Salvation outside Catholicism

If there is nothing new and nothing dogmatic is it even necessary?

Maybe you are not, but many are. The assertion that Vatican II was not infallible is commonly used by those that dissent from the Church’s teachings to remain in dissent while claiming they are merely clinging to the “true” teachings of the Church. Parroting the assertion that Vatican II was not authoritative promotes that viewpoint.

Since the Pope himself said that there wasn’t anything declared infallible at Vatican II, it is not just an assertion. Vatican II was authoritative but not declared infallible.

There are those who feel that certain documents confused years of traditional Catholic teaching and that is what they see as errors.

Also on the other extreme there are those who over the years made more out of what the Vatican II documents have said and promoted certain ideas that are not in line with Church teaching. These would be those who promoted ideas and activities “in the spirit of Vatican II”.

1 Like

I do not believe the Pope said this. Where are you getting this from?

Yes, I agree that certain elements within the Church, fringe elements, are dissenting from the teachings of Vatican II.

I hear this a lot, but I have not seen any evidence of it - at least not in about 40 years. Can you give an example of a current abuse based on the “spirit of Vatican II”?

Full paragraph:
There are those who wonder what the authority, the theological qualification, that the Council wanted to attribute to its teachings, knowing that it avoided giving solemn dogmatic definitions, engaging the infallibility of the ecclesiastical magisterium. And the answer is known to those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated November 16, 1964: given the pastoral character of the Council, it avoided uttering dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility; but it nevertheless provided its teachings with the authority of the supreme ordinary magisterium which ordinary and so obviously authentic magisterium must be accepted docilely and sincerely by all the faithful, according to the mind of the Council about the nature and aims of the individual documents.

You have to google translate, it is in Italian.

So, these are just a couple of examples: liturgical dance, false ecumenism, changes in thoughts on sexual morality, the push for female priests.


This part appears to be ignored regularly.

Yes, though it works both ways. There are those who refuse to accept anything of Vatican II and then those who try to make Vatican II say what it does not in order to change Church teaching on cultural and liturgical issues.

So in order to accept it docilely and sincerely one must accept it in light of what the Church has solemly taught throughout it’s history.


I know you did. And I pointed you to a few verses further down from your quote, in order to demonstrate the context. :wink:

OK. So, you and I differ in our opinions of what it means. We’re lucky, though – it’s not your or my opinion that matters, it’s the Church’s! And she described for us, in reasonable detail, in her documents of VCII!

Here’s the quote I used (emphasized) …in greater context.

Heb 10:
"19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.

the CCC says

CCC 2178 This practice of the Christian assembly dates from the beginnings of the apostolic age. The Letter to the Hebrews reminds the faithfulnot to neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but to encourage one another.”…
Enter the Catechism at this paragraph

IOW this section of the CCC is using this very passage from Hebrews to describe deliberately missing mass, after one has been given the knowledge of truth… And the consequences for that sin is dire for that person.

Just as I posted. HERE

I have seen that quote. I guess we read it differently. To me, he is saying that the Council made no new infallible pronouncements. I don’t think that means nothing in the documents is infallible. It certainly doesn’t mean the council is a junior council or lacking in authority.

As one example - most Catholics would probably say that EENS is an infallible doctrine. Vatican II devoted a fair amount of time (and space it the documents) to discussing the proper interpretation and application of EENS. EENS is not new, so that fits with the Pope’s statement. Is the Council’s interpretation of EENS authoritative - absolutely, that cannot be questioned. Is it infallible - I don’t think we know the answer to that question. The Church does not say, for example, what bits of the Dogmatic Constitution are infallible and which ones are not. What we do know is that Pope Paul says that he Council did not intend to promulgate new infallible dogmas, but that does tell us what in the existing teachings explained by the council is infallible.

With respect, that list is old, tired, and inaccurate. None of those things are found in Vatican II. I am not sufficiently expert to determine whether liturgical dance is an abuse or not, but I know I have never seen it in practice. Nothing in Vatican II has anything to do with changes in sexual morality - how do you even draw that connection? Same with female priests. As for so-called “false” ecumenism - I don’t know what that means either. Ecumenism has changed since Vatican II, and in part because of Vatican II, but I don’t know what part of that you consider false.

Correct. We are in agreement with this. What the Church had traditionally taught to be infallible and is discussed or referenced in the documents is definitely still infallible but because they did not define any new infallible dogmas and he is saying that the council itself falls under the authority of the ordinary magisterium, the council as a whole or the documents as a whole are not declared infallible. Taking absolutely nothing away from what has already defined as infallible and is in the documents. What has been declared infallible previously is still infallible.

Again, you are correct, except that the examples are not inaccurate but, yes, none of these are from Vatican II but the “spirit of Vatican II”.
This is the important part, the “spirit of Vatican II” is something that is not Vatican II but an excuse used for the many years after the council, for progressivism and to do or say things that go against the Traditions of the Church and to destroy many of the Traditions of the Church.

Again, you are correct, the “spirit of Vatican II” is something that people made up. It’s not real but a made up excuse for disobedience. Yes, none of those examples are from Vatican II, but people have used Vatican II as an excuse to disobey the Church’s traditional teaching.

Just as people complain about certain traditionalist groups that are not in full communion with the Church because of Vatican II, there are those who go the progressive other way and disobey with the excuse of "We are doing this in the “spirit of Vatican II” and that list can be very long, is worse and is part of the reason for the crisis in the Church today.

That phrase that was used so much in the last 40 some years, “the spirit of Vatican II” has probably been one of the main reasons the council is so controversial.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit