Lumen Gentium

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

I think we have a basic disconnect concerning how the ordinary Magesterium operates; consider this quote from Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Humani Generis:

Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: “He who heareth you, heareth me” (cf. Luke 10:16); and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. (cf. Humani Generis #20)

If that is true regarding Encyclical Letters of the Popes, then certainly it is true regarding the pope-approved decrees, declarations, and constitutions of an Ecumenical Council.

Agreed! :smiley:

I truly appreciate your discussing all this in a rational manner; it is a fascinating and difficult subject.

In Christ.


I try to remain level headed. I agree with Bishop Sheen that many of the documents of Vatican II are beautiful presentations of the Catholic faith. However, I do question at least the wording of some of the statements from the Council.

Above all, though, I will submit my intellect and will to the Church, even when I just don’t get it.


A better question might be: show us where the Church decreed that the Orthodox Churches did NOT have valid sacraments?


I don’t see why that is a better question, since the poster to whom I was responding made the claim that the Church “has never waivered” in teaching that the Orthodox have valid sacraments. My question seems a natural one.

To address your question, however, I don’t know whether or not there is an explicit decree that the OC does not have valid sacraments. It would easily follow, however, from the statements of Aquinas and the “infallible” declaration of Boniface VIII that salvation can be found only by subjection to the Pope. Joe

Lumen Gentium of course has no binding power on the Church


In what bizarre traditionalist sect is the Catholic Dogmatic Constitution on the Church not binding?

If you can find one infallible Canon from Vatican II I would like to read it. There are none. Therefore NOTHING was “officially declared” or “defined”. Lefebvre himself did not follow “Vatican II”- and was not excommunicated for not following it.


Basically my parish, all the other “traditional” ones who refuse to offer the Novus Ordo Mass who are in communion with Rome.

There is not one declaration of a new dogma of faith or morals that was defined by Vatican II. All the other councils have their canons and decrees. Vatican II lacks that. And you MUST interpret anything from Vatican II not to ever contradict Sacred Tradition.



Sorry I don’t have time to go through all of this, but I think Dominus Iesus answers some objections to Lumen Gentium. If I were in charge, I would just say "The Catholic Church is the Church of Christ ***and ***; The Catholic Church subsists in the Church of Christ.

Answers to Main Objections to Dominus Iesus

Pope Urban II [Council of Piacenza, cap. x; cf. Can. Ordinationes, ix, qu. 1] says: “We command that persons consecrated by bishops who were themselves consecrated according to the Catholic rite, but have separated themselves by schism from the Roman Church, should be received mercifully and that their Orders should be acknowledged, when they return to the unity of the Church, provided they be of commendable life and knowledge.”

From the Summa:

Spiritual power is twofold, the one sacramental, the other a power of jurisdiction. The sacramental power is one that is conferred by some kind of consecration. Now all the consecrations of the Church are immovable so long as the consecrated thing remains: as appears even in inanimate things, since an altar, once consecrated, is not consecrated again unless it has been broken up. Consequently such a power as this remains, as to its essence, in the man who has received it by consecration, as long as he lives, even if he fall into schism or heresy: and this is proved from the fact that if he come back to the Church, he is not consecrated anew. Since, however, the lower power ought not to exercise its act, except in so far as it is moved by the higher power, as may be seen also in the physical order, it follows that such persons lose the use of their power, so that it is not lawful for them to use it. Yet if they use it, this power has its effect in sacramental acts, because therein man acts only as God’s instrument, so that sacramental effects are not precluded on account of any fault whatever in the person who confers the sacrament.

On the other hand, the power of jurisdiction is that which is conferred by a mere human appointment. Such a power as this does not adhere to the recipient immovably: so that it does not remain in heretics and schismatics; and consequently they neither absolve nor excommunicate, nor grant indulgence, nor do anything of the kind, and if they do, it is invalid.
Accordingly when it is said that such like persons have no spiritual power, it is to be understood as referring either to the second power, or if it be referred to the first power, not as referring to the essence of the power, but to its lawful use.

Likewise, since Leo XIII thought it necessary to rule on Anglican orders, beforehand there must have been valid reason to accept their orders. The Orthodox, on the other hand have preserved the various rites (unlike the Anglicans) and have not been re-ordained upon conversion.

First off, just because a counsil does not issue extraordinary definitions or canons does not mean it is meaningless. First, not all ecumenical councils have had dogmatic canons or definitions. Some have been completely disciplinary in nature, such as Lateran I and Lyons I. We are still bound to obey their directives unless they have been overrulled since. Likewise, according to the First Vatican Council we must hold to more than just solemn definitions:

“Wherefore, by divine and Catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in Scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the Church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium.”

We are bound to follow Vatican II as we are under obligation to be obedient to our lawful superiours (like the Pope and the bishops in union with him). The Council promulgated many documents that are specfic to certain stations of life. Instead of ignoring one’s lawful superiors (and thereby committing mortal sin and damning oneself), one should read the documents pertaining to one’s station in life and put its directives into action.

Dave, you are very astute in observing this, for yes, it is detailed at length in M.H.'s infamous website, under the book review “In the Murky Waters of V-II.” And, as you guessed, the site teaches clearly that V-II has “no binding power” since nothing was declared as infallible. My spirit aches for the hundreds of errors expounded as truth on this site, but this is one of the most deadly. IOW, get the people to believe they don’t have to obey and you can deceive them. Here is another example posted by Resurrexit:

I have not seen anyone respond to the truth in Whosebob’s reply. Could we have an Amen?

By way of a follow up to the OP’s original paragraph that has been continuously questioned and refuted by these websites, I would like to share some background for those who may have stumbled upon this false teaching.

[quote=Caesar’s Opening paragraph]

This Church, constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, there are many elements of sanctification and truth found outside her structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward Catholic unity (Constitution on the Church, I, 8).

The important word in this declaration is the verb subsists. Behind this carefully chosen word stands the claim that the actual fullness of Christ’s heritage to His Church – the fullness of His revealed truth, the fullness of the sacraments He instituted, the fullness of authority to govern the People of God in His name – resides in the Catholic Church of which the Bishop of Rome is the visible head.

Other Christian bodies share, in greater or less degree, in these elements of sanctification and truth that exist in their divinely intended fullness – hence subsist – in the Roman Catholic Church. These elements, we are told, “are forces impelling toward Catholic unity.” In other words, Christian bodies are drawing closer to the unity willed by the Redeemer in the measure that they share in the supernatural riches of the Catholic Church.

I have seen the OP’s quote posted on other forums, for the main objection of these traditionists is that it promotes [rightly so] ecumenism … and this is their main objection.

That’s contrary to Catholic tradition…rather odd coming from those calling themselves traditionalists.

For instance, Vatican I states:

Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.

All of the Vatican II documents are published and promulgated as Acta Apostolicae Sedis by the Roman Pontiff. Those who pretend they aren’t binding, are terribly ignorant of Catholic teaching on the matter.

From the Same Council:

For the Holy Spirit promised to the successors of Peter, not that they would unfold new doctrine which He revealed to them, **but **that, with His assistance, they would piously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith handed on [Tradition] through the Apostles.

The point being, that they are limited in authority to:
**piously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith handed on…****through the Apostles.
**So, the question becomes:
Did VAT II exceed that limititation?
Is there any declaration that was in fact missing in the “**revelation or deposit of faith handed on…****through the Apostles.”
**An indication would be if cannot be found in the perennial teaching of the Magisterium.
Such a suspicion may arise if no precedent group of church documents is ever referenced.
The limit is “faithfully expound” the historical Deposit of Faith.

No, according to multiple popes, therefore the decrees of Vatican II are binding.

Or perhaps you think it traditional to assert that the TAUGHT Church have any Divine magisterial authority to authentically decree otherwise? This tired polemic seems to me to be nothing more than the “we are Church” movement, Traditionalist Edition. :rolleyes: The only one vested with the authority to authentically interpret Sacred Scritpure or Sacred Tradition is???

In other words, at what point do so-called traditionalists understand the absurdly UNtraditional nature of dissent with what the Vicar of Christ has FORMALLY promulgated as an Act of the Apostolic See?

According to these self-proclaimed “traditionalists” (here), Pius IX, Pius X, and Pius XII ALL taught heresy, as did Pius V, Innocent X, Clement XI, and Pius VI using the SAME weak polemic used to erroneously justify dissent with Vatican II. One ought to wonder from whence the often used counter-magisterial dissent from the Vicar of Christ comes from, no? St. Catherine of Sienna, doctor of Church, taught that such dissension with the Vicar of Christ is always a deception of the Devil.

I stick with the judgments formally promulgated by the Vicar of Christ, becaus if one should depart from unity with the Chair of Peter, then they are no longer Catholic: "we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff." (Unam Sanctum)var site=“s20papal”

How about the Eastern rite Catholics. Does the above also hold true for them. From what some say—the Eastern rites do not have to believe or hold to all our doctrine.
To include what is posted below—even our Councils are being rejected.

It seems the Latin rite is being sold down river—so that the Catholic Church will be more palatable to the Orthodox.

Post 306
Quote= Fr Ambrose

The Eastern Catholic Churches seem not to accept all the Councils of the Church of Rome. …

This is from the programme for Sunday schools on the official website of the Melkite Catholic diocese in the States.

Q. 8 How many Ecumenical Councils were held?

a. Seven Ecumenical Councils

9 Was the Vatican council an ecumenical council? Why?, why not?

a. The Vatican council was not an ecumenical council – no participation from the Orthodox

I’m not interested in what “some say,” least of which Fr. Ambrose or any other person clinging to the grave sin of schism.

I am interested in what the Roman Pontiff has to say, has said, and continues to hold binding in accord with the Constitutions, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and canon law, formally promulgated as an Acta Apostolae Sedis.

Nonetheless, as with Latin Rite Catholics, there are likely to be dissident Melkite Catholics, which other dissidents are fond of quoting from to further their agenda. What value comes from listening to dissidents?

According to Melkite Bishop John Elya:

While the first seven ecumenical councils enjoy a place of prominence, especially in the East, both the Churches of the East and West have experienced local councils and synods throughout their rich histories. The early ecumenical councils met to resolve and articulate important Christological doctrines. The Melkite Church participated fully in Vatican I and Patriarch Gregory spoke clearly to his affirmation of the fullness of power enjoyed by the Petrine Office. The Patriarch was very concerned that the exercise of papal powers be “in harmony with the rights of the other Patriarchal Sees.” The second Vatican Council is seen to have completed the unfinished business of Vatican I with its special emphasis on ecclesiology, specifically on the nature of the Church.

Recent theological speculation has developed the concept of “communion of churches” with promising results for ecumenism and rapprochement with the Orthodox. It would be a simple rekindling of the old controversy of conciliarism to suggest that some councils are less ecumenical than others. With the promulgation of the Holy Father, the doctrinal content of the various councils is a part of the sacred magisterial teaching of the Church to which Melkites in full communion with the See of Rome give wholehearted assent. (source)

***As Catholics, we are bound to all of the decrees of the councils that have been promulgated by the Holy Father. ***(source)

Consequently, Eastern Catholics are bound as follows:“each and everything set forth definitively by the Magisterium of the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals must be firmly accepted and held” (Canon 598, § 2, Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches).

Moreover, “a religious submission of intellect and will is to be given to any doctrine which either the Supreme Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising their authentic Magisterium, declare upon a matter of faith and morals, even though they do not intend to proclaim that doctrine by definitive act. Christ’s faithful are therefore to ensure that they avoid whatever does not accord with that doctrine.” (Canon 599, ibid.)

Gee, Dave

What, exactly am I held to believe in VATII. that was not already believed everywhere and by all historical Catholics? A good example would help.

we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Unam Sanctum)var site=“s20papal”

Agreed, as well:

[FONT="]Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Bull Cantate Domino, 1442, ex cathedra: “…the holy Roman Church, founded on the words of our Lord and Savior, firmly believes, professes and preaches one true God, almighty, immutable and eternal, Father, Son and Holy Spirit… Therefore it [the Church] condemns, rejects, [/FONT]**reprobat] **[FONT="]anathematizes and declares to be outside the Body of Christ, which is the Church, whoever holds opposing or contrary views.”[/FONT]


Nostra Aetate #4 of Vatican II: “…the Jews should not **be **presented as rejected [reprobati] or cursed by God…”

Does “should” make this a binding doctrine?
Or does “[FONT=&quot]firmly believes, professes and preaches…” and "[/FONT]we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely…"


[quote]Nostra Aetate #4 of Vatican II: “…the Jews should not be presented as rejected [reprobati] or cursed by God…”

Does “should” make this a binding doctrine?

This argument is so completely flawed and I sense, without looking, that this also is more of the distortion found on the infamous websites. But why do you swallow this as gospel, TNT, rather than listen to the Church? I suppose I can’t stop you from what you “choose” to believe, but maybe I can point out these websites’ deliberate attempt to “kill and destroy.”

I have to give them credit for the hours and hours they spend perusing every word in the Vatican II documents, such as they did above with the single word “subsist.” Problem is, people fail to check the source to see what the truth is, and believe the lie presented completely out of context.

Let’s take a look at the source document and see how far they have moved from the truth of it. Your single word of disagreement [should] is posted in red.

Indeed, the Church believes that by His cross Christ, Our Peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles. making both one in Himself.

Nevertheless, God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle.

True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ.

Besides, as the Church has always held and holds now, Christ underwent His passion and death freely, because of the sins of men and out of infinite love, in order that all may reach salvation.

Vatican II is congruent with the Sacred Tradition which came before it, according to the four Roman Pontiffs since Vatican II. Consequently, you are bound by the 1983 Code of Canon Laws to give your religious submission of intellect and will to all the Constitutions, Declarations, and Decrees of Vatican II, as well as the *Catechism of the Catholic Church, *and any other Acta Apostolicae Sedis promulgated by the Roman Pontiff congruent with mind and intent of the Roman Pontiff.

So when I hear, “Lumen Gentium of course has no binding power on the Church,” I’m astonished at how modernist doctrines on dissent have infected those claiming the name traditionalist!

From the 1909 Catholic Encyclopedia: Tradition and the Living Magisterium, written during the papacy of St. Pius X:

…it will be understood that the living magisterium searches in the past, now for authorities in favour of its present thought in order to defend it against attacks or dangers of mutilation, now for light to walk the right road without straying. The thought of the Church is essentially a traditional thought and the living magisterium by taking cognizance of ancient formulas of this thought thereby recruits its strength and prepares to give to immutable truth a new expression which shall be in harmony with the circumstances of the day and within reach of contemporary minds…

The living magisterium, therefore, makes extensive use of documents of the past, but it does so while judging and interpreting, gladly finding in them its present thought, but likewise, when needful, distinguishing its present thought from what is traditional only in appearance.

It is revealed truth always living in the…present thought of the Church in continuity with her traditional thought, which is for it the final criterion, according to which the living magisterium adopts as true or rejects as false the often obscure and confused formulas which occur in the monuments of the past. Thus are explained both her respect for the writings of the Fathers of the Church and her supreme independence towards those writings–she judges them more than she is judged by them.

The living magisterium vested ONLY in the current pope and the bishops in communion with him can give immutable truth a “new expression.” What dissidents erronously and non-authoritatively claim is “new doctrine,” is in the eyes of the magisterium a new expression of the same doctrines.


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