Thoughts on Vatican II and a question for you
Perhaps if the laity had actually gotten more active in the Faith and liturgy – and in the proper spirit promoted by Pope St. Pius X - there would not have been a Second Vatican Council. I think one of the advantages for liberals was that the First Vatican Council was interrupted by the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war. It was never resumed and was never officially closed. One of the items in the decree of opening of the First Vatican Council was the “reformation of the clergy and the Christian people.” An examination of pastoral concerns regarding the whole Church was unable to be addressed, so this left open the hope of a “second Council” to pick up where the first Council (supposedly) left off.   

I was quite young in 1962, so my mother would have a better perspective than I. Many Catholics were of course devout and tried their best to be good so they could get to heaven. The focus, whether conscious or subconscious, seemed to be doing the bare minimum while letting the priests and religious handle the “big stuff” like the Divine Office and Bible study, apologetics, ministry, charity work, and spreading the Gospel (mostly by example). Knowledge of the Faith meant little more than memorizing grade school catechisms. We abstained from meat on Fridays because the nuns told us we would go to hell if we didn’t. Legalism and laziness were strange bedfellows.

I know there are those who will say that it’s better than what we have now; I might agree, but that’s still not a sufficient response or a solution to what was becoming for many Catholics a stale religion, especially in Europe. It was this staleness that caused Pope John to open the windows to let some “fresh air” into the Church. He wasn’t the first to express concern. Jesus warned the Jews of His time that going through the outward motions of religion, putting the letter of the law before the spirit of the law, and equating “faith” with heritage was doing irreparable damage to their relationship with God and their neighbor. John the Baptist told the Pharisees that God could raise children of Abraham from mere stones. We all need to be shaken up from time to time.

- Lisa

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Re: Thoughts on Vatican II and a question for you - by SCG - 07-23-2009, 06:26 PM

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