Seen on the web: Was Vatican II really necessary, and was it a good thing?


13 April 2012 at 11:31 am

Regarding a close reading of the Conciliar documents themselves: I’ve spent many hours reading the documents, both alone and in discussion groups with ecclesiastical history and theology graduate students from reputable and well respected Catholic universities, and discussed specific constitutions at length with well educated and well formed priests, and I can say with my hand on my heart that a close reading of those documents does not clear up any of their ambiguity either with regard to the “intent” of the document or with their actual content.

We’ve examined the documents linguistically, studying the Latin to try to clear up the ambiguities, and the problems of interpretation obstinately persist.

There is something about the very language of the V2 documents that lends itself to “misunderstanding”, and a variety of equally legitimate interpretations.

The two camps that the pope has outlined regarding the proper “hermeneutic” of the Council (continuity and discontinuity) can both legitimately claim positions of interpretation drawn directly from the texts of the Council because of the extreme lack of definition to the language that was employed.