Vatican II


I recently came across my deceased Grandmother’s copy of the transcripts from Vatican II. It is an interesting book, one that I really enjoyed. I was just curious, though, if someone could help me understand why a lot of Catholics seem to have a problem with Vatican II? What is the opinion of Vatican II in this forum? Most of the older Catholics that I know REALLY dislike Vatican II. Can someone help me understand that as well. Thanks.


I am an “older Catholic”. I do not dislike VaticanII.
I believe it was led by the Holy Spirit, as is all teachings of the Church.

I do believe that some have not interpreted the documents as they were intended.



For me it is not the counsel itself. It is a lot of the things done in the name of the counsel that are not correct and should not have been done. Example would be the Tridentine Mass being taken away. As we now know VII did not do it But many bishops did in the name of VII. And there are numerous other examples.The Church started correcting these things under John Paul II and is continuing to do so now it all just takes time and in time I have faith that all of what Vii was suppose to do will be done and the things that it was not will be put back in line.


Please explain. I would love to know. Also, no offense meant by the “older” Catholic comment. I just did not know any other way to say it.


I have always wondered: what was so wrong with putting the Mass into English? Also, help me understand which portions of the Mass were originally in Latin? Were the homilies in Latin, too?


No offense at all. I just wanted to point out that “most older Catholics do not like Vatican II” is really a misconception.

There are really just a few who denounce Vatican II, however, they are very vocal here at CAF.

If you search “Vatican II” in the search feature on the home page, you will find many posts about the controversies of Vatican II.


The Second Vatican Council came along at a time when the mood in the United States and Europe was decidedly supportive of experimentation, change, and innovation. There was a lot of distaste for doing things merely for the sake of tradition. There was also- especially in Europe, a sense that young people were becoming increasingly alienated from traditional institutions of all sorts, and particularly from traditional forms of worship.

Vatican II was an attempt to accommodate some of these perceptions, and the actual documents of Vatican II were not necessarily radical or revolutionary, as some others have noted. There was a desire for some measure of liturgical change, for example, especially for the idea of using more local vernacular in the Mass and doing more to engage the congregation directly in the act of worship. (One of the complaints about the Tridentine Mass is that it is more a spectacle which the laity observe, than a collective act of worship in which all Catholics participate). There had already been some minor revisions in this direction–the 1962 Missal included a People’s Mass". But it was felt that more needed to be done.

Unfortunately, a lot of things began to be done “in the spirit of Vatican II” which vastly exceeded what Vatican II really encouraged or authorized. The most-conspicuous of these abuses happened in the Mass itself–in keeping with the idea of being ‘fools for Christ’ some priests reputedly conducted ‘Clown Masses’ in various places. (Some allege on this forum that 'clown Masses are actually an urban legend, but other members of the forum insist that they actually attended Masses of this sort. It should be noted that a ‘fool’ in old English vernacular was somewhat similar to what we think of today as a ‘clown’ or a comedian; the expression ‘fool for Christ’ is drawn from II Corinthians 11:16).

Other sorts of abuses also occurred. Any number of theologians began speculating around the edges about various aspects of Catholic theology–Hans Kung even questioned several explicitly-defined dogmas of the Catholic faith. Many of the younger seminarians eagerly quoted those speculative theologians and cited the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ from the pulpits, leading to a lot of confusion. If accounts are to be believed, there was also a problem with spiritual formation of priests during the post-WWII era, and a lot of men who would have otherwise have been advised not to pursue a vocation were in fact ordained.

People were told that there were no longer anything such as ‘mortal sins’, they were told that divorce and contraception were acceptable, and on and on. No one was quite certain what was or was not true in the Catholic Church any longer, and it really looked as if the CC was going to follow in the same liberal path as many mainline Protestant churches. It hurt a lot of people’s faith, and many folks left over it. After Paul VI and JPII began tightening up things in the CC, a lot of the ‘liberals’ began leaving, or in some cases openly confronting authority in various ways. A lot of this has passed now, but it was a painful period from about 1968 to about the mid-1980’s or so: some folks leaving because the Church seemed to be growing too ‘liberal’ and heterodox, others leaving because the Church was growing too ‘conservative’ or ‘authoritarian’.


It was not so much an issue of using English or other vernacular languages. The issue was that for much of the Mass in it’s Tridentine form, lay people were not really active participants. The ‘People’s Mass’ was an attempt to modify that. The Novus Ordo was a step in the same direction. I for one fear it was carried too far: the NO Mass is a ‘celebration of the People of God’ more than it is a ‘worship of God’. As an Episcopalian who uses the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, I very much appreciate the sense that I am engaged in a collective worship service. I find the Novus Ordo far less reverent and worshipful. One of the most egregious examples is at the ‘Kiss of Peace’, where everybody in a Novus Ordo feels it needful to interrupt the worhsip of God to shake hands with everyone else within 16 pews of wherever they happen to be sitting. In the 1928 BCP and in the Tridentine Rite, one ‘offered a sign of peace’ by collectively reciting the intention “the Lord’s Peace be with you”.

That’s only the easiest example I can point to of how the NO Mass is so much less reverent than it’s Tridentine counterpart. There is also the sloppy, colloquial, and outright ugly language of the English translations of the Novus Ordo Mass. In the Episcopal Church we have a ‘Traditional Language Movement’ which stresses the use of very conservative and sometimes Elizabethan forms of liturgy. We use ‘Thee’ and ‘Thou’ when referring to God, for example, because this has long been understood to have a particularly devout ‘register’ in the hearts of worshippers: it helps people realize they are praying and focuses their devotion towards a God who is at once personal and yet wholly Other and utterly holy.

Catholics have some of the most beautiful liturgies in the world, but they have some of the poorest liturgists on Earth translating those liturgies into English. Heck they haven’t done a good translation of the Holy Bible itself since Challoner revised the Douay-Rheims. So most of what goes on in a Novus Ordo Mass is remarkably forgettable and uninspiring. It’s a shame. I’m not crazy about listening to an entire Mass in Latin, but it would be preferable to listening to Masses in English that tries way overhard to be ‘hip’ and/or politically correct.

To answer the rest of your question: homilies, to the best of my knowledge, were always in the vernacular. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, I’m told that English crept into the Tridentine Rite more and more. Prior to that, everything in the Mass except the Homily and the parish announcements would have been in Latin, so far as I know.


I have never figured that out myself. There are those who have rejected the authority of the Church and that is just the way they are and apparently want the rest of us to join them in this rebellion.

I am so grateful that Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have been our strong wise leaders during this time of growth and change.

I think of Pope John Paul II as the heart and soul of Vatican II and Pope Benedict the steady anchor through rough seas. I love them both.

I love both forms of the Mass. Both forms can be beautiful and both forms can be abused.


VII was another victim of the culture of the 1960’s. Many people (even some priests and bishops) who did not understand the intention of VII used it as an opportunity to impose 60’s hippie culture on the church. I remember rock & roll masses, “folk” masses (yuk) and all kinds of nonsense inaugurated by people who had no authority to do so, in order to make the church more “relevant”. All of this had very little to do with VII.

And BTW, the mass of the earliest Christians was always in the vernacular - witness the many extant liturgical documents in Aramaic, Syrian, Greek, Coptic, Arabic and many other languages. See “The Mass of the Early Christians” by Mike Aquilina for more info. The Latin standard came later, so mass in the vernacular is a return to an older way.

God bless,


never said there was anything wrong with the mass being in English. Why do people always think thats the is being referred to? I would say that the mass was for the most part originally in Greek and Aramaic. I do love the Mass said in Latin the language used is not what I was referring to.


My best advice is to read each document, then compare what the document actually said to how the document has been implemented…I was shocked! :eek:

Much of what many people attribute to Vatican II is nowhere to be found in the documents…never intended by the Council Fathers. :frowning:




Vatican II was not an ecumenical council in the same sense as those we refer to as ecumenical councils from Nicea to Vatican I, which is not to say that it is not an act of the Authentic Magisterium–it is–but that it was not exercised as an act of the Solemn Magisterium. It presented old truths with the intention to make them sound more appealing to modern ears; I don’t think it’s unfair to say that at times the council documents concede a bit too much ground to itching ears. The problem is that people are often able to read what they want into the council’s prescriptions. It also seems a lot of Catholics got caught up in the idea that it could almost be cool to be Catholic, or at least less a stigma, because the Church seemed to be reversing its world-rejecting stance and, to paraphrase, was really ok because it was just trying to make us better people, you know, and we can all get along.


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