Vatican II and the Gospel of Man|
Part Six: The 'Bafflegab' of the Post-Conciliar Church: Razzmatazz II
We cannot be wrong in believing what the Church has always believed, and we cannot possibly be accused of schism because of being loyal to 2,000 years of Catholic Tradition.
"The original and divine mission is to convert modern man, to make him Catholic. Instead, what the Newchurch does is "dialogue" with him: 'Nice to meet you. You know, there is some truth in what you stand for, and we value that. Really. You're not all that bad. Heck, God made you. Oh yeah, it is important to realize just who and what man really is, you know. You're quite transcendent and can do a lot in this world. It all comes from God, the Creator. You have an eternal destiny, but we won't judge you. This destiny is common to all members of the human race, and that is why all men possess human dignity. Don't violate it.'
This is, basically, what I feel the post-Vatican II church is saying to modern man. It's actually more of a monologue than a dialogue, because modern man doesn't respond. How could he? There's not much there, not much substance. He won't convert because he sees no reason to. There is no mention of truth, the necessity to believe in it, to worship God, repent of one's sins, and avoid hell. In olden days, even the hardened atheist and mocker of the Church could at least affirm that if the Catholic Church is right, then she is very right."
[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.]
Before I continue with more of the razzmatazz we've heard from the post-conciliar Church since the 1960's, let us put before our eyes again the entire spectrum: the post-Vatican II church is heading towards humanism, preaching a 'gospel of man.' The 'bafflegab' the Novus Ordo establishment has put before us is only one little part of the entire problem, a vehicle it uses in order to penetrate the last strongholds of Traditional Catholic Truth.
I wish to emphasize this so we don't lose focus. We must keep things in perspective. The razzmatazz of the Newchurch doesn't exist in a void, and I don't wish to give the impression of discussing or analyzing it this way.
On March 7, 2002, the Catholic news site Zenit.org reported the following, quoting George Weigel, author of the papal biography Witness to Hope:
"In Karol Wojtyla's experience of the council as one of its most active Fathers, and in his authoritative interpretation of the council as Pope, Vatican II was meant to prepare the Church, theologically and spiritually, to rediscover itself as a great evangelical movement in history, proclaiming to the world the truth about the human person, human community, human origins and human destiny."
Here we have a perfect example of more gobbledygook. First of all, it seems to me that Weigel's suggestion that the Church has "rediscovered" her evangelical mission cannot but presuppose a heretical idea, namely that she lost it at one point, which would mean the Church has failed. But glossing over that perhaps controversial interpretation of mine here, look again at what, according to Weigel, is the Church's gospel: "the truth about the human person, human community, human origins and human destiny." What utter claptrap! Christ did not die to reveal to us something about ourselves but in order to save us from our sins and make it possible for us to be reconciled to the Father and enter into Eternal Life! Haven't I been saying the post-conciliar church is heading towards humanism? It's all about human-this and human-that.
Of course the True Gospel contains truths about man, his nature and his destiny. No one is questioning that. But these are "accidental truths," if you will; they are simply the consequence of the teaching of the Gospel, a mere by-product of the great evangelical Truth our Savior has come to reveal to us through Himself and His Apostles. I think it would be a gross distortion of the Good News of our Lord to suggest that the Church's mission is to preach truths about man. Entirely absent from Weigel's statement is reference to the truth about God (the Trinity, for instance, or the Incarnation) and His Will. This, you see, is the gospel of man: the omission of essential truths about God and the continuous overemphasis of truth about man and his "dignity" (one of the favorite words of the Novus Ordo establishment).
"While Catholicism has always claimed universality as one of its
mark, the Catholic Church is now a 'world Church' in a new way." I can just imagine Pope Saint Pius X turning in the grave hearing of this. A "world church" - yes, indeed, that's what the Vatican is heading towards, glaringly led by the Holy Father. But I wish to refrain from commenting more about this right now and leave it for a future installment of this series, when I will also look at the Assisi scandal and what prophetic warning Scripture gives in this regard.
But I still have more from George Weigel. Listen to this:
"Even as it becomes ever more a world Church, the Catholic Church continues to debate its self-understanding." Hey now - that's razzmatazz at its best! The Church "debates its self-understanding." What the HECK is going on? Sounds like to me he's admitting the Church is in an identity crisis. And he's right - I mean, it's true. But what brought about this identity crisis? Let's face it, folks, there was no identity crisis at least until Pope Pius XII passed away (October 9, 1958). The only real crisis there was, was the infiltration of the Church by the modernists, liberals, and masons. Since with Vatican II they were basically welcomed into the Church, along with their deceptive rhetoric and diabolical teachings, the crisis shifted from modernism (which the post-Vatican II church seems to have wiped from its vocabulary) to an identity crisis, because the modernism has been allowed to infiltrate the Holy Church. So what Weigel now considers an identity crisis is nothing but a large part of the officially-accepted modernism, condemned until 1958.
But now on to more razzmatazz. In the Vatican II constitution Lumen Gentium, the council fathers declare that the Catholic Church "is at once a sign and a safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person" (No. 76). Just what this is supposed to mean is unclear and not elaborated upon. The context of the passages from the midst of which this quote is taken is politics and how the Church does not bind herself to any political system (it would have been quite appropriate at this point to condemn Communism, though, don't you think?). So what is meant by the "transcendent character" of the human person? And just how does this relate to the Church's refusal to bind herself to any one political system? I have no clue. And I know most people won't have a clue about this, either. I cannot help but suspect that this is more of the nebulous 'bafflegab' we've heard since the 1960's. If the council fathers had written at this point that the Church does not bind herself to any political system because she has a transcendent character due to her divine foundation, that would have made perfect sense. But for some reason, Lumen Gentium mentions the human person here. Ah, once again: man.
The Newchurch is not merely in the world but of the world. It has succumbed to the temptation to be attractive to modern man, a man who despises authority, morality, and objective truth. There is no way for such modern man to be saved other than to turn from his ways. This the Newchurch has not understood. It tries to meet modern man half-way, and once it's there, it has forgotten why it tried to get in touch with him in the first place. It has forgotten its mission, its purpose. Thus, we can now speak of an identity crisis in the Novus Ordo establishment. The original and divine mission is to convert modern man, to make him Catholic. Instead, what the Newchurch does is "dialogue" with him: "Nice to meet you. You know, there is some truth in what you stand for, and we value that. Really. You're not all that bad. Heck, God made you. Oh yeah, it is important to realize just who and what man really is, you know. You're quite transcendent and can do a lot in this world. It all comes from God, the Creator. You have an eternal destiny, but we won't judge you. This destiny is common to all members of the human race, and that is why all men possess human dignity. Don't violate it." This is, basically, what I feel the post-Vatican II church is saying to modern man. It's actually more of a monologue than a dialogue, because modern man doesn't respond. How could he? There's not much there, not much substance. He won't convert because he sees no reason to. There is no mention of truth, the necessity to believe in it, to worship God, repent of one's sins, and avoid hell. In olden days, even the hardened atheist and mocker of the Church could at least affirm that if the Catholic Church is right, then she is very right. But nowadays? Come on, face it. What does the post-conciliar church stand for? Nothing but a bunch of humanistic razzle-dazzle that still bears some traits of Catholicism. And when I ask "what does the post-conciliar church stand for," I don't only mean the documents put out by the Vatican, but the church as a whole, with all its papal activities/scandals, approved documents, failure to condemn, failure to uphold the faith and protect good priests (e.g. Father Nicholas Gruner), so-called "agreements" with heretics, etc. We have to take all of this into account if we wish to speak realistically about the post-Vatican II church.
It was in his very first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, that Pope John Paul II made the shocking statement that false religions are "not lacking" in "treasures of human spirituality" (No. 16)! No, he is not talking about Protestant denominations. He's talking about "non-Christian religions"! In the same paragraph, the Pope even goes so far as to advocate "prayer in common" with those pagan (!) religions, a sin against the First Commandment, but I'm going to talk about this in a later installment on the Assisi scandals.
In any case, according to John Paul II, pagan religions possess "treasures of human spirituality." Here we have more post-Vatican-II-speak. Just what is that supposed to mean? Spirituality the kind as in Catholic spirituality? That would be absurd and, I daresay, blasphemous. Besides, the Pope mentions "human spirituality," so it seems he believes that there is such a thing as authentic spirituality which is not Catholic, and which is valid and praiseworthy for all human beings. Anathema to such an idea! I can only pray he does not mean this, either, but I can't think of any third alternative that would make sense of the passage quoted. There is only one salvific spirituality, and that's Catholic spirituality. If John Paul meant to suggest that these pagan religions possess some Catholic spirituality, not only would he be objectively wrong about this, but his entire point in the passage would vanish, which is that Catholics can learn from the "spirituality" of non-Christian religions. Friends, which ever way we turn and bend it, it is erroneous. Spirituality which is "human" and not connected to the Catholic Faith cannot be pleasing to God.
How blessed are we to have the wisdom of the great Dietrich von Hildebrand to heed: "When the pope speaks ex cathedra on faith or morals, then unconditional acceptance and submission is required of every Catholic. But it is false to extend this loyalty to encyclicals in which new theses are proposed" (emphasis added; from The Devastated Vineyard, Roman Catholic Books, 1973, p. 246). Yep, exactly. And new theses we have been fed with constantly since you know when, inside and outside papal encyclicals.
Of matters on faith and morals, I can think of no better encyclical than St. Pius X's magnificent Pascendi Dominici Gregis to back up all that I have been expounding on. I urge you to read this holy pope's words and see how he directed the faithful to consider 'novelties.' As an example he points out,
"For Catholics, nothing will remove the authority of the Second Council of Nicaea, where it condemns those who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics to deride ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind or to endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church." Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907.
Strong words with no uncertainties. "Nothing will remove the authority..." Yet the reforms of Vatican II and the further 'bafflegab' of Newchurch seem to be trying.
We have an obligation, my dear friends, to resist the novelties that are being foisted upon us. Let them scream "excommunicated" and "schismatic!" as much as they want. We cannot be wrong in believing what the Church has always believed, and we cannot possibly be accused of schism because of being loyal to 2,000 years of Catholic Tradition. Pray the Rosary, do penance, and assist at the Holy Mass as much as you can. May we live to see the day the Church will be restored fully in all her splendor and glory. But more than that, may God's Will be done.
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
March 22-24, 2002
volume 13, no. 55
Mario Derksen's young and refreshing TRADITIONAL INSIGHTS