Hypothetical question regarding a liberalized "Catholic Church"

Say there were a “Third Vatican Council”… and, as a result, there came of it a complete embrace of religious plurality (eg: Catholicism is no longer closer to the Truth than, say, Buddhism), radical changes in Tradition and interpretation of Scripture (accordingly so), acceptance of things that have always been declared as moral evils (eg: abortion, fornication, homosexuality) … in a word: the “Church” became “politically correct” in conformity with the modern secular world - how would you react? Would you accept this as God’s will? Would a Schism be entirely called for? Would you consider this the “end times”? Or is this an irrelevant question, since the Church would or could never go down that path? Just curious… since even Vatican II clearly riled up some Catholics.

If the Church ever changed Doctrine this would be proof that She could not actually be the “One True Church established by Jesus Christ” (because that’s what the word CHANGE means - it was once one thing, but now it is another).

I would probably seek refuge in the Greek Orthodox Church - at least that’s Catholic.

But, of course, this is hypothetical - Jesus has assured us that this will never happen.

since even Vatican II clearly riled up some Catholics

I think that most people were riled up about the effects of Vatican II, when many abuses were introduced to ignorant people “in the spirit of Vatican II.” I have yet to encounter anyone who can cite any specific Council resolution that s/he actually disputes on a doctrinal basis (and I have asked many times).

a). No.
b) Yes

If such were to be the case, not only would I leave the Church, I would revert back to being an atheist. Fortunately, it will never happen.

Sadly, a small but vocal number of ex-Catholic extremists claims that we don`t need Vatican III to make it happen: Vatican II has already done it.
Look at the Dimond “Brothers”, Gerry Matatics and the SSPV, for starters.

H Kung would like to see Vatican III (his apostate version), though…!

It’s irrelevant since the Church would/could never go down that path.
I find it sad when a Catholic even entertains the idea that she could take that path – sad, because it indicates to me that their faith in Jesus and His Church is not total. It’s as if they’re holding something back - not committing totally.

Indeed, it is a lifetime effort rather than a one-time deal. We are all in need of asking for the grace to deepen our faith and our unity in Christ.

I understand that - and I ask myself that all the time, having only returned back home to His Church very recently. Deep wounds will take a while to heal. I am talking about faith, by the way. As for committing: No, it is total. I know the Church is the One; I’m just trying to internalize that to the fullest extent possible. I will never leave the Church again. God bless you.


The Holy Spirit guides the church and would not allow this to happen. You might as well ask “If God suddenly appeared and told you that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven you must kill every blond haired person you see, would you do it?”

This said, if you are curious where “liberal” catholcism can end up if its allowed to follow its own course, there is this great Australian documentary called “The Trouble with Saint Mary’s” about the first Catholic Parish to perform gay marriages and the chaos than ensues. An absolutely brilliant documentary that manages to be respectful toward both the Catholic Church and this dissident Catholic group.

And I was going to post the link, but its no longer available online :frowning:

Anyway, after separating from the Catholic Church (and getting excommunicated) the church’s theology eventually evolves to the point that they no longer believe Jesus Christ ever existed or even the idea of Christ or what he is purported to have said is important. Thus, the church that was very big on Social Justice (the one good thing this parish was doing was very seriously feeding the poor) kind of gives up on it as it no longer seems important and instead focuses on self-actualization.

Would it be considered a sin to kill myself rather than live under this type of Vatican III?

True. I was testing the waters here, really. I’m sorry if that offends anyone - though, I assure you, the intention was good.

Exactly what I was driving at - that would be the case in any such hypothetical situation. Of course it won’t happen; but I wanted to see what the responses would be here, for the sake of discussion, debate, and correction. I hope I won’t be judged harshly or wrongly for it. But, if it were blasphemous to even ask such a question, I will ask the Lord for forgiveness immediately and at my next Confession. God bless.

Well, this hypothetical liberal Vatican III would probably legitimize euthanasia… :rolleyes:

By the way, out of interest, I figured out the average period between church councils. The greatest gap between councils was between Trent and Vatican I (307 yrs). The smallest was between the Second Council of Ephesus and the Council of Chalcedon (just 2 yrs). The average gap is about 66 1/2 years. Since we are currently 46 years out from a council, that would statistically place Vatican III around the middle of 2031.

It would lol

But, in all seriousness: I regret having even inquired about this - it was irreverent and careless.

But, in all seriousness: I regret having even inquired about this - it was irreverent and careless

And I would like to apologize for the way I worded my post. Upon rereading it, I realize it implies your faith might not be total. It was very wrong of me to write a post that would imply such a thing.

I pray God will hasten the healing of your wounds. And I for one am very glad to have you back in the family of the Church.

God bless you too.

The changes you mention would constitute apostasy. On a theological level, I don’t believe this is possible.

That’s not unreasonable of me to believe, because even on an earthly/worldly level, it’s extremely unlikely to be anything but highly implausible. Theology has far more room for nuance than most outsiders or even traditionalists realize, so whatever impetus would cause such changes would most likely simply be swallowed up by the Church’s orthodox faith.

As for Vatican II, there is simply no comparison. Despite the knee-jerk reactionary hysteria of some simpleminded extremists, it remains incontrovertibly true that nothing in the documents themselves of the Second Vatican Council is even remotely heretical. The idea that Vatican II could ever, properly interpreted, lead to religious indifferentism or approval of immoral acts is the gibberish of academically sloppy reactionaries ill-qualified to engage in theology properly.

I used to say in response to scenarios like this that I would simply convert to the eastern Orthodox Church. But after what I’ve learned theologically and historically about the papacy in the context of first millennium ecclesiology, I no longer see the Eastern Orthodox as a credible claimant to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

So I suppose I’ll just have to stick with, "I’m confident this hypothetical will never come to pass."

Oh… perhaps I’d convert to Hinduism.

Having returned to the Church from the Protestant faith, I quickly came to realize that most outsiders are unaware of the nuances of Catholic theology in general.

I must say, Sedevacantists have made me tremble a little. But even plain intuition says to me, “Why would God let such a thing happen?” He didn’t during the Great Schism, or the Protestant Reformation - why now? No, in reality: it’s just more fear mongering in an age where fear mongering is everywhere.

All water under the bridge, Nita - we both learned some things from it, thus it has only strengthened our faiths :slight_smile:

Again, thank you - and let God forgive us our trespasses and forever bless His Church.


never has happened and never will

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