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Pre-Vatican II myths
I would like to support John Young in his assessment of the erroneous views many people today have of the "pre-Vatican II" Church.
Critics outside the Church accuse us of ignoring the Bible as the one and only source of God's word to man, regarding the Church's Tradition as anti-God and apocryphal. They forget that the Apostles knew much more about Christ's teaching than the records handed down within the Bible.
St John makes this very clear when he writes: "But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" (John 21:25).
The Apostles and their successors would not have restricted their teaching to what was later written down. They would have shared their personal experiences during their time with the Lord, while their successors would have continued the teaching of those who had been the original witnesses.
I still have my well-worn Bible which contains the encyclical letter of Pope Leo XIII on The Study of Holy Scripture, and the indulgences granted by Pope St Pius X to members of associations for the spreading of the reading of the text of the Holy Gospels.
In my old Bible (1914 ed) Cardinal Francis Bourne of Westminster wrote in his introduction: "The frequent appearance of new editions of the Holy Bible is a proof that Catholics are conscious of the importance to be attached to the doctrine of the Church on this subject. May the number of those who study this inspired message in a spirit of humble prayer be ever more increased, for thereby they will grow continually in holiness of life, and in greater fidelity to all the teachings of the Church."
I also still have my old Sunday Missal with which I followed the pre- Vatican II Latin Mass in English, like 90 per cent of the people in the crowded churches. The change to local languages, while good in itself, has not led to increased understanding and spirituality. In fact, the reverse seems to be the result.
DOUGLAS V. BOYLE
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 18 No 5 (June 2005), p. 15
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