The Second Vatican Council: A Quiet Revolution in the Church

Foreword:  Presenting an exclusive English translation of an important article by the Fédération Québécoise de Souche (F.Q.S.):  Le concile Vatican II:  Une révolution tranquille dans l’Église.  The original French text of the F.Q.S. is preserved in the Wayback Machine:  https://web.archive.org/web/20140328212319/http://www.quebecoisdesouche.info/index.php?le-concile-vatican-ii-une-rAvolution-tranquille-dans-lAglise; A backup is also online at Calaméo (below).

The Second Vatican Council:
A Quiet Revolution in the Church

The crisis of “reasonable accommodations” has highlighted the upsurge of diverse religious practices among the cultural communities resulting from immigration to Quebec. Faced with this fact, one can only wonder at the reasons for abandonment of religious practice among the original-stock Québécois. What was its origin?

The drastic decline in Catholic religious practice by the Québécois* occurred at the time of the Quiet Revolution. Few people know the history of this other revolution which took place in the very heart of the Church at the same time, and which bore the same progressive values as the French “May 68” and the Quebec Quiet Revolution. However, this “revolution” preceded its freefall and placed it in major contradiction with its past, leaving a feeling of confusion among a good number of Catholics.

*Translator’s note:  the French authors of the original mean the French-Canadians in Quebec.

One cannot deny that the Second Vatican Council was a mortal blow to the Catholic Church.

In the article which follows, we will explain what the Second Vatican Council was, its consequences and what it is which places the “new” Catholic Church in profound opposition with that which had existed for more than two thousand years. Without claiming to be experts on the matter, we will try to present the stakes in the clearest possible way for a dechristianized Quebec public.

What is the Second Vatican Council?

The Second Vatican Council is without any doubt the most important religious event of the XXth century and was followed by thousands of journalists, believers, observers of other religions, international agencies and ambassadors.

Only three months after his election, Pope John XXIII, to general astonishment, convened to the Council approximately 2,500 priests from around the world to deal with questions of interest to the universal Church. The event began on October 11th, 1962 under the theme of “Aggiornamento”, which is to say a “bringing up-to-date” of the Church with modernity. It was completed on December 8th, 1965, under the pontificate of Paul VI.

What are the principal reforms
introduced to the Catholic Church
by the Council?

Liturgy

The liturgy is defined by the whole of the ceremonies, rites and prayers during religious worship, in this case as defined by the Catholic Church. These rules are usually codified, either in sacred texts, or in the form of perpetuated traditions. The Second Vatican Council will open the door to a complete recasting of the liturgy, which will be completed in 1969.

For example, traditionally, the priest showed his back to the faithful during the ceremony, everyone being turned towards God to pay homage to Him and to pray to Him. Since Vatican II, the priest turns his back to God and faces the congregation.

According to Jerome Bourbon of the Rivarol  weekly, the Council introduced a new manner of being situated with respect to God. Claiming that man had changed, the Fathers of the Council deduced from this that the relationship of man with God also had to be changed, passing from theocentrism to anthropocentrism. A radical inversion of objects: religion being no longer in the service of God, but in the service of humanity. “Man is the only creature of God created for itself” and “man is the center and the summit of all things”. Such is the doctrine instituted by the constitution Gaudium et Spes concluded by the Council.

Paul VI, in his confusing closing speech to Vatican II, went as far as saying: “The religion of the God who became man has met the religion (for such it is) of man who makes himself God. […] we, too, in fact, we more than any others, honor mankind.”*

*See translator’s note below.

If man were to now be regarded as the end and the summit of all, obviously the entirety of Catholic theology had to be rethought. The conciliar Church is defined as a means, an institution (among many others), a sign in the service of man. It is the famous theory of the sacramental Church.

Jean Paul II will be able to thus say that “the Church revealed man to himself”, or that “man is the way of the Church”. If such is the case, it is understood that the liturgy has then as its objective to celebrate humanity, the subject of the sacred rite and of the priesthood. Thus the altar is turned towards the assembly of the faithful whose priest is merely the master of ceremonies, the new Mass being not hierarchical, but democratic.

Abandonment of the Mass in Latin

Without however prohibiting it, the Council definitively broke with the Latin Mass, the purpose of which was to have a language of the faith linking all Roman Catholics in the world.

Also preserving the authenticity of the hymns and prayers as practiced from the time of the founding of the Church of Rome by the apostle Saint Peter (deceased in 65AD). The Mass thus was simplified and modified from top to bottom to adapt it to all the world’s languages, wiping out in the process certain interpretations, the inevitable consequence of translation into several hundred different languages.

Desacralization of the Host

Traditionally, the Host was served to the faithful by the priest directly in the mouth, symbolizing the Offering. It is deposited today into the hands of the faithful. It is also current in post-Vatican II churches to give communion to all those who attend the Mass without exception, which is in contradiction to the teachings of the Church.

Here are some extracts from the popular Catholic Catechism, by François Spirago:

“The priest is obliged to refuse Holy Communion to certain people, in particular to Freemasons, to Catholics who are married only civilly, or who contracted a mixed marriage without the blessing of the Church, and finally all those whose conduct is a public scandal.”

“The priest will also not give Holy Communion to those who cannot distinguish it from ordinary food, or whom one envisages as not receiving it respectfully”.

It was also a murder of the soul and an action contrary to Holy Scripture: “Because he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks his own condemnation, not distinguishing the body of the Lord.” I Cor XI 29. These people thus murder their souls by misleading them.

In other words, the priest should not give communion to those who, to his knowledge, are in contradiction with the teachings of the Church. It is distributed today to whoever wants it, without distinction and without importance. A disinterest which tends to desacralize the Offering of the Blessed Sacrament.

The abolition of
pro perfidis Judaeis

As always according to tradition, during Good Friday Mass, the faithful genuflect while praying for the conversion of all categories of lost sinners, heretics, infidels, pagans, schismatics, insurgents, blasphemers, etc. The hymn stops suddenly and the “flectamus genua” ends, when at last the moment has come to pray “pro perfidis Judaeis” [for the perfidious Jews]. They are the only ones for whom, according to tradition, the Church does not pray on bended knee, due to the fact that they are a deicide people.

The abolition of the consequences of our acts on Earth.

The Limbs

Traditionally, the limbs represent two places in the “beyond” located at the margins of Hell. It is about an intermediate state between the sky and Hell. The limbs, in particular the limbs of children, were never defined as a dogma of the Catholic Church in the strict sense. They however formed part for a long time of official Catholic doctrine, particularly in the teachings.

It corresponds to the “breast of Abraham” mentioned in the Gospel according to Luc (16: 22). These souls, which could not enter paradise, sealed off since the fall of Adam, are released by Jesus at the time of his descent into Hell between Good Friday and Easter Day. The scholastic tradition is here based on the first epistle of Peter, which indicates that Jesus “went to preach to the imprisoned souls” (3: 19).

However, on April 20th, 2007, the international theological commission of the Roman Catholic Church published its conclusions on the question, declaring that the limbs reflect an unduly restrictive view of Salvation*, and cannot be regarded as a “truth of the faith”, breaking once again with Catholic tradition.

*Translator’s note: I’m not quite sure what the Catholic sense of “Salut” is supposed to mean in this context. There is a charity called the “Salvation Army” which in French is “Armée du Salut”; but I’m not sure that one could translate “Salut” in this paragraph the same way.

Hell

Following Vatican II, Hell also went into the shredder*. For example, a collective of French bishops declared in 1978 that “to see in Hell a punishment that God would inflict on somebody who, conscious of his faults, would not repent, is unacceptable. Unacceptable also, the fear engendered by the teaching according to which, if death surprises us in a state of mortal sin, it is damnation”. Even the new catechism of the Church avoids the subject, as it does not say anything concerning the sufferings inflicted.

*Translator’s note: in an email from the French authors, they indicate they decided to use the word “déchiqueteur”, which is “shredder” in English.

In contrast, the catechism of St-Pius X (pre-Vatican II) was much clearer:

“Hell is a place of torments to which all are condemned who by their crimes rebelled against the order of Divine Providence… The sorrows and the torments which they deserve because of their crimes will last forever and will never end (…) Fire must be understood in the material sense of fire ; because it properly indicates the pain of the senses.”

We thus notice that the tendency since Vatican II is to abolish all restriction, condemnation and consequences of our acts on Earth after death, thus cancelling any positive influence and any discipline for believers in Earthly life, teaching them that they can act against Catholic morals without ever enduring the consequences, and without having to answer for their acts before God. In the final analysis, that cancels any influence and positive pressure of the faith on society.

Marriage: The inversion of principles

Everyone knows that marriage has three goals, contains three treasures which confer its nobleness. However these three ends are not juxtaposed, but well ordered and hierarchicalized. Traditionally the children are the primary and essential object of marriage. Its first goal. Not that the other goals are “secondary”, in the sense of negligible or optional, but rather that they are intrinsically ordered to a higher good. The first goal is the object of the other goals. The mutual support (second goal), which is to say the shared life, the complementarity of the spouses, their hierarchical collaboration, the mutual love, the family joys, are extremely good things, but ordered with the birth and the education of the children. The sacrament of marriage is the third end, which is to say the graces which the spouses obtain by the exchange of their consent, then all the graces which will ennoble their family life.

Following Vatican II, “the specific acts of married life” seem to be sought for themselves, provided that they are “exercised in accord with genuine human dignity”. In the moral appreciation of conduct, “the full sense of mutual self-giving” passes before that of “human procreation” (Gaudium et Spes, 51 §3).

The second goal of marriage has thus taken preeminence. Ultimately, one will retain above all that “The family is a kind of school of deeper humanity.” (Gaudium et Spes, 51 §1).

If love is the first goal of marriage and not the family as well as procreation, its absence, even temporary, leads to divorce.

In addition, the door will be opened to the liberalization of the means of contraception, or, at the very least, to a preaching tending to limit the number of children in the name of the wellbeing and the mutual affection of the parents. At the same time we are not far from the justification of homosexual marriage since mutual love replaces procreation and the family as the original intention of marriage.

More profoundly, this new conception of the family will generate new political thought. The whole of society will be infected by the primacy of the person, which from now on governs the family. For, if the primary goal of marriage consists in mutual support, in love, in the flourishing of the spouses, the person will constitute the object and the rule. The family will then become the laboratory of personalism which transforms any human association into a “di-société” (Marcel de Corte)”, into an agglomerate of which the individual is king, in the fortuitous union of complicit egoisms.

Source: Concile ou révolution? Révérend Père Jean-Dominique O.P. (Council or Revolution? Reverend Father Jean-Dominique O.P.)*

*I don’t know what the O.P. stands for, I can’t translate it.

Interreligious dialog
A veritable multiculturalism
in the Church

One of the other aberrations of the Second Vatican Council was the interreligious discourse which was a total break with fomer teachings. According to Abbot Jean-Michel Gleize of the Sacerdotal Fraternity of Holy Pius X (traditionalist), “the doctrines of religious liberty, such as expressed in N.2 of the declaration “Dignitatis humanæ”, contradict the teachings of Gregoire XVI in “Mirari vos” and those of Pius IX in “Quanta cura”, as well as those of Leo XIII in “Immortale Dei” and those of Pius XI in “Quas primas”.

The declaration of the Second Vatican Council: “Nostra Aetate: Declaration on the Relation of the Church to non-Christian Religions” was promulgated in 1965. This document constitutes the cornerstone of interreligious dialog in the Catholic Church as of 1965.

Before 1965, the position of the Catholic Church was that only the Catholic faith was the true religion and that it is only by its doctrines that we could save our souls and do good on Earth. At the time of the Second Vatican Council, the Church accepted that there can be truth, goodness and holiness in other religions, a kind of cultural relativism in a religious flavor. This movement was born from the declaration mentioned above, that is to say “Nostra Aetate”. This declaration was presented in the form of a simple sheet recto-verso.

How did this happen to the Church?

At the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII had in mind to bring in non-Catholic observers. He thus convened Cardinal Béa (promoted to Cardinal for the occasion on December 1959) to join these observers. This will eventually be expanded to all religions.

Pope John XXIII was also a close friend of Jules Isaac; he thus promised to the latter to re-examine the relations of the Church with Judaism. It is to the Jesuit Cardinal Béa that he entrusted the task which will become the 4th part of the agreement “Nostra Aetate”.

The Catholic Church Entangled in the Star (Vatican Council II)

The Catholic Church Entangled in the Star (Vatican Council II): The whole Catholic faith was redesigned in the early 1960s by a small “council” almost entirely made up of Jews and Christian converts from Judaism. The faith now promoted under the label of the “Catholic Church” is no longer the same religion of over 1,000 years prior to the Vatican Council II. From the viewpoint of constitutional law, if a sudden change of this magnitude happened to a nation, it would have to be called a coup d’état.


A noteworthy fact is that Jules Isaac is a former militant antifascist, a member of the League of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, in addition to being a militant Jew who strongly criticizes the position of the Catholic Church with respect to Judaism. In his writings, he preaches a return to primitive Judeo-Christian theology, that is to say which emphasizes primitive Christian sects strongly influenced by Judaism, which had practically no influence on the Catholic Church before Vatican II. He is to some extent the father of the concept of “Judeo-Christian” civilization which one hears spoken of today, a concept that one can qualify as an oxymoron, since these two cults were opposed until quite recently.

Jules Isaac also developed, with Chief Rabbi Kaplan, 28 other Jews, 23 Protestants and 9 Catholics*, the Declaration of Seelisburg. This consists of ten corrective points on Christian teaching concerning Judaism. These ten points were applied to the letter by Vatican Council II. In other words, a handful of militant and religious Jews and non-Catholics prepared and had applied the new positions of the Catholic Church with regard to its own religious practice.

*Translator’s note: While researching this segment, I have read that the majority of the “Christians” involved in the Second Vatican Council were in fact Jews who had converted. Therefore, the vast alterations to the Catholic faith, which transformed it into a quite different religion under the same label, were accomplished by a majority of Jews, from without and from within the Catholic Church. I make no remark here on the advisability of the various alterations; although I hope one day to have the energy and time to write something.

The Declaration of Seelisburg

*The English translation online is a bit dry; I prefer my own.

  1. Remember that it is the same living God who speaks to us all, in the Old as in the New Testament.

  2. Remember that Jesus was born of a Jewish Virgin, of the race of David and of the People of Israel, and that His eternal love and His forgiveness embrace his own people* and the whole world.

  3.  
    *It looks as if somebody’s trying to recover the “chosenness” of the Jews here; but apparently in traditional Catholic teaching, they were “unchosen” by the “New Covenant” at which time all were chosen.

  4. Remember that the first disciples, the Apostles and the first martyrs were Jews.

  5. Remember that the fundamental precept of Christianity, that of the love of God and of one’s neighbor, already promulgated in the Old Testament, and confirmed by Jesus, obligates “Christians and Jews” in all human relations, without any exception.

  6. Avoid belittling biblical or postbiblical Judaism with a view to exalting Christianity.

  7. Avoid using the word “Jews” in the exclusive sense of “enemies of Jesus” or the phrase “enemies of Jesus” to designate the entire Jewish people.

  8. Avoid presenting the Passion in such a way that the odious character of the putting to death of Jesus devolves upon the Jews alone. It is not the Jews who are responsible for it, because the Cross, which saves us all, reveals that it is because of the sins of us all that Christ died. (Remind all Christian parents and educators of the grave responsibility which they incur when presenting the Gospel and especially the account of the Passion in a simplistic way. Indeed, in doing so they thus risk inspiring, whether they intend it or not, aversion in the conscience or the subconscious of their children or listeners. Psychologically speaking, to simple souls, driven by a burning love and a sharp compassion for the crucified Savior, the horror which they quite naturally feel towards the persecutors of Jesus, will easily turn into a generalized hatred of the Jews of all times, including those of today.)

  9. Avoid referring to the scriptural curses, and to the cry of a raging mob: “His Blood be Upon Us and Our Children,” without remembering that this cry should not prevail against the infinitely more powerful words of our Lord: “Father Forgive Them, for They Know not What They Do.

  10. Avoid accrediting the impious opinion that the Jewish people are rejected, cursed, reserved for a destiny of sufferings.

  11. Avoid speaking about the Jews as if they had not been the first to be of the Church.

The hand extended to Communism:
The Metz Accord

It was Jean Madiran who, as of 1963, revealed the agreement between Rome and Moscow to silence all criticism of Communism in exchange for the participation of representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church (pledged to the Communist party) at the Second Vatican Council.

A. Socci, a famous journalist in Italy, published on October 11th, 2006 an article on the subject in the Italian daily newspaper Libre. Furthermore, profiting from the publication of many archive documents relating to the Second Vatican Council, he placed back into its context “the villainous pact between the KGB and the good Pope John”. J. Madiran had also published in Itinéraires, as of February 1963 (no. 70), the revelation of the agreement concluded at Metz, made by the central weekly magazine of the French Communist Party (France Nouvelle, of January 16th, 1963), then confirmed by La Croix of February 15th, 1963. It is also thanks to Itinéraires that we are able to know about the Pax affair (the July-August issue of 1964) of the communist infiltrations in the Church thanks to a note of Cardinal Wysynski, the primate of Poland.

Pope Pius XI, because of the deceptive lures of communist propaganda, had qualified the Marxism-Leninism practiced by the Communist party “as intrinsically perverse” and up until Pius XII, the invariable instruction was many times pointed out not to collaborate in any way with the partisans of these doctrines. However and in spite of that, treasons were numerous on the part of so-called “progressive” Christians up to the point of “liberation theology” inspired by South American Marxism. It is also significant to notice that the last Pope before the Second Vatican Council, Pope Pius XII, was the object of a campaign of lies and violent attacks aiming at systematically disparaging him: his firm opposition to Communism was undoubtedly no stranger there.

A trend already well rooted before
Vatican Council II

Pope Pius XI

The Second Vatican Council (as a milestone event) was preceded by the election of Pope Pius XI, Achilles Ratti (1857 to 1939), accused by Louis Ferdinand Céline of having as his real name Isaac Ratisch. Pius XI hastened to condemn l’Action Française in France and French-Canadian nationalism, forcing Henri Bourassa to disavow his nationalist combat for the French-Canadians (November 1926).

One year earlier, on March 10th, 1925, the assembly of cardinals and archbishops sent a message on “the measures to be taken to fight the laws on secularity”. Pius XI was in favor of co-operation with Freemasonry and secularity. He took issue with some of the bishops who opposed this cooperation.

Another striking fact concerning Pope Achille Ratti is that he gave practically no support to the rebellion of the Mexican Catholics (Christeros) against the severely anti-Catholic measures of 1937-38. The resistance of the Mexican Catholics was put down in blood, which provoked their insurrection.

Note:  Theologically, it was recognized that nationalism belongs only and exclusively to the material domain and that internationalism belongs only and exclusively to the spiritual domain. The body is national by its race, its nationality and its language. The soul, knowing none of these factors, belongs to the universal domain. This was based on the former covenant (Old Testament), which was exclusively for the Jewish people and which was cancelled and replaced by the new covenant (New Testament), the purpose of which was to save all men.

The excommunication of Freemasons

Since 1738, the Catholic Church threatened with automatic excommunication any member of the Church who is also a member of the Freemasons.

Following the Second Vatican Council, Pope Jean-Paul II “officially” on November 27th, 1983 lifted the ban of excommunication from all Freemasons, announced in the “Codex Iuris Canonici”. It is still a grave sin, but in fact, the members of Freemasonry are free to return to the Church.

Other changes…

  •  The abandonment of cassocks for priests
  •  Collective absolutions and penance celebrations
  •  Abandonment of confession before First Communion
  •  Communion given by laymen rather than by priests
  •  Abandonment of the recitation of the Rosary before mass
  •  Abandonment of the Missal (book of prayers and explanations for the faithful)
  •  Authorization of photographs and applause during the holy ceremony of Baptism.
  •  Abandonment of the Eucharistic fast
  •  Authorization of incineration
  •  Abandonment of Gregorian chant in the Churches
  •  Integration of exhibitions and songs which have no link to the Catholic faith

The Resistance

In the wake of this “revolution” in the Church there was a traditionalist resistance which caused a schism in the Catholic Church. Monsignor Lefebvre was the representative of the opposition to the Second Vatican Council and in 1970 he founded the Fraternity of the Holy Pius X. For his rejection of the Council and for having remained faithful to the thousand-year-old teachings of the Church, he was excommunicated in 1988.

Theologian John R.T. Lamont noticed that the traditionalists reject only four points of the Second Vatican Council, which introduces “progressive” trends into the Church and for this, they have been excommunicated. Bishop Fellay of the Sacerdotal Fraternity of Holy Pius X has affirmed that 95% of the teachings are accepted by the Fraternity. Which is to say that the SFHPX is more faithful to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council than are a good part of the clergy and hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

The texts of Vatican II which are rejected by the SFHPX are accepted by those groups within the Church who challenge other teachings of this Council. One could thus suppose that these are precisely the specific texts  – concerning religious liberty, the Church, oecumenism, collegial structure -– which pose a problem. The fracture between the Holy See and the SFHPX arose because the Fraternity rejects these particular elements of the Second Vatican Council, not because the Holy See intends to defend the Second Vatican Council en bloc. On the other hand, there is no rupture with groups not belonging to the Fraternity which refuse a much larger part of the Second Vatican Council because the latter accept these particular elements.

Conclusion

One must inevitably note that with the Second Vatican Council, the Frankfort philosophical school, May 68 and the Quiet Revolution in Quebec had their equivalent in the very heart of the Catholic Church. The difficult times affecting the West full-tilt are also present within its Church, since the latter was an integral part of our civilization for a long time. Political correctness, the rejection of tradition; individualism and internationalism are all symptoms of this revolution which affected the West as much in the civil as in the spiritual domain.

Nationalists must take account of it when they judge or reject the Catholic faith of our ancestors. An informed look at the subject is essential.

For the preservation of our people
F.Q.S.

_____
*Translator’s note: The author of the article may have misunderstood; then again, perhaps not. That part of the closing speech of Paul VI is more clear when quoted in whole:

“Secular humanism, revealing itself in its horrible anti-clerical reality has, in a certain sense, defied the council. The religion of the God who became man has met the religion (for such it is) of man who makes himself God. And what happened? Was there a clash, a battle, a condemnation? There could have been, but there was none. The old story of the Samaritan has been the model of the spirituality of the council. A feeling of boundless sympathy has permeated the whole of it. The attention of our council has been absorbed by the discovery of human needs (and these needs grow in proportion to the greatness which the son of the Earth claims for himself). But we call upon those who term themselves modern humanists, and who have renounced the transcendent value of the highest realities, to give the council credit at least for one quality and to recognize our own new type of humanism: we, too, in fact, we more than any others, honor mankind.”

I think that in that paragraph, Paul VI was saying, Christianity is the religion of God made man; “secular humanism” (Communism) is the “religion” of man made God. But then, by the end of the paragraph, he seems to be admitting that the Catholic Church itself has conjured up a new brand of humanism.