Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Little "Arch-Conservatism" Is Just What the Doctor Ordered

Pope promotes 'hardliner' in reshuffle of his top team

Pope Benedict XVI carried out a long-awaited reshuffle of his top team at the Vatican today, naming Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Archbishop of Genoa, as Secretary of State — in effect, the Pope’s deputy.

Cardinal Bertone, 71, led the Vatican campaign last year against Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, saying that it propagated "a sackful of heretical lies" about the history of Christianity and would mislead the gullible...

...Critics said that putting a Ratzinger-Bertone alliance at the top of the Vatican hierarchy meant that the Church would be in the hands of "arch-conservatives"...

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: "Arch-conservatives"!?! We can only hope!!! (You gotta love that term.) A little "arch-conservatism" is exactly what that Catholic Church needs right now. Just stop and think for a moment how far we've fallen since Vatican II. Prior to the council, the Catholic Church (though a bit mysterious to outsiders) was a beacon of piety and morality to the whole world. Today, Catholics are best known for how well they DON'T practice their faith, and as for the whole morality thing -- do I even need to go there? Granted, these problems are mainly local in nature. Catholics in Africa and Asia just don't have to deal with the same kinds of problems we do. It is mainly westernized (particularly English speaking) nations where these problems are the most prominent. The problem wasn't Vatican II mind you. It was the pervading liberalism that subsequently infiltrated the westernized Church in the post-conciliar years. While the rest of the Catholic world took Vatican II at face value, western liberals grossly misinterpreted it as a license to do whatever they wanted. Examples of this are plentiful. It begins with a paraphrase translation of the English mass that waters down its meaning. It continues with the redesign of churches to resemble anything but churches. On it goes into the physical defacement of traditional alters used in the pre-conciliar years. Marching on, it continues into the deconstruction of time-honored religious customs. Then of course, we must not forget the corruption of the priesthood, where men struggling with homosexuality were unrealistically chided, and foolishly accepted, into a life of celibacy. There they would be close quartered with other men during their training. Then of course, we have the reshuffling of predatory priests when they acted out in public. I think you get the picture.

Here is a novel concept. Do you suppose that the Second Vatican Council was INTENDED to be interpreted in the CONTEXT of previous Church practices? Judging by the way liberal clergymen here in the United States have been running things, you wouldn't think so. So much was changed in the ambiguous "spirit of Vatican II" that you would think everything prior to Vatican II was somehow "bad." You would think that Vatican II told us to completely discard everything Catholics had learned in the 2000 years leading up to the council. Liberal clergymen and activists tell us to "follow the spirit of the law, and not the letter of the law." But when talking about an ecumenical council of the Church, where the bishops assembled are supposed to be guarded by infallibility in whatever they write, could it be that in the case of Vatican II, the spirit of the law literally WAS the letter of the law? Could it be that the spirit of Vatican II, literally IS the letter of Vatican II? It's time to stop and think about what we believe as Catholics. If we truly believe what the Church teaches about infallibility, than we must concede that the spirit literally IS the letter when it comes to an ecumenical council or a papal decree from the chair (ex cathedra). Thus anything beyond the letter, is going beyond the spirit, and in the case of what liberals have done to the western Church since Vatican II, I would say things have gone way too far.

Vatican II must be interpreted in the CONTEXT of the pre-conciliar Church. That is the foundation upon which any interpretation must rest. It must be read carefully, and implemented exactly as it says -- no more and no less. New innovations done in the name of the "spirit of Vatican II" must be undone if they cannot specifically be accounted for in the text of the Vatican II documents. Yes, it sounds to me like what the Church really needs today is a little "arch-conservatism."