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Vatican II (letter)

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 Contents - Jul 2002AD2000 July 2002 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Archbishop Pell: the '60 Minutes' beat-up - Michael Gilchrist
Saints: Padre Pio canonised: "a model of the priesthood" (John Paul II) - Paul MacLeod
News: The Church Around the World - AD2000
'60 Minutes': Archbishop George Pell puts the record straight - Archbishop George Pell
Tablet article prompts critical response from Archbishop Pell - Michael Gilchrist
Interview: George Weigel: the impact of John Paul II's pontificate - Zenit News Service
Chavagnes International College for boys - Paul Russell
Cardinal Avery Dulles: US Jesuits need 'wake-up call' - Michael Gilchrist
Events: The Italians: Three Centuries of Italian Art 1500-1800 - Francis Young
Vatican II, church architecture and "reform of the reform" - Sidney Rofe
Letters: Zero tolerance (letter) - Alan A. Hoysted
Letters: 60 Minutes attack (letter) - Sam Lynch
Letters: Beat-up (letter) - Frank Bellet
Letters: Short-changed (letter) - Mrs Carol V. Phillips
Poetry: It Is (The Alternative to 'Star Wars') - Andrew Huntley
Letters: Teaching the faith (letter) - Fr James Brasier
Letters: Catholic chaplains (letter) - Charles G. Jarrells
Letters: Women's Commission (letter) - Gillian Gonzalez
Letters: Missal translation (letter) - Philip Robinson
Letters: Accuracy (letter) - Fr Austin Kenny CP
Letters: Vatican II (letter) - Peter D. Howard
Letters: Abortion (letter) - George F. Simpson
Letters: Obituary - Fr Patrick Cosgrove, South Africa (letter) - Fr E. Lumley-Holmes CSsR
Letters: Fr Des Jenkins Golden Jubilee (letter) - Gordon R. Coomber
Events: Cathedral painting - Hollywood Ball - Josie di Mauro
Catholic Truth Society in Brisbane - B. Massey
Books: A Pope and a Council on the Sacred Liturgy, by Aidan Nichols OP - Msgr Peter J. Elliott (reviewer)
Books: The Greatest Marvel of All, by Pierre-Marie Emonet OP - Michael Casanova (reviewer)
Books: The Modern Rite, by Mgr Klaus Gamber - Fr Peter Joseph (reviewer)
Books: New Titles from AD Books
Reflection: John Paul II clarifies Vatican II teaching on lay and priestly roles - Pope John Paul II

The only real "confusions" in the Catholic Church after Vatican II, to which Valentine Gallagher refers (June AD2000), have resulted from dissenting theologians, and they have caused the crisis as Dr McInerny stresses in What Went Wrong with Vatican II.

The "ambiguities" in Vatican II cannot be shown to be contradictions of doctrine. This is the considered thought of Cardinal Ratzinger: "To defend the true tradition of the Church today means to defend the Council ... And this today of the Church is the documents of Vatican II, without reservations that amputate them and without arbitrariness that distorts them" (The Ratzinger Report, p. 31). Certainly there is no contradiction on conscience (see the quotations from Vatican II in the Catechism).

The real opinion of Fr Brian Harrison in reviewing the somewhat shoddy Brazilian Guimar‹es' In The Murky Waters of Vatican II (The Wanderer, 23 April 1998, p. 7) is that the problem is in the author's concentration on the confusion that dissenting readings of the text have caused, without referring to the textual history or the explanations of the official "relators" of any "ambiguous" passages. Such a one-sided approach to a Council is hardly sound scholarship.

Fr Harrison maintains that by including the footnotes, the historical and literary context, and the reasons given to the Council fathers for various amendments by the Theological Commission, disputed passages are not "really" ambiguous, but are traditional and orthodox. At the same time, Fr Harrison realises that few laity will have access to all of this, and thus too often will be victimised and abused by those against orthodoxy and tradition.

The continuing pastime of trying to blame Vatican II for subsequent dissent perpetuates a strawman or red herring. "I am convinced that the damage that we have incurred in these twenty years is due, not to the 'true' Council, but to the unleashing within the Church of latent polemical and centrifugal forces ..." (The Ratzinger Report, p. 30).

Though less brash, these forces are still at work, evidently.

Peter D. Howard
Springwood, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 15 No 6 (July 2002), p. 15

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