Pre-conciliar, Post-conciliar Church...Why is it centered around the Vatican II council?

Question is the title. Please fell free to answer and explain. I have always wondered myself. Thanks!

Any Council is very important in th life of the Church, the councils are part of the living tradition.

The XXI Ecumenical Council on the same way as the XIX Ecumenical Council (Trident) made quite significant changes.

This latest Ecumenical council emphasized the rule of the laity in the liturgy and in the life of the church, brought the Church closer to the word.

The XIX Ecumenical council lost half of the Christianity for the Church, the XXI wanted to reverse the process.

I understand that it has to deal with before and after councils but quite often the term is in relation to the Second Vatican Council.

Church councils almost always cause changes in liturgy, practice, etc.

Change is very threatening to some people. They are comfortable with things “the way they always have been”. To change the worship practices, and in some cases the “beliefs” that they have had for years threatens them, it is uncomfortable, and they do not want to deal with it.

Then, you have a few “traditionalists”, who worship the past instead of God. Instead of focusing on what is happening in the Mass, they focus almost solely on HOW it is happening. They reject the “New Mass”. because some Pope in the past extolled the virtues of that old practice, and they reject the changes, effectively saying that a later pope has neither the authority, or any business, changing whatever a previous Pope has either said or done.

If that were to actually be the case. then there would be no church buildings at all. Instead, we would all worship as Christians did during the days of Peter. We would gather in someone’s home, the Priest would just be another member of the Community selected for his piety, and the Mass would actually be a meal, in which the consecration was the main event.

I converted into the “Old” church (well before the 2nd Vatican Council). I love the older form of the Mass, and I miss the Latin music and chant. I miss the pomp and ceremony that had been essentially unchanged since the 1500’s.

BUT, I also know that the vast majority of Catholics could NOT understand any of the liturgies. They could not, and did not, participate in the liturgy. They went to Mass, sat there with a glazed look on their face, went through the mysterious ritual, and went home.

They rarely understood a word of what was being said. I couldn’t understand why that was, because as a child convert, I wanted to know what the Mass was all about. So, I learned the Latin of the Ordinary and of the proper of the Mass. I learned ALL of the responses of the servers, and I said them at the appropriate points (which used to upset some of my friends, because when they served Mass, they had to read the responses off a card).

I said those responses (and knew what they meant) at least 3 years BEFORE I was baptized and was allowed to serve at Mass.

I will also admit that I was a very rare exception. Most Catholics had no clue at all.

That was sad, because what was being said was (and is) prayer of great beauty and power. To have denied the people the power of that prayer, by insisting that the Mass be performed in a totally dead language was, in my opinion, a sin of the first magnitude.

I would personally rather see 50 people that actually want to participate in the Sacrifice of the Mass, than 500 people that are merely present in Church and don’t have any idea about what is being said.

The 2nd Vatican Council, among other things, forced the church to leave the 15th century and enter the 20th. The current changes to the prayers and responses are merely fulfilling what that Council demanded, a true ad faithful translation from the Latin, into the English Language. It is interesting that ONLY the English version of the Mass is being changed at this time, because it was ONLY the English version that did NOT faithfully translate toe words of the previous version of the Mass.

That’s really a mis-term. There is no “pre-conciliar” and “post-concilar” Church. There is but one Church, founded by Christ, which is eternal. A Council of the Church is a Council of the Church.

Nevertheless, the Roman Rite entails two forms found in the Missal of Paul VI and the Missal of Blessed John XXIII. Having spoken with many older Catholics that have had either positive or negative experiences with the ‘old Mass’ my only rebuttal is that the negative feelings an older Catholic laymen or clergy has regarding the ‘old Mass’ will hopefully not impede its celebration within the Church. Both forms have a place in the Church and perhaps the Extraordinary Form will enrich the simplicity of the Ordinary Form and ground that particular missal with liturgical continuity than being merely becoming a product of innovation and banality.

It’s centered around the Council because the Council has been touted as a kind of ‘Super Council’; one that over-rides previous ones and that ushered in a kind of ‘liturgical year zero’; everything began then, supposedly, in some people’s minds.

The problem with the Council is that Sacrosanctum Consilium is loosely worded for a legal document and can be interpreted to allow those archeologisms and novelties that annoy traditionalists.

Traditionalists like myself want access to the Traditional Latin Mass and would ideally like the older forms for the sacraments to be used and for feasts to be celebrated on their appropriate days. That sort of thing.

Personally, I believe I see two things causing a return to solemn worship and doctrinal rigour; the banality of modernist worship and the steely determination of the current Pope.

Also, modernists have no heirs. People come to see the novelty, then drift away. And it’s
sooo boring!

I submit that ‘Priest as presider’ is not as attractive to a young man discerning a vocation as ‘Priest as alter-Christus’ and all that that implies.

The chief problem with the Novus Ordo is that it has been taken as carte-blanche to
create a participant-focussed rite; it’s inward-looking. And that is very fatiguing.

How true this is!

The Church has been a “post-conciliar” Church since the council that met in Jerusalem in the Book of Acts.

I can only concur. It’s time for the Church to move beyond the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ and clearly examine the council with a ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ as stated by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. By the way, the Congregation for the Clergy produced an insightful video regarding the priestly vocation, Alter Christus:

What??? :eek: That is complete nonsense!

Lazlo…not only is this the poorest comment because of its bias, it also makes no sense in regards to what I was asking.

Everybody has to understand that the Mass is the Sacrifice of Christ, it cannot be labeled as banal.

The banal is some abuse which has nothing to do with the Mass. So was the traditional Mass finished less than 20 minutes from amice to amice, so less that 17 minutes around the altar; and so is the new Mass centering entirely on the human success with applause and theatrical performances.

The traditional Mass is extremely rare, and it changed significantly related to the average celebration before 1964. It filled up with reverence, either in the part of the priest and the attending laity. The new form stll has to be cleaned up from the abuses in many cases, but this may not be the reason to reject it as banal innovation. It is the same Mass of All Ages as the traditional Mass, the presence of Jesus Christ determines that not the human performance.

I think the answer is quite simple - the Mass, which is the “visible” portion of the Church, changed so radically that the “New” Mass, as most commonly offered, did not resemble the “old” Mass in the least. Moreover, certain practices were relaxed, such as abstention from meat on Friday, that, in the minds of many people, everything had been “loosened up” and relaxed as well - i.e., the “Spirit” of Vatican II. So, the combination of the change in the Mass and those who grabbed the “Spirit of Vatican II” and ran with it caused many to think of “two churches” - the stuffy, old, strict, rigid Pre-Vatican II Church, and the the hip, happening, “tolerant,” “modern,” “Episcopal-lite” post-Vatican II Church.

Of course, that wasn’t the intent of Vatican II, and Pope Benedict is trying to correct this, but that’s why you’ll often hear of the “Pre-” and “Post-” Conciliar Church.

The Mass celebrated according to the Missal of Paul VI can never be a banal or innovated sacrifice. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI becomes characterized by banality and innovation when a priest constructs his own Mass by departing from the Roman Missal. Lastly, I do regular attend the Ordinary Form of the Mass and at times the Extraordinary Form when it’s available. Thus, I’m not overly bias to some of the rhetoric found in traditional circles regarding the Tridentine Missal.

The changes that occurred were not even suggested by Vatican II:

As far as the priest facing the people:

There were dissidents inside and outside the Church. The reaction to Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which spoke against artificial birth control, was also opposed by these people.

I was in Catholic School before Vatican II. There were no eyes glazed over in church. You could get a Missal that had the Latin and English. There was also a Mass said in Polish.


Most of the past responses were pertaining to the document Sacrosanctum Concilium and the disaster of the implementation of Novus Ordo Mass. In addition to Sacrosanctum Concilium the other major documents of Vatican II were also ambiguous for being official Church documents. If one goes and reads documents from Pope St. Pius X (for example Pascendi Dominici Gregeis ) or from Pius XI (for example Quas Primas), those documents are powerful, affirming and straight forward. They proclaim the power of the Vicar of Christ over the Church as the Sovereign Pontiff.

The documents of Vatican II do not do this. They are written in a liberal style or a conservative style depending on who is reading the documents. This obviously has caused chaos among the faithful within and outside of the Catholic Church. Vatican II reduced the Catholic faith down to something a Protestant could understand in order to attract them to the Mass and the Catholic faith. Between having less saints’ feast days in the Novus Ordo calendar and the Protestant feel of the Novus Ordo Mass, a Protestant should feel right at home. But why would a Protestant change his religion for something he is already practicing (unless that Protestant is well formed and educated, example: Scott Hahn)?

The watering down of the faith has even caused Catholics to think they are the same as Protestants. Some of the documents nearly teach heresy (depending on their interpretation, which should not be needed since the Council should make teachings and doctrine clear to understand) saying that we share in worship of the same God of the present day Jews and Muslims. This is all false and should be considered false ecumenism which has been declared heresy in the past. Catholicism isn’t even a denomination like the Protestant religions are, the Truth can never be a denomination!

I suggest going to as well as watching this: (it is a 5 part series, please watch all 5)

This will help you to understand the post-conciliar and pre-conciliar Catholic Church

God Bless & Pope St. Pius X pray for us!

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