Fifty Years after Vatican II

In our last Restoration Radio broadcast John Daly noted that the SSPX, despite being around for 40 years, has not yet delivered an "ecclesiology of the crisis."  How does Vatican II, among other things, fit into our lives as thinking, believing Catholics?  In its largest conferences it has ever held in the United States, the SSPX has chosen to do conferences on Archbishop Lefebvre, the Social Reign of Christ, and this year, on the Papacy.  We might have thought that half a century after the Council, the SSPX might choose to do something other than publish a brief 20-page pamphlet authored by Fr. Schmidberger (which does not constitute the "official position" of the SSPX anyway).  Instead, this year, they are focusing their energies on the issue of the Papacy.  This conference is focused on the bogeyman of sedevacantism (there is even a "debate" on sedevacantism listed on the program - but in typical anti-intellectual SSPX style, don't expect an actual debate.  It will likely be an SSPX priest giving you "both sides.") when the real bete-noire is actually Vatican II.

The most common "gotcha" is that Vatican II was a "pastoral council" and hence, doesn't count.  This sort of glib "get out of jail free card" is the same concept underlying Michael Davies' false claim that the Novus Ordo was never validly promulgated.  Real Catholics use real theological terms when talking about theology, and since "pastoral council" isn't defined anywhere by anyone as to what it means or doesn't, and the statement of one Pope given outside a Council or official document doesn't really mean anything definitive, it is obvious that the defense of "pastoral council" is used by someone who has never actually bothered to read the documents of the Council.  Unfortunately, most Traditional Catholics have never read even one document of Vatican II and yet have built up an entire Catholic existence in opposition to it.

To combat the faulty notion of "pastoral council" along with a host of other bad theology regarding Vatican II, on October 20th at 2pm CST we will be hosting a special 3-hour edition of Restoration Radio with Bishop Donald Sanborn of Most Holy Trinity Seminary as our guest.  We will talk about the Council, its role in a Catholic's life, and in detail, six of the documents: Nostra Aetate, Dignitatis Humanae, Unitatis Redintegratio, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Gaudium et Spes, and Lumen Gentium.  If you plan to listen to the show it will do you a lot of good to read those documents ahead of time.  You can find them for free here.  We will not be taking phone calls for this show but we will be taking questions posted on twitter (@truerestoration).  We hope you will join us.

Stephen Heiner

Stephen founded True Restoration in 2006 and served as its first President until 2023. He now lives in Reading, Pennsylvania.

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1 Response

  1. ambrosio says:

    Concerning the SSPX delivering an 'ecclesiology of the crisis' it has published The Catechism of the Crisis in the Church by
    Fr. Matthias Gaudron.