Spirit of Vatican II: Choice of Words and Symbolism

Through those documents you hear the real voice of the Holy Spirit,” – Cardinal Zen

What is clear, is that the Popes of Vatican II and the Popes after it all believed that the Holy Spirit was guiding the council.

Thus, I want to briefly point out the damage caused by using ‘spirit of Vatican II’ in a harmfully way.

When we say spirit as if to mean devil or evil then we are saying that the true spirit of Vatican II was not the Holy Spirit but the devil. The Popes don’t see things that way. When we use the spirit of Vatican II is a snickering or untasteful way we are indirectly or directly hurting its image and the Holy Spirit himself.

I just, want to point this out. If you have difficulties with the church’s implementation of Vatican II you can say that – but please don’t use the term spirit of Vatican II in a bad way while doing it.

There is power in symbolism and at least some of it can be lost or strengthened.

Where Peter Is Website

Here is a realy great website publishing in depth articles on topics devoted to Pope Francis defending this great man.

https://wherepeteris.com/

From the about page “The authors at this site have decided to take up their challenge (those who are critiquing Pope Francis), both by providing links to resources from other sites and by providing original essays that argue in favor of the orthodoxy and faithfulness of the Holy Father. Additionally, we’ll write about the major themes and important topics that surround the Church, especially in light of the pontificate of Pope Francis.

Even a short glance at their featured or topics will give you a some great encouragement to respect and defend Pope Francis and/or Vatican II.

This website is a definite addition to our resource page linked here!

Go Out to all the World and Tell the Good News — Fruits of Vatican II

This post is to bring to you attention an excellent talk given by Card. Arinze on one of the greatest fruits of Vatican II. That of a greater awareness of the lay apostolate.

Click here for a link to the video.

What does Christ call the lay person to do? What is the lay persons distinctive role? What does Vatican II have to say?

These are great questions and this is a great video. Lay apostolates are not just to help priests, but we have our own sphere. We have to bring Christ into the specular order of the world. See Vatican II’s excellent Apostolicam Actuositatem (here for Holy See link)

Let’s go promote this message and provide a space for it in our lives!

Life Site News

I have a lot of good to say about Life Site News. Unfortunately, I also have several warnings about the website and news service. This review covers my impression from Sept 2019 to Aug-2020.

First the positives. They promote pro-life views and bring to light many great news stories that may have been left in the dark without them. The website serves as a great way to stay on top of pro-life news. They also do promote pray and other charitable deeds.

The negatives. I feel that sometimes Life Site News pushes articles that critique bishops and Popes too often on some issues. Instead of having both pro and counter arguments expressed on defending and accusing bishops and Popes they seem to focus on the negative ones. I don’t think this is a proper attitude to have.

Many of their articles critiquing Pope Francis for example have much more balanced and less negative counterparts in other Catholic news services that I would recommend over Life Site News such as EWTN. Honestly, some of their negative articles on Francis can easily be proven wrong when you dig a little deeper on other websites. It is not our place to critique a Pope when we can so easily find a defense/explanation by looking at the issue is another light as other websites or Catholic Answers does!

I also feel Life Site News has published articles explicitly stating that communion on the hand is a sin for well informed Catholics, (or at least a bad practice) (see this one for example https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/when-receiving-communion-in-the-hand-can-be-sinful) Several articles don’t call it a sin but give the impression that communion on the hand should be avoided as a bad practice or one that it leads to a loss in faith.

On defendingvatican2.ca we defend the church teaching on communion on the hand. (see our article https://defendingvatican2.wordpress.com/defending-vatican-ii/1-0-communion-on-the-hand/) We hold that because communion on the hand has been supported in many documents throughout several papacy by the majority of bishops in the modern and early churches it falls under the teaching authority of the ordinary magisterium. As such it is guarded against error by that very fact. Thus, to claim communion on the hand is a sin or grave error leading to loss of faith denies the fact that Christ said he would protect his church and the teaching on the ordinary magisterium developed by Vatican II. It is not a valid or helpful teaching to say communion on the hand is grave error or sin.

I also note that Life Site News publishes more negative comments on Vatican II than it does positive. It has supported several claims in the last year that Vatican II needs to be revised or edited. Yet, as this link from Word on Fire clearly shows ( https://www.wordonfire.org/vatican-ii-faq/?fbclid=IwAR3epR-2qyxNVxJ5nAaWTomDY7QX4n2tYohkWZ1wxw-aL3iBm96kwLEGpCU#infallible ) you can not disregard or edit an ecumenical council that requires an religious assent because it is part of the ordinary magisterium of the church. It is guarded from error by that very fact.

I also feel that the website can at times focus on negative aspects of secular society. Sometimes (not always) the majority of articles are just hit pieces or information on how un-religious/catholic society is or politicians. We do need to know these things so at times this is okay to read. Yet, I think that when I read to much of this it is not beneficial spiritually. Always focusing on the negative of others does not get you very far. Does the website need to publish some more non-negative connect? Perhaps, but maybe not as it is just the news. What I do recommend is not reading all the negative stuff too often. Especially when the negative articles are about bishops, you an get the feeling that all bishops or a lot are bad simply because the majority of articles are negative when in fact a majority of bishops are great.

Overall because of the websites more negative than positive views on Pope Francis, Vatican II and other acceptable teachings of the Catholic church, that the faithful should not be critiquing because they are guarded from error, I think that it would be better to get pro-life news from a different provided. I also feel that the website may instill a slight disobedience to bishops and authority which is not healthy. Please discern the spirits as you read. Then next time go to a different pro-life website (EWTN) and see if you discern the same negativity. Do you get angry, jostled up, depressed, saddened when you listen to Bishop Baron talk about the same scandals that LifeSite News covers? Or do you become hopeful, joyful with a sense of direction. The website does do a lot of good, but it can be hard to separate the good and not get caught up in some of the disobedience.

My hope is that the many hard working Catholics on the website change some of their theological stances to line up with the Papacy. Then — what a power they would be!!!

I also note that not every author on LifeSite deserves the same evaluation. Some indeed, produce very faithful articles, well other authors seem to only publish highly questionable ones. Other new reports/reporters fall in between.

Does Defending Vatican II Deny a Crisis in the Faith?

First, we have to decide if their is a crisis in the faith. I don’t really think there is in many parts of the world. In fact, many Asian and African countries seem to have done pretty well after Vatican II. (I will leave the research of that claim to yourselves) Also, coming from a rural Canadian outlook I see a lot of strong parishes around me. True they are smaller and getting demographically older than they were in the past, but no where near catastrophic drops in attendance like we may expect. Also, I think that church numbers in many large Canadian cities are bolstered by immigrants from strong Catholic countries.

I might agree that in terms of numbers their has been a decline in church attendance in the western world. Yet, is a crisis of faith really the right word for this? Sure, some churches have closed and diocese have less financial strength. But, have we reached the crisis moment yet? Are we at the point of panic? Perhaps it is coming soon where the total Catholic Parish church system will collapse? These are all speculations. If you close one church, the church beside it gains a whole bunch of parishioners. Then that parish becomes stronger! At this point — those who are left are not going anywhere. (unless they die then number might start to decline if they are not replaced)

So what does this have to do with Vatican II. Does defending Vatican II deny the presence of any crisis? I don’t think so. There are many who blame Vatican II for a crisis in the faith. Here at this website we believe that Vatican II did not cause the crisis but other social trends. Vatican II was an scape-goat or easy way out for what people were going to do anyway. If you think Vatican II caused the crisis then of course defending it denies the crisis. Yet, we don’t believe it caused the crisis. In fact, we believe it is the way forward out of the crisis (or decline in faith among Catholics if true). That is why we defend it. We believe that the Holy Spirit speaks through the Pope and the bishops. If we are obedient, we will have great success in conversions. If we turn away from Vatican II we turn away from being obedient to the wishes of the Holy Spirit and will reap little fruit.

So now, to answer an objection. If Vatican II is all so great why is there not an increase in faith? Well, just as the council of Trent did not really stop Protestants in their tracks, quash the movement and stop any more conversions away from Catholicism, Vatican II was not a be all and end all solution either. It takes time for it to play out. It takes time for the spirituality seeds of its thoughts to be taken in by the soil of our soils and grow to fruition. As Ven. Fulton Sheen has said, it would be a sign that the council was not of the Holy Spirit if the devil did not try to instigate so much force against it. https://defendingvatican2.wordpress.com/defending-vatican-ii/1-0-vatican-ii-saints/

If the council did not occur the results may have been much worse! Without going into the details there was a lot of post World War II cultural shocks that was changing society at the same time.

In conclusion defending Vatican II does not deny the existence of a decline in Church attendance. What it does is not equate Vatican II with that decline, but the opposite. It equates the future one of faith and hope with the following and fruition of Vatican II. There have been a lot of great spiritual fruit from Vatican II. Don’t take it from me go look it up for yourselves. Please don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Challenge the assertions that Vatican II caused trouble but no gain.

Catechism Vatican II Style Part 2

This is my second post on my experience reading the Catechism of the Council of Trent. Since, some have been saying that the Trent Catechism is superior I wanted to see if that was true myself or was that assertion just based on bias. (see my first post here)

After a few more weeks of reading I have some more observations to share.

First, the modern (Vatican II) Catechism has a lot more in text references and citations. In the Trent Catechism I am reading there are not footnotes showing references as is standard for the Vatican II Catechism. Yet, even if there was, the Trent Catechism reads more like a preachers handbook than the more academically referenced Vatican II catechism. Vatican II has more scripture, saint, church fathers, council and liturgical quotes than the Trent Catechism. If you are looking for a more verbal description of the faith use the Trent catechism. If you are looking to see just how linked together the faith is (and want to check the facts yourself) use the Vatican II catechism. There is barely a paragraph in the Vatican II catechism that does not contain at least one quote to something else backing up its statement.

Second, because the Trent Catechism is older (almost 500 years) you miss out on a lot of great development since then. St. Therese of the little flower quotes. Vatican I and II teaching including the universal call to holiness. The developments in social teaching that occurred to counter issues like communism, socialism WW1&11 and so much more! The Vatican II catechism gives you a flavor of all that great development as you read through.

Third, there is a difference in emphasis. Trent is more focused on dealing with Protestant issues. Vatican II catechism more focused/suited to deal with the call of holiness in everyday life and evangelizing Catholics who have fallen away.

Finally, to conclude part 2 I would like to address the change to the Vatican II Catechism made by Pope Francis on the death penalty. Do changes make a Catechism weak? Not at all. It is only natural that they develop authentically. See the Vatican statement as why the change happened. Here (the circumstance of modern states have changed so the death penalty is longer acceptable as it was once in previous history) This is a valid change as moral acts have object, circumstance and intention. The circumstance has changed.

Pope Francis and Vatican II (2020 Napa Institute Keynote)

Bishop Barron has done it again. See video here.

He has excellently defended Vatican II and showed forth Vatican II purpose and great fruit. He also shows how it relates to Pope Francis.

Some brief notes and thoughts from the video and my own musings.

If the Church is Noah’s Ark, then Vatican II was like opening the doors so the light could shine forth. That is what Pope Francis is trying to do again for us and the Church.

He also encourages us to re-read Pope Francis Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel.) Pope Francis’ thought is in this document. If we want to get up and support the Pope, this is a great way to do it! Learn or re-learn his call for joy in spreading the gospel.

So, often we can get bogged down in negativity, that is not what Vatican II, the missionary council, is about. We should be joyful as we give ourselves to spread the gospel. That is what I think promoting and providing for Pope Francis’ mission and the Vatican II message in our lives and in the lives of our families will do – Joy!

Pope Francis and the Pachamama

Honestly, as part of this website goal we defend Vatican II. That also means we defend those who promote it like Pope Francis.

Did Pope Francis worship an idol called the Pachamama?

No. Just think about it. Someone who has given up everything to be a religious Jesuit priest (poverty, chasitity and obedience) and serve Jesus Christ as a Catholic would then go and worship an idol???

I don’t think Francis would have made it as long as he has (end of life) as a Catholic religious priest if he wanted some sort of religious idolatry. There are other places for that were you don’t even get any kickback for doing it.

The quote that is often used to prove it was an idol in fact does the exact opposite. (you can find this quote in many news sources)

“Good afternoon, I would like to say a word about the pachamama statues that were removed from the Church at Traspontina, which were there without idolatrous intentions and were thrown into the Tiber.

“First of all, this happened in Rome and, as bishop of the diocese, I ask pardon of the people who were offended by this act.”

I italicized ‘without idolatrous intention’ to show the point.

Cleary Pope Francis did not think idolatry was going on. So why should we?

I am not at this point going to answer all the objections and arguments to the contrary. Common sense shows that Pope Francis would not commit such a sin. (of course if you are looking for reason not to like him then you might not be convinced)

See articles were Pope John Paul also mentions Pachamama as mother earth in a St. Francis style.

I think this is another one of those things that if you dig deeper after you read the attack pieces on Francis you get the truth which is far from sinful in any way.

Pope Francis my Pope Part 2: Martyr Pope of Fatima?

I think that Pope Francis may be the martyr Pope predicted in the Fatima Visions. I agree that Pope John Paul II was also represented in the vision when he was shot but think that there will be multiple fulfillments of martyr Popes.

Why Pope Francis? Because he unlike any other Pope in modern times has extreme backlash by the faithful. Other Popes may have been hated by the world to a greater degree, but Pope Francis takes the cake when it comes to the faithful dissenting from his teaching and example. (not a bad sign necessarily to have the world hate you by the way)

That is why I think Pope Francis will be martyred. He fulfills the rejection Jesus had. Jesus was rejected by his own people and disserted by his own followers. I think this is happening to Francis at a greater degree than any modern Pope.

I don’t want Francis to be martyred. Yet, if it is God’s will I think this would create such a mass of conversions that all would recognize it as a work of God.

I am encouraging prayers so that Pope Francis may be spiritual fit for the special role God may be calling him to.

Mercy Towards Traditionalists: A Wake Up Call

This post is to bring awareness to and draw out from fruit from an excellent article by Pedro Gabriel entitled “Showing Mercy Towards Traditionalist”. (see the link here) https://wherepeteris.com/showing-mercy-towards-traditionalists/https://wherepeteris.com/showing-mercy-towards-traditionalists/

Although there are many important reflections present there is one I would like to dwell upon. That of not making defending Vatican II or Pope Francis a warzone.

The Church is one, when we start drawing up camps and labeling people conservative or liberal, traditionalists or pro-Francis we are headed in the wrong direction. The Church is becoming even more polarized as Catholicism is getting divided along political lines.

As the article states “Pope Francis brings a perfect antidote to this way of thinking. Time and time again, he has warned us against turning Christianity into an ideology. By trying to reach out to the spiritual peripheries, he is indeed urging us to resist this sectarian, combative, and unmerciful view of the Church.

Just as the critique of traditionalists can sometimes be made that they lash out uncharitably against Francis and opposing camps, the same can and has been done by pro-Francis or Vatican II supports at others simply because they are traditionally minded.

The path forward is not through division, but through listening, mercy and understanding. Just because someone holds a different opinion does not mean we need to label them and shut them down completely.

Defending Vatican II is not about defeating enemies and making the Church into a warzone. That is why our website has chosen the Promote, Provide, Protect motto. Protecting Vatican II where needed with charity, but also spend time Promoting and Providing for the message by implementing it in your own lives and families. That is the key, the message of Vatican II will get a lot stronger when we take it seriously in our lives rather than trying to quash out others of differing views.