Pope: 2nd Vatican Council, work of Holy Spirit but some want to turn back the clock


In his homily at Mass today, Pope Francis talked about the Holy Spirit and Vatican II:

Nowadays, he went on, “everybody seems happy about the presence of the Holy Spirit but it’s not really the case and there is still that temptation to resist it.” The Pope said one example of this resistance was the Second Vatican council which he called “a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit.” But 50 years later, “have we done everything the Holy Spirit was asking us to do during the Council,” he asked. The answer is “No,” said Pope Francis. “We celebrate this anniversary, we put up a monument but we don’t want it to upset us. We don’t want to change and what’s more there are those who wish to turn the clock back.” This, he went on, “is called stubbornness and wanting to tame the Holy Spirit.”

Any thoughts about what changes he thinks are needed? How do we change and avoid turning back the clock?

I don’t know the mind of Pope Francis, but in terms of the Council, a good place to start is to look at the documents, themselves. For a long time, anyone who had a personal agenda would say “if you support Vatican II, support this initiative of mine, which is in the Spirit of Vatican II”. Let’s take another look at what the Council, itself, actually said, rather than guessing “how can we follow the Spirit of Vatican II”. My reading of the Council documents shows a lot that still needs to be implemented.

Good question. I guess the answer will surface as time goes by. I’m assuming that he is referring to anything that does not reflect the renewal that was asked for by the Council.

There have been extremes on the opposite fringes - some taking things to ridiculous extremes in liturgy and doctrine on one end, and some (on the opposite end) seemingly denying the renewal called for . Perhaps he is referring to the latter.

I’ve often wondered, as far as Traditionalists go, what type of renewal (liturgically) they think the Council was asking for. I seriously want to know. Granted, there have been many abuses, and there continues to be, but, to them (traditionalists), what should a renewed Liturgy look like? Exactly like the Traditional Latin Mass? If so, then what was the council talking about?

Could you say more about this? Are there things w haven’t done at all? Or things we’ve done incompletely?

Hoo boy. That statement by the Holy Father is going to wig some folks out…:wink:

but what if truly following the 2nd Vatican Council and the Holy Spirit means turning back the clock (especially when it comes to liturgy)? There are things that were implemented after V II that were never truly supposed to implemented in the way they were.

For example, while there was supposed to be reform to the liturgy, it was never supposed to be as drastic as it was. We’re only now starting to slowly see some of what was abandoned come back into the liturgy and we can’t even say that it’s universal.

I think that His Holiness is going to ruffle some feathers with this and good for him! It has been 50 years, people really do need to stop denying the lead of the Holy Spirit.

Are there abuses, yes. Have mistakes been made, yes. This is after all human beings trying to do the work.

That being said, there are many people that want to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that V2 never happened. They don’t like it. They don’t want to change, and they put themselves and their feelings above the council and the men chosen by God to lead them.

My personal opinion (which I have also heard from other trads) is that the Mass of 1965 was a good response to the Council. It introduced some vernacular while still retaining some Latin. Switching to completely vernacular Masses is not what the Council called for. Nor did the Council call for changing to versus populum or receiving Communion in the hand.

Here is a link to the1965 Mass if you are not familiar with it: coreyzelinski.8m.com/1965_Mass/


That’s why I think he is referring to those who have never really accepted any renewal whatsoever. There are those who will not even tolerate a very reverent and beautiful Novus Ordo Mass. The only thing acceptable to them is a Tridentine Mass. But that really reveals a big question: Exactly what is it that they think the Council was asking for? That things stay exactly same? I don’t think so.


How about this, we do what the Council called the Church to do and don’t worry about any ‘clocks’.

Are we called to obey the Church and the Council, or to watch clocks and see if the movement corresponds to a personal interpretation of what ‘forward’ means.

For ‘forward’ can only really be defined as towards the view that the Council, and thus the Spirit, has for the Church.

Thanks for the response!
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI suggested we all learn a minimum of Latin. In our increasingly global world, one would think that this would be imperative. In televised Masses from the Vatican, we could all unite ourselves more closely, all over the globe, if we were more familiar with some of the basic responses and prayers.

As far as “versus populum” goes, though, this seems to be the way that the Popes have been celebrating Mass, so it must be in accord (or at least not against) what could be expected from the renewal. Pope Benedict did, however, mention the value of “ad orientum”.

Exactly. Our goal is not change for the sake of change, but change which we are called to by the Spirit. Many of the changes after the Council were not things that the Council actually called for.

Pope Benedict established an Academy for the promotion of Latin. catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1204748.htm That is how important he thinks it is. Yet some people will dismiss studying and using Latin as “turning back the clock”.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with “versus populum”. However, the Church never taught that it should be the only direction for the Mass, which is what the situation practically was.

I am a bit concerned by it because I expect it to be misinterpreted. I think the “all change is good” people are likely to use it to support inappropriate changes.

There are “all change is bad” types also and that position is no better.

On both ends (the everything must cange and the nothing can change), :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

For the record, in the article posted, it leaves out an important line. In the article it says: “But after 50 years, have we done everything the Holy Spirit was asking us to do during the Council,” he asked. The answer is “No,” said Pope Francis.”

But in the full text, he said: "But, after 50 years, have we done everything that the Holy Spirit told us in the Council? In the continuity of the growth of the Church that the Council was? No.” This second sentence is very important, becasue it clarifies what he’s saying.

Nope. Doesn’t clarify a thing for me.

I have to wonder how Vatican II would have played out had it been implemented say in the 1950’s instead of the 60’s or even today instead of when it was.

The world, and America, was going through some very difficult societal changes exactly at the same time Vat.II was being implemented. There was the women’s movement, the hippie and yippie movements, the anti-war movement, radical left wing group movements and other societal earthquakes that I have to believe had a great effect at just how Vatican II was being brought into effect. These societal movements surely creeped into our Church, and the abuses from this period were many. Had Vat. II been brought in at a different time, a time of more peace and stability, I don’t think we would hear so many complaints and I think it would have been implemented in a much better way without the abuses. But as time moves on, the abuses are slowly being dealt with. Our Church doesn’t do anything in a hurry, and really, 50 years is a mere blip in our Church’s history.

I think the timing of Vatican II is the biggest problem with it.

Not sure if it will wig people out but I suspect it will help to confirm/cement the concerns of some.

Ha! Well, maybe clarify is the wrong word.

I mean that without that second sentence he could be talking about the “spirit of Vat II” craziness. But the “in continuity” part is a “hermeneutic of continuity” idea (I think), which means he’s referring to the orthodox/actual Vatican II, rather than the heterodox/coucil of the media/spirit of Vat II stuff.

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