Four Scores Just Sixty Years Ago?

We are not confusing the blogosphere with reality about Vatican II. We are lamenting the confusion born from ambiguity and the party strife born from both. 

PUBLISHED ON

February 18, 2023

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Dear Mr. Weigel,

We got your memo, and it proves our point. You say Vatican II is necessary for answering four problems of modern times. 

The problems:

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  1. Whether divine revelation is real and has binding authority over time.
  2. Whether human beings are really just bundles of desires, all of which are morally equal and should be acknowledged as legitimate in the name of human rights.
  3. What is authentic human community?
  4. How does the West rebuild the shattered foundations of its culture?

The answers in Vatican II (or, as you say, the “scores” for the Council):

  1. God has spoken into history
  2. The truth about our humanity is revealed in the life, death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ.
  3. The Church, in which “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28) is the template (the “sacrament,” as the Council put it) of authentic human community, the experience of which can lead to building solidarity in society.
  4. Vatican II… teaches that a great awakening to the truths on which our civilization was built will come through a New Evangelization, in which every Catholic … understands himself or herself to have been baptized into a missionary vocation, bringing others to friendship with Jesus Christ.

Leaving aside what it means for God to “speak into” something or for man to “experience a template of authentic community,” and leaving aside that number four is not a teaching but a prophecy (one yet to be realized), and leaving aside that number two is the most vague and generic way of saying what is said much more specifically and concretely by other councils (like Trent) we could still note that this is not “Vatican II” simply speaking, but Vatican II according to “its authoritative interpretation by two men of the Council, Karol Wojtyła and Joseph Ratzinger, in their Petrine ministries as Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.”

There is also Vatican II according to Pope Francis’ interpretation, which is that God wills the diversity of religions in the same way he wills the diversity of sexes and races. Ugh… *Sigh.*

We never said that Vatican II is false. We said that we don’t need it. Our four scores were scored centuries ago (you quote St. Paul!) and with words much clearer than those of Vatican II. While the next 20 years will see the Vatican II enthusiasts sleep their sleep, some lines of Tennyson come to mind:

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws. In Memoriam

Dear Mr. Weigel, we are not confusing the blogosphere with reality. We are lamenting the confusion born from ambiguity and the party strife born from both. And we are longing for those nobler modes of life and sweeter manners which are the happy children of purer laws.

Author

  • Fr. Michael

    Fr. Michael was born outside Detroit as an evangelical Christian. He entered the Church at 16, started learning the faith at a Californian college around 19, and at 22, became a monk. Ordained a priest in 2015, he is now a muddle-headed lover of Christ.

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