For those who are “pessimistic about the short term of the Church, yet remaining totally optimistic about the long term,” those depending on the Holy Spirit to make all things right,” Debb from Australia writes on Catholica.com:
“As I read your words I think “climate change, climate change, climate change”.
For this human species and for all life on earth the long term might be fifty years at most, if we don’t suddenly and dramatically change our ways. What are we to make of that in the light of discussing the “future” of Christianity or of the church?”
We totally agree with you, Debb! So many of us in the Church pacify ourselves with the idea that change happens in centuries in the Church. Trouble is, we don’t live any longer in an age where change happens at a century-by-century pace.
Yet most of us are old and too tired to take that final step necessary to rescue Vatican II from the Roman vault where it has been locked away gasping for air. WE FEAR SCHISM…thinking there could be no other alternative.
Young theologians and others who work to revive Vatican II within the Roman Church do it very carefully so as not to disturb the organization that can make or break their career. Many of them also espouse the belief that the Church is working at the Holy Spirit’s pace.
COULD WE BE FAILING TO REALIZE??…THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT MIGHT BE DEPENDING ON OUR COURAGE to rescue Vatican II from the over-confidence of the Roman Rite’s claim on the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council and its implementation.
Rome is perfectly free to lock Vatican II away and/or suppress its implementation within the Roman Rite of Catholicism, but not within the realm of universal Catholicism.
As we are perfectly free to go on ignoring the threat of CLIMATE CHANGE…TO OUR PERIL AND TO THE PERIL OF OUR CHILDREN AND AND OUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN’S CHILDREN, so, too, we are likewise perfectly free to sit back and allow Vatican II to fade into the background of our Catholic Church, citing age, helplessness, or pessimism as reasons for not heeding the threat of the very extinction of Catholicism. Some believe this extinction would be a good thing in the same way that pessimists today believe the earth isn’t worth saving. After all, there is heaven and there are other planets. We don’t happen to go along with this line of thinking.
There are alternatives to schism when we envision the future of the Church…alternatives NOT based on changing the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church (not enough time left for that). There is also an alternative NOT based on forming another Catholic Church separated from Rome.
In fact, the alternative already exists among us by virtue of all the local Vatican II communities, both throughout the world and online. Together we comprise a Vatican II Branch of the Catholic Church, whether the Roman Rite recognizes us or not. This Catholic Branch/Rite exists whether or not we recognize our connections or not. History will declare what has already taken place through the work of the Holy Spirit among us! (Remember, the followers of Jesus never could have known they were founding a Catholic Church, much less the 22 other official Catholic Rites in union with Rome.)
Meanwhile, we may dismiss even the idea of a Vatican II Branch/Rite of Catholicism because we dread the work of creating a new organizational structure. However, a Vatican II branch of Catholicism in union with Rome might be bi-rite (belonging to both Roman and Vatican II Rites) much as Early Christians were both Jewish and Christian.
We’d love to hear your ideas on all this!
For Position Paper: “Resolving Polarization of Vatican II and Roman Catholic Visions”
Warm regards to all,
Sisters Lea and Consilia
READ MORE: Vatican II Going the Way of Climate Change? – Catholica Forum