Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Framing of Vatican II

Vatican II

The Rooster Who Caused the Sun to Rise

You will be familiar with the logical fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc. When one thing happens after another thing, it is easy to assume that the first thing caused the second. Our rooster, Hermes, like Chanticleer, no doubt believes his crow causes the sun to rise.

The great Church council known as Vatican II was held from 1962 to 1965. Its resulting documents were different from those produced by all previous councils. They were meant to be "pastoral." For the first time, the Church wanted to sit down and chat. The documents were long, equivocal and unclear in application. It is not recorded that anyone read them since.

In fact, they were compromise documents produced by a well-organized "Rhine Alliance" over a strenuous, but, ultimately doomed conservative rearguard led by Cardinal Ottaviani.

The lack of clarity of the council documents (due to their gaseous style as much as compromise after acrimonious debate) allowed differing interpretations. Between the cracks of fact and logic in these documents sprouted "The Spirit of Vatican II." 

Nearly everything we don't like about Vatican II, from ecumenism to Marty Haugen are fruits of these noxious Vatican II weeds. The ritual smashing of the altar rails on Wednesday, December 9, 1965 -- after the official close of the Council -- became a symbol of the destruction of the Church. By 1970 the Roman Catholic Church had ceased to exist, all because of Vatican II.

This is the accepted story, at any rate.

The Bear, however, has always wondered about this. 

Which Came First: The Church Collapse Chicken or the Vatican II Egg?

If we don't like Vatican II, we must concede that there existed a sizable body of thought within the Church that proposed the things Vatican II approved. There were important movers and shakers, and, in the end, a majority of the council fathers who went along with it all. If the Church is rotten, it was rotten in those halcyon days before the council it gave birth birth to.

Father Patrick "The Family That Prays Together Stays Together." Peyton ran the "Family Theater" television program from 1947 to 1957. In 1961, a year before Vatican II opened, Fr. Peyton packed a half-million people, including dignitaries, into San Francisco's Golden Gate Park for one of his famous rosary rallies. And, at the exact same time Vatican II was destroying the Church (at least according to the story) there rises the comforting image of Emmy-Award winning Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen on the small screen. His final program ran from 1961-1968, neatly bracketing the council.

The Bear would like to pause and highlight two points:
  • Only a Church already deranged could have produced Vatican II
  • The popular, high-profile Catholicism that we think of in the pre-Vatican II Church -- as exemplified by Fr. Peyton and Venerable Archbishop Sheen -- was a coat of Catholic paint on institutions that were already flying strange colors. 
Something else happened in 1968, besides the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen's final program. Pope Paul VI rejected his own Pontifical Commission on Birth Control and took a hard line against birth control. As "The Fulton Sheen Show" ended for the last time with its trademark, "Goodnight and God bless," the Catholic Church blew up.

Here, in the premeditated rebellion to Humanae Vitae is where we first get the synod on the family's now-familiar "consult your own conscience," "pastoral," voo-doo theology, backed by the best theologians, and promoted by the Catholic chattering class. The Pope was so demoralized by the revolt that he never issued another encyclical. The Bear would not dare say the Humane Vitae reaction was worse than Vatican II, but it sure impacted the Church in two ways Vatican II didn't.
  • It hit Catholics where they lived and fostered a spirit of revolt.
  • It demonstrated to common folks that the inmates were running the asylum.
Who Is the Guilty Party?

The Bear is not scholar enough to trace the timeline of this titanic catastrophe, but has no doubt that someone with an open mind could. But he will state plainly that it is impossible that it started with Vatican II, or that Vatican II was to blame. Oh, the majority of council fathers were guilty enough within the scope of their own stupidity, cowardice and malevolence. But they have been unfairly left holding the smoking gun over the body, when they were only stealing the silver plate. 

As to the real culprits, the Bear is confident they could be discovered with diligence and a small research staff. And he doesn't mean conspiracy theories like "the freemasons," although he does not doubt their involvement. 

How far back do we have to go? Back at least to the beginning of the 20th century and St Pope Pius X, who wrote the famous denunciation of Modernism in the 1907 Pascendi Domenici Gregis. Is there anyone who doubts we are still dealing with Modernism today? St. Pope Pius X noted how tricky Modernists are. When the Church is alert, they go underground. When their day arrives, they wave the red flag in your face. They're like T.S. Eliot's feline villain:

McCavity, McCavity
there's no one like McCavity.
he's broken every human law,
he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation
would make a fakir stare.
And when you reach the scene of the crime,
McCavity's not there!

But like most good villains, they're proud. The Bear is sure there is a paper trail. His hypothetical research project would probably start with the Index of Forbidden Books. By the way, did you know that was abolished in 1966 by Pope Paul VI? By that time inclusion was probably a badge of honor.

On second thought, such a project would no doubt unravel into antiquity, perhaps all the way back to Judas' fraudulent books. Perhaps Modernism is ever emerging from the Spiritus Mundi to seize like minds on the faculty, in the chancery, in the synod, and anywhere weak souls are captured by the proud promises of a new age. 

Every age is is on the cusp of the it's own "modern" age. Our age is worse off because our Modernists have so many bad ideas to choose from, and, at the moment, sponsors in high places. In our tiny slice of time it seems Modernists have carried the day, and perhaps they have.

The Bear looks back and sees no substantial difference in outcome, whether there was a Vatican II or not. Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen may have had the ratings, but the Modernists held the key positions behind the scenes, and the trend of the times was with them. Every dog has his day and we have the misfortune to live Modernist Dog Day Afternoon. But if anything, we're better off today because the enemy is in plain sight. And while Yeats' "image out of the Spiritus Mundi" draws closer to Bethlehem, the "indignant desert birds" are all blogging, and sometimes Bears.


  1. >Pope Paul VI rejected his own Pontifical Commission on Birth Control and took a hard line against birth control.

    Why would you color the act with language like "hard line"? You give away the goods by using progressive-speak. Why not say instead "and reaffirmed the truth"?

    You are correct to be looking for an underlying condition prior to VII. Let's start with Fatima. Did not Our Lady prophecy a *conditional* second war if the people did not repent? And it came. May we not conclude that the people had not repented?

    Look at the fashions emerging in the 40s-60s. The lewd bikini was arriving. Hollywood films were becoming morally corrupt. The Legion of Decency supported by the hierarchy was holding it at bay for a time, but needed the cooperation of the laity to boycott unapproved films. The laity chose lewd entertainment. Is it any different today except that people are so jaded they can't recognize it anymore?

    Yes, there was trouble in the hierarchy already, but the laity were running astray in entertainment and consumerism. We all played a part in the collapse.

    We all therefore must suffer through the consequences and divine judgment until the people (starting with us...er.. me) repent.

    Augustine said "good sheep bring forth good shepherds." If you want good shepherds, be good sheep.

  2. It was certainly seen as hard line, and it is a fair description in light of the expectations. "Hard line" is not a bad thing to Bears. I have no objection to your words if you like them better. Don't forget the demise of the Hayes Commission, which was dominated by Catholics.

    1. >the demise of the Hayes Commission
      There are far too many interconnected elements in the collapse of the Church to list everything in a blog comment, even if one was able to untangle what happened. I only desire to point out that the laity played their part in unraveling cultural morality.

      >It was certainly seen as hard line, and it is a fair description in light of the expectations

      But that's exactly the problem. The dissidents were able to create those expectations, and thus the teachings of the Church could be framed as "hard line". That creates the idea that a "moderate" position which is less than the truth is therefore more reasonable.

      Language is everything. Did you not as a lawyer carefully choose your language in questioning and opening/closing statements in order to persuade the jury?

      >"Hard line" is not a bad thing to Bears.
      But is a bad connotation to the mainstream, and there the battle is won or lost.

      Consider how JPII was called "arch-conservative", and Benedict a "Rottweiler". They were conservative only relative to the dissidents of their era. In comparison to previous popes, they were quite liberal.

      Even now, the Kasper proposal is characterized as "mercy". Now we have a prelate saying that even "mercy" is insulting--since after all, that presumes that those who might get this so-called mercy are doing something wrong. We can't hurt their feelings!

      Consider how much of the news of the Church and world is obtained, even by faithful Catholics, via the MSM which controls the language used to describe it.

      If you cave to the language of the dissidents, does that make your goal to "comfort the afflicted" any easier? Is not part of that to reassure them that the teachings are the Truth from a loving God that wants what's best for them, rather than reconfirming the MSM's stance that it's all "hard line" and therefore unduly harsh--even Pharisaical? Connotation matters.

      That's one cave bears should not enter.

    2. Well, we all better hope we don't get a president that takes a "hard line against terrorism," or "a hard line against illegal immigration," because that would be bad. Perhaps a softer, more nuanced, even weak approach would be better.

    3. Seriously?!

      You're going to try to mix presentation of the Faith with politics? And then add in "softer", "nuanced", and "weak" which are words I never used? Your lawyer background is showing.

      But, quite frankly, the same language games are practiced in politics, but instead of "hard line", it's usually characterized as "right-wing" or "extremist." That's how progressives negotiate compromise from necessary reform.

      What's next? Are you going to call no exceptions for direct abortion "extreme"?

      I'm losing hope that your recent questioning is going to take root and flower. It's too tempting to return to being just another blog.

    4. It's not worth arguing about two words in a long article that I frankly didn't anticipate would arouse anyone's interest, let alone ire. So that's it, save me the anticipation, and decree that SCB is just another blog. Neither your opinion nor mine will decide that issue, in any case. The blog stands on it's own. But don't expect further micro-editing discussions.

  3. The Hayes Office, headed by Will Hayes, was founded in the early 1920's, largely as a result of the Mary Miles Minter scandal, and the Fatty Arbuckle scandal, as well as the racy content of movies. It was pretty toothless, and there is today a genre of films called "Pre-Code"--encompassing talkies from 1929-34. The Production Code (distinct from the Hayes regime), administered by Joe Breen for many years, lasted until the mid-sixties. At that time, the Legion of Decency also collapsed--made ridiculous (some say deliberately, an inside job) by many of its ratings. The post-Vatican-II version, under the bloodless bureacratic name of "The National Catholic Office of Motion Pictures," may or may not still exist. I don't think anyone knows.

  4. Yes, there were already dissenters in the ranks of the hierarchy and clergy. How else could V2 have come out as it did? There was a planned refusal to obey when HV came out in 68.

    As for entertainment, today even "serious" Catholics and evangelicals, including myself, have justified watching violent, sex-filled shows such as Sopranos, Mad Men, etc. Some shows, like Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, I have eschewed myself. There are limits to what I can tolerate in the name of "art." The Catholics/evangelicals argue artistic value, costumes, script, settings, historical accuracy, etc. outweigh the indecency in the shows. And they're really not tempted by it...? Who can say? In the words of Francis, who am I to judge? (Oh, how that will live on in infamy!)

  5. According to Anne Barnhardt, Montini (aka pope paul vi) punished prelates who enforced Humanae Vitae . He was also a practicing homosexual while in office. A good online read is Nikita Roncalli: Counterlife of a Pope by Marco Bellegrandi, a University Prof who was head of the Vatican Noble Guard during the reigns of John xxiii and Paul vi.

    Seattle kim

    1. I'd stay away from Barnhardt. Anything of value she's going to put there can be gotten from primary sources.

  6. Paul vi, btw, abolished the Oath against Modernism which priests used to takebefore Vat.2. He is believed to have been the creator of the Lavender Mafia as he made a mandatory retirement age for cardinals and brought in homo cardinal replacements along with their homo prelate entourages. It was a gay old time and still is.

    Seattle kim

    1. Pope Paul VI also suppressed the Prayer to St. Michael after masses, and the suppression of the Oath Against Modernism is a valuable observation.

      He may very well have been an arch-sodomite, but I am nowhere near satisfied enough with the evidence to make the accusation myself, and yes, I have read the accusations and summaries of evidence online.

  7. Very good Bear. You are so very correct, the seeds of Vatican II were planted long before they sprouted. I would go so far as to say that Vatican II was absolutely the worst thing that has ever befallen the Church as it supports a heresy coming from within--Modernism. It was all about changing the liturgical. emphasis from God to Man. It was about making the Church Protestant friendly in the hopes of reflecting the lives of Catholics at that time and appealing to non-Catholics. It was surrender to the zeitgeist. It was the suicide of the faith.

    And, of course, we have our answer how it all turned out. "By their fruits you shall know them". Unless things radically change the Catholic Church will be a remnant in 20 years and Christ will find little faith on earth if He comes at that time.

  8. The ebook, 100 Years of Modernism, catalogues in great detail how this theological and philosophical rot preceded V2 by a hundred years or more.
    V2 was the pot that allowed the evil flower to fully bloom and we are living with the results today. But, the restoration has begun and will ultimately overcome this nihilistic, modernist, false, and therefore weak doctrine.

  9. Because of this article, I am finally able to see that the CCC (church collapse chicken) preceeded the Vatican 2 whirlwind. You were being exceedinlyly brown Bear with this writing. But I am not so sure that just because the enemy is in plain sight, that we are better off. I am not so sure the enemy has been fully disclosed.

  10. Bear, if I had a blog, I would have written the same thing.

    Now I am not a Catholic scholar. I have a Protestant theology degree and a degree in history which I would say merely enables me to read the language, and as a convert, I am telling you some things just do not makes sense.

    First, I converted on the basis of the clearly superior Catholic use of the wholeness of Scripture as opposed to the selective use all Protestant denminations use. I also converted due to the total package of Church teaching and that means morality and the continuous teaching of it all the way back.

    But there is a problem. Since Vatican 2, some teachings have simply changed, at least as they are applied at the "street level". I would go so far as to say the documents of V2 CAN be read in concert with prior documents but it is really difficult to do so.

    In studying Jungmann's "The Mass of the Roman Rite" there appear inklings of the desire for change going back at least to the period of that writing. But I believe you have hit it better than that; the threats to the continuity of Church teaching go back farther. And I would add that the great wars of catastrophe {culture, religion, politics} of the 20th Century deeply affected the thinking of the men who represented the Church at V2 and more importantly, afterwards. There is no doubt that Benedict XV was correct; World War 1 {and its offspring, WW2 and many other wars of independence, etc} was the Suicide of Europe and the corpse of European civilization at least has weighted down the Church herself. I would say in no uncertain terms the fear of the sheer capacity for humanity to destroy itself leaps off the pages of V2 documents where anything decisive or confrontational or able to be interpreted in a strong or demanding way is lacking. Decisions founded on fear are rarely good ones, either.

    So what would have happened if V2 didn't occur?

    No one knows and it is moot anyhow.

    But reality is that someone is wrong. Either the Church of 2000 years or the Street Teaching of the Church of 50 years, because the leanings, the emphasis and in some cases the phraseology is nearly impossible {impossible?} to reconcile between V2 and prior to. Indeed, Pope Benedict XVI's sort of desperate insistence on the "hermeneutic of continuity" only underscores fact that an hermeneutic of discontinuity threatens the teaching of the Church. If it didn't, there would be no need for the mention.

    At this point, with the teaching on the street of the Catholic faith redefining "mercy", homosexuality, extra Ecclesiam nulla salus and validity of other religions, specifically Islam being so easily seen in conflict with prior teaching, I am left baffled.

    I haven't settled into an FSSP parish because I enjoy hearing a language I really don't understand, I have settled there because they still teach the doctrines of the faith I converted to which are the doctrines so easily understood by past teaching, not the vague and vapid documents so easily interpreted this way or that. I have a dear friend who continues to more or less yell at me "Church teaching hasn't changed". Well, I'd say ask any Lutheran who listens to the Pope and let them tell you. Ask any Muslim who has read past Papal Bulls and the writings of JPII and Francis and any animist pagan who will find a favorite goddess "Mother Earth" sitting on a throne previously occupied by Our Lady the Blessed Virgin who is our true Mother in the laughable and bizarre document Laudato si.

    At this point I am not only confused, but I am angry. And I and many others are waiting for Bishops to rise up and put a stop to this, but alas, frankly, what I have seen of Bishops belies the criticism that the Church doesn't allow women in positions of power. Indeed, from what I can tell most act like 12 year old girls.

    1. >In studying Jungmann's "The Mass of the Roman Rite"
      If you head over to Rorate, there's an excellent article posted around Easter that lays out the changes to the TLM Holy Week liturgy around 1950. Bugnini already had his fingers in the Mass then.

      > Either the Church of 2000 years or the Street Teaching of the Church of 50 years
      It's been the struggle between teaching the Faith in "all it's rigor and vigor" and the temptation to be "pastoral" because the teachings are "too hard". It's been across the board. The Bear, himself, fails to see that the "change in policy" (as he put it in another post) over the application of the death penalty fits exactly into that pattern. Same tactic; different teaching.

      >At this point I am not only confused, but I am angry.
      That's a difficult phase to be in, for sure. Been there. I can only advise that you go back to basics: Either God is in control or He isn't. We've been chosen to live in a time that is not marked by high liturgy and culture. We're suffering with the Church through her passion. You have to come to terms with that. God allows things to go so far and then He corrects. I don't know where that line is, but in reviewing Church history it's pretty far and the correction pretty severe. Two of God's worst punishments on His people are permitting bad shepherds and letting the people have what they want.

      The virtue of meekness concerns the regulation of anger. The intellect controls the passion of anger such that one does not get any angrier than appropriate or for longer than necessary. Unless you are in a position of authority to actually do something about the problems in the Church, does not reason dictate that you not react with anger? It's "natural" enough, but we are called to a supernatural life.

      I've spent thousands of hours in studying the situation and tracking every goings-on. In the end I had to come to the humbling and painful conclusion of asking where I'd be if I'd spent all that time in front of the Blessed Sacrament instead. Something for every internet junkie to consider.

      Hang in there; God is in control. To say otherwise is both blasphemy and despair. Tend to your daily duties in life.

    2. Death Penalty. Let me guess. You're politically conservative. (Be honest.)

    3. You just got done complaining about a discussion over language and now you're back for more!

      Liberal and conservative. Terms everybody uses and "knows" what they mean but can't define. It's a false dichotomy.

      I strive for orthodox Catholicism which does not fit within those ill-defined political categories. What passes for observable "political conservatism", at least in America, is actually Enlightenment liberalism--or more accurately an embracing of the errors of the Enlightenment. "Political liberalism" as observable today is just a more advanced form.

      I don't waste a lot of time trying to find a political label for myself because what I'd embrace is not about to appear on the actual landscape at least until there is a divine correction.

      To put it another way, I've observed that humanity on a natural level has demonstrated three things: people are not capable of ruling others; people are not capable of being ruled by others; people are not capable of ruling themselves. Doesn't leave a lot of options on a natural level.

      Any just society must operate on supernatural grace. God appears to be withdrawing that in our present age. It's why things are flying apart.

      From what I've seen you write, you appear to be squishy on the Catholic teaching on the death penalty. I don't begrudge you that as you've dealt with it up close and personal. I've observed that people always get squishy (or callously rigid which I'd argue is the same response in a different direction) when they personally have to confront a teaching. I'd tell you where I'm squishy, but due to the capacity for human rationalization it is not something self-observable and needs to be pointed out by others. You can check out the recent Aleteia.org article by a conveniently anonymous "catholic theologian" rationalizing her personal confrontation with communion for adulterers.

      It doesn't disturb me that you're reluctant to apply the death penalty. People too eager to apply it probably frighten me more than those that wish to abolish it. I put my stake in the ground in insisting on continuity of doctrine within Catholic circles even if I don't bother advocating for it in the civil arena. It should remain on the books as at least a possibility, even if it is rarely applied. You made a case that 2267 cannot be skipped over, but appear in the process to skip over 2266 which is severely undermined by 2267 and all but eliminated with the phrase "practically nonexistent".

      What you fail to see in accepting a supposed "change in policy" on the part of Church with regard to the death penalty are the same pattern and tactics as changes in "policy" on other matters. The difference between applying mercy in cases of murder--which is not the only offense meriting the death penalty--and communion for serial adulterers is that in the case of murder it is an act in the past and so with repentance can be granted mercy without injury to the doctrine. But the practice of changing policy in one area leads to the practice of changing it areas that cause serious damage.

    4. Not getting into a fruitless discussion over the CCC. I don't know why you don't agree with it, whether the "Novus Ordo Church" promulgated it, or what. As a plain old Roman Catholic, I'm happy to have it. Not getting into a fruitless debate about the death penalty, either. It always comes down to political leaning, no matter what the Church said. I am not a liberal, but am against the death penalty due to my own experience, but not in an activist sort of way. It makes it easy to follow the CCC, which I would have (wrongfully) found difficult (similar to immigration or global warming) before I began dp work. You see, I know myself and my own psychology, and aware that I have a basic disposition to conservatism, though not enough to make me a traditionalist. Not 1 in 1000 will admit the role of personality and psychology in their beliefs and behavior. Yet it is so important in making authentic and informed decisions, and understanding why we do what we do. Cordial ursine greetings.

  11. Don Juan hit the nail on the head, and summarized your point: "Vatican II was the pot that allowed the evil flower to fully bloom". Not the cause, per se; the pot that contained the evil fruit and allowed it to bloom. The forces and faces were already in place. They used VIi, they did not come from it. Otaviani didn't know what hit him because he didn't see what was waiting beneath the rich looking soil in the pot. That good, faithful man could not imagine such evil lurking beneath the surface of such rich looking soil. The pot itself was not evil. The pot itself was not all that dramatic. What came out of it, a different story. Yeah.

    I also like Don Juan's conclusion. "The restoration has begun." It will be nice to see these cretins exit the stage and the conquest of souls for Christ begun again.

  12. I think the "consult your own conscience" first appeared with John XXIII's Pacem in Terris, which sent shockwaves around the world. Paul VI's advisory panel for the contraception question gave the impression that questions of doctrine/morality are somehow a matter of public/"expert" opinion. Very damaging, foolish, and completely unnecessary. Humanae Vitae also gave progressives a gif by saying the chief end of marriage was no longer the just procreation of children, but procreation AND so called "unitive" ends. Not hard to see how this could be abused.

    Of course there were progressive and heterodox priests, theologians, bishops, and cardinals at work long before Vatican II. Ratzinger was one of the worst (something his followers usually can't bear to admit). Ultimately though, Vatican II is to blame because it gave the progressives a platform to launch their agenda on the entire Church. If there was no Vatican II, would the Mass have changed? The rites of the sacraments? The breviary? Would the Church's teaching on Ecumenism have changed? It is extremely unlikely that these would have happened without Vatican II.

    Vatican II was the opening where the progressives poured poison into the Body of Christ. We know the poison will not kill the Body of Christ, but it has made her very, very sick.

    1. It was John XXIII that originally established the commission that was expanded by Paul VI.

  13. I do think VatII had something to do with it..alot to do with it. There may have been rot inside the Church that spawned it, but there has always been rot. Now it is institutionalized, written in stone, and canonized.
    I would also add: 1964. A Force to be reckoned with. Nothing was the same after it.

  14. A link (if I may) from CFN; "Can We Recognize And Resist"; The best guide I have yet seen to understand what is happening now. A bright light to keep you on the right path.

    It certainly brings much needed perspective to this topic. We are one Faith, past, present and future. All Councils and the entirety of Church Tradition works together as a certain line of defense to keep the Crafty One out of our midst. This fight is not about politics and winning an ideological battle. It is about defending the "wall" and acting in concord with our Forefathers in unity with Jesus. We are not alone, we need not be confused, making things up as we go along, here in the month of November 2015.


  15. What of the accusation that the Church was infiltrated by Communists? That would explain the speed with which the breakdown has happened if it was deliberately plotted.

    1. *Every* attack on the Church is deliberately plotted and by the same person: Satan. It's been that way from the beginning. Be it gnosticism, manicheanism, arianism, nestorianism, (a few I can't spell without looking up), donatism, iconoclasm, albigensianism, hussites, modernism, marxism, communism, masonry, or dozens more. Different era, different tactic. The degree of success in any era is dependent on what God permits and the degree of cooperation by the people of God.


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