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The Assent Owed to Vatican II (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Culture ^ | December 2, 2011 | Jeff Mirus

Posted on 12/02/2011 2:59:57 PM PST by NYer

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What is finally emerging as the sticking point between the Vatican and the Society of Saint Pius X is the question of the assent owed to the Second Vatican Council. This is now the subject of an important essay in L’Osservatore Romano by one of the key negotiators for the Vatican, the vicar general of Opus Dei, Msgr. Fernando Ocariz. Note that there is a link to the full text at the end of our news story, which itself includes substantial quotations.

I hate to say I told you so, but Msgr. Ocariz says exactly the same thing I have been saying for years here on CatholicCulture.org. But of course this is no surprise because it is something that all faithful theologians have known from the first. Since it was an ecumenical council, meeting and promulgating its acts to the whole Church under the authority of the Pope, the Second Vatican Council’s doctrinal sentences demand assent in the following ways:

  1. Whenever the Council teaches something about faith and morals, what it teaches is certainly true, either through the specific note of infallibility or from the religious submission of mind and will owed to the ordinary magisterium.
  2. If such a teaching on faith or morals appears to anyone to conflict with earlier teachings, the problem is not with the truth of the Council’s statement but with our understanding of the Church’s full teaching, of which the Council’s statement is inescapably a part.
  3. Proper method demands that an understanding of the matter in question be found that accepts the truth of all relevant statements. Later statements can be illuminated by earlier ones and earlier statements can be illuminated by later ones, until a more complete and precise understanding is formed.
  4. Where the Council was not teaching on matters of faith and morals, such as where it was describing contemporary conditions or offering recommendations for renewal, its statements are to be received with respect and gratitude but are not necessarily flawless in either their factual accuracy or their prudential judgment.
  5. It follows that any arguments which undermine this understanding, whether based upon the pastoral interests of the Council or any other factor, are specious.

The Council itself explained this in a doctrinal comment added to the Acta in both March and November of 1964, which I took note of in the introduction to my commentary on Lumen Gentium (The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church) in my series on Vatican II (now available as an ebook). In addition, I have talked about this until my face has turned the proverbial blue—with respect to the Council itself, the Magisterium in general, and proper theological method. See, for example:

Now I grant that Msgr. Ocariz is not the only person involved in the discussions, but it obviously no coincidence that his article was published in L’Osservatore Romano immediately following the SSPX’s request for clarifications to the Doctrinal Preamble (the basis for negotiations) on this precise point.

In any case, Msgr. Ocariz has stated with admirable clarity exactly what the Church herself said at the time of the Council, exactly what the Church has understood to be the case since the Council, and in fact exactly what the Church has always believed about what constitutes a magisterial teaching and how magisterial teachings are to be received.

I am among those who devoutly hope that the SSPX can be reconciled on this point and can therefore be brought back into full communion with the Church. But make no mistake about it: This is the key question and what Msgr. Ocariz outlines is the correct answer. This is so true that how each of us answers this question of the assent due to Vatican II is one of those things—whether we consider ourselves Modernists or Traditionalists or something in between, and whether we feel ourselves beset by Church authority or feel we are allowed to go on as if nothing is wrong—it is one of those things that really does determine whether we are Catholic in name only or are (as I would hope) actually Catholic in fact.email the editor


TOPICS: Current Events; History; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS: catholic; ecumenism; fallibility; infallibility; liturgy; mass; novusordo; pope; religiousliberty; sspx; thomism; tlm; traditionalmass; tridentinemass; vatican2; vaticanii; vaticantwo; vcii

1 posted on 12/02/2011 3:00:02 PM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 12/02/2011 3:00:43 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

This article will not convince those who have already convinced themselves that they are wiser than Wisdom.


3 posted on 12/02/2011 3:19:45 PM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake

Then let us pray for them. Some of us once were in a place where we also thought we were wiser than wisdom. Wow! What deception! Thank you Lord, for the grace to SEE.

;-)


4 posted on 12/02/2011 3:35:08 PM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: NYer

The Melkite Eparchy of Newton has a good series of articles about the Melkite Church’s concerns about Vatican II.

http://www.melkite.org/xCouncil/CouncilIntro.htm

Based on material on the Melkite eparchy’s website, the Melkites only accept the first seven councils as ecumenical
http://www.melkite.org/Challenge2007b.htm

1. What are the seven great meetings called that gave us the basic faith of the Church, and where was the first one held?

A Ecumenical councils, Nicaea

40. Was the Vatican Council an ecumenical council? Why? Why Not?

A The Vatican council was not an ecumenical council – no participation from the Orthodox
http://www.melkite.org/Challenge2007C.htm

22. What are the Ecumenical Councils?

The seven great meetings called that gave expression to the basic faith of the Church
http://www.melkite.org/Challenge2006C.htm

8 How many Ecumenical Councils were held?
a. Seven Ecumenical Councils
http://www.melkite.org/Challenge2005B.htm


5 posted on 12/02/2011 5:30:10 PM PST by rzman21
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To: SumProVita; wideawake
Arrogance--->disobedience
Angels: Lucifer
Humans: Adam and Eve

What has changed after all these millenia?

6 posted on 12/02/2011 8:47:02 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: cloudmountain

“What has changed after all these millenia?”

Now, we have a Savior.

;-))))


7 posted on 12/03/2011 6:26:52 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: SumProVita

Of course, that wasn’t my point, was it now? :o)


8 posted on 12/03/2011 6:36:04 AM PST by cloudmountain
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To: cloudmountain

I began thinking about the time frame from Adam & Eve to the present day.

;-)))


9 posted on 12/03/2011 7:07:48 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: rzman21

Could it be because it was just for the western or Latin Church, VC II?


10 posted on 12/03/2011 7:25:20 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Biggirl

Vatican II was not “just for the western church”. The liturgical changes it prescribed and started were, however.


11 posted on 12/03/2011 7:30:26 AM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: NYer; SumProVita; wideawake; BlackElk
2. If such a teaching on faith or morals appears to anyone to conflict with earlier teachings, the problem is not with the truth of the Council’s statement but with our understanding of the Church’s full teaching, of which the Council’s statement is inescapably a part.

3. Proper method demands that an understanding of the matter in question be found that accepts the truth of all relevant statements. Later statements can be illuminated by earlier ones and earlier statements can be illuminated by later ones, until a more complete and precise understanding is formed.

This is an interesting theory, but how does it apply to the real conflicts between Vatican II and previous Church teaching? What "understanding of the matter in question be found that accepts the truth of all relevant statements" is there regarding the Catholic state? Apparently, it is the "understanding" that the traditional Catholic state was always sinful and must be outlawed. Consider this conflict between the infallible Quanta Cura and Vatican II:

Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura 1864:

And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that "that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require." From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity," viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way."[...]

Therefore, by our Apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this letter.

conflicts with

Vatican II, Dignitas Humanae 1965:

The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.(2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.

It is in accordance with their dignity as persons-that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility-that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth However, men cannot discharge these obligations in a manner in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy immunity from external coercion as well as psychological freedom. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed.

After Vatican II, Pope Paul VI ordered the secularization of the remaining officially Catholic states of Christendom, like Spain. To remain loyal Catholics, the leaders of Catholic states thought they had to make their states un-Catholic. And so they did. Today, the construction of Islamic mosques is now legal and is taking place throughout Spain the rest of Europe. Even the Catholic identity unofficially Catholic countries like Italy, Austria, and Ireland was overrun by the tide of secularism unleashed under Vatican II. The US is a majority Protestant country, but even formerly Catholic spaces here like Catholic Universities have become secularized in the wake of Vatican II.

As demonstrated above, Vatican II conflicts with the infallible doctrine of the Catholic state. The now-overrun former Catholic states should have rejected Paul VI's false doctrine and remained Catholic.

Lord, grant officials the will to admit the errors of Vatican II.

12 posted on 12/03/2011 2:01:35 PM PST by mas cerveza por favor
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To: NYer
whether we consider ourselves Modernists or Traditionalists or something in between, and whether we feel ourselves beset by Church authority or feel we are allowed to go on as if nothing is wrong—it is one of those things that really does determine whether we are Catholic in name only or are (as I would hope) actually Catholic in fact.

This author, Jeff Mirus, is a complete nutjob. Modernists were declared to be grave heretics by St. Pope Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis (1908).

13 posted on 12/03/2011 2:24:53 PM PST by mas cerveza por favor
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To: mas cerveza por favor

One of the most poisonous recipes in history has always been to combine misunderstanding of/rebellion against the Authority given to the Church ...with self righteousness.

;-/


14 posted on 12/03/2011 2:29:50 PM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: SumProVita
One of the most poisonous recipes in history has always been to combine misunderstanding of/rebellion against the Authority given to the Church ...with self righteousness.

Indeed. Are you referring to anything in particular?

15 posted on 12/03/2011 2:35:13 PM PST by mas cerveza por favor
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To: mas cerveza por favor

Not really. That recipe can be used by those who don’t like ANY change made by the Church as well as to those who want to change anything they disagree with.

Salud...

;-)


16 posted on 12/03/2011 2:41:17 PM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: SumProVita
Not really. That recipe can be used by those who don’t like ANY change made by the Church as well as to those who want to change anything they disagree with.

What recipe? If infallible dogma can change, then that dogma was never infallible to begin with. One either accepts infallibility or does not. For more than 1900 years, infallibility was not a problem. It still is not (except for the Modernists).

17 posted on 12/03/2011 2:53:14 PM PST by mas cerveza por favor
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To: mas cerveza por favor

I have NO idea what you are referring to. Perhaps you could begin with MENOS cerveza, por favor.

;-)


18 posted on 12/03/2011 3:08:01 PM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: SumProVita

I am referring to your apparent belief that changing the Church has been a good thing and your implication that revision of the Church’s infallible doctrine would be possible.


19 posted on 12/04/2011 9:24:05 PM PST by mas cerveza por favor
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To: Biggirl
I think the Melkite patriarch views himself as sort of an anti-patriarch akin to the medieval anti-popes, so the presence of the Eastern Catholic Churches at Vatican I and Vatican II didn't really count. In order to be catholic according to St. Vincent of Lerins the matter has to be universal. The Melkites going back to Patriarch Gregory II who refused to accept Vatican I has been that all five patriarchal sees (the Orthodox ones) must ratify the decisions of an ecumenical council for it to attain ecumenical status. They cite the decree of the Council of Florence on papal primacy as their Catholic authority for arguing that all of the "ecumenical councils" since 1054 lack the charism of infallibility because they only were General Councils of the Roman patriarchate.

We also define that the holy apostolic see and the Roman pontiff holds the primacy over the whole world and the Roman pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter prince of the apostles, and that he is the true vicar of Christ, the head of the whole church and the father and teacher of all Christians, and to him was committed in blessed Peter the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole church, as is contained also in the acts of ecumenical councils and in the sacred canons. Also, renewing the order of the other patriarchs which has been handed down in the canons, the patriarch of Constantinople should be second after the most holy Roman pontiff, third should be the patriarch of Alexandria, fourth the patriarch of Antioch, and fifth the patriarch of Jerusalem, without prejudice to all their privileges and rights. Before the schism the ratifying the decisions of the first seven councils required the assent of all five patriarchs, not just the Pope. Thus in my understanding of the Melkite view, simply calling a council ecumenical doesn't make it so. The Fourth Council of Constantinople was annulled by Pope John VIII, for example.
20 posted on 12/05/2011 6:20:50 PM PST by rzman21
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To: SumProVita

Demanding assent to intentionally ambiguous documents from a Council whose fruits are well known is a good course for the Vatican to take in this matter?


21 posted on 12/13/2011 10:53:14 PM PST by blackpacific
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To: blackpacific

The correct course to take is to pray and seek accurate understanding of the documents....not fight against the Authority of the Church.

PS Authority is not a dirty word....and we are ALL called to holiness.

;-)


22 posted on 12/14/2011 4:34:47 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: SumProVita

But the AUTHORITY was never invoked. The last infallible document to come from Peter was Humanae Vitae.


23 posted on 12/15/2011 10:00:37 PM PST by blackpacific
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To: SumProVita

But the AUTHORITY was never invoked. The last infallible document to come from Peter was Humanae Vitae.


24 posted on 12/15/2011 10:00:57 PM PST by blackpacific
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To: blackpacific

With God’s grace, let’s focus on our own holiness. ;-)))


25 posted on 12/16/2011 5:44:10 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: SumProVita

Holiness includes being honest about what this Council did to the Church and how worthless and confusing are its documents. Yes I have read them. They should warm your hearth. :o)


26 posted on 12/16/2011 5:58:56 AM PST by blackpacific
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To: blackpacific

I think the Blessed Mother is our highest model of holiness. She quietly, firmly and completely followed the will of God.


27 posted on 12/16/2011 6:09:38 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: SumProVita

And God is Truth.


28 posted on 12/16/2011 6:50:17 PM PST by blackpacific
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