Can you be a faithful Catholic and reject Vatican ii?

I have a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law who only attend the Traditional Latin Mass but they will not attend a SSPX or Independent Church and they do not believe the new Mass is invalid and will attend it if its the only Mass they are able to get to. They also believe that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ (although I get the feeling they are not big fans of Pope Francis) but they do believe he is the Pope. But they have told me they don’t believe that Vatican ii was guided by the Holy Spirit and that Vatican ii is to blame for all the problems in the Church like the decline of Priest and Religious, the sex scandals, etc. So would they be in the state of sin, and if so is it considered Mortal or Venial?

Thank you and God Bless!

Short answer: no. Period.

All of the bishops of the world joined with the Pope? And the Holy Spirit is not guiding that?

Their problem is that they cannot separate the documents from Vatican 2, with the actions of priests, some bishops (most definitely not all), some theologians, and some laity.

It is like a post hoc, ergo propter hoc argument; it occurred after this, therefore on account of this.

If they have not read the documents (and I don’t mean reading someone else’s interpretation of them), then they need to do so, and show how any of the doucments directly lead to anything they consider wrong.

The short of it is that they can’t. The abuses that went on after Vatican 2 are because people decided to go where the documents did not go. The changes many proposed were not in the documents.

The same goes for any abuses which may have occurred in the Ordinary Form of the Mass - those abuses did not come from the instructions of how to say the Mass; they came from priests ignoring the instructions.

Another way of saying it: why was it that, for example, Poland was able to implement the documents of Vatican 2 without all the craziness that occurred in the US? If it was the documents that caused the craziness, then why did it not occur there? Answer - because the craziness was not caused by the documents.

There is ample explanation in the writings of both John Paul 2 and Benedict 16 that support what I am saying. However, if they don’t want to hear it, then you are not going to get the point across.

The sex scandals started well before Vatican 2. Priests left in droves after Vatican 2; not because of the documents, but because many of them had anticipated that the Church was going to change rules of celibacy - and that has to do with their formation as priests in seminaries before Vatican 2.

And as to their sin or lack of it, that is none of your business. Period. Do not judge. Start judging, and you will be the one needing to reconcile with God and the Church.

You are right I am certainly not trying to be judgmental. I should have been clearer. I was just wondering if such an action is sinful because for a little while they were starting to get me to see their point of view on this and I’ve heard some people say that Vatican ii was a pastoral council and that the Laity did not have to accept it. But doing some research I’ve found this is not true. Also I’m done with trying to get thru to them on this is because there is just no doing so.
Thank you for your help!

Kind of like beating your head against the wall because it feels so good when you stop?

This is not an area where I do a lot of looking for sources - mostly because I was born long before Vatican 2 was ever “thunk up” - Pius 12th was Pope. However, there may be some (shorter) reading material that lays out the issue clearly; if it is short, and not costing an arm and a leg, you might think about purchasing and asking them to consider reading it.

Then, again, if they are aficionados of certain websites (you noted they do not attend SSPX and etc.), you may be right - not worth the aggravation.

Prayer does work - ask St Monica (but remember how long it took her!).

I’m not certain about your closing questions, but I would like to weigh in on the question in the title of your post: Can you be a faithful Catholic and reject Vatican ii?

I would say no, you can’t.

And, anyone who says they are “traditional” Catholics, therefore, they can reject Vatican II, and be faithful to the Church, are not “traditional” Catholics, but “cafeteria” Catholics who feel they can pick and chose what they want to.

Please, I am not painting all those calling themselves traditional Catholics with a wide brush. Preferring one acceptable form of the Mass over another is fine, but when they do so and justify their preference by criticizing one form when they do so, and by casting doubts on the integrity of the Church, they have crossed the line, in my opinion.

I am not going to judge if it is sin or not, and it really is not something you should involve yourself in at that level.

That said, If they say that Vatican II was not guided by the Holy SPirit then who is to say Vatican 1 was, or The Council of Nicea, or Chalcedon, or any other council.

Franky, who are they to say it was not valid. Either they believe that Peter was given the keys to the kingdom and has handed on the power or they don’t. To not believe that is to not be Catholic.

I have encountered a ton of people who talk all about papal authority and the authority of the church, but then when you get down to it, they don’t believe or trust the authority of the church when it goes against their personal opinions.

That is basically the protestant position, and lots of “traditional catholics” hold the same mentality, that they know better than the church.

If you can say that the church erred there, then maybe Humane Vitae is wrong and we really can use birth control and have abortions…its a slippery slope.

Id encourage them to really think of what it means for us to be part of the Church founded by Christ and given the protection of the Holy Spirit. If they really believe that then they have to accept Vatican 2, even if it is not in line with their personal tastes.

You can be a faithful Catholic and only attend the TLM. You can be a faithful Catholic and not be a “big fan” of the current pope (I imagine many Catholics were in this position with Benedict IX or Alexander VI). You, however, cannot be a faithful Catholic and believe the part in bold above, for it is heresy. Is it venial or mortal? That would depend on their knowledge. If they know that all ecumenical councils are guided by the HS and know that V2 is an ecumenical council, it could be mortal.

You can definitely not reject the Council and be a faithful Catholic.

At the same time, the Council did not declare any dogma, not once. It was a pastoral council, which is very clearly stated by the Council itself. Disagreeing with anything in the Council is therefore not an act of heresy, unless of course it has been declared dogma by former Councils or Popes.

We are required to “sentire cum ecclesia” (think/feel with the Church), which means we are required to let ourselves be guided also by Vatican 2. We are however not bound to agree with every detail in it. But we are also not allowed to accuse it of heresy, like some traditionalists do.

There are two fine lines here: Some impose the Council as if it were a kind of “super-dogma”. Even debating if some of the texts may possibly contain weaknesses or be problematic, will make some people accuse you of being heretic or worse. They misunderstand the Council just as badly as the sedevacantists do.

The other is the extent of criticism. As I said above, one can’t be a faithful Catholic, and reject the Council. There is no heresy in its documents. Everything in them is perfectly orthodox.

Sometimes, criticism comes from misunderstanding of the texts. Another times, criticism is really against things that came later, but weren’t mandated by the Council (the turning of the altars, many elements of the liturgical reform, naive ecumenic, etc). In that case, they criticize a “virtual council” (to quote pp. emeritus Benedict), which again other people believe in as if it superseded everything that came before.

The correct understanding of the Council is that it is most definitely not infallible, but its texts can also not just be rejected on one’s own whim. They are legitimate, and accusing them of heresy is really equivalent to creating one’s own “Magisterium”.

But again, I find that most who criticize the Council a lot, don’t really criticize the texts, but everything that happened later. Just like I find that most of those who defend everything that happened later, don’t really defend the Council.

I’ve read through all the texts several times back when I studied Theology. I can’t say I disagree with anything in them at all. I see some weaknesses, though, mainly with regards to clarity. If the texts had been less open to interpretation in some places, perhaps we would have had less problems later on.

But then again, many of the changes happened in spite of passages from the Council being very clearly contrary to those changes. So I don’t think the Council can be blamed at all. And even if it could be, we’re not allowed to reject it. It wouldn’t be the first council to temporarily cause chaos.

I would offer that it is not automatically sinful to be:

or…well, you get the point.

There was a reason that some of the documents of the Council were called “dogmatic constitution”.


Or, in the ominous words of the principal of my all-boys high school: “A word to the wise should be sufficient.”

“Dogmatic constitution” does not mean “declaration of dogma”, though.

The fact that the Council declared no new infallible teaching is not an opinion, but clear, undebatable fact.

That said, I have no problems with the Council; on the other hand, I greatly appreciate the texts. My problem is with those who make the Council into something it isn’t (infallible), those who misrepresent it, and not least those who reject it.

Nor did I say it was. But I tire of this “just pastoral” as if nothing of any significance was said, and we are perfectly ok with ignoring all of the documents.

My class was reading the documents as they were being released; you are not talking to a neophyte.

In that, you have company.

I agree with the posters who said the problems that came after the Council were not a result of the Council, but a result of people who used the Council to push own agendas, selling them as if they were Vatican II.

I also think the internal attack on the Church was so quick, so well coordinated, that it couldn’t have sprung up all at once in 1968. There must have been problems developing “under the radar” in seminaries and other places in the 1950’s and earlier that did not get attention at the time.

I also think we can’t discount the influence of the secular culture, especially the Media and higher education, not only on the Catholic Church but on all religions. Protestants didn’t have any Vatican II, but many denominations were overwelmed by secularism the same time we were. So you can’t show a cause/effect relationship.

That said, I wish V2 had done a better job of preparing us for the onslaught of secularism, especially the attack on dogma, but that’s using 20/20 hindsight. The documents themselves are good. I suppose the earlier councils failed to predict some aspects of their future also, but they are still authoritative.

Amen to your first sentence.

My boys high school religion class was reading the documents hot off the press, also!
But I hope I never stop being a neophyte.

have they ever really read or studied the actual documents of Vatican II or is their opinion only guided by the problems that they perceive and blame on Vatican II?

yes :thumbsup::extrahappy:

If they reject Vatican II they probably don’t know much about it. What we should reject is the misinterpretations of it. Tell your siblings to keep on going to the TLM since it’s much closer to what VII had in mind for the Sacrifice of the Mass than what is currently offered in most parishes.

Vatican II is to blame for nothing. Ask them for proof that Vatican II did anything harmful. It was the falsely created scapegoat for dissenters inside and outside the Church that clearly meant to do it harm after Vatican II ended. How do they know with any certainty that they are right?

We are to accept the Second Vatican Council as good.


There was definitely a well-coordinated, all-out attack on Christianity that started right after Vatican II, with the Catholic Church at the top of the list. Read what Pope Benedict had to say about how the message of Vatican II was distorted for the public.

The onslaught was planned, and it’s documented.


Cajun_Papist #1
they don’t believe that Vatican ii was guided by the Holy Spirit and that Vatican ii is to blame for all the problems in the Church like the decline of Priest and Religious, the sex scandals, etc.

After the development of doctrine in Vatican II, and the faithful stewardship of Bl John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict XVI, readers should know that:
The crisis in Christ’s Church is due to the modernist errors abroad before Vatican II, whose promoters tried to take over the Council, referred to in *Christ Denied *TAN, 1982, by Fr Paul Wickens).

But before Vatican II, by May of 1964, the *Sex Information and Education Council of the United States *(SIECUS) had approved the sex education program put forward by 2 Swedish delegates, and the whole sordid conglomerate is exposed in Claire Chambers The SIECUS Circle, 1977. The power structure exerts pressure on local schools and the gullible public for its school sex education program. The network promotes population control, legalised abortion, homosexuality, pornography, sensitivity training and drugs. (p xv). We surely know how dissenters have spread these into the People of God.

The '60’s saw the rise of anarchy in the USA with much that was good in society decried and destroyed with nothing worthy to replace it. The new religion of the so-called Enlightenment was welcomed by selfists.

The degradation of sacred order, at the invitation of nuns, occurred from 1967 in the USA through humanistic psychologists especially Carl Rogers, and I have heard one of his lieutenants, Dr J W Coulson in person, apologising for the grave harm caused. [See The *Emperor’s New Clothes by William Kirk Kilpatrick, 1985, p 149-150]. The destruction of whole Catholic school systems and religious orders occurred.

Then followed the disgraceful public dissent against Humanae Vitae by Rahner and numerous dissenting theologians, Richard McBrien’s Catholicism (full of errors), the revolt of the Catholic universities and the bureaucratic/theological tail wagging the episcopal dog so to speak – coupled with lax or dissenting bishops this resulted in a grave crisis, which is worldwide with relativism, selfism and secularism.

How many Catholics know this? The great papal teaching and guidance of popes St John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have nurtured the reform of seminaries and the rejuvenation of the apostolate of the laity, with a resurgence of faith and action among the young, in the midst of the secular chaos of today.

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