A study in differences: The state of the Catholic Church – and the world – before Vatican II – and after.

Before Vatican II:

Faith, reason, and grace-giving sacraments … in addition to almost 2,000 years of Catholic tradition, philosophy and scholarship … served to assist Catholics in making rational and morally upright life decisions … for their own sake, for the glory of God, for the good of the Catholic Church, and for the common good of all mankind.

After Vatican II:

Change has come to the Catholic Church. Virtually all that came before is now irrelevant.

Personal conscience … enlightened by modern secular thought … is king.

A disoriented/disordered Magisterium fails to provide a suitable and practical replacement for that which they permitted to be summarily discarded.

Many Catholics no longer have a sound basis for making rational and morally upright life decisions. Ditto for the rest of the world. Corruption abounds … in the Church … and at every level of society. The earth rapidly descends into chaos.

Welcome to the Brave New World!   

Editor’s note: There are some signs of a turn-around. Where there is grace … there is hope!

4 Comments

  1. Not so. In the first place IF the Catholic Church was never led by the Holy Spirit then Vatican 2 would never have taken place. As it is the one true catholic church led by the Holy Spirit and several decades of internal thinking (I will remind the reader that the notion of a new start begain with Benedict 15th, was understood by Pius 11 as a possibility but delayed by war etc and afterwards Pius 12 openly acknowledged it as a possibility for his successors) has produced with stunning effect a true council of the chiurch! IT IS A STATEMENT OF HERETICAL ANETHMA TO DECIDE OTHERWISE! No true Roman Catholic bound by obedience and loyalty to his Church may imply the council is in error as this involves both venial and mortal sin.
    The Council has sometimes produced affects that were not intended at local level especially but that is part of human interpretation even as Holy Scripture has done so. It is a matter of concern but the supposedly Catholic barrage against the Council is akin to the same against Holy writ.
    Roman Catholics are free to some extent to make up their own minds about the modernity of the world and their part in it. They are not however free to openly contradict or suggest or slander the true Council of the Church as I have noted above such ramblings either from laity or Bishop are sinful.
    It is a stunningly inappropriate lack of faith that encourages such gossip and slanderous comments and as the Council has been fully supported by Popes, John 23rd, Paul 6th, John Paul 1, John Paul2, Benedict 16th it is boredering on banal to suggest that the church is about to change the will or direction laid down by the council. It is the will of God The Holy Spirit and our faith and our human loyalty and obedience to such makes us prisoners to its service but a service that will be rewarded by grace and blessings.

    • Dear Paul,

      Nowhere did I say that Vatican II was not a true Church council. I merely used the event as a an appropriate “anchor” for the before and after.

      Unfortunately, Catholics are not immune to political forces and societal upheavals. Some 50 years later, it’s clear that the post-Vatican II Catholic Church is a mere shadow of what it was before. It’s also clear that much of the damage was self-inflicted!

      If the Catholic Church was an ordinary corporation and such a thing occurred, top management would have been sacked, an immediate reform of the reform would have been ordered, and things would have been returned to normal, within a few short months.

      Such was indeed the case with the Coca-Cola Company and “New Coke”.

      Yet Catholics are still debating what happened to the church, to this day.

      Here’s what happened: Vatican II was a valid council, but in the aftermath, the devil took advantage of the resulting confusion … and according to the obtuse spirit of the day … led about half the church … including the hierarchy … on a ruinous campaign of “reforms” that were never called for or authorized by the council.

      Since God permitted this to happen, we probably deserved it. Now we’re stuck with it … and it’s up to us to faithfully hang in there … much as Job did … until the devil eventually wears himself out.

      Only then will God step in and restore all that has been lost. And there’s your grace, blessings … and rewards! (Notably, Job’s pals also got it wrong, when they counseled him about the source of and the reason for his troubles.)

      As for Holy Writ … try this on for size: Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition Who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh: only that he who now holdeth do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed: whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: him Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power and signs and lying wonders: And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish: because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth but have consented to iniquity. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12)

      Thanks for writing, Paul. It had been a while!

      Doug

      • Hello Doug,

        On reading the editorial comment you are right Doug you do not state the Council as false etc. Yet the implication is obvious. It is clearly implied that before Vatican 2 Catholics knew what was what and had clear and defined paths but after the Council the Church has gone like the wider world into a spiral of chaotic mess where faith and rational thought are allowed to wander alone and grace from the Council has seemingly failed to correct this.

        As I stated it is clear and accepted by the Church that some unforeseen difficulties have resulted from a wide interpretation of the Council. For example at local level the Council has been seen (in error) as advocating a more secular and less devotional aspect or even permitting sexual equality to abundance. This is not an error from the higher clerical authorities alone although some worldwide have used the Council to bolster their own agendas, both liberal and conservatives.

        I don’t agree that after 50 years the Church is a shadow of its former self? It is true that in the western world church attendance continue to fluctuate but the Council is about challenging both individual and church to rediscover the faith professed as Catholic yet rarely lived up to in the world. I am reminded of St Gertrude? in some Cathedral full of people asked by Christ how many wanted to be there? She did not know and he said sadly she could count them on one hand. The story reveals that faith is not merely about exclaiming Lord Lord but should be about doing the will of Our Father in heaven. Bottoms on seat in pews is fine but only if there is a desire to attend from the heart. Like every good Council it is a different Church we live in then before only in so far as it calls us to love god more.

        The Council was historically called to answer the apparent failings by the Roman Catholic Church to explain to the faithful why wars and economics and scientific rationalization of everyday life had outstripped the old rhetoric of its catechism. With the dramatic rise of antichristian politics the Church realised some new answers were required for a new world. It was a singular grace but like many such notions involves change and that is very painful to swallow especially when it challenges us to respond by ourselves and our own life encounters. My point is that what was once certain is now challenged by everyday encounters; for example Our Christian brethren are not rubbish to be thrown on the fire but we can learn from them as Christians should and grow to really love each other. Again that the Holy Spirit challenges us to stop wording parrot like phrases taught in a foreign language that meant little if anything to a mass of humanity and by the vernacular to praise a God we should actually be in a relationship with instead of cowering before. That we should now embrace the charity of our faith and understand that we are part of a bigger world and on a mission of pilgrimage, one that is difficult but born from love.

        Of course there are lots of problems resulting from the Council and its interpretations but you know there have always been, indeed every council of the church since Nicene has been difficult to swallow and although 50 years seems like a life time for individuals in the wake of history it is a mere twinkling of an eye. One of the great surprises was how soon John 23rd called for the Council, barely a hundred years after Vatican 1. So we shall not be surprised if we are challenged still by the Council and every day of our lives we question its purpose or ask was it necessary? I do not know any resulting wounds are self-inflicted but they are a challenge and we should try to heal any resulting suffering accordingly? God has created us in his love and placed us in this time and space and gives us the means of his salvation daily but sometimes we must dare him to enlighten our darkness because like Job our questions asked have no simple answers.

        The quote you give from Thessalonians is surely about the ruinous behaviour of apostates and those that would and will inflict their own evil upon the faithful of God even to the revelation of the Anti-Christ? People choosing to follow Satan will be destroyed by the truth of Christ’s words. (Gospel). This scripture could well be about such a thing especially in an early church persecuted and in need of Divine aid? Yet it should always be considered in the light of Gods great Love for us. St Paul is warning the faithful not to be fooled but he warns the godless also (imp) that they must also turn from sin? My point about Holy writ is that if we find the Council divisive than we should tremble over Scripture. Nothing has led to a greater breakdown in Church unity than its (medieval and ironically from my argument the first taste of the vernacular) interpretations. Yet the quoting of Scripture is always good and if I do not quote it as often as I should like it is because I am reminded that Satan or the Pharisees know it line by line. The trouble is they fail to understand it. Rather try to imagine everything from the Heart of the Law which is Love and in that light the sword should be taken from our hand.

        If confusion resulting from the Council has assisted the devil in his works then he may have done his job well but it is unlikely and odd that the Church remains intact thereby. God is already with us and does not need to “appear” in dramatic unveiling as he has come to us not in war and exultation but in humility and quietness. It is a question of our faith that we believe in him and the Council reminds us that he is present and with us in both sacramental grace but also in the blessing of faith and by his Spirit. The fact that we find the Council sometimes a difficult pill to swallow or may behold its aftermath as the triumph of falsehood is unworthy of our Christian faith. We remain human and our understanding and error is human (sometimes we are too harsh with others or with ourselves and forget about Gods tender and loving mercy, for this revelation he came into the world incarnate) and we seek error from Churchmen as if to show them as grey imitations of Christian ideal. The council is with us now and forever and we must get used to it and stop trying to see poisonous fruit where we should embrace it as a reward of the faith.

        In the Old Testament before Christ God dealt with Israel in Justice and was at times apparently quite difficult to understand or at least as seen from our angle in history. In the New Covenant in The New Testament, God revealed in Jesus Christ shows himself to be Our Good Shepherd, full of Justice but tampered with his love and mercy. He shows himself to be Our Lord not of wrath but of compassion and pity for us. At Pentecost he comes to us as his Holy Spirit and fills his Church with his very being. That being is of Love and it is with us every moment of our lives as the author of Life. In Sacramental grace he is present and in our faith he is present. The council of Vatican 2 (if we understand it as a true council etc and papal wishes oblige) shows us a way to grow up in the faith and to be led on this pilgrimage to its ultimate conclusion. The way of this faith is not to be smooth and we are unduly tested it seems because there is so much we could do better if only. . . We are never called to follow blindly but in faith we are called to hope and see that which we do not yet see and trust in the apparently unlikely presence of Gods Spirit leading us to himself. If that is true then we shall learn to embrace the second Vatican Council as a loving friend.

      • Dear Paul,

        The disastrous presidency of Jimmy Carter left us Americans one lasting legacy – beside continuing revolution, terrorism and chaos in the middle east – the phrase – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

        There was nothing wrong with the Catholic Church of the ages that required such radical and destructive reforms as those which swept in after the close of the 2nd Vatican Council.

        By any measure, the damage has been done … and it is severe.

        We see the same thing happening here today, in the corrupt and disastrous regime of Barack Obama … another agent of unnecessary and destructive change.

        God love you … and be well!

        Doug


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