29 October 2008
What Does This Mean?
I understand the title of this article from CNA. I just don't understand the content. What, exactly, is the context of the Holy Father's words? What are the "fundamental tenets of Vatican II" and what constitutes the "vast doctrinal patrimony" of the Council?
I am not trying to be a provocateur, but am trying to ask a few sincere questions.
For if the fundamental tenets of Vatican II are not easy to define, then doesn't that somehow help explain why the "spirit" of Vatican II liturgical and doctrinal revolutionists got away with so much destruction and denudation? The Holy Father made it quite clear that the documents of the Council had to be analyzed with the "hermeneutic of continuity" and not an "hermeneutic of rupture".
Otherwise, why would we be "debtors" to the Council, as opposed to "creditors"? Therefore, the fundamental tenets of the Council would have to be the reiteration of constant Church teaching without novelty, yet perhaps with a new energetic approach to the dissemination of these teachings. Is this right? I know that many Catholics, clergy and lay, have not taken this approach.
Furthermore, if the Council was pastoral and did not issue a single solemn definition, how is it a vast doctrinal patrimony? What does this mean?
We are used to seeing these kinds of stories from time to time, about the vibrancy of Council, or the beneficial effects of the Council's "reforms", or other such. Because there is usually no specificity to these claims, I usually get the impression they are just polite words to smooth over hard feelings against the Holy Father's moves to reintroduce traditional doctrinal and liturgical formulae as he has done.
But I think it is legitimate to want some specificity, not only to try to implement the Council's intent, assuming it is ascertainable, but also to provide a ready defense against those who would try to challenge the Council's validity or goodness, as some mistakenly do.
So, I ask for help-- what are the fundamental tenets of the Council, and what is the vast doctrinal patrimony?