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Teachings of Vatican II According to (insert favorite bishop's name here) - Printable Version

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Teachings of Vatican II According to (insert favorite bishop's name here) - Akavit - 04-28-2013

A curious thought occurred to me recently.  Actually, it's not so recent but I was reminded about it and decided to start a thread on the topic.

First of all let's start with Vatican II and Ordinary Magisterium.  For the sake of argument, let's make some assumptions.  Please note that these are merely assumptions and aren't being presented as facts.

1.  All the bishops signed the documents and thus gave their implied approval thus making the teachings of Vatican II universal (ignore the fact that some bishops never signed).
2.  That Vatican II actually had new teachings and wasn't merely rephrasing older Church teachings.
3.  All the bishops have expressed their adherence to the teachings of Vatican II since the end of the council.

So given the above assumptions, we'd come to the conclusion that Vatican II has the infallibility granted to the Ordinary Magisterium.  So far so good.  At this point the bishops instruct their priests in the teachings of Vatican II and the priests instruct the people.

The bishops are as a whole, preaching the teachings of Vatican II.  Cardinal Burke teaches his flock, Cardinal Mahony teaches his.  Even EWTN gets in on the fun and instructs viewers on the teachings of Vatican II.  In my own diocese we once had Bishop Imesch teaching Vatican II followed by Bishop Sartain teaching Vatican II.  Cardinal Kasper is over in Germany instructing the faithful in the teachings of Vatican II while Pope Benedict is writing on the teachings of Vatican II (with a slightly different approach than Kasper's).

So we know that Vatican II has the infallibility of Ordinary Magisterium because the popes and all the bishops are in one voice on the matter.  There's one slight problem though.  What are the teachings of Vatican II?  Which bishop are we to listen to?  Do the teachings of Vatican II vary by diocese or parish?  Can we learn what the Universal Magisterium teaches through Vatican II through Cardinals Mahony and Kasper or Bishop Imesch?

Discuss away!


[edit]  Perhaps this would have been better placed in the Documents section of the forum.


Re: Teachings of Vatican II According to (insert favorite bishop's name here) - Scriptorium - 04-30-2013

We have references. Namely the documents of Vatican II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the magisterium of the Popes. So we listen to the Bishop of Rome. That's where you get the solid information.


Re: Teachings of Vatican II According to (insert favorite bishop's name here) - Akavit - 04-30-2013

Sorry for not getting back sooner.

I agree that we have the Catechism and can look back at the teachings of the popes (I include all of the popes in this statement) for reference.  Vatican II itself however, is no good as a point of reference.  We can't refer to that because the numerous exceptions and ambiguities always get thrown right back as counter-arguments.  Hence my original observation that everyone talks about Vatican II but no one really agrees on what it teaches.

The parts referring to things like Gregorian chant come to mind.  Interestingly enough, it can be sometimes just as hard to get conservative priests to support Gregorian chant as it is to get the liberals to do so.  This is in spite of the fact that conservatives usually claim to follow the letter of the law while liberals tend to invoke the "spirit of Vatican II".  Debates on the topic typically devolve into a debate over the intended meaning of "pride of place".  Pointing to the papal practices of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI result in people bringing up Pope John Paul II and his liturgies.


Re: Teachings of Vatican II According to (insert favorite bishop's name here) - Scriptorium - 04-30-2013

(04-30-2013, 08:37 PM)Akavit Wrote: Sorry for not getting back sooner.

I agree that we have the Catechism and can look back at the teachings of the popes (I include all of the popes in this statement) for reference.  Vatican II itself however, is no good as a point of reference.  We can't refer to that because the numerous exceptions and ambiguities always get thrown right back as counter-arguments.  Hence my original observation that everyone talks about Vatican II but no one really agrees on what it teaches.

The parts referring to things like Gregorian chant come to mind.  Interestingly enough, it can be sometimes just as hard to get conservative priests to support Gregorian chant as it is to get the liberals to do so.  This is in spite of the fact that conservatives usually claim to follow the letter of the law while liberals tend to invoke the "spirit of Vatican II".  Debates on the topic typically devolve into a debate over the intended meaning of "pride of place".  Pointing to the papal practices of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI result in people bringing up Pope John Paul II and his liturgies.

We can point to Vatican II still. If there is debate, there's debate. Even the magisterium holds that some Vatican II teachings are revisable, and not closed to further refining. But that's the case with a lot of teachings. Anything still open to refining or definition is something which admits exception or ambiguity. Plus we need to read Vatican II in light of Tradition, so what we are doing is marshalling Vatican II texts to witness to continuity. It's not about what so-and-so's favorite bishop says, but how does it square with Vatican II *and* what came before.