Discussions with Protestants on Vatican 1 and 2


I admit freely, that I am not all that up on Vatican 1, as I am 2. I am needing some help, on explaining why the RCC ‘changes’ things from time to time–ie: in respect to salvation, and in respect to sexual morals within marriage. I tried to find this online, but I couldn’t locate anything on if Vatican 1 said that sex was to be strictly procreative in marriage, and then Vat. 2 said it needs to be procreative AND unitive. Is speaking with one of my coworkers, who has become a dear friend of mine over the years, she said that she thinks this is why people fall away from our faith, because the RCC acts like it’s the end all be all authority and interpreter of the Bible, yet they change moral doctrine? They are stuck in the 16th century. (This is what she feels) (She is Presbyterian)

I think I did a good job explaining some of the Church’s teachings on some subjects, but need help when asked again about the differences between Vatican 1 and 2, and why did things change for Vatican 2? Any links would be helpful–thanks.


Vatican I was a dogmatic council that officially defined Papal Infallibility. It would have addressed other things, but the council was abruptly ended when the Masonic revolutionaries in Italy sacked Rome.

Vatican II was a purely pastoral council and did not define any new dogmas or really anything binding.


Thanks Caesar…Vatican II was when we viewed the Pope, going forward, as the Vicar of Christ, right?

Also…can the marital moral codes be found to mean procreative and unitive in both Vatican I and II? She was curious as to why the differences, but I didn’t know there to be differences on these types of dogma…? Also…does Vatican I speak about birth control, and abortion?


I don’t think most would agree with this statement. While Vatican II was called for mainly pastoral reasons, it is still a general council of the Church. To say that it wasn’t binding is inaccuate, I believe, as it gives the impression that we can just ignore it. While it didn’t define a new dogma, no council really defines a “new” dogma because the Church doesn’t create “new” dogma.


I beleive you’re thinking of Vatican I here, which defined the infallibility of the Pope.


Prior to Vatican II, the procreative purpose of marriage was emphasized. But the unitive purpose was never denied. Obviously, people who couldn’t have children were and are still considered to be validly married.

More recently, the unitive purpose was also brought to light, but the procreative purpose was not downplayed.


Then take out the word ‘new’ if you wish. Vatican II did not define any dogmas. Most of Vatican II falls into the Ordinary Magisterium, not the Infallible Magisterium. Vatican II was not dogmatic.


Ok…I wondered…I can go back and tell my Protestant coworker this then. Thank you for your reply. Why do you suppose it was more emphasized on the side of procreation?


??? can you clarify…why was the Vatican II formed? Other than changes in the mass, if nothing was added to the CCC–then why the change to V II?


The Church hasn’t changed anything regarding salvation. What makes you think that?


What part of Vatican II is binding on the faithful?


I don’t think this…I think there is a misconception–I hear this all of the time from even Catholics, sadly…that the RCC taught that only Catholics will have eternal glory. :rolleyes: Then, ‘later’ the RCC changed its view, and everyone can be saved, by God’s grace and mercy, if He chooses. (which I do believe that God is the ultimate Judge, no matter one’s faith on earth) But, I have heard the rumor that somewhere along the lines, the RCC was teaching that only Catholics will go to Heaven.

I wish I knew where these rumors begin.


Ok, I’ll give you a little history:

In 1869 Pope Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council (for clarification purposes, a General Council is named after the place it is held in- though some Councils in history bear the same name they are not necessarily related in their topics of discussion). This Council was called to discuss the issues Pius IX had already written about in his famous document the Syllabus of Errors, and to address the matter of Papal Infallibility (the dogma that, under certain circumstances, the Pope speaks infallibly in matters of faith and morals). Papal Infallibility was officially defined in the Council’s document Pastor Aeternus, but before other issues could be addressed the Masonic Revolutionaries in Italy invaded the Papal States and sacked Rome. Pius IX suspended the Council in 1870, though it was not yet formally closed.

The successors of Pius IX would not reopen the Council for fear that it would be hijacked by enemies of the Church. Pope St. Pius X warned of the growing threat of Modernism and Relativism in the Church, which provoked him to write his decree on Modernism, Lamentabili, the encyclical Pascendi and the Oath Against Modernism.

In 1960 Pope John XXIII officially closed the First Vatican Council. in 1962 he convened the Second Vatican Council. In his opening address the Pope, an optimist, denounced the “prophets of gloom and doom”. Vatican II was supposed to discuss a variety of issues, and the Liturgy was not one of them. Cardinal Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, said that the Council had no reason to discuss Liturgical matters. However the bishops of France, Germany, Belgium and Holland demanded that the Liturgy be added to the proposed agenda. For two years before Vatican II agendas, outlines and orders of business were prepared- only to be thrown out in the first session of the council. John XXIII died soon after- it is said that his last words were “stop the council!”.

Paul VI continued the Council, which produced 16 documents between 1962 and 1965. Not one of these documents contains any solemn definitions that Catholics are required to accept de fide (as an article of the faith). These documents deal with a variety of issues and are generally written with ambiguous language, leading to varying interpretations of the documents and even varying opinions on how the documents must be read. Because of this a vague ideology has emerged that suggests we follow in the “spirit of Vatican II” rather then the letter of Vatican II.

In regards to the Liturgy. The Council’s document on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, is very differant, even contradictory, from the Liturgical reforms that followed the Council. This document contains nothing regarding the position of the Altar, the way to recieve Holy Communion, the de-emphasis of the Mass as a Sacrifice, the abolition of Minor Orders and the Subdiaconate, the removal of statuary and iconography from churches, the removal of side-Altars and communion rails, dancing, folk-music, female Altar servers, lay Eucharistic ministers and lectors, multiple Eucharistic prayers, and many other things that have crept into the modern liturgy. The document did mandate the use of Latin (vernacular was suggested as an option for parts of the Proper Prayers pertaining to the congregation- Latin was to be kept for the Ordinary of the Mass, especially the Canon/Eucharistic Prayer), Gregorian Chant was reffered to as the Church’s greatest treasure and especially suited for the Liturgy. Sacrosanctum Concilium contained nothing that could remotely suggest the creation of a New Roman Rite.


Oh, another clarification- the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) was only written in 1983. It’s purpose and function is as a teaching tool.


All parts, in the sense that they are teachings of a general council. While Vatican II didn’t issue solemn-sounding orders with anathemas as we might find from other councils, its documents certainly contain a number of statements. Some of these merely echo exactly what other councils said before. Others may seem to provide a new perspective, and it is these statements that are often seen as controversial in traditional circles. But I don’t see how we can disregard any of them of or pick and choose which statements we want to believe and which we don’t. They all come from a general council.


But what are these teachings?


Just open any document of the Council and you’ll see declarative statements. OK, I’ll just pull one at random… here we go, from Nostra Aetate: “The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion.”

I’m not sure what you’re looking for here…


Some traditionalists say that the VII council documents contradicts the Truth (and thus are heretical). If I’m not mistaken, SSPX are one of them. Others say that they are just very vague and badly worded and that, while they say the truth they are often interpreted by modernists and twisted according to their image of the Church. What do you say to that?


Who are you asking?


Those who are willing to contribute. :slight_smile:

I have always run into some debates like that and found them deeply confusing. I was interested what you guys say to that.

Like the question of religious liberty. What is taught by V2? Some people say that it say that people have rights to worship pagan idols and say that that’s what is taught by the Council. I don’t buy that. While we can’t forcefully convert someone and should respect people’s free will, people don’t have a right to kill nor to commit idolatry.

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