Monday, August 3, 2020

The Debate About Vatican II: Never Pastoral without Traditional

“The status of a homily delivered in the 1960’s?”
By Father Kevin M Cusick
The present state of affairs has many Catholics angry, confused and questioning. So much poor leadership and corruption have together conspired to destroy what seemed before Vatican II to be a healthy, vibrant and growing Body of Christ.
Catholics have abandoned the Faith in droves, led by many priests and religious who bled from the Body of Christ by the thousands after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council.
In the intervening years John Paul II and Benedict have attempted to stanch the flow by bringing back Tradition. John Paul was notable for replanting Marian devotion and strengthening catechetical teaching. Benedict restored the traditional Mass to its proper place as something sacred which should always remain so.
These elements are among the many handed down in the Church which reliably transmit the apostolic Faith.
To the extent that Vatican II documents referred to the Tradition they can be trusted. That was never a problem.
The problem were the ambiguous time bombs planted in the documents, together with some orthodox elements, that were later exploited by committees and individuals, after the Council, like a wrecking ball against the edifice of the Tradition.
That technique by nefarious individuals of undermining orthodoxy has roared back into operation in recent years.
One by one the practices remaining in faithfulness to Tradition have been dismantled beginning in Rome under Pope Francis. The technique of borrowing just enough elements of tradition to achieve the objective of advancing its opposite has come back into vogue.
Lip service is paid to recognizably Catholic practices and devotions on the surface while building blocks are systematically removed under the structure which endangers the integrity of the whole.
Amoris Laetitia is a case in point. Write a long and lyrically beautiful paean to Catholic marriage and family life, while burying a time bomb foot note in it that blows up the whole thing when followed to its logical conclusion.
We’ve always known and believed with the Church that receiving the Eucharistic Body of Christ in a state of mortal sin flies in the face of the Faith because it doesn’t save but rather condemns souls to hell. Yet glossing over civil remarriage after divorce, by refusing to call it adultery, in the name of “pastoral care” removes a basic building block upon which the whole edifice of the Church depends or otherwise falls.
That which uses grace as a placebo without sorrow for sin is putting a band aid on a sucking chest wound.
That which kills souls is never pastoral, never love. Calling it such is a fraud of cosmic proportions.
The plethora of poor and heretical teaching topped off by sacrilege, such as leading souls to receive Communion in a state of mortal sin or irreverently, is the tip of the sword against the holiness of teaching.
Attacking and destroying that which is holiest in the Church, the Most Blessed Sacrament, is the real objective of the evil one. The devil cannot destroy God Himself. What he can do, however, is deceive man and woman into receiving the Eucharist uselessly and sacrilegiously. He can deploy deranged and evil individuals to desecrate the Sacrament, our churches and sacred statues.
Discouragement and despair are the temptations he uses against the faithful who witness this tidal wave of evil which has swept over the globe in recent days.
A recent video originating in Minnesota instructed Catholics to pick up an envelope containing the Eucharist as they departed the church after Mass, like takeout food. The video was very careful to include a shot of parishioners dropping their offertory envelopes in a basket before helping themselves to “the-Body-of-Christ-to-go”, to be consumed “safely” in their cars after removing their masks.
The archdiocese concerned intervened to stop the scandal, as those who wrote letters and otherwise complained were informed by an official response.
People are asking, who or what is to blame for the many cases of ongoing destruction of Catholic Tradition?
Archbishop Vigano weighed into the debate recently with an intervention that blames Vatican II, in line with the position of the Society of Pope Pius X. This triggered an avalanche of reactions in defense of the Council.
Bishop Barron said that Vatican II is “part of the Tradition”. By this he hopes to undermine the whole argument of Traditionalists. Not so fast.
Vatican II defines itself as a pastoral council. It is laced throughout with optional suggestions. The Vatican II Mass is the masterpiece of this technique, riddled throughout with options as it is, sometimes authorized by rubrics which say things like, “in these or similar words”.
Over against Scripture and Tradition, pastoral is only obligatory insofar as it aligns with Scripture and Tradition. Otherwise it’s optional. And in cases where pastoral is incompatible with Scripture and Tradition it should be vigorously rejected.
Father Weinandy is countering the Vigan position. Quoted by Gloria TV, Weinandy says that “’some bits and pieces’ of the Vatican II teachings ‘may need revision’ but he believes that the Pastoral Council has borne authentic fruit that ‘is yet to come to full maturity.’"
These “bits and pieces” are enough to compromise the whole, as arsenic in brownies. If you know there is arsenic in the brownies you wouldn’t eat them unless there was something wrong with you.
These “bits and pieces” have in fact borne bad fruit and continue to do so. Witness the many liars in high places and low who cite “the Spirit of Vatican II” to advance the most deceptive and evil frauds upon the trusting and unsuspecting.
Pastoral is drawn from and depends upon the pillars of Tradition and Scripture but does not replace them.
Pastoral is the continued application of what has been revealed once and for always to particular situations in the Church’s ongoing work of saving souls.
In connection with this, the best description I once heard for situating Vatican II within the long arc of Church history is to describe it as having the status of “a homily that was delivered in the 1960’s.”
Homilies are pastoral, they deploy Scripture and Tradition to bring the Gospel to individual believers in a given time and place, with mixed results. The homilies never stand alone, they always refer back to and must stand or fall on their conformity, or not, to the foundations of Faith. The pastoral always must flow from them as any teaching in the Magisterium of the Church must do.
The Faith is not my personal property or yours. We are receivers of the Tradition in Christ, faithfully handed on in the Church through the work of the Holy Spirit. We remain faithful as we lovingly and reverently receive and hand on the key to salvation in the Faith of Peter and the Apostles.
This is the best and most loving “pastoral” practice in the Church. Vatican II stands or falls in the light of this truth.
You be the judge.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

Let’s continue the conversation on Parler, the new free speech social network. You can find me there as @FatherKevinMCusick

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