Vatican II and the Gospel of Man|
Part Two: Towards a Deification of Man
"Sadly, Gaudium Et Spes totally disfigures man's true status before God and his role in the world. What could have become a great document reminding man of his sheer nothingness before the Creator, emphasizing that he should be humble and not exaggerate his own accomplishments (a very fitting line of thought the world should have heard during the 60's!), what the council produced was instead a banner of humanistic slogans and self-glorifying nonsense that deserves to be thrown into the flames."
[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.]
Last week I introduced some scary evidence that clearly leads one to see how the post-conciliar church is heading towards a humanistic cult which puts man in the place of God. In this installment, I plan to present further data that verify and reinforce this scary thesis.
Today we shall take a look at what was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on that fateful day of December 7, 1965, as the so-called "Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World," Gaudium Et Spes.
It was to the world a 'Pearl Harbor', if you will, occurring exactly 24 years to the day after Japan shocked the world by bombing the American bases in Hawaii. You might say Gaudium Et Spes wreaked the same kind of havoc in the Church. While called merely a Pastoral constitution, it was in effect a counter-syllabus that has scattered the sheep further with shards of humanism that terribly dilutes and undermines the True Faith.
What surprises me more than anything is that anyone who truly knew their Faith, who knew their Scriptures would have seen through Gaudium Et Spes when it was released over 36 years ago and should have. The scariest thing is that those who did see through it immediately, those who exposed the heresies - the International Group of Fathers and loyal Roman Theologians who had joined with Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani and Cardinal Antonio Bacci to uphold the Truths were targeted as 'spies' and 'dissidents' and greatly persecuted through intimidation, and even excommunication in the case of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre Hello? Is this anyway to run a Church founded by Jesus Christ - to contradict His teachings?
If you think I'm off my rocker with that statement, consider some of the statements in Gaudium Et Spes:
"According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown" (No. 12).
Wait. Read that again. All things should be related to man? Yep, according to Vatican II. (You see, I am using the English translation which the Vatican has on its web site, to make sure I'm using a translation the Vatican endorses. I don't have a copy of the Latin original, but I doubt it would say anything different.)
Just a few sentences earlier, Gaudium Et Spes says:
"What is the ultimate significance of human activity throughout the world? People are waiting for an answer to [this question]" (No. 11). Strange, isn't it, because the Church has always had a definite answer to this question, and we didn't need a new one with Vatican II:
"God made [us] to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next" (Baltimore Catechism #4). That is what all human activity should ultimately be related to, and it is from this that human activity achieves its significance.
There is more disturbing and outrageous material in Vatican II, however, specifically Gaudium Et Spes, considered as the 'antithesis' of Blessed Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors and Pope Saint Pius X's Pascendi Dominici Gregis. Take a look at what we are told in No. 24 of Gaudium Et Spes:
"Love for God and neighbor is the first and greatest commandment." Yes, those words were actually sanctioned by Paul VI. Did he write it? Whoever did, they have vastly misled the faithful with such a statement because the Scriptures teach: "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (St. Matthew 12:36-39).
Dear reader, I must ask you: What kind of a council is this that can't even get the Greatest Commandment right?!
By lumping the First Commandment, the love of God, together with the Second Greatest Commandment, the love of neighbor and self, the Second Vatican Council has once again betrayed its underlying desire, or at least the underlying desire of some very influential theologians at the Council, to elevate man way beyond his humble state of a lowly creature, this time putting him on a par with God! What utter blasphemy! The spirit of the deification of man was alive and well during Vatican II, as it was during the 1960's in general. Once again my conviction not to trust anything that came out of the 60's has been affirmed-and that includes Vatican II.
The documents they produced confirm this.
The desire to
make the Church anthropocentric really shines through in the Vatican II
texts, especially Gaudium Et Spes, which did not fail to point out that
"this council lays stress on reverence for man" (No. 27).
But if you thought this was it as far as shocker quotes are concerned, I have news for you. Take a look at what else we read in No. 24 of the notorious Gaudium Et Spes:
Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.
Did you catch it? The Council says that man is a creature God has wished for its- not for His-sake! That's quite alarming! Consider what we read in Proverbs 16:4 instead: "The Lord hath made all things for Himself." Man has not been created for man's sake, but for God's! We are reminded of this fact especially on Ash Wednesday every year: "Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return" (Genesis 3:19). Needless to say, St. Thomas Aquinas fully concurs with the traditional Catholic teaching: "So God wills Himself and other things: but Himself as the end, and other things for that end" (Summa Theologica, I,q.19,a.2). The ultimate end of all things is God, i.e. union with Him. It is not man. This has been recognized in one way or another even by pagans, atheists, heretics, and other non-Catholics, such as Plotinus, John Scotus Eriugena, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Jean-Paul Sartre. One wonders just what the Vatican II Fathers were thinking when they wrote that "according to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown"?
"Since only God exists by His own power, and since all finite things have the Infinite God as their goal, no creature can be said to exist by itself, either ontologically or teleologically" (Romano Amerio, Iota Unum [Kansas City, MO: Sarto House, 1996], p. 475). This is a very beautiful way to put it, and it comes from one of the few orthodox experts at Vatican II, Fr. Romano Amerio. The point is: we are nothing without God; we were made from the dust of the earth. Our destiny is not earthly; our presence on earth is only temporary. How does this truth possibly square with the teaching of Gaudium Et Spes?
"there is a growing awareness of the exalted dignity proper to the human person, since he stands above all things, and his rights and duties are universal and inviolable" (No. 26)
How can it?
Quite simply, folks, it doesn't. One has to be wrong: either the perennial Catholic teaching or the novel teaching of Vatican II. The answer is obvious.
Sadly, Gaudium Et Spes totally disfigures man's true status before God and his role in the world. What could have become a great document reminding man of his sheer nothingness before the Creator, emphasizing that he should be humble and not exaggerate his own accomplishments (a very fitting line of thought the world should have heard during the 60's!), what the council produced was instead a banner of humanistic slogans and self-glorifying nonsense that deserves to be thrown into the flames.
God is great. We are not. Yes, due to Christ's Incarnation, we have acquired a special dignity, but not the kind that Vatican II, flirting with the secular trends in vogue at the time, tried to force upon the "modern Catholic conscience." No, Gaudium Et Spes preaches a gospel of man. Isn't it strange that more Catholics did not see these obvious errors - more knowledgable theologians, bishops, priests? Isn't it strange that the 'smoke of satan' which Paul VI referred to has seared everything that is holy but left this incendiary document untouched. It deserves to be burned once and for all before more Catholic souls are scorched by the false teaching of a council that declared no doctrine, and therefore no authority whatsoever to supersede the Council of Trent; for the latter was declared infallibly protected, Vatican II merely pastoral. I will not argue whether the Holy Ghost was present at the Second Vatican Council. I truly believe the Advocate was working within. That conviction is built on the simple fact that the Sanctifier, in protecting Holy Mother Church from doctrinal error, made sure that the council would not be infallible! He took great care to make the Popes emphasize that this council was only pastoral in nature and NOT dogmatic.
God is great. We are not. The holy season of Lent in which we are now in is particularly fitting to understand and meditate on our own nothingness and God's greatness. Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris - "Remember man, that thou art dust and into dust thou shalt return."
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.
For past columns in The DAILY CATHOLIC by Mario Derksen, see Archives
February 22-24, 2002
volume 13, no. 35
Mario Derksen's young and refreshing TRADITIONAL INSIGHTS