Vatican II “Compromise” Documents as Creative Tension

The blog excerpt below speaks of the willingness to hold opposite viewpoints in creative tension as the “Spirit of Vatican II”.

We ask these questions in response to that viewpoint:

  • Is Roman Rite Catholicism able to hold opposite views in “creative tension” WHEN it sees itself alone as the Holy See …When it defines itself in terms of “the papacy or the papal court?”  …When it views its Roman Rite Catholicism as claim of supremacy over all other Catholic Rites/Churches. 

  • Was it not the very Second Ecumenical Vatican Council which WAS able to hold opposing views in tension because it represented a larger body of Catholicism than simply Roman Rite Catholicism?
    • The Vatican II Council of 1962-65 brought forth “compromise” documents through the work of a larger Catholic Church which included both Rome and its 22 other non-Roman Catholic Rite/Churches in union with Rome.

  • Was it the participation of these other rites/churches in union with Rome
    (along with the non-voting participation of other non-Roman Christian rites/churches) which helped hold the creative tension spoken of as the “Spirit of Vatican II”?  …a creative tension inscribed within the “compromise” documents of Vatican II?

    • And was it these very ecumenically-created Catholic “compromise” documents which resulted in the world-wide response to the “Spirit of Vatican II”?

  • Was the Holy Spirit unleashed at Vatican II by the very gathering of many Catholic rites in addition and in balance to the Roman Rite which considers itself the elder brother and hierarchical leader of all the Catholic Rite/Churches?

Think about it…and share your thoughts below.  Thanks from all at

Questions above are in response to the blog post excerpt below:
The Wild Reed: Truth About “Spirit of Vatican II” Finally Revealed!

“The Vatican II documents in many places are compromise documents that smooth over some of the major conflicts without resolving them. Thus the decree on the Church talks about collegiality on the one hand but absolute papal authority on the other. The decree on the Liturgy says: “Lingua Latina est lingua Ecclesiae” (variously translated as “Latin is the language of the Church.” “Latin is a church language.” “A Latin language [Italian?] is a language of the Church.” etc.) but at the same time opens the way for the widespread use of the vernacular…

…One can’t absolutize church authority to the point that there is no room for the active participation of the laity in the liturgy. Similarly, one cannot stress the hierarchical nature of the Church to the point where the Church becomes identified with the Bishops and Pope with no place for the laity or to the point where it negates the notion of the Church as the people of God.

These ideas have to be held in creative tension as the Church adapts to the needs of the time. As such they form the basis for sisterly and brotherly dialog as to where the contemporary Church should fall within the extremes. For example, we need to address the question: How should hierarchical oversight be exercised so as to encourage the active participation of the faithful….

…Perhaps the willingness to hold this “creative tension” when reading and interpreting the documents of Vatican II is a big part of what is meant by “the Spirit of Vatican II.”

3 thoughts on “Vatican II “Compromise” Documents as Creative Tension

  1. Did the Holy Spirit recognize in the Vatican II gathering in Rome of “apostles” from all parts of the world, expressing themselves in many rites and languages, another Pentecost moment? …another opportunity to release a creative tension, invoking her fiery spirit upon the Church? 


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