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Vatican II, the intrinsic risks for failures and clarity of the interpretation

Jack P. Oostveen

Scientific and Practicing Civil Engineer
Emeritus Ass. Professor on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering
Emeritus Guest Professor on Problem Solving Theory and Training

Revised Version d.d. 03.08.2016

pdf-file

  1. Preface
  2. Vatican II and the interpretation
      Introduction
      Proposal for Clarity
      Evaluation
  3. Vatican II and the risks for failure
      Statements by Pope Benedict XVI
      Evaluation
  4. Vatican II and the 'hermeneutics of reform, renewal in continuity'
      Introduction
      Analyse of Dignitatis Humanae
      General threat
      Evaluation
  5. Conclusion
  6. Notes
    triptich

    1. Preface

    This article consist of three parts which have to be considered as a triptych on interpretation of Vatican II. -

    The first part is considered as the main-panel and is focussed on Vatican II and its interpretation with regards to the hermeneutics of renewal, of reform in continuity [note 01]. It contains both, some arguments and a proposal for clarity. Hopefully this will lead to more clearness on the interpretation of Second Vatican Council and by that a recognition of the Church-wide problems due to the effects of the hermeneutics of rupture and discontinuity that has blinded the view on the Church doctrine and life so much due to its erroneous interpretation. This clarity might contribute to the Year of Mercy.

    The second part has to be considered as painted on the backside of the two side panels. It is therefore only visible if the triptych is closed. This part is focussed on remarkable statements by Pope Benedict XVI during the last year of his Pontificate, such as [note 02]: (1) no specific problem to resolve, (2) the expectation to shape the future world, (3) vague expressions 'today's world', 'modern era' or 'modern world' and a failed analysis, (4) developments of philosophical thought and the understanding of the States and (5) speaking of religion solely in a positive way.
    By analysing and discussing these statements in the light of ‘Problem Solving’ it becomes clear that each of these statements holds one or more risks for failure by which the real problem behind Vatican II as well as its interpretation becomes visible. Therefore it becomes understandable why Vatican II could be kidnapped so easily by the ideology of the hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity. This ideology rejects Church life before Vatican II, with even some of its proponents going so far as reject Church Doctrine. Such understanding is necessary to learn how deep the false interpretation has permeated and influenced Church–life by its erroneous measures, despite so many well-meaning Council Fathers, Bishops, Priests, Religious and Faithful. This insight might have a contribution to the Year of Mercy, especially regarding the mercifulness inside the Church.
    Despite the fact that the pastoral Council expressed many important elements for an understanding of the “world” and made significant contributions to the question of Christian ethics, a failed analysis is intrinsically connected to a failed search into the Truth and will always lead to imperfections and incorrect solutions that will fail in reality, sooner or later.

    A proper understanding of expressions like failed and risks for failures regarding a Council

    For a proper understanding of expressions like failed and risks for failures regarding a Council, the following definitions are useful to consider (these come from the professional engineering discipline of failure analysis):

    1. The Ultimate Limit State (ULS) is a type of failure mode where the total functioning of a system has been destroyed. This type of failure is unrecoverable.
    2. The Serviceability Limit State (SLS) is a type of failure mode where one or more distinct elements of a system do not function sufficiently. This kind of failure can be resolved by taking appropriate corrective measures.

    When considering a Council an Ultimate Limit State failure mode or “collapse by heresy cannot exist, especially regarding the infallibility of Depositum Fidei and the supernatural protection by the Holy Spirit. Even if Council documents contain a lot of ambiguities, the Holy Spirit, is preventing the Council from absolute heresy and guarantees that the total result can always be interpreted in accordance to the fullness of the Depositum Fidei and Tradition.

    All Council Fathers are required to collaborate graciously concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as an act of free will. Apparently, if a number of individual Council Fathers is lacking such gracious collaboration, the Holy Spirit still respects that free will. However, the Holy Spirit will reject these Council Fathers from His inspiration and beat them by blindness. Depending upon how the gracious collaborating Council Fathers are able to master the Council documents with regard to the erroneous influences by the Council Fathers lacking the gracious collaboration this might introduce ambiguities as well as contradictory compromises into these documents.
    Especially whereas such lack of a gracious collaboration appears to be from a majority of the Council Fathers, the Council documents might be subjected to such a degree of ambiguity and contradictory compromises that the produced documents cannot service unambiguously the proper interpretation of the Council with regard to the convoked objectives. On one hand this can be considered as a Serviceability Limit State failure mode at which the Holy Spirit is respecting the individual free will of man, while on the other hand the Holy Spirit is protecting the Council supernaturally from the Ultimate Limit State failure mode by preventing it from absolute heresies, just by these ambiguous and contradictory texts phrases. Precisely, that is making the Serviceability Limit State failure mode resolvable by addressing appropriate corrective measures in gracious collaboration with the Holy Spirit, and finally into a succesfull Council.
    Apparently, the Serviceability Limit State failure mode is subjected to Council Fathers disgracing the Holy Spirit and being the source of the ambiguities and contradictory text phrases in the Council documents by which these texts are open for false and erroneous interpretations and incorrect (pastoral) measures to be implemented. Evidently, these ambiguities and contradictory text phrases cannot come from the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Truth. Hereby the phenomenon of failing interpretations is factually proving the existence of the Serviceability Limit State failure mode.

    On one hand, the more Council Fathers disgrace the Holy Spirit by free will, the more risks on blindness among the Council Fathers appears and the more ambiguities are present in the Council Documents as well as the greater the risk that the convoked objectives of the Council cannot be achieved. On the other hand as long as these ambiguities have not been addressed well by appropriate corrective measures, the convoked objective(s) of a Council cannot be achieved.....

    The Holy Father or an Ecumenical Council are infallible, when they pronounce on faith or morals a definitive statement which must be accepted by every Catholic, or when they present an infallible teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium. Evidently, Vatican II did not even want to pronounce any new dogma.
    Thus the term "risk for failure of Vatican II" means here the risk for a Serviceability Limit State failure, by which the Council documents are lacking the serviceability for a clear interpretation and understanding that thereby are open for false interpretation by which incorrect measures are taken and of which the convoked objective fails.

    The third part of this article is painted on the front of both side-panels and contributes to the Clarity of the interpretation of Vatican II on the main panel taking into account the problems manifested by the risks mentioned in the second part. Therefore it is dealing with an example regarding to the proposed Clarity of the interpretation of Vatican II. Evidently these consequences might require a renewed and better search into the sacred tradition and doctrine of Church the treasury of which the Church continually brings forth new things that are in harmony with things that are old [note 03] and above all a correct analysis at the level of the changing reality of the modern world, including an objective definition of the modern world itself as well as the contemporary man, all in the light of Faith.
    This example applies to Dignitatis Humanae.

    Since the Clarity of the interpretation of Vatican II as well as the risks for failure which appear to be actualized, seems to me to be very important, I cannot in good conscience remain silent about this. Is not one required to search for the Truth and, having found it, always to speak about it, whether in season or out of season?

    I have written this article as faithfully and as possible from my experience as a professional engineer and scientist, trained in thinking analytically. I ask the reader’s indulgence to read my views on what follows regarding inconsistencies that I perceive to exist between several Magisterial Church documents, which have serious consequences for a proper interpretation of the documents of the Second Vatican Council.

    2.  Vatican II and the interpretation

    See also: correspondence with CDF

    Introduction

    Hermeneutic of Vatican II

    wapen BXVI In his address to the curial collaborators at Christmas 2005 Pope Benedict XVI condemned the wide spread hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity and placed the hermeneutic of renewal, of reform in continuity in the foreground. In this way Pope Benedict XVI showed us the correct direction of the interpretations of Vatican II while at the same time he initiated renewed discussions.-

    However, it has to be considered that the condemnation of the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture by Pope Benedict XVI was preceded over 33 years earlier by a speech of the Blessed Pope Paul VI to the Cardinals on June 23th 1972. Blessed Pope Paul VI highlighted in that speech his concern with the following words: ... 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 [unofficial translation, see for the original text in Italian note 04].-

    These words spoken by Blessed Pope Paul VI seem to be a clear description of what Pope Benedict XVI has called the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture. Notably, in the same week on June 29th 1972 Blessed Pope Paul VI also said in his homily: ... from some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.

    Furthermore it is also Blessed Pope Paul VI who remarked already 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[note 05].

    Then in 2012 Pope Benedict XVI in his preface to his collected works on the 2nd Vatican Council has renewed the condemnation of the ideology of the hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity:

      The Council Fathers neither could nor wished to create a new or different Church. They had neither the authority nor the mandate to do so. It was only in their capacity as bishops that they were now Council Fathers with a vote and decision-making powers, that is to say, on the basis of the Sacrament and in the Church of the Sacrament. For this reason they neither could nor wished to create a different faith or a new Church, but rather to understand these more deeply and hence truly to 'renew them'. This is why a hermeneutic of rupture is absurd and is contrary to the spirit and the will of the Council Fathers.

    On 14th February 2013 in his address to the parish priests and clergy of the Diocese of Rome on the subject of Vatican II, Pope Benedict XVI mentioned the existence of two Councils, the real Council and a shadow–council of the mass media. This shadow-council had reported the real Council subjectively and interestingly one-sided only in the rupture and discontinuity. In this way the mass media had strongly influenced the way in which the real Council has been received by the faithful all over the world.-

    Remarkably, while Pope Benedict XVI put the responsibility for the false receipt of the real Council into the hands of the shadow-council, he also mentioned a direct intervention by the Pope within the real Council. Pope Paul VI had to prevent a text to be approved on the Scripture 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. Furthermore Pope Benedict XVI stated: It was obvious that the media would take the side of those who seemed to them more closely allied with their world ......... 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 [note 06].

    Obviously in this case the erroneous text that had to be prevented by the Pope was not the responsibility of the shadow-council because forces also were at work within the real Council that had influenced these text opposing the Faith for which the Pope urged himself to intervene, like in the case of the Nota Praevia addendum to Lumen Gentium.

    From the words by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1966 and 1972 as well as Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 and 2013 it has to be concluded that the emergency about which Blessed Pope Paul VI spoke in 1972 had already started directly after Vatican II and is still present today, otherwise the addresses by both Popes would be made without any actual references and thus meaningless. It may be have also even prepared during the Council itself.

    Additionally, in 1976-1977 the Blessed Pope Paul VI had ordered the then Archbishop Gagnon to search how far the Church enemy has infiltrated the Church's Curia, the report that has been stolen out of the safe of the Secretariat of State the day before it should have been presented to the Blessed Pope Paul VI. Some other facts such as the wide spread opposition on the encyclical Humanae Vitae (Blessed Pope Paul VI: 1968), the indult Quattor ad hinc (Saint John Paul II: 1984), the Motu Proprio’s Ecclesia Dei (Saint Pope John Paul II: 1988) and Summorum Pontificum (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: 2007) reminds us of the influence of the ideology of hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture on church life
    Furthermore, also the resistance against Pope John Paul II's will to follow the positive advice by a special committee of cardinals for world-wide free celebration of Traditional Latin Liturgy (1986-87) as well as a number of restoring encyclicals are clear examples of the ruptures by this erroneous hermeneutic.

    Finally, also His Holiness Pope Francis has confirmed the principle of the hermeneutic of renewal, reform in continuity by more than once calling Archbishop Agostino Marchetto the best interpreter of Vatican II.-

    However, despite of all these Papal warnings, as described by Archbishop Agostino Marchetto in 2010: the false and erroneous interpretation of Vatican II, frequently availing itself of the sympathies of mass media and also being one trend of the modern theology that vituperates as anti-conciliar anyone who departs from their monopoly-line of the Council's interpretation [note 07]; a situation has been created that affected so many innocent and well-meaning faithful (Cardinals, Bishops, priests and laity) by misleading them over all these years, indeed for a period of almost a whole generation. Thus the People of God, and above all the 'little' ones, are confused, disoriented and aimless.--

    Lack of Clarity

    It appears in the light of Clarity of the interpretation of Vatican II the answer to the Council Fathers of the Notification [note 08] added to Lumen Gentium has not been fully satisfactory. Obviously the only official document published after the Notification concerning the interpretation of Vatican II is the 1988 Protocol between the then Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine of Faith, and Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Superior General of the Fraternity St. Pius X, [note 09] signed on 5 May 1988 and which has been rejected the very next day by Mgr. Lefebvre. However despite this rejection up to now the doctrinal declaration provided in this document is still in effect for each individual priest or priestly group coming from the SSPX who wish to reconcile themselvesn in full communion with the Church. -

    Among other things in the doctrinal declaration it states that (ad 2) the doctrine, contained in number 25 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium (LG) of the Second Vatican Council on the ecclesial Magisterium and the adherence which is due to that magisterium, as the only point of Vatican II that has to be accepted [note 10]. (ad 3) Regarding all other points taught by the Second Vatican Council or concerning later reforms of the liturgy and law, and which seem to able to be reconciled with the Tradition only with difficulty, one has to commit oneself to have a positive attitude of study and of communication with the Holy See, avoiding all polemics.

    All the documents of Vatican II can be considered as subject for study and critical discussion by all faithful, priests and laity, except LG 25. Evidently, no further explanation has been given how to interpret Vatican II. Nothing can be found about the hermeneutical rules to bring Clarity of the interpretation of Vatican II specifically.

    Double standards on theological discussions about the interpretation of Vatican II

    See also letter to the Congregation of Institutes for Consecrated Life (CICL)

    Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate - Regarding the official protocol issued by the Congregation for Doctrine of Faith on 5 May 1988 the Congregation of Institutes for Consecrated Life (CICL) demonstrated very recently a double standard that fully contradicts the 1988-Protocol [note 09] using a vague accusation against the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate labelling them as: a crypto-Lefebvrian and Traditionalist drift.
    Referring to the address at a meeting of the Union of Religious of Catalonia [3-4 May 2014] by the Secretary of the CICL, his Excellency Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo [note 11], states that: the CICL is particularly concerned with this matter: we are seeing true deviations. Especially since not a few institutes give not only a pre-conciliar, but even an anti-conciliar formation. This is inadmissible, it is to place oneself outside of history. It is something that worries us greatly in the Congregation

    Furthermore the Secretary of the Congregation for Consecrated Life explained that fidelity to Vatican II is a central component to modern religious life: For the consecrated, the Council is a point that cannot be negotiated.; He affirmed that those who search into the reforms of Vatican II all the ailments of religious life deny the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church.

    Therefore the Secretary of the Congregation seems to deny the free study of the documents of Vatican II according the 1988-Protocol and declares the pastoral reforms of Vatican II, which certainly are results of interpretations of the documents, as being dogmatic by calling it: the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Regardless, the Congregation for Institutions of Consecrated Life is suppressing the Franciscan Friars nowadays for participating in this renewed discussion that has been initiated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005. They argued as such that the Pastoral Council of Vatican II in itself as well as all interpretations afterwards should be a dogma that can no longer be discussed. This seems to be an exclusive example of an act strongly influenced by the ideology of hermeneutics of discontinuity and failure 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 [note 07]-

    As conservative religious the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate were participating in the discussion about the interpretation of Vatican II from the view of the hermeneutic of renewal, reform in continuity since 2005. They were indeed actively involved herein even by organizing a Conference in 2010 The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council: A Pastoral Council - Historical, Philosophical and Theological Analysis. A conference in which Mgr. Brunero Gherardini, prof. Roberto De Mattei, Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Don Nicola Bux and Bishop Athanasius Schneider participated [note 12].

    Thereby the Friars have never doubted the authority of the 2nd Vatican Council as they always have been respectful to the Supreme Magisterium. Why these double standards regarding Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the theological discussions on the interpretation of Vatican II?-

    Double standards on Liturgy

    See also the correspondences on this topic

    When the Congregation of Institutes for Consecrated Life (CICL) put the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate by decree under a Commissioner, that decree by the CICL itself, does not concern the Liturgy. The topic of Liturgy has been added by His Holiness Pope Francis himself as a free decision and can be distinguished by the following two statements [note 13]:

    Hereby His Holiness Pope Francis has used the plural form competent authorities, which indicates that more than one authority has been stated to have that competency, and it does not solely rest in the hands of the internal authority of the Apostolic Commissioner.

    His Holiness Pope Francis did not set out any specific restrictions or conditions for granting of such permission to the individual religious or communities of the Franciscan Friars, neither did the Congregation by issuing this decree. Furthermore His Holiness Pope Francis did not explicitly suspend the authority of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. While the Apostolic Commissioner is the internal authority, according to the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum the PCED is the first external authority with competence in this area. Therefore, if the Apostolic Commissioner refuses to give the explicit authorization, the Friars have the right to seek permission from Pontifical Commision Ecclesia Dei (PCED).

    Evidently, it may be considered that during the audience of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate with His Holiness Pope Francis on 10th of June 2014 His Holiness spoke explicitly his will that the requirement for explicit permission added to the decree of the CICL by him was in response to the complaint by a small number of friars that they would be forced to celebrate the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form. He stated that all friars would be/are free to celebrate the Form of their choosing, albeit at this time with special permission for the Extraordinary Form. Recognition and acceptance of this being the case would lead to a final and peaceful resolution that is in harmony with the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.-

    Herewith the words of the Holy Father Pope Francis, as reported by Andrea Tornielli in La Stampa on 23rd June 2014, stated [note 14], that he ... did not want to deviate from the line of Benedict XVI, and reiterated that the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate remained free to celebrate the old mass, even if for the moment, in light of the controversies surrounding the exclusive right to use that missal – an element that did not constitute part of the founding charisma of the institution – they required a discernment with the superior and with the bishop if it concerned celebrations in parish churches, sanctuaries and teaching houses. The Pope explained that there must be freedom, both for those who wish to celebrate with the old rite, and those who wish to celebrate with the new rite, without the rite becoming an ideological banner.

    Despite this will of the Holy Father anyone can observe how the Franciscan Friars have been threatened by both, the Commissioner and his general secretary Father Bruno. Although both have explicitly said that the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy is/was not that real problem, they still refused permits to celebrate or to attend the Liturgy according their wish as Holy Father Pope Francis stated.

    The Congregation of Institutes for Consecrated Life (CICL) seems to agree with such. Evidently, the will of the Holy Father is non-issue for them. Why is it still forbidden for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate to celebrate or to attend the Liturgy in that Form they wish? Why may all other faithful do so as given by the Church law, formulated in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum? Why should it be wrong for some faithful friars to celebrate or to attend the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Liturgy and not for others? Why such double standard on the Liturgy? -

    Council of Trent

    Double standards on Church-life

    Obviously to support and strengthen the mentioned vague accusation against these Friars more false charges are voiced like bad management of the temporary goods [note 15]. This charge concerns the fact that the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate were in transition from an extraordinary to an ordinary situation regarding the management of the temporary goods to bring that management into a non-profit organisation (NGO). This managed by lai, spiritual supporters children of the friars, who also represents the sponsors of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Such an ordinary situation, where laity manage the temporal goods, since the rule of Saint Francis states that Franciscans do not own temporal goods, was generally in use before Vatican II as well as today by many Franciscans worldwide.

    However, because the last signatures concerning this transition was dated between the date of the decree by the CICL and the date one month later, that the Apostolic Commissioner took over the management of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the accusation was formulated by the Apostolic Commissioner as follows: … concerns the transfer of the control of movable and immovable goods of the Institute to members of the laity, persons known to be spiritual children or relatives of the Founder, Fr. Stefano M. Manelli, as well as to the parents of various sisters. These transfers were made after the appointment of the Apostolic Commissioner, and thus manifest the intention to embezzle funds away from the control of the Holy See and to deprive the Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate of the necessary means for the maintenance of religious and, especially, for the works of the apostolate, and in particular of the missions [note14]. While on one hand during this mentioned period superior general Father Manelli was still in full charge, on the other hand what principally could be wrong with such transition from an extraordinary to the ordinary situation? Why should it be forbidden to live as Franciscans without properties, like so many Franciscans in the past and today worldwide? Why such double standards on Church life?-

    It was striking that this complaint came forwards after the lay-board of the NGO had refused to cooperate with the Apostolic Commissioner in re-allocating the temporal goods for purposes contrary those appointed by the sponsors, while the Apostolic Commissioner had forbidden precisely those purposes for which the sponsors had given their gifts [note 16].

    Confusing

    Such double standards are confusing the faithful. What may be discussed and what may not be discussed in finding truth. Should a part of the truth be excluded from the Church life, and therefore it may not be lived or even not discussed? Are some faithful (priests and laity) excluded to have part of these discussions, while others have even hardly no restrictions?

    Because of all these double standards that can be brought together in the interpretation of Vatican II, faithful, priests and laity, have a right to clarity with respect to the Truth. It is necessary that such clarity on this matter would be provided by the Holy See. Such Clarity would not only benefit the faithful, but would also bring justice and peace, where we find so many conflicts between well-meaning faithful. It certainly would contribute to peace and mercifulness inside the Church, just at the beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.

    Therefore a proposal for such Clarity of the interpretation of Vatican II has been provided below.

    Proposal for Clarity

    See also: attachment A of correspondence to CDF

    General approach

    Regarding the hermeneutics of reform, of renewal in continuity as the norm for the interpretation of Vatican II as Pastoral Council, a suitable comparison has to be performed concerning the distinguished levels by looking at the diagnostical approach of Problem Solving as used in Scientific and Practical Engineering. Here it is clear that the distinguished levels are most fundamental and common with regard to resolving a problem, whereas the kind of problem, technical or pastoral, is not relevant. This comparison also shows the importance of problem analysis to define the real problem as well as the general risks for failure that are sometimes manifest only in the fullness of time.

    Furthermore the proposal contains seven distinct rules. The first two rules (rule 1 and rule 2) are mainly taken from the Notifications [note 04] and of general character. The following five rules (rules 3 to 7) concern the norms of theological interpretation as well as the pastoral approach of the Second Vatican Council, based on the hermeneutics of reform, of renewal in continuity taught by Pope Benedict XVI.

    The third rule concerns distinguishing between the two levels (rule 3), the fourth rule deals with the level of the changes of the 'modern world also called Today's World or modern times (rule 4) while the fifth rule reflects the level of the Depositum Fidei (rule 5). Rule 6 however concerns a good understanding of the term continuity, while rule 7 deals with the general attitude during such discussion, as given by the Protocol of 5 May 1988 between the then Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine of Faith, and Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre [note 09].

    It has to be stated explicitly that it is not the intention to block theological discussions but to allow it in a such way the Truth can be found, without being blocked by dominating opinions or ideologies using wrong arguments. As a scientist I am aware of the importance of free discussions in finding the Truth.

    A suitable comparison with the daily professional work by engineers [Problem Solving]

    The work by engineers concerns problem solving in the actual reality of the world where solutions have to be found in accordance with the unchangeable natural laws of truth. In case of engineering practice the unchangeable natural laws of truth are dependent on the specific domains, but mostly physically or structurally oriented, however no-one can change such natural laws as for example the laws of conservation. Herewith the two levels distinguished by Pope Benedict XVI concerning Hermeneutics of reform, of renewal in continuity can be recognised by which a suitable comparison may be considered with the pastoral character of the Vatican Council that also concerns problems observed in the actual reality of the world that has to be solved by using the 'unchangeable' Depositum Fidei.

    The complex problems that engineers, physicians and others have to face cannot be solved without characterizing the real problem itself. Although most problems are known by subjective observation that something is bad or that some goods are lacking, one has to analyse if those observations are the real problems or only symptoms by which the real problem has been manifested. And because generally more people are involved the problem has to be well defined, by which all domain-experts can speak the same language, understanding each and can take part in the discussions. After the problem analysis has shown us the real problem, the search for a solution can start. Often more than one solution can be found, where after further analysis is required to select the optimal best solution. The better the problem analysis, the better the problem could be characterized and solved and the better it will lead to the optional best measures that need to be taken. Hereafter the final solution has to be worked out for implementation. That means not only the design of the final solution but also the measures as well as the rules how to realise such design in the actual reality of today. To realise such, means that the design as well as all measures and rules that have to be in accordance with the natural truth recognised by the several distinct knowledge domains. This knowledge consists not only of scientific knowledge, but also experiences and opinions and has to be directed by good will to find the best solution. However during the realisation in the actual reality mostly a number of unforeseen sub-problems occur that have to be solved too. Therefore a dynamical problem analysis is needed for a final good result.

    Finally if by the aim of the necessary effort the problem has been resolved, a period of satisfaction starts by which one can have the benefit and profit of the results that has been brought into the actual reality. The more effort needed to resolve a problem, the more satisfaction will be received by resolving it. However it is a real danger that the problem to be solved will be replaced as a target by a desire for satisfaction. Such an addiction to satisfaction leads to blindness with respect to the actual problem.

    The same distinctions between the two levels mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI can be seen at work. On one hand there are the problems in the actual reality, which have to be analysed at the level of continuous change of the modern world. On the other hand there is the higher level, which is the level of the continuity of our natural knowledge of the truth that cannot be denied. In general on one side these laws of truth can be distinguished with certainty into scientific and experimental truths as well as opinions and presumptions, while on the other hand the truth can be distinguished by the philosophical, physical -structural, chemical and so on- psychological, economical, sociological and all kinds of aspects of the natural laws as the knowledge of the truth, which due to research and scientific discussions develop only by organic growth.

    Based on this level of natural knowledge, problem analysis takes place using the available knowledge of the truth to find the best solution(s) as well as defining the measures to regulate the developments at the underlying level of the changing of the modern world in order to solve a problem.

    However, if such problem analysis fails or even partly fails, the given solution will never solve the problem optimally. Such failed analysis is intrinsically connected to a failed search into the Truth and will always lead to imperfect solutions that will fail in the reality, sooner or later. Evidently such failed analysis is even creating a risk on worsening the problem more and more if additional measures are still lacking or inadequate. Thereby we have to take into account that although the effects of failure are not always directly visible, they will certainly become visible sooner or later.

    Vatican II

    General rules

    Rule 1

      (a) Because of the pastoral character of Vatican II the interpretation of the documents published by this Council can be the subject of theological discussions respectful of the supreme Magisterium, except on those subjects in matters of Faith and Morals that have been defined and openly declared by the Council as binding on the Church [note 04]

    Rule 2

      (a) At Vatican II the Pope and the Council Fathers did not define and openly declare any matters of Faith and Morals as binding on the Church;
      (b) Therefore Vatican II has not that specific divine assistance which is typical for such infallible dogmatic definitions on Faith and Morals by the supreme Magisterium, and therefore the documents published contain solely the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church which can be subject to theological discussion respecting the hierarchy of the Church Teachings on Faith and Morals, respectful of the supreme Magisterium and according to the norms of theological interpretation [note 04]

    Norms of theological interpretation:

    Rule 3

      (a) Due to the pastoral character of Vatican II the norms of theological interpretation have to be in accordance with the Hermeneutic of renewal, of reform in continuity as taught by the Magisterium of Pope Benedict XVI;
      (b) Therefore discussions on the interpretations can be found on two levels: on one hand at the level of the infallible Depositum Fidei and on the other hand at the level of the changes in the modern world.

    Rule 4

      (a) Hereby, concerning the level of the underlying changed reality of the modern world, several distinguished aspects of the modern world have to be analysed and characterized in the light of tradition and the Church's teachings;
      (b) Such analysis and characterization of the modern world only touches on Faith and Morals and can not be an element of the Depositum Fidei;
      (c) Therefore, such a characterization can undoubtedly be fallible and capable of alteration;
      (d) Such fallibility carries the risk of an imperfect characterization of the underlying changed reality of the modern world, and thereby also the risk of incorrect decisions and/or measures as to the implementation of the Depositum Fidei with all consequences regarding the resulting effects.

        Regarding this topic, a comparison with the following case has to be considered strongly. Hereby an example has been given from the physician's point of view characterizing some potential problems regarding the pastoral character of the Council:
        A physician has to make a diagnosis of his patient's physical problems to discover the type of illness. Such an act is in fact a fallible act of problem solving at the level of the changing world.
        Thereafter, the physician has to decide what the best medicine is to restore the patient’s health and then he prescribes this medicine to his patient. In doing this, he is in fact searching for the best solution at the level of truth. Although such search for the truth would be in full accordance with the diagnosis, if the diagnosis - problem analysis - have failed, certainly such a medicine is presenting a high risk and can worsen the patient’s condition and may even cause his death.
        Thus a new problem has appeared here: how self-sufficient will the physician be, will he be able to acknowledge his imperfection by recognize his failed diagnosis or not?

    Rule 5

      (a) Regarding the level of the Depositum Fidei no discussion should take place concerning the infallible content itself unless it is a matter of organic development of doctrine.
      (b) Such discussion regarding organic growth leads to a better understanding of the Faith and can never be contrary to the Depositum Fidei.
      (c) According to Dignitatis Humanae (DH_1) ..., 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 discussions can take place about the effectiveness of alternatives taken from the Depositum Fidei, and that evidently such discussions do not touch the infallibility of the Depositum Fidei itself and can therefore be a subject of discussion.

    Rule 6

      (a) Regarding the term continuity a distinction has to be made in relation to the distinguished levels
      (b) That the continuity regarding the level of the Depositum Fidei can only be in one direction leading to a better understanding the Faith and can never be contradictory.
      (c)  That the continuity regarding the level of the modern world can be observed as working in two opposite directions.
      (d) That interchanges between these two opposing directions exist by continuous processes characterized by certain counterpoints called conversion if turning towards the Faith, while it is a loss of Faith if it turns into the contrary direction.
      (e)  That, therefore, what objectively determines the specific character of a pastoral act is not simply its continuity, but its intrinsic orientation towards or away from the Depositum Fidei as the law of Faith, such that the pastoral approach must never be in contradiction to the Depositum Fidei.

    Rule 7

      (a) That Conciliar and Papal decrees, whether or not infallible, are not inspired texts such as the Gospel and the Epistles of the Apostles.
      (b) Therefore such decrees are human descriptions of Revelation and that in contrast to the special assistance of the Holy Spirit during the teaching by the Apostles, in the case of such decrees a gracious collaboration is required with regard to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, a collaboration in which the free will of men is respected, even if it is imperfect.
      (c)  Such decrees can fail, because it is not necessarily infallible or dogmatic in itself.
      (d) As long as the total or partial inaccuracy of a text is not clearly demonstrated, non-infallible pronouncements of the Magisterium retain their authority, but that, in order to demonstrate the accuracy or inaccuracy of some texts and/or their interpretation the Council documents need to be the subject of theological discussions, however, always with respect to the supreme Magisterium.

    Summary

    In order to read the Council documents with a pastoral character with genuine continuity and always with full respect to the supreme Magisterium one has to distinguish between:

      (I) statements concerning the characterization at the level of the changing reality of the modern world in the light of Faith which are in principle fallible and might be imperfect leading to incorrect measures;
      (II) statements belonging to the level of the Depositum Fidei which are infallible in themselves;
      (III) statements concerning the implementation of the Depositum Fidei which (IIIa) might have been explored insufficiently or (IIIb) might be based on incorrect characterizations at the level of the changing reality of the modern world but leaving the Depositum Fidei as such intact.

    While the statements under (II) affect the infallibility of the Depositum Fidei itself, the statements under (I) and (III) undoubtedly do not at all. But the statements (I) and (III), might have failed and therefore validly subject to critical discussions.

    Petrus en Paulus

    Evaluation

    The proposal for Clarity of the interpretation of Vatican II presented here is showing that in accordance with the hermeneutics of the reform, of the renewal discussions on the interpretation of Vatican II can take place. Hereby distinction has to make between discussions (1) at the level of the changing reality of the modern world, (2) the exploration of the Depositum Fidei and (3) its implementation into the changing reality of the modern world. None of these topics is touching the infallibility of the Depositum Fidei itself and should be discussed freely.

    In addition to the first warning in 1966 and the concrete condemnation by Blessed Pope Paul VI 1972 in his address to the Cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI found a need to renew that same condemnation in 2005 and repeating it in 2012. Evidently and despite the good intentions of most involved, according to the homily by Blessed Pope Paul VI June 29th, 1972, from some cracks the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God a number of Curial collaborators, Bishops and even Cardinals seems still to be influenced strongly by that false ideology of the hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity that could have festered in the Church for such a long period of about 50 years. Such can be observed by the resistance regarding the restauration of the Traditional Latin Liturgy as well as some encyclicals with more traditional teaching, that even is taking place inside the Curia. Such is also recognizable by the way of rejecting Church life as well as the Church teachings from before the Second Vatican Council.

    The documents of Vatican II as well as the measures taken after the Council have to be studied regarding the continuity with the Tradition of the Church to identify and to isolate the influence of the hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity. Thereby the search into the Depositum Fidei has to be done critically but carefully as stated by Dignitatis Humanae (DH_1) ..., 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.

    The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate can be seen as typical victims of the double standards of the false ideology that rejects the Church-life from before Vatican II without any discussion that departs from the monopoly-line of the Council's interpretation which is even presented as indisputable. There is no discussion desired that might unmask the bad measures influenced by that false ideology. It is therefore more than confusing to see how the Friars of the Immaculate have been punished for their studies of the Council documents as well as by organizing a Conference (2010) all founded on the hermeneutic of the reform, of renewal in continuity, and therefore critical to the generally accepted interpretation that was so strongly influenced by the hermeneutics of rupture and discontinuity. Such punishment stands in full contrast to the coming Year of Mercy

    Besides the problem on Clarity of the interpretation of Vatican II, the following problem has also been manifested: Why are so many well-meaning Cardinals, Bishops and Faithful rejecting the Church from before Vatican II? Why do they call on Vatican II to reject, isolate or even punish so many well-meaning faithful because these faithful feel themselves attached to the Church, the Tradition or the Liturgy of before Vatican II?
    Such cannot be explained as being fruits of the Council or simply by the existence of a shadow-council. Evidently, nowadays, about 50 years after the Council's closing a deeper source has to be considered.-

    To get more insight and understanding about these questions the preface by Pope Benedict XVI to his collected works on the 2nd Vatican Council [note 17] seems to be a key for finding an answer to such question. This preface that has to be considered as a rare article on the inside view of Vatican II, will therefore be analysed here after: Vatican II and the risks for failure.

    3.  Vatican II and the risks for failure

    Book Ratzinger

    Statements by Pope Benedict XVI

    This chapter concerns some statements by Pope Benedict XVI in the preface to his collected works on the 2nd Vatican Council [note 02 (German - original text) and note 17 (English-translation by the English Dept. of Radio Vaticana - full text)]. As mentioned by the English Dept. of Radio Vaticana this preface is a rare article on the inside view of Vatican II by Pope Benedict XVI and should be considered as highly important.

    It cannot only be understood as a recollection of an event that took place about 50 years ago, by a then relatively young theologian adviser of Cardinal Fring of Cologne and peritus of the Council. Pope Benedict XVI has also deliberately expressed himself with the power of his Pontificate: he signed that preface as Pope Benedict XVI and not as the theologian Joseph Ratzinger. The importance of this preface seems to culminate at the end by a renewed condemnation of the ideology of the hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity [note 17 ad 6].

      The Council Fathers neither could nor wished to create a new or different Church. They had neither the authority nor the mandate to do so. It was only in their capacity as bishops that they were now Council Fathers with a vote and decision-making powers, that is to say, on the basis of the Sacrament and in the Church of the Sacrament. For this reason they neither could nor wished to create a different faith or a new Church, but rather to understand these more deeply and hence truly to “renew them”. This is why a hermeneutic of rupture is absurd and is contrary to the spirit and the will of the Council Fathers.

    Pope Benedict's preface contains some even more remarkable statements about Vatican II that strongly question the interpretation of that Council. In addition to the above the following important subjects can also clearly identified:

    1. That there was no specific problem to resolve and that the Council was convoked without indicating to it any specific problems or programs [note 17 ad 1],
    2. Could the Church not have taken a positive step into the new era? A question that touches the real expectations of the Council [note 17 ad 2],
    3. A failed analysis that affects not only the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, but unexpectedly and more specifically also Dignitatis Humanae and Nostra AEtate [note 17 ad 3],
    4. The doctrine of tolerance developed in detail by Pope Pius XII had to be replaced by a 'development' of philosophical thought and understanding of the modern state [note 17 ad 4].
    5. Nostra AEtate speaks about the religion solely in a positive way, disregarding the sick and distorted forms of religion which, from the historical and theological viewpoints, are of far-reaching importance[note 17 ad 5]

    What do such statements mean, especially if they are stated by a Pope during his Pontificate?
    Evidently, none of the highlighted subjects from the preface by Pope Benedict XVI can be considered as concerning the infallible Depositum Fidei itself. Therefore being part of the characterization at the level of the changing reality of the modern world, the effects of these statements will be analysed here. And because from the point of view of Problem Solving each of these topics seems to be connected with a number of risks for failures. Risks that are intrinsically connected to the nature of these topics and that obviously seemed to have deeply influenced the interpretation of Vatican II.
    These five distinct subjects have been highlighted as most important to analyse. -

    There was no specific problem to resolve and that the Council was convoked without indicating to it any specific problems or programs

    The statements on this subject are marked by ad 1a to 1i in note 17. To analyse this topic the following quotes, by which Pope Benedict XVI has summarized the announcement and the convocation of Vatican II by Saint Pope John XXIII [note 18], have to be distinguished:

    1. there was no specific problem to resolve;
    2. it might once again be a force to shape the future;
    3. various episcopates undoubtedly approached the great event with different ideas.

    These all refer to the level of the changing reality of the modern world and evidently are not part of the infallibile Depositum Fidei.

    1. there was no specific problem to resolve
      In January 1959 Saint Pope John XXIII made an announcement in which he referred to the battle between the Church and the Prince of Darkness in general [note 18 ad 1-3] and in which he spoke about an observed problem, that: distracts from the search of higher goods, weakened the energies of the spirit, leading to a relaxation of structure of discipline and of ancient order with serious prejudice to that which constituted the strength of Church and her children against the history of Christianity that have always led to fatal and sad divisions, to spiritual and moral decadence and to the ruin of nations [note 18 ].
      To resolve that problem he then suggested 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) [note 18 ad 5]. So he announced the organization of an Ecumenical Council to be held in the Vatican and within his Pontificate for solving that specific problem.
      However, nearly 3 years after the announcement, in December 1961, Saint Pope John XXIII published the convocation for that Ecumenical Council which includes a statement that the aforementioned problem has been resolved, thus: 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 [note 18 ad 6 and ad 7].
      Therefore Pope Benedict XVI is fully correct by saying that there was no specific problem to resolve [note 17 ad 1a].
    2. it might once again be a force to shape the future
      According the convocation after observing that the problem has been resolved, Saint Pope John XXIII makes an effort to pronounce indeed a very optimistic expectation due the resolved problem: In the face of this twofold spectacle — a world which reveals a grave state of spiritual poverty and the Church of Christ, which is still so vibrant with vitality —we, from the time we ascended to the supreme pontificate, despite our unworthiness and by means of an impulse of Divine Providence, have felt immediately the urgency of the duty to call our sons together, to give the Church the possibility to contribute more efficaciously to the solution of the problems of the modern age. [note 18 ad 8] and In this way, the beneficial influence of the Council deliberations must, as we sincerely hope, succeed to the extent of imbuing with Christian light and penetrating with fervent spiritual energy not only the intimacy of the soul but the whole collection of human activities [note 18 ad 10].
      Herewith Pope Benedict XVI was factually correct by confirming such general expectation it might once again be a force to shape the future [note 17 ad 1b].
    3. various episcopates undoubtedly approached the great event with different ideas
      Finally this convocation mentioned some questions to be answered 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. [note 18 ad 12].
      And again Pope Benedict XVI has summarized the convocation correctly by stating: various episcopates undoubtedly approached the great event with different ideas and It was the episcopates of Central Europe – Belgium, France and Germany – that came with the clearest ideas [note 17 ad 1c].

    bishops Furthermore, besides the points mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI the following should also demand our attention, namely what Saint Pope John XXIII said about these questions from local episcopates: 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 [note 18 ad 13]

    Despite Saint Pope John XXIII stating in the Convocation that the problem, he has mentioned in the announcement, has already been resolved at the moment of the Convocation, and that the Church would now benefit from the fruits of this resolved problem, he still went ahead and convoked the Council.
    From the point of view of Problem Solving a number of irregularities can be seen as risking the emergence or development of new problems and/or worsening (unrecognized) existing ones. Some examples:

    Thus despite the good will of Saint John XXIII in trusting his advisers and the lack of kwoledge about the risks in his decision to convoke a Council after the specific problem has been observed as resolved, Saint Pope John XXIII clearly introduced an additional number of risks, as mentioned above.

    Furthermore, in accordance to the theory and practice of Problem Solving it should be considered too that the observation in 1959 was estimated inaccurately by Saint Pope John XXIII. The observed problem could be a symptom only by which the real problem had manifested itself. In such a case it is very well possible that such symptom might become invisible due to the enthusiasm by which the announcement of the Council had been received as mentioned by Saint Pope John XXIII in the Convocation in December 1961. This means that the real problem was not actually nominated or even resolved. The real problem had to be defined firstly by an (intensive) problem analysis. And because in this case the Council was not focussed on the existence of such problem it could not resolve that problem at all. Therefore, evidently, the possibility for such problem to continue to proliferate during and even through the Council became a real risk on ambiguity of the Council's documents.
    Such problem can be identified by the ‘modernism’ that was already condemned and surpressed by several Popes. In contrary Saint Pope John XXIII did not mention the "modernism" as specific target to resolve by the second Vatican Council. Obiously for resolving such doctrinal and disciplinary problems a "normal" Council should be needed

    Could the Church not have taken a positive step into the new era?

    The statements on this subject are marked as ad 2a, 2b and 2c in note 17. Evidently this statement concerns the general expectation of the work of the Holy Spirit in and through the Church as an effect of the resolved problem as mentioned in the convocation by Saint Pope John XXIII.

    In reference to the following quotation, this subject concerns the level of the changing reality of the modern world without touching the infallibility of the Depositum Fidei itself and therefore this might be a subject for theologian discussion.
    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?' [note 17 ad 2b].
    By this statement Pope Benedict XVI touches the very optimistic expectation due to the work of the Holy Spirit as a result of the resolved problem as stated in the Convocation by Saint Pope John XXIII. Pope Benedict XVI is indicating hereby that the expectation of the Council was marked by questions like Did it have to remain so? 'Could the Church not take a positive step into the new era?'.
    John XXIII However, because a negative response to such questions would contradict the expectations, obviously no other response could be given than a positive one. Although such pre-programmed response should have been nuanced more than with only YES or NO, these questions expresses an intrinsic risk for failure by prejudice that might create a blind spot regarding the Truth. Evidently such prejudice is strenghtening the aforementioned risks that consequently on one hand rejects the Church from before Vatican II by which it is also responsible for a general attitude by which: negative references to the ‘new era’, 'modern world' or 'today's world' are not allowed. On the other hand by looking at the Truth from one side only as absolutely as, it is practically denying the other side of the Truth. This will lead to incorrect decisions and measures and therefore a real risk for failure of Vatican II due to blindness by prejudice.
    Therefore such prejudice is a small step towards the so-called ideology of the hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity that considers the Church before Vatican II as negative and thereby rejects the Church and Church life pre-Vatican II. It is therefore strengthen the aforementioned risk for failure due to blindness for the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Both the Blessed Pope Paul VI and Pope Benedict XVI condemned the hermeneutic of the rupture and discontinuity and Blessed Pope Paul VI did extremely explicit so. These condemnations has also been confirmed by Pope Francis by calling Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, more than once, the best interpreter of Vatican II. Therefore, faithful - priests and laity - should have the right to discuss and criticize all statements of the Vatican II that bears the influences due to the prejudice, which considers that negative references to the ‘new era’, ‘modern world’ or ‘today’s world’ were and still are not allowed

    A failed analysis, that not only affects the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, but also Dignitatis Humanae and Nostra AEtate

    The statements on this subject are marked as ad 3a - 3d in note 17. In reference to the following quotation, this subject concerns the level of the changing reality of the modern world without touching the infallibility of the Depositum Fidei itself and therefore this might be a subject for theological discussion.
    Behind the vague expression 'today’s world' lies the question of the relationship with the modern era. To clarify this, it would have been necessary to define more clearly the essential features that constitute the modern era. 'Schema XIII' did not succeed in doing this. Although the Pastoral Constitution expressed many important elements for an understanding of the 'modern world' and made significant contributions to the question of Christian ethics, it failed to offer substantial clarification on this point. [note 17 ad 3a] --

    With this statement the Ordinary Magisterium of Pope Benedict indicates that the analysis about the modern world has failed. However, the logics of a general and fundamental analysis must be either correct or not, and therefore the same analysis can never be both; if that analysis has failed regarding one or as in this case even more Council documents, then that same analysis may be expected to have failed for the whole. Of course it clearly affects some documents more than others.
    Therefore by writing Unexpectedly, the encounter with the great themes of the modern epoch did not happen in the great Pastoral Constitution, but instead in two minor documents, whose importance has only gradually come to light in the context of the reception of the Council [note 17 ad 3b] Pope Benedict XVI is showing the very truth about the fundamental and seriousness of the failed analysis which is of course fortunately at the level of the changing reality of the modern world.

    What is striking here is the logical consistency with the previously mentioned prejudice. After all, because a prejudice is intrinsically connected to a blind spot with respect to the Truth, consequently such an analysis cannot but fail. This consistency proves the profound seriousness of the statements by Pope Benedict XVI.
    That means that with regard to the Council's goal the most essential analysis that touches concretely to the right interpretation of the aggiornamento had failed, which might lead to ambiguity with regard to the use of the terms aggiornamento, modern times and even the modernity in general. While precisely this point was indeed the true core of all expectation of the Council.

    This is comparable with the failed diagnosis by a physician. Evidently such a failed analysis could lead to bad solutions and measures that might worsen the situation [note 19] and [note 20]. Similarly thereto, it has to be realized that in case of such bad diagnosis by a physician, the solution even can lead to the death of the patient. Therefore, obviously the failure of such an analysis might impact all the pastoral intentions of Vatican II.

    Furthermore by issuing the Nota Praevia – how to read and understand a specific part of Lumen Gentium - evidently it is a matter of fact that Blessed Pope Paul VI had recognized the existence of ambiguity in the Council documents implicitly. Otherwise the Nota Praevia has been issued unnecessarily.

    So as a logical effect, all decisions and measures based on such failed analysis, and thereby also the ambiguity, might be taken erroneously and therefore bear a great risk of failing on pastoral targets and measures in reality. Therefore, because false interpretations due to the ideology of hermeneutics of rupture and discontinuity have festered in Church life so long, in part due to the goal of the secular press -even during and after the Council-, it has caused much conflicts and suffering among the faithful. Consequently this failed analysis has evidently affected the Church life as well as the modern world.

    Therefore one has to recognize the reality of the effects of the hermeneutic of failure and discontinuity on the actual life of the Church. This was mentioned first by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1966 already shortly after the Council [note 06] and then later again, but more pronouncedly on June 23rd 1972 when he highlighted his concern to the Cardinals with the following words: ... 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. [Unofficial translation, see for the original text in Italian [note 04]. This concern he repeated within the same week in his homily on June 29th 1972: ... from some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.?

    To solve this problem a correct and substantial clarification about the essential features that constitute the vague expressions new era, modern world or today's world including what has been called contemporary man in the light of Faith and without any prejudice is still needed. However, today’s main problem for coming to that real solution has to be considered as a new problem caused by not-acknowledging the influence of the failed analysis on the fallible level of the changing reality of the modern world due to the hermeneutic of failure and discontinuity. It may be helpful to state the problem by analogy: how self-sufficient will the diagnosing physician be? Will he be able to acknowledge his own failure and recognize his own false diagnosis or not and through recognition of his own guilt, the worsening the condition or even the death of his patient?

    Obviously, as long as such an acknowledgment does not take place in a manner of mutual mercy, the life of the Church will continue to be in a battlefield due to internal conflicts and unmerciful suppression of faithful's consciences.

    Fortunately, thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit, who respects the free will of man -even if it is imperfect-, the ideology of the hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity that considers the Church before Vatican II as negative, and rejects the Church and Church life before Vatican II did not succeed in destroying the Church. But evidently this ideology has disturbed a lot.

    State's neutrality and Teaching of Tolerance by Pius XII

    The statement on this subject is marked as ad 4 in note 17. Here it is stated that the doctrine of the tolerance as Pius XII had developed in detail appeared not sufficient considering the development of philosophical thought and the self-understanding of the modern state.
    Paul VI Here Pope Benedict XVI makes clear that the rejection of the Doctrine of Tolerance was not based on any doctrine of Faith taken from the infallible Depositum Fidei but only on how the modern state has understood itself, as well as a philosophical mind-set. In other words that rejection is based on a fallible characterization at the level of the underlying changing reality of the modern world that understands the state as being neutral. Such a conclusion is evidently fallible and might be wrong. Referring to the address by Pope Benedict to the collaborators of the Curia at Christmas 2005 he stated: In the period between the two World Wars and especially after the Second World War, Catholic statesmen demonstrated that a modern secular State could exist that was not neutral regarding values but alive, drawing from the great ethical sources opened by Christianity [note 01].
    Here in fact he is witnessing against the ideology of the state's neutrality. Evidently in the light of the recent effects of this ideology this subject has to be discussed freely with regard to the documents of Vatican II.

    Obviously regarding some recent developments of how modern states practice their so-called neutrality, where in contradiction to such neutrality it cannot be denied that all men who embodied the state's structure - no-one excluded - is acting according a spiritual mind-set about good and evil, about justice and injustic, and so on. And precisely those politicians who claims their neutrality of the modern States as strongest, it can be observed that these politicians have replaced their mind-set from the Christian norms into subjective ideologicaly and materialistic inspired norms, firstly bit by bit but then faster and faster and thereby nowadays they even embed the ideology in the state's laws.

    Because this subject has influenced the declaration Dignitatis Humanae strongly, it will be discussed in more detail in Vatican II and the 'hermeneutics of reform, renewal in continuity'.

    Speaking of religion solely in a positive way, disregarding the sick and distorted forms of religion which, from the historical and theological viewpoints, are of far-reaching importance.

    The statement on this subject is marked as ad 5 in note 17. Pope Benedict XVI could not express himself more clear by this statement 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 towards religion, both internally and externally.
    As the document Nostra AEtate is based solely on such a positive view of religion, disregarding the other side of the Truth, it cannot be used for any decision or measure without an extremely high risk of failing in practice, and making the situation much worse than before. Not any decision can be made well if it is not based on the full truth, therefore this subject must be discussed freely, especially regarding the lack of Truth.

    Evaluation

    Evidently if His Holiness Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI during his Pontificate by this preface wrote such an in-depth critical article on Vatican II why such should be forbidden to faithful. All the subjects mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI are sub-ordinated to his final point concerning the renewing of the condemnation of the hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity [note 17 ad6]. Thereby, the subjects mentioned here show the very need for an open and clear theological debate to save Vatican II and the way it has to be interpreted with regard to the Tradition: the Church teachings and Church life before Vatican II. The Truth has to be found, because of the high risks on actualization of the failures by a schism due to the ideology of the hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity.

    Therefore to save Vatican II such debate may not be suppressed for the future and must necessarily go into the very depth and the heart of Vatican II, the aggiorgamento like Pope Benedict XVI did. Thereby critical sounds regarding Vatican II, its documents as well as the measures taken after the Council has to be accepted as long as they do not touched the Depositum Fidei itself. Hereby the fallible aspects of the documents of Vatican II, especially the characterizations at the level of the changing reality of the modern world as well as the way the Council was interpreted by rejecting the Church teachings and -life from before Vatican II has to be subjects for such discussion.

    It has to be said that according the topic there was no specific problem to resolve and that the Council was convoked without indicating to it any specific problems or programs the high risk has been realized, regarding the fundamentalist manner by which the work of the Holy Spirit has been reduced into a false pastoral orthopraxis based on the interpretation of the Council’s pastoral documents that rejects the Church from before Vatican II. Hereby a distinction has to be made between the many well-meaning faithful, priests, Bishops and even Cardinals and those who were subjected to the real problem of the Church that was not acknowledged by Saint Pope John XXIII.
    And precisely because Vatican II was not focussed on that real problem --known as Modernism and condemned in the past by so many Popes--, that real problem had been permitted the possibility to continue to proliferate during the Council as well as thereafter. Especially with the aim of the mass media by which anyone who departed from their monopoly-line of the Council's interpretation was vituperated as anti-conciliar, a false facade has been created by what has been called by Pope Benedict XVI the hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity that rejects the Church teaching of before Vatican II, which has mobilized and misused so many innocent and well-meaning faithful.

    In view of the conclusion that the faithful can rightfully discuss and criticize statements based on the prejudice negative references to the ‘new era’, 'modern world' or 'today's world' are not allowed as well as statements based on the failed analysis of the ‘new era’, 'modern world' or 'today's world and the hermeneutic of failure and discontinuity. Therefore it is so sad to see how the Institute of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate has to suffer so much and so unmercifully by those who are so strongly influenced by the hermeneutic of failure and discontinuity by practicing the prejudice that negative references to the ‘new era’, 'modern world' or 'today's world' are not allowed.

    Referring to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, how can the Church celebrate the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, while it is punishing their own children so unjustly, brutally and so unmercifully?

    This is a loud cry for justice that demands:

    1. Clarity of the interpretation of Vatican II according the hermeneutics of reform, of renewal in continuity;
    2. the acknowledgement of the effects on Church's life, of the failed analysis due to the hermeneutic of rupture and discontinuity.

    4.  Vatican II and the 'hermeneutics of reform, renewal in continuity'

    Introduction

    Firstly, the soft spot of the hermeneutical approach has to be exposed. By the hermeneutic of the reform, renewal in continuity it is clear that due to the pastoral intention of the Second Vatican Council two levels of the reality have to be distinguished, like mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI [note01]. The first level concerns the Faith, the infallible Depositum Fidei. The second level consists of underlying changing reality with changes in social and political life, as well as changings based on technical and scientifically knowledge, understanding as the today's world, the modern world or "new era. As for pastoral reasons to regulate the human activities the Depositum fidei has to be projected on the underlying changed social and political life, the continuity can be found within the Depositum Fidei while the reform and renewal concerns the way the Depositum Fidei has been projected on the underlying changing reality.

    Thereby the soft spot can be found, namely, as the vision regarding the underlying changing reality of the modern world; a vision which – lying outside the domain of the ‘Depositum Fidei’ – can undoubtedly be altered and fallible. Both, but especially this fallibility carries the risk of an incorrect characterization of that underlying changed reality, and thereby also a risk of incorrect decisions as to the implementation of the ‘Depositum Fidei and all consequences thereof.

    Benedict XVI

    Concerning this soft spot some remarkable points can be acknowledged in the history concerning the interpretation of the Council, which are of great importance:

    Thus, while during the Council Pope Paul VI had factually confirmed the potential ambiguity of at least in one part of the texts of Vatican II by publishing the Nota Praevia, in his speech to the Cardinals by mentioning the false and erroneous interpretations he confirmed in fact that such ambiguity had been actualized in 1972. The fact that Pope Benedict XVI had to repeat the condemnation of these false and erroneous interpretations in 2005 and 2012 respectively shows us the seriousness of that ambiguity, even after so many years.

    Secondly the preface by Pope Benedict XIV concerning the Second Vatican Council ([note 02] in German and [note 17] in English) made clear that the Council was strongly taken in by the prejudice of not to speak negatively about the ‘new era’, modern world or today's world.
    It is this prejudice that has acted as a blind spot and through which the analysis regarding the ‘new era’, modern world or today's world has failed. This failure has been confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI in the case of Gaudium et Spes and was additionally carried over to Dignitatis Humanæ and Nostra Ætate [note02]. This analysis therefore, must be either correct or not, the same analysis can never be both. Therefore, if that analysis has failed in some of the Council documents then the same analysis may be expected to have failed for the whole, i.e., the “aggiornamento”.
    Moreover this failed analysis is responsible for an incorrect and ambiguous characterization of the underlying changed reality. Accordingly, as the logical consequence of the words by the magisterium of Pope Benedict XVI, the risk signalled appears to have been confirmed.

    From these two aforementioned aspects it may be concluded that:

    Analysis of Dignitatis Humanae

    General threat

    With regard to the introduction, the general threat of Vatican II seems to show an incorrect characterization of the changing reality of the modern world and therefore an insufficient exploration of the Depositum Fidei. Looking below in more detailed fashion at Dignitatis Humanae as an example, the most important aspects can be summed up here:

    Dignitatis Humanae, Depositum Fidei and Lex Credendi

    Firstly the subject of religious freedom has been brought in by the Bishops of the United States of America regarding the specific situation in the United States of America with regards to the libertarianism. However because the American theologian John C. Murray SJ had the key role in writing this declaration it could be doubted if this declaration was well balanced. The Americans have in fact answered their own questions. Now this specific American problem has been projected on the entire Church as if it would be the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

    Secondly the declaration on Religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, starts with the following characterization of the human dignity:

    1. A sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man,
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

    Benedict XVI While indeed this characterization raised points related to the dignity of the human person, because these points are associated with the gift of mind, free exercise of the will and related responsibility. But how to understand by ‘a sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man’?
    What does ‘contemporary man’ mean within this context? What should be the difference between the contemporary man in the antiques, in the middle ages, the renaissance and nowadays? Finally in all time one is speaking about contemporary man, therefore what does this term mean by declaring ‘a sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man’?
    Such sounds like a superiority of todays contemporary man above that of all other periods. This ambiguity seems to be the result of a failed analysis of the “modern world” at the level of the changing reality of the modern world

    Furthermore in fact the first two points can be compared to the analysis by Pope Leo XIII in Diuturnum Illud (1881): ... the masses demanded not only too large, more than a fair measure of freedom ... and ... an all-cutting measure bridle depression which is given by very many for the only true freedom. .... This judgment of Pope Leo XIII seems to be opposed to the characterization by the Council Fathers of Vatican II. The characterization in DH-1 considers the rightful and fair demands of equal rights to the demands whereas one is over-demanding. No distinction has been made in the light of Faith with regards to the condition of the human dignity, neither between men of good or bad willregarding the history of salvation, can be found. This characterization creates the impression of full indifferentism.

    Concerning the third point. How might it be possible to set constitutional limits to the powers of the govwernment correctly, if no clearness has been given about the rightful freedom by any distinction between good and evil.

    Regarding the fourth point in fact by such characterization false religions are described as having equal rights comparing to the True Religion. No distinctions has been made, such leads to a full indifferentist practice.

    To prevent such indifferentism the Council Fathers had tried to neutralize it by adding a search into the holy tradition and the 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 (DH-1) by making the following statements in the second section of DH-1: ..., the council professes (1) 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 blessedness. We (2) 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. (3) 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, (4) 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. This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. (5) The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.

    Apparently it has to be marked here that the false and erroneous interpretation of ad (2): 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, has been a subject for an approproiate correctieve measure in 2007.

    The search into the Depositum Fidei is speaking to the faithful and all the men of good will, reminding them on the moral obligation of the mission to bring all people through the Church to God as well as the moral obligation of all men to listen and to follow their human conscience in finding the Truth, especially in what concerns God and his Church, which is finally a case of free will. Evidently this expression is neutralizing some of the indifferentist statements in the first section of DH-1 only implicitly. With any good will one can understand this quote from the Depositum Fidei as stating that a false religion has no objective rights to exist and all people has the obligation to search for the true religion. In that case the two sections of DH-1 are in contradiction to each other presenting in fact an ambiguous text by a contradictory compromise that at one hand confirms and on the other hand denied the indifferentist characterization of the human dignity as well as the problem of equal rights for the true and false religions. -

    Although this phrase of the Depositum Fidei is in itself correct and infallible, it is not enough to neutralize the indifferentist characterization and the inequality between the true and false religion as given by the first section of DH-1. Especially, looking at the way the indifferent characterization of the changed reality is referred to repeatedly throughout the entire document, this single statement from the Depositum Fidei cannot neutralize the indifferentism. Additionally a deeper search into the Depositum Fidei to characterize the human dignity in the light of Faith without any ambiguity can be found by the Lex Credendi of the first part of the second Offertory prayer in the Sacred Liturgy in use at the Council O God, Who wonderfully formed the dignity of human nature, and more wonderfully restored it [note 21]. Herewith a real and concrete distinction between the 'wounded human dignity’ and the wonderfully restored human dignity’ could be find. Furthermore from the divine teachings i.c. the history of salvation as well as from every day human experience the distinction between men of good and bad will should be well known. This should be evident after the several massacres during the last two centuries by both the liberal and socialist ideologies starting with the French revolution.

    It seems that DH-1 is a result strongly influenced by the prejudice not to speak negatively about the changing reality of the modern world, i.c the contemporary man.-

    Dignitatis Humanae and the Liturgy

    Considering that, because precisely this first part of the second Offertory prayer O God, Who wonderfully formed the dignity of human nature, and more wonderfully restored it has been removed from the Sacred Liturgy with the liturgical reform of 1970 [note 22], the specific doctrine of Faith as expressed by this daily prayer by priests has been placed outside the actual Lex Credendi. Whereas the actual Lex Credendi could be considered as the short-term memory of the Depositum Fidei the aforementioned distinction can easily disappear from faithful memory. Should such be a co-incidence or should it be a result of a false ideology behind the prejudice not to speak negatively about the modern world? Anyway in relation to the interpretation of the Dignitatis Humanae, it is inevitable that hereby, as a result, the underlying indifferentism in this document has been strengthened. -

    That regarding the Liturgy not only this point has undergone such change can evidently be seen by the list given by Prof. Fiedrowicz referring to various authors [note 23]: ... 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.

    According the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum the Lex Credendi of both liturgical forms, before as well as after the reform of 1970, have the same Lex Credendi of the Roman Liturgy expressing the Depositum Fidei. However the way that same Lex Credendi has been expressed by both liturgical forms are different.
    Therefore due to this drastic and very consistent adaptation on even eleven topics of the Lex Credendi of the Latin Liturgy the actual Lex Credendi of the reformed Liturgy seems to function as a kind of censorship to let these topics of the Depositum Fidei disappear or weaken systematically. Such ideological background has been confirmed by L.Pristas [note 22] whereas she mentioned the policy changed by Dumas whereas the Church universal of the present day becomes Church of our time and objective expressions present-day precepts or customs has become the subjective expression present-day needs. Hereby the failed analysis of the modern time and today’s world is at work.

    Religious freedom and the exercise of free will

    Had the aforementioned distinction been made more consistently, the result would have more closely resembled the ‘tolerance-teachings’ of Pope Pius XII and thereby visibly expressed continuity with the past. Moreover, when one treats this distinction without reservation, then the entire text of DH-2 appears to strongly resemble ‘the tolerance doctrine’. Perhaps the distinction between both sections of DH-2 [note 03] stands out better by making a distinction between the right of religious freedom in the first section and the right to exercise an act of free will as far as such could be tolerated concerning the second section of DH-2.

    Only such a distinction can explain the difference between the first and second sections. The first section states 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" and "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., while the second section states that the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature and is concluded by the following citation: In consequence, section the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed. Therefore evidently Dignitatis Humanae is speaking in the second section of DH-2 about another type of religious freedom than mentioned in the first section. And precisely such speaking about religious freedom without a clear distinction between these two forms is feeding the indifferentisme more and more. This finally turns against the true religious freedom.

    Indifferentism

    In the second section of DH-1 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 sanctifiction, that 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: 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. The council has repeated this belief in the first part of the second section of DH-2 also.

    Thus Dignitatis Humanae is on one hand confirming the indifferentism by the way the world of today has been characterized while at the same time the indifferentism is denied by the Depositum Fidei and on the other hand DH-2 is consequently speaking about religious freedom as being only one conception, while objectively two types of religious freedom, excluding each other’s, are described here. This is really ambiguous.

    Religious freedom cannot be a civil right on the one hand and on the other be restricted by the public order. The latter should be subjective and dependent on who is actually responsible for the public order. Certainly these two distinct approaches human dignity can only be recognised by taking into account the restored and wounded human dignity.

    Teaching of Tolerance by Pius XII

    If the aforementioned distinction between the wounded and the in Christ wonderful restored Dignitatis Humanae had been made more consistently, the result would have more closely resembly the Tolerance-teachings of Pope Pius XII and thereby visibly expressing continuity with the past, the Church from before Vatican II. However in the already mentioned 2012 foreword by Pope Benedict XVI it is stated that the teaching of the tolerance as Pius XII had developed in detail appeared not sufficiently considering the development of philosophical thought and the way of understanding of the modern state [note 02]. Here Pope Benedict XVI makes clear that the rejection of the Teachings of Tolerance is not based on any doctrine taken from the infallible Depositum Fidei but on how the modern state has understood itself as well as a philosophical mind-set. In other words that rejection is based on a characterization at the level of the underlying changing reality.

    State's neutrality

    Dignitatis Humanae does not mention the state as neutral explicitly. However implicitly this document considers the state as neutral in which it does not take into account the distinction between the wounded and restored human dignity as mentioned above and which leads to an indifferent view of the state. Therefore this document rejects the teaching of the tolerance that Pius XII had developed in detail: Government therefore ought indeed to take account of the religious life of the citizenry and show it favour, since the function of government is to make provision for the common welfare. However, it would clearly transgress the limits set to its power, were it to presume to command or inhibit acts that are religious.

    Because this opinion concerns a view at the level of the changed reality, and therefore it is outside the Depositum Fidei and in potency could be considered as a prejudice which can lead to a fallible characterization of the changed reality.

    State's neutrality, conscience and human dignity

    In case of the state's neutrality, the modern world is considering the following view: The state is the absolute and highest authority which should be neutral in her acting power.
    Dignitatis Humanae seems to mention this view of the state's neutrality.

    Thus according to such a view the persons bearing the responsibility for the power of the state and determining the direction in which the state is moving towards, would have to be neutral. Therefore according this view of the State's neutrality these persons cannot follow their own conscience in striving to the best for all according their faith or ideology. And precisely not being able to follow their conscience is contrary to the human dignity, whereas it does not matter if it is wounded or restored.

    Here we even see a dualistic practice whereby the requirement for being neutral should be valid for Catholic statesmen only and not for the liberals or socialists. Therefore, obviously, all Catholic doctrines are being forbidden in the public domain as not being neutral in contrast to the liberal and socialist doctrines.

    However, a state is existing through a sample or a group of persons living together in the same area, by which one part of that group is leading the other part according to some specific rules and hierarchical structures. And because the state is fundamentally a composed entity existing of -or better said embodied by- persons. The properties or attitude of such entity depends on the individuals, the actual structure (type of hierarchical system) as well as the actual binding relations between the individual composing entities i.e. the property of the individual persons (good or bad, loving or hateful, trustful or untrustful, peaceful or violence). Anyway without persons forming the state's body, the state can never exist.

    Therefore, if the state itself should be considered as neutral, the persons bearing the responsibility for the power of the state and determining the direction in which the state is moving towards, are giving the colour of the state. Thus, because of the state's neutrality the state is not giving a colour to the persons exercising the power of the state, but these persons are giving the state its colour. And these persons have to follow their own conscience for striving to the best for all according the human dignity. Therfore these persons they cannot be neutral at all. Like for all people, independent of their religious or ideological background, all persons excersizing the power of the state are responsible for their choice between good and evil, between justice and injustice, to honour God or not, like all other men. Therefore the state embodied by men cannot be neutral as in the aforementioned view.

    Obviously, a state, which is in itself neutral, will change by colour each time the executive power of the state is changing, a colour determined by a wounded human dignity or by the restored human dignity. This is like the old era of the Roman Empire. Depending on the emperor periods of tolerance and periods of suppression of Christianity were alternating, until the emperor himself converts to Christianity. And looking at the modern times with, for example during the last century the tyranny by the National and International Socialistic States (Germany and Russia respectively) as well as the Liberal states it is all the same. Depending on the colour of the acting state's power and the way the state's power is suppressing the rest of the persons belonging to such a state, the state becomes its colour.
    This second view of the state's neutrality that consider the neutrality of the State as an empty skeleton is therefore in accordance with the human dignity while the first is not. The supporters of the first view are blaming that the second view on the state's neutrality is not neutral, because the persons who are acting the executive power of the state are not neutral. However how much neutrality can be found among these supporters, at the moment they have the executive power?

    This way of speaking can also be observed in the speech by Pope Benedict XVI on Christmas 2005: In the period between the two World Wars and especially after the Second World War, Catholic statesmen demonstrated that a modern secular State could exist that was not neutral regarding values but alive, drawing from the great ethical sources opened by Christianity. [note 17] By this statement in fact Pope Benedict XVI has testified to the view that the colour of the State is determined by who is embodying the executive power of the state, which confirms that the so-called neutrality of the State does not exist.-

    Christ King

    State's neutrality and the search into the holy tradition and doctrine

    Looking at teachings by the Apostle Johannes when the Roman governor, ostentatiously pretending that he had the power of releasing and of condemning, our Lord Jesus Christ answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me unless it were given thee from above. (Joh. 19:11) and Saint Paul to the Romans, when subject to the authority of heathen princes, is lofty and full of gravity: There is not power but from God from which, as from its cause, he draws this conclusion: The prince is the minister of God. (Rom. 13: 1, 4) [note 25]. Besides these two examples of teachings more can be found in the Encyclical Diuturnum Illud on the origin of Civil Power by Pope Leo XIII [note 25]. These teachings from the Depositum Fidei are confirming in contrast to Dignitatis Humanae that persons are carrying the power of the state and that these persons are personally responsible for the use of their power to God.

    Furthermore, regarding men's activities in general, these can never be neutral, one must make a choice pro truth or against, pro mercy or against, pro justice or against, pro-life or against, pro-family or against, pro Christ or against, one has to make that choice each time again. It does not a matter if one is a member of the executive power of the state or not.

    Evaluation

    Evidently, because the search into the Depositum Fidei was not done in the depth required, the characterization of human dignity, which is at the fallible level of the changing reality of the modern world was not done well in the light of Faith and is therefore indifferent. Therefore it did not satisfy and could not neutralize the indifferentist characterization of human dignity. Furthermore due to that indifferentism no distinction was made regarding the one term of religious freedom that has been used for two contrary types of freedom that are mutally exclusive.
    However taking into account the distinction between the wounded and the restored human dignity in accordance with the light of Faith and by calling the first description in DH-2.1 Religious Freedom and the second description in DH 2.2 Tolerance the second chapter of Dignitatis Humanae is in fact confirming the Teaching of Tolerance as developed in detail by Pope Pius XII.

    Furthermore at the fallible level of the changing reality of the modern world it has been suggested by using a fallible philosophy that the modern secular State should be neutral. While in the light of Faith and with regard to human dignity all men have a free will to choose between good and bad, between justice and injustice, between mercy and mercilessness, also the men that embody the State, evidently such neutrality cannot exist.

    The rest of the declaration on Religious Freedom, paragraph 3 and following, should be rectified according the consequences of the corrections in the first two paragraphs as well as with regard to a renewed analyses of the modern secular state.

    5. Conclusion

    Regarding the pastoral character of Vatican II a proposal has been presented in chapter 2 for gaining more Clarity of its interpretation. Evidently due to the difficulties from that interpretation, like using double standards, suppressing the liturgical and religious-life to which faithful or religious are attachedo, suppressing discussions to find the truth in dialogue and so on, indicates that the Notifications added to Lumen Gentium did not work.

    This is confusing especially regarding the arguments relying on Vatican II that reject the Church from before Vatican II. By the analysis in chapter 3 it came forwards that such was a real risk caused by the manner the Council was announced and convoked. That risk consequently rejecting the Church from before Vatican II has been evidently realized.

    Obviously, regarding the extra-ordinary Synod (2014) as well as the ordinary Synod of the Family (2015), the proposals by Cardinal Kasper meant that the aforementioned risk does not stop by rejecting the Church from before Vatican II only, but that such is ongoing by putting the orthopraxis not only above the orthodoxy, but even rejects the orthodoxy. The fact that even a Cardinal is proposing such and thereby suggesting that it would be according the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit after Vatican II is making Blessed Pope Paul’s words in his homily in 1972 so seriously relevant: from some cracks the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God

    In chapter 4 -as an example- such has been done for the Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae.

    Despite all references made by the Council, however even due to the bias not to speak negatively about today's world, their search into the was not done to the depth required. In this way an incorrect characterization of the human dignity has been used. Furthermore it appears that an incorrect characterisation of the modern era has been made, i.e. the neutrality of the modern secular State does not exist.

    Evidently an appropriate corrective measure is needed to correct the indifferentism regarding the human dignity, the contradictory compromise regarding the true and false religions, the ambiguous expression regarding the religious freedom and tollerance, the implicite false consideration regarding the state's neutrality all in the first two chapters.
    Paragraph 03 and what follows might be elaborated mainly regarding the consequences from the first two paragraphs and has to be reviewed critically what part of the text belongs to the true religious freedom and what part refers to the tolerance of the false religions as well as how to read regarding the corrected characterization of human dignity in the light of Faith, distinguished by the wounded and the wonderfully restored human dignity, as well as the correct characterization of the modern secular State, also in the light of Faith.

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Notes

note 01

the address by Pope Benedict XVI to the curial collaborators at Christmas 2005.

[http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2005/december/documents/hf_ben_xvi_spe_20051222_roman-curia.html]

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note 02

'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', Regensburg, ISBN 978-3-451-34124-3, Herder Verlag, Freiburg 2012.

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note 03

Dignitatis Humanae (Latin and English)

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note 04

Die 23 mensis iunii a. 1972: Eminentissimis Sacri Collegii Cardinalium Patribus, Summo Pontifici die Eius nominali felicia ac fausta ominantibus. [http://www.vatican.va/archive/aas/documents/AAS-64-1972-ocr.pdf

Da queste opposte tensioni deriva uno stato di disagio, che non possiamo e non dobbiamo nasconderci: anzitutto una falsa e abusiva interpretazione del Concilio, che vorrebbe una rottura con la tradizione, anche dottrinale, giungendo al ripudio della Chiesa pre-conciliare, e alla licenza di concepire una Chiesa « nuova », quasi « reinventata » dall'interno, nella costituzione, nel dogma, nel costume, nel diritto.

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note 05

'The Second Vatican Council, a Counterpoint for History of Council', Archbishop Agostino Marchetto (2010), ISBN 978-1-58966-196-7, page 665.

Paul VI wrote: 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 accomodation or conformism with the mentality of our times, in its negative or ephemeral aspects [see Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, Volume IV, 1966, p699].

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note 06

Dignitatis Humanae (Latin and English)

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whipping post

note 07

'The Second Vatican Council, a Counterpoint for History of Council', Archbishop Agostino Marchetto (2010), ISBN 978-1-58966-196-7, pages 666, 670 and 682 (on 'Situation in the last ten years').

Since we are on this subject, what can we say about the conciliar hermeneutics of the last ten years? Not very much that is favourable: I must reply in this vein at the outset. There appears, in effect, to be a one-sided school of interpretation which, however, is not in the line of seeing renewal in the light of Church Tradition - but which, we contend, is characteristic of the Church and her Councils generally.

The fact is that 'the School of Bologna' guided by Professor Guiseppe Alberigo, has mostly succeeded in monopolizing the whole subject and imposing a distorted view on how things are to be seen.

It even seems to me that there has been a kind of alliance formed between these two groups of Bologna and Louvain.

more than that, it vituperates as 'anti-conciliar' anyone who departs from the 'monopoly'-line.

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note 08

'Notifications' given by the secretary general of the Council at the 123rd General Congregation, November 16, 1964 (From the Acts of the Council and Appendix to Lumen Gentium)

A question has arisen regarding the precise theological note which should be attached to the doctrine that is set forth in the Schema de Ecclesia and is being put to a vote.

The Theological Commission has given the following response regarding the Modi that have to do with Chapter III of the de Ecclesia Schema: "As is self-evident, the Council's text must always be interpreted in accordance with the general rules that are known to all.

On this occasion the Theological Commission makes reference to its Declaration of March 6, 1964, the text of which we transcribe here:

Taking conciliar custom into consideration and also the pastoral purpose of the present Council, the sacred Council defines as binding on the Church only those things in matters of Faith and Morals which it shall openly declare to be binding. The rest of the things which the sacred Council sets forth, inasmuch as they are the teaching of the Church's supreme magisterium, ought to be accepted and embraced by each and every one of Christ's faithful according to the mind of the sacred Council. The mind of the Council becomes known either from the matter treated or from its manner of speaking, in accordance with the norms of theological interpretation

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note 09

Text of the Doctrinal Declaration of the 1988 Protocol

·       Promise to be always faithful to the Catholic Church and the Roman Pontiff, her Supreme Pastor, Vicar of Christ, Successor of Blessed Peter in his primacy as Head of the Body of Bishops.

·       We declare our acceptance of the doctrine contained in number 25 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council on the ecclesial Magisterium and the adherence which is due to that magisterium.

·       With regard to certain points taught by the Second Vatican Council or concerning later reforms of the liturgy and law, and which seem to us able to be reconciled with the Tradition only with difficulty, we commit ourselves to have a positive attitude of study and of communication with the Holy See, avoiding all polemics.

·       We declare in addition to recognize the validity of the Sacrifice of the Mass and of the Sacraments celebrated with the intention of doing that which the Church does and according to the rites indicated in the typical editions of the Roman Missal and the Rituals of the Sacraments promulgated by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II.

·       Finally, we promise to respect the common discipline of the Church and ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope John Paul II, without pre-judice to the special discipline granted to the Society by particular law.

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note 10

Lumen Gentium 25

25. Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place.(39*) For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old,(164) making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock.(165) Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.(40*) This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.(41*)

And this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith,(166) by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals.(42*) And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.(43*) The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith.(44*)

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But when either the Roman Pontiff or the Body of Bishops together with him defines a judgment, they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself, which all are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with, that is, the Revelation which as written or orally handed down is transmitted in its entirety through the legitimate succession of bishops and especially in care of the Roman Pontiff himself, and which under the guiding light of the Spirit of truth is religiously preserved and faithfully expounded in the Church.(45*) The Roman Pontiff and the bishops, in view of their office and the importance of the matter, by fitting means diligently strive to inquire properly into that revelation and to give apt expression to its contents;(46*) but a new public revelation they do not accept as pertaining to the divine deposit of faith.(47*)

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note 11

The address by the Secretary of the CICL. His Excellency Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo  at a meeting of the Union of Religious of Catalonia [3-4 May 2014]  [http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-absolutely-non-negotiable-point-for.html]

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note 12

Conference in 2010 organized by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate: The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council: A Pastoral Council - Historical, Philosophical and Theological Analysis

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note 13

Decree by the Congregation of Institutes for Consecrated Life (CICL) on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (Italian and English)

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note 14

The Pope speaks with the young Franciscans of the Immaculate reported by Andrea Tornielli in Vatican Insider, La Stampa on 23rd June 2014

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note 15

Letter dd 08.12 2013 by the Apostolic Commissioner

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note 16

Letter dd 08.12 2013 by the Apostolic Commissioner

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note 17

Pope pens rare article on his inside view of Vatican II full text

It was a splendid day on 11 October 1962 when the Second Vatican Council opened with the solemn procession into St Peter’s Basilica in Rome of more than two thousand Council Fathers. In 1931 Pius XI had dedicated this day to the feast of the Divine Motherhood of Mary, mindful that 1,500 years earlier, in 431, the Council of Ephesus had solemnly recognized this title for Mary in order to express God’s indissoluble union with man in Christ. Pope John XXIII had chosen this day for the beginning of the Council so as to entrust the great ecclesial assembly, which he had convoked, to the motherly goodness of Mary and to anchor the Council’s work firmly in the mystery of Jesus Christ. It was impressive to see in the entrance procession bishops from all over the world, from all peoples and all races: an image of the Church of Jesus Christ which embraces the whole world, in which the peoples of the earth know they are united in his peace.

It was a moment of extraordinary expectation. Great things were about to happen. (ad 1a) The previous Councils had almost always been convoked for a precise question to which they were to provide an answer. This time there was no specific problem to resolve. (ad 2a) But precisely because of this, a general sense of expectation hovered in the air: Christianity, which had built and formed the Western world, seemed more and more to be losing its power to shape society. It appeared weary and it looked as if the future would be determined by other spiritual forces. The sense of this loss of the present on the part of Christianity, and of the task following on from that, was well summed up in the word “aggiornamento” (updating). Christianity must be in the present if it is to be able to form the future. So that it might once again be a force to shape the future (ad 1b & ad 2b), John XXIII had convoked the Council without indicating to it any specific problems or programs. This was the greatness and at the same time the difficulty of the task that was set before the ecclesial assembly.

(ad 1c) The various episcopates undoubtedly approached the great event with different ideas. Some of them arrived rather with an attitude of expectation regarding the program that was to be developed. It was the episcopates of Central Europe – Belgium, France and Germany – that came with the clearest ideas. In matters of detail, they stressed completely different aspects, yet they had common priorities. (ad 1e) then there was a need to amplify the doctrine of primacy from the First Vatican Council by giving greater weight to the episcopal ministry. An important theme for the episcopates of Central Europe was (ad 1f) liturgical renewal, which Pius XII had already started to implement. Another central aspect, especially for the German episcopate, was (ad 1g) ecumenism: the shared experience of Nazi persecution had brought Protestant and Catholic Christians closer together; this now had to happen at the level of the whole Church, and to be developed further. Then there was also (ad 1h) the group of themes: Revelation – Scripture – Tradition – Magisterium. For the French, the subject of (ad 1i) the relationship between the Church and the modern world came increasingly to the fore – in other words the work of the so-called Schema XIII, from which the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World has later emerged. (ad 2c) This point touches on the real expectations of the Council. The Church, which during the Baroque era was still, in a broad sense, had been 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 have taken a positive step into the new era? (ad 3a) Behind the vague expression “today’s world lies the question of the relationship with the modern era. To clarify this, it would have been necessary to define more clearly the essential features that constitute the modern era. “Schema XIII” did not succeed in doing this. Although the Pastoral Constitution expressed many important elements for an understanding of the “world” and made significant contributions to the question of Christian ethics, it failed to offer substantial clarification on this point. (ad 3b) Unexpectedly, the encounter with the great themes of the modern epoch did not happen in the great Pastoral Constitution, but instead in two minor documents, whose importance has only gradually come to light in the context of the reception of the Council. (ad 3c) First, there is the Declaration on Religious Liberty, which was urgently requested, and also drafted, by the American Bishops in particular. (ad 4) With developments in philosophical thought and in ways of understanding the modern State, the doctrine of tolerance, as worked out in detail by Pius XII, no longer seemed sufficient. At stake was the freedom to choose and practice religion and the freedom to change it, as fundamental human rights and freedoms. Given its inner foundation, such a concept could not be foreign to the Christian faith, which had come into being claiming that the State could neither decide on the truth nor prescribe any kind of worship. The Christian faith demanded freedom of religious belief and freedom of religious practice in worship, without thereby violating the law of the State in its internal ordering; Christians prayed for the emperor, but did not worship him. To this extent, it can be said that Christianity, at its birth, brought the principle of religious freedom into the world. Yet the interpretation of this right to freedom in the context of modern thought was not easy, since it could seem as if the modern version of religious freedom presupposed the inaccessibility of the truth to man and so, perforce, shifted religion into the sphere of the subjective. It was certainly providential that thirteen years after the conclusion of the Council, Pope John Paul II arrived from a country in which freedom of religion had been denied by Marxism, in other words by a particular form of modern philosophy of the State. The Pope had come, as it were, from a situation resembling that of the early Church, so that the inner orientation of the faith towards the theme of freedom, and especially freedom of religion and worship, became visible once more.

(ad 3d) The second document that was to prove important for the Church’s encounter with the modern age came into being almost by chance and it developed in various phases. I am referring to the Declaration “Nostra AEtate” on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. At the outset the intention was to draft a declaration on relations between the Church and Judaism, a text that had become intrinsically necessary after the horrors of the Shoah. The Council Fathers from Arab countries were not opposed to such a text, but they explained that if there were an intention to speak of Judaism, then there should also be some words on Islam. How right they were, we in the West have only gradually come to understand. Lastly the realization grew that it was also right to speak of two other great religions – Hinduism and Buddhism – as well as the theme of religion in general. Then, following naturally, came a brief indication regarding dialogue and collaboration with the religions, whose spiritual, moral, and socio-cultural values were to be respected, protected and encouraged (ibid., 2). Thus, in a precise and extraordinarily dense document, a theme is opened up whose importance could not be foreseen at the time. The task that it involves and the efforts that are still necessary in order to distinguish, clarify and understand, are appearing ever more clearly. (ad 5) 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 towards religion, both internally and externally.

If at the beginning of the Council the dominant groups were the Central European Episcopates with their theologians, during the Council sessions the scope of the common endeavour and responsibility constantly broadened. The bishops considered themselves apprentices at the school of the Holy Spirit and at the school of reciprocal collaboration, but at the same time servants of the word of God who were living and working in faith. (ad 6) The Council Fathers neither could nor wished to create a new or different Church. They had neither the authority nor the mandate to do so. It was only in their capacity as bishops that they were now Council Fathers with a vote and decision-making powers, that is to say, on the basis of the Sacrament and in the Church of the Sacrament. For this reason they neither could nor wished to create a different faith or a new Church, but rather to understand these more deeply and hence truly to “renew them”. This is why a hermeneutic of rupture is absurd and is contrary to the spirit and the will of the Council Fathers.

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note 18

Some quotes from the Vatican II's announcement and convocation by Saint Pope John XXIII.

Announcement:
Oh, what a wonderful spectacle if the Bishop of Rome extends his watchful care to the whole world, to whose spiritual government he is made responsible through the divine mission entrusted to him in the succession of the supreme apostolate! (ad 1) It is a happy spectacle, on the one hand, where the grace of Christ continues to multiply the fruits and portents of spiritual elevation, of health and sanctity in the whole world. (ad 2) On the other hand, it is a sad spectacle when confronted with the abuse and compromise of the liberty of man who, not knowing the open heavens and refusing faith in Christ the Son of God, redeemer of the world and founder of the Holy Church, turns his search entirely to the pursuit of so-called earthly goods, under the inspiration of him whom the Gospel calls the Prince of Darkness and whom Jesus Himself in His last discourse after the Supper called the prince of this world. 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.

(ad 3) 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.

(ad 4) 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, (ad 5) 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 fervor 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).

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Convocation:
(ad 6) 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.

(ad 7) 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.

...
(ad 8) In the face of this twofold spectacle — a world which reveals a grave state of spiritual poverty and the Church of Christ, which is still so vibrant with vitality —we, from the time we ascended to the supreme pontificate, despite our unworthiness and by means of an impulse of Divine Providence, have felt immediately the urgency of the duty to call our sons together, to give the Church the possibility to contribute more efficaciously to the solution of the problems of the modern age.

(ad 9) For this reason, welcoming as from above the intimate voice of our spirit, we considered that the times now were right to offer to the Catholic Church and to the world the gift of a new Ecumenical Council, as an addition to, and continuation of, the series of the twenty great councils, which have been through the centuries a truly heavenly providence for the increase of grace and Christian progress.

The joyful echo brought about by its announcement, followed by the prayerful participation of the whole Church and by a truly encouraging fervour in the work of preparation, as well as by the lively interest, or at least respectful attention, on the part of non-Catholics and even of non-Christians, proved in the most eloquent manner that the historical importance of the event has not escaped anyone.

The forthcoming Council will meet therefore and at a moment in which the Church finds very alive the desire to fortify its faith, and to contemplate itself in its own awe- inspiring unity. In the same way, it feels more urgent the duty to give greater efficiency to its sound vitality and to promote the sanctification of its members, the diffusion of revealed truth, the consolidation of its agencies.

...
(ad 10) In this way, the beneficial influence of the Council deliberations must, as we sincerely hope, succeed to the extent of imbuing with Christian light and penetrating with fervent spiritual energy not only the intimacy of the soul but the whole collection of human activities.

...

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.

(ad 11) 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.

...
(ad 12) 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.

(ad 13) 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.

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note 19

A suitable comparison to the daily professional work by engineers [Problem Solving]

While the professional work by engineers concerns problem solving in the actual reality of the world mainly whereas always solutions has to be find in accordance the unchangeable natural laws of truth. In case of engineering practice the unchangeable natural laws of truth are dependent on the specific domains, but mostly physical or structural oriented, however in anyway no-one can change such natural laws as par example the laws of conservation. Herewith the two levels distinguished by Pope Benedict XVI concerning Hermeneutics of reform, of renewal in continuity can be recognised by which a suitable comparison may be considered with the pastoral character of the Vatican Council that also concerns problems observed in the actual reality of the world that has to be solved by using the 'unchangeable' Depositum Fidei.

The complex problems these engineers, physicians and others have to face cannot be solved without characterizing the real problem itself. Although most problems are known by subjective observation that something is bad or that some goods are lacking, one has to analyse if those observations are the real problems or only symptoms by which the real problem has been manifested. And because generally more people are involved such has to be well defined, by which all domain-experts can speak the same language, understanding each and can take part to the discussions. After the problem analysis has shown us the real problem, the search for a solution can start. More oft more than one solutions can be found, where after by another analysis the several solutions has to analysed for side effects due to their possible implementation leading to the optimal best solution. The better the problem analysis, the better the problem could be characterized and solved and the better it will lead to the optional best measures that need to be taken. Hereafter the final solution has to be work out for implementation. That means not only the design of the final solution but also the measures as well as the rules how to realise such design in the actual reality of today. To realise such means that the design as well as all measures and rules has to be in accordance to the natural truth recognised by the several distinguished domain knowledge, which is not only the scientific knowledge, but also experiences and opinions based on good will. However during the realisation in the actual reality mostly a number of unforeseen sub-problems occur that has to be solved too. Therefore a dynamical problem analysis is needed for a final good result.
And finally if by the aim of the necessary effort the problem has been resolved a period of satisfaction is starting by which one can have the benefit and profit of the results that has been brought into the actual reality. The more effort was needed to resolve a problem, the more satisfaction will be received by resolving it. However herewith it is a real danger that the problem to be solved will be replaced as a target by a desire for satisfaction.

Hereby the same distinctions between the two levels mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI can be seen at work. On one hand there are the problems in the actual reality, which has to be analysed at the level of the continuous change reality of the modern world. On the other hand there is the higher level, which is the level of the continuity of our natural knowledge of the truth that cannot be denied. In general on one side these laws of truth can be distinguished on certainty into scientific and experimental truths as well as opinions and presumptions, while at the other hand the truth can be distinguished by the philosophical, physical -structural, chemical and so on- psychological, economical, sociological and all kinds of aspects of the natural laws as the knowledge of the truth, which due to research and scientific discussions develop only by organic growth.

Based on this level of natural knowledge, the problem analysis takes place using the available knowledge of the truth to find the best solution(s) as well as defining the measures to regulate the developments at the underlying level of the changing of the modern world in order to solve the problem in it.

However, if such problem analysis fails or even partly fails, the given solution will never solve the problem optimally, while the risk of worsening the problem will increase more and more if additional measures are still lacking.
Here we have to take into account that although the effects of failure are not always directly visible, they will certainly become visible in time.

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note 20

A comparison to the following case has to be considered strongly. Hereby an example has been given from the physician point of view characterizing some potential problems regarding the pastoral character of the Council:
A physician has to make a diagnosis of his patient's physical problems to discover the type of illness. Such an act is in fact a fallible act of problem analysis concerning the changing reality of the modern world, while the result of that diagnosis can be considered as a characterization of the problem.
Thereafter, the physician has to decide what the best medicine is to restore the patient’s health and then he prescribes this medicine to his patient. In doing this, he is in fact searching for the best solution at the level of truth, of course in this case the natural scientific and experimental knowledge to determine the implementation of that truth onto the changing reality of the modern world. Although such search for the truth would be in full accordance with the diagnosis, if the diagnosis - problem analysis - is wrong, certainly such a medicine is presenting a high risk and can worsen the patient’s condition and may even cause his death.
Thus a new problem has been appeared here: how self-sufficient will the physician be, will he be able to acknowledge his own failure and recognize his own false diagnosis or not.

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note 21

Deus, qui humana substantia dignitatem mirabiliter condidisti, et mirabilius reformasti

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note 22

L. Pristas (2013), “The Collects of the Roman Missals, a comparative study of the Sundays in Proper Seasons before and after the Second Vatican Council”, Boomsbury T&T Clark, ISBN 978-0-567-03384-0; Antoine Dumas O.S.B. succeeded Placide Bruylants O.S.B. as relator of Coetus 18bis, after he died in October 1966. In 1968 Dumas rewrites the Coetus' 18bis policy formulated by Bruylants in 1966. See, for example, point III: “... The mention of local and particular deeds, as well as historical remembrances for which the while significance and function is lost to the Church of our time, are to be removed from certain prayers. These prayers are to be accommodated to the needs of Christian life today. The "Church universal of the present day" in the original has become the "Church of our time" and "present-day precepts" or "customs" [instituta] have become "present-day needs" [necessitates]. The transition is from the objective (precepts or customs) to that which is, at least potentially, quite subjective (needs). Bruylants' wording requires only mechanical adjustments to the texts, whereas Dumas' involves the editors in decisions of considerable subtlety. Further, although the 1968 wording stipulates that only the mention of particular deeds or of historical remembrances whose significance had been lost are to be accommodated to the needs of present-day Christian life, Dumas reports in his 1971 essay on the revisions that every oration was reviewed in the light of modern needs." Changes in the wording of the remaining principles, while not as far-reaching in their ramifications, are also noteworthy”

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note 23

M. Fiedrowicz (2012), “Die überlieferte Messe – Geschichte – Gestalt – Thelogie”: 2. aktualisierte Auflage , Carthusianus Verlag, ISBN 978-3-941862-12-8, p.230

“Allein die Orationen des klassischen Ritus enthalten und bewahren zahlreiche Gedanken, die in späteren modifizierten Fassungen abgeschwächt oder ganz verschwunden sind, jedoch unaufgebbar zum katholischen GIauben gehoren: die Loslösung vom Irdischen und die Sehnsucht nach dem Ewigen; die Königsherrschaft Christi über die Welt und Gesellschaft; der Kampf gegen Häresie und Schisma, die Bekehrung der Unglaubigen, die Notwendigkeit der Rückkehr zur katholischen Kirche und unverfälschten Wahrheit; Verdienste, Wunder, Erscheinungen der Heiligen; Gottes Zorn über die Sünde und die Moglichkeit ewiger Verdammnis. All diese Aspekte sind zutiefst in der biblischen Botschaft verwurzelt und haben die katholische Frömmigkeit nahezu über zwei Jahrtausende unverkennbar geprägt”

Kritische Vergleiche mit den Texten des NOM bieten:

a        R. KASCHEWSKY, “Tendenzen in den Orationen des Neuen Missale”: UVK 10 (1980) 304-337;

b       L. PRISTAS, “Die Orationen der Sonntagsmessen - eine Untersuchung über die Anderungen des II. Vatikanums”: UVK 38 (2008) 299-335;

c        Ibid., “Collects of the Roman Missal. A Study in Liturgical Reform”, London INew York (in Vorbereitung);

d       Ibid., “The Post-Vatican Revision of the Lenten Collects”: U.M. LANG(Hg.), Ever directed to the Lord, London INew York 2007,62-89;

e        L. BIANCHI, “Vocabulaire et syntaxe dans les oraisons du missel romain: Aspects historiques et théologiques du missel romain”. Actes du cinquième colloque d'études historiques, théologiques etcanoniques sur le rite romain. Versailles - Nov. 1999 (CIEL), Paris 2000,163-214;

f        E. GUILLOU, “Les oraisons de la nouvelle messe et l'esprit de la réforme liturgique: Fideliter” 86 (1992) 58-75;

g       F. KNITTEL, La lèpre du modernisme - L'encyclìque Pascendi et la nouvelle liturgie”: Actualité de l'encyclique Pascendi de Saint Pie X. Actes du Symposiurn pour le centenaire de l'encyclique Pascendi, Paris 9-11 nov. 2007, Suresnes o.J, 133-199;

h       L. BIANCHI, “Liturgia. Memoria o istruzioni per l'uso? Studi sulla trasformazione della lingua dei testi liturgici nell' attuazione della riforma”, Casale Monferrato 2002, 57-70,119-160;

i        A. CEKADA, “The Problems with the prayer of the Modern Mass”, Rochford, Illìnois, 1991;

j        J. VAN DER PLOEG, “"Neue" oder "alte" Messe?”: Theologisches 23 (1993) 471-480, 474-480.

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note 24

Here is mentioned the original Latin text of DH2 which has two sections. The English translation has split the first section into two sections

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note 25

taken from Diuturnum illud encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the origin of Civil Power

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