What are Catholics to think of Vatican II?

By Raymond Taouk

 

"If the Church were not divine this Council (Vatican II) would have buried it." - Cardinal Giuseppe Siri   [1]

Many Catholics labor under the mistaken notion that the documents of Vatican II contain the highest doctrinal authority and are therefore beyond reproach. This, however, is not the case with respect to the Churches teaching on Councils and the Magisterial authority of the Church.

Church councils are convoked for the purpose of explaining (by definitions), defending and guarding the faith (by condemnations) of the entire Church. However in contrary to this practice of the Church the Second Vatican Council refused to define or condemned but rather in a novel fashion to be a "pastoral Council" ("differing from other Councils, this one (Vatican II) was not directly dogmatic, but disciplinary and pastoral. -- Pope Paul VI August 6, 1975, General Audience) which would put forth novel innovations which effect the very divine constitution of the Church [2] thus departing from its magisterial and infallible authority which might generally be attributed to Church Council validly convoked and approved.

Pope Paul VI made it clear in a public audience of January 12th, 1966 that the decrees of Vatican II were never stamped with the note of infallibility as he openly declared:

“There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church's infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.” (General Audience, December 1, 1966, published in the L'Osservatore Romano 1/21/1966)

Catholics are, therefore, within their rights to make reservations regarding any novelties emanating from Vatican II that are out of step with Sacred Tradition and the previous (continuous) Magisterium of the Church. Vatican II unlike previous Church Councils, did not pretend to bolster the faith of the faithful by means of clarifying those unchangeable truths of the Catholic faith, [3] but rather dealt with theological conclusions which on a number of issues were contrary to the Church teaching or at least ambiguous enough to encourage a non Catholic interpretation. As Cardinal Suenens explains "one could make an astonishing list for propositions taught yesterday, and the day before in Rome, as the only acceptable ones, and which were eliminated by the Conciliar Fathers"[4]

Archbishop Lefebvre always made it clearly, that he never rejected Vatican II documents outright, but simply made the basic distinction that is required regarding those texts:

Michael Davies (In his work; Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre): It is frequently alleged that you ‘refuse’ the council. These allegations are very vague. I presume that you accept that Vatican II was an Ecumenical Council properly convoked by the reigning Pontiff according to the accepted norms.  

Mgr. Lefebvre: That is correct.  

Michael Davies: I presume that you accept that its official documents were voted for by a majority of the council Fathers and validly promulgated by the reigning Pontiff.

 Mgr. Lefebvre: Certainly.

Michael Davies: In a letter published in The Times on 18 August this year (1976) I stated that your position vis-à-vis the Council was as follows. Would you please read this passage carefully and tell me whether it does state your position accurately?

The reforms claiming to implement the Council were intended to initiate an unprecedented renewal but, since the Council, the history of the Church throughout the West has been one of stagnation and decline; the seeds of this decline can be traced back to the Council itself as those holding Neo-modernists and Neo-Protestant views were able to influence the formation of some of the official documents by the inclusion of ambiguous terminology which has been used to justify the abuses which are now apparent to all. Thus, while accepting the Council documents as official statements of the Magisterium, we have the right and duty to treat them with prudence and to interpret them in the light of Tradition.

 Mgr. Lefebre: That is precisely my position.  

To make this point even clearer to the Pope, Archbishop Lefebvre wrote to Pope Paul VI saying:  

‘I accept everything that, in the Council and the reforms, is in full conformity with Tradition; and the Society I have founded is ample proof of that. Our seminary is perfectly in accordance with the wishes expressed in the Council and in the Ratio fundamentalis of the Sacred Congregation for Education.’ – Marcel Lefebvre, Letter to Pope Paul VI, 3 December, 1976.

The mindset then set forth by the Archbishop bishop is clearly consistent with the constant teaching of the Church. What is more is that Bishop Butler of England publicly stated that Vatican II was in no way infallible: 

“Not all teachings emanating from a pope or Ecumenical Council are infallible. There is no single proposition of Vatican II – except where it is citing previous infallible definitions – which is in itself infallible.” (The Tablet 26/11/1967)

 

The same was affirmed by Bishop Rudolf Graber who wrote in his book:

“Since the Council was aiming primarily at a pastoral orientation and hence refrained from making dogmatically binding statements or disassociating itself, as previous Church assemblies have done, from errors and false doctrines by means of clear anathemas, many questions took on an opalescent ambivalence which provided a certain amount of justification for those who speak of the spirit of the Council.” (Athanasius and the Church of Our Times, 1974)

And again even Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) in commenting on this point stated:

    "The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero.  The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet so many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super-dogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.  --El Mercurio, July 17, 1988
 

It must not be mistaken that since the council was attended and called by the Pope that it would automatically be lead by the Holy Ghost or that it automatically is guaranteed to be infallibility of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium since only the definitions and condemnations of an ecumenical council are guaranteed by infallibility and not (necessarily) its pastoral exhortations, the Church does not hold as infallible in a council whatever is outside the solemn teachings. [5]  

Many erroneously hold the idea that convocation of a Council is somewhat automatically a sign that it's inspired by "the Holy Spirit" when in reality it is quite the contrary for "to call a council is a practical decision of the Pope. A person may piously believe that God inspired it. But no one can say that this is an object of faith." [6] Catholics may rather affirm with Cardinal Manning that "to convoke a General Council, except when absolutely demanded by necessity, is to tempt God"[7]  

As to the role of the Holy Ghost, Cardinal Manning explains: "this office of the Holy Ghost consists in the following operations: first, in the original illumination and revelation...; secondly, in the preservation of that which was revealed, or, in the other words, in the prolongation of the light of truth by which the Church in the beginning was illuminated; thirdly, in assisting the Church to conceive, with greater fullness, explicitness, and clearness, the original truth in all its relations; fourthly, in defining that truth in words, and in the creation of a sacred terminology, which becomes a permanent tradition and a perpetual expression of the original revelation; and lastly, in the perpetual enunciation and proposition of the same immutable truth in every age." [8]

In fact when dealing with the qualities of a True Council, St. Francis De Sales affirms the above in clearer terms saying "For what are the principal causes why general Councils assembled, save to put down and cast out the heretics, the Schismatics, the Scandalizer, as wolves from the sheepfold? As that first Assembly was held in Jerusalem to resist those who belong to the heresy of the Pharisees" [9]

Vatican I (a dogmatic council, which Vatican II was not) makes it very clear that the pope is subservient to the Deposit of Faith. Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI explicitly chose to withhold dogmatic authority from Vatican II. Therefore, whatever it did or however it is interpreted, it has none of the weight of the dogmatic Council of Trent and Vatican I. Rather we may say that since the Second Vatican Council has failed in its role as council and is no more than "sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal".

It is often stated that during the rebellious first session of the Council, Pope John XXIII who convoked the Council was to change his view in such a way that that he began to resemble those prophets of doom for which he had only contempt. Yet this began to change when he realized that the papacy had lost control of the process, he attempted, as Cardinal John Heenan of Westminster later revealed, to organize a group of bishops to try to force it to an end. Before the second session opened he had died. [10]

Padre Pio had hoped for the same thing for prophetically he could see the road down which it this Council would lead the Church and so Pellegrino (a lifelong friend of Padre Pio) testifies how Padre Pio counseled all the Council Fathers who came to see him, to put an end to Vatican II. [11]  

This Council was the first to invite non-Catholic "observers" to participate in its proceedings, who took an active part in the proceedings behind the scenes as is well pointed out by Michael Davies in his work on " Pope John's Council". The very presence of these non Catholic observers must have had an inhibiting effect on the Council Fathers. It was the first Council to be declared "pastoral" rather than "dogmatic" if other councils, did have pastoral propositions, they were nevertheless dogmatic Councils. It was the first council that neither delimited Catholic doctrine from contemporary errors, nor issued disciplinary canons. When requested by hundreds of Council Fathers for the condemnation of Communism - certainly the principal error of the time, they were sidetracked by those in control - in clear violation of the Council's own rules of order - as reported by Father Wiltgen (The Rhine Flows into the Tiber) and others.

It is canonically possible for a future pope to annul the outcome of the council, as it was merely a pastoral council. Cardinal Ratzinger affirms the same saying that " Not all valid councils, after being tested by the facts of history, have shown themselves to be useful councils; in the final analysis, all that was left of some was a great nothing." [12]

The history of the Church presents us with some parallel situations that we can bring forward to confirm the above.

The Council of Ephesus in 449, which was regularly called and attended by all the East and by legates from Pope St. Leo the Great, was annulled by that pope's subsequent opposition to it and branded the "Robber's Council" (Latrocinium).

A much better parallel we can say is the Second Council of Constantinople, held in 553. In 1934, historian Msgr. Philip Hughes described it as "the strangest of all the general councils". [13] This Council had disastrous effects since rather than simply reiterate or elaborate upon the irreformable teaching of Chalcedon, it sought both to uphold Chalcedon and to call to account three long-dead theologians (whose works had some how offended the Monophysite heretics) two of whom had been intimately associated with Chalcedon. How could such a strategy not have generated confusion among the faithful? Indeed it did as the great historian W.H.C. Frend described it, "At the council itself the bishops turned intellectual somersaults in their efforts to uphold Chalcedon yet condemn the Three Chapters" [14]. It resulted in bringing about confusion in the minds of faithful about the controversy surrounding Monophysitism.

The same author in dealing with the Council of Constance illustrates that "this council which men at Constance (November, 1414) is the strangest in all Church history from its composition, its procedure, and the nature of what was effected through it. The full effect of the chaos of forty years was now seen. All the wildest theories about the source of ecclesiastical authority seemed likely to be realized when there descended on the town (in addition to 185 bishops) 300 doctors in theology and law, 18,000 other ecclesiastics, and a vast multitude of lay potentates, of princes, and of representatives of towns and corporations, to the number of more than a hundred thousand . . . This same council that had brought the (western) schism to an end had sown the seeds of much future dissention. Whatever the niceties of canon law that had safeguarded the legitimacy of its liquidation of a complex problem, the fact remained that the Council of Constance had judged two claimants to the papacy and condemned them, and that it had also elected a new Pope. And it had also declared, in explicit terms, that General Councils were superior to Popes and it had provided that every five years this General Council should resemble and the Pope, in some measure, give to it, an account of his stewardship. As far as the wishes of the Council of Constance went, a revolution had been achieved, and the Church in the future was to be governed in a parliamentary way, and not by the absolute, divinely given authority of its head, the Vicar of Christ. The forty years that followed the Council were to see the successive Popes - Martin V, Eugene IV, and Nicholas V, wholly taken up with the efor to destroy this new theory and to control the councils which it bred and inspired. The full fruits of the mischief were only reaped in the long drawn out dissensions of the Council of Basle (1431 - 1449). " - Hughes, Popular History of the Church, Pg. 141-3

Fr. Bernard Otten, S.J. commenting on the above Council states that "(Pope) Martin V, at the close of the Council, approved only in a general way what had been enacted by conciliar procedure in matters of faith - in materia fidei conciliariter statuta" - A Manual of History of Dogmas, Volume II, 1918, Pg. 456

As another example we may mentioned how the teaching of the Council of Florence on the matter and form for the Sacrament of Holy Orders [15] was set aside by Pope Pius XII in his Apostolic Constitution "Sacramentum Ordinis" (1947). Pope Pius XII, in defining the matter and the form declared that the Council of Florence did not mean to teach that the action of touching the chalice and paten presented to the ordained was necessary by virtue of the will of Our Lord Jesus Christ, without setting the question as to whether this action could become part of the matter of the Sacrament by virtue of the power of the Church, Some theologians [16] deny it, which amounts to saying that the Council of Florence was mistaken on this point.

There is also the example of the illegal Council of Pistoia, which was held in September of 1786 by the Bishop of Pistoia and Prato, in a daring effort to secure the errors of Jansenism. The Council attempted to spread errors by emphasising the notion of "Community", by giving bishops more authority " much like Vatican II did by the proclamation of collegiality of bishops, and many other errors of the illegal Council of Pistoia. This council was condemned and eighty-five of its propositions were stigmatized as erroneous and dangerous.

Pius VI on 28 August, 1794, dealt the death-blow to the influence of the council in his Bull "Auctorem Fidei", which condemned the propositions of this illegal council:

"[To contend that] ways must be prepared for people to unite their voices with that of the whole Church -- if this be understood to signify the introduction of the use of the vernacular language into the liturgical prayers -- is condemned as false, rash, disturbing to the order prescribed for the celebration of the sacred mysteries, easily productive of many evils." (Auctorem Fidei)

The ever-prevalent contention that the above facts seek only to undermine the authority of the Churches Magisterium is brought forward as an opponent that needs clarification.

The difference between doctrinal and pastoral teachings has great implications at Ecumenical Councils. This is because the Church has never taught that all Church Councils are in and of themselves infallible. St. Robert Bellarmine, points out that, "Only by the words of the general Council do we know whether the fathers of that council intended to engage their prerogative infallibility" [17]

What is more, is that Fr. Vincent McNabb O.P, rightly pointy out that "If there have been antipopes still more have there been anti-councils. If papal actions must be distinguished into official, semi-official, and personal, equally so must the acts of councils" - Infallibility (London, 1927), Sheed and Ward, Pg. 78.

Again, St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori affirms that:

"What is found to have its origin in the opinion of some Holy Father or particular Council is not a Divine Tradition, even though it should be celebrated throughout the entire Church. For if we did not attend to this rule, we should have to admit without certain foundation, new revelations regarding faith or morals, which has been always abhorred and impugned in the Church by men the most attached to religion. Hence, the sovereign pontiffs, the Councils, and the Fathers, have been most careful to reject all novelties or new doctrines on matters of faith, which differed from those that had been already received."[18]

This no doubt is because as Fr. Vincent McNabb noted, namely that "Neither the Pope nor General Councils are ends in themselves; they are relative entities. They look towards the Church" - Infallibility (London, 1927), Sheed and Ward, Pg. 53.

These words are simply a reiteration on the words of first Vatican Council :

    "For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles."[19]

For a document of the Magisterium to be considered infallible there are very precise elements, which are necessary. These elements are a continuity with Tradition (2 Thess 2:10; 1 Corith 11:23, Gal. 1: 8),  universality in time and place  [20] and the clear will of the Pope to engage his authority for the ordinary pontifical Magisterium. If either of these elements is not present the acts are not in any way guaranteed with infallibility. In other words if the Ordinary Magisterium is to be infallible, it must be traditional (Sacrae Theologiae Summa, Salaverri, Vol. 1 5th ed.). If it breaks with Tradition, the Ordinary Magisterium cannot claim any infallibility.

Some Catholics erroneously think that Magisterium is equivalent to Pope. It is not. In Latin, Magisterium is neuter. It is a thing, not a person. It is the teaching authority of the Church. That teaching authority, however, must be derived from Our Lord and His Apostles. It must be based on the Catholic and Apostolic Deposit of Faith. Vatican I made it clear, dogmatically, that the teaching of any pope (or, a fortiori, bishop) who teaches outside the Apostolic Deposit of Faith is null and void.

 This Magisterium or "teaching authority of the Church", exists in a few different modes. It is termed "Solemn" or "Extraordinary" when it derives from the formal and authentic definitions of a General council. It is termed "Ordinary and Universal" when it manifests those truths which are expressed through the daily continuous preaching of the Church and refers to the universal practices of the Church connected with faith and morals as manifested in the decisions of the Roman Congregations concerning faith and morals. It also termed "Ordinary and Non-Infallible" when it regards the non-infallible doctrinal decisions given by the pope or by the Roman congregations.

The Magisterium is termed "living" because, being true, it exists and exerts its influence, not only in the past, but in the present and future. It is termed "authentic" or "authorized" only as regards the person himself, not as regards his infallibility. [21]

Hence we can clearly comprehend why "these doctrines (of the Second Vatican Council) are not even part of the Church's authentic (i.e., ordinary, non-universal) teaching, because the bishops expressed no intention to hand down the Deposit of the Faith; on the contrary, their spokesmen (e.g., Paul VI) expressed their intention to come to terms with the modern world and its values, long condemned by true Catholic churchmen as being intrinsically un-Catholic. Therefore, the documents of Vatican II have only a Conciliar authority, the authority of that Council, but no Catholic authority at all, and no Catholic need take seriously anything Vatican II said, unless it was already Church doctrine beforehand. [22]

Ultimately, the Magisterium is not any particular pope, but simply the authority of the Church, by divine appointment, to teach the truths of religious belief; the commissions of the Church to teach; the teaching office of the Church; the teaching and interpreting of the doctrines of the faith carried on by the Church through the Pope and bishops and those commissioned by them. It may be ordinary when a doctrine is proclaimed throughout the Church as part of divine revelation; or extraordinary when a general council defines a doctrine ratified by the Pope or when the Pope speaks as the official teacher of the Church (ex Cathedra) proclaiming or defining a matter of faith or morals. The Catholic Church is not a congregation of people agreeing together, it is not a School of Philosophy or a Mutual Improvement Society. It is rather the Living Voice of God and Christ's revelation to all people, through all time. It teaches only what its divine Master taught. [23]

Vatican II would at most come under the Ordinary non Infallible Magisterium, to which one owes assent only according to a prudential judgment:

"Since not everything taught by the Ordinary Magisterium is infallible, we must ask what kind of assent we should give to its various decisions. The Christian is required to give the assent of faith to all the doctrinal and moral truths defined by the Church's Magisterium. He is not required to give the same assent to teaching imparted by the sovereign pontiff that is not imposed on the whole Christian body as a dogma of faith. In this case it suffices to give that inner and religious assent which we give to legitimate ecclesiastical authority. This is not an absolute assent, because such decrees are not infallible, but only a prudential and conditional assent, since in questions of faith and morals there is a presumption in favor of one's superior... Such prudential assent does not eliminate the possibility of submitting the doctrine to a further examination, if that seems required by the gravity of the question" [24]

Again we read in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

"But before being bound to give such an assent, the believer has a right to be certain that the teaching in question is definitive (since only definitive teaching is infallible)..." [25]  

In the case of Vatican II it would be highly imprudent to give our assent without departing from the faith to a great number of its works. Archbishop Felici, the General Secretary of Vatican II did not hesitate to state that Catholics must "make reservations" on those declarations from the Council "which have a novel character" [26]

Fr. Gregory Hesse states well that we ought to reject Vatican II as whole but not in everything ("in toto sed non in omnibus"). As a whole since undeniably this council (and the "Spirit of the Council") has worked only for the destruction of the faith. However it would be rash to reject everything in the sense that at times it does refer us to sound Catholic teachings, yet while accepting those things which pertain to the deposit of the faith we can only affirm that the Council as a whole was a disaster for the whole of Christendom.

Pope Pius II already condemned Vatican II some 500 years before hand in his decree Exerabilis [27] which condemned anyone who would presume to call a council to alter any Catholic dogmatic teaching.

Ambiguity may be said to be one of the great hallmarks of the Second Vatican Council as by means of it a great number of erroneous notions have been introduced and whole heartedly embraced by a greater number of the Post Conciliar Hierarchy. It doesn't take a theology degree to recognize that the language of documents since Vatican II is decidedly different than those of previous years. What once was clear and precise, giving little room for alternative interpretations is now vague and questionable. The impact of the ambiguity can never be overstressed since it was by this means that the modernists (long ago condemned by Pope Pius X) succeeded in taking victory at the Council.

Pope Clement XIII stipulated in his decree, Dominico Agro, of two centuries ago that none of the faithful should have "extraordinary opinions proposed to them, not even from Catholic doctors; instead, they should listen to those opinions which have the most certain criteria of Catholic truth: universality, antiquity, and unanimity."

We have only the contrary coming forth from the Councils documents. This method (of ambiguity) alone would have been enough to wreak disaster in Church. This important issue can never be over emphasized.

To instill in our minds the great destruction that has resulted by the ambiguous terminology used by the Modernists since Second Vatican Council we simply need parallel it will a great event in History, namely the Arian crisis of the fourth Century where the Council of Nicea (325) defined that the Son is consubstantial (homoousion) with the Father. This meant that, while distinct as a person, the Son shared the same divine and eternal nature with the Father. The term homoousion thus became the touchstone of orthodoxy. No other word could be found to express the essential union between the Father and the Son, for every other word the Arians accepted, but in an equivocal sense. They would deny that the Son was a creature as other creatures - or in the number of creatures - or made in time, for they considered him a special creation made before time. They would call Him "Only-begotten," meaning "Only directly created" Son of God etc., however this word (homoousion) alone they could not say without renouncing their heresy. [28]

Many bishops and the faithful complained that too much fuss was being made about the distinction between homoousion and homoiousion. They considered that more harm than good was done by tearing apart the unity of the Church over a single letter, over an iota (the Greek letter "i"). They condemned those who did this. Yet St. Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria refused to modify in any way his attitude and remained steadfast in refusing to accept any statement not containing the homoousion or to communicate with those who rejected it. The fact is (as history has confirmed) that St. Athanasius and his supporters were right. That one letter, that iota, spelled the difference between Christianity as the faith founded and guided by God incarnate, and a faith founded by just another creature. Indeed, if Christ is not God, it would be blasphemous to call ourselves Christians.

If a great number of Catholics died at the hands of the blood thirsty Arians simply because they refused to accept one iota of change in the same word, what might we say of the volumes of ambiguity which were approved in the name of the Second Vatican Council? Is it not evident that Vatican II has failed in its duty towards the faithful who look to the Church for guidance?

On this ambiguity Bishop Williamson had these insightful words say, "Vatican II was not even an Anti-council, it was an explosion. If you wish for the proof, look around you. Now that explosion which is the true spirit of the Council, is hidden in three ways beneath the letter or documents of the Council. Firstly, the documents contain many ancient and un-attackable truths alongside the new doctrine. Secondly, the new doctrines are often presented beneath ambiguous formulae, which allow the conservative Catholics to state there is no problem in the documents of the Council, the whole problem is in the so-called after-Council or aftermath of the Council. Thirdly, the novelties, once you draw them out of the documents, have their own coherency, and so the appearance of a system. So the novelties of Vatican II look like a system, but in fact it is the systematicness of an explosion." [29]  

In fact, Paul VI, who promulgated the documents of the Council in 1965, like his predecessor began to reject the fruits of that Council. He issued two startling statements to that effect:

"The Church finds herself in an hour of anxiety, a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would even better be called self-demolition [auto-destruction]. It is an interior upheaval, acute and complicated, which nobody expected after the Council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking itself. We looked forward to a flowering, a serene expansion of conceptions, which matured in the great sessions of the council. But ... one must notice above all the sorrowful aspect. It is as if the Church were destroying herself. [30]  

" We have the impression that through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God: it is doubt, uncertainty, questioning, dissatisfaction, confrontation.... We thought that after the Council a day of sunshine would have dawned for the history of the Church. What dawned, instead, was a day of clouds and storms, of darkness, of searching and uncertainties". [31]  

Let's take a quick look at what has happened to the Catholic Church since the 2nd Vatican Council.

"By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit." (Matt. 7:15-17)

Infant Baptisms dropped by over 360,000 in the US from 1960 to 1985. The National Catholic Education Association said that from 1965 to 1978 Catholic schools lost more than 2 million students and closed over 3,600 schools. The Catholic abortion rate now runs 30% higher than it does for Protestant women. The number of nuns in the US from 1964 to 1992 declined by 82,000. The number of seminarians in the US has dropped from 48,000 in 1965 to 1,300 in 1988. The number of converts from 1960 to 1985 declined by almost 64,000. There were 338 annulments granted in 1968 and 59,030 in 1992. From 1952 to 1956 there were 39 annulments worldwide. In 1990 alone, there were 62,824 annulments. In the USA, nearly all (98%) who apply for a judicial ecclesiastical decree of annulment and finish the procedure, are awarded an annulment. An annulment is a declaration by Church authority which states that a marriage was never valid by reason of a known or hidden impediment. From 1965 to 1973,between 22,000 and 25,000 priests left the priesthood to get married. By 1994, this figure had reached almost 100,000. In 1970 there were 1,003,670 women religious with perpetual or provisional vows; in 1992 that number was down to 655,031. In 1962, there were 46,189 seminarians in the U.S. By early 1992, this number had plummeted to 6,247. [32]. In countries such as France and Holland the percentage of Catholics at Mass each Sunday has declined to a single digit. In the U.S., attendance has declined from 71 percent in 1963 to 25 percent in 1993, a decrease of 65 percent. Newsweek polls and surveys show that only 15% of Catholics believe they should always obey Church teaching, nearly as many Catholics think abortion is permissible as non-Catholics, and 75% of Catholics disagree with Church teaching forbidding divorce and contraception. Another study revealed that only 25% of Catholics now believe in the Real Presence and only 50% of the priests.

Given the foregoing, it would be plain blindness to deny the disastrous effects Vatican II has had on the Church. Nevertheless with the continued denial of this fact on part of the greater number of the Catholic hierarchy we shall only continue to witness destruction of the faith on a global scale.

        "Certainly the results of Vatican II seem cruelly opposed to the expectations of everyone, beginning with those of Pope John XXIII and then of Pope Paul VI.  Expected was a new Catholic unity, and instead we have been exposed to dissension which, to use the words of Pope Paul VI, seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction.  Expected was a new enthusiasm, and many wound up discouraged and bored.  Expected was a great step forward, and instead we find ourselves faced with a progressive process of decadence that has developed for the most part precisely under the sign of a calling back to the Council, and has therefore contributed to discrediting it for many.  The net result, therefore, seems negative.  I am repeating here what I said ten years after the conclusion of the work:  it is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavorable for the Church."  --Joseph  Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, December 24, 1984, L'Osservatore Romano
 

Conclusion

It might be said without temerity that "Man" inspired the Second Vatican Council for the glorification of "Man" an exaltation that has ultimately worked only to the detriment of the faith.

This Council, which "in many respects can be described as a revolution," [33] has no dogmatic force and can be held to be imprudent or even in error, with no compromise to one's Catholic faith as many of the false innovation that were introduced or brought about as a result of this council have already been clearly condemned by the Church.

Without such sound principles and clear Catholic reasoning it isn't soon before one forgets one's Catholic Faith and replaces it with the very set of Modernistic heresies condemned by Pope St. Pius X as we have see happen all to often to a great number of men who supposedly go by the name of "Catholic".

Ultimate we can do no better than assume to ourselves the sound advice of St. Paul "Scrutinize everything carefully, retaining only that which is good"... "hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good". [34]

Foot notes:

1.  Statement, apud Lucio Brunelli, 30 days, September 1993, P. 50.

2. See our article on Religious liberty & The 25 errors of Vatican II - See also Religious Liberty and the Second Vatican Council by Michael Davies

3. Cardinal Ratzinger, El Mercurio, July 17, 1988

4. Interview I.C.I 15/5/69

5. Cf. Catholic Encyclopedia, "Infallibility" 1910

6. Fr. Gregory Hesse, "Outside the Church there is No Salvation", Catholic Family News, February 1997 [IV:2], pp. 13 et seqq).

7.  Petri Privilegium, III, p.24

8. Cardinal Henry Manning, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost, Burns, Oates: London, 1909.

9. The Catholic Controversy, Burns & Oats, London, 1886, pg. 218.

10. Alice Muggeridge, The Desolate City (revised & expanded ed./1990), p. 72; letter from Fr. Joseph W. Oppitz, C.s.s.R. in "America" magazine of April 15, 1972

11. Father Ricossa, Sacerdotium, Issue #15 (2899 East Big Beaver Rd, Troy, MI) p. 60.

12. In the Murky waters of Vatican II, by Atila Sinke Guimaraes, pg. 237

13. Philip Hughes, A History of the Church, vol. 1: The Church and the World in Which the Church Was Founded ,1934; London: Sheed and Ward, 1979, p. 282.

14. W.H.C.Frend, The Rise of Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), p. 853

15. Sessio VIII, November 22, 1439

16. Cf. Sacrae Theologiae Summa, BAC, Madrid, IV, p. 639

17. De Conciliis, I, 17.

18. St. Alphonus Liguori, Exposition and defense of all the points of Faith discussed and defined by the Sacred Council of Trent, Dublin 1846, Pg. 51

19. Pastor Aeternus, chap. 4, "De Romani Pontificis Infallibili Magisterio"

20. St.Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium.

21. Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa vol. I, 5th ed., Madrid, B.A.C.no.659ff.

22. Fr. Pierre Marie, editor of the French Traditional Dominicans' quarterly, Le Sel de la Terre

23. Matt 28:18; I Tim 6:20 ; II Tim 1:14;Tit 1:9;Gal 1:8; I Jn 2:20; II Jn 2:20, I Jn 9:12).

24. Nicolas Jung, Le Magistère de l'Èglise, 1935, pp.153 -154, Cf. DTC "Église" in, vol.IV, col.2209.

25. Catholic Encyclopedia, "Infallibility" (1910)

26. An Open Letter to Confused Catholic, Marcel Lefebvre, Angelus Press, pg. 107.

27. Dz 717

28. M. L. Cozens, A Handbook of Heresies (London, 1960) p. 34

29. The Heresy of Americanism and Vatican II

30. Pope Paul VI, December 7, 1968, Address to the Lombard Seminary at Rome

31. Pope Paul VI, June 29, 1972, Homily during the Mass for Sts. Peter & Paul, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of his coronation in his response to Vatican II

32. In the Murky Waters of Vatican II, Statistics need not be taken since these facts are more than evident!

33.His Eminence Christopher Cardinal Schonborn, Die Tagespost, March 10, 2001

34. I Thessalonians 5:21; Romans 12:9


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