Vatican II


#1

To what extent are Catholics obliged to accept the teaching of Vatican II? There are so many different opinions among Traditionalists. What are you required to believe? Thank you for your answers.


#2

My thoughts:

We are to accept ALL the teachings of Vatican II, because in their teachings they are correct.

The errors are only in people’s interpretation in what Vatican II taught.


#3

Your to accept it as a valid council.

Since it defined no dogmas, you dont have to side with it in matters like the liturgy, religious liberty, and the role of lay people in the Church etc. etc.


#4

Vatican II was a pastoral council, which means that very few of the decisions are in the provice of the non-pastor to accept or reject.

For instance the priest, not the parishioners, will decide whether or not it is appropriate to appint Eucharistic Ministers. If the priest decides to appoint them then, as with any decision by the parish priest, laypeople are expected to support it or at least not sabotage it. However no one is obliged to become a Eucharistic minister, nor is the question of whether they are a good idea or not closed to discussion.


#5

What do you mean by “side with it”? Do mean you can dissent from it?


#6

Just for the record: there are two kinds of councils in the church; local (synodal) councils and ecumenical councils. There is no such thing as a “pastoral council.” Vatican II was “pastoral in nature” but it is still an ecumenical council. The dogmatic constitutions issued by the Second Vatican Council have exactly the same weight as a dogmatic constitution issued by any other council.

We are to accept all of the teachings of the Council. To not do so is to become a “cafeteria Catholic” in which on picks and chooses what one will accept and what one will reject.

Deacon Ed


#7

I meant exactly what I said.

Vatican II promotes religious liberty, while we have to ackowledge the validity of its statements i.e that it is free from error. We dont have to take their advice.

An easier example.

If Vatican II said that the vernacular should be encouraged. We have to listen and agree that saying the Mass in the vernacular is not a evil thing. Vatican II is free from error in its judgements. However, we are not bound in any way shape or form to attend vernacular Masses just because Vatican II finds it a noble practice.

We have to acknowledge Vatican II as a valid council. But its up to each and every person’s opinion as to wether that council was beneficial or a mistake for the Church.

However, had Vatican II infallibly defined the neccesity of having Mass in the vernacular (something the Church will never do, but hypothetically) than yes, we’d all be bound to attend vernacular Masses. Thats just an example though.


#8

Vatican II promotes religious liberty, while we have to ackowledge the validity of its statements i.e that it is free from error. We dont have to take their advice.

Dear Missa Solemnis:

What is your source for this statement? It flies in the face of every theology manual I have read…why do you think that is?

Consider the following from Canon George Smith:

Must I believe it?

Let us be clear about our terms, for the ground is littered with ambiguities. When the Catholic inquires concerning his obligation to believe he understands by belief, not a mere opinion, but an act of the mind whereby he adheres definitely to a religious doctrine without any doubt, without any suspension of assent. When he says that he believes a thing he means that he holds it as certain, the motive or ground of his certainty being the authority of the Church which teaches him that this is so. And this rough-and-ready conception of belief, or “faith,” may be considered for practical purposes and in the majority of cases to suffice. But in the delicate matter of defining the Catholic obligation a greater degree of accuracy is reasonably demanded. It is not exact to say that the ground of belief is always the authority of the Church. Ultimately in a divinely revealed religion that ground is the authority of God Himself, on whose veracity and omniscience the believer relies whenever he makes an act of faith. Absolutely speaking an act of divine faith is possible without the intervention of the Church. It is sufficient to have discovered, from whatever source, that a truth has been revealed by God for the acceptance of mankind, in order to incur the obligation of believing it by an act of divine faith, technically so called because its motive is the authority of God Himself.

However, “that we may be able to satisfy the obligation of embracing the true faith and of constantly persevering therein, God has instituted the Church through His only-begotten Son, and has bestowed on it manifest marks of that institution, that it may be recognised by all men as the guardian and teacher of the revealed word.” (1) Accordingly the main truths of divine revelation are proposed explicitly by the divinely instituted Church for the belief of the faithful, and in accepting such truths the believer adds to his faith in God’s word an act of homage to the Church as the authentic and infallible exponent of revelation. The doctrines of faith thus proposed by the Church are called dogmas, the act by which the faithful accept them is called Catholic faith, or divine-Catholic faith, and the act by which they reject them - should they unhappily do so - is called heresy.

But there are other truths in the Catholic religion which are not formally revealed by God but which nevertheless are so connected with revealed truth that their denial would lead to the rejection of God’s word, and concerning these the Church, the guardian as well as the teacher of the revealed word, exercises an infallible teaching authority. "Dogmatic facts, (2) theological conclusions, doctrines - whether of faith or morals - involved in the legislation of the Church, in the condemnation of books or persons, in the canonisation of saints, in the approbation of religious orders - all these are matters coming within the infallible competence of the Church, all these are things which every Catholic is bound to believe when the Church pronounces upon them in the exercise of her supreme and infallible teaching office. He accepts them not by divine-Catholic faith, for God has not revealed them, but by ecclesiastical faith, by an assent which is based upon the infallible authority of the divinely appointed Church. Theologians, however, point out that even ecclesiastical faith is at least mediately divine, since it is God who has revealed that His Church is to be believed: “He that heareth you heareth me.”

Already it is apparent that the question: “Must I believe it?” is equivocal. It may mean: “Is this a dogma of faith which I must believe under pain of heresy?” or it may mean: “Is it a doctrine which I must believe by ecclesiastical faith, under pain of being branded as temerarious or proximate to heresy?” But in either case the answer is: “You must believe it.” The only difference lies between the precise motive of assent in either case, or the precise censure which may attach to disbelief. The question thus resolves itself into an investigation whether the doctrine under discussion belongs to either of these categories. And here again there is the possibility of undue restriction.

[1.] Vatican Council, De fide catholica, cap. iii.
[2.] E.g.: that a certain book contains errors in matters of faith; that a particular Council is oecumenical, etc.


#9

continued from “Must I believe it?”

The Vatican Council has defined that “all those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgement or by her ordinary and universal teaching, proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed.”(3) What is liable to be overlooked is the ordinary and universal teaching of the Church. It is by no means uncommon to find the option, if not expressed at least entertained, that no doctrine is to be regarded as a dogma of faith unless it has been solemnly defined by an oecumenical Council or by the Sovereign Pontiff himself. This is by no means necessary. It is sufficient that the Church teaches it by her ordinary magisterium, exercised through the Pastors of the faithful, the Bishops whose unanimous teaching throughout the Catholic world, whether conveyed expressly through pastoral letters, catechisms issued by episcopal authority, provincial synods, or implicitly through prayers and religious practices allowed or encouraged, or through the teaching of approved theologians, is no less infallible than a solemn definition issued by a Pope or a general Council. If, then, a doctrine appears in these organs of divine Tradition as belonging directly or indirectly to the depositum fidei committed by Christ to His Church, it is to be believed by Catholics with divine-Catholic or ecclesiastical faith, even though it may never have formed the subject of a solemn definition in an oecumenical Council or of an ex cathedra pronouncement by the Sovereign Pontiff.(4)

But, satisfied that the doctrine has been authoritatively and infallibly proposed for belief by the Church, our questioner still waits to be informed whether it is a doctrine which has been formally revealed by God and is therefore to be believed under pain of heresy, or whether it is one of those matters which belong only indirectly to the depositum fidei and therefore to be believed by ecclesiastical faith. In the majority of cases this is not difficult to decide: dogmatic facts, canonizations, legislation - these evidently are not revealed by God and belong to the secondary object of the infallible magisterium. But the line of demarcation between dogmas and theological conclusions is not always so clear. There are some doctrines concerning which it may be doubted whether they are formally revealed by God or whether they are merely conclusions which are deduced from revealed truth, and it is part of the theologian’s congenial task to endeavour to determine this. The doctrine of the Assumption is a case in point. But so far as Catholics generally are concerned it is not a matter of great importance, for if the Church - as we are supposing - teaches such doctrines in the exercise of her infallible office the faithful are bound sub gravi to believe them; in practice it is a question of determining whether he who denies them is very near to heresy or whether he has actually fallen into it. In either case he has committed a grave sin against faith.

[3.] Loc.cit.
[4.] Thus various events in the life of Christ (e.g., the raising of Lazarus from the dead) are certainly revealed by God and, though never defined solemnly, are taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium. Many theological conclusions concerning Christ (with regard to His knowledge, His sanctifying grace) are universally taught by theologians as proximate to faith, though they may never have been defined either by the Pope or by a general Council. It may be remarked, however, that in common practice a person is not regarded as a heretic unless he has denied a revealed truth which has been solemnly defined. (Vacant: Etudes théologiques sur les Constitutiones du Concile [t.II, pp.117 sq.).

[/quote]


#10

Ok. So you need to accept the teachings such as collegiality (the college of bishops have supreme and universal power when united with the Pope), but you don’t need to accept that the liturgy has to have the vernacular.


#11

However I don’t celebrate Mass.
So the teaching on the liturgy is not one I can accept or reject, unless I decide to refuse to attend Mass at all.

Of course if two Masses are offered at my parish I may choose to go to one of them.

That’s what I meant about a pastoral council, or strictly an ecumenical council of a pastoral nature, not really being something of direct relevance to non-pastors.


#12

That isn’t a teaching of the Council. The Holy see allowed bishops’ conferences to decide to what extent the vernacular would be used.

You no more have to believe that it must be in the vernacular than anyone else must believe it must be in Latin.


#13

Ok. So you need to accept the teachings such as collegiality (the college of bishops have supreme and universal power when united with the Pope), but you don’t need to accept that the liturgy has to have the vernacular.

Why? Explain.

Btw, are you responding to the “Must I believe it?” post or something else?


#14

Sorry for the confusion. I was referring to what I understand people are saying. I sometimes attend an indult, and I am wanting to know what the priest and the frequent attendees think about Vatican II. So I went to the traditional forums to see if there was a “traditionalist” position on vatican II.


#15

Why do Traditionalist have such a problem with the vernacular? If you read The Acts Of The Apostles chapter 2

6 And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. 7 And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these, that speak, Galileans? 8 And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all astonished, and wondered, saying one to another: What meaneth this?

Why would the holy sprit come to the people and let them speak in the different tongues if not to allow the people to better understand the word of God that the apostles where preaching? God must have relaized that the people needed to be spoken to in their vernacular language.

Some people just don’t understand Latin anymore. It is great and wonderful that our church still speaks it as it is a unifing langauage for the clegry. It makes it easy to give direction because there is no confusion on what was being said BUT the average person does not speak it anymore. We need to preach to the people. They are the church and if they don’t understand then we have no hope of keeping them and no hope of fighting the religious battle in the Americas (South and North).

FYI: I have attended the Latin Mass and have many friends who only go to the Latin mass. I see the beatuy in all masses (NO, Latin and Anglican)

I think people have such a problem with Vatican II because of the abuses that people do claiming they have the right to do it under the spirit of Vat II. When in fact they don’t and if they did a little research they would understand the why better.


#16

Dear friend,

Clarify that the above Mass is “Anglican-USE,” before you get jumped!


#17

Believe and profess everything in the Catholic Creed.

With firm faith, also believe everything contained in the Word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church, either by a solemn judgement or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium, sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.

Firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals.

Futhermore, adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.

Lastly, submit to the Roman Pontiff, by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience on matters of discipline and governance. :thumbsup:

All of the acts of the Vatican II council promulgated in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis of the Roman Pontiff fall into the above categories. Nothing promulgated by Vatican II is compatible with dissent. In fact, “there can be no holiness in dissension from the Pope” (St. Pius X).

**First Vatican Council, ****Session 4 (18 July 1870):**Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.


#18

Dear Dave:

Are you a sedvacantist then? Or do you just think there is nothing amiss with V2 or the living magisterium’s implementation of this Council?

Gorman


#19

LOL! Errrrrrrrrr…no.

Or do you just think there is nothing amiss with V2 or the living magisterium’s implementation of this Council?

I think modernism is the root cause of many of the problems in the Church today. Unlike some Catholics, I understand modernism began well before the 1960s, so I find it irrational to blame Vatican II for our problems. Many holy popes including St. Pius X, after a laudable effort, simply failed to stop the terrible consequences of modernist error upon clergy, laity, and religious Catholics.

Vatican II is not the cause of our problems, modernism is, which was well rooted in the Church before Vatican II.

For instance, the priest sex abuse incidents began to sharply rise dramatically in the 1950s. That means these men were seminarians in the 40s or 50s, learning and praying the traditional Latin Mass, and likely learned the Baltimore Catechism as children. It seems to me something was wrong with these Churchmen well before Vatican II.

Most of the infamous dissident clergy (Kung, Curran, etc.) and religious that we hear about were likewise raised on the traditional Latin Mass, catechized pre-Vatican II, and many attended seminary and were ordained prior to Vatican II. What went wrong? Was there something fundamentally lacking in their pre-Vatican II catechesis that made them so dissident? Many clergyman and religious immediately dissented with Humanae Vitae in 1968. Why? They were trained pre-Vatican II weren’t they? They should havebeen very much aware of the Casti Connubii (1930) and the constant teaching on the matter since apostolic times, no?

I think the smoke of satan entered into the Church well before John XXIII became pope.

As for Vatican II…I’ve read the documents and do not find anything contrary to the immutable and definitive Tradition which came before it, Lefebvrist and sedevacantist objections notwithstanding.

I agree with the following concerning Vatican II…

It is a necessary task to defend the Second Vatican Council against Msgr. Lefebvre, as valid, and as binding upon the Church.[Vatican II is] one part of the unbroken, the unique Tradition of the Church and of her faith.” (Cardinal Ratzinger’s July 13, 1988 remarks to the Bishops of Chile regarding the Lefebvre Schism).

“***… it is clear that conciliar decisions are infallible in the sense that I can be confident that here the inheritance of Christ is correctly interpreted***” (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Canon of Criticism, Salt of the Earth [San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997])

                          "**You may *not*, however, affirm that the conciliar texts, which are magisterial texts, are incompatible with the Magisterium and with Tradition.**" (Cardinal Ratzinger letter to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on July 20, 1983)

I believe that if we were faithful to the authentic teachings of Vatican II, then we would necessarily faithful to the immutable definitive Catholic Tradition which came before Vatican II.


#20

I think modernism is the root cause of many of the problems in the Church today. Unlike some Catholics, I understand modernism began well before the 1960s, so I find it irrational to blame Vatican II for our problems. Many holy popes including St. Pius X, after a laudable effort, simply failed to stop the terrible consequences of modernist error upon clergy, laity, and religious Catholics.

Vatican II is not the cause of our problems, modernism is, which was well rooted in the Church before Vatican II.

So the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II was modernist? Or were there just modernists in the Church?

Where are these modernists today? Who were the modernists at the Council? What happened to the oath against modernism? If modernism is a heresy, then are these modernists heretics? Are they still members of the Church?

Or are these modernists just an enigma that can’t be positively identified?

Explain.


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