Tuesday, November 16, 2010

After VatII, What?

Cardinal Biffi writes a book which contains the following passage:

How could it have happened that from the legitimate pronouncements and texts of Vatican II, a season followed that was so different and distant?

The question is complex, and the reasons are multiform; but without a doubt one influence was a process (so to speak) of aberrant "distillation," which from the authentic and binding conciliar "reality" extracted a completely heterogeneous mentality and linguistic form. This is a phenomenon that pops up here and there in the "postcouncil," and continues to advance itself more or less explicitly.

We can, in order to make ourselves understood, hazard to illustrate the schematic procedure of this curious "distillation."

The first phase lies in a discriminatory approach to the conciliar pronouncements, which distinguishes the accepted and usable texts from the inopportune or at least unusable ones, to be passed over in silence.

In the second phase what is acknowledged as the valuable teaching of the Council is not what it really formulated, but what the holy assembly would have produced if it had not been hampered by the presence of many backward fathers insensitive to the breath of the Spirit.

With the third phase, there is the insinuation that the true doctrine of the Council is not that which is canonically formulated and approved, but what would have been formulated and approved if the fathers had been more enlightened, more consistent, more courageous.

With such a theological and historical methodology – never expressed in such a clear fashion, but no less relentless for this reason – it is easy to imagine the results: what is adopted and exalted in an almost obsessive manner is not the Council that in fact was celebrated, but (so to speak) a "virtual Council"; a Council that has a place not in the history of the Church, but in the history of ecclesiastical imagination. Anyone who dares to dissent, however timidly, is branded with the infamous mark of "preconciliar," when he is not in fact numbered among the traditionalist rebels, or the despised fundamentalists.

And because the "counterfeit distillates" of the Council include the principle that by now there is no error that can be condemned in Catholicism, except for sinning against the primary duty of understanding and dialogue, it becomes difficult today for theologians and pastors to have the courage to denounce vigorously and tenaciously the toxins that are progressively poisoning the innocent people of God.

Relativism, anyone??

It would be fun to knock back a couple of beers with the Cardinal.


GOR said...

"It would be fun to knock back a couple of beers with the Cardinal."

Yes, but make it German beer, Dad. Unless Birra Peroni has improved dramatically in the past 40 years, it would detract from the colloquium. We used to refer to it in equine terms back then...

Of course a bottle or three of Chianti would enhance the experience.

Badger Catholic said...