Fr Hunwicke

Fr. John Hunwicke

Fr John Hunwicke blogs –– How to bury Vatican II?

There have been many good books which help us to approach “the Council”. Professor Roberto de Mattei on the history of the Council; Fr Serafino Lanzetta on its nature as a pastoral Council … going back to when the splendid Mgr Gherardini opened up the log-jam in 2009 and began to ask necessary questions which, hitherto, had been unaskable in the ‘Mainstream Church’. (Mgr Lefebvre, of course, had courageously asked them.)

Today, it is hard to open a computer without finding splendid stuff about the Conciliar legacy from the more courageous of the Successors of the Apostles: from a Vigano or a Schneider. How is the Bergoglian disaster to be resolved? How can the Magisterial catastrophes of this pontificate, and the problems bequeathed by Vatican II, be sorted out? Should we all begin to check through our history books to find out how long it took the disastrous pontificate of Pope Honorius to be sorted out by the definitive repudiations of an Ecumenical Council and of his own successors? Half a century? A Century?

I am all in favour of the analyses and proposals currently being made by better men and cleverer men than I am.

But I would also like a workaday fall-back plan. I want something we can be doing now; something than doesn’t depend on hypotheses and hopes about future contingencies.

There is a sense in which I hope that the Council might solve its own problem. Let me explain.

Between the death of S Pius X and the Council, there was about half a century.

When the Council began and the Rhine, ordure, offal, and all, flowed into the Tiber, the cabal which successfully kidnapped the Council for its own purposes was very sure about one thing: the analysis of the needs of the Church made by S Pius X fifty years before was no longer adequate to the Church of the 1960s.

More than the same amount of time … half a century …  has now elapsed between the end of the Council and our own time.

Surely no-one can deny that what seemed necessary in the 1960s is now … History.

The Cold War is no more; instead of International Communist Subversion we have the problem of Islam.

Kindly old gentlemen in the 1960s wondered if the Contraceptive Pill might be a help to nice Catholic married couples who simply wanted to “space” their clean and respectable children: now we have rampant sexual immorality: the Pill is sidelined because AIDS and all those transmissible sexual diseases with the pretty, elegiac names necessitate ‘barrier’ interventions in the sexual act.

“Too many mouths to feed” has been replaced as a realistic worry by a fear that the working population will soon be too small to support our society.

Above all, the cheerful optimism of the 1960s, the belief that a friendly World was just sitting there waiting to listen to the message of the Church if only we could refine our expression of the Faith … if only we would gently open our windows … has given place to a world that is relentlessly hostile to the Sovereignty of Christ the King. If the 1960s uncrowned Him, the 2020s are determined to get Him back on to the Cross.

Vatican II is just about as much of an irrelevancy to this new world of ours, the world of 2020, as the financial legislation of the Emperor Augustus would be to a seminar on jazz.

(Even “liberal” Catholics agree de facto with this proposition of Conciliar irrelevance. Do the Kennedys and the Pelosis, gruesome tribes, have any interest in the strong language with which the Council condemned Abortion, and did so three times?)

Getting Vatican II canonically displaced and some of the actions of PF formally repudiated is a lovely idea … a beautiful fantasy to help one get off to sleep. I’d  vote for it twice a day. But, far more important, is the need for the Council to be forgotten and to be replaced by a Catholicism vibrantly and healthily expressive of the Gospel and the Faith of the Ages.

I’m not sure you need to be certain you have created a vacuum before you decide what to put into your vacant space.

The Council of Vienne had a Spirit of the Council. In that Spirit, the Templars were burned on probably phony charges of Sodomy and their wealth seized. The French government gathered huge sums of money on the undersnding that it would lead a crusade … and then just hung on to it all. Does anybody give that Council a second thought? When did you last wake up in the night worrying about it?

Vatican II is as irrelevant now as the Council of Vienne is. Vatican II was every bit as fully and totally a true, valid Ecumenical Council cum Petro et sub Petro as Vienne was … and it is just about as fully and totally irrelevant today. It is not, however, any more essential for it to be formally repudiated than it would be for Vienne to be expunged from the record. Helpful, yes; edifying, I agree; elegant and logical, most certainly; but not of the esse.

Vatican II needs to be helped to fall out of the memory of the Church, just as Vienne has been. It needs to be forgotten … left to merge into the Church’s general background murmur rather than touted around as if it offered anything whatsoever to help us to deal with Now.

Categories: Vatican Watch