“ I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers with the same sense and always with the same meaning. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical fiction that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another”Oath against the errors of Modernism, Pope St Pius X
“The nature of the Catholic Faith is such that nothing can be added to it, nothing can be taken away. Either it is held in its entirety or it is rejected totally. This is the Catholic Faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved”Ad Beatissimi, Pope Benedict XV
On at least three points, the teachings of Vatican Council II appear to be, if not in logical contradiction, then at least difficult to reconcile with the statements of the earlier traditional Magisterium:
Right to other religions
Its doctrine on religious liberty, as expressed in paragraph 2 of the declaration Dignitatis humanae, contradicts the teachings of Pius VI in Quod Aliquantum, Gregory XVI in Mirari vos and of Pius IX in Quanta Cura, Leo XIII in Immortale Dei and Libertas Praestantissimum, Pius XI in Quas primas and Pius XII in Ecco che gia anno.
…at this time there are found not a few who, applying to civil intercourse the impious and absurd principles of what the call “naturalism,” dare teach ‘that the best form of society, and the exigencies of civil progress, absolutely require human society to be constituted and governed without any regard whatsoever to religion, as if this [religion] did not exist, or at least without making any distinction between true and false religions.’ … From this totally false notion of social government, they fear not to uphold the erroneous opinions most pernicious to the Catholic Church, and to the salvation of souls, which was called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, insanity (Encyclical, 13 August 1832): namely: ‘that the liberty of conscience and of worship is the peculiar (or inalienable) right of every man, which should be proclaimed by law, and that citizens have the right to all kinds of liberty, to be restrained by no law, whether ecclesiastical or civil, by which they may be enabled to manifest openly and publicly their ideas, by word of mouth, through the press, or by any other means.’ . . . . Therefore do We by Our apostolic authority, reprobate, denounce and condemn generally and particularly all the evil opinions and doctrines specially mentioned in this Letter, and We wish that they may be held as reprobated, denounced, and condemned by all the children of the Catholic ChurchPius IX, Quanta Cura
(we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the evil opinions…) 15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true… 77. in the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship… 78. Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship.Pius IX, Syllabus of condemned errors
From this poisoned source of indifferentism flows that false and absurd, or rather extravagant, maxim that liberty of conscience should be established and guaranteed to each man…Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos
As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound to act up to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion. Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him, since from Him we came, bind also the civil community by a like law. For, men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, no less than individuals, owes gratitude to God who gave it being and maintains it and whose ever-bounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its reaching and practice- not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion -it is a public crime to act as though there were no God. So, too, is it a sin for the State not to have care for religion as a something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will. All who rule, therefore, would hold in honour the holy name of God, and one of their chief duties must be to favour religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws, and neither to organize nor enact any measure that may compromise its safety. This is the bounden duty of rulers to the people over whom they rule…Leo XIII, Immortale Dei
…from this it follows not only that Christ is to be adored by angels and men, but that to him as man angels and men are subject, and must recognize His empire…It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to Him by the Father, all things are in his power… The rebellion of individuals and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences.Pius XI, Quas Primas
Its doctrine on the Church and ecumenism in paragraph 3 of the decree Unitatis redintegratio, and paragraph 8 of the constitution Lumen gentium, contradicts the teachings of Pius XII in Mystici corporis and Humani generis, the teachings of Pius IX in propositions 16 and 17 of the Syllabus of Errors, those of Leo XIII in Satis cognitum, and those of Pius XI in Mortalium animos. (As well as the Council of Florence) Paragraph 8 of the decree Unitatis redintegratio contradicts St Pius X in Singulari Quadam and Notre Charge Apostolique.
They hold, in effect, that in order to reach the hearts of the separated sheep, it is opportune to keep quiet about certain points of doctrine as if they were less important or to minimize them to the extent that they no longer have the meaning the Church has always held. To show how blameworthy is the tendency of this conception one does not need long speeches …One must not believe either that there is no fault in this silence with which they cover certain principles of Catholic doctrine so as to wrap them in the obscurity of oblivion… the whole Christian doctrine have only one Author and Doctor…Let one beware not to subtract anything from the doctrine received from God or to omit anything for whatever reasons there might be; because he who would do that, would tend more to distance Catholics from the Church rather than to bring back to the Church those who are separated from it. Let them return; nothing indeed is dearer to our heart; let them return, all those who wander away from the fold of Christ, but through no other way than that which Christ Himself has shownLeo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae
Our sacred duty is to labor unceasingly that Our beloved sons may preserve the Catholic teaching unadulterated and unimpaired, in no way allowing their Faith to be endangered. If they are not in time urged to be on guard, they would obviously, gradually and inadvertently, fall into the danger of being satisfied with a vague and indefinite form of the Christian religion which has lately been designated as intercredal. This amounts to nothing more than an empty recommendation of a generalized Christianity. Obviously, nothing is more contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ… Accordingly, We first of all declare that all Catholics have a sacred and inviolable duty, both in private and public life, to obey and firmly adhere to and fearlessly profess the principles of Christian truth enunciated by the teaching office of the Catholic Church… when there is a question about associations which directly or indirectly touch upon the sphere of religion and morality, it would not be permitted to foster and spread mixed organizations, that is, associations composed of Catholics and non-CatholicsSt Pius X, Singulari Quadam
Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference towards the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged, but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being. Catholic doctrine further tells us that love for our neighbour flows from our love for God, Who is Father to all, and goal of the whole human family; and in Jesus Christ whose members we are, to the point that in doing good to others we are doing good to Jesus Christ Himself. Any other kind of love is sheer illusion, sterile and fleeting … What are we to think of this respect for all errors, and of this strange invitation made by a Catholic to all the dissidents to strengthen their convictions through study so that they may have more and more abundant sources of fresh forces? What are we to think of an association in which all religions and even Free-Thought may express themselves openly and in complete freedom?… the end result of this developing promiscuousness, the beneficiary of this cosmopolitan social action, can only be a Democracy which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion … more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the “Kingdom of God”. – “We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind”…no more than a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions, and which, under the pretext of freedom and human dignity, would bring back to the world (if such a Church could overcome) the reign of legalized cunning and force, and the oppression of the weak, and of all those who toil and suffer… To such an extent that they speak of Our Lord Jesus Christ with a familiarity supremely disrespectful, and that – their ideal being akin to that of the Revolution – they fear not to draw between the Gospel and the Revolution blasphemous comparisonsSt Pius X, Notre Charge apostolique
[T]his Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it…Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors…not with the intention and the hope that “the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” will cast aside the integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but, on the contrary, that they themselves submit to its teaching and government.Pius XI, Mortalium Animos
Its doctrine on collegiality, as expressed in paragraph 22 of the constitution Lumen gentium, including paragraph 3 of the Nota praevia [Preliminary Note], clashes with the teachings of Vatican Council I on the uniqueness of the subject of supreme authority in the Church in the constitution Pastor aeternus, and the teaching of Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum. In addition, on the level of ecclesiology, there are novelties that appear chiefly with the new definition of the Church as sacrament and the vague notion of the common priesthood [of the faithful].
|Vatican II innovations||Catholic teaching|
|“Man is the only creature on earth that God has wanted for its own sake” (Gaudium et Spes, §24),||“The Lord hath made all things for Himself” (Prov. 16),|
|and “all things on earth should be ordained to man” (§12).||“Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul. And the other things on the face of the earth are created for man and that they may help him in prosecuting the end for which he is created.” (St Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises)|
|Moreover, “by His incarnation the Son of God has in a certain way united Himself with each man” (§22),||God assumed an individual nature (e.g., Dz. 114),|
|so “Human nature… has been raised in us also to a dignity beyond compare” (§22),||“…a little less than the angels…”(Ps. 8:6)|
|and because of “sublime dignity of the human person” (§26),||Only he who lives well is worthy (Apoc. 3:4).|
|his “rights and duties are universal and inviolate” (§26); including:||He who buries his talent will be stripped of it (Matt. 25:14-30)|
|“The Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom…” (Dignitatis Humanae, §2),||Condemned statement: “Liberty of conscience and of worship is the proper right of every man…” (Pius IX, Quanta Cura)|
|“…all men should be immune from coercion on the part of …every human power so that, within due limits, nobody is forced to act against his convictions nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his convictions…” (§2),||Condemned statement: “the best condition of society is the one in which there is no acknowledgment by the government of the duty of restraining… offenders of the Catholic religion, except insofar as the public peace demands” (Pius IX, Quanta Cura).|
|“This right of the human person to religious freedom must be given such recognition in the constitutional order of society as will make it a civil right” (§2),||Condemned statement: “Liberty of conscience and of worship … should be proclaimed and asserted by law in every correctly established society…” (Pius IX, Quanta Cura)|
|“…the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using (separated churches) as means of salvation… the brethren divided from us also carry out many of the sacred actions of the Christian religion… these actions… can be rightly described as capable of providing access to the community of salvation” (Unitatis Redintegratio, §3), and so,||“The Catholic Church firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within Her, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics, cannot become participants in eternal life but will depart ‘into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Mt. 25:41), unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock…” (Council of Florence, Dz 714).|
|“ecumenical action should be encouraged so that … Catholics might cooperate with their separated brethren …by a common profession before the nations of faith in God and in Jesus Christ…” (Ad Gentes, §115). |
Later development: “the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using (separated Churches and Communities) as means of salvation … [T]he extent that these elements (of truth and sanctification) are found in other Christian Communities, the one Church of Christ is effectively present in them.” (John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint §10, 11)
|“Now it is manifest that he who adheres to the teaching of the Church, as to an infallible rule, assents to whatever the Church teaches; otherwise, if, of the things taught by the Church, he holds what he chooses to hold, and rejects what he chooses to reject, he no longer adheres to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible rule, but to his own will… Therefore it is clear that such a heretic with regard to one article has no faith in the other articles, but only a kind of opinion in accordance with his own will” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II II, Q.5, A.3).|
|Even concerning non-Christian religions: “The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is good and holy in these religions. She has a high regard for the manner of life and conduct…” (Nostra Aetate, §2), “In fidelity to conscience, Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth” (Gaudium et Spes §16)||“All the gods of the Gentiles are devils.” Ps. 95. “… beware lest thou have a mind to imitate the abominations of those nations” (Dt. 18:9). “the people must be taught that the profession of the Catholic faith is uniquely true” (Pius VIII, Traditi Humilitati).|
|“Now, episcopal consecration confers, together with the office of sanctifying, the duty also of teaching and ruling…” (§21).||“This (episcopal) dignity, in fact, depends immediately on God as to the power of orders, and on the Apostolic See as to the power of jurisdiction…” (Pius VI, Deesemus Nos).|
“during ecumenical gatherings, it is allowable, indeed desirable that Catholics should join in prayer with their separated brethren.” (Unitatis Reintegratio, §8)
|“[T]his Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it…Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors…not with the intention and the hope that “the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” will cast aside the integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but, on the contrary, that they themselves submit to its teaching and government” (Pius XI, Mortalium Animos)|
Are Catholics required to follow the innovations of Vatican II?
1. Not by reason of the extraordinary magisterium, for it refused to define anything. Pope Paul VI himself, in an audience on January 12, 1966, said that it “had avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner dogmas affected by the mark of infallibility.” (cf. the declaration of the Theological Commission of March 6, 1964, and repeated by the Council’s General Secretary on November 16, 1964: “In view of conciliar practice and the pastoral purpose of the present Council, this sacred Synod defines matters of faith or morals as binding on the Church only when the Synod itself openly declares so.” It never did.) Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) said in 1988, “the Council itself did not define any dogma, and limited itself to a more modest level, simply as a pastoral council.”
2. Nor by reason of the ordinary universal magisterium, because this is not a defining power, but one of passing on what was always believed. The “universality” in question is not just one of place (all bishops) but also of time (always) (cf. Vatican I, Dz 1836 “For, the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that by His revelation they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the apostles and the deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth.”).
3. Nor even by reason of the simply authentic magisterium, because the object of all magisterium is the deposit of faith to be guarded sacredly and expounded faithfully (Vatican I, Dz 1836), and not to adopt as Catholic doctrine the “best expressed values of two centuries of ‘liberal culture,’” even if they are “purified” (Cardinal Ratzinger, Gesu, November 1984, p. 72; cf. Gaudium et Spes, §§11, 44).
“By their fruits you will know them”Matt 7:16
30% decrease in Sunday Mass attendance in U.S. (NY Times 5/24/75), 43% decrease in France (Cardinal Marty), 50% decrease in Holland (NY Times 1/5/76). Fewer than 30% of Catholics go to Mass regularly, less than 12% of Catholics fulfil the minimum annual Confession (Georgetown University 2008). For the Institutes of Consecrated Life, the overall membership declined from 256,137 in 1967 to 162,732 in 2014. For the Societies of Apostolic Life, membership declined from 25,347 religious in 1967 to 14,038 religious in 2014. This represents a total decline for these congregations of about 36.5% and 44.6%, respectively, between 1967 and 2014.