Vatican II and the Gospel of Man|
The Skimble-Skamble of the Post-Conciliar Church: Razzmatazz III
Getting through the terminological cloud of razzmatazz, bafflegab and skimble-skamble of post-conciliar pronouncements is like flying blind in a snowstorm of ambiguity and humanism
"John Paul's encyclicals are not easy to understand for Joe Sixpack in the pew, and most of them are extremely lengthy, so long as to discourage anyone from even starting to read them (to mind come Fides et Ratio, Ut Unum Sint, Redemptoris Missio, and Veritatis Splendor). As I mentioned last week, this may actually be a good thing. When you actually manage to penetrate the thick terminological cloud of John Paul's encyclicals, don't be surprised if what you find is a statement or train of thought fueling the movement that preaches a gospel of man."
[Preliminary Note: Please make sure you're seated when reading this series. I don't want to be responsible for people fainting and falling to the floor. --M.D.]
The last two installments have talked about the razzmatazz of the post-conciliar church, the strange ways of speaking that have been introduced with Vatican II that leave the faithful confused and baffled and turn people away from learning the Faith. I wish to continue with this topic here and show more of the gobbledygook we've had to take from post-Vatican II Rome.
It seems to me that John Paul II is the champion of the Newchurch's gobbledygook, whose constant references to "renewal," "paschal mystery," and "consciousness" (here comes phenomenology) leave people at a loss as to what in the world he is trying to say. For instance, in his encyclical Redemptor Hominis, the word "consciousness" occurs eight times, whereas the word "Catholic" does not occur even once in the body of the encyclical. Words with the stem "renew" (e.g. "renewal" or "renewing" or simply "renew") occur nine times, and the word "dignity" appears 24 times, if I counted correctly. I thought this was quite interesting.
In any case, John Paul's encyclicals are not easy to understand for Joe Sixpack in the pew, and most of them are extremely lengthy, so long as to discourage anyone from even starting to read them (to mind come Fides et Ratio, Ut Unum Sint, Redemptoris Missio, and Veritatis Splendor). As I mentioned last week, this may actually be a good thing.
When you actually manage to penetrate the thick terminological cloud of John Paul's encyclicals, don't be surprised if what you find is a statement or train of thought fueling the movement that preaches a gospel of man. Let me show you what I mean. I just came across a passage that is actually surprisingly clear, and what I found shocked me. Regarding missionary activity (which has always been the means by which to convert people to Catholicism), John Paul II writes:
"I also have other reasons and aims [with regards to writing this encyclical dedicated to missionary activity]: to respond to the many requests for a document of this kind; . . . to foster missionary vocations; . . . and to assure non-Christians and particularly the authorities of countries to which missionary activity is being directed that all of this has but one purpose: to serve man by revealing to him the love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ" (Redemptoris Missio, 1990, No. 2).
There we have it! What does the Pope think the purpose of missionary activity is? To serve man!
Granted, he adds that the service of man here consists in the "revealing to him the love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ," but if he means by this the conversion of those who are not yet Catholic, why doesn't he say so? Telling somebody that God loves us so much that He sent His Son is one thing, telling him that he therefore must accept this Son and do as He commanded or else he will be forever lost, is quite another. This would have been a perfect opportunity for the Pope to make clear that he desires all men to be Catholics for there is no salvation outside the Church. Instead, the Pope reaffirms what traditionalists had suspected all along: that this is all about the service of man. I guess it is possible to squeeze an orthodox interpretation into this passage of Redemptoris Missio,
but only if you engage in hermeneutical gymnastics, and then only at the expense of getting more politically-correct razzmatazz!
Yeah, we've been hearing all about "man" since John XXIII's encyclical Pacem In Terris (1963), ad nauseam. What we need to serve is God and His Kingdom, and not man. The traditionalist suspicion about the Pope's view of missionary activity is especially corroborated by his actions, by what he does in the presence of non-Catholics, especially the most recent scandal in Assisi. 'At the service of man' is precisely the most fitting description. It's not at the service of God or the Truth, but the service of man. It is quite ironic, then, that the New Catechism should testify:
"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the 'mystery of iniquity' in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 675).
Doesn't the Lord work in mysterious ways! I have no idea how this passage got into the New Catechism, since it seems to convict the entire Novus Ordo
-ecumenism movement, which is, I think quite undeniably, treading in the paths of precisely that humanistic deception which leads to apostasy from the truth.
That we are indeed facing an outright apostasy in the Church, starting with the highest ranking member, the Pope, can be seen by the following quotes I will now supply, taken from John Paul II, in no particular order. They all bear witness to the Pope's humanism, which has supplanted the Gospel starting with the election of John XXIII and Vatican II, as the title of this series indicates: Vatican II and the Gospel of Man. Sit back, then, and ponder in horror (as I certainly did) these hardly-known but documented despicable statements made by the Holy Father:
"Brothers and Sisters, the example of a saint who lived close to us can strengthen in us the courage of hope. Brother Mutien-Marie goes before us on the path of fidelity to God's invitation and of tireless service of our brothers and sisters. We ask his intercession, that we may be given in our day to make straight the way of the Lord and of man, which is the path of the Church." - Homily of December 10, 1989.
"In reality, the name for that deep amazement at man's worth and dignity is the Gospel, that is to say: the Good News. It is also called Christianity. This amazement determines the Church's mission in the world. . . ." - Redemptor Hominis, No. 10.
Speaking of Christmas night: "'A child is born to us, a Son is given to us.' Yes! A son has been given to us. In this Son we are all once more given back to ourselves!" - Urbi et Orbi, December 25, 1980.
"Man must be reconciled with his humanity." - Message at the Angelus, April 20, 1980.
"The 'keys of the kingdom of heaven' are not entrusted to Peter and the Church to be used arbitrarily or to manipulate consciences, but so that consciences can be freed in the full Truth of man, who is Christ, 'peace and mercy' (cf. Gal 6:16) for everyone." - General Audience, February 22, 1984.
All of these are absolutely outrageous, erroneous, and poisoned with the gospel of man, or pure razzmatazz that has no definite meaning (at least no definite orthodox meaning) and to which one can only reply: "Whatever." Man is the path of the Church, the Gospel is defined as the amazement at man's worth and dignity, man this, man that, ad nauseam
. If this is not razzmatazz, bafflegab, skimble-skamble
, or just plain heresy - you name it - then I don't know what is.
It hurts me to say it, but it looks as though John Paul II is a Pope of Man, not of God. And I do not mean to deny by this that he is a valid Pope - it is merely a description of how I perceive the status quo. Surely, a dark night has descended upon the Church. And yet, we have hope, we have a Lenten hope that waits in expectance of Easter, the Resurrection of Our Lord.
As I am writing this, I know the first day this installment will appear online is Good Friday, 2002. Certainly, looking at the Church undergoing so much suffering on earth right now, we can better identify with our Lord on the Cross, who suffered so much for love of us. By being alive in the middle of this most horrendous crisis in the Church right now, may the Lord, who predestined us to live at this point in time rather than another, deign to give us a glimpse of the sufferings He bore on the Cross for us.
I believe that the only way we can make sense of this catastrophic state of our Holy Church right now is by looking at the Cross. At the Cross, all suffering becomes sweet, all anguish becomes bearable, and all distress starts to make sense. As Our Lord cried, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34), so let us make these Words of His our own in this hour of great agony: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
In these three parts of razzmatazz, I hope I have been able to share with
you at least a tiny bit of what's out there in terms of confusing,
disturbing, and erroneous statements made by the Popes and Vatican II, ever
since 1958. The essays about razzmatazz fit perfectly into this series of
"Vatican II and the Gospel of Man", of which Pope John Paul II seems to be a
hero, as sad as it is to say that. This being the case, next week I would
like to start a new series focusing exclusively on Pope John Paul - his
humanism and his ecumenism in particular.
I realize that touching as exhaustive subjects as the ones we've been
discussing necessarily opens up a Pandora's Box. But better to open that box
and expose what's out there than to keep silence and fail to warn others
about the dangers to their faith, "For woe is unto me if I preach not the
gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:16). During this Passiontide, may God have mercy on
Editor's Note: So many of the post-conciliar bishops today refer to those clinging to the true Roman Catholic traditions that were in vogue for 2000 years prior to the reforms of Vatican II as 'fossils,' 'dinosaurs,' 'old folks who will die off soon.' We beg to differ and offer as proof the youthful wisdom and enthusiasm of the younger generation in the Traditional Insights of Mario Derksen who exemplifies the thinking of many more young men and women today who realize the new thinking of the post-conciliar church does not add up to true Catholic teaching. Thus they long for those traditions so tried and true. His insight shows great promise, optimism and hope for the future of Holy Mother Church.
Part One The Enthronement of Man
Part Two Towards a Deification of Man
Part Three An Anthromorphic Church?
Part Four Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Part Five The Razzmatazz of the Post-Conciliar Church
Part Six The 'Bafflegab' of the Post-Conciliar Church: Razzmatazz II
Mario Derksen's Traditional Insights