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Fr. Barron comments on The Meaning of Vatican II
Thank you for clarifying the information that was provided in your comments. I was left with a few questions after reading the text, which were answered in your commentary.
I agree with Fr. Barron about the purpose of councils. They serve a specific purpose of examinination. As with Doctors, the examination, thankfully, doesn't last forever. Findings are discussed, a plan is developed if necessary, and efforts change accordingly.
Vatican II from my perspective, re-connected the church to the people in many ways. Being able to understand the mass in English was a relief for me, as a child in the 1960's-early 70's. I often felt frustrated because I didn't understand what the priest was saying.
Jesus walked among the people and connected with them. In the same way, priests are called to do the same. Vatican II paved the way for priests to interact with the people, face to face, as Jesus did.
6/27/2012 4:20:11 PM
Wonderful, but complicated! I recently bought a book by Roman Catholic theologian, Bill Huebsch:"THE CONSTITUTIONS;Vatican 11 In Plain English." He translated a copy of the Latin text which belonged originally to Cardinal Dearden, and formatted a readable book for the average reader in English. He uses paraphrases, which read smoothly, eleqently, simple and beautiful. He and fellow theologian, Paul Thurmes, worked closely together to write and translate in a way to be used as also prayer and reflection. God Speed!
6/27/2012 5:26:25 PM
This is a very helpful analysis, clarifying much about the situation we are now in. The diocese where I live is really polarized, with too many priests and lay people stuck in the Concilium way of thinking.
6/27/2012 5:34:54 PM
An example of "THE CONSTITUIONS;VATICAN 11 IN PLAIN ENGLISH" by Bill Huebsh/Paul Thurmes, which I highly recommend for the average reader is:
"Christ is the Light of the Nations: Lumen Gentium!
Because this is so,
we bishops of the world,
gathered by the Holy Spirit
at The Second Vatican Council,
eagerly desire to bring this
Light to people everywhere
by making the Gospel accessible
to all of creation..."
This is an incredibly beautiful book! God Speed!
6/27/2012 5:41:44 PM
Is everything alright with the Magiterium? I mean the one that exists today. You mentioned that the Bishops split into 2 factions soon after Vatican II, a fact I didn't know until now. (Interestingly, 2 of those Vatican II participants became popes) But why bring this up right now and in this context?
6/27/2012 7:26:24 PM
Maria Corazon Barrientos
This is great Fr. Barron. My two admired person in my life history are my popes. Thank you so much for this.
6/28/2012 12:54:23 AM
Thanks FR.Barron for providing some insight on the second Vatican council. I was quite young when that occurred. I am a person who loves her church and is saddened & concerned that we are not "as one" as Jesus and the Father are one. If the Holy Spirit still leads the church (as I know it does)then Vatican II was not a mistake at all. What is called to question is not the "spirit" of the council but rather, how the council was sometimes interpreted and rolled-out. That is where errors and egos slipped in.Fifty years is not very long considering our 2,000 year tradition I am sure that, in God's time. we will find a way to reason together and to stop the fight within our own "family".
6/29/2012 2:51:22 PM
Does this all boil down to those who want to resist "Vatican III" and those who want to encourage "Vatican III"? That's the way it appears to me. Simply look at the hot button issues briefly mentioned by Fr. Barron: woman's ordination, priestly celebacy, sexuality. If any or all of those issues were to suddenly change tomorrow (i.e. women are ordained, priests can marry and homosexuality legitimated) would the mission of the church change one iota? I think not.
6/30/2012 9:23:23 AM
I don`t belive, it`s incredible, I never think that I see something like that on my own eyes.
Hans Kung... in priestly robe!?!?!?
7/1/2012 5:47:10 AM
I don't believe you understand what the purpose of Vatican II was. They asked for an active participation in the Mass, that is the parishioner spiritually participates, following the prayers along with priest. Imagine yourself as the priest offering up the Sacrifice to God. We must internalize the Mass, the vocal responses are merely a limited way of active participation. We see in scripture God desires the prayers of man to come from the heart and not the lips. The priest facing us, is actually complety foreign to the history of the Church, the correct way is ad Orientem or to the Lord and this is returning throughout parishes in the US. I recommend Spirit of the Liturgy by Cardinal Ratizinger, now Pope Benedict for greater explanation on the Mass and Mediator Dei, Pope Pius XII's Encyclical on the role of the priest. As with Latin, I will merely quote one of the documents.
The use of Latin language, with due respect to particular law, is to be preserved in the Latin rites.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 36)
7/1/2012 9:31:37 AM
Fr. Barron, thank you so much for your commentary on Vatican II. I found myself vigorously nodding my head at the part where you say that one way to get at why we're where we are today is to look at the development of the theological journals "Concilium" and "Communio." Precisely because it cuts to the heart of "what do we mean by 'Church'?" It's certainly a question that continues to confront us. The "Communio"-- Church as Eucharistic Communion-- theme is a prominent one for Joseph Ratzinger, and it's crucial to his "reform of the reform" regarding the liturgy.
Carla, the dangers of clericalism to the contrary, you seem to misunderstand that the priest is called by Christ to share in His own priesthood, and is called to shepherd his flock toward the Risen Lord, and not just "interact with the people." Who, after all, do we think, understand, and say that Jesus is? Jesus did indeed eat with sinners and ordinary people, but He also told them, "deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Me!" That's what the Sacramental life of the Church is oriented towards. The ad orientem position that is common at the Traditional Latin Mass-- which a lot of people mistakenly see as "the priest turning his back on the people"-- makes this far clearer: *everybody*, priest and laity, face the same way; toward the East, and toward the Lord. And by the way, I did not grow up with the Latin Mass. I only discovered it, and how it's helped me pray the Novus Ordo better, more recently.
As for the Latin itself, there was always an English translation alongside the Latin in every Missal circa 1962. Every Traditional Latin Mass has booklets containing the text of the Mass available in both Latin and in English. One's daily Missal would have contained the text, collects, and chants for all Masses throughout the entire liturgical calendar. In other words, there is a cheat sheet available.
Furthermore, being bewildered is best overcome by learning the people's parts by heart, thus freeing you up to pray the rest of the Mass in your mind and heart, as well as with your body. In all honesty and rest assured, the people's parts of the Latin Mass are easy, so there's no need for anyone to feel anxious. There are also audible parts spoken by the priest and bells, all of which signal where Father is in the text of the Mass at any one time. This stuff takes some getting used to, but it can be learned and learned quickly.
Anyone who has any experience with the Traditional Latin Mass will draw immediate connections between it and the recent new translation of the Roman Missal. Latin has the advantage of being a "dead" language, wherein the meanings of words don't change over time. Since it's also the mother tongue of Mother Church, praying in Latin reminds us that we pray with the entire Church across space and time.
In addition, nobody ever knows all there is to know and understand about the Mass. Rather, our understanding of it unfolds over time, and even there, perhaps especially, we get a sense (or should, anyway), that we're being mystically incorporated by and in something (and indeed Someone) way bigger than ourselves. I'm not sure that understanding this spiritual reality of what it is we profess to believe is best served by stripping away all reverence and mystery, such as so much of the "Spirit" of Vatican II has tried to do, to the point that the Mass itself becomes something that we can easily domesticate.
7/1/2012 12:51:06 PM
"Beware of false prophets...By their fruits you shall know them" (Mat. 7:15ff). In His discourse here Our Lord is talking about how hard the way of salvation is and how few there be that find it. He also cautions against those false prophets who might lead us astray, some of whom, according to the Apostle Peter, might rise up right within the Church itself (2 Pet. 2:1). And while it is usually argued that no distinct heresy was stated in the Vatican II documents themselves, we might evaluate the overall validity of Vatican II by its fruits. Bishop Sanborn has argued that the fruits of Vatican II are not very good. In particular, the mission of the Gospel has been fundamentally changed: from "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Mat. 28:19) to something more like "Preach with fuzzy logic and be reconciled to every religion, thereby achieving Unity among all and offending none." And since Vatican II we've seen the Vietnam catastrophe, the Global Drug Cartel, the Oil Crisis (1970s), the Watergate Fiasco, the Perpetual Gulf War, the Sexual Revolution and the Global Sex Cartel, the normalization of divorce and "annulment" (and re-marriage, co-habitation, and homosexuality), The Pedophilia Crisis, Global Capitalism followed by a Global Financial Crisis, 911 followed by the Perpetual War on Terror, and Pope Benedict saying "...that the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from enemies outside, but arises from sin in the Church."
7/1/2012 1:11:00 PM
Rob,it is a compelling pastoral principle that where there is sin, there is division. Look back at the biblical account of Israel's cause of all their sufferings. Pope Benedict is right on.
7/4/2012 2:56:35 AM
I was discussing effect, not purpose. I want to understand everything in my relationship with God, therefore, I prefer not to complicate my faith by attending masses that I don't understand, from a language standpoint. God has read my heart, and knows my strengths and areas of need. Personally, I find comfort in being connected to God through the same language. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. For me, I feel that it is important to remember that our Lord had many ways of being with people. However, Jesus remained oriented toward His Father, whether he was healing people, or praying alone in the desert. Since He and the Father are one, this oneness is experienced in every direction, whether that be North, South, East or West, back-facing or front-facing, Latin or English.
7/5/2012 3:17:38 PM
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