Vatican II


Concerning Vatican II I would like to know why so many things of tradition have changed and changed to the detrement not the benefit of Catholics.

I have heard many reasons from lay people and priests but none of them can assure me that they were for the best. To name a few: the atrocious and careless way people dress for Mass? the talking to ones neighbor while attending Mass? the prayer for peace at the end of the Mass? the communion served by lay people? the elimination of the communion rail? the altar turned toward the people?

These and many other questions have I and no real substantial answers.

Can anyone answer these questions?

Thank you and God Bless you

Thomas Eby


The most simple answer is that VII did NOT call for those things you describe. And even the things which the Church allowed were often abused.

The “real and substantial answer” is sort of complex. It is a combination of priests and bishops not living up to their vows and the Church existing in a world of heavy secularist agendas, in the aftermath of major world wars, scientific developments, and protestantism burning itself out.

Despite how bad things are now, from what I can tell we as a Church are just recovering from a big storm that hit, thankfully though I believe the sun is just starting to come out and a lot of things will be fixed pretty soon. How soon is soon? Well, though this was probably one of the worst storms the Church has had to endure, I dont think it lasted as long as other heresies and the scandals that took part surrounding them. A significant chunk of this chaos will be over with and fixed in less than 100 years (its already been about 40). Despite having the deck stacked against them, there is a generation of traditional minded Catholics that is growing stronger by the day.


none of the actions you described was prescribed by any Vatican II document.

why not read the actual documents and then comment on them. Vatican II did not add any new doctrine, or change any existing doctrine, her documents clarified and re-presented doctrine for the guidance of the Church in the modern world.


not allowed, you should dress respectfully for Mass

the talking to ones neighbor while attending Mass?

Not good either

the prayer for peace at the end of the Mass?

What prayer is that? At the end of Mass at my parish we have the traditional blessing.

the communion served by lay people?

This is only supposed to be allowable if there is no other way to serve all communicants in a timely fashion

the elimination of the communion rail?

This was a silly change, made by people who felt that there should be no seperation from where the priests are to where the people are. Its just bad theology.

the altar turned toward the people?

In new Churches VII called for the alter to be moved away from the wall, and seperate it from the tabernacle so that the alter could be censed all the way around, and to draw Roman Style Altars into closer sembalence to Eastern Alters, and to older alters. Basically to take the idea of the altar at St. Peters and apply it univerally, but because in that Bassilica the Celebrant faces east (as per tradition) which is towards the people in St. Peters, a bunch of priests thought they should copy that, and it just caught on.

Bassically VII did not perscribe any of the atrocities you see, they are fruits of the “Spirit of Vatican II” but if anything it is a Counter Spirit.

These and many other questions have I and no real substantial answers.

Can anyone answer these questions?

Thank you and God Bless you

Thomas Eby


I think the ‘chatting more’ is a result of the emphasis on community. I don’t know about the other stuff.


Your post has been answered, I just wanted to welcome you to the forum.


Because most of the people did not read the documents themselves and blindly followed progressive Liturgists. Evene today most Catholics have never reda or studied the Documents of Vatican II or even the Catechism themselves and prefere for someone else to tell them what they say, right or wrong. Personal dress and personal behavior followed the times. We became a very loose society, not wanting to follow any rules. I see that everywhere today. The attitude “Those rules don’t apply to me, they are for someone else.” is everywhere.


Where exactly would I find these documents? If VII did not change any doctrine then why all the changes that I mentioned. Changes that are very detrimental to all church goers. It dosen’t take a genius to see things have gone terribly wrong.

Thomas Eby


You can buy the documents of Vatican II at any Catholic bookstore in your city or online. You can read them online at the Vatican website– but really you should invest in the books because they are many volumes and it would be quite difficult to read them on the Vatican website, IMHO.

None of the “changes” you mention are doctrinal.

In your opinion.

Again, in your opinion. And, also, blaming things that have “gone wrong” on the Ecumenical Council known as Vatican II is quite myopic. There are many secular, cultural influences that were going on that the time that can account for some of the “changes” such as dress and manners at Church. The entire culture has become quite casual and less reverant. Did Vatican II in any way cause this? No.


Thomas, I think informal dress was a change in society since the 60’s rather than something from Vatican II. I don’t think Vatican II made any changes to the requirements for what people wear. People just don’t dress up as much anymore.

As for turning the altar around… I have to say I’ve been to a couple of TLM masses and I didn’t really like how the priest was facing away from us. I understand the arguments for the other way… but why is it so important?

My church has a communion rail and I like that I can kneel down to receive communion. But I don’t see it as a major issue. Why is this so important?


Br. Rich,
How would I get these documents? It is told to me that there were no doctrinal changes and that may be true. If that is the case then why such drastic changes in procedure and attitude?

Today, I experienced what used to be the attitude in church prior to Vatican II. I attenede a funeral where most of the people came dressed in their finest. Their attitude was nothing that prevails in the usual catholic Mass today. There was no talking to ones neighbor, they were dressed in honor and respect, they were devout and prayerful, they were all the things I had mentioned took place prior to Vatican II. Why So? Why should it not be that way all the time? You mentioned it in your response to me.
It is the attitude of the times. Today the change from Latin to the vernacular is one of the things done that was the undoing of the laity.

You say that we have become a very loose society. Do you know why? I can tell you why without being a scholar. The loose attitudes of people today stems from parental upbringing. If you know what propriety is then you know that it no longer is thought of in today’s family. Parents do not teach their children respect, thoughtfulness, Etc. There is a book written by a professor Bloom from the University of Chicago called the closing of the American mind. It was written more than thirty years ago but was and is right on target. Read it and you will see what I mean.

Today our student teachers are taught “values clarification”. Do you know what that is? It is an attitude of how one perceives life. In other words whatever I deem to be true or right is allright. Do whatever you think is right for you and do not worry about anyone else. These student teachers then teach the same thing to their students. Just look at what goes on in our schools today. The children wear whatever they want and almost do whatever they want.

You say “rules are for someone else not me” and that is the attitude today. Where does that dcome from if not the parents and teachers?

Most importantly, no one is willing to stand up and say “ENOUGH”. They would rather go along to get along. I will not do that and I speak up as often as I am able to priests, lay people and anyone who thinks that such attitudes are allright.

Thomas Eby (samoht)


The other posters are correct. There were no doctrinal changes. Don’t keep saying that when you don’t know what you’re talking about. READ the documents and then come back with questions.


If it is not the business of the church to lead, then what is it? That is why we have an establishment such as the church. When the church leaders start to allow things to unravel it is all downhill then. Blaming myopia for not seeing why these changes took place is an easy answer. Was it not myopic on the part of the church leaders from the Pope on down to see what was coming. Were they so naive’ that they could not see how people were changing in attitude? I have heard many excuses as to why things are the way they are today in the catholic church and none of them are logical. We have gone from the ridiculous to the sublime. At one point in the church history one did not dare falter on even the smallest error in what the church expected. Today not even the parish priest is interested in the attitude of his parishioners. Most things are now left up to the church council members. The priest is supposed to be the leader not the delegator. Why do not all the church leaders take a hand in leading instead of saying this is just the way it is today? That is more than nonsense it is failing to do what they were called to do and that is to lead in morals and attitudes.

You can go on and on with excuses but that will help nothing. Speak up and speak out on what you is not right in the church today.

Thomas Eby (samoht)


At least some of these things are more due to changes in society than Vatican II.

My mother would complain about the way people dress to go shopping. In her day, going downtown to shop meant wearing a hat and gloves. Can you imagine anyone dressing up today to go to the mall? People generally wore dress clothes for work. While that sometimes happens today, workplaces in general are more laid back.

Talking during Mass? Is it a surprise? People talk during movies, concerts, and other places they shouldn’t. We have lost the sense that some places are meant to be quiet.

Prayer for peace? Do you mean “the Mass is ended, go in peace?” If so, I don’t understand what you would prefer.

Communion rails and the direction the priest faces were not mandated by Vatican II. Tridentine Masses would probably have what you prefer.


Now that I know where to find the documents I will be reading them. Tho reading them will change nothing. It is the tradition and reverance that has changed. I would imagine that when you say I do not know what I am talking about that you did not experience much of what took place prior to Vatican II. I would also think that you are quite pleased with the way things are in the churches today. I am not. Also if you will read again what I initially said you will see that the Vatican II documents changed anything. I said that the church leaders have allowed too many of the good things slip away without doing anything about it. You may want to open your eyes a bit more and see that is the truth.

You know, my friend, that there is nothing wrong with your speaking out when you know things are not going well. But maybe you are satisfied. I am not.

Thomas Eby


I agree that much stems from parents not teaching children. Replacing Latin had some impact but not a lot. The Documents of Vatican II are available in a one volume. I recomend finding it in an older edition. The current one being published (1992) is an “inclusive language” edition. Look for them in the religion section of your local paperback exchange 1987 or prior edition.


Vatican II Documents


What I meant about the prayer for peace is that the priest would neel on the stairs that approached the altar and say the prayer for peace. That was before Vatican II. Maybe you are not old enough to have witnessed that.

Thomas Eby


Thanks for the clarification. No, I never witnessed that.


It is the business of the Church to lead souls to Christ. I don’t believe anyone here has stated otherwise.

Perhaps you can explain to us what, exactly, you believe has unraveled, how it unraveled, and what you believe to be cause of its unraveling.

I am not “blaming” myopia nor using it as an easy answer. I suggested that it is myopic to believe there is **one **cause for the particular things you mention and to **presume **that cause is the Ecumenical Council of Vatican II.

Bishops are not issued crystal balls when they take office.

I think the massive social changes since WWII caught many by surprise, both secular and religious. I do not think there is any one thing that caused the changes or could have prevented the changes. Those things that saw their fruition in the last few decades of the 20th century began in the century before, and probably before that. Personally, I lay much of it at the feet of the Reformation, rather than Vatican II. That one event so altered society that I think it placed it on the trajectory that led it to the place we are now.

Then why don’t you articulate what is wrong and what your simple solution is.

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