Sunday, December 13, 2015

“A true legacy of the Second Vatican Council is being fulfilled in the person and pontificate of Pope Francis.” And that, my friendly traditionalist Catholics, is your problem.

The rejection of the Novus Ordo and Vatican II.

Several recent articles from legitimate Catholic news sites, as well as a few of the fringe sites really reminded me of that fact.  It has been going on since Vatican II - the Remnant, descendant from the Wanderer offers documentation in that regard.  The subtle rejection of Vatican II is the thread running through the 'faithful' Catholic traditionalists.  The rejection of the Novus Ordo is what underlies the current rejection of Pope Francis and the bishops in communion with him.

It has been said progressives have rejected the hermeneutic of continuity, yet it is the traditionalist who promote the hermeneutic of rupture in their outright rejection of Vatican II, including the liturgical reforms, or the Novus Ordo, and most significantly, the documents which include Nostra aetate.  I won't spend time discussing this - others more knowledgeable can do that - but ordinary Catholics should be aware of what is going on with these people.  It has been like this since Paul VI.

A comment from Father Paulo Anto Pulikkan to Catholic News Agency reminded me of that:
“A true legacy of the Second Vatican Council is being fulfilled in the person and pontificate of Pope Francis."
As someone who routinely calls for justice and care for those who are poor and marginalized, the Pope and his plea for “a poor Church for the poor” is a concrete fulfillment of what the bishops of the Second Vatican Council asked for, Fr. Pulikkan said.
The underprivileged “was the theme of the council, but this has been recently very clearly stressed by Francis.” 
Fr. Pulikkan, director of the Chair for Christian studies at the University of Calicut in the Indian state of Kerala, was one of the speakers at a Dec. 9-11 conference in Rome on the protagonists of the Second Vatican Council as seen through the archives.
The conference was organized by the Pontifical Committee for Historic Sciences as well as the Pontifical Lateran University's Center for Research and Studies on the Second Vatican Council.
The council, he told CNA, “is the council for the poor,” which can be particularly seen in the pastoral constitution “Gaudium et Spes,” dedicated to the Church in the Modern World.
In the initial draft, “the concern for the poor was neglected,” he said noting that the same held true for the council's fourth session in 1965.
Despite the fact that the session took place right after the 1964 Eucharistic Congress in Bombay, which focused heavily on solidarity with the poor and was attended by many of the councils protagonists, concern for the poor was “totally neglected.” - CNA

How the Pope is following in the footsteps of his predecessors.

I'm not defending the Pope, as I said last week, he doesn't need me to do that.  Nevertheless, the papacy is one of the reason I stay Catholic.  The main reason I'm Catholic is my faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the sacraments, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, then Pope and the Magisterium.  It's not the particular pope, but the guarantee of the Petrine office.

That said, an article at NCRegister helps demonstrate - for me at least - how the Holy Father is faithfully following in the footsteps of his predecessors.
Safeguarding the environment has been mentioned to some degree in all recent social encyclicals, but successive popes have increasingly waded into the scientific minutiae of the effects of human activity on ecosystems.
1. The environment first took on a more prominent role when Blessed Paul VI warned in his 1971 apostolic letter Octogesima Adveniens of the “tragic consequence” of unchecked human activity and an “ill-considered exploitation of nature.” He later predicted an “ecological catastrophe” caused by the explosive growth of industrial civilization and stressed the urgent need for “a radical change in the conduct of humanity.”
2. Pope St. John Paul was the first pope to call for an ecological conversion and introduced the theme of human ecology. In his first encyclical,Redemptor Hominis, he warned that human beings frequently seem “to see no other meaning in their natural environment than what serves for immediate use and consumption.” He would then go on to address the issue in additional detail in his 1990 World Day of Peace Message, “Peace With God the Creator, Peace With All of Creation.”
3. Benedict XVI expanded further on ecology, introducing an ecology of peace and social ecology. “The book of nature is one and indivisible,” he wrote in his 2009 social encyclical Caritas in Veritate, adding that it encompasses the environment, life, sexuality, the family and social relations. “The deterioration of nature is closely connected to the culture which shapes human coexistence,” he said.
But most significantly, Benedict was the first pope to refer to climate change, mentioning it on seven occasions during his pontificate, the first time in2007. He also became the first pope to wade into the particulars of safeguarding the environment, trumpeting the “immense potential” of solar energy (installing it at the Vatican and signing a U.N. protocol), preserving water systems, “whose stability could be seriously jeopardized by climate change,” and implementing “appropriate policies for the management of forests.” - Pentin, NCRegister
Pentin loses me when he quotes Sirico of the Acton Institute. Yet this part of the article supports my notion, and therefore works for me.

I might be wrong of course.

Ed. note:  I already know what those who disagree with me want to say.  It goes something like this:
Thank you for revealing your dispositions. It's clear you have no clue what's happening in the Church, and that your arguments (such as they are) are ultramontanist papalotry.  I'm sure Pope Francis appreciates your blind (and dumb) loyalty.
 We love you family.



  1. Thank you again for your input and clarity, Terry. I watched some videos of the Kenyan faithful rejoicing and dancing in honor of our Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ and had to smile as many of the African Bishops joined in. I began to wonder at the thought that millions of faithful who love and admire our Holy Father can't be wrong. I mean I have watched pretty much all of the trips he's been on. I have watched the reactions of the many faithful, even from the General audiences and all of them with the exception of the American critics have been positive and faith affirming.

    I have family members who left the faith long before Papa Francis was elected pope and now, well, they are asking questions and one cousin in particular is renewing her devotion to our Lady since she told me she "sees how much Pope Francis loves her." She married a Mormon and converted to his religion.

    Anyway, I am off for some rest and recovery. I appreciate you so very much and thank you because I see what you see in our Holy Father, a lover of Christ Jesus, a faithful son of the Church and a most loving little son of Mary and St. Ignatius.

    1. God bless - rest and relax and recover - be well!

  2. When a priest friend recently decided he didn't want to be a priest I inherited boxes and boxes of any printed material with a religious theme. One of the things I found was a multi page memo from the Acton institute specifically to priests with talking points about debunking global warming and how to incorporate the message into parish communications. It was an interesting read. So overtly political (Republican).

  3. Well...I was thinking of the Mass this morning and how I like a reverent novus ordo. Our Mass this morning was lovely until the priest exited and the church turned into a (very loud) social hall. But what I find particularly puzzling about Pope Francis is his talk about the poor, but his clear preference for some of the bishops (Germans particularly) who are richer than Croesus. Unless a cardinal or bishop happens to lean toward orthodoxy (like the Bishop of Bling), the pope doesn't seem to mind their luxurious lifestyles. Puzzling?

    1. Yes - I agree with Dan - the Pope pretty much called the German episcopacy to task when they made their ad limina visit. I also believe the Bishop of Bling has received an assignment from the Pope.

      I honestly think there is a whole lot of manipulation going on in mainstream media reports as well as fringe news media - Catholic and secular. I think it is precisely because of the Pope's championship of the poor and his call for responsible stewardship of the environment, as well as his calling out the weapons industry. The original resisters to Peter's face are riding on that wave.

      It may sound crazy, but this is unprecedented in modern history that a pope is almost universally maligned and even his call for a Jubilee Year of Mercy rejected out of hand by uber-conservatives.

  4. Not puzzling at all. So what if the German bishops be loaded? They ain't taking it with them and may very well be more sincere and pious than you or I could ever hope to be. And by the look of things unless you have proof to the contrary, the rich German bishops lifestyle has yet to influence Papa Francis.

    And quit tossing stones at our Holy Father when it comes to the so-called Bishop of Bling. I have seen him at least three times on television at the televised Masses. The good bishop looks relaxed, grew a beard, sits with his fellow bishops and serves Christ and His Church in a new capacity under Papa Francis.

    I may not be an expert on all things Catholic since I lack the finesse to bicker online but one thing I remain grateful to God for is the ability to give folks benefit of doubt and their need for the last word.

    Viva il Papa!

    1. Did you see the pope's latest scathing remarks about the German church? I'm not so sure he has as much a preference for them as people think.

  5. Hi Terry. I wanted to respond to this part of your article: "The subtle rejection of Vatican II is the thread running through the 'faithful' Catholic traditionalists. The rejection of the Novus Ordo is what underlies the current rejection of Pope Francis and the bishops in communion with him."

    I am someone who considers himself a traditionalist in regards to my preference for liturgy and traditional Catholic devotions. I think there is a growing trend among younger Catholics in rediscovering the beautiful traditional practices of the church that have been much neglected in recent decades. It has become unfortunate that certain groups like The Remnant and sedevacantists have hijacked the term traditionalist to solely represent those groups. However, most of the younger traditional crowd that I encounter do not reject the council or the Novus Ordo whatsoever, but simply have a preference for the Extraordinary Form. I also think that the rejection of the Novus Ordo is not the only thing that underlies certain concerns with Pope Francis. For example, people's dismay at him personally inviting bishop Bonny (who has outwardly rejected Humanae Vitae) and Bishop Daneels (who has had his issues with supposed cover ups of sexual abuse) to the Synod has nothing to do with rejecting the Novus Ordo mass. I was dismayed at those Synod picks, but that doesn't mean I flat out reject everything the pope has said or done. I also recognize the good he has done. The problem we encounter is both extremes (we must either reject everything about the pope, or if we want to remain in communion with him we must be silent and not discuss it when he does something controversial). I personally think it is OK to raise an eyebrow when he says something controversial without entirely rejecting his pontificate or breaking communion with him. We should of course always show respect and be charitable in our discussions and not make ad hominem attacks on the Holy Father which is what it often resorts to instead of sticking to the facts.

    With that said, I don't deny that you're absolutely right that there are some people who do indeed reject the Novus Ordo which causes them to reject Pope Francis, but I don't think we should resort to this answer when other well meaning Catholics who accept the Novus Ordo raise concerns. My opinion is if the pope says something controversial on a flight press conference, we shouldn't have to always try to bend over backward to defend every single statement. I feel like we spend way too much time over analyzing every one of the pope's off the cuff remarks as if our entire faith depended on it. Perhaps too much social media around the pope in this age has created unnecessary squabbles that Catholics of the past didn't have to deal with? I would be curious to get your thoughts.

    These were just some of my thoughts on the matter. I respect that you have the courage to address these topics. God bless and happy Advent.

    1. Thanks very much Daniel - I appreciate hearing from you and your honest point of view. God bless you too!

  6. I'm no rad-trad, Novus Ordo basher, but in the interest of accuracy I think that we should point out that the Novus Ordo was not a product of Vatican II. The Vetus Ordo, along with the minor changes allowed in 1965, is the product of liturgical reform that came about from VII. The Novus Ordo was a largely unexpected product of Paul VI which came out almost 5 years after VII, to the large surprise of the rest of the Church.

    1. Thanks for the clarification Carolus.


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