Modernism in Vatican II: Dogmatic Constitution of the Church - Lumen Gentium
A response

Specific charge against Vatican II documents Hermeneutic of continuity with tradition

Definition of the Church given by Lumen Gentium 8.2 and 15, Unitatis Redintegratio 3 and UR 15.1: The Church of Christ “subsists” in the Catholic Church and “many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward Catholic unity.”

Extends the concept of the Church of Christ to also include all the heretics and schismatics, implies the negation of the dogma of the unicity of the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church (the one and only true Church of Christ) for salvation.

In 2007 the CDF Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church said "subsistence means this perduring historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic church, in which the church of Christ is concretely found on this earth."

It would be a heresy to say that there are no elements of sanctification and truth found outside the Church's visible structures. Otherwise Aquinas would have had to ignore Aristotle and St. Paul would have taken a different strategy in Acts 7:23. Also notice the word "visible" indicating that the Church is both visible and invisible.

A pre Vatican II stance undermines our ability to Evangelize. An Anglican friend who eventually converted to the Catholic faith told us that for 30 years he had no idea that someone could "become" Catholic. Augustine considered Donatists his brothers. The heresy was overcome by dialog, respecting the dignity of the persons who had some false notions.

Lumen Gentium: The new definition of episcopal collegiality in LG 22 “The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles … is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head. This power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff” (LG 22.2).

This is not new, and the balance of the cardinals (with the Pope) is particularly important when there is a pope who is not very good or strong. Paul VI himself overrode all of the Cardinals with Humanae Vitae, and hopefully current cardinals can talk sense to Pope Francis.
Lumen Gentium: Notifications in the Appendix to LG:  “Taking conciliar custom into consideration and also the pastoral purpose of the present Council, the sacred Council defines as binding on the Church only those things in matters of faith and morals which it shall openly declare to be binding.”) But in fact there are not dogmatic definitions in any conciliar document on “matters of faith and morals.” However the apologists of the Council claim it exudes a new type of “infallibility”, somehow implicit in the same pastoral nature of the documents. But this is impossible because the dogmatic character of a pronouncement of the extraordinary Magisterium must result from certain, comprehensible and traditional signs and cannot be “implicit”.

The Cardinal McCarrick issue has been exposed by Catholic lay bloggers who are taking responsibility for the Church in the wake of the failure of Bishops Conferences. This website, is a result of the new Evangelization by lay Catholics. We are lay people living our Vatican II calling as the priestly people of God. Even those critical of Vatican II, such as Michael Voris, Lifesite News, Taylor Marshall, are enabled in their work by Vatican II.

Note: Cardinal McCarrick and 44% of abuse case priests were educated and/or ordained before Vatican II.

Lumen Gentium: “People of God” instead of “Mystical Body of Christ” (LG 8-13), a definition that exchanges the “people of God” mentioned in 1 Peter 2:10 for the whole Church, whereas this verse – according to the traditional and received interpretation – concerns a simple attribution of praise given by St. Peter to  the faithful who converted from Paganism (“At one time you were no people and now you are the people of God”). Furthermore, it leads to a “democratic” and “communitarian” vision of the Church itself, a concept entirely extraneous to the Catholic Tradition and closer instead to the Protestant way of thinking. In fact, this concept includes in the notion of “people”, and thus in an unusual “communitarian” perspective, also the Hierarchy, whose members are also considered “members” of the “people of God” (LG 13) and only by that title do they seem to participate, together with the “people”, in the Mystical Body of Christ. This new and unique notion of the “people of God” has been superimposed over the orthodox understanding of the “Mystical Body”, in which now the faithful would participate through the collective entity represented by the “People of God.”

The LG clearly has talks about the mystical people of God "called together from all nations, mystically the components of His own Body."

There is nothing wrong with calling Christians the "People of God. That is what we are.

It seems surprising that a lay Catholic with a PHD, writing against the Magisterium of the Catholic Church would be criticizing a council which encourages the laity to take their rightfully priestly place. Yes the laity have an important place, thank God.

Lumen Gentium: The demotion of the priest from “priest of God” to “priest of the People of God”, as if the legitimation of the priesthood depended on the People of God, Also, the “common priesthood of the faithful” (LG 10.2), which are conceived of as “interrelated” [ad invicem ordinantur] On Holy Thursday, the priest washes the feet of the laity. The Church is the mystical body of Christ, made up of the people of God. The priesthood is based on the Levitical priesthood which was at the service of the people of God. The priesthood right now is a disaster and 44% of abuse cases were by priests educated or ordained before Vatican II. We dislike the term clericalism because it's being used to avoid the homosexual crisis in the priesthood. But this attitude that the priest is above the people, and historically above the law, is not biblical and is one of the biggest reasons for the huge disaster we have in the Church right now.
LG 16: “along with us they adore the one and merciful God [nobiscum Deum adorant unicum et misericordem]”)  

The Inaugural Allocution of John XXIII on October 11, 1962, which surely contributed to directing the Council in the anomalous direction which it then took. And these are:

“Now however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to use the medicine of mercy more than that of severity. This demands that she comes to encounter the needs of today showing the validity of her teaching rather than renewing condemnations.”

“studied and espoused through the forms of investigation and the literary formulation of modern thought,” since “on the one hand there is the substance of the ancient doctrine of the depositum fidei, and on the other hand there is the formulation of its outer layer [rivestimento or coating]: and it is of this outer layer that one must – with patience if necessary – take great note, measuring everything in the forms and proportions of a magisterium with a prevailing pastoral character” (a concept re-proposed in GS 62 and in UR 6).

The enunciation of the unity of the human race as the true goal of the Church, with such unity even considered as a “necessary foundation” so that the “earthly city” may become ever more like the “celestial city” attribution of this improper purpose to the Church in LG 1 (see above, n. 5).

There is the type of tradition that contributes to the doctrine of the Church, and the type of tradition regarding how the faith is presented to the world. The first is unchangeable. The latter needs to adapt with the realities of the world.

The walls to protect the Church before Vatican II were like a fortress city which could defend against foot soldiers of the middle ages, but could not defend against attacking planes that fly over walls in the new millennium. The Church Militant needs new strategies when enemies of the Church (inside and out) have mass communication networks at their disposal. Yes its dangerous and scary to take a new strategy, without changing the truth of the Gospel.

St. Faustina was shown hell, but she was also shown God's mercy. There will be constant balance and tension between the two. Obviously, Pope Francis has gone too far on the "pastoral side". But the Church pre Vatican II was not prepared for the challenges of the 21st century, it was way too fundamentalist and incapable of credible dialogue with the outside world. Circling the wagons is not the approach.

Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI said the council must be read is in the light of tradition, interpreted with a "hermeneutics of continuity". They also issued many documents which clarified misreadings and abuses of Vatican II. We understand that Liberal theologians sometimes cite Vatican II and have had discussions with them on the Unam Sactum, Liberation Theology, Lumen Gentium, and relativism.

Charges of Modernism in specific Vatican II documents:

Critics of the council have tried to map individual sentences or parts of the documents to this heresy but in context the documents do not represent, or yield, to the heresy. These are detailed in the articles below.

Partial list of Vatican documents clarifying misunderstandings and abuses of Vatican II

Growing up in Canada, we learned the Imperial system of measurement (pounds, inches, feet). In our late teens Canada turned metric. It was disorienting and even though we learned the metric system, it still feels foreign to us. Vatican II is like that for many.

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