50 Years Since Vatican II

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. Fifty years ago today Pope John XXIII called for the Second Vatican Council. At a relatively peaceful time in the Church, he sought to bring about an “aggiornamento” (a renewal) in the Church that would allow the Church to address the concerns of the modern world in a pastoral light.

You can find a lot of hullabaloo over Vatican II, for a true representation of the Council, actually reading the Conciliar documents is a MUST. This would seem obvious, but far too many have adopted the “spirit of Vatican II” which is completely and utterly opposed to the actual Council. Promoting the “spirit” is their way of being heretical without officially declaring it so. They disagree with the Church, yet desperately want to cling to it, so they attempt to stretch the meaning of the Conciliar documents, ignore the 1900+ years of the Church that existed before the Council, and wallow in their made-up theology.

A few points I think it important to make:

+ Priests celebrating the TLM (Traditional Latin Mass), now known as the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy do not celebrate with “their back to the people”. They are leading us to the Lord. We are celebrating with the priest, facing east, facing the Lord, the triumph of Christ. Furthermore, no document of the Second Vatican Council calls for the priest to change his orientation during the liturgy… because, exceptions were already noted and provided for [when needed], prior to Vatican II.

+Latin is the language of the Church. Vatican II did not require that the liturgy be celebrated completely in the vernacular. Quite the opposite, the Conciliar documents said that Latin should be retained in the liturgy and the people should be taught to sing/say the responses in Latin. Parts that vary depending on the Feast could be said in the vernacular.

+Vatican II was a pastoral Council. It did not define any new dogmas, nor did it change Catholic teaching on any subject in any way. It sought to better present and explain the teachings of the Catholic Church to the modern world.

So I pray that on this 50th anniversary we go back and re-read (or read) the documents of the Second Vatican Council and seek to understand authentically the teachings of the Catholic Church and her liturgy.

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