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Pre-Vatican II myths

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 Contents - Jun 2005AD2000 June 2005 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Corpus Christi - the Body of Christ
Habemus Papam: Benedict XVI charts course as successor to John Paul II - Michael Gilchrist
He was my Pope, too: a Lutheran's appreciation of John Paul II - Uwe Siemon-Netto
News: The Church Around the World
The Catholic Church's dissenters miss the boat - Chris Hilder
Benedict XVI and liturgical reform - Dom Alcuin Reid OSB
Mother Teresa's legacy continued at Georgetown University - Peter Reynolds
Papal awards for WA Catholic politicians - Hugh Ryan
The previous Pope Benedict and his quest for world peace - R.J. Stove
Letters: John Paul the Great? - Patrick Ryan
Letters: Papal election - Frank Bellet
Letters: New Pope - Deidre Lyra
Letters: Unchanging teachings - Greg O'Regan
Letters: A true shepherd - Lynn Wise
Letters: Another Parish - Peter Gilet
Letters: Pre-Vatican II myths - Douglas V. Boyle
Letters: Chavagnes College - Pascale Cotterill
Letters: Outstanding education at Chavagnes College - Br John Moylan CFC, MA, MEd
Letters: Revolt manifesto - P. Gartland
Letters: Sanity? - Tom King
Letters: Catholic schools - Kevin McBride
Letters: Sponsorship request from Uganda - Joise Nasuna
Letters: Kathmandu school - John E.J. Fetz
Events: Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul - Fraternity of St Peter
Events: Juventutem WYD 2005 Cologne Pilgrimage - FSP
Books: John Paul the Great, edited by William Oddie - John R. Barich (reviewer)
Events: Catholic Doctors' Association Mass and Dinner
Poetry: Sonnet on the Election of Pope Benedict XVI - Bruce Dawe
Books: More Good Reading from AD Books
Reflection: Cardinal Nguyen van Thuan: witness to the priesthood and Eucharist - Fr Dennis Byrnes

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.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 18 No 5 (June 2005), p. 15

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