In general, the mentality at the Second Vatican Council was little if at all Catholic. This can be said because of an inexplicable and undeniable man-centeredness and sympathy for the "world" and its deceptive values, all of which ooze from all of the Council's documents. More specifically, Vatican II has been accused of substantive and relevant ambiguities, patent contradictions, significant omissions and, what counts even more, of grave errors in doctrine and pastorality.
The Council wanted to disqualify the "authentically manifest and supreme ordinary Magisterium" (Pope Paul VI). This is an insufficient figure of speech for an ecumenical council since such councils always embody an extraordinary exercise of the Magisterium, with the Pope deciding to exercise its exceptional nature together with all of the bishops assembled by him in council. He acts therein as the suprema potestas of the entire Church, which he possesses by Divine right. Neither does reference to the "authentic character" of Vatican II explain things, because such a term generally means "authoritative" relative to the Holy Father's sole authority, not to his infallibility. The "mere authenticum"ordinary Magisterium is not infallible, while the ordinary Magisterium is infallible. In any case, the ordinary Magisterium's infallibility does not have the same characteristics as the extraordinary Magisterium. Thus, it cannot be applied to the Second Vatican Council. It is necessary to realize that the point in question is how many bishops throughout the Catholic world are teaching the same doctrine, and not how many are present at a Council.
Such being Vatican IFs actual juridical nature, it is certain that it did not wish to impart a teaching invested with infallibility. It is true that Pope Paul VI himself said that the Council's teaching ought to be "docilely and sincerely" accepted by the faithful, that is, with (we specifically note) what is always called "internal religious assent," something required of any pastoral document, for instance.
This assent is obligatory, but only on the condition that sufficient and grave reasons do not exist for not granting such assent. Might a question of "grave reason" be concerned when alterations in the deposit of Faith are evident? Already during Vatican IPs tormented discussions, cardinals, bishops, and theologians, faithful to dogma, repeatedly noted the ambiguities and errors which were infiltrating Council texts, errors that today, after 40 years of definitive reflection and study, we are grasping ever more precisely.
We do not pretend completeness for our synopsis of the errors ascribed to Vatican II. Yet it seems to us that we have specified in what follows a sufficient number of important ones, beginning with the first utterances such as those contained in the Council's October 20, 1962 "Address on Openness" by His Holiness John XXIII and the Council Fathers' "Message to the World." Though not one of the official, formal Council texts, nevertheless, these texts expressed the thinking wanted by the "progressive wing," that is, the neo-modernist innovators' line of thinking.
The Church has always been opposed to these errors [i.e., false opinions of men-Ed.]; She has often condemned them with the greatest severity. Now, however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to employ the medicine of mercy rather than that of harshness. She is going to meet today's needs by demonstrating the validity of Her doctrine, rather than by renewing condemnations.
With this renunciation of employing proper, God-given authority to defend the deposit of the faith and to help souls through condemning errors that ensnare souls and prevent their eternal salvation, Pope John XXIII kicked aside his duties as Vicar of Christ. In fact, condemning error is essential for maintaining the deposit of faith, which is the Pontiff's first duty, and with it, always confirming sound doctrine, thus demonstrating the efficacy of doing so with timely application. Moreover, from a pastoral point of view, condemning error is necessary because it supports and sustains the faithful, the well-educated as well as those less so, with the Magisterium's incomparable authority. By its exercise they are strengthened to defend themselves against error, whose "logic" is often astute and seductive. This is not the only point: condemning error can lead errant souls to repent, by placing the true sustenance of their intellect before them. The condemnation of error is, in and of itself, a work of mercy.
To hold that condemning error should never have occurred is to support a mutilated concept of the Church's Magisterium. In the main, the post-Vatican II Church, no longer condemning error, has substituted for it dialogue with those in error. This amounts to doctrinal error. Previously, the Church has always prosecuted dialogue with such errors and those in error. Pope John XXIII’s quote above enounces the error clearly: that demonstrating "doctrine's validity" is incompatible with "renewing condemnations." This is to suggest that such validity ought to be imposed only thanks to one's own intrinsic logic, and not from external authority. But in such an approach, faith would no longer be a gift from God, nor would there be any need of grace to fortify faith, nor any need to exercise the principle for sustaining faith via the authority in the Catholic Church. The essential error is concealed in Pope John XXIII's phraseology; it is a form of Pelagianism [i.e., that all men are, by nature, good-Ed.] which is typical of all "rationalistic conceptions" of the Faith, all of them repeatedly condemned by the Magisterium.
Not only heresies and theological errors in the strict sense have been objects of condemnation, but every one of the world's ideas that is not Catholic, not only those adverse to the Faith, but also those to whom Our Lord's words apply, "He who does not gather with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth" (Mt. 12:30).
position taken by John XXIII, maintained by the Council and the post-Conciliar
period has caused the collapse of the Church's ironclad armor. The Church's
enemies-inside and out-appreciate this heterodox position. No doubt they
agree with Nietzsche, who said: "The intellectual mark of the Church is
essentially harsh inflexibility, by which the conception and judgment of
values are treated as stable, as eternal."
However, he followed this by explaining that
true doctrine ought to be expressed using the forms of investigation and literary style of modern thinking, since, to do so, is to sustain the depositum fidei's classic doctrine and is the way to recast it: and this ought to be done patiently, taking into great account that all must be expressed in forms and propositions having a predominantly pastoral character.1Liberals and modernists had already long recommended that classical doctrine be re-cast in forms imported from "modern thinking." Doing so was specifically condemned by Pope Pius X in Pascendi2 and his decree Lamentabili which condemned the following:3
§63. The Church shows herself unequal to the task of preserving the ethics of the Gospel, because she clings obstinately to immutable doctrines which cannot be reconciled with present day advances.In Humani Generis4Pope Pius XII said the same thing. Thus, Pope John XXIII’s predecessors had condemned his proposed doctrine. This is a typical of all modernist errors.
§64. The progress of the sciences demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine about God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, the redemption, be recast. (Lamentabili, July 3, 1907, dz 2063, 2064)
In fact, it
is not possible for the categories of "modern thinking" to be applied to
Catholic doctrine. In all of its forms modern thinking negates-a priori-
the existence of an absolute truth and holds that everything is relative
to Man, who is his own absolute value, divinized in all of his manifestations,
from instinct to "self-consciousness." This way of thinking is intrinsically
opposed to the fundamental truths of the Catholic Church beginning with
the idea of God the Creator, of a living God Who has been revealed and
incarnated in His Second Person. In the end, modern thinking means only
a politics and an ethic. By proposing a similar contamination, Pope John
XXIII showed himself to be a disciple of the of the neo-modernists' "New
Theology," already condemned by the Magisterium. Regarding the Catholic
Church's salvation mission, the needs of the day required of the Second
Vatican Council to reinforce the rejection of modern thinking
found in the prior popes-from Pius IX to Pius XII. Instead, the Council
gave full sway to "the study and expression" of "authentic" and "classic"
doctrine via "modern thinking."
preparing and consolidating the way toward that human unity which is a fundamental necessity because the earthly City is constructed to always resemble the heavenly one "in which truth and the law of charity reign, and is the extension of the Eternal One.Here "human unity" is seen as the "fundamental necessity because the earthly City is constructed to always resemble the heavenly one." But the Church never taught that her expansion in this world had "human unity" as her goal, as affirmed by Pope John XXIII, simply. On the contrary, this is the guiding idea of the Enlightenment's philosophy of history first elaborated by the 18th century by secularists. It is not of the Catholic Church, but is an essential component of the religion of Humanism.
The error consists in mixing the Catholic vision with an idea imported into it from secular thought. Secularists do not look to extend the Kingdom of God through that part of it realized on earth by the Catholic Church. This vision is a substitute for that of the Church's. Humanism is convinced of the dignity of man as man (since humanists do not believe in original sin) and of his supposed "rights."
three errors in the Opening Address, two more theological errors were proposed
in what followed.
While we hope that through the Council's labors the light of faith shines more clearly and alive, we await a spiritual renaissance from which also comes a happy impulse that favors human well-being, that is, scientific invention, progress of the arts, technology, and a greater diffusion of culture."Human well-being" is characterized according to the century's reigning ideas, i.e., scientific, artistic, technological, and cultural progress.5 Should the Second Vatican Council have become so preoccupied with such things? Should it have expressed hope for the increase of these solely earthly "blessings," always shortlived, often deceptive, in place of those eternal ones founded on perennial values taught by the Church over the centuries? No wonder that, following this brand of pastoral, instead of a new "splendor" of the faith, a grave and persistent crisis has arisen?
The actual theological error, in the proper sense of error, occurs at the close of the "Message to the World" where it is said: "We invite all to collaborate with us in order to install in the world a more well ordered civil life and a greater fraternity." This is not Catholic doctrine. Any anticipation of the eternal kingdom in this world was constituted only by the Catholic Church, by the visible Church Militant, the earthly element of the Mystical Body of Christ, which grows slowly, not withstanding the opposition of "the prince of this world." The Mystical Body of ' Christ increases, but not strictly through the "union of all men of good will," and of all humanity under the banner of "progress."
Vatican II's Dei Verbum (on Divine Revelation) is called a "dogmatic constitution" because it concerns the inerrant truth of dogma. In §9, however, it expounds in an obviously insufficient and unclear way [or else, why the confusion presented in § 11 ?-Ed.] how the truths of the Faith rest on two pillars of revelation-Sacred Scripture and Tradition-and on the absolute inerrancy of Sacred Scripture and the total historical authenticity of the Gospels.6 In §11, Dei Verbum lends itself even to opposite interpretations, one of which would reduce inerrancy only to "truth...confided to the Sacred Scriptures....":
...Since, therefore, all that the inspired authors, or sacred writers, affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture, firmly, faithfully and without error, teach that truth which God, for the sake of salvation, wished to see confided to the sacred Scriptures....(Dei Verbum, § lib, Nov. 18, 1965)This is substantively equivalent to heresy because the absolute inerrancy of Sacred Scripture and the truth expounded there is the truth of the Faith constantly deduced and taught by the Church alone.
For an example of patent contradiction, let us look as §2 of the October 28, 1965 decree, Perfectae Caritatis (On the Up-to-Date Renewal of Religious Life). It states that the renewal of religious life "comprises both a constant return to the sources of the whole of the Christian life and to the primitive inspiration of the institutes, and the adaptation to the changed conditions of our time...."
This is a patent contradiction since, according to the three vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, the unique characteristic of religious life has always been that of being completely antithetical to the world, corrupted as it is by original sin and the very illustration of the fleeting and transient. How is it possible that the "return to the sources...and to the primitive inspiration of the [Catholic] institutes" be accomplished by their "adaptation to the changed conditions of our time?" Adaptation to these "conditions," which today are those of the secularized modern world of lay culture, are the very ones that impede, in themselves, "the return to the sources."
of Gaudium et Spes (On the Church in the Modern World, Dec. 7, 1965)
grants governments the right "of lawful self-defense" to "defend the interests
of the people." This substantively seems to conform to the traditional
teaching of the Church, which has always granted the right of defense from
an external or internal attack of the "just war" category, and conforms
to the principles of natural rights. However, §82 of the same Gaudium
et Spes also contains an absolute condemnation of war and, therefore,
of every type of war, without making express exception for defensive war,
justified three paragraphs earlier, which, then, the Council both permitted
and condemned! Compare, yourself: first, the permission, then, the condemnation:
§79. War, of course, has not ceased to be part of the human scene. As long as the danger of war persists..., governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed. State leaders and all who share the burdens of public administration have the duty to defend the interests of their people and to conduct grave matters with a deep sense of responsibility....Contradiction is also evident in Sacrosanctum Concilium (On the Consititution on the Sacred Liturgy, Dec. 4, 1963) regarding the maintenance of Latin as the liturgical language. We read in §36(1): "The use of the Latin language, with due respect to particular law, is to be preserved in the Latin rites." In the next line,
§82. It is our clear duty to spare no effort in order to work for the moment when all war will be completely outlawed by international agreement. This goal, or course, requires the establishment of a universally acknowledged public authority vested with the effective power to ensure security for all,....
§36(2). But since the use of the vernacular, whether in the Mass, in the administration of the sacraments, or in other parts of the liturgy, may frequently be of great advantage to the people, a wider use may be made of it, especially in readings, directives, and in some prayers and chants. Regulations governing this will be given separately in subsequent chapters.But the regulations "established" in this document are left to episcopal conferences:
§22(1). Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See, and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.This paragraph was given wide latitude. There are numerous cases where the Council authorized the partial or total use of the vernacular:
§22(2). In virtue of power conceded by law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of bishops' conferences, legitimately established, with competence in given territories.
§54. A suitable place may be allotted to the vernacular in Masses which are celebrated with the people, especially in the readings and "the common prayer," and also, as local conditions may warrant, in those parts which pertain to the people, according to the rules laid down in §36 of the Constitution.... Wherever a more expanded use of the vernacular in the Mass seems desirable, the regulation laid down in §40 of the Constitution is to be observed. [Paragraph 40 discusses the procedure to be followed if "more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed," which "entails greater difficulties."-Ed]Contrary to firmly maintaining the use of Latin, the Second Vatican Council seemed to be preoccupied with opening the greatest possible number of avenues for the vernacular and, by doing so, laid down the premises of its definitive victory in the post-Conciliar era.
§62(a): In the administration of sacraments and sacramentals the vernacular may be used according to the norm of §36.
§65. In the mission countries, in addition to what is furnished by the Christian tradition, those elements of initiation rites may be admitted which are already in use among some peoples... [e.g., rites which are certainly in the vernacular-Ed.].
§68. The baptismal rite should contain variants, to be used at the discretion of the local ordinary—Likewise a shorter rite is to be drawn up, especially for mission countries…
§76. Both the ceremonies and texts of the Ordination rites are to be revised. The addresses given by the bishop at the beginning of each ordination or consecration may be in the vernacular…
§78. Matrimony is normally to be celebrated within the Mass after the reading of the Gospel and the homily before "the prayer of the faithful." The prayer for the bride, duly amended to remind both spouses of their equal obligation of mutual fidelity, may be said in the vernacular.
§101(1). In accordance with the age-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the divine office. But in individual cases the ordinary has the power to grant the use of a vernacular translation to those clerics for whom the Latin constitutes a grave obstacle to their praying the office properly. The vernacular version, however, must be drawn up in accordance with the provisions of §36.
§113. Liturgical worship is given a more noble form when the divine offices are celebrated solemnly in song with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people. As regards the language to be used, the provisions of §36 are to be observed;…
...The understanding of the relationship between socialization and personal autonomy and progress will vary according to different areas and the development of peoples. However, if restrictions are imposed temporarily for the common good on the exercise of human rights, these restrictions are to be lifted as soon as possible after the situation has changed. In any case it is inhuman for public authority to fall back on totalitarian methods or dictatorship which violates the rights of persons or social groups. (Gaudium et Spes, §75[c]).
...Any action which deliberately violates these principles and any order which commands these actions is criminal, and blind obedience cannot excuse those who carry them out. The most infamous among these actions are those designed for the reasoned and methodical extermination of an entire race, nation, or ethnic minority. These must be condemned as frightful crimes; and we cannot commend too highly the courage of men who openly and fearlessly resist those who issue orders of this kind…These 20th-century "methods" had been witnessed many times, for example, against the Christian Armenians (almost 70% exterminated by the Muslim Turks in the years before WWI) and by the neo-pagan Nazis. But such schemes were known also to have been performed by the Communists by their systematic physical annihilation of so-called "class enemies," that is, millions of individuals whose only crime was that of belonging to a social class deemed aristocratic, bourgeois, peasants-all extirpated in the name of a "classless society," Communism's Utopian goal. Clearly, in Gaudium et Spes (§79), "social class" exterminations should have been added. But the progressive wing that imposed itself on the Council guarded against this being done, proving itself politically left-wing. It did not want Marxism to be discussed as a doctrine born of Communism nor its actual political practice.
1.These concepts were specifically repeated by the Council in the decree, Unitatis Redintegratio on ecumenism, article 6:
Every renewal of the Church is essentially grounded in an increase of fidelity to her own calling. Undoubtedly this is the basis of the movement toward unity.
Christ summons the Church to continual reformation as she sojourns here on earth. The Church is always in need of this, in so far as she is an institution of men here on earth. Thus if, in various times and circumstances, there have been deficiencies in moral conduct or in Church discipline, or even in the way that Church teaching has been formulated to be carefully distinguished from the deposit of faith itself, these can and should be set right at the opportune moment.
Church renewal has therefore notable ecumenical importance. Already in various spheres of the Church's life, this renewal is taking place. The Biblical and liturgical movements, the preaching of the word of God and catechetics, the apostolate of the laity, new forms of religious life and the spirituality of married life, and the Church's social teaching and activity: all these should be considered as pledges and signs of the future progress of ecumenism.
2. Pascendi, 1907, §2, c.
3. Lamentabili, §§63, 64.
4. Humani Generis, AAS 1950, pp.565-566.
5. Gaudium et Spes, §§60-62.
Gaudium et Spes, §§53, 74, 76, etc.
In Part 2, we will begin to summarize the errors ascribed to Vatican II in particular, starting with a basic division of its errors into those which are doctrinal and those which are pastoral (recognizing that such a distinction is not always well-demarcated). This installment will concentrate on the doctrinal errors concerning: 1) notions of "Tradition" and "Catholic Truth," 2) the Catholic Church and the Blessed Virgin Mary, 3) the Holy Mass and the Sacred Liturgy.
The "Rethinking" of Tradition and the Doctrine of the Church
Vatican II's doctrinal errors emerge from propositions that, wholly or in part, contradict what has always been taught by the Church or that obscure, diminish, or alter it. These errors are formulated in all of the texts-and are treated in texts that in general concern fundamental truths-in which the Council wanted to express its own doctrine and its "rethinking" of sacred Tradition and Church teaching:
This Vatican Council takes careful note of these desires in the minds of men. It proposes to declare them to be greatly in accord with truth and justice. To this end, it searches into the sacred tradition and doctrine of the Church-the treasury out of which the Church continually brings forth new things that are in harmony with the things that are old (Dignitatis Humanae).
To deduce how
much this last assertion corresponds to reality we will discuss in the
course of this series of articles the following topics of which the first
three are treated here. The errors in doctrine concern: 1) the
ideas of Tradition and Catholic truth; 2) the Holy Church
and the Blessed Virgin Mary; 3) the Holy Mass and the Sacred
Liturgy; 4) the Priesthood; 5) the Incarnation
and Redemption, and the concept of "Man"; 6) the "Kingdom
of God"; 7) the sacrament of Matrimony and the condition of woman;
8) the sects, heretics, and schismatics (i.e., the
so-called "separated brethren"); 9) non-Christian religions;
10) politics, the political community; the relationship between
Church and State; 17) the notion of "Religious Liberty" and
the role of individual conscience.
A Permanent "Living-Together" Relationship with Heretics and Schismatics
Essentially, pastoral errors consist of proposing bad pastoral teaching-bad because the Council's bad doctrinal errors are put into practice and/or also wholly or in part, contradict or alter the Church's traditional pastoral teachings or appear per se to contradict them.
From a general point of view, Vatican II's entire pastoral outlook is polluted because it is founded on aggiornamento, that is, on the principle of dialogue with error, rather than with those who are in error in order to convert them.
When we begin to discuss them, we shall present the pastoral errors in the following way. Preliminarily, we shall make a synthetic analysis of the false value placed on man and the world, deprived as it is of any essential reference to Church teaching and Catholic thinking. This is primarily developed in Gaudium et Spes and comprises the theoretical basis for a major part of Conciliar pastoral teaching. Next, we shall go on to give some examples of this bad pastoral teaching as contained in Gaudium et Spes and in doctrinal documents.
From these examples we shall see how Vatican II's pastoral teaching always articulates its two basic policy lines and how they are connected, that is: 1) the clerical aggiornamento (or updating) in all of its components to be in line with modern, contemporary culture in all of its forms-humanistic, scientific, technical, artistic, etc.-, 2) the "ecumenical" collaboration of priests and faithful with the so-called "separated brethren," with other religions, with all men, not in order to convert them to the one true faith, but to ally with them on behalf of mankind's progress and unity.
For the rest, ecumenism, clearly understood in the sense of article 8 of Lumen Gentium (§8), and of paragraphs 1-4 of Unitatis Redintegratio, proclaimed as true and proper the general principle of the pastoral teaching in UR (§24):
It is the urgent wish of this Holy Council that the measures undertaken by the sons of the Catholic Church should develop in conjunction with those of our separated brethren so that no obstacle be put in the ways of divine Providence and no preconceived judgments impair the future inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
This invitation to permanent symbiosis with heretics and schismatics was naturally accepted and put into action. This practical implementation allows us to assert that the ecumenical degeneration in the celebration of worship and in pastoral activity that are today so widely diffused have their roots in the Second Vatican Council itself and not in the so-called "post-Conciliar period."
Errors in pastoral teaching concern the following of which we will treat separately later in this series: 1) the interpretation of the meaning and significance of the contemporary world; 2) aspects of the Sacred Liturgy; 3) aspects in the study and teaching of doctrine; 4) the formation of religious and seminarians; the office and duties of bishops and priests; 5) the formation of and directives given to missionaries; 6) directives given to the lay apostolate; 7) the aggiornamento in education.
So, let us
now move on to speak of the first three doctrinal errors of Vatican II,
beginning with its errors concerning ideas of Tradition and Catholic truth.
1) Errors Concerning the Ideas of Tradition and of Catholic Truth
Vatican II sports an erroneous concept of SacreS Tradition as a complex of teaching, thanks to which
as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her (Dei Verbum§8).This is to make it sound as though Tradition, which guards the deposit of faith from the time of the Apostles' preaching, does not already possess "the fullness of divine truth!" In the reading of the above, one is led to believe there might be something else to be added or that what is already there can be modified.
This idea of the Church being in "incessant tension" with the "fullness of divine truth" openly contradicts the Church's idea of the "deposit of faith" (I Tim. 6:20). In turn, this error is connected to "subjectivism"-the signature of modern thinking-typified by the "New Theology," of which the reigning idea is that everything is always moving in a continual upward progression, and that absolute truth does not exist, rather, only the endless tending of a subject toward a truth whose endpoint is himself.
>Further, Vatican II teaches the incredible assertion, contrary to common sense, that all of Tradition, should be subjected to a "continual reform."
Thus if, in various times and circumstances, there have been deficiencies in moral conduct or in church discipline, or even in the way that church teaching has been formulated-to be carefully distinguished from the deposit of faith itself-these can and should be set right at the opportune moment (UR §6; Gaudium et Spes [hereafter GS] §62).This last statement, proclaimed in the vernacular version of John XXIII's October 11, 1962 Inaugural Address and which Pope Paul VI confirmed to the letter, is a principle condemned by St. Pius X (Pascendi §11; Lamentabili§§63,64} and Pius XII (Humani Generis) .
>The following proposition, professed by the Council to justify religious liberty, is completely false in relation to the truth of Catholicism, since divine truth surpasses the capacity of our intellect, and cannot be believed without the help of Grace.
[T] his Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power (Dignitatis Humanae [hereafter DH], §1).The Church has always taught that faith is a gift of God. Moreover, this assertion negates the consequences of original sin in the intellect and will, because of which they are wounded and weakened and therefore prone to errors and deception.
2) Errors Concerning the Holy Church and the Blessed Virgin Mary
>Vatican II teaches a false notion of the Holy Church in its error known as the "subsistit in." Due to this error, the concept of the Church is no longer that of the one, true Church of Christ as was always taught. According to its bold assertion the "Church of Christ" subsists in the Catholic Church and also "through God's goodness" in "multiple elements of sanctification and truth" which are outside her (LG §8; DH§1; UR§3).
Contrary to the Faith, these statements amount to affirming that there can be salvation of souls outside the Catholic Church. Therefore, the Catholic Church is no longer the unique means of salvation. Thus, too, the communities of heretics and schismatics are also "instruments of salvation" (f/R§3), despite their "deficiencies," because "the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church" (UR §3).
Still left to the Catholic Church is that it is "the all-embracing means of salvation" since it is "the general means of salvation" (ibid). Therefore, the Church finds herself demoted from being the sole means of salvation to being just "a general means"-a very obscure phrase. Due to these statements, the Catholic Church now provides "the all-embracing means of salvation" yet, it provides only the fullness of means and not the only means. This means that, in the mind of the Second Vatican Council, there are means said to be less full which confer salvation. But salvation in itself cannot be "less full," since there is no idea of being "half-saved." Due to these less full means being now found among the brethren termed "separated" and due to their enjoying the Holy Spirit's assistance, salvation can be obtained through them not as individuals but in terms of their being separated communities of heretics and schismatics.
We find ourselves faced with a manifest theological error, since the "separated" communities are precisely so because they have refused the Holy Spirit's help in correcting their own errors which have led them to be separated. The Council's new doctrine is also incoherent at the level of logic because it is incomprehensible how means of salvation which contain "deficiencies" (and are thus less than those of the Catholic Church) can give the same salvation offered by the Catholic Church. Unequal means would have to correspond to unequal results, not the same result! [See Sidebar "Note on Dominus Jesus ',"— Ed.]
>The obscure notion of the "Church of Christ" as "Trinitarian mystery," which is the obscure Trinitarian ecclesiology according to which a succession takes place from the Church of the Father to the Church of the Son, and then to the Church of the Holy Spirit (LG §§2-4), a notion which is unknown in the deposit of Faith. According to it, apparently the result of a deformation of a passage of St. Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. Ill, 24, 1), they openly profess a rejuvenation and renewal of the Church by the work of the Holy Spirit, as if we were in a final third age of the Church (LG §4). This perspective seems to reaffirm the errors of Joachim of Floris (d. 1202) condemned by the Fourth Lateran Council.
>An erroneous notion of collegiality. This idea is juridically abnormal because it recognizes, contrary to tradition and the Church's constitution, two subjects of the supreme power of jurisdiction: the Sovereign Pontiff and the College of Bishops with, at its head, the Pope, although only the latter can exercise it freely (LG §22; also Nota Praevia). Moreover, this erroneous collegiality entails the de facto disappearance of the personal responsibility of each bishop in the government of his diocese, and its replacement by the collective responsibility of the episcopal conferences (Christus Dominus [CD] §37), which now also are ascribed legislative powers (CD §38), and even a wide autonomy in numerous domains traditionally reserved to the exclusive competence of the Holy See.
>Vatican II presents a gravely erroneous and ambiguous representation of the traditional definition of the Catholic Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. This is especially clear in LG, which is dedicated to this point:
In the human nature united to Himself the Son of God, by overcoming death through His own death and resurrection, redeemed man and remolded him into a new creature (cf. Gal. 6:15; II Cor. 5:17) (Z,G§7).The idea here seems to express the Redemption as already having taken place for each man (!) and that from that moment it is declared that man was transformed "into a new creature," not because he believed in Christ, not because he was converted and became a Catholic with the help of the Holy Ghost, not by his faith supported by grace (as clearly stated in Gal. 6:15 and II Cor. 5:17 but improperly quoted by the Council), but through the fact, per se, of Christ's Incarnation, sacrifice, and even His Resurrection. Therefore, the "Mystical Body" will be made up of "new creatures," who are considered to have been remolded in this way. This is the error of the objective and universal redemption, the battering ram of the "New Theology." It makes a total abstraction of the roles of free will, faith, and works in obtaining salvation. Obviously, the aim of this concept is to assimilate the "Mystical Body of Christ" into humanity (Z,G§1).
>Another false notion of Vatican II is that of the "Church," which is newly conceived as "the people of God" and no longer as "the Mystical Body of Christ" (LG §§9-13) which is definitively more exclusive. On the one hand, the new definition takes the part for the whole, meaning that it takes the "people of God," mentioned in I Pet. 2:10, for the totality of the Church. This is a radical twist lending itself to a strictly "democratic" and "communitarian" vision of the Church herself, a vision alien to Catholic Tradition but close to the thinking and meaning of Protestant heretics. On the other hand, the hierarchy is included in the idea of "people," and so are defined simply as "members of the people of God" (Z,G§13). This is an unusual and indefensible "communitarian" perspective. According to this new perspective, the hierarchy is dumbed down and made to seem to participate in the Mystical Body of Christ along with "the people."
This false notion of "the people of God" is superimposed on the orthodox idea of the "Mystical Body." In this new conception, the hierarchy now participates in the "collective" as represented by the "people of God." In this new view, the priest loses his authentic meaning because he becomes a mere function of the "people of God" as a whole. This function is exercised under two forms: 1) the "common priesthood of the faithful," and 2) the "ministerial" or "hierarchic" priesthood, that is, the authentic priesthood of priests.
>Vatican II obscures the idea of the Church's holiness, which belongs to the deposit of faith.
Similarly, the Church encompasses with her love all those who are poor and who suffer, the image of the poor and suffering founder. She does all in her power to relieve their need and in them she strives to serve Christ. Christ, "holy, innocent and undefiled" (Heb. 7:26) knew nothing of sin (II Cor. 5:21), but came only to expiate the sins of the people (cf. Heb. 2:17). The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal (LG §8 [emphasis added]).This is an obvious theological error, since it is the sinner who is in need of purification, not the Church (!), thanks to whom the sinner obtains it. Holiness and perfection belong to the Catholic Church in as much as it is the Mystical Body of Christ, founded by Him and governed through the intermediary of the Holy Ghost, that is, always safeguarded by the Church through the deposit of Faith and the Sacraments. For us, these have a religious, metaphysical, and theological value, which the faults of Churchmen or the faithful cannot, by definition, damage. Therefore, it is completely erroneous to insist
that those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from the mercy of God for the offences committed against Him and are at the same time reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins (LG §11).It is also erroneous to insist that "the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real though imperfect...." (LG §48) because of sin, which continually wounds her. This is wrong to say because sin offends God, but wounds and therefore damages only whoever commits it. Punishment only applies to the sinner since judgment is for the individual. It is not in the deposit of Faith that the Catholic Church herself can be "wounded" by the sins of her members.
>By its man-centeredness, Vatican II has deformed the notion of "sin."
For sin brought man to a lower state, forcing him away from the completeness that is his to attain (GS§13).In other words, sin prevents man from attaining his "fullness." Rather, it should say that, sin "prevents him from attaining his salvation." The error promotes the belief that man's "fullness" and the absence of contradictions within himself axe the principal values and, moreover, are elements of the idea of sin. On the contrary, the Church's perennial teaching is that sin is an offense committed against God because of which we merit legitimate punishment, including eternal damnation. This truth of the Faith was not recalled in any of the Council's texts.
>There is an attribution of a new mission to the Holy See-to bring about human unity-which does not correspond to anything ever taught before in the Catholic Church. LG§1 asserts:
Since the Church, in Christ, is in the nature of sacrament-a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and unity among all men [emphasis added] -she here purposes, for the benefit of the faithful and of the whole world, to set forth, as clearly as possible, and in the tradition laid down by earlier Councils, her own nature and universal mission. The condition of the modern world lends greater urgency to this duty of the Church; for, while men of the present day are drawn ever more closely together by social, technical, and cultural bonds, it still remains for them to achieve full unity in Christ.This is not surprising, since Article 42 of GS says "the encouragement of unity is in harmony with the deepest nature of the Church's mission..." and then quotes the above passage from LG to support itself.
But this does not mean unity in service of the salvation of souls, a unity that is therefore attained through conversion to Catholicism. Rather, this unity seems to result merely from the "intimate union with God" of the entire human race as such. This idea was introduced into the Council's texts thanks to a heterodox reinterpretation, typical of the "New Theology," of the dogmas of the Incarnation and the Redemption. Those texts were turned upside down to the extent of pushing them aside in order to put into place the idea of the so-called "objective" Redemption being realized, thanks to the Incarnation, in all men, independently of their conscience and will, as if they were "anonymous" Christians.
But the Church's mission is the one that Our Lord gave her: "Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptising them..." (Mt. 28:19). Thus, the Church's "intimate mission" is to convert the greatest possible number of souls to Christ before the Parousia, without caring about bringing about the unity of the human race, a chimeric ideal, and one that is intrinsically an ti- Christian because it is a form of the divinization of man, exalting him and gazing upon him, an ideal imported from Illuminist philosophy and piously professed by Freemasonry.
>Vatican II tells us "the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith" (LG §58), as if-for one could understand her "pilgrimage of faith" in this way-from the Annunciation, she did not know that Jesus was the Son of God, consubstantial with the Father, the prophesied Messiah now announced.
>The Council documents teach another gravely inadequate idea of the Church, reducing her to just one sociological, descriptive, and simple aspect, which is summarized in this excerpt:
The Church also claims freedom for herself as a society of men with the right to live in civil society in accordance with the demands of the Christian faith (DH§13).This leads to complete amnesia of the fact that the Church has always been denned as a perfect society by nature and by law due to Her divine institution and exalted end:
And just as the end at which the Church aims is by far the noblest of ends, so is its authority the most exalted of all authority, nor can it be looked upon as inferior to the civil power, or in any manner dependent upon it (Immortale Dei, Leo XIII).Vatican II guarded against reaffirming this traditional doctrine of the Church's indirect power over civil society and the State.
3) Errors Concerning the Holy Mass and Sacred Liturgy
>Vatican II officially adopted the obscurantist idea of the "Paschal mystery," the battering ram of the "New Theology." Redemption is realized principally "in the paschal mystery of the passion, resurrection and ascension" of Christ (Sacrosanctum Concilium [hereafter SC] §5). Therefore, redemption is no longer principally the result from the Crucifixion's value as an expiatory sacrifice by which divine justice was satisfied. Moreover, the Holy Mass is identified with the "Paschal Mystery." The Council declared that the Church, from its beginning, was always brought together in an assembly "to celebrate the Paschal mystery" (SC§6) and that she "celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day"(SC§106)
Next, Baptism is treated. By baptism, "men are grafted onto the Paschal mystery of Christ" (SC§6), and not that it causes them to enter into the Holy Church, as if the "Paschal mystery" were the same thing as the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. It is a vague, indeterminate, irrational definition that (precisely because of these characteristics) permits altering the meaning of the Redemption and the Mass, thereby hiding the sacrificial and expiatory nature of the latter behind emphasis on the Resurrection and the Ascension-on the Glorious Christ instead of the Suffering Christ-contrary to what was affirmed at Trent.
>The Second Vatican Council is guilty of error in its unclear and incomplete definition of the Holy Mass as "a memorial of [our Lord's] death and resurrection..." with death and resurrection placed on the same level and without the least mention of the dogma of transubstantiation or of the character of the Mass itself as a propitiatory sacrifice (5'C§§47).
Because of this silence, this definition falls again into the category solemnly condemned by Pope Pius VI as being "pernicious, unfaithful to the explanation of Catholic truth on the dogma of the transubstantiation, favorable to heretics" (Auctorem Fidei). It also introduces a false concept of the Holy Mass, a concept which served as the basis for the new liturgy desired by the Council, thanks to which the errors of the "New Theology" were delivered to the faithful.
The Protestant taint of this definition devolves even more clearly in Article 106 of SC:
....the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day, which day is appropriately called the Lord's day or Sunday. For on this day Christ's faithful are bound to come together into one place. They should listen to the word of God and take part in the Eucharist, thus calling to mind the passion, resurrection, and glory of the Lord Jesus, and giving thanks to God who "has begotten them again, through the resurrection of Christ from the dead, unto a living hope" (I Pet. 1:3).Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the original Latin text shows more clearly than the English that, according to SC, the Holy Mass's end is memorial and praise. For more proof of this prevailing mentality, see also Ad Gentes Divinitus (§14): catechumens participate in the Holy Mass, meaning that they "celebrate with all the people of God the memorial of the death of the Lord" in which the Holy Mass is simply the memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ celebrated by all Christian people. There is not the least mention of the renewed Sacrifice of the Cross offered in an unbloody way for the expiation and pardon of our sins.
It should be noted here that already in these Articles there is the definition of the Mass that will be again vigorously stated in the deadly Article 7 of the 1969 Institutio Generalis of the new Roman Missal. This was a definition which, at the time, elicited protests from many of the faithful and priests, including the famous positions taken by Cardinals Bacci and Ottaviani because of these demonstrably Protestant words of heretical character: "The Lord's Supper is the assembly or meeting of the People of God, met together with a priest presiding, to celebrate the Memorial of the Lord."
Compare this definition with the orthodox one contained in the Catechism of Saint Pius X:
No. 159. What is the Holy Mass? The Holy Mass is the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ which, under the species of bread and wine, are offered by the priest to God on the altar in memory and renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross.>The spirit of Vatican II is to elevate the Eucharistic assembly, presided over by the priest, to being the center of the visible Church:
Therefore the eucharistic celebration is the center of the assembly of the faithful over which the priest presides. Hence priests teach the faithful to offer the divine victim to God the Father in the sacrifice of the Mass and with the victim to make an offering of their whole life (Presbyterorum Ordinis§5}.Notice, therefore, the function of the priest in the Holy Mass is reduced to that of teaching the faithful to offer the divine victim and themselves in union with that victim. Does this mean that the priest must "teach [the faithful] to offer the divine victim" and remain silent about the fact that, above all, the priest makes the offering in persona Christian behalf of sinful men for the expiation of their sins?!
Also manifested here is the idea of the concelebration of the priest and the people, expressly condemned by the pre-Conciliar Magisterium. This is an idea based on the Protestant false conception that the faithful are strictly all priests of the New Testament by reason of baptism, from which it follows that there can be no real distinction between the "priesthood of the faithful" and the "hierarchic priesthood."
>Vatican II is guilty of the specific meaning attributed to the "Liturgy of the Word," a meaning not limited to preaching and the sermon, but considered capable of realizing in itself Christ's presence in the Holy Mass! Thus, SC states: "[Christ] is present in his word since it is he who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in Church" (§7). The "word" is one of the sensible signs
by which man's sanctification under the guise of sign perceptible by the senses and its accomplishment in ways appropriate to each to these signs...(SC §7; also see SC §10).
...[T]he preaching of the Word is required for the sacramental ministry itself, since the sacraments are sacraments of faith, drawing their origin and nourishment from the Word. This is of paramount importance in the case of the liturgy of the Word within the celebration of Mass where there is an inseparable union of the proclamation of the Lord's death and resurrection, the response of its hearers and the offering of itself by which Christ confirmed the new covenant in his blood. In this offering the faithful share both by their sacrificial sentiments and by the reception of the sacrament. (Presbytewrum Ordinis§4}.From this passage as well as from the previously quoted ones,
Scripture seen in this way is no longer meant for the instruction of faith, a faith from which mystical experience can flow. Now Scripture is meant to produce mystical experience, an experience which is supposed to nourish knowledge of the faith ([emphasis added] The Problem of the Liturgical Reform: A Theological and Liturgical Study, p.66. Angelus Press. Price: $9.95).This is an irrational concept of Protestant origin and does not conform to the deposit of Faith. It leads to thinking of the Holy Mass as merely spiritual nourishment of the collective of the faithful.
The Second Vatican Council devalued the "private Mass" which the Holy Church always allowed, and which was celebrated without the presence and active participation of the faithful, but was individual and quasi-private. This devaluation was expressly disapproved^ Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei, yet Vatican II affirmed it:
It must be emphasized that rites which are meant to be celebrated in common, with the faithful present and actively participating, should as far as possible be celebrated in that way rather than by an individual and quasi-privately.Martin Luther was particularly hostile to the "private Mass" and attributed his fervor in opposing it to the Devil's inspiration.
This applies with special force to the celebration of Mass (even though every Mass has of itself a public and social nature) and to the administration of the sacraments (SC, §27).
Vatican II promoted the adaptation of worship to secular culture, to the different traditions and temperaments of people, to their language, music, and art, through creativity and liturgical experimentation (SC §§37-40,90,119) and through simplification of the rite itself (^C §§21,34). This was against the constant teaching of the Magisterium according to which it was the peoples' cultures that must adapt to the exigencies of the Catholic rite, with nothing ever having been conceded to creativity or experimentation or to any idea of men's temperaments in any given time in history.
The Second Vatican Council introduced the novel" unheard-of, and extraordinary competence attributed to episcopal conferences in liturgical matters, including a broad faculty for experimenting with new forms of worship (,SC §§22,39,40), as against the constant teaching of the Magisterium, which always reserved all competence in that area to the Sovereign Pontiff, and was always hostile to all innovation in the liturgical domain (Inter Gravissimas, Gregory XVI, Feb. 3, 1832.).
...Hence it is that the People of God is not only an assembly of various peoples, but in itself is made up of different ranks. This diversity among its members is either by reason of their duties-some exercise the sacred ministry for the good of their brethren-or is due to their condition and manner of life-many enter the religious state and, intending to sanctify by the narrower way, stimulate their brethren by their example....Therefore, the "sacred function" is conceived as an "order" of the "People of God," a term that literally expresses the idea of class, order, state, in itself and within the larger entity. And in keeping with the progressive mentality imposed during the Council, it also represents not only a part, but also and above all, a function, the latter term having no Latin equivalent. This "function" is realized in different "offices" (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, Presbyterorum Ordinis§§2,4 [hereafter PO]). It is an "office" before being a "power." The priest is no longer the "priest of God"; on the contrary, he is the "priest of the people of God," which legitimates him in his "function." This is contrary to the entire tradition of the Church and her divine constitution.
It is contrary to the historic truth of Tradition and the New Testament that, from the outset, Our Lord established some of His specific followers as ministers, as is stated in PO §2:
However, the Lord also appointed certain men as ministers, in order that they might be united in one body in which "all the members have not the same function" (Rom. 12:4). These men were to hold in the community of the faithful the sacred power of Order, that of offering sacrifice and forgiving sins, and were to exercise the priestly office publicly on behalf of men in the name of Christ....The above-quoted text seeks to legitimate attributing "power through orders" to the need for the unity of the society of Christians by making it substantively depend on the needs of an alleged "community" or "People of God." But Our Lord did not take His ministers from "the community of Christians." On the contrary, He began by choosing His ministers-the Apostles-and He formed them since, in turn, they formed Christians. He chose His "ministers" even before a "community of Christians" existed. He did not form the Christian militia by beginning with foot soldiers! He began with the officers, since they form the foot soldiers.
As stated in Lumen Gentium (§10), Vatican II illicitly equalizes the proper meaning of the "ministerial priesthood" with that of the "common priesthood" of the faithful:
Though they differ essentially and not only in degree, the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood are none the less ordered one to another; each in its own proper way shares in the one priesthood of Christ.Thus, the two forms of the "one priesthood of Christ" are placed on the same level. Nothing is said of "subordination," but rather, "reciprocal ordination." Thus, it speaks of two evidently equal functions of "the one priesthood of Christ." This parity, already in itself contrary to the deposit of Faith, seems to hide a subordination of the "ministerial" priesthood to the priesthood of the faithful, since, for the Council, the faithful seem to make up "the People of God," which has its own meaning. In Vatican II, the priesthood is legitimated by having a "function" within it. The difference in essence and degree between the two priesthoods is never explained: it remains at the level of a simple verbal statement.
The Second Vatican Council plays with a deficient definition of "priest." Priests are defined, above all, in terms of their being the bishops' "cooperators" (PO §4). "Because it is joined with the episcopal order the office of priests shares in the authority by which Christ himself builds up and sanctifies and rules his Body" (PO §2; see also LG §28). Vatican II seems to have wanted, so to speak, to compress the figure of the priest into the "People of God," by erasing, to the extent possible, his difference from the faithful, and on the other hand, above all, by picturing his main quality as that of being the bishop's subordinate "cooperator."
The false assertion, contrary to all of Tradition as well as to the Council of Trent (Sess. XXIII, ch. 1, Dz. 957) that, among priestly "functions," the premier one is preaching and not the celebration of the Holy Mass. PO (§4) states:
The People of God is formed into one in the first place by the Word of the living God, which is quite rightly sought from the mouth of priests. For since nobody can be saved who has not first believed, it is the first task of priests as co-workers of the bishops to preach the gospel of god to all men. In this way they carry out the Lord's command: "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mk. 16:15), and thus set up and increase the People of God.On the contrary, in the first place, the priest is defined by "the power to consecrate, offer, and dispense... the Body and Blood" of Christ and, in the second place, by "the power to remit or retain sins" (Trent, op.cit). Preaching is not necessary to the definition of the priest. One need only think of the great saints whose mission was realized above all by their ministry of confession, e.g., St. Leopold of Padua or St. Padre Pio.
Vatican II devalues ecclesiastical celibacy (PO § 16):
Perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the kingdom of heaven was recommended by Christ the Lord (Mt. 19:12). It has been freely accepted and laudably observed by many Christians down through the centuries as well as in our own time, and has always been highly esteemed in a special way by the Church as a feature of priestly life. For it is at once a sign of pastoral charity and an incentive to it as well as being in a special way a source of spiritual fruitfulness in the world. It is true that it is not demanded of the priesthood by its nature. This is clear from the practices of the primitive Church and the tradition of the Eastern Churches where in addition to those-including all bishops-who choose from the gift of grace to preserve celibacy, there are also many excellent married priests.That ecclesiastic celibacy "is not demanded of the priesthood by its nature" is false because it is contrary to all of Catholic Tradition, which has interpreted it in this sense because of Christ's "recommendation" in Matthew 19:12. St. Paul confirms to us that the early Church had the same opinion. He exalts virtuous celibacy, considering it to be the best state for "giving things to the Lord" equally for men and women (I Cor. 7:1, 29ff., 32ff.). To say that celibacy is not necessary to the nature of the priesthood only means that a married man could become a priest by keeping the juridical state of marriage but not its usage, i.e., by separating himself from his wife. In no way does this mean that priests can be married and have children, like the ministers of heretics and schismatics. In I Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6, St. Paul writes that, among other things, whoever wishes to become a bishop "must have only one wife." This has always been interpreted as saying that it is necessary for priests and bishops not to be remarried widowers.
The Second Vatican Council repeatedly refers to the priest as the "president of the assembly," as if such a definition were essential to the priest's "function" in the Holy Mass. Sacrosanctum Concilium (§33) and LG (§26) refer to the "holy presidence of the Bishop."
For it is by the apostolic herald of the Gospel that the People of God is called together and gathered so that all who belong to this people, sanctified as they are by the Holy Spirit, may offer themselves a "living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God" (Rom. 12:1). [PO (§2)]
Therefore the Eucharistic
celebration is the center of the assembly of the faithful over which the
priest presides. Hence priests teach the faithful to offer the divine victim
to God the Father in the sacrifice of the Mass and with the victim to make
an offering of their whole life...(PO, §5).
5) Errors Concerning the "Incarnation," "Redemption/ and the "Idea of Man"
Vatican II is imbued with an erroneous conception of the "Incarnation."
In fact, this error asserts that, by His Incarnation, the Son of God somehow unites Himself to all men (Gaudium et Spes, §22 [hereafter GS]), as if the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, by incarnating Himself into a real man, into an individual having existed historically, was united by this to all other men; and as if each man, solely by the fact of being human, of having been born, finds himself united to Christ without knowing it. By this, the idea of the Holy Church is that it is no longer the "Mystical Body of Christ" and, therefore, no longer the Holy Church of those who believe in Christ and are baptized. Therefore, the "People of God" which is the Church (of Christ) tends to coincide simply with humanity itself.
Vatican II is inspired with an erroneous concept of the "Redemption." Lumen Gentium §7 says:
In the human nature united to himself, the son of God, by overcoming death through his own death and resurrection, redeemed man and changed him into a new creation. For by communicating his Spirit, Christ mystically constitutes as his body those brothers of his who are called together from every nation.Here, the Redemption is incorrectly represented. "Redemption" is the possibility given all men through the Incarnation and by the sacrifice of the Cross of Our Lord to be saved, a possibility lost forever if one does not become or if one doesn't want to become sincerely Catholic, except in the case of invincible ignorance (with only God knowing the number of these cases) in which grace acts through the intermediary of baptism of desire. In this changed conception of the Redemption, it is seen as already realized for each man from the moment when it is declared that man has been transformed "into a new creation," not because he has become Catholic with the help of the Holy Spirit and guided by actual grace, but strictly by the fact of the Incarnation's advent and of Christ's "death and resurrection." This is the theory known as that of "anonymous Christianity," already presented by Maurice Blondel and developed by Henri de Lubac and, in particular, Karl Rahner. It is a very grave doctrinal error because it declares personal justification as being already realized for every man without any participation of his will or free choice and, so, without any need of his conversion, faith, baptism or works. Redemption is guaranteed to all, as if sanctifying grace were ontologically present in each man just because he is man. This false doctrine denies original sin because our Faith teaches that, by the inheritance of original sin with which they come into the world, men do not possess grace at birth.
There is present in Vatican II an unjustified and non-Catholic exaltation of man just because he is man.
In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear. For Adam, the first man, was a type of him who was to come, Christ the Lord, Christ the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals man to himself and brings light to his most high calling. It is no wonder, then, that all the truths mentioned so far should find in him their source and their most perfect embodiment (G,S §22).What is affirmed in G/5"§22 is that Christ, having been incarnated, "fully reveals man to himself and brings light to his most high calling," elevated human nature to a "dignity beyond compare." This makes it sound as if our Lord did not come to save us from sin and eternal damnation, but to make us fully conscious of the unequaled dignity naturally inherent in us.
He who is the "image of the invisible God" (Col. 1 : 15), is himself the perfect man who has restored in the children of Adam that likeness to God which had been disfigured ever since the first sin. Human nature, by the very fact that is was assumed, not absorbed, in him, has been raised in us also to a dignity beyond compare. For, by his incarnation, he, the son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man. He worked with human hands, he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart he loved. Born of the Virgin Mary, he has truly been made one of us, like to us in all things except sin (GS§7).
This assertion of the Second Vatican Council openly contradicts the Church's constant teaching according to which Jesus came into the world to save man, not to exalt him. Christ came to make man conscious of the fact that he is a sinner vowed to eternal damnation if he does not repent and convert to Him. There is no question in the mission of Christ of having him discover his "dignity beyond compare" in the meaning of Gaudium et Spes.
The obvious theological error contained in Gaudium et Spes (§24) which states, "...if man is the only creature on earth God has wanted for its own sake, man can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself," as if man possesses such value in himself that it would cause God to create him.
Here we put our finger on the man-centered turn taken by Vatican II. It is an obviously absurd assertion and incompatible with the idea of divine creation from nothing, which is a dogma of the Faith. The perennial teaching of the Church is that the infinitely just God created all things, including man, "for Himself," for His own glory, and not because of any intrinsically-possessed value rendering him independent of God (Who made man). Such a doctrinal deviation also alters the exact meaning necessary to define Creation. Moreover, it alters the true meaning that is necessary to attribute to the commandments of loving our neighbors as ourselves (for the love of God), and of considering all men as brothers. In the Council's changed definition, these commandments are no longer justified by the love of God, Who wants from us this charity toward our neighbor (since we are all sinners), and because of the fact that we all descend from Him, God the Father. Rather, this Council document asserts that these commandments are justified by a superior dignity accorded man because he is man.
The Church has never denied man's superior dignity in relation to other creatures, which belongs to him because God created him in His image and likeness. But this dignity lost its sublime character because of original sin, which stripped man of this likeness. Thus, it is by sanctifying grace that man is supernaturally able to know and love God and to enjoy the Beatific Vision. In the Catholic meaning, the dignity of man cannot be considered as an ontological characteristic [i.e., a characteristic of being-Ed.]that imposes respect for all choices, because this dignity depends on right will turned toward the Good and is therefore a relative and not an absolute value.
> Vatican II includes an erroneous concept of equality among men founded on its false idea of the Redemption discussed above.
All men are endowed with a rational soul and are created in God's image; they have the same nature and origin, and being redeemed by Christ, they enjoy the same divine calling and destiny; there is here basic equality between all men and it must be given ever greater recognition (GS§29).
The Church has always taught that men are equal before God, but certainly not because she believes that all men are already objectively joined to and already saved by the Incarnation as the above quote announces. The conception of the notion of "equality" in Vatican II is hardly orthodox, but this conception becomes the basis of the dignity of the person. The Council then uses this "dignity of the person" to defend a Protestant notion of "religious liberty" because it is based on freedom of conscience, that is, on individual opinion in matters of faith and not on the Catholic principle of authority.
Vatican II devalues the effect of Original Sin and thereby obscures the notion of "Original Sin." In its Article 22, Gaudium et Spes states:
He who is the "image of the invisible God" (Col. 1: 15), is himself the perfect man who has restored in the children of Adam that likeness to God which had been disfigured ever since the first sin.This, however, is not the Catholic Church's doctrine. On the contrary, she has always taught that after original sin, Adam and his descendants lost this likeness. It was hardly a simple "alteration." To declare that this likeness was conserved, although imperfectly, amounts to opening the way to a heterodox conception of the Incarnation already treated above.
6) Errors Concerning the Kingdom of God"
The mentality of the Second Vatican Council alters the traditional notion of the "expansion" or "growth" of the Kingdom of God on earth by the visible Church. In fact, this "expansion" or "growth" is entrusted to the "People of God" and is described in LG §13:
The one People of God is accordingly present in all the nations of the earth, since its citizens, who are taken from all nations, are of a kingdom whose nature is not earthly but heavenly. All the faithful scattered throughout the world are in communion with each other in the Holy Spirit so that "he who dwells in Rome knows those in most distant parts to be his members." Since the kingdom of Christ is not of this world (cf. Jn. 18:36), the Church or People of God which establishes this kingdom does not take away anything from the temporal welfare of any people. Rather she fosters and takes to herself, insofar as they are good, the abilities, the resources and customs of peoples. In so taking them to herself she purifies, strengthens and elevates them — This character of universality which adorns the People of God is a gift from the Lord himself whereby the Catholic ceaselessly and efficaciously seeks for the return of all humanity and all its goods under Christ the Head in the unity of his Spirit.There is an alien element introduced here, represented by the "temporal welfare of any people" as an elevated and ennobled integral part of the "People of God" and, therefore, of the Kingdom of God which is realized on earth. This is an ambiguous and unacceptable notion because this "temporal welfare" is built not only on "customs" but also on "resources," that is, a people's material goods. This is an absurd idea that results in a naturalist vision of the Kingdom of God.
As a consequence of the two previous errors identified above, Vatican II inspires a collectivist vision of the Kingdom of God. In fact, from LG §13 it follows that the collective individuality of each people, with its "temporal welfare," becomes a member as such-as a value in and of itself-of the "People of God," so that it comes to be "introduced" into the Kingdom which is realized in this world.
The Second Vatican Council incorrectly defines the contribution of the lay faithful in the "expansion" of the Kingdom of God on earth "so that the world might be imbued by the spirit of Christ." The value placed on the word "imbued" is very far from the true notion of "conversion." Above all, this contribution of the lay faithful is inevitably and wrongly meant to be in service of material progress, following the example of secular culture, which must make "human and Christian freedom" advance in the entire world:
...The faithful must, then, recognize the inner nature, the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God. Even by the secular activity they must aid one another to greater holiness of life, so that the world may be filled with the spirit of Christ and may the more effectively attain its destiny in justice, in love and peace. The laity enjoy a principle role in the universal fulfillment of this task. Therefore, by their competence in secular disciplines and by their activity, interiorly raised up by grace, let them work earnestly in order that created goods may serve the utility of all men according to the plan of the creator and the light of his word. May these goods be more suitably distributed among all men and in their own way may they be conducive to universal progress of the Church, will Christ increasingly illuminate the whole of human society with his saving light. (LG §36)So, the naturalism treated immediately above is now admixed with another alien element represented by the lay myth of progress, with its constant exaltation of work, technology, "civil" culture, egalitarianism, and (human and Christian) freedom, which this effectively means.
There is in Vatican II an unbelievable assertion regarding the Holy Ghost:
...Constituted Lord by his resurrection and given all authority in heaven and on earth (Acts 2:36; Mt. 28: 18) Christ is now at work in the hearts of men by the power of his Spirit; not only does he arouse in them a desire for the world to come but he quickens, purifies, and strengthens the generous aspirations of mankind to make life more humane and conquer the earth for this purpose.The text seem to say that, by the fact itself of our longing for future glory, the Holy Spirit also breathes into us the longing for earthly happiness, evoked by the expression "make life more humane."
Incomprehensibly, Vatican II states that "the Paschal Mystery elevates human activity to its perfection."
In Gaudium et Spes (§38) the Holy Eucharist is defined as follows:
...Christ left to his followers a pledge of this hope and food for the journey in the sacrament of faith, in which natural elements, the fruits of mans cultivation, are changed into the glorified Body and Blood, a supper of brotherly fellowship and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.The Second Vatican Council does not mention "transubstantiation" and it introduces a Protestant idea of the Mass.
According to Vatican II, how does the "Paschal Mystery" elevate human activity to perfection? -Answer: by the fact that what is changed "into the glorified Body and Blood" are "natural elements" obviously refined by man. In cultivating the earth, man's activity produces the bread and wine which are then "changed" into the Body and Blood. Such a relationship insinuates the false idea of participation-whatever it might be-of man's activity in the conversion (more exactly, the "transubstantiation") of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ by the priest. This idea is also found in the "Eucharistic Liturgy" of the Novus Ordo Mass:
You are blessed, Lord, God of the universe: by your goodness we have received this bread, fruit of the earth and of men's work: we present it to you in order for it to become for us the nourishment of eternal life.Vatican II is guilty of the deadly Article 39 in Gaudium et Spes which in the conclusion of its third chapter titled "Man's Activity in the Universe" (GS §§33-39), proposes a final perversion of the idea of the Kingdom of God taught by the Church. This Chapter III contains the outline of the idea of the collective salvation of humanity, and also that all of God's creation was made for man. This is achieved by misinterpreting Romans 8:21 to say that "all of creation," created by God to serve man, will equally obtain eternal salvation.
We know neither the moment of the consummation of the earth and of man nor the way the universe will be transformed. The form of this world, distorted by sin, is passing away and we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, whose happiness will fill and surpass all the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men. Then with death conquered the sons of God will be raised in Christ and what was sown in weakness and dishonor will put on the imperishable: charity and its works will remain and all of creation, which God made for man, will be set free from its bondage to decay (LG §39).This appears to mean that the "new earth" is already present in the "present earth," since "the body of the new human family grows [here], foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come." Take note that the prefiguring of the Kingdom of God is not given by the Church Militant (which is the orthodox teaching), but by the growth of "the body of a new family." And this growth of the body of a new human family is calculated on universal progress, universal fraternity, and to human and Christian freedom (LG§§13,36; GS §§30,34,38). This is to say, the Kingdom of God which is partially realized is this world, is no longer made up of the Church Militant, but of humanity. Humanity is the subject which brings about the Kingdom, and which will enter it one day en masse. In fact, Article 39 of LG concludes:
Article 39 continues with another strange idea:
We have been warned, of course, that it profits man nothing if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself. Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth, the expectancy of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come. That is why, although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress clearly from the increase of the kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital concern to the kingdom of God, insofar as it can continue to the better ordering of human society.
When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and our enterprise-human dignity, brotherly communion, and freedom-according to the command of the Lord and in his Spirit, we will find them once again, cleansed this time from the stain of sin, illuminated and transfigured, when Christ presents to his Father and eternal and universal kingdom "of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace." Here on earth the kingdom is mysteriously present; when the Lord comes it will enter into its perfection.This is a naturalistic, millenarian vision that calls for the religion of Humanity. It is completely foreign to anything the Catholic Church has ever taught. It is the complete antithesis to the exclusively supernatural reality of the Kingdom of God and of the consummation of the end of time which has been revealed to us by Our Lord and always maintained by the Church.
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