Defending the Holy Spirit, Defending the Second Vatican Council

Why do "inspired" Catholics reject the Magisterium as if God is giving them the gift of infallibility by judging the Second Vatican Council to be a step towards heresy?

Would you mind not shouting. (not a question)

Ouch.........

Hi.

First and foremost welcome to CAF.

There's quite a bit of controvesary surrounding Vatican II. This council did not change any doctrinal beliefs, it changed how we practice and live our faith. The Liturgy, and other practices changed. I think why some people may object to it, is because some people do not like change and wanted to hang onto the old. Some object to it becuase there were some things that were implemented that were in no way intended to be implemented by the Council to begin with.

Vatican II is a legitamate Church Council. I have to pray for the grace every day to be open to it. I still cannot bring myself to read the Vatican II documents, I may impose a self-penance on myself one of these days to get them read. I am a convert but have found myself sliding to pre-Vatican II practices [meaning I perfer the Tridentine Mass to the Novus Ordro].

Yet the Church has survived the Council and the aftermath of it. Praise God.

God bless.

[quote="Kyrby_Caluna, post:1, topic:244187"]
Why do "inspired" Catholics reject the Magisterium as if God is giving them the gift of infallibility by judging the Second Vatican Council to be a step towards heresy?

[/quote]

What makes you think that defending the Holy Spirit and defending the 2nd Vatican Council are the same thing?

[quote="Will_S, post:4, topic:244187"]
What makes you think that defending the Holy Spirit and defending the 2nd Vatican Council are the same thing?

[/quote]

Well, an Ecumenical Council of the Church is something that takes place under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, no?

Usagi

The positive guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Church is much more difficult to identify and define than the "negative" consequences of it, i.e. infallibility. In other words it's easier to say what the Holy Spirit makes sure cannot happen in the Church than what He does make happen, though probably what is actually going on is an active guidance not just a passive protection. Maybe there will be more doctrinal development on this subject in the future.

One or two things in Vatican II make me feel a little queasy, but I certainly wouldn't accuse it of heresy. It was an act of the bishops of the Church, and it is the right and responsibility of the bishops, not the laity, to interpret it to each new generation. We must avoid the Protestant temptation to make our individual selves the ultimate authority on revealed truth.

[quote="Will_S, post:4, topic:244187"]
What makes you think that defending the Holy Spirit and defending the 2nd Vatican Council are the same thing?

[/quote]

"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18

  1. If the Holy Spirit wasn't with the Second Council of Vatican City, then the gates of hell prevailed.
  2. If the gates of hell prevailed, then either Jesus made a mistake or lied to us.
  3. Jesus is God.
  4. God cannot make a mistake.
  5. God will not lie to us.
  6. Therefore what Jesus said was true.
  7. Therefore the gates of hell have not prevailed.
  8. Therefore the Holy Spirit was with the Second Council of Vatican City.
  9. Therefore defending the Second Council of Vatican City is also defending the Holy Spirit.

[quote="Usagi, post:5, topic:244187"]
Well, an Ecumenical Council of the Church is something that takes place under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, no?

[/quote]

No. The Holy Spirit protects the Council from doctrinal error, just as the Pope is so protected when he makes an infallible pronouncement.

That does not mean that the disciplinary and prudential decisions of the Council conform to the Sovereign Will of God.

It is entirely possible for an Ecumenical Council to make prudential and disciplinary decisions which are harmful.

Well um I think we can all use our inside voices...

But the thing you need to understand is that during the course of Vatican II no new dogmas or anathemas were proclaimed. There is absolutely nothing in Vatican II which anybody is "required" to believe in order to be Catholics. It was a perfectly valid pastoral council only, it was not infallible and thus not guaranteed to be a success. If there were previous dogmas which contradict something in the council, or a dogma proclaimed in the future which contradicts it, we must accept the dogma first.

But the thing you have to consider is that in the past century (roughly) the Church has had it's first Ecumenical Council not to produce either dogmas or anathemas, a revolutionary change in the Liturgy (of the Roman Rite), sex abuse scandals (not saying they are a result of VII) which have horrified the world, and a massive drop in attendance by the faithful. It isn't too unrealistic to suggest there might be a problem.

[quote="AlexPetrosPio, post:7, topic:244187"]
"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18

  1. If the Holy Spirit wasn't with the Second Council of Vatican City, then the gates of hell prevailed.
  2. If the gates of hell prevailed, then either Jesus made a mistake or lied to us.
  3. Jesus is God.
  4. God cannot make a mistake.
  5. God will not lie to us.
  6. Therefore what Jesus said was true.
  7. Therefore the gates of hell have not prevailed.
  8. Therefore the Holy Spirit was with the Second Council of Vatican City.
  9. Therefore defending the Second Council of Vatican City is also defending the Holy Spirit.

[/quote]

Your chain fails at the first link.

The Holy Spirit protected the Council from dogmatic assertion of error. In that sense the Holy Spirit was "with the Council".

But there is no reason to believe that any of the many decisions of the 2nd Vatican Council, none of which made any new dogmatic assertions, were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Note carefully, that I am not arguing that the 2nd Vatican Council is wrong or bad, and I explaining that your premise, namely that everything in the 2nd Vatican Council was necessarily desired by the Holy Spirit, is false.

[quote="Will_S, post:10, topic:244187"]
Your chain fails at the first link.

The Holy Spirit protected the Council from dogmatic assertion of error. In that sense the Holy Spirit was "with the Council".

But there is no reason to believe that any of the many decisions of the 2nd Vatican Council, none of which made any new dogmatic assertions, were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Note carefully, that I am not arguing that the 2nd Vatican Council is wrong or bad, and I explaining that your premise, namely that everything in the 2nd Vatican Council was necessarily desired by the Holy Spirit, is false.

[/quote]

Alright, now I'm following. Thank you for that correction! :D

[quote="Usagi, post:5, topic:244187"]
Well, an Ecumenical Council of the Church is something that takes place under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, no?

Usagi

[/quote]

No.

We pray that the Holy Ghost guides the Church in everything. However, no human can bind the Holy Ghost or summon the Divine Presence but by the sacraments duly celebrated. Everything else is in essence a prayer.

By their fruits, ye shall know them.

Holy as she is, the Church is still made of men, who err, in good faith and in bad. This happens whether they be in council or alone in a cave.

[quote="Will_S, post:10, topic:244187"]
The Holy Spirit protected the Council from dogmatic assertion of error. In that sense the Holy Spirit was "with the Council".

But there is no reason to believe that any of the many decisions of the 2nd Vatican Council, none of which made any new dogmatic assertions, were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

[/quote]

However, I think it is reasonable to say that the Holy Spirit desires that we respect the authority that He gave our bishops, and since the council was within that authority...

That is, Holy Spirit was with the Council in a bigger sense than you state here simply because the Council was a legitimate act of the Church. Perhaps not (or then again, perhaps) in the same way as He is when a Pope makes an ex Cathedra statement, but there nonetheless.

Note also that any arguments that Vatican II was not infallible because it did not touch on anything with sufficient gravity would also claim that Vatican II cannot be seriously wrong - because in order to be so, it would have to say something incorrect about a subject on which, as an ecumenical council, it would necessarily be infallible.

[quote="AlexPetrosPio, post:7, topic:244187"]
"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18

  1. If the Holy Spirit wasn't with the Second Council of Vatican City, then the gates of hell prevailed.
  2. If the gates of hell prevailed, then either Jesus made a mistake or lied to us.
  3. Jesus is God.
  4. God cannot make a mistake.
  5. God will not lie to us.
  6. Therefore what Jesus said was true.
  7. Therefore the gates of hell have not prevailed.
  8. Therefore the Holy Spirit was with the Second Council of Vatican City.
  9. Therefore defending the Second Council of Vatican City is also defending the Holy Spirit.

[/quote]

  1. If the Holy Spirit wasn't with the Second Council of Vatican City, then the gates of hell prevailed. - This is not strictly true, since the Holy Ghost does not inspire Popes and councils with new doctrine, but only prevents them from teaching error infallibly, and ex-cathedra. Vatican II proclaimed no new dogmas, or no teaching infallibly which was not already taught, as John XXIII and Paul VI said.

  2. If the gates of hell prevailed, then either Jesus made a mistake or lied to us.

  3. Jesus is God.

  4. God cannot make a mistake.

  5. God will not lie to us.

  6. Therefore what Jesus said was true.
    **

  7. This is True**

  8. Therefore the gates of hell have not prevailed.
    - Nor shall they ever!

  9. Therefore the Holy Spirit was with the Second Council of Vatican City.
    - The Holy Ghost certainly did the same thing as at other councils: protect the Pope and concilliar teaching ratified by him from all error - when proclaiming a new dogma or teaching to all Christians infallibly.

  10. Therefore defending the Second Council of Vatican City is also defending the Holy Spirit. - Not really. The Holy Ghost is not any council, and only defending those teachings protected from all error by the Holy Ghost would constitute "defending" the Holy Ghost, if only to defend what He has allowed to be taught as binding on all the faithful.

“We had such great hopes, but things proved to be more difficult…”

by Benedict XVI

I, too, lived through Vatican Council II, coming to Saint Peter’s Basilica with great enthusiasm and seeing how new doors were opening. It really seemed to be the new Pentecost, in which the Church would once again be able to convince humanity. After the Church’s withdrawal from the world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it seemed that the Church and the world were coming together again, and that there was a rebirth of a Christian world and of a Church of the world and truly open to the world.

We had such great hopes, but in reality things proved to be more difficult. Nonetheless, it is still true that the great legacy of the Council, which opened a new road, is a “magna carta” of the Church’s path, very essential and fundamental.

But why did this happen? I would like to begin with an historical observation. The periods following a council are almost always very difficult. After the great Council of Nicaea – which is, for us, truly the foundation of our faith, in fact we confess the faith as formulated at Nicaea – there was not the birth of a situation of reconciliation and unity, as hoped by Constantine, the promoter of the great Council, but a genuinely chaotic situation of a battle of all against all.

In his book on the Holy Spirit, saint Basil compares the Church’s situation after the Council of Nicaea to a nighttime naval battle, in which no one recognizes another, but everyone is pitted against everyone else. It really was a situation of total chaos: this is how saint Basil paints in vivid colors the drama of the period following the Council of Nicaea.

50 years later, for the first Council of Constantinople, the emperor invited saint Gregory Nazianzen to participate in the council, and saint Gregory responded: No, I will not come, because I understand these things, I know that all of the Councils give rise to nothing but confusion and fighting, so I will not come. And he didn’t go.

So it is not now, in retrospect, such a great surprise how difficult it was at first for all of us to digest the Council, this great message. To imbue this into the life of the Church, to receive it, such that it becomes the Church’s life, to assimilate it into the various realities of the Church is a form of suffering, and it is only in suffering that growth is realized. To grow is always to suffer as well, because it means leaving one condition and passing to another.

And we must note that there were two great historic upheavals in the concrete context of the postconciliar period.

The first is the convulsion of 1968, the beginning – or explosion, I dare say – of the great cultural crisis of the West. The postwar generation had ended, a generation that, after seeing all the destruction and horror of war, of combat, and witnessing the drama of the great ideologies that had actually led people toward the precipice of war, had discovered the Christian roots of Europe and had begun to rebuild Europe with these great inspirations. But with the end of this generation there were also seen all of the failures, the gaps in this reconstruction, the great misery in the world, and so began the explosion of the crisis of Western culture, what I would call a cultural revolution that wants to change everything radically. It says: In two thousand years of Christianity, we have not created a better world; we must begin again from nothing, in an absolutely new way. Marxism seems to be the scientific formula for creating, at last, the new world.

In this – let us say – serious, great clash between the new, healthy modernity desired by the Council and the crisis of modernity, everything becomes difficult, like after the first Council of Nicaea.

One side was of the opinion that this cultural revolution was what the Council had wanted. It identified this new Marxist cultural revolution with the will of the Council. It said: This is the Council; in the letter the texts are still a bit antiquated, but behind the written words is this “spirit,” this is the will of the Council, this is what we must do. And on the other side, naturally, was the reaction: you are destroying the Church. The – let us say – absolute reaction against the Council, anticonciliarity, and – let us say – the timid, humble search to realize the true spirit of the Council. And as a proverb says: “If a tree falls it makes a lot of noise, but if a forest grows no one hears a thing,” during these great noises of mistaken progressivism and absolute anticonciliarism, there grew very quietly, with much suffering and with many losses in its construction, a new cultural passageway, the way of the Church.

Part two

And then came the second upheaval in 1989, the fall of the communist regimes. But the response was not a return to the faith, as one perhaps might have expected; it was not the rediscovery that the Church, with the authentic Council, had provided the response. The response was, instead, total skepticism, so-called post-modernity. Nothing is true; everyone must decide on his own how to live. There was the affirmation of materialism, of a blind pseudo-rationalistic skepticism that ends in drugs, that ends in all these problems that we know, and the pathways to faith are again closed, because the faith is so simple, so evident: no, nothing is true; truth is intolerant, we cannot take that road.

So: in these contexts of two cultural ruptures, the first being the cultural revolution of 1968 and the second the fall into nihilism after 1989, the Church sets out with humility upon its path, between the passions of the world and the glory of the Lord.

Along this road, we must grow with patience and we must now, in a new way, learn what it means to renounce triumphalism.

The Council had said that triumphalism must be renounced – thinking of the Baroque, of all these great cultures of the Church. It was said: Let’s begin in a new, modern way. But another triumphalism had grown, that of thinking: We will do things now, we have found the way, and on it we find the new world.

But the humility of the Cross, of the Crucified One, excludes precisely this triumphalism as well. We must renounce the triumphalism according to which the great Church of the future is truly being born now. The Church of Christ is always humble, and for this very reason it is great and joyful.

It seems very important to me that we can now see with open eyes how much that was positive also grew following the Council: in the renewal of the liturgy, in the synods – Roman synods, universal synods, diocesan synods – in the parish structures, in collaboration, in the new responsibility of laypeople, in intercultural and intercontinental shared responsibility, in a new experience of the Church’s catholicity, of the unanimity that grows in humility, and nonetheless is the true hope of the world.

And thus it seems to me that we must rediscover the great heritage of the Council, which is not a “spirit” reconstructed behind the texts, but the great conciliar texts themselves, reread today with the experiences that we have had and that have born fruit in so many movements, in so many new religious communities. I arrived in Brazil knowing how the sects are expanding, and how the Catholic Church seems a bit sclerotic; but once I arrived, I saw that almost every day in Brazil a new religious community is born, a new movement is born, and it is not only the sects that are growing. The Church is growing with new realities full of vitality, which do not show up in the statistics – this is a false hope; statistics are not our divinity – but they grow within souls and create the joy of faith, they create the presence of the Gospel, and thus also create true development in the world and society.

Thus it seems to me that we must learn the great humility of the Crucified One, of a Church that is always humble and always opposed by the great economic powers, military powers, etc. But we must also learn, together with this humility, the true triumphalism of the Catholicism that grows in all ages. There also grows today the presence of the Crucified One raised from the dead, who has and preserves his wounds. He is wounded, but it is in just in this way that he renews the world, giving his breath which also renews the Church in spite of all of our poverty. In this combination of the humility of the Cross and the joy of the risen Lord, who in the Council has given us a great road marker, we can go forward joyously and full of hope.


Excerpt taken from this site: chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/158061?eng=y

Peace,
Ed

[quote="Iron_Donkey, post:13, topic:244187"]
Note also that any arguments that Vatican II was not infallible because it did not touch on anything with sufficient gravity would also claim that Vatican II cannot be seriously wrong - because in order to be so, it would have to say something incorrect about a subject on which, as an ecumenical council, it would necessarily be infallible.

[/quote]

That isn't so. The council could make an doctrinal assertion without making any attempt to solemnize the assertion (via anathemas, solemn declarations, etc.) or bind the conscience of the faithful and thereby err.

sigh please don't shout, what are you 12 years old? Anyone smell bating?

I will certainly defend the Vatican II Council examined with a 'hermeneutic of continuity' as our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has stated than the ubiquitous 'hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture' that seems to plague the Church in many parts of the world and the most well-known characterization of that council.

[quote="Little_One0307, post:3, topic:244187"]
Ouch......... Hi. First and foremost welcome to CAF. There's quite a bit of controvesary surrounding Vatican II. This council did not change any doctrinal beliefs, it changed how we practice and live our faith. The Liturgy, and other practices changed. I think why some people may object to it, is because some people do not like change and wanted to hang onto the old. Some object to it becuase there were some things that were implemented that were in no way intended to be implemented by the Council to begin with. Vatican II is a legitamate Church Council. I have to pray for the grace every day to be open to it. I still cannot bring myself to read the Vatican II documents, I may impose a self-penance on myself one of these days to get them read. I am a convert but have found myself sliding to pre-Vatican II practices [meaning I perfer the Tridentine Mass to the Novus Ordro]. Yet the Church has survived the Council and the aftermath of it. Praise God. God bless.

[/quote]

um how on earth has the church "survived" Vatican II?
we have a pope who joins in heretical prayer with muslims, buddhists and jews, catholics who can justify the likes of gay marriage, contraception, de facto relationships, divorce, multiple marriages and even abortion?
st peter must roll in his grave at the joke the papacy has become- selling out on centuries of dignified tradition to become just like everyone else. heaven must weep

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