In truth, there was nothing new in this.Since the 18th century, the liberal party, the party of the Enlightenment, has been struggling to gain ascendency in the Church, not only in the Church but in Protestantism. The events of 1789 -1815 slowed its progress in the Church , because so many became unbelievers . Anti-clericalism dominated the political life of so many Catholic, Countries. In the Protestant countries, with their weaker clerical class matters took a different course. The sects multiplied and state churches declined. John Wesleys methodism set the paradign for what happened in North America and the UK. Calvinism was abandoned either for liberalism or form arminianism, or people just stopped talking about theology at all. Wesley himself just straddled the fence, sometimes sounding Calvinist and something Arminian. The evangelical party in the Church of England did the same. Moral theology dominated the scene. The language of the Reformers was repeated but largely emptied of its content. Anti-Catholicism joined all parties.
The Church was embattled everywhere. Freemasonry was the choice the elites in Catholic countries. It was strong in the English-speaking countries as well, not anti-Christian. but still anti-Catholic. The government of Mexico has been anti-Catholics or at best tolerant since the 1820s, when the masonic US Ambassador, Joel Poinsett, was a major influence. Vatican I came about because Pius IX wanted take a stand against modernity,and you may recall how his syllabus of errors was received in this country. The same as humanae vitae in 1968, except that in the 1860s, the American Church was still united behind the pope, if only because of the need to confront the strong anti-Catholicism of the times.
I submit, therefore, that the want of the language of previous councils was not the cause of the disaster. Rather it was the revolt against Roman authority under the banner of the Spirit of Vatican II, an insurgency that had already begun in the 50s.
As for the falling away, it was owing to a loss of faith by the lower clergy and the nuns, who are the officer corps. of the Church. In many respects it is much like the Reformation of the 16th Century, which was also led by clergymen, at least in the beginning. Their doctrine is at least Christian, which is why so many Catholics have retreated to the sects from a body whose leadership evidenced so little faith in the doctrine of Trent. But far more have abandoned any meaningful form of Christianity. The opposite of love is, after all, not hate, but indifference.
RE: which was to complete to work begun by Vatican I, which was in effect chased out of town when the Italians occupied Rome. It was not to be a doctrinal council, as Trent was. However, it can be asserted, as Benedict has implied, that a party within the Church, treated the Council as not a renewal but as an abrupt departure from the past.
OK, The above statement now makes more sense, especially this : “It was not to be a doctrinal council” and this in regards to Vatican II : “the Council as not a renewal but as an abrupt departure from the past.”
But Let’s analyze this. There seems to be two things I garnered from this.
1) Vatican I is NOT to be a doctrinal council. If so, if the anathema on those who do not recognize the Pope as the Primate of christianity do not have spiritual force. The only force it has is denominational or institutional.
You are ex-communicated from the ROMAN CATHOLIC church, but not necessarily Christ Himself.
2) If Vatican II is a departure from the past, the next question is this — HOW FAR IS THE DEPARTURE? Surely there are doctrines that were espoused in Vatican I and Trent that are SPIRITUALLY BINDING.