Traditional Catholics should be long past simply defending their position against the architects of destruction. The situation calls for an all-out offensive against the catastrophic Second Vatican Council…

Celebrating a Catastrophe

The 50th Anniversary of Vatican II

by John Vennari
October 22, 2012
Published with permission by Catholic Family News

October 11, 2012 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. A full-throttle celebration was held at the Vatican that comprised the Catholic hierarchy and members of non-Catholic sects, including an address by the Anglican “Archbishop” of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

To commemorate the anniversary, Pope Benedict inaugurated the “Year of Faith”, which we can observe is yet another one-size-fit-all slogan that everyone in the Church from conservative to the most liberal will adopt according to his own lights.

What would be more appropriate on the Council’s 50th Anniversary would be a “Year of Mourning” for the countless souls whose faith was destroyed by Vatican II, or a “Year of Reparation” for the abuse of Catholic authority in promoting modernism and liberal Catholicism by means of this troublesome Council.

The fact remains that the Second Vatican Council is nothing to celebrate. It ushered in perhaps the greatest crisis of Faith in the Church’s history. An objective, thoroughly Catholic measuring rod was laid out by a clear thinking American theologian even before the Council convened. This realistic standard established by Msgr. Fenton demonstrates the Council as a colossal disaster.

Fenton’s Objective Criteria to Judge the Council

Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton was one of the most eminent theologians of 20th Century America. He was trained at the Angelicum in Rome and wrote his doctoral dissertation under the revered theologian, Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. From 1944 to 1963, he was editor of the theological journal, the American Ecclesiastical Review. He also defended the doctrine “outside the Church there is no salvation”, and upheld the traditional Papal Teaching on the Confessional State.

In the October 1962 American Ecclesiastic Review, Msgr. Fenton published an article entitled, “The Virtue of Prudence and the Success of the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council.” It seems to be the only article from the period that leveled the sober warning: Do not think that just because this Council has been called, it will automatically be a success.

Fenton noted that the announcements regarding the upcoming Council always called upon the faithful to offer prayers for its success. He was worried, however, that the call for prayer lacked any note of urgency. It seemed as if it were nothing more than a pious formality.

No, Fenton remonstrated, the faithful must pray diligently for the success of the Council, because there is the real possibility that the Council may be a failure.

He said that many “imagine that the Council will automatically be a success, and that, as a result, there is no particular need of any prayers for the attainment of the ends for which it was conceived and summoned. Many seem to have imagined that the calling of an ecumenical council was like pushing a magic button, which would automatically and painlessly do away with all of the difficulties being faced by the true Church of Jesus Christ during the second half of the 20th Century. And, as is obvious from a study of the history of previous general councils, and from the consideration of the very nature of the Catholic Church, it is plain that there could be no more serious misconception. The fact of the matter is that the success of the ecumenical council really depends on the effectiveness and the ardor of the prayers of the faithful.”

He then lays out what the Council will have to achieve in order to be considered a success:

“In order to be successful, in order to accomplish the purpose for which it has been called into being, the ecumenical council must speak out effectively and adequately against the doctrinal aberrations which are endangering the Faith, and hence the entire spiritual life, of the faithful at the time the council is working.

“Furthermore, in the disciplinary field, it is impossible for an ecumenical council to attain its purpose unless it sets forth regulations and directives which tend to achieve the following objectives.

“First, these disciplinary decrees must be such as to make it easier for the faithful in the state of friendship for God to advance in His love.

“Second, they must be so calculated as to make it easier for those who are members of the Church and who are not living the life of grace to return to the friendship of God.

“And finally, they must be such as to aid in the conversion of non-Catholics to the one and only true Church of Jesus Christ.”

Along the same line, he elaborated, “those who are not favored with membership in the Church [should] be able to see even more clearly that the presently existing visible Catholic Church is really the one and only supernatural kingdom of God on earth.”

Again, he warns, “It is by no means automatically certain the Council will be successful, speaking from the point of view of this supernatural prudence.”

As if predicting the future, Fenton closes: “It is possible that the Council might act other than with the fullness of supernatural prudence. It is possible that, seen in this perspective, it may not be successful.”

Tragically, the Council was a failure on the very points spotlighted by Msgr. Fenton.

The Council did not speak out effectively against the doctrinal aberrations of the time. In fact, it made everything far worse, due to its liberalization and ecumenization of doctrine. As a result, it has shattered the interior unity of Catholics who have never been more divided amongst themselves.

As far as disciplinary measures:

1. The Council has not made it easier for the faithful in their friendship of God to advance in His love. If anything, millions of Catholics have ceased practicing their religion since the Council became the progressivist revolution that the Council generated: especially regarding liturgy.

2. The Council has not made it easier for fallen away Catholics to return to the Church. In fact, the liberal reforms from the Council have generated a massive falling away of Catholics from the practice of the Faith, not to mention the mass defections of thousands of priests and religious from their sacred vocation.

3. The Council has not been an aid in the conversion of the non-Catholics to the one and only true Church of Jesus Christ. Cardinals Ratzinger, Cassidy and Kasper have openly stated, in defiance of the thrice defined infallible dogma that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church, that it is no longer necessary for the non-Catholic to convert to the one true Church of Christ for unity and salvation. The Council’s new orientation stands in rebellion to traditional Church teaching.

The Council was thus a failure. Its new orientation, a disaster.

This flows from the Council documents themselves, and not only from a faulty interpretation of the texts. The drafters purposely rejected the established precision of scholastic language in order to revel in ambiguity and modernism under the guise of so-called “pastoral language”.

It is the proponents of liberal Catholicism who celebrate Vatican II as a victory for their cause.

The progressivist Cardinal Suenens exclaimed with joy, “Vatican II is the French Revolution of the Church.”

The liberal French Senator Marcel Prelot celebrated that Vatican II accomplished the triumph of “liberal Catholicism” as “official” Church policy.

The modernist Father Henrici celebrated that Vatican II also saw the triumph of the modernist “New Theology” that had been condemned by the pre-Vatican II popes. Young Father Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Karol Woyjtyla were firm adherents of this new theology at the time of the Council and throughout their entire lives.

On this 50th Anniversary, it is time for the charade to end. Traditional Catholics should be long past simply defending their position against the architects of destruction. The situation calls for an all-out offensive against the catastrophic Second Vatican Council, and for hard questions to those who, in a delirium that comes straight from the sickbed, celebrate Vatican II as a glorious grace for Catholicism.

We need to ask those enthused about the Council: Why do you love an event that has been cataclysmic for the Church? Why do you love bubonic plague? Why do you love tonsillitis? Why do you love gangrene? Why do you love decay and death?

Sickness, decay and death of the Faith on a worldwide scale is the true legacy of Vatican II, and no fraudulent “hermeneutic of continuity” can camouflage the ruin which is due to the Council itself.

For our part, we adhere to the unchanging Catholic Faith “in the same meaning and in the same explanation” of what the Church always taught throughout the centuries. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

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