Tradition vs. Vatican II

I have been looking into the whole controversy surrounding Vatican II and i am beginning to question whether some of the things which it taught can be reconsiled with catholic tradition. For example,

Vatican II Declaration, Nostra Aetate (#4): “Although the
Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be
presented as rejected or cursed by God,
as if such views
followed from the holy scriptures.”3

but the council of florance appears to say:

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 Holy Roman Church] condemns, rejects, anathematizes and
declares to be outside the Body of Christ, which is the Church, whoever holds
opposing or contrary views.”

so it would appear that Vatican II is saying that the Jews are not rejected, even though Pope Eugene IV says that all who hold opposing views are rejected.

another thing which i question is:

Vatican II document, Lumen Gentium # 16:
“But the plan of salvation also embraces those who
acknowledge the Creator, and among these the muslims are
first; they profess to hold the faith of Abraham and along
with us they worship the one merciful God
who will judge mankind on the last day
.”49

this is also repeated in the new catachism (841). This really puzzles me becuase muslims reject jesus that jesus is God and they do not recognize him as their judge. In addition to this popes of the past have taught that no one can really worship God unless he is in the catholic church, so to say that muslims worship the same God as we do seems contradictory

*Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio (# 6), May 27, 1832:
“Therefore, they must instruct them in the true worship of God, which is unique to the
Catholic religion
.”50

Pope St. Gregory the Great: “The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible
to worship God truly except in Her
…”51*

Vatican II and catholic tradition also seem to differ on religious liberty. Dignitatis Humanae, seems to teach that man has religious freedom:

*Vatican II document, Dignitatis humanae # 2:
“**This Vatican synod declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom.*Such freedom consists in this, that all should have such immunity from coercion by
individuals, or by groups, or by any human power, that no one should be forced to act
against his conscience in religious matters, nor prevented from acting according to his
conscience, whether in private or in public
, within due limits… This right of the human
person to religious freedom should have such recognition in the regulation of society to become a civil right
.”67

While Pius IX seems to say the opposite:

Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura (# 3), Dec. 8, 1864:
“From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster ** that erronious opinion,
* most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the
salvation of souls, called by Our predecessor, Gregory XVI, an insanity, namely,
the liberty of conscinece and and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in
every rightly constituted society
*

im curious as to what to make of this, can someone help me out?

I am certain I cannot address all those points because I simply do not have enough time. I can, however, discuss the first point. I can’t give an answer, because I don’t have one. I have only additional things to contemplate.

It is important to take the ex cathedra statement in context. What was the social and political climate of the time? What was the context in which the pope felt that statement needed to be made? To whom was it addressed? Is it referring to rejection from eternal life, or simply rejection from the Church? (because there is a difference). These things need to be looked into before jumping to conclusions.

In the City of God, St. Augustine talks about a City of God analogy which is inclusive of people outside the Church. He also says that there are those in the Church who are not in the City of God. This is an analogy of course, and does not constitute official doctrine. However, it is an example that the idea of salvation and “being one with God” is possible outside of the Catholic Church existed well before Vatican II.

Ya’l git some sleep. We’ll talk about this tomorrow. Everything will be clearer then.
Til I git back, memorize my sigs.

Yes it is indeed curious. It is also something that many modern thinking Catholics don’t like to admit for fear of being called judgemental or worse, politically incorrect. The plain truth is that for centuries the Church taught that outside the Church there was no salvation except in very limited circumstances. That is an historic fact and no amount of crying and breast beating can change that cold hard fact.

What I think Vatican II did was try to find a common ground where none really existed. Particularly in the case of the Muslims, whose faith was developed hundreds of years after the death of Christ. While true, Islam did grow out of a conglomeration of beliefs which included elements of Christianity, I don’t think in declaring they worship the true God that the Church was speaking in a well thought out way and definitely was not speaking in an infallible context.

All the council says is that the Muslims themselves profess to have the faith of Abraham it does not say they actually do have it.
As for religious freedom have a look at this.
ewtn.com/library/DOCTRINE/RELLIB.TXT

So is one to conclude that an Ecumenical Council called by a Pope and whose conclusions were approved by a Pope is teaching heresy? Or is it just possible that many of us do not have sufficent knowledge and understanding of previous doctrinal pronouncements to make such a judgement in the face of acceptance by at least two succeeding Popes. If we accept that only the magisterium is the final judge on interpretations of Sacred Scripture where does that leave us with regard to that same magisterium’s comment on interpretation of the Council? Seems somewhat difficult to have it both ways. Maybe it is best to “suck it up” and believe that the majisterium knows of what it speaks even if that leaves us puzzled.

That’s the whole point. It shouldn’t leave us puzzled. Mysteries are about God, not the Vatican, nor its priests.

If anyone knows of any Ecumenical council that has had to have as much (16milllion pages?) “explaining”, and “interpretation”, as to HOW it somehow could agree with past councils, definitions, encyclicals, bulls, etc. that preceded it, let me know.
And that goes for any that have not really, really meant what it appears to have said to all but a double jointed theological contortionist.:wink:

:rotfl:

Why should it be so difficult for Catholics who are not:

[LIST]
*]professional theologians
*]historians of doctrine
*]acquainted with Hebrew, Greek, Latin, & other tongues
*]qualified in any way whatever to pronounce upon the meaning of theological texts[/LIST]to realise that, just possibly,
[LIST]
*]the Popes
*]the other bishops present at Councils (assisted by their theological experts)[/LIST]may actually be better qualified to judge what is or is not authentic Catholic doctrine than the laity ? Those who accuse Vatican II of teaching heresy are behaving just as the Old Catholics did after Vatican I - the Popes & the other bishops have shown themselves satisfied that Vatican II and its reforms were Catholic. Or aren’t the Popes sufficiently well equipped to be able to judge ?

To assume that the magisterium is teaching true doctrine isn’t “sucking up” - it’s appreciating that there are others than oneself in the Church, who do know what they are doing, are doing it, & are equipped to do it. It’s not surprising that those of us who aren’t bishops - which is almost everyone in the Church - don’t always understand how the magisterium moves from one expression of a doctrine to another; most of us have other things to do than study theology in detail: let alone become expert in even one branch of it.

Reading the Baltimore Catechism, or the CCC, is not enough to make the reader a qualified interpreter of theological documents: theology is a science, as truly as physics & biology. Most people don’t expect to become authorities on the law of contracts by reading a few of them; they aren’t lawyers themselves, which is why they rely on those who are. Theology is equally technical - yet for some reason people forget this. If people don’t assume they are qualified to judge legal documents, why do they think they are qualified to judge theological documents ?

may actually be better qualified to judge what is or is not authentic Catholic doctrine than the laity ? Those who accuse Vatican II of teaching heresy are behaving just as the Old Catholics did after Vatican I - the Popes & the other bishops have shown themselves satisfied that Vatican II and its reforms were Catholic. Or aren’t the Popes sufficiently well equipped to be able to judge ?

i agree, with what you are saying but at the same time one must remember that in the 5th century with the nestorian crisis, the first person to speak out against nestorius’ heresy was a layman, and this action was praised throughout the church.

There were far fewer Fathers at Trent than at V2 - V2 was attended by about 2,600 IIRC. So, it produced a mountain of paperwork. So did Vatican I. Trent had to be explained too. If one is unaware of this:

See under IV. CONGREGATION OF THE COUNCIL

  • Vatican II can look unusual in having to be explained. It’s not.

Nicea I needed to be reconciled with the past just as V2 does - when Nicea used the expression homōousion tō Patri, it was using a word that had been used in an heretical sense just over 50 years before - the only tradition of use the homōousion had in 325, was an unorthodox one. But as Nicea I was held very long ago, its likeness to Vatican 2 (in certain respects) isn’t felt to be a problem in the way that aspects of V2 are. That’s to be expected - past events & people can easily seem to be more obviously venerable & self-evidently right, once they are a few lifetimes in the past, than they were thought to be when they were happening or were alive. It’s a pretty safe bet that, by 2100, V2 will have begun to look pretty much as V1 looks to a lot of “Traditional” Catholics now.

i agree, with what you are saying but at the same time one must remember that in the 5th century with the nestorian crisis, the first person to speak out against nestorius’ heresy was a layman, and this action was praised throughout the church.

And, so? Are you implying that the laity are more correct than the Church with regard to Vatican II?

Remember, a woman of antiquity thought she was wiser than God and convinced her husband to eat of the fruit. :wink:

i’m just recognizing both sides of the issue

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