April 12, 2002
volume 13, no. 70

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Vatican II: In Memoriam

By John Martin

    Reprinted with the gracious permission of editor Michael Matt of The Remnant.

TThe Second Vatican Council misread the writing on the wall
So it opened wide the windows and began an overhaul
That would have baffled Peter and flabbergasted Paul -
It even shocked the Buddhists and the Hindus of Bengal!

And all the time its spokesmen sang
Like songbirds on a perch:
"We're only changing little things,
We'd never harm the Church!"

The Second Vatican Council breathed love from every pore
To every other faith on earth it preached an open door.
It said nothing bad against the Reds, it would've welcomed Thor.
But on traditional Catholicism, it launched a holy war!

The Second Vatican Council was a council ecumenical.
Unlike the Twelve Apostles and their undiluted cenacle,
It brought in so many rabbis and Lutherans Tubingenical
That the Church of Rome began to sound Protestant/Rabbinical!

And all the time its songbirds sang,
"It's just some new research.
Long live the Revolution
But we're still sweet Mother Church!"

The Second Vatican Council coined catchwords by the score -
"Cult of Man," "People of God," "Dialogue," and more.
"Renewal" and "Collegiality" raised such a mighty roar
That few there were who dared to say, "Bah, humbug. What a bore!"

And all the time its songbirds sang,
"Our name please don't besmirch.
We may sound like true-blue modernists
But we'd never change the Church!"

And when the Council ended, a few years down the line
Pope Paul the Sixth, the Council's chief, made water out of wine.
He changed the Mass of history, that glory and that sign,
Into something weak and feeble, diluted if benign.

And though the sheep were scattered,
The songbirds sang in glee:
"We're rid the Church of discipline!
What joy! What fun! We're free!"

Yes, our feckless, reckless modernists gave up the Rock for sand
They pulled down half the altars, gave Communion in the hand,
Crowned Eucharistic ministers, their smiles blank and bland,
While Father Bob sang solo with a three-guitar rock band!

And those that blamed the Council
Were sneered at or dismissed.
"You'll only harm our brave new Church!"
Those nasty songbirds hissed.

Across the world, the faith grew cold, with novelty the thing.
The seminaries emptied, the fountain lost its spring.
Scandals there were many, with pedophilia king.
Annulments were assembly-line and heresy took wing.

This confusion worse confounded
Left the songbirds unconcerned:
"We only built a little fire;
Too bad so much has burned!"

Now Catholics live and Catholics die while the tragic farce proceeds.
They doubt the Blessed Sacrament and no longer pray their beads.
They think that Heaven's guaranteed no matter what their deeds
And fail to see hell's quicksand as they play among the reeds.

And still those spokesmen sing to Rome
Like songbirds on a perch:
"Alas if there are perished souls,
But we'd never harm the Church!"

Someday another council will restore all things in Christ -
Give us steak and not baloney so cunningly thin-sliced,
Give us truth and not the trumpery of the fashionable zeitgeist,
And repair that seamless garment for which the soldiers diced!

And then those smirking songbirds
Will have to leave their perch
And fly so very far away
They'll no more harm the Church!"

For past articles in the archives of Traditional Thoughts, see

Friday-Saturday-Sunday, April 12-14, 2002
volume 13, no. 70
Traditional Thoughts