For instance, speaking to a gathering of over 200 bishops, theologians, and historians gathered at the Vatican for a special Holy Year conference on the implementation of Vatican II, the Roman Rock Star said:
The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council has been a gift of the Spirit to his Church … With the Council, the Church first had an experience of faith, as she abandoned herself to God without reserve, as one who trusts and is certain of being loved. It is precisely this act of abandonment to God which stands out from an objective examination of the Acts. Anyone who wished to approach the Council without considering this interpretive key would be unable to penetrate its depths. Only from a faith perspective can we see the Council event as a gift whose still hidden wealth we must know how to mine.
Keep in mind what we’re talking about here; an ecumenical council, which by its very nature is supposed to provide clarity of thought and precise teaching so that all who wish to know can know with relative ease what Holy Mother Church proposes for our belief.
And yet, the pope speaks of the necessity of an “interpretive key” for unearthing the “still hidden wealth” of the Council, as if apart from some sort of doctrinal decoder ring we’ll never be able to “penetrate” the conciliar mystery.
Hidden wealth? Seriously?
This sounds a whole lot more like a Dan Brown thriller than the work of the Holy Spirit, doesn’t it?
What we achieved at the Council was to show that if contemporary man wants to understand himself completely, he too needs Jesus Christ and his Church, which continues in the world as a sign of unity and communion.
We have grown so used to popes speaking in such vague and vapid ways that it would be understandable if one were to miss the gravity of these words, however, pay close attention to what the pope is doing here:
First, he speaks as if the Church was established, not by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, for our eternal salvation, but by the Father of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, as if she is little more than a useful tool for man’s self-understanding.
Worse still, he is reducing the Church to a mere “sign of unity and communion,” when in truth the Holy Catholic Church, as an alter Christus, is better understood as the cause of unity and communion; so much so that apart from her there is no salvation.
Pope Pius XII put it thus:
As Bellarmine notes with acumen and accuracy, this appellation of the Body of Christ is not to be explained solely by the fact that Christ must be called the Head of His Mystical Body, but also by the fact that He so sustains the Church, and so in a certain sense lives in the Church, that she is, as it were, another Christ. The Doctor of the Gentiles, in his letter to the Corinthians, affirms this when, without further qualification, he calls the Church “Christ,” following no doubt the example of his Master who called out to him from on high when he was attacking the Church: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Indeed, if we are to believe Gregory of Nyssa, the Church is often called simply “Christ” by the Apostle; and you are familiar Venerable Brethren, with that phrase of Augustine: “Christ preaches Christ.” (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis 53)
That’s quite a contrast in ecclesiologies, isn’t it?
Continuing his Holy Year address, the pope went on to invoke one of his (and indeed every modernist’s) favorite themes; newness:
While she [the Church] attests to the newness of the promise, she makes its fulfilment evident …
So that the primacy of the Father’s Revelation to humanity may endure with all the force of its radical newness, theology must first become a coherent tool for understanding it…
The genuine intention of the Council Fathers must not be lost: indeed, it must be recovered by overcoming biased and partial interpretations which have prevented the newness of the Council’s Magisterium from being expressed as well as possible …
To interpret the Council on the supposition that it marks a break with the past, when in reality it stands in continuity with the faith of all times, is a definite mistake. What has been believed by “everyone, always and everywhere” is the authentic newness that enables every era to perceive the light that comes from the word of God’s Revelation in Jesus Christ.
Since when is “authentic newness” a fit expression for the “faith of all times”?
This man is truly delusional, or to use the words of Our Lady, diabolically disoriented.
It has never been believed in the Church, much less “by everyone, always and everywhere,” that:
– There are communities of salvation far too numerous to number (Unitatis Redintegratio 3).
– The Jews in our time have been made one with us in the Cross of Christ (Nostra Aetate 4).
– Man has a right to religious freedom independent of his duty to publicly obey and reverence Christ the King (Dignitatis Humanae)
And yet, the “newness of the Council’s Magisterium” proposes exactly these things and other such “breaks with the past.”
Some “gift of the Spirit to his Church,” eh?
For most readers of this space, it goes without say that this papal reflection on the Second Vatican Council comes not from a true son of the Church, in spite of any claims to the contrary.
What is perhaps less obvious to some, however, is that neither are they the words of Pope Francis, but rather that of John Paul II as given in the year 2000.
This coming Saturday (April 2, 2016) will mark the 11th anniversary of the polish pope’s death, and there can be little doubt that our neo-conservative friends will be tripping all over themselves to out-do one another in commemorating the “Saintly” pontiff.
Given that this anniversary is coming just weeks before the anticipated publication of the post-Synodal document wherein Francis is expected to, at the very least, invite an overturning of Familiaris Consortio, (the Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II reiterating the Church’s discipline with respect to Communion for the civilly divorced and remarried), I fully expect that some will even go so far as to imply that his lengthy pontificate was something akin to the good ol’ days.
Don’t you believe it.
Francis and John Paul II are kindred spirits; two men unshakably committed to the idea that the Council was the dawn of a new beginning; each one so heavily influenced by a personalist theology that the mission of converting the nations to Christ and His Holy Catholic Church comfortably gives way to a desire to simply accompany their fellow men upon whatever path they may have chosen, perfectly content to assume that the Spirit is active in leading humankind along many and diverse ways, which for those who but follow their conscience ultimately converge in God, a concept closely allied with the Teilhardian theory of evolution toward the “Omega Point.”
While the pontificate of Pope Francis is uniquely disastrous in its own right, it is perhaps best understood as an effort to pick up where John Paul II left off; a reinvigorated return to the task of implementing the conciliar aggiornamento in all of its necrotizing glory.
Keep that in mind as this weekend approaches and, presumably, the proliferation of sappy sentimental tributes in memory of Karol Wojtyla reach a sickening crescendo.