Vatican II changes things?

How do I answer this?:

"Take your time and read it and look up any information on it. Don’t jump to conclusions by just the first few things but keep reading. I found it interesting, I’m sure you will too.
This is some information I found to be interesting, the RCC had a meeting from 62-65 called Vatican II. What is the Vatican II? My understanding is it took place in October of ‘62. There were 2,540 bishops and others of the RCC gathered in Rome for this session. This session was to make some innovations to the old laws that the RCC followed. They held the last session on December 8, 1965 and when they were finished meeting they basically announced that a lot in the RCC was changing. Changing? No, they don’t change. Let’s see if they do or not…

One thing that changed was the Language of the Mass. Which there wasn’t even Latin in the New Testament church. Latin didn’t even come about until the 6th century, but anyway, they changed their mass Language.

Fasting also changed at this meeting. Before all this fasting was anything after midnight before you could receive the Holy Communion. It was changed to from midnight for 3 hours. Then in 1964 it went from 3 hours to one hour at the decree of Pope Paul VI.
Then changed again in 1983, before you were not even aloud to drink water or medicine and then in 1983, you were aloud to take medicine before you received the Holy Communion. Which if I’m right, wasn’t it a mortal sin to take of the Holy Communion in a manner that wasn’t according to the RCC?

Eat Meat on Friday was another not aloud before this meeting atleast in the US. Other countries still follow the “Do not eat meat on Friday” rule and it even is part of their new Code of Canon Law, Canons.

Another change was Sunday Attendance at mass. Before Vatican II, Catholics were required and was considered a mortal sin if they didn’t attend Mass on Sundays. Now they have Saturday evening Mass to take the place of Sunday Mass which before the Vatican II was unheard of.

Before Vatican II, the Catechisms stood that you must go in a room and tell the priests your sin to obtain forgiveness of that sin. Since then there has been a Introduction to the New Order of Penance, something called “general absolution” The document states "Individual and integral confession and absolution remains the only ordinary way by which the faithful may be reconciled with God and with the Church, except when this is physically or morally impossible….without individual confession of sins.

Celibacy of the Priest is another one that changed.
Pope Paul VI on Priestly Celibacy: In virtue of the fundamental norm of the government of the Catholic Church, to which we alluded above, while on the one hand, the law requiring a freely chosen and perpetual celibacy of those who are admitted to the Holy Order remains unchanged, on the other hand, a study may be allowed of the particular circumstances of married sacred ministers of Churches or other Christian communities separated from the Catholic communion, and of the possibility of communion and to continue to exercise the sacred ministry. The circumstances must be such, however, as not to prejudice the existing discipline regarding celibacy (#42)
Recently, married Episcopal priests have been permitted to become Roman Catholic priest while remaining married. Changed? or not?

Pre-Vatican II teaching on this subject was “All are obliged to belong to the Catholic church in order to be saved.” (129). This same doctrine was often expressed, Outside the church there is no Salvation." Since the Vatican II Catholic priest take part in ecumenical (the idea that all Christian churches are one) services and functions in various cities and at various times. Not all priests but some do.

Reminding you that most if not all of these were mortal sins. This is not just a statement but something that is wrong one day and not the next day. How can something be sin one day and not the next? "

Could you please restate and focus **your **question rather than quote some lengthy wandering writing that I assume is from someone else?

I mean, what is it you really are asking? Can you put it in one sentence?


I guess to simplify it: Catholics are unchanged for 2000. Does the Vatican II contradict pre-vatican II beliefs? Did Catholics change what was considered sin and not sin? Or are we still the same church?


Perhaps. Do you have specifics? I mean, there are certain disciplinary matters that can and may change that may have previously been considered “sinful” and no longer are. This does not mean truth has changed.

Absolutely! Same God, so imho same Church. Of course, on the other hand, many of the externals have obviously changed.

You can respond by saying “irrelevant”. Most of these are disciplines of the Church, and thus the Church has the power to change them. No doctrines were changed.

More specifically, eating meat is allowed on Fridays outside of Lent, if one performs another act of mercy or penance. General absolution is only allowed in a very narrow set of criteria. My bishop cracked down on this a few years ago.

The last one is troublesome because we’re still working it out.

If all else fails, just ask them when their denomination was created. Less than 500 years ago, I bet.

As has been pointed out, there is a need to distinguish between disciplines which can and do often change and dogma which does not.

Pre-Vatican 2 such disciplines were changed as

priestly celibacy, since in the beginning all Latin priests could be married,
the length of fasting before communion went from midnight the night before to three hours before,
prayers were added to the Mass and its structure changed around a bit, not to mention changing from Greek to Latin
communion in the hand and distribution of the chalice to the laity were first allowed and then forbidden (some time after Vatican 2 they were permitted again)
rules on Lenten fasting and abstinence changed (I believe)

In terms of ‘no salvation outside the Church’ the primary difference was a clarification of what it actually means to be IN the Church.

Just as one can be indissolubly and indisputably a member of one’s biological family by means of the blood relationship, and yet not even know who one’s biological parents are, so people can without knowing be a member of the Catholic Church, since it is no more nor less than the body of Christ, to which in at least some sense all the baptised and all the saved belong. Although not all people know this.

HAHA!~ She’s CoC. I’ve tried telling her that ^ but she insists her church started at Pentecost.

Just a few quick responses:

-Church has never authorized general absolution, except when troops are about to go into battle or other such extremely rare and extraordinary circumstances. And that was true before and after V2, both.

-The Church changed disciplines regarding fasting, priestly celibacy, etc. before Vatican II many times, did afterward, and probably will again. Those are not essentials. They are almost like changing the mass schedule at a parish in their significance - compared to matters of faith and morals.

-The Church has never changed a doctrine on faith or morals and never will.

-Saying that people are obliged to believe in Jesus to obtain salvation is NOT the same thing as saying “no salvation outside of the Church.”

-Vatican II did not change the mass. The mass was changed in 1970 after the council. And Latin was never replaced even then. Celebrating in English and other languages was made an OPTION. It was then, and is now, still permitted to say the “new” mass in Latin. It’s just that in this country English seems to have become the norm.

One of the big ones I struggle with understanding is the comparison between the pre-Vatican II and post Vatican II teachings on No Salvation Outside the Church (NSOC). The problem is that it seems the Church has given the meaning an entirely different sense than it had always meant for 2000 years. Vatican I infallibly defined that dogmas must be understood in eodem sensu (in the same sense) with the same meaning as they have always had and that no increase in knowledge can change the same sense that the Church has always understood these dogmas. That said, let me share a quick infallible quote that the Church has given as a dogmatic definition concerning NSOC:
The Council of Florence (A.D. 1438-1445) From Cantate Domino — Papal Bull of Pope Eugene IV:
(Infallible General Council & Ex Cathedra papal declaration)
“The sacrosanct Roman Church…firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

For a list of these traditional quotes on this topic, check out my blog where I’ve posted them: (I will soon be compiling many Vatican II quotes to compare with the pre VII.)

In light of this infallible declaration and bearing in mind that the Church cannot change her infallible teachings or assign a different sense of understanding to them than that in which they’ve previously been understood, how can the Church now proceed to say things like this:
Vatican II, Lumen Gentium #16:
“But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans …
Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.” [size=1]

The modern Catechism also states the following:
[/size]"Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity. "

The following heresy was solemnly condemned in Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors: HERESY #16. “Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation.”

I have been struggling for quite some time trying to reconcile the pre-concilliar and post concilliar teachings on this matter and so far have not been able to do so without damaging the intended meanings of one text or the other. The Church prior to Vatican II clearly taught that one needed to be Catholic to be saved. Now it seems the Church is teachings that there is salvation for those people who are outside the Church and do not join her at least by desire before they die. St. Thomas Aquinas taught that if someone was outside the Church and unable to gain knowledge of things necessary for salvation (i.e. Trinity, Incarnation, etc.), then God would send an angel to that person or infuse them with such knowledge, so that the person could explicitly believe and be saved. Now it seems the Church is saying that a good Jew could be saved as a good Jew just invincibly ignorant of the truth of the Catholic faith; yet the infallible declaration above states that Jews will perish if they do not enter the Church because the sacraments will be of no use to them. I understand we can try to piece these together, but my biggest problem in doing so is that it seems to give the previous 2000 years of Church teachings a different sense than that which they were taught and understood.

I’m interested if anyone else has any thoughts or input on this matter.

Una Fides, here is a quote from Pope Pius IX, which I found in the SSPX publication “From Ecumenism to Silent Apostasy”

[quote=Pope Pius IX]It is of faith that outside of the Apostolic and Roman Church no one can be saved. (…) Nonetheless, it must be recognized also that with certitude, that those who are invincibly ignorant of the true religion are not culpable before the Lord. But now who truly will go in his presumption to mark the boundaries of this ignorance.

The SSPX seems to take this passage to warn against us assuming that someone’s ignorance is large enough to reduce culpability, which is a good warning, but I also see it as saying that we shouldn’t be saying that nobody’s ignorance will reduce culpability.

Yes, they will not be judged for being invincibly ignorant of the Catholic faith. However, being invincibly ignorant does not place a person in a state of sanctifying grace either. And since the person is outside the Church, then as that infallible decree I earlier cited states, the sacraments of the Church are of no avail to them. A person then would be justly punished with hell not for being invincibly ignorant but for the mortal sins that the person has committed for which he is unable to gain forgiveness outside the Church.

If you want to know about differences between Pre Vatican II and Post Vatican II, I suggest reading the documents. I can’t stress this enough. People often here of Vatican II and jump to conclusions when they have never even read the documents. How can you make a fair comparison if you haven’t read the documents. Diggerdomer summed it up the best.

I also have a bit of a difficult time reconciling the pre- and post-conciliar teachings.

But I have come upon one thing that helps quite a bit: the notion that one can be (incomplete) communion with the Church without even knowing it. In other words, to the extent a soul accepts the elements of truth he has come to knowledge of, he is a member of the Body of Christ, the Church.

I do not think this contradicts the pre-Vatican II quotations. Those statements may have assumed that ‘living within the Catholic Church’ meant complete, external, knowledgable existence, but is that a hard requirement?

The Church has never changed it’s stance on priestly celibacy universally. The Orthodox have the same discipline.

Priests cannot marry.

Married men, however, can be ordained priests. The sui juris Latin Church of the Catholic Communion has Traditionally limited ordination to the priesthood to non-married men, but this requirement has often been lifted or waived at the Pope’s (the Pope in his role as Patriarch of the Latin Church) discretion. The majority of the various sui juris Eastern Churches of the Catholic Communion ordain both married and celibate men to the priesthood.

I’m curious, have you read the documents? I acknowledge many of the changes in Vatican II were regarding discipline, which the Church has the right to change, and such changes pose no problems (unless they were to run contrary to the Catholic faith or seek to cover up or distort her true teachings). The real problem I have, like I said, is regarding the Church’s new teachings on No Salvation Outside the Church, and most especially in how the teaching is being presented today vs. how it had always been presented in the past. The Church made many more conversions when she explicitly taught that no one would be saved unless they were a part of her unified Body. Now, you find conciliar documents saying things like that Muslims are a part of God’s plan of salvation (whatever that means) and that people can be saved by following their conscience, etc. Such things are clearly contradictory to previous teachings. As a practical means of trying to reconcile the two, the safest way to understand Tradition and the constant teachings of the Church is to start with her infallible declarations and work your way down in the hierarchy of dogmatic and authoritative declarations. See what the Church has always taught on a matter and get a good understanding thereof; then compare with what she is saying today and see if the two match up.

Yes I have read the documents. The point I wanted make is how can anyone make a fair assumption if they haven’t read the documents. Yes there are some changes, but there is nothing contradictory to the Catholic faith. We run into problems like this all the time on CA forums. One who reads and doesn’t take out of context will understand what went on at Vatican II and how the changes were need and don’t contradict the faith. Those who do take them out of context also take St. Pope Pius X’s “Syllabus of Errors” out context on only focus on one sentence.

I made a large compilation of pre-Vatican II teachings on No Salvation Outside the Church, which you can view here: In the compilation, I stick to Scripture and the Magisterium and do not quote extensively from the early Church fathers, although they also agree, despite people trying to take a few obscure statements out of context (such as St. Augustine). Each quote has a link to where the document can be read in its entirety online, so you can read each within its larger context. Remember, however, that our goal is to understand the original meaning by the authors and how anyone who read such statements would understand them, rather than trying to read into them what we might want them to say, as such is the protestant approach to interpreting Scripture.

I’m glad you’ve read and studied Vatican II. As you may know, Pope Benedict has said that Vatican II must be read and interpreted in light of the constant teachings of the Church prior to the council. VII was also a pastoral council and never claimed nor intended to teach any new doctrines but simply to restate the constant teachings of the Church in a way for the modern world to understand. Paul VI also said that the council did not invoke infallibility in making any definitions of the faith.

Lastly, we absolutely must bear in mind the necessity to understand and interpret dogmas of the faith in the same sense as they have always been understood with the same meaning. So if the Church infallibly declares that Jews will perish unless they become Catholics before they die, then we must continue to hold to that same unchanging faith in that same sense as it would have been understood back then. We cannot try to mask the truth or cover it over. Every human creature has an obligation to be “subject to the Roman Pontiff” according to infallible decree (unless the person is excused for invincible ignorance, which means no pride or obstinacy getting in the way). In the end, the Church seems to be singing an entirely different song today than she has sung for 2000 years, all in the name of “ecumenism.” Christ desired that all would be part of the one Church, not that the one Church would be conformed to the world (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 6:14-18).

I agree with you. I will take a look at your blog. It is nice to have someone point things out that I don’t know how to word quite yet. While I have studied Vatican II, I still feel there is a lot more I do need to learn about Vatican II and for that matter pre Vatican II. I have grown up completely post Vatican II so Vatican II and Pre Vatican II are things I am focusing on in my studies. Just as some people have misconceptions about Vatican II some were the same way at the Council of Trent. I haven’t touched much upon reading material from Trent at this point. BTW, I like your signature with Ephesian 4:5. That is one my favorite verses. I look forward to discussing more with you in the future.

I’m curious about an implication of this: would that mean that a Jew who never hears about Christ and the Gospel is on an entirely different “playing field” than some aborigine who never hears about Christ and the Gospel (but isn’t Jewish)?

But see, the quotes from Vatican II and the Catechism don’t contradict this.

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