The Fever of Vatican II

January 2007By Chris Conlee

Chris Conlee is an attorney in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the proud father of four children.

On October 11, 1962, the doors of the Vatican were swung open to the bishops, resplendent in formality and expectation, for they were embarking on a new endeavor. One of the goals of the Second Vatican Council was to bring the world into a more "enlightened era." The Church's "Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World," Gaudium et Spes, states, "history itself speeds along on so rapid a course that an individual person can scarcely keep abreast of it. The destiny of the human community has become all of a piece, where once the various groups of men had a kind of private history of their own. Thus, the human race has passed from a rather static concept of reality to a more dynamic, evolutionary one. In consequence, there has arisen a new series of problems, a series as important as can be, calling for new efforts of analysis and synthesis" (article 5; emphasis added). The philosophy of the Jesuit evolutionary scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who was involved in one the greatest and gravest scientific scandals of all time, the Piltdown Man "fossil," is clearly evident here. If this is the "working of the Holy Spirit," as many modern prelates pound into the heads of the faithful, then, one may argue, the Holy Spirit Himself is an evolutionary object subject to change. But don't question this "enlightened" view of reality, or you'll be labeled a "heretic." Never mind that Vatican II proclaimed no new dogmas, and thus if a thoughtful person questions a non-dogmatic tenet of this Council, he cannot be termed a heretic, since to constitute heresy, one must deny a dogma of the Church.

Nobody was more jubilant about Vatican II than the secular media. The December 17, 1965, issue of LIFE magazine was headlined "Catholicism's Epic Venture." You know there is something askew when a modern, liberal publication is ecstatic about a Catholic Council. John K. Jessup wrote:
Coming at a time when so many human faiths, loyalties and grips on truth are unmoored or slipping, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council which ended last week must be called the most impressive religious event this century has yet seen…. The spirit of the new era was symbolized by one of the closing events of the council, when the Pope shared with Protestant and Orthodox clergymen the conduct of a prayer and gospel-reading service in the monastic church of St. Paul's Outside the Walls. This service was not Roman, not Protestant and not Orthodox. It was simply Christian.
"New era" is a term often heard. Supposedly, the "new era" envisioned in the 1960s did not include a wholesale exodus of priests, and many of the remaining priests engaged in pedophilia. The "new era" probably didn't forecast a reduction in Mass attendance from 75 percent before Vatican II to roughly 30 percent afterward. Forty years ago it wasn't acceptable to wear short skirts and tank tops to Mass; women wore chapel veils or hats. But most priests are too afraid -- too emasculated -- to speak out about those blasphemies these days. The sought-after "new era" of the 1960s probably didn't contemplate that a majority of Catholics in 2006 would support abortion and contraception, priestesses, and other "progressive" trends. The "new era" probably didn't anticipate that although roughly 70 percent of Catholics today don't believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they would be all too eager to line up to take the Eucharist in an unworthy manner from relaxed lay ministers passing out the Body of Christ, hand to hand.

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Hoo Rah. It seems the Novus Ordo has become a blank canvas in my Diocese (Rochester NY) where Priests place Hillary Clinton on a pedestal during Homilies,light multi-colored candles on wreaths on 1/1/2007 to invite the coming seasons, do not wash their hands prior to the Transubstantiation, and teach children in the local Catholic school and from the pulpit that God is a Woman. If you request the opertunity to sing the Pater Noster during the Novus Ordo you are told that it is unacceptable. The re-workings created by Vatican II have left my Diocese in complete disarray. Gone are dicipline and reverence and confusion has been embraced. Vatican II has created a free-for-all where the Mass has become a opportunity for dis-ordered men to break down and destroy the Mysteries of our Faith. Posted by: Matt Fallon
January 02, 2007 09:02 AM EST
" Now we even have super-hip bishops who allow corned beef and cabbage when St. Patrick's Day falls on Friday during Lent."

Actually, this practice was not unheard of in the USA in the years before Vatican II.
Posted by: manwithblackhat
January 04, 2007 09:52 PM EST
The Man With the Black Hat makes an instructive remark when he acknowledges that St. Patrick's Day dispensations are not a product or by-product of Vatican II or of the "fever of Vatican II." There is nothing "super-hip" about allowing the traditional celebration of a Feast Day that is of major importance to many Catholics in countries such as Ireland and the USA.

Too many critics of Vatican II and/or the 'Spirit of Vatican II' -- and I consider myself a non-fundamentalist critic in both respects -- become less persuasive in their rhetoric by failing to understand what was and what was not a product or by-product of the Council.

Critics need to know where the facts stop and where their own opinions and prejudices begin.
Posted by: nortemp
January 05, 2007 07:19 AM EST
No one bends their knees, genuflects to our God, Jesus Christ in the Tabernacle holding the hosts of our Lord!! The talking is so loud that I cannot say prayers in silence. I have seen other people give up praying the rosary because of the noise. There are people chewing gum at church. There is no dress code for anybody. All this leads to sin which I can NOT be a part of!! Who goes to Confession anymore? This is NOT Catholic!!!!!

This is Protestant!!! No one ever told me that there were six Protestant ministers who participated in drafting the New Mass, I had to find it out myself!!!
If Martin Luther were alive today he would be very happy to see the Catholic Church after Vatican II.

I'm going to join the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) until the church comes home or God takes me
home first. I like and love the Latin Mass and ALL of the Catholic church Traditions and Scriptures!!!! I now attend a private chapel whose Priest says the mass in all Latin!!!
Posted by: rhmercer
January 14, 2007 10:16 AM EST
Sorry Chris, but Vatican II was, in fact, an Ecumenical Council. The Novus Ordo Mass is a valid Mass. The fact that there are bad bishops that twist the teachings of the council or bad priests that are not devout in offering the Mass does not invalidate either.

To anyone contemplating "joining" the SSPX, please remember that OBEDIENCE is a true expression of Charity. A Catholic that joins the SSPX separates himself from the Body of Christ. Don't believe me? Have a look at what His Excellency Fabian Bruskewitz has to say on the matter. Bishop Bruskewitz is about as orthodox as they come.

Chris, I too am in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Our Bishop, Michael Sheehan, has had to formally warned the SSPX about deceiving the faithful on at least two occasions becasue the SSPX tries to pass itself off as licit. It is not. You are not obeying the wishes of our Archbishop by insighting other to leave The Church for a schismatic sect. The spiritual acts of mercy demand that I tell you this.
Posted by: Hammer of Heretics
January 19, 2007 12:25 PM EST
1. "The situation of the members of [SSPX] is an internal matter of the Catholic Church."
(Edward Cardinal Cassidy, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity).

QUESTION : if it is an INTERNAL matter, then how can the members be considered OUTSIDE
the Church?

2. Cardinal Ratizinger, 1993, declared that attendance at an independent
chapel of the SSPX (in Honolulu), and even reception of Confirmation from
an SSPX bishop at this chapel were : ".....not sufficient to constitute the crime
of schism and thus did not incur the latae sentientiae penalty."

3. Monsignor Perl, Secretary of the Ecclesia Dei Commission : "The priests of SSPX
are VALIDLY ordained, but suspended...because they aren't properly
incardinated in a diocese...."(my emphasis).

How can they incur suspension if they are outside of the Church?
Non-Catholics are not subject to Church disciplinary law.

"They are also excommunicated IF they adhere to the schism. While
up to now the Holy See has NOT DEFINED what adherence consists in, one
could point to a wholesale condemnation of the Church since Vatican II,
and a refusal to be in communion with it."(my emphasis).

"The faithful may attend Mass at [SSPX chapels] primarily because
of an attraction to an earlier form of the Roman Rite, in which case
they INCUR NO PENALTY." (my emphasis). They can attend as long
as they do not "refuse submission to the Roman Pontiff, or reject
communion with the members of the Church subject to him. At the
same time it must be admitted that this is an irregular situation."

Irregular? Yes. Forbidden? It seems not. The question remains : who has greater authority
in this matter, Bishop Sheehan? Or Monsignor Perl (who is actually on the Ecclesia Dei Commission)?

Cardinal Hoyos (Prefect for The Congregation of The Clergy, and President of Ecclesia Dei), in a letter (April 2nd, 2002) to Bishop Fellay of SSPX : "Dear
to constitute a gesture of fraternal love.......I had the joy of
meeting with YOUR EXCELLENCY.......noting your good will and
....the fact that your Fraternity CERTAINLY WAS NOT DISSEMINATING

If they are schimatics, why are they referred to as "Brother in the Lord?" As "Brother Bishops"?
As "Your Excellency"?

Cardinal Hoyos goes on ".....there was not disclosed [at the meeting] any inkling of
heresy nor any will to incur a formal schism, but only the desire
to contribute to the universal Church, retaining the specific charism
of the SSPX with regard to Tradition, in the current context......."

What all this shows is that there is more subtlety to the matter than some people
acknowledge. And that -- according to the Vatican authorities appointed to address this problem -- attendance at SSPX chapels (while admittedly irregular) is licit, assuming proper intention on the part of the faithful.

This is the information I have as of 2002. If the situation has changed since then (I don't believe it has) then I welcome correction.
Posted by: Mike Ezzo
January 20, 2007 09:52 PM EST
In the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, I would advise all Catholics to follow what Archbishop Michael Sheehan has said to the SSPX, and I quote:

Catholics may not go [to the SSPX chapel at 333 58th Street in Albuquerque] to fulfill their Sunday obligation for Mass...There are several other schismatic churches in the area as well. If they don’t recognize the Pope and Bishop, they are not Catholic and good Catholics should clearly not be involved with them in any way...Father Scott, to accept the authority of the Holy Father means that you would be in communion with the
Holy Father and that you would submit to the jurisdiction of him and his appointed bishop.
I shall continue to forbid the good Catholic people of the Archdiocese to go to your church since it is indeed not Catholic

There it is. Directly from the SSPX website. Catholics in the Archdiocese of Santa are forbidden to go to the SSPX chapels.

In the Diocese of Lincoln, it would likewise appear that Catholics are forbidden from going SSPX chapels as Bishop Bruskewitz has formally excommunicated all members of the SSPX in his diocese.

I formally encourage all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe to obey their bishop in this matter.
Posted by: Hammer of Heretics
January 21, 2007 04:06 PM EST

The article, “The Fever of Vatican II” by Chris Conlee, is not good.

The author uses all the hackneyed arguments that one sees in schismatic "traditionalist" sites and journals as if he had discovered them himseld (they are really getting old), and he is quite irresponsible in his language--he is blatantly disrespectful to the Church. He neglects to make the most basic theological and ecclesial distinctions, and uses language so contemptuous as to suggest a certain level of hatred for the "contemporary" Catholic Church.

Of course, the author will protest that it is his love for the "true" Catholic Church that prompts him to be so contemptuous of what he sees as a fraud. Well, perhaps it's time for the author to join the sedevacantists, then, because that is where his attitude and overall thrust of argument leads. No one who writes the way this author does loves the Catholic Church. Rather, he loves an abstract and unreal ideal, not the real flesh and bones of Christ in His members.

Of course the author would ultimately deny that the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo are intrisically evil--unless he is a sedevacantist--but his overall attitude and the thrust of his argument belies this denial. One doesn't speak in an abusive manner about someone he thinks is essentialy good.

And of course, any sane Catholic man shares the author's righteous anger and sense of horror at the irreverence and silliness of contemporary Catholic liturgies--these do deserve contempt--and a certain sadness about and critical attitude toward the misjudgments of the Popes, Council Fathers and Council implementers; but how dare this writer lay these things--with such disdain and condescension!--at the feet of the Catholic Church in her divine doctrinal and disciplinary authority! How dare he speak with such contempt for a official Council of the Catholic Church and for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass—for ANY reason.

If you take the author's overall attitude and spirit and translate it into a practical prescription, it has schism and sedevacantism written all over it. It is essentially a propaganda piece for the SSPX. And there is just as much rebellion against Christ in the SSPX chapels as there is in Father Clown's dancing girl Masses. They are two sides of the same disobedient and prideful coin.

I think NOR has gone over the line with this one. The article is tantamount to detraction against the Catholic Church. I am seriously considering cancelling my subscription.
Posted by: tjkozinski
January 25, 2007 10:37 PM EST
I would like to add one caveat about my last post. I should have informed the reader that about two years ago, I not only would have not found fault with the author's article, I would have praised it highly. I have had a recent conversion of sorts from what I call "gnostic traditionalism" to plain old Catholicism.

Having said that, I want to make it clear that I do not judge Mr. Conlee for what I consider to be his erroneous and spiritually damaging attitude. I am confident that he is quite sincere. I think he has fallen into the trap that he thinks only Novus Ordo and VII types fall into, and it is a very strong temptation. Why I myself found my way out of it is only by God's grace. I certainly didn't deserve it.

Well, my apologies to the readers and to Mr. Conlee for being a bit too harsh in my response to his article. The temptation of gnostic traditionalism usually preys on the intelligent, manly and good-willed types, which I am sure Mr. Conlee is.
Posted by: tjkozinski
January 26, 2007 12:06 AM EST
Putting aside Mr. Conlee's personality and attitude, where is he actually wrong on the facts? Posted by: Mike Ezzo
February 19, 2007 09:54 PM EST
I have been forced by circumstances to attend Sunday Mass in the 1962 version and the Novus Ordo during the week...I have become inured to the abuses and disrespect shown by the clergy and the lay parishoners attending the Novus wife has not attended daily Mass for a while but this morning (Ash Wednesday) she went with me. Let me tell you that she was nothing short of horrified by the difference between the two Masses and has refused to accompany me to any more daily Masses under Novus Ordo banner. The disrespect the celebrant and the people showed to the host, the ashes, their own attire and even drinking bottled water during the Canon was shocking. This is even before we get to the substantive heresies woven into the new liturgy. It is appalling how the Church has become protestantized in such a short period of time. Posted by: wcmenke
February 06, 2008 12:11 PM EST
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