That Vatican II represents a true revolution in the Church and is thereby unlike every other ecumenical council in the entire history of the Catholic Church, is seen, for instance, by the frequent dictum that so-and-so is "pre-Vatican-II" and book/media titles such as Faithful Revolution (which, by the way, is a video tape set put out by Thomas More publishing, glorifying Vatican II). This attests not only to the fact that Vatican II was a rebellion against Catholic doctrine and discipline, but it also shows just how unique Vatican II was and not just "another council," as the neo-Catholics would have it. Do you know of even one instance in the Church's 2,000 year history before Vatican II that a person was ever labeled "pre-conciliar" in reference to any council? Could you imagine someone being called "pre-Trent" or "pre-Vienne" or "pre-Nicea-II" or something like that? It's absurd! The fact that traditionalists are often labeled "pre-Vatican-II" (or "pre-Vatican" for short) points to the enormous rupture that the Second Vatican Council has caused with traditional theology and practice.
As pointed out in my first two installments of this series, Vatican II and Pope Paul VI have made very disturbing statements that offend Catholic ears and would have triggered, no doubt, the anathemas of the pre-conciliar Popes. Sadly, the volume of such strange expressions of novelty is massive, and thus I would like to devote yet another article to an exposition and analysis of more conciliar and post-conciliar shockers that may knock you off your chair if you're not careful. I hope it knocks you back on your fulcrum of faith!
Let me start off with something Pope Paul VI is reported to have said to the French Catholic philosopher Jean Guitton (1901-1999). As Guitton himself relates: "It was the final session of the Council, the most essential, in which the Pope was to bestow upon all
humanity the teachings of the Council. He announced this to me on that day [presumably December 7, 1965] with these words, 'I am about to blow the seven trumpets of the Apocalypse' " [Jean Guitton, 'Nel Segno dei Dodici,' interview with Maurizio Blondet, Avvenire, October 11, 1992; qtd. in Atila Sinke Guimarães, Animus Delendi - I, Los Angeles, CA: Tradition in Action, 2000, p. 57].
I dare not speculate just why Pope Paul VI should say something like this. The Seven Trumpets of the Apocalypse are blown by seven angels, and the blow of each trumpet is followed by unimaginable disaster, e.g.: "And the second angel sounded the trumpet: and, as it were, a great mountain, burning with fire, was cast into the sea. And the third part of the sea became blood" (Apocalypse 8:8). One can only hope that Jean Guitton incorrectly heard what Paul VI said to him - but this scenario is unlikely since Guitton was confident enough about his perception that he was willing to quote it in a written interview.
Regardless, however, of whether Paul VI was aware of what he was doing, the effects of the council and his pontificate were undeniably disastrous. Man was gradually made the de facto center of the Church, at least apparently, as is clearly evident from the following quote from Paul VI on July 13, 1969: "Man is both giant and divine, in his origin and his destiny. Honour, therefore, to man, honour to his dignity, to his spirit, to his life" (qtd. in Abbé Georges de Nantes, Book of Accusation against Pope Paul VI [http://www.crc-internet.org/lib1.htm], 1973).
Normally, I would doubt the authenticity of a quote that is merely cited by its date, but I cannot imagine that the Abbé de Nantes would put a false quote into his official Book of Accusation, which was, after all, presented to the Vatican in 1973 in order to make the Pope aware of his errors and hope for a response (which never came, of course - the book was refused).
Here is another excerpt from Paul VI's closing speech of Vatican II on December 7, 1965:
"Another point we must stress is this: all this rich teaching is channeled in one direction, the service of mankind, of every condition, in every weakness and need. The Church has, so to say, declared herself the servant of humanity. . . . It might be said that all this and everything else we might say about the human values of the council have diverted the attention of the Church in council to the trend of modern culture, centered on humanity. We would say not diverted but rather directed. Any careful observer of the council's prevailing interest for human and temporal values cannot deny that it is from the pastoral character that the council has virtually made its program, and must recognize that the same interest is never divorced from the most genuine religious interest, whether by reason of charity, its sole inspiration (where charity is, God is!), or the council's constant, explicit attempts to link human and temporal values with those that are specifically spiritual, religious and everlasting; its concern is with man and with earth, but it rises to the kingdom of God."
Can there be any doubt that Paul VI's theology was anthropocentric, man-centered? Never before in the Church did we hear such things! We see here the novel idea of going to God through man
. Not through Jesus
, mind you, but through man as such
. In order to know God, we get the impression, we must look at and take interest in man. Where did the Church ever teach this before Vatican II? And if it isn't found before the death of Pius XII
, are we not very well within our rights to reject it as novelty? "Thus saith the Lord: Stand ye on the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, which is the good way, and walk ye in it: and you shall find refreshment for your souls. And they said: We will not walk"
(Jeremias 6:16). Novelty is never authentic Catholic teaching, which is always rooted firmly in and merely an explication of "the faith once delivered to the saints"
(St. Jude i: 3). Novelty is excluded for possibly being part of the magisterial teaching of the Holy Church by the First Vatican Council, quoting and making the teaching of St. Vincent of Lerin
its own: "Therefore . . . let the understanding, the knowledge, and wisdom of individuals as of all, of one man as of the whole Church, grow and progress strongly with the passage of the ages and the centuries; but let it be solely in its own genus, namely in the same dogma
, with the same sense
and the same understanding
" (Instruction of Vincent of Lerin, n. 28 [qtd. in Vatican I, Denzinger 1800]).
The late Jesuit theologian who was censured and censored by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Humani generis for 'nouvelle theologie' and his work Surnaturel, Cardinal Henri-Marie de Lubac did not mince words in surprisingly exclaiming, "It is clear that the Church is facing a grave crisis. Under the name of 'the new Church,' 'the post-conciliar Church,' a different Church from that of Jesus Christ is now trying to establish itself; an anthropocentric society threatened with immanentist apostasy which is allowing itself to be swept along in a movement of general abdication under the pretext of renewal, ecumenism, or adaptation." (Card. Lubac, speaking at the Institute of Renewal in the Church at the University of Toronto in August 1967.) Lubac was a disciple of such radical liberal theologians as Teilhard de Chardin and was defended by such progressivists as Eduard Schillebeekx, Karl Rahner and Hans Kung. That is why the above quote is surprising that even someone as liberal as Lubac would recognize that Paul VI had gone too far.
Now, Paul VI was not the only Pope issuing such disturbing statements glorifying man as if he were God. (The position of his immediate successor, John Paul I, cannot really be analyzed since his pontificate was too short-a mere 33 days.) John Paul II, however, has reigned for over 23 years now and given us ample reason to be concerned about and suspicious of his theology. John Paul II has greatly elaborated upon the new teaching that God is found through man, especially in his encyclical Redemptor Hominis (1979): "For the Church all ways lead to man" is the title of section 14 in the encyclical, as quoted from the Vatican Web site. "This man is the primary route that the Church must travel in fulfilling her mission: he is the primary and fundamental way for the Church, the way traced out by Christ himself, the way that leads invariably through the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption" (Redemptor Hominis No. 40).
It is surprising (or is it really?) that John Paul II, so fond of putting myriads of footnotes in his documents, doesn't give a reference where such teaching has ever been advanced by the Church before, i.e. before 1958. In fact, the entire section this quote is found in has only four footnotes, one of which is to a Bible verse, the others being citations of conciliar doctrine. Never before have we heard such teaching, and this is confirmed by the fact that John Paul II doesn't suggest otherwise. On whose authority does the Pope teach this novelty? On his own, or rather, on the authority of what I call "1958-and-beyond": the new conciliar direction, which is a rupture with the perennial Magisterium of the Church.
Now man is put into the center, man is esteemed, man is glorified and praised as though he had a unique role to play in the Redemption. In contrast, the Holy Scriptures assure us: "Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord" (Jeremias 17:5).
Would it not be better also to return to that understanding? Would it not be better to cling to the undeniable, inalienable simple and concise truths of the Catechism of Trent and the Baltimore Catechism? Where we are taught that we are made in the image and likeness of God, to love Him, to serve Him and to be happy with Him in this world and the next. Man has been given a free will to accept or reject that, but only in cooperating with God's plan of salvation is man's importance elevated by the grace and merits earned by Jesus Christ for us. We do not merit it on our own. Therefore man, by and of himself, is useless and to stress humanism is not only a lesson in futility for those seeking the kingdom of God, but very much the heart of the Masonic creed.
It seems that what is developing in and around the Vatican these days is a religion and cult of man, masonic in its origin, nature, and purpose. Let us pray and fast that the abominable teachings and influences of the masons may finally come to an end, and that our Most Holy Lord, through the intercession of His Glorious Mother Mary, may deign to restore peace and sanity to His Church, which He promised would not be overcome by the gates of hell (cf. St. Matthew 16:18).