Vatican II 'ambiguities' (letter)

Vatican II 'ambiguities' (letter)

George F. Simpson

Philip Robinson ("Ambiguities" July AD 2000) illustrates certain idiomatic differences in three languages rather than ambiguities in the source document. The Italian and French quotations suffer from double translations, first from Latin and then into English. Despite this, I read all three as saying that the unchangeable doctrine of the Church should be promulgated in modern ways. I see no ambiguity.

One must question why the Council-appointed commission issued no interpretations when it is claimed that the post-Vatican II period was devoted to interpretation of the Council rather than implementation of its decrees. Could this be because the dissenters wished to place their individual interpretations on the documents rather than submit any questions for determination by the authorised body? Surely, if the documents were riddled with ambiguities, the commission would have been swamped with more than enough enquiries to force it to make some determinations. Its failure to do so suggests that very little, if anything, was bought to its attention.

It is difficult to attack the integrity of an Ecumenical Council without attacking the teaching authority of the Church. As successors of the Apostles, bishops in communion with the Pope and with his consent, exercise supreme and full power over the universal Church: "This power is exercised in a solemn manner in an Ecumenical Council" (Christus Dominus, 4).

This does not preclude vigorous debate and the risk of some ego- bruising during Council deliberations. The published results authorised by the Holy Father must, however, be accepted by the faithful, including those who argued against those results. There is no excuse for biased individual interpretations.

North Blackburn, Vic

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