Eleison Comments

Conciliar Ambiguity

By Eleison Comments in Eleison Comments on April 14, 2012


Imagine a strong and well-armed foot-soldier who in hot pursuit of the enemy walks into a quicksand. That is what it is like for a brave Catholic armed with the truth who ventures to criticize the documents of Vatican II. They are a quicksand of ambiguity, which is what they were designed to be. Had the religion of man been openly promoted by them, the Council Fathers would have rejected them with horror. But the new religion was skilfully disguised by the documents being so drawn up that they are open to opposite interpretations. Let us take a clear and crucial example.

From section 8 of Dei Verbum comes a text on Tradition which John-Paul II used to condemn Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988: “A/ Tradition . . .comes from the Apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. B/ There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are passed on. This comes about in various ways. C/ It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts. D/ It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. E/ And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession to the apostolate, the sure charism of truth.”

Now true Catholic Tradition is radically objective. Just as common sense says that reality is objective, meaning that objects are what they are outside of us and independently of what any subject pretends that they are, so the true Church teaches that Catholic Tradition came from God, and is what he made it, so that no human being can in the least little bit change it. Here then would be the Catholic interpretation of the text just quoted: “A/ With the passage of time there is a progress in how Catholics grasp the unchanging truths of the Faith. B/ Catholics can see deeper into these truths, C/ by contemplating and studying them, D/ by penetrating more deeply into them, and E/ by the bishops preaching fresh aspects of the same truths.” This interpretation is perfectly Catholic because all the change is placed in the people who do indeed change down the ages, while no change is placed in the truths revealed that make up the Deposit of Faith, or Tradition.

But see now how the same passage from Dei Verbumcan be understood not objectively, but subjectively, making the content of the truths depend upon, and change with, the subjective Catholics: “A/ Catholic truth lives and grows with the passing of time, because B/ living Catholics have insights that past Catholics never had, as C/ they discover in their hearts, within themselves, newly grown truths, D/ the fruit of their inward spiritual experience. Also, E/ Catholic truth grows when bishops preach things unknown before, because bishops can tell no untruth (!).” (In other words, have the religion that makes you feel good, but make sure that you “pay, pray and obey” us modernists.)

Now here is the huge problem: if one accuses this text from Dei Verbum of promoting modernism, “conservative” Catholics (who conserve little but their faith in faithless churchmen) immediately reply that the real meaning of the text is the Traditional meaning first given above. However, when John-Paul II in Ecclesia Dei Adflictaused this text to condemn Archbishop Lefebvre, and therewith the Consecrations of 1988, obviously he can only have been taking the text in its modernist sense. Such actions speak far louder than words.

Dear readers, read the text itself again and again, and the two interpretations, until you grasp the diabolical ambiguity of that wretched Council.

Kyrie eleison.