Vatican II: Church Architecture

Today I just want to mention a brief verbal way that we sometimes use in casual speech that although may be innocent often degrades Vatican II.

You know, those times where we enter a church and say, “I bet back in the day before the reforms of Vatican II that main altar was beautiful before the white paint covered it all up.” When we say this we unconsciously ascribe something negative to Vatican II as if it was the cause of a loss of certain church styles. Is that our intention?

What Vatican II called for was that “The rites should radiate a noble simplicity.” Sacrosanctum Concilium # 34. In a previous post I have went over how Vatican II wanted to introduce the vernacular without losing Latin, the organ or Gregorian chant. ( Latin and Vatican II) As, the council also pointed out, “The church has not adopted any particular style of art as its own, but guided by people’s temperaments and circumstances, and the needs of the various rites, it has admitted styles from every period.” Sacrosanctum Concilium # 123.

What noble simplicity is –that is a matter of debate. What we should not do is blame all bad architecture on Vatican II because of it. In fact, I would like to bring to your attention an excellent article on the topic. (see link below)

https://www.sacredarchitecture.org/articles/dont_blame_vatican_ii/

The take away for our discussion is that noble simplicity, does not mean white walls or lack or ornamentation. In fact, it is derived from what used to be used to describe Greek art beginning in the 18th century. (see footnote 20 in the article) Thus, the best guess as to what the council meant by noble simplicity is the Greek level of beauty!

What happen even before the council was the dominance of functionalism in architecture. (i.e you would not build a large spire in a church because it serves no liturgical purpose, but you would build fan shaped seating because it helps the people get involved.) As a result, when post-council architects starting building churches they interpreted noble simplicity in a way much more modern/bare/functionality inspired than probably was intended. Thus, you have modern white walls and other such bare designs. Hence, white walls are not mentioned by Vatican II.

Now don’t get me wrong. I can in fact enjoy battleship shaped churches and a lot of modern design. The church did say she has not adopted any particular style, so I am not going to quench any spirits by disregarding good modern tastes.

What I wanted to do was to give us a reason to stop and think before we claim it was Vatican II that caused the decline of what others would term more traditional forms of architecture and sacred furniture. It was not Vatican II itself, but a whole lot of other societal trends that caused the painting of that main altar. (And in fact, not all painting was probably a bad thing as God can be served by many designs)

Warning Against Useless Disputes: Vatican II

2 Timothy 2:14-19 (NRSV) “Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.

I have a lot to learn from this peice of scripture, have learnt and repent of not living up to its calling.

This is just a short apologetics training post.

Basically, when trying to defend Vatican II or the Papacy, don’t always get caught up in verbal debates over single sentences or minor historical issues. It is important to defend Vatican II on every issue to show forth its light (as this website tries to do), yet the major battles are won when taking a step back and going for higher level issues like fidelity to the popes and infallibility of the ordinary magisterium.

People like Pope John Paul II wrote vase amounts of literature. It does not take much to twist or isolate sentences to come up with something scandalous. (that is until you read the next sentence or compare it with 1570 other quotes were he says the exact opposite proving his true opinion)

The same things is true of Vatican II. (or scripture as the devil himself or others have used it to attack Catholicism or Christ in the desert) You can take minor words here and there and come up with ridiculous stories. But when you take the entire document or event you get nothing but the truth.

What I am going to try do myself, is before I get bogged down with minor disputes to tackle high level issues.

Do you assent to the fact that the council was an ecumenical council and its teaching is/were/have become part of the ordinary magisterium of the church and so guarded by the Holy Spirit from error? If yes, then I think we are on the same page and would not critique Vatican II like any other council or church teaching. Let us then talk about serving the poor or something else. If not then I doubt we are going to agree on the minor issues. Perhaps it would be better to discuss sedevacantism or infallibility extraordinary dogmatic claims vs. ordinary magisterium if we cannot agree on the above.

Reacting to Archbishop Viganò: A Pastoral Reflection — Where Peter Is

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. (2 Peter 2:1 NRSVCE) In the context of my previous essay on Vatican II, we turn… The post Reacting to Archbishop Viganò: A Pastoral Reflection appeared first on Where Peter Is.

Reacting to Archbishop Viganò: A Pastoral Reflection — Where Peter Is

Link to another excellent Article From Where Peter is

A Defense of Lumen Gentium

We have recently, finished our defense of Lumen Gentium. Taking anti-Vatican II Lumen Gentium arguments (listed under the Principle Vatican II Heresies) from http://www.catholicapologetics.info/ we have gone point by point to refute the website. They have 5 points against Lumen Gentium. We give 5 responses.

You may find our Pro-Vatican II defense here https://defendingvatican2.wordpress.com/defending-vatican-ii/7-0-lumen-gentium-lg/ .

Thank you for the encouragement. We hope to answer the website’s objections to other works of Vatican II in the coming months.

Ave Maria

The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity

How Modern Culture is Robbing Billions of People of Happiness: by Matthew Kelly

This is an excellent book that really gets Catholicism.

What is happiness? What program is going to get you their? Holiness. And how do you be holy? Simply, daily small acts of holiness. That all you have to do. Little tiny gestures of love to God in your daily actions. This was the lesson of St. Therese the little flower and also this book.

I won’t give away the lie per say, but you might be able to guess that it has to do with what we view our chances at being holy are. In fact – they are pretty good if we keep it simple, like daily small actions.

Without giving away anymore, the above paragraph sums up the message. In a true Matthew Kelly style, he gets us motivated and provides practical ways to set in action what he writes about. With an accessible writing style and short chapters this book is perfect for a daily or weekly read.

Overall: Highly Recommended

The Spirit of Vatican II: Out into the Deep — Where Peter Is

“By the power of the risen Lord [the Church] is given strength that it might, in patience and in love, overcome its sorrows and its challenges, both within itself and from without, and that it might reveal to the world,… The post The Spirit of Vatican II: Out into the Deep appeared first on Where…

The Spirit of Vatican II: Out into the Deep — Where Peter Is

Do not be Afraid! This is a short and good Article.

Death of Judas: Vatican II Moving Forward not Looking Back

We are talking Maccabees here.

1 Mac 9:11-18 “Then the army of Bacchides marched out from the camp and took its stand for the encounter. The cavalry was divided into two companies, and the slingers and the archers went ahead of the army, as did all the chief warriors. Bacchides was on the right wing. Flanked by the two companies, the phalanx advanced to the sound of the trumpets; and the men with Judas also blew their trumpets. The earth was shaken by the noise of the armies, and the battle raged from morning until evening.

Judas saw that Bacchides and the strength of his army were on the right; then all the stouthearted men went with him, and they crushed the right wing, and he pursued them as far as Mount Azotus. When those on the left wing saw that the right wing was crushed, they turned and followed close behind Judas and his men. The battle became desperate, and many on both sides were wounded and fell.  Judas also fell, and the rest fled.”

After so many impossible battles won with God’s help Judas dies from a rather simple maneuver. Although not certain from the text the New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture gives the following analysis. The right side of the opposing forces retreat tricking Judas into advancing which allows for the left opposing side to then encircle him.

It serves as a warning to myself. As many battles as I win, it is always the basics that matter. Prayer, sacraments, faith in Christ, good deeds, alms, sacrifice, obedience, family and a pursuit of holiness and virtue.

What I hope this website and my posts due is not win many great debates or cause me to focus on the external arguments going on. Pray that this website may find those seeking words of clarity and encouragement in the faith because others have shaken their belief in Vatican II rather than those seeking to debate. This is a way for me to give back to others at a basic level. I don’t particularly want this to become anything else or a substitute for my prayers or basic acts of holy living throughout the day.

I encourage all Vatican II defenders to also not get caught up in the debates, but let us continue moving forwards promoting and enacting Vatican II rather than getting to caught up in looking backwards to post conciliar debates with modernists and traditionalist. We are at a great time in history, lets not go backwards or start to look inwards again. Be not afraid!

Into the Breach an Apostolic Exhortation to Men

By Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted Bishop of Phoenix

“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land…” EZEKIEL 22:30

This is one of the most effective and well written works on the topic of masculine spirituality that I have read.

There are some hard hitting phrases in it. For example, James Bond is he really a man? Well not a great one because he runs around using women for pleasure and ironically never forms long lasting bonds that true men are called to do in life. That is something to ponder, and a taste of this great work by Most Rev. Thomas.

It is a battle call to repair the missing holes in church life, of which a lot has been caused the absence of male leadership within families and social life.

There are always those moments in life when you need a mission. This book (booklet) gives you a reason to wake up. It show us the crisis and then gives you ways to step into the breach and repair the damage.

It is a call for commitment to a deep form of male spirituality. Not just surface living but real living. It is a call for holy living, prayer, sacraments, fulfilling fatherhood duties, supporting brother’s in the faith, helping the parish and serving the poor and vulnerable.

I will leave the review of the book at that. It is an call for action. Do you want to be called to something?

There is also now a video series. https://www.kofc.org/en/campaigns/into-the-breach.html

Overall: Highly Recommend

Encouragement for Pro-Vatican II Defenders from Cardinal Scola and Bishops

Note sure if you have heard the news back in July 2020. Cardinal Scola, Bishop Baron and Bishop Daniel Flores all putting out support for Pope Francis and Vatican II. Let us pray for them.

This can also be a word of warning for ourselves. Let’s us not make Vatican II into Christ himself just as others need to let go of their own subjective criteria.

Bishop Baron’s recent videos on Vatican II are already linked on the website under the Defending Vatican II tab 4.0 links and resources.

See the full article. https://wherepeteris.com/bishops-speaking-up-defending-pope-francis-and-vatican-ii/#:~:text=His%20defense%20of%20Vatican%20II%20and%20some%20of,time%20to%20address%20the%20problem%20of%20radical%20traditionalism.

or this one for Cardinal Scola. https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/07/21/cardinal-scola-calls-out-pope-francis-critics-pope-pope

The Incorruptibles by Joan Carrol Cruz

How many uncorrupted body of saints do you think exist today? Apparently more than I would have ever thought. Joan Carrol Cruz’s classic book on the uncorrupted body of saints astounded me.

In over 100 chapters this book details over 100 saints whose bodies are still or were persevered miraculously from decay for 100’s of years. With several pictures and a short biography on the life on each saint it is a great devotional book to grow in faith and trust in God through witnessing his great power.

Although, some of the bodies have experienced greater extent of decay others seem as if they could simply wake up and resume normal life even after dying 100’s of years ago. She records how some of the bodies periodically move their eyes or even change position. Some of the saints were even buried without caskets in the ground and later unearthed to be found without any sort of decay set in.

Did you know St. Cecilia’s body who died in 177 is uncorrupted? (I wont give away the details)

Did you know that several of the saints uncorrupted remains are still visible today in different churches around the world? (possible next pilgrimage plans)

This book has been around for a while, and has gone through several publishing runs so there is always the chance of finding it at a local library or book fair as well.