LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Read before you Speak

As well all know, in the run-up to the Holy Father’s visit there was a lot of talk by people who are committed to the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ about their concerns about the Holy Father’s alleged ‘failure’ to promote the doctrines and practices which they support, and want to see not only encouraged, but compelled . . . even when what they want is clearly contrary to the actual teachings of the Council.

Other things have rather interfered with me writing about it until now; but I have to say that I was delighted by the passage which formed the First Reading in the Office of Readings last Friday . . . a passage from the First Letter of S. Paul to Timothy :

Anyone who teaches anything different, and does not keep to the sound teaching which is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrine which is in accordance with true religion, is simply ignorant and must be full of self-conceit – with a craze of questioning everything and arguing about words. All that can come of this is jealousy, contention, abuse, and wicked mistrust of one another; and unending disputes by people who are neither rational nor informed

Is it just me, or does that sound as though S. Paul had foresight in respect of those who want to promote their own particular (per)version of what Vatican II taught . . . and wouldn’t it serve the people who want to promote the ‘teachings of Vatican II’ well if they read them carefully before they went around promoting this ‘spirit’ of it which has no resemblance to what the Council, and the Fathers of the Council, actually said ?


  1. Thanks for your thoughts here DM, and for the reading which is about as straight forward as it gets. I hear a lot about people promoting the Spirit of Vatican II, mostly negative. I also love the documents of Vatican II and have dedicated the greater part of the last two years to reading them full time as part of some doctoral studies (alas now postponed for financial reasons). Where I get confused is what 'promoting the Spirit of Vatican II' means in different conversations. There are so many issues, ethical, liturgical, political and doctrinal contained within the documents that putting them under one phrase confuses me terribly. Can you help me out here, and give a few examples of the type of 'Spirit of Vatican II' talk you are thinking about here? Are we talking sexual ethics, in which case there was no change from the conservative teaching line already taken by the magisterium. Or the role of the laity, in which case changes were discussed and implemented, particularly through that wonderful document Lumen Gentium. A few examples would be very helpful. Cheers! E


  2. Oh yeah! And please, just for fun, can you name your favourite Vatican II document! You can tell all sorts of things about a person from their favourite Vatican II document!

  3. What a fun idea . . . I'll ponder it for a day or two, and then do a post on it !