It Ain't Broke, But Let's Fix It Anyhow

June 2004

We picked up a Catholic magazine, and on the cover was one big headline, and it was a striking one: “Was Vatican II a Mistake?” In the background to the headline were a litany of post-Vatican II disasters: “practicing homosexuals in the priesthood,” “pro-abortion ‘Catholics,’” “dissenting bishops,” “liturgical dancing,” “moving the tabernacle,” “90% decrease in seminarians from 1965 to 2002,” “fewer converts,” “94% decline in teaching nuns,” “two out of three seminaries have closed since 1965,” “women’s ordination movement,” “Jews don’t need Christ,” “almost half of all Catholic schools have closed since 1965,” “the sex-abuse scandal,” and much more.

Preparing ourselves for a depressing and/or bracing read, we opened the magazine to the article, by George Sim Johnston in Crisis magazine (March), titled “Open Windows: Why Vatican II Was Necessary.”

Necessary. Huh?

Recalling the litany of post-Vatican II disasters on the cover, we figured Johnston would make the case that they cannot be attributed to Vatican II. How wrong we were! Johnston mentions none of the disasters (save one, which he blames on the pre-Vatican II Church). The article is simply a song of praise to Vatican II. (Maybe Crisis should rename itself What Crisis?)

Now, Jesus did say, “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,” but He wasn’t talking about magazine publishing, which is where you definitely want to let your right hand (the designer of the cover) know what your left hand (the author of the cover article) is doing. Did whoever designed the cover not bother to read the article?

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New Oxford Notes: June 2004

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