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"Following on several recent numbers of "Eleison Comments" emphasizing the importance of doctrine (EC  162, 165-167, 169),  a reader asks if it would not nevertheless be wiser to delay the condemnation of Vatican II, on the grounds that neither the Church officials in Rome nor Catholics at large are ready to accept that the Council is doctrinally as bad as the Society of St Pius X, following Archbishop Lefebvre, says that it is. Actually, it is far worse.

The doctrinal problem with the documents of Vatican II is not, mainly, that they are openly and clearly heretical. In fact their "letter", as opposed to their "spirit", can seem Catholic, to the point that Archbishop Lefebvre, who took direct part in all four Sessions of the Council, signed off on all but the two last and worst of those documents, "Gaudium et Spes" and "Dignitatis Humanae". However, that "letter" is subtly contaminated with the "spirit" of the brand-new man-centered religion towards which the Council Fathers were inclining, and which has been corrupting the Church ever since. If the Archbishop could vote again today on the 16 documents, one wonders if with the wisdom of hindsight he would vote for a single one of them.

So the documents are ambiguous, outwardly interpretable as being Catholic for the most part, but inwardly poisoned with modernism, that most pernicious of all Church heresies, said St Pius X in "Pascendi". So when for instance "conservative" Catholics, out of "loyalty" to the Church, defend the documents, what exactly are they conserving ?  The poison, and its ability to go on corrupting the Catholic Faith of millions of souls, thereby setting them on the path to eternal damnation. It all reminds me of one Allied convoy crossing the Atlantic with vital supplies for the Allies in World War II. An enemy submarine succeeded in surfacing in the very middle of the defensive perimeter of ships, so that it was free to torpedo them one after another, because the Allied destroyers were chasing around and around the perimeter outside to hunt down the submarine, never imagining it could be in their midst !  The Devil is in the midst of the Vatican II documents and he is torpedoing the eternal salvation of millions of souls, because he is so well disguised in those documents.

Now imagine a sailor with sharp eyes on board one of the merchant-ships in the convoy who has noticed the little tell-tale wake of the submarine's snorkel. He yells, "The submarine is inside !", but nobody takes him seriously. Is he to wait and keep quiet, or is he to scream "Blue Murder !", and go on screaming, until at last the captain is brought to see the deadly danger ?

The SSPX must scream about Vatican II, and go on screaming, and without ceasing, because millions of souls are in deadly and unceasing danger.  To grasp that danger, admittedly difficult to grasp in theory, read, or get translated into your own language, Fr. Alvaro Calderon's profound book on the Vatican II documents, "Prometeo: la Religion del Hombre".

                Kyrie eleison."

This is interesting in theory, but it doesn't seem to be an approach used historically in such a situation. Pope Pius II condemned the heresy of conciliarism generally, while praising and re-iterating his adherence to the Council of Constance which encouraged and enabled its spread doing great harm to the Church. Because it detached the loyalties of princes and the people to the Pope for so long, the Reformation was able to "stick.".

Not only did this Council promulgate an explicitly heretical decree (Session 5) when not under the presidency of the Pope (and generally understood to not have been received by him, although there was never any explicit repudiation of it and his actions seemed consonant with it), other decrees which were definitely received and enacted by Pope Martin V were utterly imbued with the spirit of conciliarism (if the spirit of Vatican II is modernism, the spirit of Constance was conciliarism). Most notable is that from Session 39 which required an ecumenical Council to either be convened or to be anticipated at all times--when one Council ended it was required by this decree to set down the date and place for the next Council to be convened in no more than 10 years time after the preceding. While there is nothing explicitly contrary to the faith in this decree, it reflects an understanding of the Church as being governed supremely by Councils and not the Pope (in fact, it stated the Pope could not even set down the place for the next Council without the previous Council's approval).  Pope Martin V complied with the decree convoking the Councils of Pavia/Siena and then Basel in which conciliarism more explicitly flourished doing great harm to all of Christendom.

Anyway, Pope Pius II solemnly condemned conciliarism and he did not ever summon an ecumenical Council (completely ignoring the precepts of Constance), and yet, in the very Bull where he retracted his own past errors (especially that of conciliarism) he said of Constance (In Minoribus):

"With these authorities, we recognize the power and the authority of a General Council as it was declared and defined in our age at Constance when the Ecumenical Council was assembled there. For we revere the Council of Constance and all Councils that were approved by our predecessors."

I think there can be good reason to condemn an error perpetuated by the supreme authority of the Church without explicitly impugning that authority.