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Renewal in Unity with and in Accordance to the Doctrine or False Interpretations?
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 www.ecclesiadei.nl/docs/ Fruits of Vatican II - Part 2

Fruits of Vatican II

II

Process Analysis Concerning the Religious Memberships

Renewal in Unity with and in Accordance to the Doctrine or False Interpretations?

Jack P. OostveenI & David SonnierII

In his opening address Pope St. John XXIII had set the substantive rules for the Second Vatican Council itself as well as for its interpretation, which is not only a kind of continuity with, but more explicit in unity with and in accordance to the Doctrine as taught by the Fathers. They may “never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers” and “the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously”
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Pope Blessed Paul VI gave a clear description and condemnation of the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture in his address to the Cardinals of the Curia on June 23, 1972 “... an emergency which We cannot and must not keep hidden: in the first place a false and erroneous interpretation of the Council, which would want to break with tradition, even as regards doctrine, an interpretation which goes so far that the pre-conciliar Church is rejected and one is allowed to consider a 'new' church, as it were reinvented from the inside, as regards the constitution of the Church, her dogma, custom and law”

“By their fruits you will know them” (Matt. 7, 16)

Content

    1 Introduction
    2 Processes
    2.1 General
    2.2 Demography
    2.3 Sociology
    2.4 What do the statistics say?
    3 Council in threefold?
    3.1 A shadow Council of the media
    3.2 Interventions by Pope Blessed Paul VI
    3.3 A council of theologians
    4 Pre-Council period
    4.1 Encyclical Humani Generis towards the Council
    4.2 Preparatory documents
    5 Council period
    5.1 Opening of the Council
    5.2 From the opening of the Council up to the rejection of the Schema De Fontibus Revelatione
    5.3 The new situation after the rejection of Schema De Fontibus Revelatione
    5.4 Interventions by Pope Blessed Paul VI
    5.5 Risks of errors
    6 Council's effect on the process
    6.1 Council period forwards to the first decade after the Council
    6.2 Restorative period after the first decade
    7 Evaluation
    8 Conclusion
    9 References
    Attachment, Statistical Overview

    This report can download as pdf-file in A5 format here and as A5-booklet here.

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Introduction

This analysis of the post Vatican II vocations crisis in the Catholic Church consists of two stages.  The first part was an observational analysisIII [1], in which we observed that some religious groups are surviving while others, in fact the very most, are stagnant or even dying. Some inspire new vocations, resulting in an increase of the number of religious, while the vast majority lack such ability to inspire and are suffering a lack of vocations. The latter situation leads to continued process of aging and declining membership that can ultimately be terminal. But each religious group has charted its own course; according to St. Matthew, “By their fruits you will know them.” (Matt. 7, 16)

This second part concerns a substantial analysis of these phenomena. It looks for the sources behind these observations by overlooking the pre-conciliar period as well as the Second Vatican Council itself and its effect on the male religious over the period from 1963 to the present

What steps can be taken to prevent religious group for dying out altogether? The authors assert that internal measures should be taken to strengthen the internal spiritual quality, but this can only be done by understanding the root causes of the crisis. This process analysis reveals the root causes.

2 Processes

2.1 General

We now deal with a complex system of processes wherein several aspects such as demographics and sociology play a clear role. Some attempt to explain the loss of vocations by blaming the refusal of the Church hierarchy to respond to new generations of Catholics, or more specifically the refusal of bishops to implement requested radical reforms. Others point to social changes in the world that have reduced the attractiveness of the role of religious, while still others propose that the decline of vocations was caused by the radical revision in religious life adopted by Vatican II.

2.2 Demography

We can study the demographics of mankind from birth to death, the demographics of faithful from baptism to death, the demographics of priesthood and religious from vocation to their retirement state or death, the demographics of bishops appointed by the Pope from the middle years of their priesthood to their emeritus state or death, the demographics of the Cardinals taken by the Pope from the midst of the Bishops, and last but not least the demographics of Popes taken from the midst of the Cardinals. Each has its own spiritual quality.

Demographic processes needs time to develop, these processes alone cannot explain why the Church-wide steady growth prior to the Second Vatican Council gave way within a few years to a dramatic decline. We consider the demographic aspects within the Catholic Church first by distinguishing among the several stages of generations, and focusing on those in transition from youth to adulthood. This is where vocations come from. The faithful at this age are very sensitive and easily influenced by examples set by parents, family, priests and religious as well as teachers but also by the secular world. Young Catholic adults have often been entrusted by their parents to Catholic schools or institutes for education run by religious under responsibility of the diocesan Bishops. Sociologically, these are the places where vocations should grow and be cherished.

2.3 Sociology

2.3.1 Refusal of the Church hierarchy to respond to new generations of Catholics

Based on sociological theories, some have argued that sudden and worldwide lack of vocations was caused by a conflict of generations in which the youth revolt against their parents who did not evolve with time. According this theory modern contemporary men should not accept any discipline from others. The student revolts during the sixties would be a manifestation of this line of thought. It even goes so far that one suggests that such movement is a natural irreversible development.
In accordance to this evolutionistic liberal ideology it is suggested that the younger generation of Catholics rejected the so-called old-fashioned and rigid Church of the past. But, more badly, this theory seems to be adopted in the Council's decree on religious freedom Dignitatis HumanaeIV as can be quoted by its first sentence.

the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man, and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment, enjoying and making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivated by a sense of duty.

 

But why, was such so-called generation-conflict only limited to this era after the Second Vatican Council? In all times - todays, yesterday as well as tomorrow - one can find contemporary man with younger and elder generations, whereas at all times the elder generation taught the younger ones! However, was, at the time around the Council, the younger generation influenced by the elder generation, by their teachers to stand up against the elder generation or more specifically by some who were attached to this sociological theory based on the liberal ideology as it would be the full truth? Thus by theologians attached to the liberal ideology? How could this liberal ideology have been quoted so positively by the Second Vatican Council in Dignitatis Humanae? Was it the same source, theologians attached to the liberal ideology, that on the one hand as professors were responsible for the education of the youth by teaching their teachers and on the other hand as theologian advisors of their Bishops could propose this kind of texts to incorporate in this Council's documents without any reserve on it?

Anyway, this argument often focuses on the vows of celibacy, suggesting that the Church hierarchy did not respond willingly to the new generation of Catholics that would not accept the traditional sacrifices required of priests and religious. In addition to celibacy, advocates of this theory are concerned with vows of obedience and the poverty required of those who enter a religious order and the strict discipline regarding the Holy Liturgy. But celibacy remains their primary concern. A number of studies conducted the late 1960’s and 1970’s attempted to explain that celibacy was the most common cause of priests leaving the priesthood.

There was, however, no vocations crisis as long as the Church substantially held the pre-Council norms as standard. After the Second Vatican Council, a practice emerged that, in accordance with the liberal sociological theory, released these norms from their disciplinal obligations by leaving it to the conscience of faithful. And again just so rigidly following the liberal ideology by not teaching the conscience anymore, this led to ambiguous practices in which the discipline of the Church seems to be replaced with a general practice that totally differs from the original norms held before the Council. Eventually this created a situation in which the newly developed disciplines became absolute norms, rigidly enforced and made obligatory for all faithful, despite the fact that the traditional norms were never formally abrogated. Among others this, gradual transformation of the norms took place in the Holy Liturgy, religious life and morality. Here, the religious vow of obedience and poverty as well as the vow of celibacy were considered to be in the domain of free will, not driven by command but motivated solely by sense of duty. Due to the renewal required by the Second Vatican Council, many believed that the statutes and religious vows had to be rewritten. Because the statutes and religious vows were formulated by the founder(s) of the respective congregations, this task was a specific matter of the congregations, but which was to be approved by the Church just as like the original statutes and religious vows were in the past. Although the renewal of the statutes and religious vows should not depart from the original constitutions, a number of congregations changed them anyway to suit their desires.

Unlike other vows, the vow of celibacy could not simply be rewritten. A vow of celibacy is a vow of celibacy, and no-one can change the nature of celibacy. One can accept or deny the celibacy as vow, but the meaning of celibacy cannot change. Therefore the resistance against the vow of celibacy is focused on the coupling between priestly life and the vow of celibacy.

But, since both the choice to become priest or religious and the vow of celibacy are matters of free will, the coupling between celibacy and priestly life cannot be a matter of command; nobody is obliged to become a priest, religious or to vow for a celibate life. Moreover, the Latin Church has the right to recruit their priests strictly from those who have taken the vow of celibacy; this is certainly not a case of command. This coupling is really a just and supernatural way of protecting and strengthening a genuine vocation to priesthood. On the contrary it is an injustice that men require from the Church the profit of priesthood without this total commitment to it; such a mentality raises doubts about the sincerity of their vocation.

From the moment that the coupling of celibacy can only concern the priesthood, the complaint of coupling cannot be committed to religious memberships in general. Therefore the sudden decline of the religious memberships during the first decade after the Second Vatican Council cannot be explained by the coupling of celibacy and priesthood as the key problem.


Isn't it most remarkable how, in accordance to the aforementioned quote of the first sentence of the decree of religious freedom,Dignitatis Humanae, as well as the removal of the second prayer from the OffertoryIV by the liturgical reform after the Council, that the Church practice tends to have adopted the liberal sociological ideology as if it were an objective natural scientific truth.

O God, Who wonderfully formed the dignity of human nature, and more wonderfully restored it

Even if this ideology were comparable with the natural truth by sociological science it still lacks the full Truth. It does not take into account supernatural Truth of Faith: the free will in choosing the good or the bad, as well as the effects of the first sin, like the weakness of men’s will that thereby tends to the bad and the supernatural consequences of baptism and true Christian life. Instead of adopting this liberal ideoly as a natural science, the Church had the duty to confront it by teaching the Light of the supernatural Truth. Such duty is a consequence for loving the mankind.

2.3.2 Social changes that have reduced the attractiveness of the role of religious

Another sociological theory blames the fall in vocations on the greatly increased secular career opportunities for religious brothers and sisters, especially in economically developed nations. At the time of Vatican II, more and more diplomas were required for tasks that were done in the past by religious, like nursing and teaching. The experiences in these tasks from a motive of supernatural charity became underestimated and their positions replaced by paid jobs. Due to these social changes, the attractiveness would be reduced regarding the career options of young sisters and brothers. In this way, by which the rapid decline in the religious membership is attributed to rapid social changes within the secular world.
This argument seems to fit well regarding to the religious brothers and sisters. Apparently, it does not fit the decline of the priesthood, the religious priests as well as the diocesan priests.

2.3.3 Changes in the conception of religious life

In 2000, Stark and Finke [2] proposed another theory for the decline in vocations. According to them, the decline was caused by the radical revision of the roles of religious made by the Second Vatican Council. With references to other authors, they cited three documents of the Council that results in a complete re-conception of the religious state.

This latter quote was warmly received by a number of religious. Despite, they had accepted the constitutions and the religious vows by free will, they considered the religious life as being confined by many of the restrictions and requirements. Then, based on these quotes suggestions arose for changing the religious life to harmonize with modern conditions, by which an era of extraordinary changes began. Without any pardon, dissenters who raised issues concerning the loss of essentials of the religious life were drowned in the rush to “update”, being brainwashed by so-called sensitivity trainings. Entire orders abandoned their convents for a new mode of life as scattered apartment dwellers, often without roommates and dressing like everyone else. Is this the way the Council Fathers intended? Obviously such interpretation was potentially laid down in the text of these documents, but is it as such a correct interpretation or a false one? One can wonder if the Pope and the Council Fathers intended this result.
Finally the subject of celibacy, at which so much resistance was projected, was no longer a matter of the Council since Blessed Pope Paul VI removed this subject from the agenda of the Council and directed this subject to his own competence as he worked it out in the encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus (1967). On October 11, 1965, a letter was read out from the Pope to Cardinal Tisserant: “the Holy Father had learned that the Fathers wished to raise questions about celibacy. He certainly did not wish to restrict the freedom of the Council, but he asked that this subject not to be debated publicly: questions and suggestions should be sent to Him" [15].

Thus with regard to the source of the resistance against the celibacy one cannot lay done any claim towards the Council, it was in no way a competence of the Council anymore.

2.4 What do the statistics say?

The argument of Stark and Finke [2] seems to explain reasonably well for the dramatic decline of religious sisters and brothers in the first decade after the Council. It attributes the source of the dramatic decline to the Council itself, in particular three of its documents. But the fact is that, for some congregations, the decline was already visible during the Council, even before these documents were issued. This indicates that, if these documents played a role, it was a secondary one only.

Here we must insert a comment about demographics. The increase or decrease of the number of religious memberships is a result of inflow by vocation as well as outflow by resignation and natural death of the members of the congregations. But, due to the fact that prior to the Council the relative number of resignations was negligible, the outflow was determined by the natural death of the religious. In general, the quantity of outflow of members of a congregation by natural death is in fact determined by the number of vocations an average religious lifetime ago. For example, if the average religious lifetime of a congregation is 50 years, then the quantity of outflow of members due to natural death is determined by the number of vocations 50 years ago. Consequently, the inflow is linked to the actual number of the religious members and the outflow is linked to the number of religious an average religious lifetime ago of that same congregation. Therefore, any change of the inflow takes the average religious lifetime period before it affects the natural outflow. Further we can define an equilibrium inflow at which each religious inspires one religious vocation during his religious lifetime, indicating that in the long term the inflow and outflow are the same and the number of religious remains constant. In this case, in the long term a higher inflow will indicate a growth, while a lower inflow means a decline.

 Since we are dealing with demographics of religious groups this phenomena means that any change of inflow will go into full effect in the long term only, and that the short term effects will be flattened out by the long term of the past.

Figure 1; overview timeline and inflow of the Jesuits (1910-2016) These phenomena are illustrated by figure 1, representing the timeline of the Jesuits. Using the data available in the public domain (the internet), the green shaded area provides a rough overview of the demographics from 1910 to 2010. This graphic does not show the clear detail which we can observe in the dataset from 1950 to 2016, but it is sufficient for the moment for our analysis. From this overview, by using a simple in- and out-flow model, an overview of the inflow per year has been fitted to the curve. The resignations are considered as negative inflow and combined with the inflow of the Jesuits. This indeed results in a negative inflow at the dramatic decline in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council, during the late sixties and the early seventies. One can also observe the relatively lower inflow during both world wars, of which due to the restricted data (1935 and 1945) around World War II the decrease of the inflow as determined here is more or less flattened. However both typical levels of inflow are still higher than that one in the aftermath of Vatican II. Further, looking at the aftermath of both World Wars the influence of World War II on the inflow of Jesuits is evidently greater than that of World War I. The aftermath of World War II shows a low level of inflow with a restoration in the early fifties, then eventually growing to the same level as before World War II. However after 1958, even before the Council, a sudden decline of the inflow of Jesuits occurs that goes further downwards during the Council with an inflow lower than the equilibrium inflow since 1962. To illustrate the consequence of this, from 1962 on, two dashed ‘timelines’ are constructed hypothetically. The magenta coloured dashed ‘timeline’ represents an inflow equal to the equilibrium inflow. The red dashed ‘timeline’ represents an extrapolation of the level of inflow during the Second Vatican Council. Apparently, the overall timeline of the Jesuits after 1958 was greatly influenced due to the rate of inflow during the years before 1958. Note that the diminishing of the inflow of Jesuits after 1958 seems to correspond to the release of the measures against the advocates of the New Theology by Pope Blessed John XXIII.

Furthermore, it has to be said that, aside from the early 1980’s, the inflow of Jesuits was continuously below the equilibrium inflow, indicating a decline of the Society of Jesus. However in 1981 at the same time that Pope St. John Paul II intervened in the board of the Society, the level of inflow increased to above the level of the equilibrium inflow, while shortly after this intervention the inflow decreased again.

Through this example it is clear that a stagnation of the number of vocations does not always directly result in a decline of the number of religious. Because of the long-term effects of the recent past era it will sometimes only mean a reduction of growth, as can be found in a number of congregations such as the Jesuits and the Franciscans. For them, stagnation in vocation seems to start around 1958. Contrary to this phenomenon, other congregations show an immediate sudden decline such as the Redemptorists in 1963 and the Salesians of Don Bosco even in 1967. Here the change of vocations as well as the number of resignations respectively is as such extreme that the effects of the recent past growth has been overruled totally.

From the statistical overview in Attachment I, it is clear that the dramatic decline in the first decade after Vatican II concerns mainly the religious brothers. When we distinguish between the religious priests and brothers within the available data-sets beginning in 1966-1967, the data seems still to show a growth of the number of religious priests until about 1970. But we must take into account that, especially regarding the Institutes of Consecrated Life, besides the vocation and natural outflow by death, the population of brothers and priests at any given moment is a result of all, religious vocations in general, ordinations to the priesthood by a number of them and resignations of both religious brothers as well as priests. Although, this is certainly not the case in the Institutes of Apostolic life where the religious brotherhood exists more or less alongside seminarians in preparation to the priesthood, this dramatic decline can also be observed here. For the congregations in severe decline (Category 1) the relative number of priests shifts from 70% to 80% of the total religious to a rather constant 85% to 90%.

After the dramatic decline of the religious brothers in the first decade after the Council, the continuation of the decline of the number of religious congregations in Category 1 is mostly a result of the decline of the number of priests.

None of the sociological arguments can fully explain the Church-wide phenomenon that can be observed in the statistics. Processes of such complex demographic systems need time to develop.
Here only specific events that affected such system at all levels, could have act here as a catalyst.

 

The more such a catalyst affects the whole system, the more it can influence that system, so that sudden changes can occur. It seems that in this context, the Second Vatican Council played the rule of such a catalyst.
To show this, we must consider the event of the Second Vatican Council in a wider historical and supernatural perspective.

3 Council in threefold?

3.1 A shadow Council of media

The Second Vatican Council caused a wave of optimistic enthusiasm throughout the Church, an optimistic spirit in expectation of the results of the Council according the words of Pope Saint John XXIII. He himself expected that the Council would be ended even before Christmas 1962. In his opening address to the Council, the Holy Father even chided [3]. Most faithful received the Council enthusiastically. The reports of the Council by the mass media likewise were enthusiastic and uplifting.

Five decades later, in a February 14, 2013 address on the subject of Vatican II, with the clarity provided by hindsight, Pope Benedict XVI alluded to the existence of two Councils: the real Council of Fathers and the shadow–council of mass media [4].  The shadow-council reported on the real Council with a strong bias in favour of rupture and discontinuity, which influenced the way the real Council was received.  In the words of Pope Benedict XVI, “It was obvious that the mass media would take the side of those who seemed to them more closely allied with their world ...” [4]. 

More recently, in 2016, Pope-emeritus Benedict VI spoke of this phenomenonV:  “... The bishops wanted to renew the faith, to deepen it.  However, other forces were working with increasing strength, particularly journalists, who interpreted many things in a completely new way.  Eventually people asked, yes, if the bishops are able to change everything, why can’t we all do that?  The liturgy began to crumble, and slip into personal preferences.  In respect one could soon see that what was originally desired was being driven in a different direction.  Since 1965 I have felt it to be a mission to make clear what we genuinely wanted and what we did not want" [7]

Simply trusting that the Catholic mass media would report the truth, the faithful followed the media in supporting the Council as well as its outcome. Very few of the faithful were aware of such a shadow-council. They had no reason to suspect that the Catholic mass media would mislead them by reporting a one-sided and radical view of the Council.

3.2 Interventions by Pope Blessed Paul VI

February 14, 2013, in the same address to the Roman Clergy [4] Pope Benedict XVI also mentioned a direct intervention by Pope Blessed Paul VI regarding the Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum: “... born from a vision of the Council detached from its proper key, that of faith.  And the same applies to the question of Scripture: Scripture is a book, it is historical, to be treated historically and only historically, and so on".  Hereby Pope Blessed Paul VI urged the prevention of the approval of a text on Scripture that was strongly influenced by a spirit that considers “Scripture as complete, everything is found there; consequently there is no need for Tradition, and so the Magisterium has nothing to say” [4].

Another intervention by Pope Blessed Paul VI concerning the doctrine of marriage was both more definite and more serious. New theories were being discussed on the floor of the council, even by cardinals such as Léger and Suenens, which reduced the importance of the procreative purpose of marriage and opened the way to its frustration by elevating its unitive end and the gift of self to an equal or higher level. Pope Blessed Paul VI sent the commission four amendments, with orders to insert them in the schema.

The illicit nature of artificial contraceptives was to be explicitly taught. It was also to be declared that procreation is not an incidental or parallel end of marriage when compared to the expressing of conjugal love, but rather something necessary and primary. All of the amendments were supported by texts from Pius XI’s Casti Connubii, which were also to be inserted.

The amendments were accepted; however, the quotes taken from Pius XI’s Casti Connubii were left out.  But in the end Pope Blessed Paul VI insisted on their being added to the schema that the council approved during its fourth session [4]. Meanwhile, precisely because of the new theories discussed on the floor of the Council, the question of contraceptives was referred to a papal commission and subsequently decided by the encyclical Humanae Vitae of 1968.
In the same way the subject about the celibacy was decided by the Pope to get off from the agenda of the Council referring all comments about this subject to himself [15] that results in the encyclical of 1967.

Pope Blessed Paul VI also intervened in the Council by adding Nota Praevia to the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium.  If it were not for the fact that there were text phrases that could be interpreted in contradiction with the Dogma of Vatican I, there would have been no need at all to add such Nota Praevia to a Dogmatic Constitution.

3.3 a council of theologians

Remarkably, while on the one hand Pope Benedict XVI put responsibility for a false portrayal of the real Council on the shadow-council of the mass media, on the other hand he referred to a direct intervention in the real Council by Pope Blessed Paul VI to prevent Dogmatic Constitutions from proclaiming heresy and false interpretations. The shadow-council of the mass media might be responsible for the false portrayal of the real Council but cannot be held responsible for any text of the Council documents containing ambiguities or for texts to be proposed to the Council Fathers by the commissions that resulted in interventions by Pope Blessed Paul VI eventually. One cannot hold the shadow-council of the media responsible for this.
Apparently a noxious spirit was present and active among some of the Council Fathers and their theologian advisors in the Council commissions that proposed texts to the Council Fathers.  How could it be that some texts to be proposed to the Council Fathers, even on dogmatic subjects, were so ambiguous or even in opposition to the Church Teachings that the Papal Magisterium had to correct them?

A blatant admission can be found in a statement by Father Schillebeeckx O.P. in the Dutch magazine ‘De Bazuin’XXIV (February 1965): "We will express it in a diplomatic way, but after the Council we will draw out the implicit conclusions" [5].  This statement confirms that an effort to render even dogmatic documents ambiguous was present at the Council. Thus, obviously, a false spirit was at work in the darkness behind the screens of the “real” Council; a spirit that worked through dissident Council Fathers and theologian advisers to prepare the text of the Council’s documents for interpretations opposing the Faith after the Council. It is clear that this unidentified problem could have proliferated throughout the Council, continuously influencing the texts of the Council’s documents. The objective was to propose ambiguous texts that did not awaken the concerns of the Council Fathers. If the opposing resistance became too strong, they introduced contradictory compromise text phrases that would be accepted by the majority of optimistic and unsuspecting Council Fathers of good-will.

The same spirit had created the so-called shadow-council of the mass media by providing biased reports to the mass media. To that end, according the note by Father Henri de Lubac S.J. on October 17, 1962, an informal press bureau outside the official bureau [8] was created in order to carry out the betrayal of the Council Fathers as well as the Faithful. 

Are we confronted here with a Council-in-Threefold at which the council-of-theologians was working in the darkness behind the screens ruling the real Council-of-Fathers as well as the council-of-media all in accordance to the agenda of these dissident theologians?

 A review of the past 50 years with the benefit of hindsight seems to confirm the existence of a council of theologians that manipulated the real Council in addition to conducting the council of the mass media.  After the closure of the real Council this council of theologians continued the false interpretation of the ambiguous texts by drawing out the implicit conclusions they had put in them. Such an attitude cannot be considered as being a humble and gracious collaboration with the intention of the Holy Spirit.

Naturally not all periti and theologian advisors were part of this council of theologians, but the previous reference to an admission by Schillebeeckx O.P. seems to confirm its existence.  One could say that it is doubtful that all faithful living at that time could be held responsible for having received a false image of the Council itself.  Faithful Catholics trusted the Church too much to suspect deliberate ambiguities in the Council documents and pre-determined erroneous interpretations, and they had no cause for suspicion.  Only a few faithful, such as the International Federation Una Voce, were sufficiently alert to oppose these erroneous interpretations by an organized resistance in 1966, shortly after the Council, though they were primarily focused on the Holy Liturgy.

4 Pre-Council period

4.1 Encyclical Humani Generis towards the Council

For an understanding of the Second Vatican Council as an event within a process, especially regarding the confrontation between dissident theologians and the Holy Office, we can look at the past.  Specifically, we can look at the Encyclical Humani Generis.  This encyclical was addressed in particular to those who held what Pope Pius XII referred to as the Nouvelle Théologie. Those theologians calling their movement a ressourcement to indicate that they intended to go back to the early church sources in order to restore Catholicism.  Pope Pius XII called this movement New Theology for the first time in his Allocution to the Jesuits in 1946: “There is a good deal of talk about a ‘new theology’, which must be in constant transformation, following the example of all things in the world, which are in a constant state of flux and movement, without ever reaching their term. If we were to accept such an opinion, what would become of the unchangeable dogmas of the Catholic Faith; and what would become of unity and stability of that Faith?” [5].

The encyclical Humani Generis (HG), published in 1950, reminded Catholic theologians of their tasks regarding the Church and faithful.

Pope Pius XII, first, provides a general overview regarding the main errors of that time: 

  1. An unrestricted evolutionism which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, and which is used to eliminate all ideas of a personal God (HG 5)VI;
  2. An existentialism that concerns itself only with the existence of individual things and neglects all consideration of their immutable essences (HG 6);
  3. A false historicism that only attributes value to the events of man’s life and overthrows the foundations of all truth and absolute law, both in philosophical speculations and in Christian dogmas (HG 7);
  4. An irenism that underestimates the ratio and disregards the Teaching Authority of the Church (HG 8).

In HG 9 the task of the Catholic theologian is summarized: “Now Catholic theologians and philosophers, whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instill it in hearts of men, cannot afford to ignore or neglect these more or less erroneous opinions. Rather they must come to understand some theories well, both because diseases are not properly treated unless they are rightly diagnosed, and because sometimes even in these false theories a certain amount of truth is contained, and, finally, because these theories provoke more subtle discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths”.

HG 13 indicates the manner in which the new ideas are spread: “These new opinions, whether they originate from a reprehensible desire of novelty or from a laudable motive, are not always advanced in the same degree, with equal clarity nor in the same terms, nor always with unanimous agreement of their authors.  Theories that today are put forward rather covertly by some, not without cautions and distinctions, tomorrow are openly and without moderation proclaimed by others more audacious, causing scandal to many, especially among the young clergy and to detriment of ecclesiastical authority.  Though they are usually more cautious in their published works they express themselves more openly in their writings intended for private circulation and in conferences and lectures. Moreover, these opinions are disseminated not only among members of the clergy and seminaries and religious institutions, but also among the laity, and especially among those who are engaged in teaching youth”.

By this encyclical, the Papal Magisterium of Pope Pius XII directed Catholic theologians to their main task as Catholic teachers. For any scientist, new theories are to be diagnosed carefully in the light of whole truth. Likewise, the supernatural truth of Faith sets fixed boundaries. Furthermore, scientific theologians have a grave responsibility to be cautious and clear. In publishing new ideas and new developments, they must seek to deepen the Faith in the public domain, not to confuse the faithful.

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI’s remarks on why he had not made a journey to Rome earlier than Easter 1962 indicates why the encyclical was necessary: “Because, I must say, a slight anti-Roman resentment had been imparted to us by our studies. Not in the sense that we would have denied the primacy, denied the obedience to the Pope, but that one had a certain inner reserve towards the theology that was done in Rome” [7]. From these words by the Pope-emeritus, we learned how incautious teachings had generally created a certain “slight anti-Roman sentiment ”.  As Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI studied philosophy and theology from 1946 to 1951, was ordained in 1951 and did his doctorate in philosophy and theology in 1953, obviously, we can conclude that such was the case even shortly after World War II.

The judgement exposed in the expression “the theology that was done in Rome” deserves some more attention. The task of the members of the Holy Office, as collaborators of the Papal Magisterium, is essentially different than the task of other theologians. They are the hands of the Pope, acting in his name, they must be much more prudent regarding their own opinions, even in private conversations. Therefore, they have a duty not only to teach and to protect the Faith from errors, but also to protect the faithful from confusion due to new theories that still are not clearly defined and of which the physical reality, they indicate, is still not proved. This comment, “the theology that was done in Rome” indicates an underestimation of the task of the Holy Office. It expresses a certain pride that can lead to a blindness towards the truth.

The theologians attached to the New Theology opposed the Papal teaching contained in the encyclical Humani Generis.  By calling their movement ‘ressourcement’, they suggest that the main purpose of the movement is to return to earlier sources of the undivided Church.

If this were the case, why would they be angry if their search for ressourcement did not include unrestricted evolutionism, an existentialism that concerns itself only with the existence of individual things, false historicism and irenism?  

We can reasonably ask which came first: the search for sources of the undivided Church or the need for this search to prove their ‘New Theology’ built on analogies to unproven hypothesis of modern natural science? By considering such false hypothesis of the modern natural science as true, one need to find specific sources from the very past that can be reinterpret.  So the latter has to be considered as their first purpose.  And by calling their movement ressourcement, they hide the real purpose behind their search for such sources.  Such acts consequently inhibit the development of the Truth, in that a new interpretation of the sources is used to consider a part of the development in the past as false.

And, indeed, some harken back to the first Vatican Council as a false development, others go back to the Council of Trent or even to the pre-Constantine era.  Building on this foundation result into a New Theology.

These theologians claimed that their theological point of view was based on an analogy with natural scientific truth developed during the last few centuries and that as such it had to be accepted as truth within the Church Teachings. Pope Pius XII countered this noxious movement by publishing the encyclical Humani Generis.  Subsequently, as an executive office of the Papal Magisterium, and in accordance to the Papal encyclical Humani Generis, the Holy Office had to put some of the books of the New Theologians on the Index and forbid some of them to teach in order to protect the laity (and especially the youth) from confusion. However, this never meant a termination of discussion on scientific level to find the truth contained in these theories.

These dissident theologian were so convinced of the correctness of their theological views and considered themselves superior to the Papal Magisterium, calling the Depositum Fidei a rigid Roman theology. They were afflicted with an irenism that underestimated the real ratio, and in general disregarded the Teaching Authority of the Church. Moreover, they disregarded all caution and continued to disseminate their opinions not only among members of the clergy, seminarians and religious institutions, but also among the laity, and especially among those who are engaged in teaching youth.

Even Father Henri de Lubac S.J. makes clear in his note on October 14, 1962, how negatively some of the dissident theologians judged the executive task of the Holy Office as collaborator of the Papal Magisterium: “One gets using to saying ‘the terrible Cardinal Ottaviani’, ‘the rigidness of his doctrine’ to call him the leader of the integrists, etc. That is an extreme oversimplification; Cardinal Ottaviani appears to me to be a strong personality, one that cannot be reduced to the traits of integrism.  On the other hand, thee expressions presuppose that one accepts a division that is harmful and not well-founded.  There seems to be a belief that integrism is characterized by greater firmness in doctrine of faith, by a refusal of any impoverishing human concessions, etc.  This is false.  One ought really to say: ‘poverty of this doctrine’, its ignorance of our great tradition.  Building and multiplying barriers around a void: that is how could almost define the actions of certain theologians of the Holy Office and those like them. They hold, they vigorously defend, only: a) diminish truths. ...; b) human theories ...” [8].

This betray a belief that the Holy Office could act outside the Papal Magisterium of the Church and therefore also could neglect the Papal encyclical Humani Generis.

In 1958 Pope St. John XXIII was elected after the death of Pope Pius XII. He desired a resolution to the problem of the New Theology as indicated by encyclical Humani Generis.  Not wanting to ignore the Magisterium of his predecessor, it seems that he intended to solve that problem by an Ecumenical Council, to bring the Church Teaching up to date, but by keeping Church Doctrine, including the teaching found in the encyclical Humani Generis, untouched: "This Prince of Darkness organizes the contradiction of and the battle against truth and welfare, the nefarious position which accentuates the division between those called by the genius of St. Augustine the two cities, and he keeps ever active the effort to confuse so as to deceive, if possible, also the elect and bring them to ruin.  To crown misfortune for the ranks of the sons of God and the Holy Church there is added the temptation and attraction to the advantages of a material order which modern technical progress — indifferent in itself — increases and exalts.  All this — we speak of this progress — while it distracts from the search for higher goods, weakens the energies of the spirit, leads to a relaxation of the structure of discipline and of the good ancient order, with serious prejudice to that which constituted the strength of the Church and her children against the errors which in reality, in the course of the history of Christianity, have always led to fatal and sad divisions, to spiritual and moral decadence and to the ruin of nations.  This observation arouses in the heart of the humble priest whom the manifest indication of Divine Providence led, though unworthily, to this height of the Supreme Pontificate — arouses, we say, a decided resolution to recall certain ancient forms of doctrinal affirmation and of wise provision of ecclesiastical discipline, which in the history of the Church in an epoch of renewal yielded fruits of extraordinary efficaciousness, through clarity of thought, through the solidarity of religious unity, through the living flame of Christian fervour in which we continue to see, even in regard to the well-being of life here on earth, abundant riches from the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth (Gen. 27:28).
Venerable brothers and our beloved sons! We announce to you, indeed trembling a little with emotion, but at the same time with humble resolution of intention, the name and the proposal of a twofold celebration: a diocesan synod for the city, and an ecumenical council for the Universal Church"
[8].

4.2 Preparatory documents

After the announcement of the Second Vatican Council, and hearing the opinions within the Church, Pope St. John XXIII decided to install a central commission with 11 sub-committees and 3 secretariats to produce preparatory documents to be submitted to the Council Fathers. These commissions and secretariats, containing about 2000 members from all over the world, included Cardinals, Bishops, theologians and experts. They were presided over by a Cardinal from the Curia representing the Papal Magisterium, while only the Cardinals and Bishops could to vote on the proposed texts. Some theologians from among the New Theology’ movement were appointed as consultants to the theological committee: Fathers Yves Congar O.P., Henri de Lubac S.J., Bernard Häring C.Ss.R. and Joseph Lécuyer C.S.Sp. Father Karl Rahner S.J. was appointed to the liturgical commission. At the same time Pope St. John XXIII lifted the measures taken by the Holy Office against these advocates of the New TheologyHe did not reject the teaching of the encyclical Humani Generis, but simply lifted the disciplinary measures associated with it.

By virtue of these appointments the representatives of the New theology were invited to bring their arguments to the discussions within the commissions to find the real ‘truth’ contained in the New Theology. These discussions were occasionally very intense, and resulted in preparatory documents that were agreed to, first by at least a two-thirds majority of the theological commission, and subsequently of the central commission.

It is therefore remarkable that in December 1961, when he convoked the Council, Pope St. John XXIII declared that the problem he had raised in January 1959 had been solved through the Holy Spirit. He praised the work of the preparatory commissions and expressed himself as very optimistic about the results of the Council as a manifestation of the fruits of the Holy Spirit:
”Then, if we turn our attention to the Church, we see that it has not remained a lifeless spectator in the face of these events, but has followed step by step the evolution of peoples, scientific progress, and social revolution. It has opposed decisively the materialistic ideologies which deny faith. Lastly, it has witnessed the rise and growth of the immense energies of the apostolate of prayer, of action in all fields. It has seen the emergence of a clergy constantly better equipped in learning and virtue for its mission; and of a laity which has become ever more conscious of its responsibilities within the bosom of the Church, and, in a special way, of its duty to collaborate with the Church hierarchy.  Thus, though the world may appear profoundly changed, the Christian community is also in great part transformed and renewed. It has therefore strengthened itself socially in unity; it has been reinvigorated intellectually; it has been interiorly purified and is thus ready for trial. ..." [9]
and
“... The first announcement of the Council made by us on January 25, 1959, was like a little seed that we planted with anxious mind and hand. Supported by heavenly help, we then readied ourselves for the complex and delicate work of preparation.
Three years have passed during which we have seen, day by day, the little seed develop and become, with the blessing of God, a great tree. ... Before deciding the questions that had to be studied in view of the forthcoming Council, we wished to hear beforehand the wise and enlightened opinions of the College of Cardinals, of the episcopate of the whole world, of the sacred congregations of the Roman Curia, of the general superiors of orders and religious congregations, of Catholic universities, and of ecclesiastical faculties.
This work of consultation was carried out within a year, and there emerged clearly from this the points that had to be submitted to a thorough study.
We then instituted the different preparatory organizations to which we entrusted the arduous task of drawing up the doctrinal and disciplinary projects, which we intend to submit to the Council. We finally have the joy of announcing that this intense work of study, to which the cardinals, bishops, prelates, theologians, canonists, and experts from all over the world have given their valuable contribution, is now nearing its end.
Trusting therefore in the help of the Divine Redeemer, the Beginning and the End of all things, in the help of His most excellent Mother and of St. Joseph — to whom we entrusted from the very beginning such a great event — it seems to us that the time has come to convoke the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council"
.” [9]

Obviously, Pope St. John XXIII was optimistic and was convinced that the problem he mentioned in January 1959 had been resolved by the discussions within the preparatory commissions, at which the representatives of the New Theology had argued their views.

However, while concluding that Pope St. John XXIII had a strong expectation that the observed problem was resolved between the announcement of the Council and the moment of its convocation, Father Henri de Lubac S.J. noted in his diary on Monday, March 12, 1962 after the last meeting of the preparatory commission:
"Theology, such as I have seen it operate in Rome, is more and more a specialty that grows complicated and rigid.  It is not renewed, it does not change the old conception of itself as “queen of science”: it turns its back on science – without lost anything of its pretention to rule over the science, that is, to dismiss, in an arrogant and systematic ignorance.  ...  Their self-sufficiency is extreme, and their good faith is not in question. There is in this situation that appears to me disturbing.  What will this council be?” [8].

Several notes by Father Henri de Lubac S.J. [8] make clear that much of the discussions within the Preparatory Theological Commission was subject to the acceptance and implementation of the theory of evolution as taught by Father Teilhard de Chardin S.J., which he, Father Henri de Lubac S.J., strongly defended.  This was despite the fact that the encyclical Humani Generis warned against the unrestricted evolutionism: "Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all things, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution.’ (HG 5).

Father Henri de Lubac S.J. was quite unhappy with the outcome of the preparatory discussions.  In his notes, he made comparisons with the so-called Galileo Affair. The first comparison concerns a remark by Father Yves Congar O.P.  (September 28, 1961): “Fr. Congar O.P. showed me a remark that he has written so as to warn the commission against the risk of a new Galileo Affair in connection with polygenismVII. He still does not know whether he will pass it on to the commission” [8].

A second note concerns an intervention by Bishop Griffiths (March 09, 1962): “In the end, Bishop Griffiths intervened again, to say in an insistent voice: ‘Tamen, caute debemus procedure, ne iterum forte dicatur: ‘E pur si muove" [However, we must proceed with care, in order that no one might say a second time: ‘and yet, it turns!’] [8].

It’s helpful to look at the mind-set that led to the use of this false interpretation of the Galileo Affair that has been widely spread by the reformation and the so-called enlightened modern world against the Catholic Church. On the one hand by quoting this false narrative, these theologians call their own competence into question. Such a quote demonstrates an anxiety for not being up to date and accepted by the modern world.  But moreover if substantive arguments fail it is an argument that is intended to generate a sense of anxiety over not being respected by the world.  The mention of it in the context of the preparatory document is similar to the behaviour of a spoiled child who does not get his way. Moreover such an argument expresses both a certain false anxiety as well as pride, and both lead to blindness to the truth.

5 Council period

5.1 Opening of the Council

On 11 October 1962 Pope St. John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council. In his opening address he spoke of the purpose of the Council and gave to the Council Fathers the rules and the parameters within which their deliberations were to take place. In addition, he warned the Council Fathers not to deliberately oppose the Church Teachings. This opening address [3] makes it clear that Pope St. John XXIII did not want to change one iota of the Church Teachings.

He stated [3]: "we like to hear in the memories and the merits of the more recent and ancient Pontiffs, our predecessors"VIII that “the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously"IX and that the Council “should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers"X, which “is presumed to be well known and familiar to all”XI. Therefore "the Church's solicitude to promote and defend truth derives from the fact that, according to the plan of God, who wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truthXII, whereas “the truth of the Lord will remain foreverXIII.

But, he also recognized the actuality of fallacious teachings, opinions and dangerous concepts by stating: “Not, certainly, that there is a lack of fallacious teaching, opinions, and dangerous concepts to be guarded against and dissipated. But these are so obviously in contrast with the right norm of honesty, and have produced such lethal fruits that by now it would seem that men of themselves are inclined to condemn them, particularly those ways of life which despise God and His law or place excessive confidence in technical progress and a well-being based exclusively on the comforts of life”XIV [3] evidently those “are without Him, or against Him, and deliberately opposed to His Church, and then they give rise to confusion, to bitterness in human relations, and to the constant danger of fratricidal wars”XV [3].

Then speaking about the preparatory work he said in his convocation firstly: “Three years have passed during which we have seen, day by day, the little seed develop and become, with the blessing of God, a great tree” [10] and “We then instituted the different preparatory organizations to which we entrusted the arduous task of drawing up the doctrinal and disciplinary projects, which we intend to submit to the Council. We finally have the joy of announcing that this intense work of study, to which the cardinals, bishops, prelates, theologians, canonists, and experts from all over the world have given their valuable contribution, is now nearing its end” [10]. 

And then in his openings address: “These years have seemed to us a first sign, an initial gift of celestial grace”XVI [3]. He also spoke of the spiritual fruits that he expected the Council to produce “Illuminated by the light of this Council, the Church ... bringing herself up to date where required, and by the wise organization of mutual co-operation, the Church will make men, families, and peoples really turn their minds to heavenly things”XVII [3].

Being convinced that the preparatory documents were “an initial gift of celestial grace” by the Holy Spirit and speaking about the task of the Council he mentioned “The manner in which sacred doctrine is spread, this having been established, it becomes clear how much is expected from the Council in regard to doctrine”XVIII [3] and “Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, pursuing thus the path which the Church has followed for twenty centuries”XIX [3] whereas the fundamental doctrine of the Church “is presumed to be well known and familiar to all”XX [3] and “The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a Magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character”XXI [3].

Pope St. John XXIII praised the preparatory work that had been accepted by the vast majority of the Cardinals and Bishops within the preparatory commissions a well as the Central Preparatory Commission. He saw the work as a gift of the Holy Spirit. At this point he expected that the problem he had observed and described in the announcement (1958) was already resolved at the time of the convocation in 1962 and that the Council would conclude before Christmas.  Therefore he expressed his optimistic view as follows: “must disagree with those prophets of gloom, who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand”XXII [3].

It has been suggested so much that this quote was addressed to the Curial collaborators and other conservative Council Fathers, such as the Cardinals Ottaviani, Ruffini and Siri. With regard to these suggestions we have to refer to spring 1966 where Pope Blessed Paul VI made a complaint about the existence of a false mystic about Pope St John XXIII [11].  On the one hand regarding this false mystic we have to refer to biased information about the Council and thus also regarding the Pope of the Council by the council-of-media as called by Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI [4]. On the other hand one could also observe the double role of Carinal Bea S.J. While Pope St John XXIII trusted Cardinal Bea, the former confessor of Pope Pius XII, very well that made him sensible for advices by Cardinal Bea. One could also observe Cardinal Bea S.J. as a source of betraying the image of Pope St. John XXIII falsely. Firstly, as such that had happened in 1960 when he circulated heretical opinions about dogmatic questions as if they were based directly on the pope. When it came out that these opinions were not based on the Pope, he calmly declared that he was on the side of the modern theologians [11].

Other facts to take into account for interpreting the prophets of gloom are the appointments of Cardinal Ottaviani as Secretary of the Holy Office of which the Pope Himself was the prefect, on November 9, 1959, so about 10 month after he had announced the Second Vatican Council on January 25, 1959. Then June 5, 1960, he appointed not only the Central Preparatory Commission consisting of 60 bishops and cardinals, but also the members of the 10 preparatory commissions. He appointed Cardinal Ottaviani and Father Sebastian Tromp S.J. as president and secretary of the Theological Commission. Thereby Pope St. John XXIII passed the secretary proposed by Cardinal Ottaviani in favour for his personal choice of Father Sebastian Tromp S.J., who was the ghost writer of Pius XII’s Encyclical Mystici Corporis as well as the final editor of the Encyclical Humani Generis.

And so in 1962 he appointed both as president and secretary of Doctrinal Commission of the Council itself. From the several quotes of the opening address as well as the Encyclical Ad Petri Cathedram, issued in 1959, we can only conclude that Pope St. John XXIII was in favour of the traditional teaching of the Fathers, his recent and old predecessors, as he also praised the preparatory work, led by Cardinal Ottaviani and Father Tromp S.J. Especially, in the Encyclical Ad Petri Cathedram Pope St. John XXIII condemns in an extremely harsh tone anyone who denies the revealed Truth or interferes with the spread of lies or indifferences. The suggestion that Pope St. John XXIII had addressed these two persons of the Holy Office as prophets of gloom and that he wanted to change the doctrine in favour of the New Theology is not only ridiculous but is in fact suggesting that the Pope would be schizophrenic: why appointing prophets of gloom to manage the Council? Why praising the preparatory work as a first sign and gift of heavenly grace if he would simultaneously disagree with its content? How could he both be in favour of the traditional teaching of the Church and in favour of the New Theology? Why this opening address if he disagree with that which he addressed in it?

Further, in a 1959 interview with the Italian Weekly, Epoca, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani spoke about the upcoming Council shortly after it was announced: "He [Roncalli] had spoken about it to me from the moment of his election. Or, rather, to be more precise, it was I who visited him in his little room at the conclave on the eve of the election. Among other things, I told him, “Your Eminence, it is necessary to think about a council.” Cardinal Ruffini, who was present at the conversation, was of the same mind. Cardinal Roncalli adopted this idea and later had this to say, “I have thought of a council from the moment when I became pope” ([14 ], see also [16])].

To understand the real meaning of the prophets of gloom we have to refer to both the context of the quote as aforementioned as well as the preface by Pope Benedict XVI in the book of his work related to Vatican II. Pope Benedict XVI wrote “This point touches on the real expectations of the Council.  The Church, which during the Baroque era was still shaping the world, had from the nineteenth century onwards visibly entered into a negative relationship with the modern era, which had only then properly begun.  Did it have to remain so?'  'Could the Church not take a positive step into the new era? [13].  Evidently this touches a pessimistic view on the Church about the nineteenth century onwards entering into the negative relationship with the modern era, as argued by the theologians in favour of their New Theology.  

When revolutionary societies of the period of the Enlightenment arose in the late 18th and early 19th century, the Church rose up in opposition to their ideologies, seeing them as being utterly incompatible with her own teaching.  However, a certain breed of Catholics believed that these ideologies could be baptized to Catholic teaching.  According to them, the Church should not take a negative stance of opposition to modern, revolutionary thoughts.  Rather, it should take a positive stance by embracing the good aspects of modern thinking.  The liberal Catholics of the Vatican II era were precisely those theologians, Bishops and Cardinals who were proponents of the New Theology with a negative view of the Church teachings. 

Knowing the preparatory schemata these liberals were furiously claiming that these Schemata would be a disaster for Church and World.  

Therefore, even before the start of the Council, Father Karl Rahner S.J. organized meetings stating that all preparatory schemata had to be removed.  Meanwhile they were working on alternative Schemata to replace the original ones.  Who then, other than these theologians, Bishops and Cardinals attached to the New Theology, who were also trying to convince the Pope to stop the Council. Factually, in his diary Father SebastiaanTromp S.J. mentioned that the German Bishops had initiated a request to the Pope to delay the Council. Could this be referred to as these prophets of gloom who are always forecasting disaster, as if the end of the world were at hand’?

And this is exactly what Pope St. John XXIII is referring to, when he said: “In the daily exercise of our pastoral office, we sometimes have to listen, much to our regret, to voices of persons who, though burning with zeal, are not endowed with too much sense of discretion or measure. In these modern times they can see nothing but prevarication and ruin. They say that our era, in comparison with past eras, is getting worse, and they behave as though they had learned nothing from history, which is, none the less, the teacher of life. They behave as though at the time of former Councils everything was a full triumph for the Christian idea and life and for proper religious liberty. We feel we must disagree with those prophets of gloom, who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand"XXII[3].

Obviously the quote “...we sometimes have to listen, much to our regret, to voices of persons who ... are not endowed with too much sense of discretion or measure"XXII cannot concern the Holy Office.  On the one hand this complaint contradicts the other complaint of the rigidness theology of the Holy Office, while on the other hand this lack of endowing with too much sense of discretion and measures factually repeats the concern found in the encyclical Humani Generis about the New Theology.

Likewise the quote "They say that our era, in comparison with past eras, is getting worse, and they behave as though they had learned nothing from history, which is, none the less, the teacher of life"XXII[3] cannot be referring to the Holy Office. In fact the complaint "... that our era, in comparison with past eras, is getting worse, ..." can be heard by the theologians attached to the New Theology to justify their approach by supporting the liberal ideology since they held such negative opinions regarding the future of the Church in the world.

Moreover, at the start of the Council, in the light of the preparatory documents, the Holy Office and the more conservative Council Fathers had no reason to fear for the outcome of the Council, while on the other hand the theologians and Council Fathers attached to the New Theology indeed feared the condemnations of their views. They already knew the preparatory documents.

Thus by his opening address Pope St. John XXIII had expressed his intention regarding the Council: how Catholic truth can be communicated to the modern world "pure and whole, without attenuations or alterations, but at the same time in such a way that the minds of our contemporaries are aided in their duty of assenting to it"[3]. Evidently, from this speech his main intent is that the Council has to listen to "the memories and the merits of the more recent and ancient Pontiffs, our predecessors"VIII[3], that the "all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness"XXI[3], the "sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously"IX[3] and that the Church "should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers "X[3].

This intention of Pope St. John XXIII set the primary substantive rule for the Council itself as well as the guidelines for interpreting the Council documents not only in a kind of continuity with, but more explicit in unity with and accordance to the Doctrine as taught by the Fathers.

And insofar the documents are in conflict with doctrine, or contain ambiguities or contradictory phrases, these documents have to be interpreted in accordance to "never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers "X[3].  Departing from this primary rule, the secondary rule can be observed in which Pope St. John XXIII wanted theological discussions concerning "For this a Council was not necessary. But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward (1) a doctrinal penetration and (2) a formation of consciousness in faithful and (3) perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a Magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character"XXI[3].

Thus, Pope St. John XXIII did not want to change any yota of the doctrine, while, founded on the doctrine of the Church, he wished to make the doctrine more understandable for the modern world. Herewith Pope St. John XXIII implicitly referred to the encyclical Humani Generis of Pope Pius XII (HG9), where it stated "because sometimes even in these false theories a certain amount of truth is contained"XXIII[3].  At the same time he intended to create a positive condition of mercy within the Church regarding the search for these true elements: "The Church in every age has opposed these errors and often has even condemned them and indeed with the greatest severity. But at the present time, the spouse of Christ prefers to use the medicine of mercy rather than the weapons of severity; and, she thinks she meets today's needs by explaining the validity of her doctrine more fully rather than by condemning"XIII[3].  Trusting the good will of all involved with these theological discussions with right norms of honesty Pope St. John XXIII made a distinction between the condemnation of “these false theories", "these errors", "a lack of fallacious teaching" and "dangerous concepts"[3] and being merciful to them, who were attached to these false doctrines, when he called for mercy.  He expected that he power of the Thruth would convince them. This intention to trust the good will was demonstrated by his acts of mercy towards the theologians involved in the New Theology.  He lifted the measures against them and confirmed the proposals by the Holy Office to appoint some of them consultors for the Council’s preparatory work [14] as well as periti at the Council itself, while others were welcomed as theologian advisors of the Council Fathers.
So the errors have always to be condemned, while the dissidents, if they are honest to the norms of the Truth and convert to the Truth, deserves mercy. Here the core of the problem can be found.

Were the dissidents honest to the norms of the Truth and did they convert from their errors? Did they deserve the Mercy, they had got on forehand?

5.2 From the opening of the Council up to the rejection of the Schema De Fontibus Revelatione

5.2.1 Expectations of the Council

While in his opening address Pope St. John XXIII had expressed optimism about the Council, the notes of Father Henri de Lubac S.J. showed an opposite trend. The German and French bishops were involved in a counter-plan for a total rejection of the preparatory documents. This plan was spearheaded by some theologians of the New Theology. By means of their intrigues, three years of work that had been carried out by more than thousand members from all over the world by the preparatory commissions was scuttled.

When in the spring of 1962 the preparatory documents were sent to the Cardinals and Bishops for a last placet, Cardinal Franz König von Wien had sent these documents to his theologian advisor Father Karl Rahner, who could not agree with it. He concluded that all document should be rejected and replaced and thereto he arranged a three days meeting at the residence of Mgr. Volk of Mainz in the late summer 1962 with other theologians, who did not join the preparatory commissions, like Mgr. Hermann Volk, Auxillary Bishof Mgr Reusz, Hirschmann S.J. (Frankfurt), Stakemeier (Paderborn), Semmelroth S.J., Grillmeier S.J., Bacht (all three from Frankfurt), Ratzinger (Bonn) und Feiner (Chur). While some of these theologians were Bishop, the most of the others were theological advisors of their Bishops and as such present at the Council [14].

Father Henri de Lubac S.J. noted at the very beginning of the Council: "... He (Father Daniélou S.J.) is already working on a counterplan, which perhaps will be combined with the one we believe Father Rahner S.J. is preparing (October, 12 [8]). A few days later he noted: "Father Karl Rahner S.J. came to propose to us a meeting on Friday afternoon intended for a first examination of the counter-plan that he is in process of drafting and "With Fathers Daniélou S.J. and Rondet, I have been invited to a meeting that is supposed to take place, no longer at the Germanicum, but at the residence of Bishop Volk (according the note on October  8:"a disciple and friend of Rahner S.J"), with various bishops and theologians, German and French, to study the counter-plan that Father Karl Rahner S.J. is going to put forward" (October 17 [8]).

Then, on October 19 Father Henri de Lubac S.J. reported the results of that meeting: "At 4 P.M., on the northwest slope of the Janiculum, a meeting at the boarding house where Archbishop Volk of Mainz is staying to study the drafting of a positive doctrinal schema and to examine the procedure to follow as to have it accepted while setting aside the schemas of the preparatory commission. There were 25 of us. Nine bishops: Volk, his auxilary, the archbishop of Berlin (Bengsch), Garrone (Toulouse), Guerry (Cambrai) Ancel (auxillery of Lion, Schmitt (Metz), Weber and his Elchinger (Strasbourg). Among the theologians: K. Rahner S.J., J. Ratzinger, H. Kung, Mgr. Philips (Louvain), Daniélou S.J., Rondet, Congar O.P.  , Chenu, Labourdette a Dutchman (Piet Fransen S.J. or Schillebeeckx O.P.). Very interesting discussion. Karl Rahner S.J. gave some explanations. Then each one gave his opinion, either on the content or on the tactics to adopt.  Various possibilities. The German were more scathing than the French. Bishop Elchinger and Bishop Schmitt will serve at liaisons" [8] and October 22 "On Sunday, Fathers Rahner S.J., Congar O.P. and Daniélou S.J. met, following the meeting around Bishop Volk. Congar O.P. is preparing a totally new schema, as a sort of general prooemium that they would try to have accepted by the Commission for Extraordinary Affairs. Rahner S.J. and Daniélou S.J. are preparing a revision of existing texts, as a fall-back position in case Congar's schema should be rejected on principle" [8].

5.2.2 October 13

The success of their efforts produced a paradoxical outcome for Vatican II: the preparatory work that usually directs the debates, marks the outlook and foreshadows the results of a council, was nullified and rejected from the first session onward while successive spirits and tendencies followed one upon another. This departure from the original plan did not happen as a result of a decision made by the council itself, operating within its duly established rules, but by an act of Cardinal Liénart.  On October 13 he broke with the council’s legal framework to call for a delay on a vote of the Fathers that were to make up the commissions of the Council.  His intervention was followed by interventions of Cardinals König and Frings in favour of Cardinal Liénart’s proposal [8], which was then accepted by an applauding majority of the Council Fathers.

Continuing with the notes of Father Henri de Lubac S.J. the following references can be found concerning the preparations that had led to this irregular intervention on October 13.  On Wednesday October 10, even before the opening of the Council: "Early in the afternoon, Fr.  Hirschmann SJ, professor of moral theology at Frankfurt, came to see the two of us, Fr.  Daniélou S.J. and me.  He was charged by the German bishops to ask us about the list that the French bishops had delivered to them through Msgr.  Gouet (secretary of the episcopate) a list of the bishops capable of being elected to various commissions" [8].  Friday morning October 12: "I was in a meeting at the parish of Saint Chrysogonus, at the Trinitatians’ house, with the bishops from Madagascar ...  Father Chenu was there.  We spent a lot of time making up lists of possible candidates for the elections to the various commissions.  Toward noon, Archbishop Sartre arrived from Saint Anselm, with the lists drawn up by the Africans" [8].  While in the afternoon "Father Danièlou S.J., who had seen a lot of people, thinks that tomorrow the bishops could ask for a delay in the elections to the commissions, so as to have the time to clarify their vote" and "the French bishops met again; they only, by successive votes, drew up a list of French names that they are proposing for commissions. One of them is supposed to have said: We are going to see to it this council is not the council of experts." [8].

And then on October 13 by an irregular intervention Cardinal Liénart claimed that it would be inconvenient to vote on 160 members of 10 commissions on such short notice and asked for a delay so that the bishops would know each other better. He proposed that each episcopal conference draw up a list of candidates to propose to the others. [8, 13, 15 and 16]. But how could these approximately 2500 bishops know each other better in only 3 days time, while nothing was arranged for it. And being in the meetings of their own episcopal conferences to prepare their list of candidates?

Yves Congar O.P. reported in his Journal of the Council that "The paper read by Cardinal Liénart on the first day of the First Session had been written by Mgr. Garonne, whose idea it had been, Cardinal Liénart did no more then read it" [15].  Apparently, this act that was proposed by Father Danièlou S.J., discussed by the French Bishops, worked out by Mgr. Garonne and finally executed by Cardinal Liénart cannot be called a spontaneous act. Evidently this was a planned and deliberate act of French Council Fathers, and the questionable argument seems to have been meant to serve some hidden agenda. 

It seems obvious, as Father Danièlou S.J. suggested on October 12, that there was a hidden agenda: more time was needed to arrange sufficient support for getting their own candidates elected.

Evidently this irregular intervention was deliberated very well.  Because Cardinals Liénart and Frings were part of the presidium, they could have discussed this matter within the Presidium.  However, the presidium as executive committee had no power to overrule the rules set by the Pope.  So a request would have been forwarded to the Pope, but as long as the Pope did not respond, the normal procedure would have carried forward going on. And because that can take one or two days, this procedure would take too much time for stopping the vote on that first working day.

  Thus a method of breaking the rules was deliberately chosen.

And so by a sudden ‘raid’ they intervened irregularly against the rule of that first working day of the Council, supported by an applauding majority (applause was officially forbidden [17]) of Council Fathers the rule set by Pope St. John XXIII was irregularly overruled by the majority of the Presidium.

Due to this irregular intervention the voting was delayed till October 16.

5.2.3 Victory

Father Henri de Lubac S.J. wrote in his notes about this event that Canon Martimort (Instutute Catholique Toulouse) had suggested that procedure to Cardinal Liénart, he was very pleased by this outcome: "This dramatic little episode is spoken of as a victory of the bishops over the Holy Office. Other victories will no doubt be more difficult". A prelate, relator of the Congregations of Rites, commented: "That was precisely what they wanted" [8].

Father Yves Congar O.P. wrote in his Journal on October 13, 1962: "... the principle importance rests in the fact that this is a first Conciliar Act, a refusal to accept even the possibility of prefabrication" and "Between the Supreme head (and his Curia) and the individual bishops, there are intermediate groupings.  One of the results of the Council ought to be that giving them more power and independence.  The importance of this was demonstrated on the very first day" [15].

It was a Dutch bishop who said "That was our first victory" [15].

Cardinal Suenens, in his memoirs, emphasized the revolutionary significance of this incident: "Happy coup and daring injury to the Regiment! ... The destinies of the Council were decided to a great extent at this moment, John XXIII was glad about it" [15].  

5.2.4 ‘A fait accompli’ and the Holy Spirit

Now Pope St. John XXIII was faced with this delay as a fait accompli.  How could he react on this irregular delay?  Not knowing about the deliberated initiative by the French Bishops, but trusting the words of Cardinal Liénart, who claimed that it was a charismatic inspiration, this act was considered as being spontaneous "I only spoke because I felt constrained to do so by a higher force, in which I feel obliged to recognize that of the Holy Spirit" [5].

Why then, would Pope St. John XXIII renounce or postpone the Council or dismiss the Presidium while that event was reported to him as a spontaneous act?  Such would do more damage to the image of the Council and will bring much more delay than accepting this irregular delay.  And so Pope St. John XXIII had accepted and sanctioned the outcome of this irregular act and the Council went on.

The fact that the Pope had accepted and sanctioned the outcome does not take away the fact that there were multiple irregularities. The act by the French Cardinal, a member of the Presidium reading a letter written by Mgr. Garonne, the confirmation by the Cardinals König and Frings of which the latter was also a member of the Presidium, the officially forbidden [17] applause by the majority of Council Fathers, the change of the rule by the Presidium with regard to the delay of voting and finally the lie, suggesting that this deliberated act would be a spontaneous act inspired by the Holy Spirit..

This chain of consecutive irregular acts violating the Council's legal framework cannot be considered as acting by a humble and gracious collaboration with the intention of the Holy Spirit.

Especially regarding the applause by the majority of the Council Fathers one has to wonder who began the applause and led the others with him. We can wonder about the spontaneity of this applause.  Did the French Bishops start the applause or the theologians that initiated the work on a total rejection of the preparatory documents, or both? It seems that no one ever mentioned this.

Furthermore we must consider the astonishing claim by Cardinal Liénart that this intervention was a charismatic inspiration by the Holy Spirit.  He would have us believe that, while the Council was called and prepared by Pope St. John XXIII by command of the Holy Spirit, at the first working day of the Council the Holy Spirit would promptly turn on the Council by breaking the Council’s legal framework and putting the Pope up to a fait accompli. Not only is this claim ridiculous, it also is in contradiction with the convocation of the Council as well as the opening address by Pope St. John XXIII. The last one was only two days earlier, on October 11, at which Pope St. John XXIII expressed his convincing that the preparatory documents were "a first sign and gift of heavenly grace"XVI by the Holy Spirit.  Thereby Pope St. John XXIII mentioned the preparatory documents in the convocation to the Bishops as follows: "We then instituted the different preparatory organizations to which we entrusted the arduous task of drawing up the doctrinal and disciplinary projects, which we intend to submit to the Council. We finally have the joy of announcing that this intense work of study, to which the cardinals, bishops, prelates, theologians, canonists, and experts from all over the world have given their valuable contribution, is now nearing its end. Trusting therefore in the help of the Divine Redeemer, the Beginning and the End of all things, in the help of His most excellent Mother and of St. Joseph — to whom we entrusted from the very beginning such a great event —it seems to us that the time has come to convoke the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council" [10].

And then he stated in his openings address: "Meanwhile, three years have been spent in laborious preparation of the Council, during which careful and broad investigations have been made about the state today of the faith, religious practice, and vitality of Christians and especially Catholics. It is not unjust for Us to see the time spent in preparing the Ecumenical Council as a first sign and gift of heavenly grace"XVI [3].

5.2.5 Restoration by Pope St. John XXIII

While Cardinal Suenens reported that Pope St. John XXIII would be "glad about it", he would not have told the Pope that he considered this incident as "a happy coup and a first victory over the Holy Office".  Certainly, looking at the claim by Cardinal Liénart, no one would have told the Pope the truth about this event.

The lists of the members of the several commissions originally proposed by the Holy Office were based on the preparatory commissions to assure the continuity between the preparatory documents and the final documents.  Due to the irregular intervention on October 13, these lists were rejected by the majority of Council Fathers and replaced, giving more influence to the Council Fathers and their theologian advisors. Now, the elected members of the Council Commissions represented mainly the New Theology that was in favour of rejecting all preparatory documents.  In this way continuity with the preparatory documents was broken on the one hand, and on the other hand the balance within the Council commissions was overthrown. No representatives of Curial Offices, representing the Papal Magisterium, were elected.

According to Father Henry de Lubac S.J. concerning the new lists prepared by the Council Fathers themselves, Pope St. John XXIII had to intervene because the Curia was being ‘forgotten’ by the Bishops.  He decided to increase the foreseen number of eight members per commission to be appointed by the Pope. Since he tended to appoint conservative Council Fathers from the Curia, this upset those attached to the New Theology. (Father Henri de Lubac, October 29): "According to Father Hirschmann, one can see rather well what governed the Pope’s choices for commissions. He wanted to make a place for the ‘Curia’, too much ‘forgotten’ by the Bishops, especially for the secretaries of the Roman congregations; to introduce some religious superiors; to balance nationalities so as to satisfy the small countries; to ensure a continuity with the pre-conciliar commissions. Certain personal influences were also at work. The ‘conservative’ tendency was accentuated" [8].

And (October 30): "The Franciscan told me that Cardinal Alfrink is pessimistic; it seems to him that between the two principal tendencies there is not only opposition but no possibility of mutual understanding. The composition of the commissions, following the choices of John XXIII, is said to have saddened those who desire a renewal" [8].

Apparently Cardinal Alfrink realized that regarding to the Council Commissions, by this restorative act by Pope St. John XXIII, the expected absolute majority of the Council Fathers and their theologians attached to the New Theology was lost.  Now they had to make compromises.

5.2.6 The intention of Pope St. John XXIII

Apparently with regard to the aforementioned memoires of Cardinal Suenens [15] that the Pope would be glad about the event of October 13, after the voting on October 16, something else can be observed then simply being glad. Pope St. John XXIII tried to resolve the effects of that event of October 13!  Here we find the blind spot regarding the proper understanding of the intent of Pope St. John XXIII by those attached to the New Theology, such as can be found in Father Henri de Lubac’s S.J. diary, where he stated (October 15): "the Pope, who gives indications concerning what he wants and makes his leanings manifest by significant gestures, but he does not press, he gives no precise orders, with the result that the Pope can say one thing and ‘the Holy See’ do the opposite, etc" [8].

Here Fr. Henri de Lubac S.J. showed a certain blindness. Is it due to his confrontational attitude against the intention of Pope St. John XXIII: "that the Church should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers"X [3].

Obviously, they did not understand the intent by Pope St. John XXIII very well.  While at the one hand we met the acts of mercy regarding to the theologians of the New Theology, on the other hand, as mentioned above by quoting Cardinal Alfrink, the Pope also did just the opposite by restoring as far as possible the imbalance by breaking the absolute majority of those attached to the New Theology.  Seemingly they did not understand the distinction between the formal tasks of the Holy Office to safeguard purity of doctrine, and the initiative of a Pope to act mercifully.  So they could not make that distinction between the measures by the Holy Office in accordance to the Encyclical Humani Generis of Pope Pius XII and the acts of mercy by Pope St. John XXIII in advance on the work of the Council:  "As the Second Vatican Council begins, it is clearer than ever before that the truth of the Lord remains forever (Ps 116:2). Indeed, as age succeeds age, we see the uncertain opinions of men take one another's place and new-born errors often vanish as quickly as a mist dispelled by the sun. The Church in every age has opposed these errors and often has even condemned them and indeed with the greatest severity. But at the present time, the spouse of Christ prefers to use the medicine of mercy rather than the weapons of severity; and, she thinks she meets today's needs by explaining the validity of her doctrine more fully rather than by condemning"XIII [3].

5.2.7 A war against the Holy Office

Despite the explanation about the acts of mercy by Pope St. John XXIII in his opening address, the theologians of the New Theology considered these acts of mercy as a support forwards the NewTheology against the Holy Office.  Consequently they lost any reasonable caution and prudence on the matter of the New Theology.  Instead of open, peaceful discussions based on a mutual mercy to find the true elements within the New Theology for a deepening of the Faith that could lead to a true renewal, in their pride, they took on a more confrontational attitude against the Holy Office. 
By accusing for rigidness they condemned not only the Holy Office but also the scholastic method in use by the Church and projected that condemnation to all the preparatory work as well as even the Church's past. By doing so, they responded to the acts of mercy by the Pope with a war against the Church, especially against the Holy Office, the Church's Doctrine as well as the Church's life.

  Implicitly this means a war against the Pope and the Church.

So, this deliberate offense on October 13 can only be considered as a hijack of the Council.  It was a hijack initiated by theologians of the New Theology with the assistance of a minority of the Council Fathers attached to the New Technology.  Though only Council Father were elected as members of the Council Commissions, all member Council Fathers were accompanied by their own theologian advisors, who also took part at the preparations of the Council texts, as well as the discussions and voting about the prepared text.  And since the Council Fathers forwarded the theological problems to their theologian advisors, these theologians were in a certain sense powerful within the Commissions.  We can recognize this powerfulness in the blatant admission that can be found in the aforementioned statement by Father Schillebeeckx in the Dutch magazine De Bazuin (February 1965): "We offer a text in a diplomatic way, and after the Council they will draw the implicit decissions"XXIV[5]. 

And as mentioned above by some quotes of the diary of Father Henry de Lubac S.J., this was just the first victory; indeed, more victories followed.  While this first ‘victory’ concerned the breaking of the technical rules of the Council’s framework, the other ‘victories’ were more serious, in that they constituted a breaking of the substantial rule set by Pope St. John XXIII in his opening address: "a renewal in unity and accordance to the Doctrine taught by the Fathers: “never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers".  This led to Council documents containing ambiguous and contradictory text phrases, while in some cases even the Papal Magisterium had to intervene personally with regard to doctrinal texts in order to prevent these documents from heresy.

5.2.8 A ‘humble and gracious collaboration’

Evidently, this irregular, planned, and confrontational event lacked any ‘humble and gracious collaboration with the intention of the Holy Spirit'.  What consequences would that have regarding them, personally as well as regarding the Council?  Because all men are created by God with a free will, He always respects that free will.  If someone rejects Him by that free will, He will reject that one too and consequently that one will overcome a certain blindness.  It does not matter the societal status of that person, no matter if he is a laymen, a religious or a priest, if he is a part of a majority or belongs to a minority.  Each person is responsible for his own use of his free will.  This is especially so for the individual Council Fathers and theologians involved to the Council, who had the duty to use their free will to collaborate humbly and graciously with the intention of the Holy Spirit at the Council.

Of course one has to distinguish between those who actively initiated and formed the hard core of these deliberated intentions against the rules set by Pope St. John XXIII in his opening address: a renewal in unity and accordance to the Doctrine taught by the Fathers: "never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers”, and those who were passively misled and manipulated, not knowing about the deliberate intentions, but still following them, even despite some warnings.  The first ones are overcome with a type of blindness in which they hold their own subjective ideas for absolute Truth. As convinced about their own truth, they were focused on creating ambiguous texts to interpret according the implicit conclusions contradicting the Doctrine after the Council’s closure.  In fact they even claimed that the Holy Spirit was dictating their ideas as if they were the truth.

It was this hard core of the New Theology Council Fathers and theologians, representing the council-of-theologian that on October 13, by the irregular intervention by Cardinal Liénart had hijacked the Council-of-Fathers.  A council-of-theologians that gathered in secret meetings outside the real Council, such as aforementioned by Father Henri de Lubac reported meetings on October 16 as well as November 19, 1962. The latter on the rejection of De Fontibus Revelatione specifically [8].

Meanwhile, as noted by Father Henry de Lubac S.J. on October 17, a press office was set up as an alternative to the official press office by the Vatican Office: "a press bureau has been set up outside of the official bureau,which is giving out too little information. The initiative came from the Dutch. Among others, Fr. Wenger (reporting for La Croix) and Fr. Tucci (Civiltà cattolica) are coming there" [8].  Evidently, the official press office had taken on a certain reasonable restraint in order not to be an influence on the individual Council Fathers.  To bypass them, an alternative press office was set up by the council of theologians with the precise intention of influencing the Council Fathers with one-sided information, as seen in the note of October 19.  The additional purpose was to keep the press informed with biased reports, which we could call what it was: propaganda.  Apparently, even Father Henri de Lubac S.J. had doubts regarding the objectivity: "It would be desirable, Frs. Hirschmann and Grillmeier think, for the periti to furnish the Fathers with objective reports on the principal questions being treated.  The Notes for the schemas are in this regard totally insufficient.  In the same way, the facts set forth in the interventions of the Fathers are in general more like arguments chosen for a thesis than solid documentation.  A small meeting is foreseen to organize this work; some Dutchmen are the driving force behind this.  Will they really want us to gather information in an objective way?" [8].

5.2.9 De Fontibus Revelatione

After discussing the schema on the Liturgy from October 20 to November 13 the Council Fathers started on November 14 with the schema De Fontibus Revelatione prepared by the theological commission.  Firstly, as president of the Theological Commission Cardinal Ottaviani was given the floor. He warned that "some schemas have been circulated for the purpose of being substituted for the official schema.  This does not seem to be in accordance with the provisions of canon X of canon law. [The canon invoked is canon 222]" [8] and [19].  Then directly after the opening Cardinal Liénart of Lille took the floor: "I do not like the present doctrinal decree. In all of its content, it is totally inadequate for the matter with which it must deal. ... I ask with all my strength that the schema be entirely revised" [8] followed by the Cardinals Frings’ and König’s "Schema non placet".  The general discussions went on till November 20, with the exception of Sunday November 18.  The Council seems to have been divided into two opposite groups.  On Sunday November 18 a private a meeting was held at Bishop Volk’s residence: "the ‘Mater Dei’ boarding house by Bishop Volk of Mainz. There were about 18 of us: 6 German bishops (Schröffer, bishop of Eichstätt; H. Schäuffele, from Freiburg, Volk from Mainz, P.Rusch from Innsbrück, etc.); 4 French bishops (Garonne, Elchinger, Pourchet, and the auxillary of Lille); theologians from Germany, France, Belgium, Holland ..." [8].  Bishop Volk started this meeting by saying: "This is an absolutely private meeting, to examine freely among ourselves how we can get out of this impasse. ..." [8]

Finally, November 20, after a week of general discussions and before starting the more detailed discussions on the chapters a voting was held on the schema in general.  And when the votes did not attain the two-thirds majority in favour of rejecting this schema that the council’s rules required on all procedural questions, the detailed discussions continued.  However the following day, November 21, it was announced the Holy Father had decided to have the schema De Fontibus Revelatione of the theological commission recast by a new mixed commission, in order to shorten it and to make the general principles defined by Trent and Vatican I stand out better.  Pope St. John XXIII did not require any substantial changes of this document.  The changes would concern the length and form only, making it more pastoral and ecumenical.  Further discussion on this schema by the Council Fathers was cancelled.

The new mixed commission consisting of the Theological Commission and the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity was presided by both Cardinal Ottaviani, prefect of the Holy Office, and Cardinal Bea S.J., President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.  In addition, Pope St. John XXIII appointed Cardinals Liénart, Frings, König, Léger, Meyer, Lefebvre, Santos, Ruffini and Browne [19]. Now the imbalanced new theologian commission became even more imbalanced, because Cardinals Bea S.J., Liénart, Frings, König, Léger, Meyer and Lefebvre were attached to Schema non placet position while only Cardinals Ottaviani, Ruffini and Browne were in favour of the schema.

5.3 The new situation after the rejection of Schema De Fontibus Revelatione

Now the influence of Holy Office as the executive office of the Pontificate Magisterium of the Pope was rather minimalized. So the Holy Office began to fear for the outcome of the Council. 

In his column in the weekly magazine The New Yorker Xavier Rijnne - a pseudonym used by Redemptorist Father Francis X Murphy CssR, professor of patristic and missiology at the Alphonsius Academy in Rome falsely projected this new situation on the prophets of gloom mentioned by Pope St. John XXIII in his opening address. Herewith Father Francis X Murphy projected this event on the collaborators of the Holy Office [18].  In his note of January 11 Father Henri de Lubac S.J. enthusiastically referred to the December 9 Letter from Vatican City by this Xavier Rijnne: "... Naming of the prophets of gloom criticized in the inaugural address: Ottaviani, Siri, Ruffini, Dante, Felici, Parente, Pietro Palazzini (from the Congregation of the Council)" [8].  The worldwide publication of these Letter from Vatican City in book format [18] and translations in several languages of this fake expression has widely been spread among Catholics.

This in itself constitutes a misleading of the Faithful by a religious in collaboration with the mass media that also gave sense to the complaint by Pope Blessed Paul VI regarding to a false mystic about Pope St. John XXIII spring 1966 [11].

The problem to which Pope St. John XXIII referred in his announcement and had assumed to be resolved in the convocation as well as in the opening address, had returned now by the scuttling of the original list of the commissions and the rejection of the preparatory document De Fontibus Revelatione.  This time, however, it was more severe than before because of a lack of substantial warnings against it.  As commented by Father Edward Schillebeeckx O.P.: "The pastoral council becomes doctrinal, precisely on account of its pastoral character. Pastoral demands call for doctrinal deepening" (The Council notes of Edward Schillebeeckx O.P., E. Schillebeeckx O.P. 1962-1963, Leuven: Peters, 2011, p. 37) [20] The doctrinal discussions concerning the shortening and making the general principles defined by Trent and Vatican I stand out better, bear intrinsically a risk of dogmatic error, a risk that was increasing due to the imbalance of the mixed commission.

However, despite this risk, the intention of Pope St. John XXIII expressed in his opening address had set the substantive rules for the Second Vatican Council: "the primary substantive rule is not only a kind of continuity with, but more explicit in unity with and in accordance to the Doctrine as taught by the Fathers"  They may "never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers" and "the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously".  When Pope Blessed Paul VI continued the Second Vatican Council after the death of Pope St. John XXIII he did not changed this substantive rule.

Therefore, with regard to the Second Vatican Council and its interpretation, the primary rule as set by the Pope St John XXIII is still necessary for a gracious and humble collaborating with the intention of the Holy Spirit.

5.4 Interventions by Pope Blessed Paul VI

5.4.1 5.4.1 The two sources of Revelation

The new imbalance in the Council commissions, with relatively more influence by the New Theology and the anti-Roman sentiment generally explains why Pope Blessed Paul VI had to intervene personally in accordance to the substantive rules set by Pope St. John XXIII.  This was the case of the Dogmatic Constitution Verbum Dominum, the doctrine of marriage, the subject of celibacy[15] and the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium.

In the following we highlight the intervention on the two Sources of Revelation (September-October 1965) that concerns the teaching of the Council of Trente. This subject can be found in the preparatory document De Fontibus Revelatione [21], especially in its first chapterXXIV, that finally became the Dogmatic Constitution Verbum Dominum.

5.4.2 Preparatory document, June1961

The first Chapter of the original schema De Fontibus Revelatione mentioned the two Sources of Revelation: Holy Scripture and Tradition. Especially, paragraph 6 referred to this distinction given by the Council of Trent. This distinction was a response to the reformation that interpreted the one divine revelation of the Word of God as being Sola Scriptura.

The draft of De Fontibus Revelatione has been written by a sub-commission of experts and reworked after a discussion by the full Theological Preparatory Commission. Then after approval by the vast majority of the Theological Preparatory Commission this reworked draft was presented to the Central Preparatory Commission [22]. The voting by the members of this Central Preparatory Commission, at which only Cardinals and Bishops could vote, turned out to be 4 Placet, 63 Placet iuxta modum and 2 non placet, while 4 votes abstained. The two non placet votes came from the German Cardinals Frings and Döpfner [22]. According the protocol, because the fast majority of the Central Preparatory Commission had voted placet iuxta modum the document did not return to the Theological Preparatory Commission. In accordance to rules the document was revised by a sub-commission under supervision of 5 Cardinal members of the Central Preparation Commission [22]. In case an objective had been rejected the sub-commission was obliged to write their arguments in an accompanying letter. The critics in this draft that had led to a majority of votes for placet iuxta modum, did not really concern the distinction of the sources of Revelation between Tradition and Scripture. Even the large numbers of critics by Cardinal Bea, at which about 55 votes referred, did not concern this subject.

Note that only 13 of the 72 voting members of the Central Preparatory Commission where members of the Curia too, most of them Prefect of one of the Congregations. And more than 80% of the voting members where diocesan Cardinals and Bishops from all over the world. It was this revised draft that after approval by Pope St. John XXIII was presented for discussion to the Council Fathers. So, in no way this preparatory document can be considered as a Curial document.

5.4.3 General session, November 1962

November 14, 1962, the General Session on De Fontibus Revelatione started. Here, in contrary to the objections by the Central Preparatory Commission, the subject of the two Sources of Revelation was precisely where the Cardinals Liénart, Frings and König began attacking this preparatory document. Note that these Cardinals were also voting members of the Central Preparatory Commission. Here, they showed a harsh opposition to the subject of two sources of Revelation. Cardinal Liénart addressed the issue as follows: "I do not like the present doctrinal decree. In all its content, it is totally inadequate for the matter with which it must deal. This refers to the idea of two sources of revelation. The schema identified two distinct sources: Scripture and tradition, which corresponded to a theme inherited from the anti-Protestant arguments against the idea of sola scriptura. This conception was criticized by some Fathers who insisted on the one and only source: the Word of God. The divine source has been omitted, the deeper, unique source, that is the Word of God. The essential source. ..." [8]. Directly thereafter Cardinal Frings stated: "... On the two sources. This manner of speaking is recent; it is not found in the Fathers or Scholastics (it is not in Saint Thomas) or in the Councils.  And from the very first lines, by these two sources, our separated brethren will be offended, a new gap will be created. ... It is not the tradition of the councils to resolve disputed questions." [8] and Cardinal König "In truth he said in the schemas proposed a judgement which up today is still disputed among the theologians and periti, and about which there is not the unanimous consent of the Tradition" [20].  These interventions were aroused by titular Archbishop Mgr. Parente by an articulate and precise summing up the opposite facts after which Cardinal Frings was persuaded to apologise for not having expressed himself clearly and corrected himself, saying: "in order of being there is one source, Revelation itself, from which arise two rivulets, Sacred Scripture and Tradition". Finally, the real problem was the method, over which there was a disagreement regarding the purpose. [20]. 

The text would be too much academic, scholastic and too defensive

 Note, that the same Cardinals, who intervened irregularly on the first working day of the Council, were just those who set the tone by a confrontational attack on De Fontibus Revelatione on the first day of the discussion on this document, while their theologian advisors were related to those who strived to get a rejection of all doctrinal preparatory documents.

Here, the fathers Yves Congar O.P., Daniélou S.J., Karl Rahner S.J. found it extremely necessary to reject these doctrinal documents. Though the younger Joseph Ratzinger claimed that he was much more moderate on it, he still worked closely to Father Karl Rahner S.J. on a text to replace the text of De Fontibus Revelatione: "[Cardinal Joseph Frings] began to send me [the schemata] regularly in order to have my criticism and suggestions for improvement. Naturally I took exception to certain things, but I found no grounds for a radical rejection of what was being proposed. It is true that the documents bore only weak traces of the biblical and patristic renewal of the last decades, so that they gave an impression of rigidity and narrowness through their excessive dependency on scholastic theology. In other words, they reflected more the thought of scholars than that of shepherds. But I must say that they had a solid foundation and had been carefully elaborated" [17]

5.4.4 Mixed Commission

While the voting on November 20, 1962, lacked the required absolute majority to reject the De Fontibus Revelatione, the discussions would continue. However considering that this outcome "was too thin to be viable" [7] and that the character of the rejections were finally on the method only, Pope St. John XXIII decided to recast this schema by a Commission. This Commission, composed mostly of members of the Doctrinal Commission and the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, should shorten the text and make the general principles defined by Trent and Vatican I stand out better (November 21).

Note, that while the text would be too much academic, scholastic and too defensive, Pope St. John XXIII's instruction to the mixed commission did not contain any substantial change, but looking at the method to make the general principles defined by Trent and Vatican I stand out better.

In addition to this, on November 24, nineteen Cardinals addressed the Supreme Pontiff, showing their appreciation of this decision to clearly state doctrinal principles against arising deviations, especially in exegetical field.  These Cardinals mentioned: "(1) that divine Revelation is an external and public fact, historically ascertainable; (2) that the divine Catholic Tradition is, as well as Sacred Scripture, means of Revelation; (3) that the divine Catholic Tradition is necessary to guarantee the value itself of the Sacred Scripture, and to interpret with clarity the obscure biblical texts, in matters of faith and morals; (4) that both Sacred Scripture and divine-Catholic Tradition are remote rule of divine Revelation; the proximate rule is the living and unfailing Magisterium - ordinary and extraordinary - of the Holy Church, which sets out what is to be believed as divinely revealed truth that which is contained in the Depositum Fidei; (5) ...; (6) ..."[20].

However, the Fathers, their theologian advisors and periti of the mixed commission were divided. And so, opposing the instructions by Pope St. John XXIII, a discussion on the two sources, i.c. the material sufficiency of Scripture started.  Some were following Cardinal Bea S.J. with the opinion that a question about the distinction of the two sources should not be raised while others were following Cardinal Ottaviani who objected since it was a serious matter of faith at stake, de re fidei.  A third group that followed Father Karl Rahner S.J. defended the fact that other truths, excluding the canon, were implied in Sacred Scripture.  After a few months of discussion none of these opinions got a two-third majority.  Then on February 23, 1963 a two-third majority was formed by Cardinal Bea S.J. and Father Karl Rahner S.J. agreeing to leave this matter open, falsely arguing that the Council was not called on to resolve this problem. This argument neglected on the one hand their main task: “make the general principles defined by Trent and Vatican I stand out better”. While on the other hand with regard to the opening address by Pope Blessed John XXIII, they opposed the main rule that "the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously" and "the Church should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers".

The new neutral formula of the Revelation was adopted on February 23, 1963, by the majority of the mixed commission. It has to be said here that such happened while, during that meeting on Februari 23, Cardinal Ottaviani had to leave the meeting early, since he had to attend a function and by that Cardinal Bea assumed the first presidency. When Cardinal Ottaviani was still present, a question was put to vote. However, when Cardinal Ottaviani was absent Cardinal Bea changed the question for voting, so the agreement was to be that nothing was to be said about insufficiency, nothing in favour or against. The next meeting, February 25, Cardinal Ottaviani formally protested against the change in the question and criticised the legal validity of the vote, since, by means of the vote according to Cardinal Bea's question, the status quo had changed; the doctrine which had been taught by the ordinary Magisterium up until now, was now placed only as questio disputa, but in fact it was a matter of the foundation of faith. Cardinal Ottaviani presented a new question for voting: are there revealed truths which are not contained Sacred Scripture either explicitly nor implicitly. Cardinal Bea and all members of his Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity within the Mixed Commission rejected this vote, stating that such a question was already contained in a resolution, approved by the co-ordinating Commission. Finally this new neutral formula was send to the co-ordinating Commission, approved on March 27, 1963 and hand over to the General Secretary for further discussion in the Council [20].

5.4.5 Written Observations 1964

Then, December 1963, in his closing address of the second session of the Council, Pope Blessed Paul VI alluded to the schema on Divine Revelation that he wanted the question about Revelation to be developed so as to defend the deposit of faith from all errors, abuse and doubt. He concluded: "the very sufficiency of Scripture is in no way taught by the Scripture itself" [13].  This should be a sign to the Council Fathers, who received this so-called neutral schema for making written observations and proposing amendments on January 3, 1964. Here, once again the debate about Tradition was heated. The Fathers accepted the schema while proposing amendments, which in their eyes were right and proper. Hereby, the German-language Council Fathers as well as the Scandinavian were in favour of the new schema, others manifested their perplexity, concerning the way the theme of material insufficiency of the Scripture was neutralised with the danger that the teaching on Tradition was made barely comprehensible. [20].
Then, March 1964, the Theologian Commission started to work on the observations by the Fathers. Obviously, again, the two sources appears too be a great problem. As Ratzinger has said "The greatest difficulty remained here, too, the problem of the material sufficiency of Scripture". The Doctrinal Commission was divided.

Despite the closing address by Pope Blessed Paul VI at the second session, December 1963, still a majority supported the neutral formulation of the Scripture-Tradition relationship, which left open the question for at least an implicit sufficiency of the Scriptures

Only a minority did not want to reduce the Scripture-Tradition relationship to a quaestio disputata, confirming the material insufficiency of Scriptures as taught by the Council of Trent.
Here we have to mention Father Hermann Schauf reporting about a private meeting with Father Karl Rahner S.J. on March 12, 1964, "Before today's meeting a great disagreement with Rahner, who now wants to hear nothing about the insufficiency of Scripture. About formulation, which offers revealed things, which could not prove by Scripture, he said: what does to prove, to demonstrate mean? Who stops me from finding it in Scripture?". Father Karl Rahner S.J. stated that the axiom of material insufficiency of Scripture was impossible to prove, and therefore could be left out the conciliar declaration. [20]. Herewith, Father Karl Rahner made clear that for his concern the neutral formulation only served his opinion about the sufficiency of the Scripture.

5.4.6 General Session 1964

Certainly, there were outspoken opinions on the subject of the two Sources of Revelation, from both sides: pro and contra. Like on the one hand: "If we do not affirm the two sources, we are being unfaithful to the Council of Trent. We must speak of the 'Traditio constituva' " (Mgr. Raffaele Calabria of Benevento) while on the other hand Mgr. Hermann Volk of Mainz (Germany), one of the pupils of Father Karl Rahner S.J., stated: "Scripture does not merely contain but is in itself the word of God. We set forth Sacred Scripture in aula, not tradition" [8]
November 10, 1964, the Theologian Commission started the examination of De Revelatione in a lively discussion pro and contra the two sources. Then, as Mgr. Anastasio Granados, Auxilery of Toledo charged on the traditio constitutiva Mgr. Luis Henríquez of Caracas said: "If someone wants to reopen this discussion, let there first be a prior vote to see if the commission consents to it; and, in that case, the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity should be convoked, since it is a mixed commission that has charged with the finalization of the text. And the Secretariat will surely have a contrary opinion". Finally, the theological commission decided to keep silent about the dogmatic fact of Tradition as indispensable vehicle of faith alongside Scripture. Through this silence, dependent how it will be interpret, it could be understood that the Scripture is sufficient, thereby reducing the value of Tradition.

An outcome that evidently was in opposition to the intention of Pope Blessed Paul VI as expressed in his closing address, December 1963.

With the hindsight of the Council's aftermath, in 2013 Pope Benedict XVI reported that the mixed commission had produced a text on the Scripture: "... born from a vision of the Council detached from its proper key, that of faith. And the same applies to the question of Scripture: Scripture is a book, it is historical, to be treated historically and only historically, and so on".  This text that was strongly influenced by a spirit that considers the "Scripture as complete, everything is found there; consequently there is no need for Tradition, and so the Magisterium has nothing to say" [4].

5.4.7 Intervention

On September 24, 1965 Pope Blessed Paul VI urged through a letter by Pericles Felici, Secretary of the Council to Cardinal Ottaviani the prevention of the approval of a text on Scripture: "Most Reverend Eminence That is the will of the Holy Father that in the most appropriate place in the schema it be stated clearly and most explicitly about the constitutive nature of Tradition, as Source of Revelation. To that end the Supreme Pontiff himself has kindly indicated the following quotation from St. Augustine ‘Sunt multa quae universa tenet Ecclesia, et ob hoc ab Apostolis praecepta bene credeuntur, aquam scripta non reperiantur' (De baptismo c, Donat,. V, 23, 31: PL. 43,192)" [13].

Stimulated by this letter Cardinal Ottaviani once again tried several times to convince the members of the theological commission of the need for not silencing this doctrine of the Church. However the majority, who did not know about the letter of September 23 to Cardinal Ottaviani still refused by arguing that such is already passed by the decision of the mixed commission in February 1963.

After these refusals, on October 18, 1965, Pope Blessed Paul VI finally sent the theological commission a number of text-proposals from which they had to choose to adopt into the final schema, so that it could be read in accordance to the Doctrine of the Church.  As a reaction on the first rumours about such letter, according to Father Yves Congar O.P. on October 13, 1965, the conservative minority was directly accused for having influenced the Pope by requests for intervention.  However it came out by Cardinal Suenens, who had spoken Pope Blessed Paul VI twice about this subject, as Father Yves Congar O.P. reported:"that the Pope is pre-occupied with this question of Scripture and Tradition" [15].

Note, after a long discussion, this is a return to the idea of two Sources of Revelation but only due to a direct intervention of Pope Blessed Paul VI.

So it went from "silencing the distinct sources by one unique source" (Liénart) via silencing one specific distinction "it is not found in the Fathers or Scholastics (it is not in Saint Thomas) or in the Councils" and "by these ‘two sources’, our separated brethren will be offended, a new gap will be created"(Frings) to a "Sola Scriptura"-spirit that considered: "Scripture as complete, everything is found there" [4] back to the origin two Sources of Revelation".

5.4.8 Evaluation

The text chosen from the text-proposals of the Pope can now be found in paragraph 9 of Verbum Dei: “Consequently it is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed.  Therefore both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence"

On the one hand this example shows that a majority of the mixed commission as well as the majority of the theological commission and a majority of Council Fathers had lacked the spirit to fulfil the primary substantive rule set by Pope St. John XXIII: "never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers" [3] by silencing the Truth about the Doctrine of the two Sources as given by the Council of Trent. With reference to the original schema De Fontibus Revelatione, on the one hand the mixed commission did not fulfil the task as instructed by Pope St. John XXIII not to change De Fontibus Revelatione substantially, while on the other hand the majority of theological commission and Council Fathers did not respond well to the will of Pope Blessed Paul VI as given in his closing address of the second session in December 1963. Obviously, they lacked a spirit of gracious and humble collaboration with the intention of the Holy Spirit by free will. They could only accept it forcedly because the Pope insist that the Truth about the two sources should be expresssed well in this document.

What spirit had inspired them?

Because the false spirit by a majority of the theological commission is still recognisable in the final text of the Dogmatic Constitution Verbum Dei, it still contains a number of ambiguities that, which due to the intention behind the direct intervention by the Pope, can indeed be read in accordance to the primary substantial rule given by Pope St. John XXIII

However, principally, any ambiguity, contradictory compromised text-phrases or a one-sided silenced part of the Doctrine is a risk for false interpretations and therefore cannot come from the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of the Truth. So, any deliberately created ambiguity, contradictory compromised text-phrases or a one-sided silenced part of the Doctrine has to be considered as contradictory to a gracious and humble collaboration with the intention of the Holy Spirit.

Of course, Cardinal Bea S.J. seemed to be motivated and focused by ecumenical purposes to decline the resistance by the reformation, which is a good thing itself. But going so far as if the Doctrine of the Church is (partly) guilty on that gap between the Church and the Reformation and therefore denying or silencing a part of the doctrine seems to be an accusation against the Holy Spirit. This, silencing the doctrine and accusing the Holy Spirit, is a twofold sin against the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of the TruthXXV.

This shows the full consequences of the irregular intervention on October 13, 1962, by Cardinal Liénart, the confirmation by the Cardinals Frings and Königs as well as the irregular applause by a majority of Council Fathers and neglecting the rule “not to change a rule without Pope’s approval". Due to that irregular chain of acts the Holy Office could not act as the Executive Office of the Holy Father and protect the Documents against heresies and ambiguities as wished by the Holy Father. In fact by minimizing the Holy Office's influence on the Council the hands of the Holy Father were bounded. Now, the Holy Father could only intervene personally on the most important ambiguities.

This would be a serious psychological dilemma to the Pope. How could he react on all ambiguities and contradictory text phrases? Alternatively, could he reject such document that had been voted placet by a vast majority of the Council Fathers?
He had no alternative texts available written by a minority!

Apparently, this leaves intact the responsibility of all individual faithful to interpret the Council documents according to the primary substantive rule that had set by Pope St. John XXIII to interpret the Council documents not only in a kind of continuity with, but more explicit in unity and accordance to the doctrine as taught by the Fathers. And wherever the Council documents seem to be in conflict to doctrine, or contains ambiguities or a contradictory compromising text phrases, these must be interpreted in accordance to the guiding principle: “never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers" [3]. 

In between, the hard core theologians of the New Theology were also working to spread their false interpretation of the ambiguous texts all over the Church by founding the theological magazine Concilium worldwide in several languages. They started to publish even before the end of the Council. The founder-editors are all exponents of the New Theology, like Yves Congar O.P., Hans Küng, Johann Baptist Metz, Karl Rahner S.J. and Edward Schillebeeckx O.P.

Here, due to their support of the irregular intervention at the start of the Council, the majority of the Council Fathers were beaten with blindness by which they could not recognize how they had been betrayed by these false interpretations.

5.5 Risks of errors

None of the deliberate ambiguities, contradictory compromising text-phrases or consequent ignoring of specific aspects of doctrine that were introduced in the Council’s documents can come from the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.  Of course the Holy Spirit can allow such by respecting the free will of those who did not collaborate graciously and humbly with the intention of the Holy Spirit.  These kind of texts demonstrate a hidden agenda of departing from the sacred patrimony of truth from the Fathers, and is thus contradicting the primary substantive rule set by Pope St. John XXIII.

 

Principally, these ambiguities, contradictory compromising text-phrases as well as the ignored doctrines, all bear risks of error in interpreting the Council documents.

Figure 2; Schema Risks Analysis of Vatican IIWith reference to the report Risk analysis of Vatican II [25] one can find in this analysis the existence of three distinguished groups of Council Fathers.  The first group was a small minority of Council Fathers that collaborated with a dissident group of theologians dedicated to the liberal neo-modernistic New Theology, often calling themselves progressive.  While the Holy Office’s duty is to assist the Holy Father with regard to protecting the Depositum Fidei from error and to protect faithful from confusion, these Council Fathers manifested themselves in opposition to the Holy Office, the Executive Office of the Pontifical Magisterium, by accusing this Office for a rigid conservative theology.  This is Risk A1 as mentioned in Risk analysis of Vatican II [25].  The second was a large group of Council Fathers that, due to a slight anti-Roman resentment could easily fall for the propaganda and pressure against the Holy Office by a small minority of progressive Council Fathers or the dissident group of theologians, dedicated to the liberal neo-modernistic New Theology. This is Risk B as mentioned in Risk analysis of Vatican II [25]. The third was a small minority of Council Fathers that tried to defend the Church Doctrine, called by the progressives a ridged theology.

The irregular intervention by the minority of the progressive Council Fathers that was confirmed by a majority of Council Fathers on the first working day of the Council was an act against the technical rules set by Pope St. John XXIII.  Therefore, this act has to be considered as a lack of gracious and humble collaboration with the intention of the Holy Spirit.  And as the Holy Spirit always respects the free will of men it will also respect the free will of all those individual Council Fathers that did not collaborate graciously and humbly with His intention. Consequently the Holy Spirit rejected them and beat them by blindness. Risk A1 has actualized risks B as mentioned in Risk analysis of Vatican II [25].

As a consequence to the way risk B was actualized, the Council Commissions were elected so that the dissident Council Fathers and theologians had a disproportionally large influence, and the influence of the Holy Office, as representatives of the Holy Father, was minimalized.  Moreover as a consequence of the blindness of the majority of the Council Fathers, the intentionally ambiguous and contradictory text-phrases as well as the one-sided text-phrases that conceals the other parts of the truth and therefore without that can be understand  in contradiction to the Faith ) were not recognized by that majority.  Precisely because of these ambiguous and contradictory text-phrases cannot come from the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Truth, they could only result from the blindness by the majority of Council Fathers due to the lack of gracious collaboration with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on the first working day of the Council. In this manner the risks A2 and A3 as mentioned in Risk analysis of Vatican II were actualized [25].

A systematic search should be conducted for the source of ambiguities and the contradictory compromises in the Council’s documents as well as the way of silencing the Doctrine. Can these risks be linked to the subjects condemned by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Humani Generis, like unrestricted evolutionism, existentialism that concerns itself only with the existence of individual things, false historicism and irenism that underestimated the ratio and disregarding the Teaching Authority of the Church?

Some examples can be traced as such:

  1. Referring to the case of the Sources of Revelation, as aforementioned, that had been followed by a direct intervention by Pope Blessed Paul VI. This subject can be traced back to a false Spirit of irenism by the majority of the Council Commission following Cardinal Bea S.J. and Father Karl Rahner S.J. that disregarded the Teaching Authority of the Church, where they attempted to reduce the resistance by the Reformation by silencing and denying the Doctrine of the Church. 
  2. Referring to Pope Benedict XVI concerning the Council document Nostra Aetate (2012): “In the process of active reception, a weakness of this otherwise extraordinary text has gradually emerged: it speaks of religion solely in a positive way and it disregards the sick and distorted forms of religion which, from the historical and theological viewpoints, are of far-reaching importance; for this reason the Christian faith, from the outset, adopted a critical stance wards religion, both internally and externally" 
    This phenomenon can be traced to a false Spirit of irenism that underestimated the ratio by ignoring those parts of the Truth that were considered as negative regarding to these religions. So one may not say that a false religion is false
  3. Referring to the Council document Dignitatis Humanae several risks can be traced to the errors condemned by Humani Generi
    • First, the spirit of unrestricted evolutionism that implicitly denies the reality of the first sin with all its consequences: “A sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment, enjoying and making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivated by a sense of duty.  The demand is likewise made that constitutional limits should be set to the powers of government, in order that there may be no encroachment on the rightful freedom of the person and of associations.  This demand for freedom in human society chiefly regards the quest for the values proper to the human spirit."
      No distinction has been made here in the light of Faith with regards to the state of the human dignity. No distinction between men of good will or bad will, can be found here.  This characterization has created an indifferentist expression that can be found in accordance to the liberal ideology. 
    • Second, due to the same false evolutionism and an irenic Spirit the following sentence of Dignitatis Humanae did not make any distinction between true and false religions: “This demand for freedom in human society chiefly regards the request for the values proper to the human spirit. It regards, in the first place, the free exercise of religion in society.  This Vatican Council takes careful note of these desires in the minds of men.  It proposes to declare them to be greatly in accord with truth and justice".  Finally, this risk of indifferentism was resolved during the Council by adding a compromising text in the next paragraph that contradicted this indifferentism.  However this text-phrase contains another ambiguity: “... We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men..."
      Finally, this ambiguity would be resolved 42 years after the Council, June 2007 when Pope Benedict XVI had issued the document “Responses to some questions regarding certain aspects of the doctrine on the church"
    • Third, in the second chapter of Dignitatis Humanae the expression religious freedom is used contradictorily. This chapter begins by referring to the liberal ideology as mentioned at the first dot. Then, on the one hand the religious freedom is recognized as a constitutional law becoming a civil right: “The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself (2). This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right".  Here, reference 2 refers to the encyclical Pacem in Terris of Pope St. John XXIII that, on this point among others, refers to the encyclical Libertas Praestantissimum of Pope Leo XIII (1888). Precisely the original contextXXVI shows that this definition of religious freedom concerns the right of Church to adore the True God in liberty for which martyrs in vast numbers consecrated by their blood.  On the other hand, religious freedom has been recognized as a matter of a social nature of man founded on the human dignity: “The social nature of man, however, itself requires that he should give external expression to his internal acts of religion: that he should share with others in matters religious; that he should profess his religion in community. Injury therefore is done to the human person and to the very order established by God for human life, if the free exercise of religion is denied in society, provided just public order is observed"
      Consequently, to the spirit of unrestricted evolutionism no distinction has been made regarding the state of Human Dignity with regard to the wounded one by the first sin and the restored by baptism.  This mixing up of the right to adore the true God and the exercise of free will regarding the Human Dignity by calling both religious freedom as if there is no distinction is, without any question, ambiguous. While the first is calling to be recognised in the constitutional law, the latter is factually based on respecting the free will of men and therefore can be restricted with regard to the public order.
  4. Another example concerns how these ambiguities and contradictory text phrases have been worked out in the post-conciliar reform of the Liturgy. On the one hand Fiedrowicz (2012) [26] reported, while referring to various authors, that the reformed expression of the lex orandi, lex credendi has been weakened or even shows a disappearance of number of topics belonging to the Depositum Fidei: “... the prayers of the classic Rite contain and preserve many thoughts that have weakened or disappeared completely in the revised version, although they belongs to the Catholic faith -the Depositum Fidei - include: (1) the renunciation of earthly and (2) the desire for the eternal, (3) the sovereignty of Christ over the world and society, (4) the fight against heresy and schism, (5) the conversion of unbelievers, (6) the need to return to the Catholic Church and the pure truth; (7) earnings (8) wonders (9) appearances of the saints (10) God's wrath against sin, and (11) the possibility of eternal damnation".
  5. On the other hand, the first part of the second Offertory prayer IV of the Extraordinary Form that has been removed from the Sacred Liturgy with the liturgical reform after the Council.

    O God, Who wonderfully formed the dignity of human nature, and more wonderfully restored it

    This prayer expresses the fullness of the Doctrine of Faith very well that due to the first Sin by Adam the Human Dignity of all mankind that was so wonderfully formed by God, has been wounded and that God had restored the Human Dignity more wonderfully through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ by His Crucifixion and that we can participate in it only through the water of the Baptism and the wine of His Blood as he is the Door to Heaven. The first part of the prayer has simply been removed without any replacement.

    Why? Isn't it, because it did not fit the Spirit of the New Theology regarding to the unrestricted evolutionism

Obviously these examples can be traced to the unrestricted evolutionism as well as irenism that proposes to decrease the gap between the Church and the World, the gap between the Church and non-Christian religions as well as the Church and the other Christian denominations, especially those of the Reformation.  However as given by the Encyclical Humani Generis this cannot be done by disregarding the Teaching of the Church Doctrine, and it cannot be done by departing the sacred patrimony of truth from the Fathers.  Acting as such is lacking any gracious and humble collaboration with the intention of the Holy Spirit and: “By their fruits you will know them" (Matt. 7, 16).

6 Council’s effect on the process

6.1 Council period forwards to the first decade after the Council

In the first part of this study “Fruits of Vatican II, Willful Ignorance of an Ongoing Catastrophe?” [1], we can see from the statistics of religious life that during the period between December 31, 1963, and December 31, 1967, the long term steady growth of the religious memberships reversed and went into a serious and dramatic decline. Some congregations had reached that turning point in 1963 while others as late as 1967 or shortly thereafter.  Attachment 1 of that document shows an overview of a large number of religious congregations, of which 134 are well-enough documented for a statistical study. From these 134 congregations 43 found the maximum memberships in December 1963, 12 in December 1966 and 75 in December 1967. Only 6 of them found the maximum number of religious members after December 1967. This cannot be explained exclusively by natural demographic and sociological arguments. If the Church would have considered as a natural sociological community of faithful it would not have ceased to exist centuries ago.  However as the Church is a supernatural community of the People of God one should also consider the work by the Holy Spirit and consider the supernatural aspects.  Evidently this decline of vocations cannot come from the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, protecting the Church, can allow such according a supernatural reason like punishing the people of God because we did not listen and did not collaborate by free will graciously and humbly to the intentions of the Holy Spirit.

Here we have to consider such supernatural reasons.  The coincidence with the event of the Second Vatican Council, hijacked and used as catalyst for a false ideology, seems to be such.

Because of the enthusiasm by Pope St. John XXIII at the start of the Council, the positive words by Pope Blessed Paul VI at the end of the Council projected on the false information image of the Council-of–media these liturgical experiments found a positive audience in many of the faithful.  Despite the initial enthusiasm by priests and faithful it resulted in a decrease of Mass attendance, especially among the younger people, a decrease of vocations and a decrease of Church life in general.

 

What happened that the inspiration of so many young adults stopped so drastically as well as the drastic increase of resignations of clergy so shortly after the Council?  What has remained of their vocations?

Why was the Second Vatican Council a turning point in the vocation while so many faithful, young and old, were so enthusiastic?  Evidently such a decline of vocations cannot be explained by the work of the Holy Spirit, in contrary this seems to be a lack of the work of the Holy Spirit, but how can that be?

The decline became clearly visible shortly after the publication of the first Council document, the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium. This document was accepted by a vast majority of Council Fathers despite the number of ambiguities and contradictory and compromised text-phrases.  Though the Council documents have to read in accordance to the primary rule set by Pope St. John XXIII “never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers" these ambiguities and contradictory text-phrases bear risks for the opposite: departing from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers.  Shortly after the publication of the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, illicit experiments began, especially among the religious, by which these risks became manifest in a loss of sacredness.  A downward spiral began, resulting from the new Lex Orandi lacking of sacredness and the Lex Credendi which departed from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers. Evidently these illicit experiments demonstrated a disobedience to the Church and, moreover, to the Holy Spirit. This reflected an attitude among the religious involved so that their example failed to inspire the youth for vocations.  Moreover when in 1965 the illicit liturgical experiments, the obligation of the Leonine Prayers and the anti-modernist vow were released, the road was paved for the dramatic loss of sacredness of the Holy Liturgy among the religious firstly and then also among the diocesan priests.  These Leonine Prayers after the Holy Mass and the anti-modernist vow were once introduced to suppress the influence of the liberal modernist spirit in the Church.

After the publication of Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium and the decree Inter Mirifica concerning social communication, both in December 1963 in the next two years 14 more documents were published, three documents in 1964 and 11 in 1965. Even at the last working day the Council Fathers had to vote and accept for four documents.  So all together the Council published 16 documents: two Dogmatic Constitutions, one Liturgical Constitution, one Pastoral Constitution, nine Decrees and 3 declarations. But under what pressure? Apparently, with the increase of the number of documents the risks of false interpretations due to ambiguities is increasing as well

All documents have to be interpreted in accordance to the primary substantial rule given by Pope St. John XXIII: not only in a kind of continuity with, but more explicit in unity and accordance to the Doctrine as taught by the Fathers.

And where the Council documents seem to be in conflict to the Doctrine, contains ambiguities or contradictory compromising text phrases these have to be interpreted by “never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers" [3].

And, as we saw in the previously quoted words of father Schillebeeckx O.P. the dissident theologians were prepared to interpret the ambiguities and contradictory text-phrases in a way they had factually mentioned. They continued to hide their objectives until shortly after the documents were accepted by the Pope and Council Fathers.  In pursuit of their objective they arranged their tools; the Mass media continued as the image of the council-of-media and their own worldwide religious magazine Concilio was published in multiple languages.  With the fathers Karl Rahner S.J., Hans Küng, Ives Congar O.P. and Edward Schillebeeckx O.P. as editors they controlled all publications, excluding the papers that departed from their line of the Council’s interpretation.  As described by Archbishop Agostino Marchetto: “... the false and erroneous interpretation of Vatican II ..... being one trend of the modern theology that vituperates as anti-conciliar anyone who departs from their monopoly-line of the Council's interpretation" [27]. They refused any serious discussion by calling any other interpretation a departure from the Council.

The majority of the Council Fathers, including those who remained loyal to the teachings of the Holy Church were not prepared for the media offensive that the dissident theologians had arranged, and the dissidents seemed to win this first battle over the hermeneutic of the Council.

With their propaganda network in place the dissident theologians set a certain trend in the interpretation of the Council as a hermeneutic of rupture departing the primary rule set by Pope St. John XXIII: “never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers" [3]. 

And when in 1965 the illicit on liturgical experiments, the obligation of the Leonine Prayers after the Holy Mass as well as the anti-modernistic vow were released, the dissident attitude spread all over the Church like an oil spill over the water surface.  The dissidents were not satisfied, as this was only the beginning, and they introduced additional theological theories that had no source in the Council Documents, novelties that were not even prepared for by ambiguities. They introduced the term Spirit of the Council suggesting that this Spirit of the Council is a continuation of the work of the vast majority of the Council Fathers on various subjects that had been blocked by the influence of the loyal conservative Council Fathers.

They essentially rejected the Church as She had existed prior to Vatican II.

It was only a few month after the closure of the Council, Spring 1966, by a letter to a friend Father Sebastiaan Tromp S.J reported about a private audience at which Pope Blessed Paul VI had expressed his concern about the situation in the whole Church: a dangerous relativism, a false mystic about Pope John XXIII, nobody is listening to the voice of Pope, a crisis of the celibacy, a false forming of the public opinion, a spirit of Council that has been replaced by a spirit of some Extremists [11].  To this point Pope Blessed Paul VI had also addressed in 1966: “It would not be the truth for anybody to imagine that the Vatican Council II represented any kind of break, interruption, or 'liberation' from the teaching of the Church, or that it authorized or promoted any kind of accommodation or conformism with the mentality of our times, in its negative or ephemeral aspects" [27].  Then finally in accordance to the concerns as expressed above Cardinal Ottaviani, Prefect of the new erected Congregation for Doctrine and Faith, issued a Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences regarding some sentences and errors arising from the interpretation of the decrees of the Second Vatican Council (Cum Oecumenicum Concilium), July 24, 1966 [28]. That happened so shortly after the closure of the Council

Besides these addresses, Pope Blessed Paul VI shows more than once that the Second Vatican Council must not be considered as a break with the Doctrine: “never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers".  The most important acts to be called here are the encyclicals Mysterium Fidei (1965), Sacerdotalis Caelibatus (1967) and Humanae Vitae (1968) as well as the Credo of the People of God (1968). 

In particular the continuation of the Church Teachings on celibacy, marriage and anticonceptions fell into disgrace and was under heavily fire by dissident theologians.

 

The resistance against the traditional teachings manifested factually an underlying problem in which the sense of authority was lost.  The attitude among these theologians was strongly characterized by Father Karl Rahner S.J. in 1980: “I believe that the theologian, after mature reflection, has the right, and many times the duty, to speak out against a teaching of the magisterium and to support his dissent" [29].

Herewith, Father Karl Rahner S.J., over the years, betrayed an increasingly extreme and petty form of insane pride. First before and during the Second Vatican Council he accused the Executive Office of the Pontifical Magisterium for a rigid theology, rejected the preparatory documents, and places his own theological theories and opinions as superior, even they  were principally condemned by Pope Pius XII’s Encyclical Humani Generis. Then, working in the darkness behind the screens as a member of the Council of the Theologians on a change of the Faith in accordance with dissident theories and opinions. Finally in 1980 Father Karl Rahner S.J. he declared these dissident theologians as the protectors of Faith and the Pastoral implications, a kind of super-authority on the Church Teachings.. This is amazing.

Vocations among young adults come from the way the Revelation is taught by the Church, on the one hand by the sacredness of the Holy Liturgy and on the other hand by the example of the religious life by Saints as well as more specifically by their parents, family, priests and religious they meet regularly.

With the downward spiral of the Lex Credendi, Lex Orandi-Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi the loss of the Sacredness of the Holy Liturgy by the liturgical experiments resulted in a poor example of the religious life of priests and religious, resulting in the observed drastic decline of vocations and drying up the vocations of young priests as well as resignations.  As mentioned by some sociologists, this phenomenon was made worse by the revisions in religious life. A revision in accordance to a false spirit is one that departs from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers.  Therefore, due to the influence by the dissident theologians, the most central sacred aspects of the religious roles were considered as something to be dismissed or discontinued.  As a result, the sacred gratifications of religious vocations seemed to be greatly reduced as were certain features of the religious life. Placed alongside the accentuation of the holiness by the way laity could live, the idea that the religious life is morally superior was gradually withdrawn and replaced by a notion that both are equal ways to holiness.  When the orders were dispensed with their distinctive dress, in response to the Council’s directive to modernize, the religious became unrecognizable and no longer the object of special treatment and respect in public [02].

Most remarkable herewith is that the large congregations like the Society of Jesu, the Franciscans, the Dominicans and the Salesians of Don Bosco, working at the forefront of the vocations by their involvement to the education of young adults, were not able to keep the number of vocations stable, even not at a zero level. Even these congregations found themselves in a free fall of vocation crisis and resignations during the first decade after the Council.  At this point, if the actual decline of the last 25 years continues without substantial changes the Jesuits and Franciscans will left as one of the many small congregations within 50 years (see part 1, attachment 2) if they are still around at that point.

If this is a supernatural consistency it’s: “By their fruits you will know them" (Matt. 7, 15-16).

6.2 Restorative period after the first decade

6.2.1 1975-1985

This period is marked by a more moderated decline of the total religious after the dramatic decline in the first decade after the Council. With a total loss of 20% of all religious in the first decade after the Council, it appears that during the next 25 years until about 2000 the loss of total religious was about 10%, while in the years 2000 till 2012 the number of religious was rather constant to a slight growth. Then after 2012 to 2015 it seems that the slight growth that existed between 2000 and 2012 is lost again.

However looking at the individual congregations, the number of religious shows a very wide divergence. From the statistical analysis in the first part of this study we have learned that this divergence can be distinguished into several Categories.  The congregations belonging to Category 1 that find themselves in a severe decline for all the years after the Second Vatican Council have been compensated since about 2000 by all other congregations whereas the total number of religious appeared to be rather constant.

A more detailed view of some congregations in severe decline is given in Appendix 1, among which we find the 7 largest congregations. Together with the 6 more extreme cases these 13 congregations, representing about 146,000 religious in 1966 we find in 2015 only about 77,000 religious or 53% left.  To compensate this loss of religious at the 2000-2012 level that factually is a loss of 28% with regard to 1966 level other congregations had to compensate this up to 19%, some ompensating more than others.

Although this moderated decline became visible after 1975 the roots can be traced to an earlier time after the Second Vatican Council.  With reference to Yves Congar’s My Journal of the Council Mgr. Robert Barron explained how the division in the post-conciliar period arose [31]. 

While in the wake of the council, the triumphant progressive party had formed the international theological journal Concilium with the board including Rahner S.J., Küng, Schillebeeckx O.P., de Lubac S.J., Congar O.P., Hans Urs von Balthasar, Ratzinger, and others.  After only a few years, three figures -- Balthasar, de Lubac S.J., and Ratzinger -- decided to break with the theological magazine Concilium and found their own international theological journal Communio.  According Mgr. Robert Barron, Yves Congar O.P. commented on this split: “Küng, Schillebeeckx O.P., Rahner S.J., Ratzinger, Congar O.P., de Lubac S.J., and Wojtyla were all proud men of the council. They fought for some common ideals regarding the Council. But they went separate ways -- and thereupon hangs a tale still worth pondering".  The justification for this decision by Yves Congar O.P. can be considered as illuminating.  They (Balthasar, De Lubac S.J. and Ratzinger) said:

  • First, the board of Concilium was claiming to act as a secondary magisterium, or official teaching authority, alongside the bishops.  Theologians have a key role to play in the understanding and development of doctrine, but they cannot supplant the bishops’ responsibility of holding and teaching the apostolic faith. 
  • Secondly, the Concilium board wanted to launch Vatican III when the ink on the documents of Vatican II was barely dry.  They wanted to ride the progressive momentum of Vatican II toward a series of reforms -- women’s ordination, suspension of priestly celibacy, radical reform of the Church’s sexual ethic, etc. -- that were by no means justified by the texts of the council. 
  • Thirdly, the Concilium board’s resolve to perpetuate the ‘spirit of the council’. Councils, they stated, are sometimes necessary in the life of the Church, but they also represent moments when the Church throws itself into question and pauses to decide an issue or controversy.

In a response Father Don MacDonald commented additionally that Communio had grown out of the International Theological Commission established by Pope Blessed Paul VI in 1969. The idea of a new international theological review was the result of many conversations of the members of that commission (for example, von Balthasar, de Lubac S.J., Bouyer, Ratzinger and others) [32]. The foundation of the theological magazine Communio in 1972 can thus be traced to Pope Blessed Paul VI.  That explains the address to the Cardinals of the Curia on June 23, 1972.  

In that address Pope Blessed Paul VI had not only given a clear description of the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture but also an clear comndemnation: “... an emergency which We cannot and must not keep hidden: in the first place a false and erroneous interpretation of the Council, which would want to break with the tradition, even as regards the doctrine, an interpretation which goes so far that the pre-conciliar Church is rejected and one is allowed to consider a 'new' church, as it were reinvented from the inside, as regards the constitution of the Church, her dogma, custom and law"

And, notably, in the same week on June 29th 1972 Blessed Pope Paul VI also stated in his homily "... from some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God".
If indeed the theological magazine Communio can be traced to Pope Blessed Paul VI, then we have to consider this, together with his address to the Cardinals, as a clear answer to all Cardinals, Bishops, priests, religious and laity that rejected openly or secretly the Encyclicals Mysterium Fidei, Sacerdotalis Caelebatus and Humanae Vitae as well as the Credo of the People of God.  It is a clear answer to the conniving by the board of the theological magazine Concilium.

During the same period, a restorative tendency was introduced by Pope Blessed Paul VI in which we can observe on the one hand the appointments of more conservative Bishops, but on the other hand also measures undertaken against Mgr. Lefebvre and the Society of St. Pius X he founded, who criticized some of the lower documents of Second Vatican Council.  This policy was continued by Pope Blessed Paul VI, who appointed Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Prefect of the Congregation of Doctrine of Faith as well as by his successor Pope St. John Paul II. 

6.2.2 1985 to the Present

During the first half of the nineteen eighties the decline of the religious, particularly many of the congregations in severe decline, began showing a stabilization.  A polarization emerged between the two schools of interpretation of the documents of Vatican II, based on the hermeneutic of “rupture” and the hermeneutic of “continuity”. Only a small minority could be distinguished around Cardinal Siri, following the rule as set by Pope St. John XXIII: "in unity and in accordance to the Doctrine as taught by the Fathers; never depart from the Sacred Patrimony of Truth received from the Fathers".  To overcome this polarization between the two main forms of hermeneutics, Pope St. John Paul II convened an extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 1985, the 20th anniversary of the close of the Council.  This synod came up with six agreed upon principles for interpretations, which may be paraphrased as follows [33]:

  • Each passage and document of the council must be interpreted in the context of all the others, so that the integral teaching of the council may be rightly grasped.
  • The four constitutions of the council (those on liturgy, church, revelation and church in the modern world) are the hermeneutical key to the other documents—namely, the council’s nine decrees and three declarations.
  • The pastoral import of the documents ought not to be separated from, or set in opposition to, their doctrinal content.
  • No opposition may be made between the spirit and the letter of Vatican II.
  • The council must be interpreted in continuity with the great tradition of the church, including earlier councils.
  • Vatican II should be accepted as illuminating the problems of our own day.

Although these six principles for interpretations were agreed upon, but there was no mention of the substantial primary rule set by Pope St. John.  In guiding the Council he had determined how to interpret it.  Principally, according the Roman law the law-maker determines how the law is to be interpreted. And in his announcement, convocation as well as in his opening address he stated very clearly that the renewal has to be in unity and accordance to the Doctrine taught by the Fathers: "never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers".  Therefore we can question how these six principles fit the substantial rule set by Pope St. John XXIII.

Looking at the 1985 principles, the first two princples form a vicious circle with a dangerous alternative of a vicious spiral, depending how one interprets the ambiguities in some of the documents.  In particular, placing the pastoral constitution at the same level as the doctrinal constitution is asking for interpretation problems.  Then with regard to the third principle the outcome of this vicious circle or spiral has a strong influence on how one understands the pastoral import as it relates to the doctrinal content.  The same consequence can also be found for the fourth principle; the ambiguity of the documents allows the spirit of Vatican II to become rather creepy.

Principle 5 can be considered as most important, but is at the same time also really most dangerous, where the use of the term continuity fundamentally implicates a change without discontinuity.  Though with some good will the expression continuity can be understood as in unity with and in accordance to, but evidently this principle leaves open the possibility for departing from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers.  Therefore it does not express per se the same intention of Pope St. John XXIII being in unity and in accordance to the Doctrine taught by the Fathers. 

Then finally principle 6 declares a Pastoral Council as being a dogma in itself, including its ambiguities and contradictory compromising text phrases, while that Council in no way attempted to declare any dogma.
And because a pastoral Council is oriented on the pastorate, this bears the risk for replacing the orthodoxy by an orthopraxis.

Factually each document has to be clear in itself as well as in unity and in accordance with the Doctrine taught by the Fathers. If that is the case then all documents are clear, and the whole Council is in accordance to the Doctrine taught by the Fathers. However, containing ambiguous text-phrases, these document has to be interpreted in unity and in accordance with the Doctrine taught by the Fathers.  If that will be done well all other in 1985 given principles are unnecessary.

Here we can look at the statistics (Attachment 1) and observe how a number of the congregations in severe decline between 1985 and 1990 had undergone an acceleration of the declining rate, like largest among all the congregations, the Jesuits, the Franciscans, the Capuchins and the Dominicans.

Both, Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, were they too much involved in the council-of-theologians during the Council?  On the one hand they praised the Fruit of Vatican II but on the other hand they could not prevent the negative effects by dissents that still interpret the Council as a total change and reject the Church as She was prior to the Council.  Here we need to refer to the review by Mgr. Robert Barron on the Yves Congar’s My journal of the Council: "As Congar O.P. led this charge, his chief opponents were Archbishop Pericle Felice and Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, the keepers of the traditional, scholastic form of Catholicism.  His principal allies were progressive council fathers Cardinal Frings of Cologne and Archbishop Wojtyla of Krakow, as well as fellow periti Karl Rahner S.J., Edward Schillebeeckx O.P., Henri de Lubac S.J., Hans Kung, and a young German theologian named Joseph Ratzinger" [31]. Mgr. Robert Barron goes further in his review: "But even as I was caught up in the moment, I couldn’t help but think of the divisions that would later beset that victorious group. Archbishop Wojtyla, of course, later became Pope John Paul II, and he would appoint Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) as his chief doctrinal officer. Further, John Paul would create de Lubac S.J. and Congar O.P. himself as Cardinals, but would preside over a critical investigation of the works of both Kung and Schillebeeckx O.P." [31].

What do we have to consider by the hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us as claimed by Pope Benedict XVI in his 2005 Christmas address. On the one hand ignoring the continue ongoing catastrophe after the Second Vatican Council on hardly all subjects and on the other hand praising the Fruits of Vatican II despite the fact that both, Pope St. John Paul II and his successor Pope Benedict XVI, had to publish a number of documents to correct the interpretation of the Council.

7 Evaluation

Pius XII, Pope from 1939 to 1958, found himself in a world dominated by modern contradictory subjective philosophies as well as numerous developments in natural and technical sciences having major impact on society.  This was especially true with regard to the political situation in the world.  This situation had affected many theologians too.  Therefore Pope Pius XII issued the encyclical Humani Generis, "concerning certain false opinions which threaten to sap the foundations of Catholic teaching".  This encyclical forcefully re-affirms in the face of contemporary, subjective philosophies, the traditional doctrine of the Church asserting human reason’s natural power to reach God.  Yet it clearly manifests also an openness to supplement its traditional doctrine with the valid contributions these philosophies have to offer. "You may enrich it, if due caution be observed, with certain new elements which the progress of human thought has brought with it".  The problem remains one of how to incorporate what is truly new and of permanent value in this more personal, subjective approach, into the traditional philosophy of the Church, without devaluating it by simply reducing it to old categories [<29].  This Encyclical condemned the fundamental error of philosophical relativism, which leads to dogmatic relativism, which soon derives a whole complex of deviations [35]. 

Pope Pius XII took measures against the dissident theologians that taught incaution by exceeding the boundaries set in the encyclical Humani Generis.  Though Pope St. John XIII continued the same teaching as given by this encyclical, he was convinced that a policy of mercy would induce these dissident theologians to a moderate and reasonable attitude while engaging in theologian discussions to find the truth within the false philosophies.  To reach that purpose Pope St. John XXIII decided to call for the Second Vatican Council, and to show his good will he released the measures taken by Pope Pius XII. Obviously such a policy could only have worked if an adequate level of good will reigned among the dissident theologians.  This policy contained the danger that the required good will of the dissidents would not be answered as required and as could be expected by faithful theologians.  In retrospect, this policy failed. 

Even before the start of the Council these dissident theologians organized, together with a minority of Council Fathers who were also attached to the theological approach of these theologians.  Together they presented a confrontational opposition to the Holy Office, the Executive Office of the Pontifical Magisterium that they accused of a rigid theology.  By misusing a slight anti-Roman resentment among a number of Council Fathers they were able to create an irregular intervention against the technical rules set by Pope St. John XXIII.  Instead of a humble and gracious collaboration with the intention of the Holy Spirit by respecting the technical and substantive rules set by Pope St. John XXIII a technical rule was broken from the start. Due to this break the influence of the Holy Office on the Council was severely reduced to the point that the Holy Father lost the control over the Council and the road to break the substantive rules was paved.  The Holy Office, being the Executive Office of the Pontifical Magisterium, could not prevent such, as shown by the example of the revelation.  These theologians are responsible for introducing into the Council documents ambiguities, contradictory text-phrases, and text-phrases that even seems to contradict faith through the silencing of specific aspects of faith. The manner in which the faithful were informed about the Council by the Catholic public media, as well as the manner in which the Council documents were interpreted directly after the Council guaranteed that the dissidents would prevail.  Clearly these dissident theologians had broken the trust that Pope St. John XXIII had shown with regard to their good will.

It is this council-of-theologians that, along with a minority of the Council Fathers ruled not only the real Council-of-Fathers but also the council-of-the-media as well as the post-Council period.
The term spirit-of-the-council has been introduced by the council-of-theologians but is in fact the spirit-of-the-council-of-theologians

Factually these dissident theologians and Council Fathers kidnapped the Council from Pope St John XXIII.  The last words on his death bed, as reported by Jean Guitton, the only Catholic layman to serve as a peritus at the Council, would be: "Stop the Council; stop the Council"  However after Pope St. John XXIII died his successor Pope Blessed Paul VI apparently did not recognize the deficiencies of the policy of his predecessor and continued the Council, even refining that policy further, but still keeping the rules set by Pope St. John XXIII "never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers"

8 Conclusion

... the core of the problem is the doctrinal crisis due to the hijack of the Pastoral Council and the misuse of this Council as catalyst by the theologians attached to the ‘new theology’ with the aim of a minority of the Council Fathers attached to them.

The longer a problem is allowed to continue unchecked the more difficult it becomes to eventually come to terms with it.  While the first part of this study about the Fruits of Vatican II concerned a data analysis by which the various institutes were categorized according to characteristic shapes of the curves. One can find herein the common traits among those institutes which bear fruit and the common traits among those which bear no fruit. 

The second part of this study concerns a more substantive process analysis.  The sudden and dramatic decline of the number of religious cannot be explained by natural demographical and sociological arguments only. As the Church is not a natural sociological institute, a wider historical and above all supernatural perspective has to be considered.

With the liturgy as the living heart of the Church, the laws Lex Credendi, Lex Orandi (the law of Faith determines the law of prayer) as well as Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi (the law of prayer determines the law of Faith) are of crucial importance.  While the crisis of doctrine set the stage for the liturgical crisis according to which the seriousness of Faith determines the way of prayer, the lack of Sacredness of the Prayer sets the liturgical crisis and determines the seriousness of Faith and Doctrine.  Then, weakening of prayer will be followed by a weakening of the seriousness of Faith and a weakening of the seriousness of Faith will be followed by a further weakening of prayer.  And if not corrected, then, these two processes form a vicious spiral that altogether can result in an eventual loss of Faith, such as we have seen in the past fifty years.  On the other hand, to strengthen our prayers results in an increase in the seriousness of Faith.  Liturgy governs Faith; this ancient principle is enshrined in the Catholic Catechism and has been held since the earliest days of Christianity and is a basic understanding on which this work is founded. 

This is what anyone can observe by the available statistics of the religious: a turning point of the upwards growth into a downward spiral.  So what is the source of this turning point?  Is it a doctrinal crisis of Faith or is it a Liturgical crisis due to a lack of sacredness?  Certainly the Second Vatican Council cannot be such source in itself.  However it had become a catalyst by which the crisis became visible, when the council of theologians kidnapped the Council of the Fathers along with a minority of Council Fathers, accepted by an applauding majority.  By the irregular intervention on the first working day of the Council these Council Fathers broke the technical rules set out by Pope St. John XXIII, paving the road for a number of subsequent breaks regarding the substantial rules set by Pope St. John XXIII.  Breaking the technical rules of the Council is a crime against the Pope as the lawmaker of the Council, against the Council Fathers of good will, against the soon-to-be-misled laity, and last, but not least against the Holy Spirit.  This is much more the case by deliberately introducing a number of ambiguities, contradictory text-phrases and silencing specific parts of the Depositum Fidei to hide the real intention so that there is a departure from the Church Teachings that continues after the closure of the Council.  It endangers the Faith to present, as authentic, a theology that "depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers".  Such is demonstrating a lack of gracious and humble collaboration with the intention of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of the Truth.

To resolve this problem one should have to interpret all documents systematically, especially the ambiguities and contradictory text-phrases therein, very carefully and in accordance to the rules set out by Pope St. John XXIII.  Hereby these substantial rules by Pope St. John XXIII can be summarized from the opening address: "a renewal in unity and accordance to the Doctrine taught by the Fathers: never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers".  All aspects of the Doctrine, especially the parts that have been deliberately silenced, have to be taken into account to interpret the documents of the Second Vatican Council; the whole Depositum Fidei has to be considered integrally.  And if there is any doubt, the interpretation may "never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers"

Without any doubt, the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture has to be condemned, while, because the term hermeneutic of continuity potentially bears an ambiguity in itself, it has to be considered carefully. The expression continuity includes a change, a continuous change, a reform without giving a definition of the purpose of that reform.  It is therefore important to make a correct distinction in relation to the doctrinal level and the level of the world where the pastoral is working.  The continuity regarding the doctrinal level of the Depositum Fidei can only be in one direction leading to a better understanding by deepening of the Faith and never can contradict itself.  However regarding the continuity at the level of the world two processes can be observed: first a continuity that is focussed by Faith and a second one that is working into the contrary direction.  These two opposite processes in the world are connected to each other by so-called counterpoints called conversion if turning towards the Faith, while it is a loss of Faith if it turns into the contrary direction.  What objectively determines the specific character of a pastoral act is not simply a continuity, but its intrinsic orientation towards or away from the Depositum Fidei as the law of Faith and expressed by the Lex Credendi. Therefore the pastoral approach and thus the renewal must never be in contradiction to the Depositum Fidei.

The hermeneutic of continuity can only be understand well with regards to a deepening of Faith, where by definition one can "never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers", while the hermeneutic of renewal in continuity has always be focussed on the Depositum Fidei which it cannot contradict: "never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers".

Apparently the severe decline in which a number of Congregations find themselves after the Council indicates a more or less the influence by the spirit of the dissident theologians that kidnapped the Second Vatican Council.

At some point the question of willful ignorance must be raised.  Those who "bury their heads in the sand" like an ostrich may do so if they would like to avoid some unpleasant fact or news.  For the leadership of the Holy Catholic Church to do so when confronted with an existential crisis is intolerable.  Saint Thomas Aquinas says "It is clear that not every kind of ignorance is the cause of a sin, but that alone which removes the knowledge which would prevent the sinful act.  …This may happen on the part of the ignorance itself, because to wit this ignorance is voluntary either directly as when a man wishes of set purpose to be ignorant of certain things that he may sin the more freely; or indirectly as when a man, through stress of work or other occupations, neglects to acquire the knowledge which would restrain him from sin.  For such like negligence renders the ignorance itself voluntary and sinful, provided it be about matters one is bound and able to know". (Reference St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa I-II. q. 76. a. 1. a. 3).

The very existence of the Holy Church into the future has been placed at risk.  The loss of understanding of even the nature of the Church is widespread, and it is now possible to find wide swaths of both North and South America and Western Europe in which there is hardly no evidence of religious influence.  Along with the disappearance of religious sisters and brothers who once ran Catholic Schools and Catholic Hospitals the Americas and Western Europe have undergone crises in both health care and education.  The results have been catastrophic, but they seem to confirm the assessment meticulously outlined in the Risk analysis of Vatican II [25].  To quote from this document: 

    "… looking at the large numbers of ambiguities as well as the contradictory compromise text phrases in the Council’s documents as a source for many conflicts even in today’s Church, it is imperative that the real problem should be identified.  This problem was and remains the lack of a gracious collaboration concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by a majority of the Council Fathers and the widespread appeal referencing the so-called Spirit of the Council to interpret the Council’s documents in a manner that disgraces the Holy Spirit.

    Because the ongoing catastrophe is of supernatural origin and going so deeply into the Church life, in accordance with the results of the risk-relationship analysis [25], and in consideration of the fact that in one way or the other hardly nobody has been unaffected by this desperate conflict in the Church, a gracious and humble request for Mercy to the Holy Spirit for the Church is necessary.


    With regard to the lack of a gracious and humble collaboration concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by some of the Council Fathers and the widespread referencing of the so-called Spirit of the Council to interpret the Council documents in a manner disgracing the Holy Spirit, this humble request for Mercy is quite urgent. This is strongly proposed as absolutely necessary for resolving the conflicting situations in the Church, which still continues since the close of Vatican II more than 50 years ago. This proposal may well be necessary for corrective measures to come into full effect as well as to achieve the convoked objective of the Council, i.e. the “New-Evangelisation
    .

The stakes are too high to simply ignore the ongoing catastrophe.

Therefore as a first measure those religious institutes which continue to bear fruit should be placed as models for others to emulate.  Those which are slowly dying and show no signs of recovery should be corrected on points of religious life, doctrine and liturgy, and if they refuse to conform they should be suppressed.


9 References

[I] Emeritus Assistant Professor on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Delft University of Technology
. . . Acting President of the International Federation Una Voce (2006-2007)
. . . Vice President of the International Federation Una Voce (2005-2006, 2007-2013, 2017-....)

[II] Associate Professor of Computer Science and Director of International Studies Program, Lyon College

II  David L. Sonnier, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Director of International Studies Program, Lyon College.

III  A summary of this report has been published at 1P5 [here] and on Christendom Restoration Society [here]

IV  Dignitatis Humanae 1

    Dignitatis Humanae
    A sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man, and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment, enjoying and making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivated by a sense of duty. The demand is likewise made that constitutional limits should be set to the powers of government, in order that there may be no encroachment on the rightful freedom of the person and of associations. This demand for freedom in human society chiefly regards the quest for the values proper to the human spirit. It regards, in the first place, the free exercise of religion in society. This Vatican Council takes careful note of these desires in the minds of men. It proposes to declare them to be greatly in accord with truth and justice. To this end, it searches into the sacred tradition and doctrine of the Church-the treasury out of which the Church continually brings forth new things that are in harmony with the things that are old.
    First, the council professes its belief that God Himself has made known to mankind the way in which men are to serve Him, and thus be saved in Christ and come to blessref0ess. We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus He spoke to the Apostles: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you" (Matt. 28: 19-20). On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it.
    Missale Romanum 1962 Second prayer of the Offertorium
    Deus, + qui humanae substantiae dignitatem mirabiliter condidisti, et mirabilius reformasti: da nobis per hujus aquae et vini mysterium, ejus divinitatis esse consortes, qui humanitatis nostrae fieri dignatus est particeps, Jesus Christus Filius tuus Dominus noster: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus: per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen O God, + Who, in creating human nature, did wonderfully dignify it, and still more wonderfully restored it, grant that by the Mystery of this water and wine, we may be made partakers of His divine nature, Who vouchsafed to be made partaker of our human nature, even Jesus Christ, our Lord, Thy Son: Who with Thee, lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God: world without end. Amen.
    Missale Romanum 1970 Second prayer of the Offertorium
    Per huius aquae et vini mysterium eius efficiamur divinitatis consortes, qui humanitatis nostrae fieri dignatus est particeps By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the dinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity

V This statement concerns the question by Mr. Seewald [6]: ”Your attitude towards the Council had gradually changed. In your book published in 1965, Ergebnisse und Probleme der 3. Konzilsperiode, it states ‚The Council, and the Church with it, is on the way, there is no reason for scepticism and resignation. We have every reason to hope, good spirits, patience.’ But by 18 June this same year, you declare before a Catholic student community in Münster that one is beginning ‘to wonder, if things were not always better under the rule of the so-called conservatives, than they are able to be under dominance of progressivism’. A year later, in 1966 at the Bamberg Katholiekentag, you strike a balance which expresses scepticism and disillusionment. And with a lecture in Tübingen in 1967 you point out that the Christian faith is by now surrounded ‘with a fog of uncertainty’ as had ‘hardly been before at any point in history’. Is the new internal split, then beginning within the Church, and basically enduring to this day, to be considered as part of the tragic nature of the Council?”

VI  Today it can still be said that despite all the billions invested in research for decades, unrestricted evolutionism is still based on unproved hypothesis within the domain of natural science.  The idea of this unrestricted evolutionism has indeed been accepted generally in a large number of scientific theories, like sociology, philosophy, economy in analogy with a suggested physical unrestricted evolution.  However, as long as the physical basis within the natural science of this theory has not been proved, the hypothetical foundations of these scientific theories are rather weak.  Indeed for decades many physical scientists, as well as research institutes, have fallen for the unlimited financial support to prove the physical basis of the unrestricted evolutionism.  Frequently, they claim to have found the key to prove the theory and that time and again- within a few years it would be proved.  This kind of message finds a sympathetic hearing by the media but the fact that they never succeed is always silenced and always followed by a similar new message.  Those in the media are not afraid to publish their own imaginations around such claims.

VII Polygenesis refers to the idea that human beings derive not from a single set of first parents, but from several separately originating lines of descent.  Polygenesis claims that God did not create just a single first couple, Adam and Eve, from whom all humanity is descended, but rather many first couples.  Moreover they typically do not hold that God created humans.  This however contradicts many verses in the Bible which say that all humanity is descended from Adam and Eve. The opposite position is known as monogenesis [http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Polygenesis];

VIII to look to the past and to listen to its voices whose echo we like to hear in the memories and the merits of the more recent and ancient Pontiffs, our predecessors. These are solemn and venerable voices, throughout the East and the West, from the fourth century to the Middle-Ages, and from there to modern times, which have handed down their witness to those Councils. They are voices which proclaim in perennial fervour the triumph of that divine and human institution, the Church of Christ, which from Jesus takes its name, its grace, and its meaning [3];

IX  The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously. That doctrine embraces the whole of man, composed as he is of body and soul. And, since he is a pilgrim on this earth, it commands him to tend always toward heaven [3];

X  In order, however, that this doctrine may influence the numerous fields of human activity, with reference to individuals, to families, and to social life, it is necessary first of all that the Church should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers [2];

XI  The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all [3];

XII  The Church's solicitude to promote and defend truth derives from the fact that, according to the plan of God, who wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (l Tim. 2:4)M, men without the assistance of the whole of revealed doctrine cannot reach a complete and firm unity of minds, with which are associated true peace and eternal salvation [3];

XIII  At the outset of the Second Vatican Council, it is evident, as always, that the truth of the Lord will remain forever. We see, in fact, as one age succeeds another, that the opinions of men follow one another and exclude each other. And often errors vanish as quickly as they arise, like fog before the sun
The Church in every age has opposed these errors and often has even condemned them and indeed with the greatest severity. But at the present time, the spouse of Christ prefers to use the medicine of mercy rather than the weapons of severity; and, she thinks she meets today's needs by explaining the validity of her doctrine more fully rather than by condemning [3];

XIV  Not, certainly, that there is a lack of fallacious teaching, opinions, and dangerous concepts to be guarded against and dissipated. But these are so obviously in contrast with the right norm of honesty, and have produced such lethal fruits that by now it would seem that men of themselves are inclined to condemn them, particularly those ways of life which despise God and His law or place excessive confidence in technical progress and a well-being based exclusively on the comforts of life. [3];

XV  The great problem confronting the world after almost two thousand years remains unchanged. Christ is ever resplendent as the centre of history and of life. Men are either with Him and His Church, and then they enjoy light, goodness, order, and peace. Or else they are without Him, or against Him, and deliberately opposed to His Church, and then they give rise to confusion, to bitterness in human relations, and to the constant danger of fratricidal wars. [3];

XVI  There have elapsed three years of laborious preparation, during which a wide and profound examination was made regarding modern conditions of faith and religious practice, and of Christian and especially Catholic vitality. These years have seemed to us a first sign, an initial gift of celestial grace [3];

XVII  Illuminated by the light of this Council, the Church -- we confidently trust -- will become greater in spiritual riches and gaining the strength of new energies therefrom, she will look to the future without fear. In fact, by bringing herself up to date where required, and by the wise organization of mutual co-operation, the Church will make men, families, and peoples really turn their minds to heavenly things [3];

XVIII  The manner in which sacred doctrine is spread, this having been established, it becomes clear how much is expected from the Council in regard to doctrine. That is, the Twenty-first Ecumenical Council, which will draw upon the effective and important wealth of juridical, liturgical, apostolic, and administrative experiences, wishes to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion, which throughout twenty centuries, notwithstanding difficulties and contrasts, has become the common patrimony of men. It is a patrimony not well received by all, but always a rich treasure available to men of good will [3];

XIX  Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, pursuing thus the path which the Church has followed for twenty centuries [3];

XX The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all [3];

XXI  For this a Council was not necessary. But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a Magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character [3];

XXII  In the daily exercise of our pastoral office, we sometimes have to listen, much to our regret, to voices of persons who, though burning with zeal, are not endowed with too much sense of discretion or measure. In these modern times they can see nothing but prevarication and ruin. They say that our era, in comparison with past eras, is getting worse, and they behave as though they had learned nothing from history, which is, none the less, the teacher of life. They behave as though at the time of former Councils everything was a full triumph for the Christian idea and life and for proper religious liberty. We feel we must disagree with those prophets of gloom, who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand [3];

XXIII Encyclical Humanae Generis nr 9: Now Catholic theologians and philosophers, whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instill it in the hearts of men, cannot afford to ignore or neglect these more or less erroneous opinions. Rather they must come to understand these same theories well, both because diseases are not properly treated unless they are rightly diagnosed, and because sometimes even in these false theories a certain amount of truth is contained, and, finally, because these theories provoke more subtle discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths.

XXIV ‘De Bazuin’ a religious weekly published by the Dutch Dominicans (1911-2002);

XXV De Fontibus Revelatione (first Chapter – Changes by the Central Preparatory Commission are made in red):

  1. The Revelation of the Old and New Covenants.
  2. The revelation, which, in his wisdom and goodness, God deigned to bestow upon man, comes to us in the economy of the Old and New Covenants. Under the Old Covenant, in many and various ways God spoke to our fathers through the prophets (see Hb 1:1); but under the New Covenant, through his own Son and his Apostles, God spread the treasures of his wisdom and knowledge abroad to the whole human race (see Jn 14:26 and 16:14; Hb 1:2).

  3. The Initial Spreading of the New Covenant's Revelation.
  4. In God's plan, this revelation of the New Covenant, which greatly surpasses and completes that of the Old, was chiefly spread by preaching and received by listening, just as the Apostle said: "Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ" (Rm 10:17). For during his lifetime Christ the Lord revealed the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven to the children of Israel by word of mouth; and after his resurrection he commanded his Apostles to preach to every creature (see Mk 16:15): "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me; going, therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Mt 28:18-20). It is because the Apostles preach the doctrine of Christ and indeed do so in his name that in the Scriptures they are said simply to speak "the Word of God" or "the Word of the Lord" (see Acts 4:29; 8:25; 13:46; 14:36); indeed, their own preaching is called "the Word of God" (see Acts 6:2,7; 11:1; 12:24; 13:7,48; etc.), inasmuch as it is truly God's speech being addressed to men through them, as the Apostle said to the Thessalonians: "...we thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God which is at work in you who believe" (I Th 2:13). So it is, as St. Clement of Rome testifies, that "the Apostles were established for us as preachers of the Gospel by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was sent by God. Christ is from God and the Apostles from Christ; thus both come in proper order by the will of God. And so the Apostles, after they had received their orders and in full assurance by reason of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, being full of faith in the word of God, went out in the conviction of the Holy Spirit preaching the good news of the coming of God's Kingdom."

  5. The Transmission of the New Covenant's Revelation.
  6. Throughout the centuries, the ministry of the Word which Christ and the Apostles inaugurated has always been preserved in the Church. For as the Apostles handed on what they had received from Christ (see I Cor 15:3 along with 11:23) and entrusted it for safekeeping to their successors (see I Tm 6:20; II Tm 1:14), so Bishops, who succeed to the place of the Apostles in the Church, have always by their preaching handed on that doctrine and authoritatively interpreted it. Some of the Apostles or apostolic men, under divine inspiration, also put the revelation into writing; but the living preaching of the Apostles was neither annulled nor diminished by these writings; it was rather strengthened, preserved more securely, and authoritatively explained [was strengthened and recommended].

  7. The Twofold Source of Revelation.
  8. Instructed by the commands and examples of Christ and of the Apostles, therefore, Holy Mother Church has always believed and believes still that the complete revelation is not contained in Scripture alone but in Scripture and in Tradition as in a twofold source, although in different ways. Besides containing what was revealed, the books of the Old and New Testaments were also written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so that they have God as their author. 3 But truly divine Tradition, preserved in the Church by a continuous succession, contains all the matters of faith and morals which the Apostles received either from the mouth of Christ or from the suggestions of the Holy Spirit and which they transmitted ["outside Holy Scripture"] as it were by hand to the Church so that in it they might be handed on further by the Church's preaching. Therefore, the things which divine Tradition contains by itself [ratione sui] are drawn not from books, but from the Church's living preaching, from the faith of believers, and from the Church's practice. [As for things belonging to the past, many are known from various written, although not inspired, documents.]

  9. The Relationship between the Two Sources.
  10. Let no one, therefore, dare to consider Tradition to be of inferior worth or refuse it his faith. For although Holy Scripture, since it is inspired, provides a divine instrument for expressing and illustrating the truths of faith, still its meaning can be clearly and fully [not underlined in PTC] understood or even presented only by means of the apostolic Tradition. Indeed, Tradition and it alone is the way in which some revealed truths, particularly those concerned with the inspiration, canonicity and integrity of each and every sacred book, are clarified and become known to the Church.

  11. The Relationship of Each Source to the Magisterium.
  12. In order that the two sources of revelation might harmoniously and more effectively work together for the salvation of man, the provident Lord handed them over, as a single deposit of faith to be kept safe and defended and authoritatively interpreted, not to individual believers, however learned, but to the Church's living Magisterium alone. It is the responsibility of the Church's Magisterium, as the proximate and universal norm for believing, not only to pass judgement, having made use of the means which divine providence offers, in matters directly or indirectly concerning faith and morals, on the meaning and interpretation both of the Holy Scriptures and also of the documents and monuments in which the Tradition has in the course of time been recorded and manifested, but also to illustrate and to explain those things which are obscurely and implicitly contained in each source.

XXVI the encyclical Libertas Praestantissimum of Pope Leo XIII (1888) Another liberty is widely advocated, namely, liberty of conscience. If by this is meant that everyone may, as he chooses, worship God or not, it is sufficiently refuted by the arguments already adduced. But it may also be taken to mean that every man in the State may follow the will of God and, from a consciousness of duty and free from every obstacle, obey His commands. This, indeed, is true liberty, a liberty worthy of the sons of God, which nobly maintains the dignity of man and is stronger than all violence or wrong* - a liberty which the Church has always desired and held most dear. This is the kind of liberty the Apostles claimed for themselves with intrepid constancy, which the apologists of Christianity confirmed by their writings, and which the martyrs in vast numbers consecrated by their blood. And deservedly so; for this Christian liberty bears witness to the absolute and most just dominion of God over man, and to the chief and supreme duty of man toward God. It has nothing in common with a seditious and rebellious mind; and in no title derogates from obedience to public authority; for the right to command and to require obedience exists only so far as it is in accordance with the authority of God, and is within the measure that He has laid down. But when anything is commanded which is plainly at variance with the will of God, there is a wide departure from this divinely constituted order, and at the same time a direct conflict with divine authority; therefore, it is right not to obey.

    * bold marked: the quote used in the Encyclical Pacem in Terris

1   “Fruits of Vatican I, A Wilfull Ignorance of an Ongoing Catastrophe?” (Part 1 – Observational Analysis), Jack P. Oostveen and David L. Sonnier (2018),
[http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/docs/Fruits-of-Vatican_II-part_1.htm];

2  “Catholic religious vocations: decline and revival”, Rodney Stark and Roger Finke (2000); Review of Religious Research, vol 42-2 p 125-145;

3   “Gaudet Mater Ecclesia, Opening address of the Second Vatican Council (October 11th)”, Pope St. John XXIII (1962);
[because the Vatican website does not provide an English translation of this Opening Address, the translation by http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/ teach/v2open.htm has been used here and verified by the Dutch translation ];

4   “Address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Roman Clergy - February 14”, Pope Benedict XVI (2013),
[http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2013/february/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20130214_clero-roma.html];

5   “Iota Unum, A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the XXth Century” Romano Amerio (1985, Dutch translation), Angela Press, ISBN: 9780963903211;

6   A.A.S. 38 (1946), 384-388;

7   “Benedict XVI, last testament in his own words with Peter Seewald”, Peter Seewald (2016); Bloomsburry Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4729-4467;

8   “Henri de Lubac S.J., Vatican Council Notebooks –volume one”, Henri de Lubac (2015); Ignatius Press, ISBN 978-1-58617-305-0;

9   “Announcement of the Second Vatican Council”, Pope Saint John XXIII (1959); [http://vatican2voice.org/91docs/announcement.htm];

10   “Convocation of the Second Vatican Council”, Pope Saint John XXIII (1961),
[http://vatican2voice.org/91docs /convoke.htm target="_blank"];

11  „Zeugen des Glaubens, Papst Johannes XXIII begegnen“, Alexandra von Teuffenbach (2005), Sankt UlrichVerlag GmbH, ISBN 3-936484-47-3;

12  see https://akacatholic.com/vatican-ii-concilium-contra-papa-ratti-part-one/;

13  „Joseph Ratzinger, Zur Lehre des Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzils“, Erster Teilband, (Joseph Ratzinger. Gesammelte Schriften 7/1), re-edited by Mgr. Gerard Ludwig Müller und der 'Institut Papst Benedikt XVI' (2012), Preface by Pope Benedict XVI; Regensburg, ISBN 978-3-451-34124-3, Herder Verlag, Freiburg [full English text of the preface: Pope pens rare article on his inside view of Vatican II, 
[http://en.radiovaticana.va/storico/2012/10/10/ pope_pens_rare_article_on_his_inside_view_of_vatican_ii/en1-628717];

14  „Aus Liebe und Treue zur Kirche, Eine etwas andere Geschichte des Zweiten Vatikanums“, Alexandra von Teuffenbach (2004), Morus Verlag, Berlin, Germany, ISSBN3-87554-398-X;

15  “My Journal of the Council”, Yves Congar O.P. (2012, English translation); Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minesotta, ISBN 978-0-8146-8029-2;

16  „Das Zweite Vatkanische Konzil, Eine bislang ungeschriebene Geschichte“, Roberto de Mattei (2012); 2. Korrigierte und erweiterte Auflage, Kirchliche Umschau, ISBN 978-3-932691-98-0;

17Theological highlights of Vatican II”, Joseph Ratzinger (1966), Paulist Press, ISBN 978-0-8091-4610-9;

18  “Letters from Vatican City”, Xavier Rynne (1963); Farrar, Straus and Company, New York [Dutch translation, Ambo boeken];

19  “Konzilstagebuch Sebastian Tromp SJ, Band 2/1 (1962-1963)", Alexandra von Teufenfach (2011); Verlag Traugott Bautz GmbH, ISBN 978-3-88309-625-4;

20Vatican II, A pastoral Council – Hermeneutics of Council Teaching”, Serafino M Lanzetta (2016); Gracewing & Latin Mass Society, ISBN 978-085244-888-5;

21"Draft of a dogmatic constitution on the sources of revelation”, Translation © Joseph A. Komonchak 2012 [https://jakomonchak.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/de-fontibus-1-5.pdf];

22"Konzilstagebuch Sebastian Tromp SJ’, Band 1/1 (1960-1962)”, Alexandra von Teufenfach (2006); Editrice Pontificia Universita Gregoriana, ISBN 88-7839-057-7;

23"Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenio Vatican II, Series II (Praeparatoria) Volumen II, Acta Pontificiae Commissionis Centralis Praeparatoriae Concilii Oecumenici Vatican II, Pars I, Sessio Prima: 12-20 Iunii 1961 & Sessio Secunda: 7-17 Novembris 1961 (Sub Secreto)”, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, MCMLXV ;

24"Konzilstagebuch Sebastian Tromp SJ, Band 3/1 (1963-1964)”, Alexandra von Teufenfach (2014); Verlag Traugott Bautz GmbH, ISBN 978-3-88309-929-3;

25Risk analysis of Vatican II”, J.P. Oostveen,
[http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/docs/risk_analysis.html];

26Die überlieferte Messe – Geschichte – Gestalt – Thelogie”: 2. aktualisierte Auflage, Carthusianus Verlag, ISBN 978-3-941862-12-8;

27The Second Vatican Council, a Counterpoint for History of Council“, Archbishop Agostino Marchetto (2010), ISBN 978-1-58966-196-7,

28 AAS 58 (1966) 659-661; Nuntius 1 (1967) 17-19; DOCUMENTA 3,
[http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19660724_epistula_en.html];

29"Stimmen der Zeit",  Karl Rahner (1980); Vol. 198;

31  “Yves Congar and the Meaning of Vatican II”;  Mgr. Robert Barron (2012),
[https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/article/yves-congar-and-the-meaning-of-vatican-ii/445/];

32  “Communio journal strives to deepen mission of Vatican II”, Fr. Don MacDonald, OFM (2012),
[http://wcr.ab.ca/Columns/Columns/entryid/2745];

33  “Vatican II: The Myth and the Reality”, Avery Dulles (2003),
[https://www.americamagazine.org/issue/423/article/vatican-ii-myth-and-reality];

34  “Humani Generis and Natural Knowledge of God”, Joseph L. Roche (1959); Conference Bulletin of the Archdiocese of New York, St Joseph’s Seminary and College,
[http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=2789];

35  “The structure of the encyclical ‘Humani Generis’”, Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (1953), translated from the Italian "La sintesi tomistica, (Brescia, Queriniana, 1953). pp. 541-54" by A. Aversa Cf. Garrigou-Lagrange's "Where is the New Theology Leading Us?",
[http://www.u.arizona.edu/ ~aversa/scholastic/hg_gl.html];

Attachment

Statistical Overview

Category 1a:
Institutes of Concecrated Life in Severe Decline

Figure 1

The 7 largest Institutes of Concecrated Life in Severe Decline

Figure 2

Category 1b:
Institutes of Concecrated Life in Extreme Severe Decline

Figure 3

The 6 largest Institutes of Concecrated Life in Extreme Severe Decline

Figure 4

Category 2:
Institutes of Concecrated Life in Decline but Eventually Finding Stability

Figure 5

The 6 largest Institutes of Concecrated Life in Decline but Eventually Finding Stability

Figure 6

Category 3:
Institutes of Concecrated Life in Decline but Eventually Reaching a Slow Rate of Growth

Figure 7

3 of the Institutes of Concecrated Life in Decline but Eventually Reaching a Slow Rate of Growth

Figure 8

Category 4:
Institutes of Concecrated Life Eventually Restoring Pre-1965 Membership level

Figure 9

3 of the Institutes of Concecrated Life Eventually Restoring Pre-1965 Membership level

Figure 10

Category 5:
Institutes of Concecrated Life Eventually Restoring Pre-1965 Rate of Growth

Figure 11

4 of the Institutes of Concecrated Life Eventually Restoring Pre-1965 Rate of Growth

Figure 12

Category 6:
Institutes of Concecrated Life suffering no post-1965 Decline

Figure 13

4 of the Institutes of Concecrated Life suffering no post-1965 Decline

Figure 14

Institutes of Apostolic Life

Figure 15

7 largest Institutes of Apostolic Life

Figure 17