Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Strange bedfellows

I never thought I'd say this, but good on Cardinal Walter Kasper. He's given confirmation to what Michael Davies and other Trads have said for decades:

"In many places, [the Council Fathers] had to find compromise formulas, in which, often, the positions of the majority are located immediately next to those of the minority, designed to delimit them. Thus, the conciliar texts themselves have a huge potential for conflict, open the door to a selective reception in either direction." (Cardinal Walter Kasper,  L'Osservatore Romano, April 12, 2013)
Boniface stole my thunder, but it's worth repeating. Orthodox conservative Catholics always speak as though the documents of Vatican II are plain as day. They write as if the "Spirit of Vatican II" and the poor implementation of the council was the result of malicious Progressives inventing novelties out of whole cloth. Here we have an arch-liberal, Cardinal Kasper, agreeing with what Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre said all along: there are "time bombs" in the conciliar texts which were intentionally placed there by liberal periti to be interpreted in a heterodox fashion after the council ended. I've always said that I've found the hermeneutic of "perfect council, imperfect implementation" to be unsatisfying. I can see a few clergy in a few dioceses going nuts, but the entire Church going nuts all at once? I think the only explanation for that is "imperfect documents lead to chaos."

For most Catholics, the developments put in motion by the council are part of the church’s daily life. But what they are experiencing is not the great new beginning nor the springtime of the church, which were expected at that time, but rather a church that has a wintery look, and shows clear signs of crisis.
This is another astounding admission from the lips of a liberal prelate. The standard operating procedure among most of the world's bishops *coughcardinaldolancough* is to deny the existence of the crisis.

"For those who know the story of the twenty councils recognized as ecumenical, this [the state of confusion] will not be a surprise. The post-conciliar times were almost always turbulent. The [Second] Vatican, however, is a special case.
 I don't believe it's the case that there has been confusion after every ecumenical council. There were some councils in the Middle Ages which were not controversial at all. There was turbulence after the first seven ecumenical councils and after Trent, but the controversies took place between easily identifiable sides. Either you believe Christ is begotten not made, or you don't. Either you believe transubstantiation, or you don't. Previous councils usually pronounced dogmas. Therefore, if you rejected them you were a heretic. Vatican II pronounced no new dogmas. The chaos of the last fifty years has largely taken place between Catholics who are all in good canonical standing. Compare Roger Cardinal Mahony to Raymond Cardinal Burke, for example.

So when Pope Francis urges Catholics to "enact the teachings of Vatican II", I think we can ask with some justice, "Which ones your Holiness?"

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