"The Vatican" versus "The Church": Your experience?
#1
This is a call out to all those here who can remember the imposition of the Vatican Council II reforms---in other words, those at least in their teens during the widespread promulgation after 1968.  Your input is especially needed for this topic!

Here it is: my mom is in that category described above, but myself (20's) am not.  I was recently talking with her about the way that the terms "the Vatican" and "the Church" are used.  This came up mostly because I was seeing all the headlines recently claiming "The Vatican reverses condom position" and whatnot.  Simultaneously, I was talking with a friend who I am trying to convert, and I found myself using the term "the Church" for things like dogma and teaching, and the term "the Vatican" for everything I was telling him about the post-Vatican Council II times.  After careful thought about the conversation, I don't even remember once have said "the Vatican" in reference to something pre-Vatican II, but instead always, "the Church" or "the Pope."  I realized that I was doing this, at least somewhat subconsciously, and so I asked my mom if she could remember when the words "the Vatican" started either being used in place of our in contrast to the words "the Church." 

She thought about for a little while....and then she said, "Well, I guess it was about the time during the Council."  She said that, to the best of her memory, the real common use of "the Vatican" seemed to source to that time.  She went to Catholic school, and they weren't taught what "the Vatican" teaches, but what "the Church" teaches.  She said at that time, "the Vatican" was a place, and you mostly thought of the Vatican when you thought of the St Peter's or something, and of course, now (at that time) the Council.  Since then, she said, she has noticed that it has gotten to the point now that when she sees "the Vatican.....x.....", she doesn't even associate it with "the Church," that is, with the Tradition and the Holy Catholic Church, but more to, literally, the Vatican.  Yet, she knows plenty of other non-traditional Catholics who will say things like "Well, the Vatican teaches this....", who seem to view "the Church" as something subordinate to "the Vatican."

I'm hope I'm making in sense in trying to express this.  For the record, my mom is not a sedevacantist, but a life-long devoted Catholic, and so I'm wondering how many others have seen this as well.  I'm also wondering what some explanations for this are.  I have my own, but I want to perhaps hear others. 

So, what do you say when explain the Faith to others---have you noticed too a conscience or sub-conscience carefulness in using these terms?  Have you noticed a carelessness in others?
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#2
I use the Church when talking about dogmas. But I'll often use the Vatican when talking about other things, especially those that I disagree with. For example, I will say, "the Church says that the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven after her earthly life" but "the Vatican says Catholics may licitly receive holy Communion in the hand."
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#3
(12-01-2010, 11:21 PM)Resurrexi Wrote: I use the Church when talking about dogmas. But I'll often use the Vatican when talking about other things, especially those that I disagree with. For example, I will say, "the Church says that the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven after her earthly life" but "the Vatican says Catholics may licitly receive holy Communion in the hand."

Yes, this is exactly what I find myself doing.  Have you been doing this all your life?  I have discovered that this can be very confusing to non-Catholics (like my friend) because they are under the commonly-pushed media-tized concept that Vatican=Church. 
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#4
I'm from that time, I was 21 in 1969. My family goes back to Genova, and "Vaticano" always meant "Romanita", or the intrigue surrounding the Church. In those days the Vatican was a central point for diplomats and spies to work their tradecraft. One also traveled there on a ship, not a plane. I'm guessing and I wasn't there but it was probably always this way for at least the last few hundreds of years. Probably this was how the Popes through the legates exercised their moral authority over temporal governments in the day. If it is confusing to others, it's just because it hasn't been explained, and it isn't a by product of some sinister plot vis a vis "The Council". Not everything in this world has as it's causation Vatican II, at least not this.

Concerning the Romaita, it was real cool to be in the know, how ever minor that might be. Priests who traveled back and forth were sought after, given money to purchase Italian holy medals, and have them blessed by the Popes, Pius XII or John XXII,  as if any priest that went to Rome actually saw the Pope. We were naive, then.

My aunt, Marie was the Comptroller for the Hilton Hotel. She knew important people through the Hiltons who stayed at the Hotel. She knew a priest that traveled back and forth, and he would get the medals, and have them blessed by the Pope. When she came to Sunday Pranzo, she brought one usually for one of us kid's birthday. This would be the signal for everyone to stop speaking English and go to Italian, so she could tell the grownups all of the details the priest had told her. They hung on every word and analyzed them like diplomats and spies. As I said we were naive.

tim

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#5
Great thread.  Indeed, what people need and what we are getting from the 'vatican' are two different things.  It seems as though I can hear the church marching to a different beat every week.  Witness the gay/condom comments.  Or, just a few hours ago my young son who attends a 'catholic' school informed me that there are now only six days of obligation per year... including Sundays!  Wow! If I just stay with the new church I can be a saint and do anything I want!  Granted, I need to investigate this, but what in the world is being taught?!  What happened to "You must obey!" I guess it is like the old thought that if there is too much crime/sin we will just make a new rule that says it is not a crime/sin.  Everybody gets to go to heaven and do not, under any circumstance mention the word "hell!!  Dontcha just love it!  This new catholicism is a great gig ... for a while.  I am an old fart so never mind my banter.  Good luck.  gg
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#6
(12-02-2010, 08:35 AM)timoose Wrote: I'm from that time, I was 21 in 1969. My family goes back to Genova, and "Vaticano" always meant "Romanita", or the intrigue surrounding the Church. In those days the Vatican was a central point for diplomats and spies to work their tradecraft.

Thank you for your response, Tim, because I'm curious about the experiences of people your age primarily.  When you say "Romanita", do you mean as in "little Rome"?  Like a little nation within the city (which, of course, if what the Vatican is) and thus all of its politics, perhaps the way we say "D.C."?  What about your experience with the term, "the Church", and how do you use the terms yourself when speaking to others?
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#7
I'm 65. I've been involved in the religious instruction arena for over 20 years, and in all those years, I've never heard folks of my generation, or even younger traditional-minded Catholics, refer to "The Vatican" when discussing a teaching, law or decision of the Church. As an earlier poster noted, the Vatican is just a building, and that building has no teaching or disciplinary authority attached to it. I also agree with the opinion that the formal "The Vatican" is most often used by N.O. Catholics when they are attempting to defend the legitimacy of what is (derisively) referred to as "Newchurch" by a certain traditionalist web site.

Whenever I speak of the Catholic Church, especially when debating the state of the post-60's Church, I always use "the Church," to mean the pre-VCII Church, and usually "Rome," or "Modernized Rome," to mean the Church after the council. Of course, that distinction may lead one to surmise that the two are decidedly different churches. (But that is for a different discussion, one probably not meant to see the light of day on a fisheaters forum.
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#8
Quotidianum, romanita is the "the roman way" it is loyalty to the Pope and the palace intrigue which is the life blood of the Vaticano.
tim
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#9
When I was in RCIA back in the early 1980's we were taught a lot of stuff that the instructors told us came straight  from "The Vatican." It took me a good while to figure out that "The Vatican" = Vatican II= "The spirit of Vatican II."
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#10
It's funny but I never gave it any thought until now. But no, I don't recall anyone ever referring to "the Vatican" pre-council except when referring to the buildings themselves. I agree it appears to be a NewChurch thing that, as far as I can tell, is intended to separate the (irrelevant) central authorities from the (wise) local hierarchy.
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