Did Pope Benedict Correct Vatican II?

From the Remant Newspaper Letter to the Editor by Marcelo Fedeli, Brazil.

The “seeds of the Word” are not in the pagan religions, but in Greek philosophy, according to the expression of Saint Justin.
…Pope Benedict XVI

Editor, The Remnant:

Laudetur Jesus Christus!

I would like to submit to your appreciation a summary of Orlando Fedeli’s article — President of MONTFORT Cultural Association, S. Paulo – Brazil —analyzing the speech of the Holy Father Benedict XVI on Saint Justin, last Wednesday, published in Portuguese under the « E AGORA? COMO FICA O ECUMENISMO? E COMO FICA O VATICANO II?»

montfort.org.br/index.php?secao=veritas&subsecao=igreja&artigo=sementes_ecumenismo&lang=bra ]


"With the Vatican II Council, the “seeds of the Word”, expression of Saint Justin, were used as base of the ecumenical ideology. It was said, so, at the conciliar rooms, that in the pagan religions one could find “seeds of the Word”…

Indeed, in the Chapter II, ART. 1, CHRISTIAN WITNESS, of the Conciliar Decree AD GENTES, it is read:

« 11. The Church must be present in these groups through her children, who dwell among them or who are sent to them. For all Christians, wherever they live, are bound to show forth, by the example of their lives and by the witness of the word, that new man put on at baptism and that power of the Holy Spirit by which they have been strengthened at Conformation. Thus other men, observing their good works, can glorify the Father (cf. Matt. ES:16) and can perceive more fully the real meaning of human life and the universal bond of the community of mankind.

In order that they may be able to bear more fruitful witness to Christ, let them be joined to those men by esteem and love; let them acknowledge themselves to be members of the group of men among whom they live; let them share in cultural and social life by the various. undertakings and enterprises of human living; let them be familiar with their national and religious traditions; let them gladly and reverently lay bare the seeds of the Word which lie hidden among their fellows… »

Therefore, according to Vatican II, it would seem that “seeds of the Word” are also in false religions. **But now, Benedict XVI corrects this with this speech on Saint Justin, last Wednesday, March 21, by saying that in pagan religions there are not “seeds of the Word” and that Saint Justin never said that. On the contrary, Saint Justin said that one could find “seeds of the Word” in Greek philosophy, but never in the pagan religions which were diabolic, according to the words of Benedict XVI: **

“In fact, the first Christians refused any compromise with the pagan religion. They considered it idolatry, even at the cost of being accused as ‘impious’ and ‘atheists.’ In particular and especially in his first ‘Apology,’ Justin harshly criticized the pagan religion and its myths, which he considered diabolical ‘disorientations’ on the path to truth. … ] Justin, and with him other apologists, took the position of the Christian faith as the God of the philosophers instead of the false gods of the pagan religion. It was a choice for the truth of being versus the myth of traditions."

Benedict XVI thus seems to be at the very least clarifying Vatican II Council!

Where were the “seeds of the Word”? In the pagan religions or Greek philosophy? The Holy Father assures us that, according to Saint Justin, the “seeds of the Word” were in Greek philosophy and never in the diabolic religion of the pagans. In this speech, Benedict ensures us that the Fathers of the Church were never ecumenists. On the contrary, they were apologists by making two anti-ecumenical things:

1º - They defended the Faith against the “from the weighty accusations of the pagans and the Jews”;

2º - They diffused the Christian doctrine.

Two points that ecumenists never make and that they reject when one makes them. The Pope concludes: "In an era such as ours, marked by relativism in the debate on values and on religion – as well as in interreligious dialogue – this is a lesson that should not be forgotten ".

Thus, Benedict XVI shook the two columns of ecumenism:

1º - What the Vatican II Council said in the AD GENTES Decree—that there were “seeds of the Word” in the pagan religions— is false;

2º - the present interreligious dialogue is relativistic.

Let’s pray for the Pope, so that he “is not concealed, by fear, in front of the wolves”.

In corde Iesu semper

Marcelo Fedeli

Associação Cultural MONTFORT

São Paulo – Brasil

VATICAN II did not err and does not require correction. Wht it does require is study, education and implementation. Manifold abuses, actions, statements and procedures committed in the name of Vatican II must be addressed, were addressed by the previous Pope, and are being addressed by this Pope.

Please try not to say “Vatican II did this, said this, caused this” when you really mean: some group or person within or outside the Church, on their own initiative pushed their own agenda and used V2 as an excuse.

[Edited by Moderator]

This topic can be a good debate. It contains the words of the Pope if you had read the article and an important issue that the Pope is addressing contrary to what Vatican II said. If you have a complaint write the Pope.

Pope Benedict is correcting what he calls Vat 3. It is the misinterpretation and misimplementation of Vat 2.

We had a Vatican III? When did that happen?


Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said: "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, instead we find ourselves faced with a progressive process of decadence which has developed for the most part 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 Catholic Church.”


If the point you are trying to make in all of this is that you think the Pope believes ecumenism to be wrong–and by extension then that Vatican II’s decree is wrong–I would suggest that you read some of his many statements on it, and observe his actions regarding ecumenism. There is certainly no indication in any of them that he believes ecumenism to be wrong that I have seen.

Quite the opposite he seems to be actively reaching out in many cases–like John Paul did–both toward other Christian faiths, including the Orthodox churches, and toward those outside the Christian faith.


This is not a discussion about me. This is a discussion about what the Pope said. Why is it when an article such is this is posted, there is an attempt to hijack by inferring the poster has a agenda. I think intelligent people can discuss what the Pope has said recently in relation to what Vatican II stated, respectively. If you disagree what the Pope stated and in which it has no bearing at all what Vatican II said, offer your proof.

Pope Benedict is correcting what he calls Vat 3. It is the misinterpretation and misimplementation of Vat 2.

Who is it that misintrepreted and misimplemented V2. The laity?

The liberal bishops and popes liked the implementaion…they think it is good. They are the ones who implemented it.

Excerpt from Pope’s Benedict’s Address Aug 19, 2005

“On the other hand, this unity does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return: that is, to deny and to reject one’s own faith history. Absolutely not! It does not mean uniformity in all expressions of theology and spirituality, in liturgical forms and in discipline. Unity in multiplicity, and multiplicity in unity: in my homily for the solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul on 29 June last, I insisted that full unity and true catholicity in the original sense of the word go together. As a necessary condition for the achievement of this coexistence, the commitment to unity must be constantly purified and renewed; it must constantly grow and mature”

I’m not sure what you mean about being a discussion about you since I made no such reference. I only asked if your point is that you think that the Pope is anti-ecumenism since no document I have read by him would indicate any such thing.

A simple answer to that might make discussion possible. Attacking me for asking the question doesn’t lead to anything at all.


And again, the question is: Are you reading this to be anti-ecumenism? I see it only as clarifying what he means by ecumenism, but nothing in opposition to it.

Like Bugnini finally being able to thrust his manufactured liturgy upon all Catholics?

When you negotiate you have to compromise. That is do something you would rather not in order to get a reciprocal concession from the other side. So whilst Benedict would really prefer an “ecumenism of return” he knows that that isn’t realistic. He can swallow his doubts and allow guitars and dancing in church, if that’s what it takes to bring an evangelical group back into the Church.


So the end justifies the means? True ecumenism is the ecumenism of return. Read Mortalium Animos. Benedict is advocating a false ecumenism…which breeds the indifferentism we see most Catholics today agreeing with. Just ask them.



The point is not if the Pope is anti-ecumenism, you would have to ask Him that question. The question…Did Pope Benedict Correct Vatican II? You refer to documents that you have read by him would not indicate such a thing. Why are you avoiding his statement above and what Vatican II said?

Maybe I’m just not understanding what question you are trying to ask. :confused:

The concluding part of your original post made this statement

[quote=Uxor]Thus, Benedict XVI shook the two columns of ecumenism: …

I can only conclude from that statement that you feel that the Pope is at least partly repudiating the thoughts of Vatican II regarding ecumenism, and that that is what you think he was “correcting” about Vatican II.

Am I misreading something here? If so, what about Vatican II is it that you think he is correcting with that statement?

I’m really trying to understand what point you are really trying to make so I know if there is actually something I disagree with.

The concluding part was the authors statement, not mine.

From reading what Pope Benedict said compared to Vatican II said seems contrary to what Vatican II said. I guess you don’t see that or a problem there.

Pope Benedict kept company with and was writing along side many modernistic liberal writers of the day right after Vat 2. He is accused of being a liberal himself in those days. We are fortunate that he came to his senses and separated himself from those writers and became the man we call The Inquisitor. He later reflected that he separated from them because they seemed to have experienced a Vat 3. I’m paraphrasing a quote that is in book about him. Not quite sure which one it was. It might be Milestones.

I didn’t say it was your statement, only that it was used in the conclusion of your post.

In reading the whole article, and taking it in context with other things he has said and written, and the number of ecumenical actions in which he has engaged, no I don’t see it being contrary to the Decree on Ecumenism or “correcting” it.

Thank you for clarifying. :slight_smile:

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