Monday, February 16, 2009

Vatican II in full continuity with former councils..."Traditionalists" who say otherwise are wrong


The Second Vatican Council solemnly declared in its Constitution on the Church [Lumen Gentium] that all the teachings of the Council are in full continuity with the teachings of former councils:

"Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel to every creature, to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the countenance of the Church. Since the Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race, it desires now to unfold more fully to the faithful of the Church and to the whole world its own inner nature and universal mission. This it intends to do following faithfully the teaching of previous councils. The present-day conditions of the world add greater urgency to this work of the Church so that all men, joined more closely today by various social, technical and cultural ties, might also attain fuller unity in Christ." (LG, No. 1).

There are those who attempt to justify their rejection of Vatican II teaching by reminding themselves (and others) that while the canons of the Council of Trent and of Vatican Council I are de fide; none of the decrees of Vatican II are de fide. The Second Vatican Council was pastoral in nature. But once again, as the Fathers of Vatican II stressed, all the teachings of the Council are in full continuity with the teachings of former councils.

This point is not understood by some. Or it is rejected in a vain attempt to rationalize rebellion from the Church's authority. This is why Pope Benedict XVI (then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) said - in The Ratzinger Report, pp. 28, 29 - that, "It is..impossible to decide in favor of Trent and Vatican I, but against Vatican II. Whoever denies Vatican II denies the authority that upholds the other two councils and thereby detaches them from their foundation. And this applies to the so-called 'traditionalism', also in its extreme forms...Every partisan choice destroys the whole (the very history of the Church) which can exist only as an indivisible unity." Cardinal Ratzinger goes on to say that, "There is no 'pre' or 'post' conciliar Church; there is but one, unique Church that walks the path toward the Lord, ever deepening and ever better understanding the treasure of faith that he himself has entrusted to her. There are no leaps in this history, there are no fractures, and there is no break in continuity..."(p. 35).

2 comments:

Jonathan said...

There is no break in continuity. Those who reject the teaching of Vatican II or who try to present it as some sort of "rupture" with the past really don't trust in the Holy Spirit. Driven by their own ideological agendas, they try to convince others that Vatican II was "only" a pastoral council and that it caused much harm. But the problem isn't with the documents of the Council (all promulgated by the Pope - is he suspect too?) - the problem has been with those who try to interpret the documents in such a way as to advance their own agendas.

Derek L. said...

"Tradional Catholics" who oppose Vatican II are really no different from liberals who oppose Church teaching. Neither group really trusts in Jesus, His promises or His Church.

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