church with the famous Deacon Paul Weyrich.


13 posted on 03/29/2006 1:39:13 PM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: pravknight
St. Maximos and St. Athanasius were NOT in communion with their bishops.

They were in communion with the Holy See, and they did not break communion with their bishops - their bishops excommunicated them.

Trying to parallel Pivarunas who is in schism with the Holy See with a saint who was unjustly disciplined by a wayward bishop is specious.

And they were still obedient - Athanasius obeyed his ordinary and then appealed to the Holy See to remedy the injustice.

St. Athansius was NOT in communion with Pope Liberius who arguably was an Arian.

Liberius was no Arian - a ridiculous claim. He wrote letters against suspected Arians and chose exile rather than approve Arian doctrine. This is slander.

And Athanasius was always in communion with Liberius - preposterous falsehood here.

Address the content of his arguments.

Pivarunas' argument: "I don't like Vatican II and I don't like the stuff John Paul II did, so I think it's OK to commit a mortal sin and I encourage everyone else to do so."

Answer: Schism is a mortal sin and it is never permissible to commit a mortal sin for any reason.

Pivarunas is a Thuc bishop.

Then he is no bishop.

14 posted on 03/29/2006 1:56:17 PM PST by wideawake
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To: pravknight
Are you aware the Catholic Church venerates saints who were also schismatics?

A person who is raised in a schismatic Church is not necessarily committing the sin of schism - this is obvious.

Photios of Constantinople was absolved of schism, Meletios repented, Gregory Palamas was raised in a separated Church, as was Seraphim.

Two of these men were absolved of schism and two never committed the sin in the first place.

15 posted on 03/29/2006 2:04:51 PM PST by wideawake
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To: pravknight

Yes, but only with difficulty!

Lest one misconstue my comment, I would like to put it in the context of pointing out that the source for this article, CMRI, is comprised of sedevacantists actively seeking to divide the Church by trolling for membership directly from mainstream ranks. They are highly active in this vein here in the Archdiocese of Boston. They may mean well, I suppose, and they seem pleasant enough as individuals, but they are hardly improved over the Seattle cult they spun off from a few years back, and should be treated like a flying bullet - avoided at all costs!


16 posted on 03/29/2006 2:14:39 PM PST by magisterium
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To: magisterium

I think at least, Pivarunas's criticisms are valid for debate among Catholics.


17 posted on 03/29/2006 8:50:38 PM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: magisterium

I know a lot of RadTrads, and yes, they are really bad as individuals. I dated an ex-SSPXer once upon a time, and she made the Puritans of Massachusetts seem like hedonists.

I still think criticism of Vatican II is legitemate. If I had to be stuck with a Card. Mahoney Mass and a Pivarunas Mass and only had those two choices, I would take the latter.

But seeing as I am an Eastern Catholic, I probably would avoid both. I know a lot of Byzantine Catholics who think the Latin Church ceased to be Catholic after Vatican II. Choiced between Pivarunas and Eastern Orthodoxy, I would take Eastern Orthodoxy, besides the Orthodox have their own share of wackjobs. (HOCNA, parts of ROCOR, the Old Calendarists)

Rome isn't the only game in town, even if Roman Catholics think so.


18 posted on 03/29/2006 9:00:01 PM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: pravknight
Card. Mahoney isn't a schismatic, so are you going to worship every word out of his mouth, or Bishop Thomas Gumbleton for that matter?

False dichotomy. There are more than two options than "worship" every words out of the mouth of the most heteredox Catholic in communion with the Church vs. ignore every word out of the mouth of a schismatic.

Cardinal Mahoney is not infallible or even usually right just because he's in communion with the Church.

However a Schismatic is basically a Protestant in Catholic clothing, and hence what they have to say about what is "true" Catholicism can automatically be discarded like garbage.
19 posted on 03/29/2006 9:29:58 PM PST by Conservative til I die
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To: Alex Murphy; Religion Moderator
Ping to watch the fireworks later. It promises to be a good show!

INteresting how you publicly out yourself as wishing for a flame war. Is strife between Christians what you strive for?
20 posted on 03/29/2006 9:30:54 PM PST by Conservative til I die
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To: pravknight
Rome isn't the only game in town, even if Roman Catholics think so.

Spoken like a true schismatic.

The Body of Christ isn't a game - it is a deadly serious matter.

The Holy See is the sole earthly source of authority in Christ's Church.

21 posted on 03/30/2006 7:25:46 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

I think he meant that Latin-rite Catholicism isn't the only game in town. He stated above that he is Melkite.


22 posted on 03/30/2006 7:30:32 AM PST by Pyro7480 (Sancte Joseph, terror daemonum, ora pro nobis!)
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To: Alex Murphy
Here you go, I've got plenty!


23 posted on 03/30/2006 7:38:05 AM PST by Gamecock (I知 so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it. (Machen on his deathbed.)
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To: pravknight; ears_to_hear; HarleyD; Alex Murphy; irishtenor; OrthodoxPresbyterian; Frumanchu; ...
“Upon the Muslims, too, the Church looks with esteem... Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet.”

Herein lies a subtle contradiction. If Jesus Christ is acknowledged at least as a prophet by the Muslims, and prophets are truly inspired by God, how do the Muslims deny the Divinity of Jesus Christ Who solemnly and explicitly proclaimed Himself to be God — equal to the Father? Did the Catholic Church ever in its history look with esteem upon the religion of Islam?

I think I like this guy!

How can this be interpreted “in the light of tradition”?

Not to mention in the light of Scripture.

24 posted on 03/30/2006 7:44:47 AM PST by Gamecock (I知 so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it. (Machen on his deathbed.)
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To: Pyro7480
I think he meant that Latin-rite Catholicism isn't the only game in town.

He said Rome, by which he means the Holy See, in the context of a post in which he stated that he would rather attend a Mass celebrated by a schismatic than by an incompetent bishop in communion with the Holy See.

He stated above that he is Melkite.

He also stated above that "most Eastern Catholics" believe that the Holy See has defected from the faith.

I know this is false, since the same kind of lame theological blundering of the sort perpetrated by Mahony can be found in the Eastern Rite episcopates as well.

Pravknight has an agenda, and it is not that of an obedient Melkite Catholic.

25 posted on 03/30/2006 7:46:39 AM PST by wideawake
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To: pravknight

Why do bother posting such drivel? This "bishop" is not Catholic.


26 posted on 03/30/2006 7:56:30 AM PST by steadfastconservative
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To: wideawake
the only word I worship is the Incarnate Word.

Amen.

27 posted on 03/30/2006 8:28:26 AM PST by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Gamecock

You mean in the light of your private interpretation of Scripture.


28 posted on 03/30/2006 1:59:59 PM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: steadfastconservative

What Vatican decree declared Ngo Dinh Thuc's episcopal consecrations invalid? As far as I know, none.


29 posted on 03/30/2006 2:01:16 PM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: pravknight; narses; Pyro7480; murphE; Aquinasfan; Canticle_of_Deborah; Robert Drobot; ...
Can Vatican II be interpreted in the light of Tradition?

NeoCats argue that it can, but by its own internal logic, it shouldn't.

A central purpose of Vatican II was to replace Scholasticism with Phenomenology as the philosophy in the Mind of the Church.

Phenomenology says that one must look at any object in a new way, "bracketing" or "suspending" everything previously thought to be true about the object.

Ergo, the Church is not the Kingdom or the Mystical Body of Christ -- the Church is "the People of God."

The Gospel is not a call to prepare for the afterlife; it is a Social Gospel of redistributing wealth from the haves to the have-nots, calling on lawmakers to protect Rawlsian "basic rights" (housing, health care, a living wage, etc.), and working for World Peace.

The Mass is not a "vertical" Sacrifice to God, but a "horizontal" celebration of a Community joined by one Spirit.

Lumen Gentium is a phenomenological description of what the Church is and who the Pope, bishops, priests, religious and laity are. Nowhere does LG say that the Pope and bishops are supposed to preserve Apostolic Tradition.

Well then, if it's not in their job description, it must not be important.

The "perpetual reform" Vatican II calls for means that the Pope, bishops, theologians, etc. must perpetually look at the Church in newer and newer phenomenological ways. Interpreting V-2 according to "Tradition" would just stunt the growth of the "perpetual reform."

As Heraclitus said, "You never step into the same Church twice."

30 posted on 03/31/2006 12:48:39 AM PST by Dajjal
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To: pravknight
Contrary to Catholic propaganda, not all Proddies buy off on that nonsense.
31 posted on 03/31/2006 1:09:23 AM PST by Gamecock (I知 so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it. (Machen on his deathbed.)
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To: Dajjal
As Heraclitus said, "You never step into the same Church twice."

LOL!

You have made a very important point, however, which is that VatII was the outcome of a fundamental philosophical shift. Many people think it was an expression of Modernism, a theological heresy, but it is much more profound than that and involved people who were not Modernists - but whose entire philosophical underpinnning had, unperceived by them, been transformed by Kant and Hegel and other post-Enlightenment philosophers into something that could not possibly continue to accept Catholic tradition in any sense of the word.

You might enjoy Fr. Jonathan Robinson's new book, The Church and Modernity, which gives a wonderful summary of this ("modern" and "post-modern" thought), particularly its effect upon the liturgy.

Of course, the question is what, if anything, can be done about it.

32 posted on 03/31/2006 3:47:23 AM PST by livius
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To: Dajjal

This is complete nonsense. As someone who has just written a thesis on Sacrosanctum Concilium, I can tell you that the Second Vatican Council did not make the Mass a "horizontal" celebration of the community. According to SC, the Mass is a sacrifice, the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, and the primary purpose of the liturgy is the worship of God and the sanctification of man that results from worshipping Him. While it also refers to the Church as the People of God, that people is a hierarchically ordered community, not some amorphous, autonomous community that can do whatever it wants. Sacrosanctum Concilium did NOT make the community the subject or the object of the liturgy.


33 posted on 03/31/2006 5:25:01 AM PST by steadfastconservative
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To: Dajjal; livius; gbcdoj
Lumen Gentium is a phenomenological description of what the Church is and who the Pope, bishops, priests, religious and laity are. Nowhere does LG say that the Pope and bishops are supposed to preserve Apostolic Tradition.

At least get your facts straight if you are going to criticize. This took all of 10 seconds to locate using the "find (on this page)" function in Internet Explorer on the copy of Lumen Gentium on the Vatican website:

Among those various ministries which, according to tradition, were exercised in the Church from the earliest times, the chief place belongs to the office of those who, appointed to the episcopate, by a succession running from the beginning,(7*) are passers-on of the apostolic seed.(8*) Thus, as St. Irenaeus testifies, through those who were appointed bishops by the apostles, and through their successors down in our own time, the apostolic tradition is manifested (9*) and preserved.(10*)
- Lumen Gentium, 20

Credibility, credibility, credibility, credibility, credibility. Or the lack thereof.

34 posted on 03/31/2006 5:30:53 AM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Gamecock

I was once a Protestant. Of course you will deny that you rely upon the infallibility of your own scriptural hermaneutic because it would leave you in a lurch.

When I realized Protestantism was a total fabrication of the 16th century Deformers, I bolted?


35 posted on 03/31/2006 6:11:29 AM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: steadfastconservative
Sacrosanctum Concilium did NOT make the community the subject or the object of the liturgy.

Then what did?

Actually, most of the documents of VatII did little about anything. They were just tantalizingly vague, in many cases, and nature abhors a vacuum. Obviously, there were people just waiting to rush in and fill that particular vacuum with their own thoughts on the matter.

36 posted on 03/31/2006 6:12:59 AM PST by livius
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To: pravknight

And what denomination were you?


37 posted on 03/31/2006 12:01:13 PM PST by Gamecock (I知 so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it. (Machen on his deathbed.)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
"Lumen Gentium is a phenomenological description of what the Church is and who the Pope, bishops, priests, religious and laity are. Nowhere does LG say that the Pope and bishops are supposed to preserve Apostolic Tradition."

At least get your facts straight if you are going to criticize. This took all of 10 seconds to locate using the "find (on this page)" function in Internet Explorer on the copy of Lumen Gentium on the Vatican website:

Among those various ministries which, according to tradition, were exercised in the Church from the earliest times, the chief place belongs to the office of those who, appointed to the episcopate, by a succession running from the beginning,(7*) are passers-on of the apostolic seed.(8*) Thus, as St. Irenaeus testifies, through those who were appointed bishops by the apostles, and through their successors down in our own time, the apostolic tradition is manifested (9*) and preserved.(10*)
- Lumen Gentium, 20


Credibility, credibility, credibility, credibility, credibility. Or the lack thereof.

As I read LG 20, it refers singularly to the "small-t" apostolic tradition of preserving the manner in which persons become bishops, in a line going back to the Pentecost. It does not, imho, impinge upon, say, any duty to preserve the Canon, or tenets of the Nicene Creed. To me, it is not worded as a mandate that those chosen to be bishops must hand the faith down exactly as they have received it.

The St. Irenaeus quote implies that if someone is properly appointed a bishop in the apostolic succession, then he will undoubtedly pass on the "apostolic seed" faithfully. I think Church history since Irenaeus in general, and since Vatican II in particular, shows that this cannot be presumed uncritically.

We might also quibble as to how to interpret the metaphor "apostolic seed." Does it mean preserving the totality of the Catholic Faith as it has developed over 1900+ years? Or did the Council Fathers think it meant the sort of "World Peace" Social Gospel described in Gaudium et Spes? I would incline toward the latter. Or perhaps the "seed" is just the Pentecostal blessing of the Holy Ghost to the Apostles being passed along.

38 posted on 03/31/2006 2:07:58 PM PST by Dajjal
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To: steadfastconservative; pravknight; narses; Pyro7480; murphE; Aquinasfan; Canticle_of_Deborah; ...
This is complete nonsense. As someone who has just written a thesis on Sacrosanctum Concilium, I can tell you that the Second Vatican Council did not make the Mass a "horizontal" celebration of the community. According to SC, the Mass is a sacrifice, the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, and the primary purpose of the liturgy is the worship of God and the sanctification of man that results from worshipping Him. While it also refers to the Church as the People of God, that people is a hierarchically ordered community, not some amorphous, autonomous community that can do whatever it wants. Sacrosanctum Concilium did NOT make the community the subject or the object of the liturgy.

Does Sacrosanctum Concilium ever explicitly say that the Mass is the propitiatory sacrifice to God of a spotless victim? As distinct from, say, a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving?

Once Lumen Gentium has phenominologically reidentified the Church as the "People of God," the old, "bracketed" notion of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ can be phenomenologically reinterpretted a la Congar as individuals animated by the same Holy Spirit to work for Social Justice and World Peace. This is the phenomenological meaning of "sanctification" -- to be liberated from bourgeois capitalistic selfishness, and to focus on the needs of the Other (like the Good Samaritan or Dorothy Day). The hierarchy guides the congregation to this "sanctification."

The phenomenological approach is that this type of "sanctification" is the true fruit of the graces received through the sacraments, and that real worship of God is not just words and gestures in the church building, but going out and living the Social Gospel by changing the world into the peaceable Kingdom of God.

39 posted on 03/31/2006 4:20:16 PM PST by Dajjal
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To: steadfastconservative
Does Sacrosanctum Concilium ever explicitly say that the Mass is the propitiatory sacrifice to God of a spotless victim? As distinct from, say, a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving?

Forgot to add: I know that the Council Fathers never use the word "transubstantiation," so precisely what they mean by "the body and blood of Christ" is open to interpretation.

40 posted on 03/31/2006 4:30:38 PM PST by Dajjal
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To: Dajjal
focus on the needs of the Other (like the Good Samaritan or Dorothy Day).

I knew and worked for Dorothy Day (in fact, she was the "mother of the bride" at my wedding, because my family couldn't attend). She was enormously distressed by the VatII changes in the attitude to the Mass and the Eucharist. She permitted Mass to be said at the Worker House on the Lower East Side until one time, after Mass, she found Fr. Daniel Berrigan pouring the Precious Blood down the drain in the kitchen sink. She burst into tears and would never let another Mass be celebrated there.

My point is that even the work of people like Dorothy was motivated by the Sacrifice of the Mass. She grew up and became a Catholic with the Old Mass and the old understanding of it, and this motivated her love of the "Other" until the very end.

41 posted on 03/31/2006 4:39:30 PM PST by livius
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To: livius
Kant and Hegel and other post-Enlightenment philosophers

Don't forget Husserl. Husserl is absolutely essential for understanding Vatican II.

In many ways, the entire project of Vatican II can be seen as the John XXIII's response to Husserl's Philosophy and the Crisis of European Man (1935).

Thanks for the heads-up on Fr. Robinson's The Mass and Modernity. I'll check it out.

42 posted on 03/31/2006 4:51:17 PM PST by Dajjal
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To: livius
Thank you for that story about Dorothy Day.

In future I won't phrase things like that, implying that Dorothy Day was pleased with the changes of Vatican II.

A few months ago, I heard a radio interview with some fellow who had just written a book about Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and Walker Percy as three archetypal Twentieth Century American Catholics.

I never read the book (don't even remember the author's name, though it would be easy to find). But since hearing that interview, I've sometimes added the three names into my discussion of Vatican Two as representatives of the Post-WWII Catholic concern for the Social Gospel, Ecumenism, and Postmodern Alienation.

It is a bad habit, and without careful distinctions does probably sound like I'm blaming them for Vatican II.

43 posted on 03/31/2006 5:03:39 PM PST by Dajjal
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To: Dajjal
Don't worry, everybody thinks of Dorothy that way. But she didn't convert because she wanted to do "Social Gospel" stuff - she was a Communist before converting and presumably could simply have been another Emma Goldman, had that been all she was interested in - but because she was completely swept away by Our Lord, and it was this vision that she brought to everything. She was a person of enormous personal piety and spent many hours in prayer or reading Scripture or the Hours.

I am not a pacifist and I didn't agree with her on that, although I will say that she realized that pacifism was a personal calling, and she had great respect for people who genuinely believed that they were called to be in the military and defend their people. And while she is often portrayed as being leftist (in the sense of Socialist), she had enormous suspicion of the government and accepted no money from any governmental source for any of her projects, because she said that even the most well-intentioned government contribution gave the government control over the Church or the charitable activity in question.

She was a very contradictory person and open to many "misinterpretations" or interpretations with ulterior motives. And she was difficult and hard to keep up with for those who were not at her level of piety and faith, which was just about everybody. A long-time friend of hers at the Worker, Stanley Vishniewski, summed up the situation of the rest of us by saying, "Martyrs are those who have to live with saints!" Too true.

44 posted on 03/31/2006 5:44:05 PM PST by livius
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To: Dajjal; livius; steadfastconservative
Does Sacrosanctum Concilium ever explicitly say that the Mass is the propitiatory sacrifice to God of a spotless victim? As distinct from, say, a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving?

Well, keep in mind that SC is primarily about the revision of the totality of the liturgy (Mass, Sacraments, Sacramentals, Divine Office, Calendar, Sacred Music, Sacred Art,), and not a doctrinal exposition of the Liturgy and its parts. In that sense, it is more akin to the reform decrees of Trent concerning the Liturgy, than it is to the doctrinal decrees. The Constitution necessarily assumes that "the dogmatic principles which were laid down by the Council of Trent [remain] intact" (Para. 55). So there is no need to repeat everything Trent said, because that is not the point of the document. The following is adequate to address your concerns:

12. We learn from the same Apostle that we must always bear about in our body the dying of Jesus, so that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodily frame (31). This is why we ask the Lord in the sacrifice of the Mass that, "receiving the offering of the spiritual victim," he may fashion us for himself "as an eternal gift" (32).

47. At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity (36), a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us (37).

48. Christ's faithful ... should be instructed by God's word and be nourished at the table of the Lord's body; they should give thanks to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him, they should learn also to offer themselves; through Christ the Mediator (38), they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all.

Forgot to add: I know that the Council Fathers never use the word "transubstantiation," so precisely what they mean by "the body and blood of Christ" is open to interpretation.

This seems clear enough:

7. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His minister, "the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross" (20), but especially under the eucharistic species.

45 posted on 03/31/2006 9:04:28 PM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Dajjal
As I read LG 20, it refers singularly to the "small-t" apostolic tradition of preserving the manner in which persons become bishops, in a line going back to the Pentecost. It does not, imho, impinge upon, say, any duty to preserve the Canon, or tenets of the Nicene Creed. To me, it is not worded as a mandate that those chosen to be bishops must hand the faith down exactly as they have received it.

Okay. Lets take out the superfluous words.

Thus ... through those ... appointed bishops by the apostles, and through their successors ... the apostolic tradition is manifested and preserved.

This says quite plainly that the Bishops manifest and preserve the Apostolic Tradition. To state that it is something inate of them in their office implies that it is the primary quality of who they are in that office.

The St. Irenaeus quote implies that if someone is properly appointed a bishop in the apostolic succession, then he will undoubtedly pass on the "apostolic seed" faithfully. I think Church history since Irenaeus in general, and since Vatican II in particular, shows that this cannot be presumed uncritically.

St. Irenaeus is clearly arguing, if you are familiar with his work, that the Apostolic Tradition is to be found in the teaching of the Bishops in union with Rome, and not among those scattered willy-nilly apart from the Body of Christ. He obviously isn't arguing every Bishop accomplishes this mandate by virtue of consecration - he could hardly be doing so since his arguement is against all of those sects who have broken away from the Catholic Church, including any Bishops. Rather, the arguement is that Apostolic Tradition can be determined by having recourse to Catholic Bishops.

We might also quibble as to how to interpret the metaphor "apostolic seed." Does it mean preserving the totality of the Catholic Faith as it has developed over 1900+ years? Or did the Council Fathers think it meant the sort of "World Peace" Social Gospel described in Gaudium et Spes? I would incline toward the latter.

The simple way to answer this question is to reference the footnote in the text.

... the chief place belongs to the office of those who, appointed to the episcopate, by a succession running from the beginning,(7*) are passers-on of the apostolic seed.(8*)

Supplemental Note 8 refers to Tertullian, The Prescription Against Heretics, Chapter 32:

CHAPTER 32
None of the heretics claim succession from the apostles. New churches still apostolic, because their faith is that which the apostles taught and handed down. The heretics challenged to show any apostolic credentials.

But if there be any (heresies) which are bold enough to plant themselves in the midst Of the apostolic age, that they may thereby seem to have been handed down by the apostles, because they existed in the time of the apostles, we can say: Let them produce the original records of their churches; let them unfold the roll of their bishops, running down in due succession from the beginning in such a manner that [that first bishop of theirs] bishop shall be able to show for his ordainer and predecessor some one of the apostles or of apostolic men,--a man, moreover, who continued stedfast with the apostles. For this is the manner in which the apostolic churches transmit their registers: as the church of Smyrna, which records that Polycarp was placed therein by John; as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter. In exactly the same way the other churches likewise exhibit (their several worthies), whom, as having been appointed to their episcopal places by apostles, they regard as transmitters of the apostolic seed. Let the heretics contrive something of the same kind. For after their blasphemy, what is there that is unlawful for them (to attempt)? But should they even effect the contrivance, they will not advance a step. For their very doctrine, after comparison with that of the apostles, will declare, by its own diversity and contrariety, that it had for its author neither an apostle nor an apostolic man; because, as the apostles would never have taught things which were self-contradictory, so the apostolic men would not have inculcated teaching different from the apostles, unless they who received their instruction from the apostles went and preached in a contrary manner. To this test, therefore will they be submitted for proof by those churches, who, although they derive not their founder from apostles or apostolic men (as being of much later date, for they are in fact being founded daily), yet, since they agree in the same faith, they are accounted as not less apostolic because they are akin in doctrine. Then let all the heresies, when challenged to these two tests by our apostolic church, offer their proof of how they deem themselves to be apostolic. But in truth they neither are so, nor are they able to prove themselves to be what they are not. Nor are they admitted to peaceful relations and communion by such churches as are in any way connected with apostles, inasmuch as they are in no sense themselves apostolic because of their diversity as to the mysteries of the faith.

From this, it is pretty clear that "the apostolic seed" is the spiritual paternity of one Bishop for all those whom he consecrates, in a spiritual geneaology that goes back to St. Peter and the other Apostles. It doesn't relate to your speculations at all.

46 posted on 03/31/2006 9:20:46 PM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Dajjal

No, SC does not explicitly say that the Mass "is the propitiatory sacrfice to God of a spotless victim" nor does it use the term "transubstantiation" because it did not need to. The document is premised on these beliefs. That is, the Council Fathers did not think that they had to restate everything that was said by earlier popes and councils, including Trent. This was true especially of article 7, which listed the presences of Christ in the liturgy, and article 41, which concerned the nature of the Mass. The Council Fathers amended article 7 so that it would specifically reference the presence of Christ in the Eucharist because the draft of the document did not include this reference. Like the other documents of Vatican II, this document must always be read in the light of Tradition, that is, in the light of what the Church has always taught. These documents should NEVER be interpreted as repudiating the teachings of earlier popes and councils. BTW, Pope Benedict has said the same thing, that the Council must be interpreted in the light of Tradition. Catholics should listen to the pope and not to some schismatic bishop.


47 posted on 04/01/2006 5:15:43 AM PST by steadfastconservative
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To: Hermann the Cherusker

Exactly.


48 posted on 04/01/2006 5:17:16 AM PST by steadfastconservative
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To: Gamecock

Lutheran. I always found it interesting how there is only one God and how all Protestants essentially believe in Sola Scriptura, yet accuse each other of being unbiblical.

Confessional Protestants, whether they like it or not, rely upon the commentaries of their founders as their Tradition to understand the Bible. Calvinists say only their interpretation is the right one and that extra scriptural practices are forbidden, while Lutherans believe things adaiaphora can be retained without violating scripture.

Lutherans believe by the Bible alone that Christ is physically present in the Eucharist, while Calvinists say he is spiritually present and the Radicals (Baptists, Pentacostals,etc.)say it is symbolic. Calvinists believe in Double Predestination, Lutherans don't. The Lutheran Confessions based upon Sola Scriptura also reject Millenialism, while other Sola Scriptura types believe in dispensationalism.

God is a God of unity, not of division.
1Co 1:10 - [In Context|Read Chapter]
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no schisms among you: but that you be perfect in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Hardly, a verse Protestant sectarians take seriously from my experience.

I left Protestantism after I started studying the Church Fathers to see how the earliest Christians understood the Bible. I found Protestant Christianity HAD NOTHING in common with the primitive Christianity, it purported to be a restoration of.


49 posted on 04/01/2006 9:48:00 AM PST by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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To: pravknight

***God is a God of unity, not of division.***

And why are there so many sectlets inside the RC church?


50 posted on 04/01/2006 9:53:13 AM PST by Gamecock (I知 so thankful for the active obedience of Christ. No hope without it. (Machen on his deathbed.)
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