The debate about the Second Vatican Council has not ceased. If anything, the scrutiny of the course of the Council, its participants, and its documents is a strong as ever. Below is an article on a book that has recently been released.
RORATE EXCLUSIVE—New biography describes great influence of Fr. Joseph Ratzinger in Vatican II
Rorate is pleased to publish the following article by Dr. Maike Hickson, in which she summarizes the information on (then Father and peritus) Joseph Ratzinger’s involvement in the Council as detailed in Seewald’s magisterial biography, the first volume of which will be released in English on December 15. While some of these facts are already well-known, they have never been presented with as much detail and coherence as Seewald offers. Hickson worked from both the original German edition and the forthcoming English translation. In publishing this critique, we acknowledge at the same time how indebted we are to Ratzinger/Benedict XVI for taking crucial and countercultural steps on behalf of the restoration of the authentic Roman liturgy.
Archbishop Vigano, Pope Francis’s most outspoken critic, recently raised serious questions about the Second Vatican Council. He has joined a long line of critics over the years, with Archbishop Lefebvre of the Society of St Pius X at the forefront. Archbishop Vigano has followed Archbishop Lefebvre in demanding the documents of the Council be jettisoned and the Church start again, with Traditional belief the starting point.
I follow St John Paul II and Benedict XVI in their interpretation of the Council documents. The documents should be read in the light of Tradition – according to the ‘hermeneutic of continuity’. Any apparent ambiguities are resolved by placing them in the teaching of what went before Vatican II. There have been a number of crucial documents following the Council that have corrected the alleged ambiguities.
The collapse of the Church after the Council was due to the adoption of the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’, which ignored the documents and created a whole new church, which was the stated aim of its promoters. The so-called ‘spirit’ prevailed politically, not doctrinally. The overthrow of the Traditional Church was a political victory.
The political forces for the new church were tightly organised before the start of the Council. On the 11th of October 1962, the opening of the Council, they went into operation. Their political manoeuvring and manipulation steamrolled the thoroughly unprepared Traditionalists, those defending the centuries-old Church. Several years’ work in the preparatory documents were tossed out and a new start made, at the head of which were some of the most notorious dissenters in the years following the Council. Indeed, it was only the intervention of Pope St Paul VI at critical points that stopped the Council tipping over the edge into heresy.
My thesis that the Second Vatican Council was primarily a political contest is grounded largely on Fr Ralph Wiltgen’s THE RHINE FLOWs INTO THE TIBER, reissued in 1978 as THE INSIDE STORY OF VATICAN II, and Roberto de Mattei’s magisterial THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL (AN UNWRITTEN STORY). There is also my experience of the Council and its aftermath. I was sixteen in 1962 and nineteen when the 1960s cultural revolution and the student rebellion exploded on the West in 1965. The Council wrapped up in December 1965.
In a very informative discussion of the Council, Patrick Coffin interviews Dr Ralph Martin about his new book A CHURCH IN CRISIS: PATHWAYS FORWARD. The discussion gives depth to my views. Highly recommended.
‘The High Court decision did not repudiate the former choirboy, with both Cardinal Pell’s senior counsel, Bret Walker, SC, and Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd, QC, agreeing in their submissions to the court that he was a credible, believable witness.’
These are words from a (5 Oct) report by Adam Cooper of Melbourne’s Age newspaper whose delirious anti-Catholic bigotry tops all others.
There are two obvious points to make about Cooper’s claim.
The first is a question of logic. It does not follow that because Bret Walker, SC, and Kerri Judd, QC, agreed that the choirboy was a ‘credible, believable witness’ that the choirboy was not lying. Cooper evidently does not see it.
Nor does it follow from this mutual agreement that the ‘High Court did not repudiate the former choirboy.’ Both assertions or premises are unconnected. This is another example of the sloppy reasoning in a hostile media that runs through all the reporting on the Pell case. Indeed, tight logical reasoning is not a priority of most Age reporters who have their political prejudices to promote.
Cardinal Angelo Becciu’s unprecedented sacking by Pope Francis has crucial importance for several reasons. Becciu was a second-rank official in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State – a position with power. He frustrated and blocked Cardinal Pell’s efforts to sweep the filthy financial stables of the Vatican clean. His sacking vindicates Pell’s efforts as Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy to bring some transparency – and honesty – into Vatican finances.
The prelude to Becciu’s inglorious removal was a string of dodgy, smelly (some stinking) financial dealings. One of those shifty splashings of Vatican cash was a transfer of $800,000 to an account in Australia just when Cardinal Pell was undergoing his ordeal in Victoria’s corrupted legal system and police force. The voices talking about a framing originating in the Vatican are becoming louder. My Becciu file (a tab under Cardinal Pell section) will keep up to date with the Becciu and Pell affair.
Right from the beginning I had severe reservations about the measures Australia was adopting to deal with the Corona virus. Most governments have adopted the same measures. As time passed, I became increasingly apprehensive about two aspects of the government’s actions.
First, Australia ran the risk of applying measures that would turn out to be much worse than the virus itself. The effects – social and economic collapse with the harm they would produce – would not be short but long term.
Second, it became obvious that the complete shutdown of society was a form of social and political control that could be exploited. There have been no objections from the left who let us know when things are not going their way. Indeed, such widespread control is the aim of all Marxist groups.
A group of high ranking Catholic clergy together with laypeople of similar rank have produced a video which verbalises my growing feelings about the present circumstances.
I recently came across a link on FB to an Andrew Bolt blog post of 27 May 2016. It was about former priest and now leftist scribbler Paul Bongiorno. Bolt was writing about a post by Gerard Henderson on his Media Watch Dog that connected Bongiorno with Fr Gerald Ridsdale now in jail for multiple sexual assaults on pubescent males. It is interesting to read the post in the aftermath of the High Court’s decision on Cardinal Pell.
First, Bolt refers to a string of damaging accusations against Cardinal Pell for acts he allegedly committed when a priest in Ballarat in the 1970s. On inspection the charges turned out to be groundless. It would not deter others from having a go at pinning something on Cardinal Pell. Twenty-seven charges came before a magistrate for a committal hearing in 2018. Twenty-six were dismissed on the spot. Would it be far off base to suggest the cardinal’s enemies were breaking the 9th Commandment?
More interesting was Bongiorno’s connection with Gerald Ridsdale, namely that Fr Bongiorno shared accommodation with Ridsdale in Warrnambool. Not only that. A witness at the royal commission into child sexual abuse said he reported a nasty incidence with Ridsdale to Fr Bongiorno that went nowhere. I ask the reader to read carefully what this witness claimed and then replace the name Bongiorno with Pell. This exercise would show that a witch hunt was got up against Cardinal Pell, a hunt that went deep into the royal commission.
Why is Bongiorno not vilified as was Pell? Why is Pell the scapegoat?
Gerard Henderson has uncovered an astonishing case of double standards involving George Pell and Paul Bongiorno. I urge you to read it all. In summary… Attending Cardinal George Pell’s appearance in Rome before the royal commission into child sexual abuse, I was struck by how thin the evidence was against him. None of the claims against him of ignoring warnings of pedophile priests stacked up. One witness claimed he’d knocked at the door of Pell’s Ballarat presbytery one early afternoon to warn him. It turned out Pell actually lived miles away, and almost invariably worked in his college office at that time of day. Another witness claimed he’d told him in Ballarat of an abusive priest. Pell’s passport showed he was living and studying in Europe that year. Yet another witness claimed he’d heard Pell laughing as he told another priest at a memorial mass in Ballarat that notorious pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale was “rooting” boys again. Church records show no such mass took place, and the other priest said he was serving at another parish many miles away so would not have served at such a mass anyway. And on it went. Pell also denies hearing or suspecting any crimes by Ridsdale while living for a while in the same presbytery. That should not be surprising: pedophiles rarely boast of what they’ve done, and many are not just extremely secretive, but plausible. Yet many the media refused to accept Pell’s denials. On the other hand, they sure accepted those of Paul Bongiorno, the Left-wing ABC commentator and former priest, who eventually – last year – blurted this out on the ABC:
FRANCE’S MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ leads something of a double career. A novelist of Prix Goncourt–winning distinction, Houellebecq is also his country’s best-selling author abroad and, on many accounts, currently its best. He is also reliably a prophet of current events: his third novel, Platform, featured an Islamist attack on a Thai sex resort and was published just days before 9/11; a later novel, Submission, which imagined France’s election of a Muslim party president, appeared the day of the Charlie Hebdo attacks and seemed a novelistic auger of the gruesome wave of terrorism that roiled France during the next few years. Whatever, Houellebecq’s 1994 debut novel, turned out to be equally prescient, though it took more than two decades for its prophecies to take shape. A commentary on male sexual frustration, Whatever, as the author of a New York Times essay argued in 2018, is a psychological account of involuntary celibacy and the violence that erotic isolation breeds.
As the Synod of Bishops from the Amazon continues to make headlines, many are curious about the contents of its forthcoming report. According to Pope Francis, the synod’s goal is “to identify new paths for the evangelization of God’s people in that region,” with a particular emphasis on the region’s indigenous people, who are “often forgotten and without the prospect of a serene future.”
Unfortunately, given the working document that’s already been released, as well as the various participants involved, many expect these “new paths” to include the Roman Catholic Church’s ongoing flirtations with liberation theology. As Kishore Jayabalan recently wrote here on the blog, “The tendency to blame capitalism for the ills of the region, the animus against a hierarchical Church, and the hopes for a socialist utopia are alive and well in the synod preparations.”