Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Mocking of Vatican II

I have been known to be sarcastic before. I know that may be difficult to believe. Sometimes I even let some of my sarcasm out in my blogs. Again, I know that may be difficult to believe. Sometimes, I make sarcastic comments about Vatican II. So this is going to be my disclaimer blog about Vatican II. Anytime I make a comment about Vatican II, I am going to link back to this page.

Vatican II opened in 1962 under the leadership of Pope John XXIII and closed in 1965 under the leadership of Pope Paul VI. Some people think that Vatican II brought great changes to the church. They thought it would bring about women's ordination, a stronger laity, birth control and a new enlightenment along with mass said in the common vernacular (the common language of the region). Some people think that Vatican II brought about horrible changes to the church and basically destroyed it. They think it brought in communion in the hand as opposed to the tongue, got rid of alter rails, brought in girl alter servers and the laity being used as Eucharistic Ministers in the ordinary from (like that little tongue in cheek comments ;-) ) as well as got rid of the mass in Latin.

What Vatican II really seems to have brought about is crappy church architecture complete with really crappy catholic art and nuns who have gotten rid of their habits and the cloister in exchange for polyester clothes and living in the world.

Many many changes WERE brought about after Vatican II. Many many of those changes weren't because of what was said at Vatican II but from what people thought were said or some just took it as an opportunity to make the changes that they wanted.
The truth though really seems to be, as always, someplace in the middle. I always try to remember two things when it comes to Vatican II. The first was a quote from an instructor at the Bishop Helsming Institute, Jeremy Sienkiewicz, who in a class on Vatican II always repeated, "Read the stinking documents!" There were some great documents that came out of Vatican II. Documents that are great resources to go to. None of them called for the great changes that were made or that people wanted to be made.

The second is a quote from an unknown source. It's said that the catholic church thinks in terms of not months, not years, not even decades but in centuries. The Catholic Church is 2000 years old and a good sign that she wasn't calling for all of the radical changes that came about after Vatican II is that they did happen so very quickly. It can be painfully slow especially in today's world but we are starting to see things swing back the other way. There are more Latin masses available. Adoration is making a resurgence. People are pushing confession again. The religious orders that threw away the habits are floundering while vocations in diocese that preach good solid catholic doctrine are flourishing. Great changes in doctrine never came about (truth IS truth) such as allowing birth control or women ordination.

The fact of the matter are great changes occurred in the church after Vatican II. Not all of them bad and not all of them were in fact encouraged by Vatican II. The proverbial boat will right itself. So when I mock Vatican II, I am mocking what came about after Vatican II and not what actually was taught from Vatican II.


  1. Did you write this post based on the comment I made in your recent one? I apologize for maybe not being clear; I understood what you intended and I was agreeing WITH YOU in your criticism of pluralism.

    I haven't been following your blog long so have no idea how often you've mentioned Vatican II. Myself, as a current grad student in theology, reading more and more deeply of Vatican II, I find I become more and more frustrated at how directly it was actually ignored.

    It's actually physically painful at times.