Can the Church Dialogue Its Differences into Unity?

A conversation with Paula Ruddy in regard to her comments to our post,  Church Unity: NOT about merging disparate factions, on this website.

Paula Ruddy:

“I can see the intention for this, empathize with it. However, I think there is another way to unity through dialogue among people of different worldviews.  

The postmodern cultural view that all are equally valid ways of viewing “reality” supports this strategy for unity, but is it true that Vatican II can be interpreted both as true to the Gospel in opening to the world and as not true to the Gospel in opening to the world? Isn’t there some objectivity in what the Gospel teaches and how the Church should exist in the world?”

Sisters Lea and Consilia reply: 

Yes, there have always been different ways of viewing “reality” with every view claiming its own view as valid, even superior to the other’s view of reality. 

The problem within the Catholic Church begins when two or more worldviews diverge so radically that they no longer see the Gospel through the same “objectivity” lens.   This is the case of the different Gospel views between Opus Dei/ Evangelical Catholicism AND Post-Vatican II understandings of the Gospel.  In other countries, the problem is that cultural adaptation to the Gospel is thwarted by “one way only” interpretations of Catholic doctrine and practive.

Pope Benedict may have correctly described the two interpretations of Vatican II as continuity and rupture…continuity with the Council of Trent and rupture as break.  However, one might interpret his words differently…as meaning continuity with Church Tradition AND rupture…NOT break or Schism as Pope Benedict implied…but rupture into a new shoot, an evolutionary outgrowth from the Root of Jesse.

Paula Ruddy:

“What about the Petrine Ministry to lead in the Gospel direction? Should the Pope say ‘all interpretations of Vatican II are valid’?”

Sisters Lea and Consilia reply: 

Insofar as any interpretation of Vatican II can be supported by Vatican II documents or post-Vatican II theology, it would seem the pope ought to consider those interpretations valid.  

Of course, this has not been the case with the two popes preceding Pope Francis.  For many Catholics today, including George Weigel, the interpretation of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI are the ONLY authorized interpretations of Vatican II.

As for the Petrine Ministry of the Pope to lead and unify the Church in the Gospel direction, perhaps the papal ministry for the future lies in coordinating/negotiating the differing Gospel interpretations within a shared Papal/People of God relationship… a negotiating servant-leadership for a challenging multifaceted set of Gospel interpretations. For example, the 20+ Eastern Catholic Rites/Churches in union with Rome, the Opus Dei prelature, and the Anglican ordinariate are but a few examples of this negotiating servant-leadership.

Paula Ruddy:

“The question I have about dividing us up is this: Is it good to abandon the mainstream Church to the point of view that the Holy Spirit is NOT IN the world while establishing an ordinariate that believes the Gospel calls for discerning the Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God WITHIN the world as it is?”

Sisters Lea and Consilia reply: 

The questions we have here are these:  What is “mainstream Church” Catholicism?  The majority viewpoint?  The viewpoint of the presiding pontiff? 

Is there any point of view within the various Catholic Rites/Churches, prelature, or ordinariates that teaches “the Holy Spirit is NOT in the world”?  Perhaps the answer is “yes” when we consider post-Trent Church vs. world theology where the Holy Spirit resides only in the One True Catholic Church.  The Second Ecumenical Council pushed back on this view of Church and  world.  Is this theological viewpoint what is “dividing us up” along with the scientific revolution, the loss of leadership credibility, clericalism, and marginalization of women, divorced Catholics, LGBTQ+, etc? 

Paula Ruddy:

“Isn’t it better to continue the dialogue among people with evolving worldviews within the Church, depending on the Holy Spirit, faith and reason to keep us together?”

Sisters Lea and Consilia reply: 

Indeed, it is ALWAYS better to continue dialogue within the Church.  When there is radical divergence in theological interpretation, however, dialogue becomes much more difficult, if not impossible. 

Throw inequality of relationship into the mix, as Leonard Swidler discusses in his Dialogue Decalogue and dialogue actually becomes impossible.  One has to ask if even the Holy Spirit is impeded from holding us together if we cannot treat each other as the sisters and brothers that Jesus called us to be.  

Paula Ruddy:

Do the believers in the rightness of Vatican II have brave spokespeople who can make the vision clear and compelling to the mainstream Roman Rite Catholic? If not, how are they going to run an ordinariate?

Sisters Lea and Consilia reply: 

One has to wonder if it is necessary “to make the vision clear and compelling to the mainstream Roman Rite Catholic.”  If the goal is to win mainstream Catholicism back from the decades of spiritual groundwork done by Evangelicial Catholicism (and its precursor, the Opus Dei Movement/Prelature), that ship has left the harbor.

What we see as possible and URGENT is the redirection of energy spent by those who stand continually waiting in the vestibule of Roman Rite Catholicism, begging and hoping that someday Vatican II will rise again…if only we are patient enough.

If the Apostles never came out of the Upper Room, there would be no Catholic Church today.  What were they waiting for?  Approval by the Temple High Priest?

 

As for “brave spokespeople” of the great Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, we have many both in this life and in the hereafter.  Fortunately, those who have left us in this life have also left their writings for us to study and discern the earliest spirit and wisdom of Vatican II. 

As for how a Vatican II prelature or a Vatican II ordinariate might operate, we do have models today within the Church, models which might be adjusted and applied both to different national cultures and different evolving understandings of a Post-Vatican II Church in an ever-changing world.  As in every institutional model, what the model presents is always ONLY a model.

Paula Ruddy:

“I appreciate the “Rite Beyond Rome” effort to discern how we should proceed. I hope we keep talking.”

Sisters Lea and Consilia reply: 

We appreciate your efforts and the efforts of all those working to discern how we should proceed in moving forward.  We intend to explore the prelature, ordinariate models here on https://RiteBeyondRome.com as precursor to a Post-Vatican II Rite/Church in union with Rome, if that is where the Wisdom Spirit of God leads.

And YES, let’s keep talking!

https://RiteBeyondRome.com

Church Unity: NOT about merging disparate factions

Unity is not like a puzzle pieced together.jpg

different puzzle pieces pic.jpg

 

If Cardinal Kasper can say this

about ecumenical unity,

might this wisdom for unity

apply as well WITHIN the Church?

Might this be the wisdom we need
WITHIN our polarized Roman Catholic Church?

Cardinal Kasper.jpg

…a Church polarized by its different interpretations of
the Second Vatican Council

…a Church polarized between

those who hold minimum assent to the Council
and
those who see Vatican II as whole new direction for the Church?

Continue reading

Hope for the Church: Young adults from all over the world at Vatican Seminar talk freely!

“They did not hesitate to challenge the academic presenters or to raise the stakes by freely expressing their views during the debates.

In fact, they even protested when the presentations of the experts exceeded the time limit and ate into their precious discussion time.

They also criticized the Vatican survey addressed to young people which was considered to be too long or poorly translated.

‘The pope asked us to ‘make chaos,’ that’s precisely what we’re doing,’ said Lucas Barboza with a smile.”

VIEW short VIDEO snippets of their discussions on the link below

via Young people make waves at Synod meeting – La Croix International

Literal & Poetic Interpretations of Catholicism, the real split?

For too long, we have not tackled the task of transvaluing* the very important doctrines which have provided structure and meaning to our faith…for so long.
Could our Catholic doctrines have been so guarded and locked down that they gradually diminished in ability to develop their fullness of spirit in each modern age,
culminating in the rejection of Catholicism so evident today?

As more than one theologian has said, we DO need “right” theology.
We also need to transvalue,* not dilute it, according to each new epoch.
The problem, of course, lies in what is the “right theology” and
what is vehicle for the faith which has carried us into the 21st century.
There are and always will be great differences of opinion on this question.

However, too many people today cannot “buy” the essence of Christianity
according to the literal “died for our sins” version
that many still hold so very sacred.
This rejection of theological understanding in the Catholic Church today
is likewise going on in other Christian denominations.

There is a split  between the literal and “poetic” versions of Catholicism
and it is well documented by philosopher/theologian John D.  Caputo in his books,
RELIGION WITHOUT RELIGION, THE WEAKNESS OF GOD,
and THE INSISTENCE OF GOD.

Could there be at least two different valid interpretations of our Catholic faith
…not just “continuity and rupture”?
Vatican II pointed us in the poetic direction while retaining the literal hermeneutic.
Might we have need for both literal and poetic interpretations
of theology, governance and liturgy in the Church today?
…even if that means “allowing” (if not “fostering”) the development of a new rite
in our Church which has managed to “allow” 22 other rites in union with the Roman Rite of the Jerusalem Church of Saints Peter and Paul and the earliest Christians?

Sisters Lea and Consilia welcome your feedback…even a “like” if you are so inclined.
Thanks!

***

*transvalue here meaning:  “To represent or evaluate something according to a new principle, causing it to be revalued” differently…with the “new principle” being the work of the Holy Spirit in Vatican II and the world.

See Position Paper:  Resolving Polarization of Vatican II and Roman Catholic Visions
https://www.scribd.com/doc/311664852/Resolving-Polarization-of-Vatican-II-and-Roman-Catholic-Visions

No Vatican II Rite!  What Loss to World and Church
https://wordpress.com/post/ritebeyondrome.com/1469

A Whole New Branch of Catholicism?

For some the path to a healthier church is about waiting for the orthodox positions of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church to change.

Others see no hope in this patient hopefulness…no hope that “patient hopefulness” will eventually resolve the polarization afflicting the Catholic Church in a post-Vatican II age.

Once Judaism had to face a similar case of on-going polarization within itself.  From this realization flowed the diversified branches of orthodox, conservative and reform interpretations of their faith.

What if we are in need of a three-pronged Catholicism…orthodox, conservative and reform?

  • Not such a strange idea as it seems, if you check out “Will Catholicism go the way of Judaism?” by Marquette University theologian, Daniel Maguire.*
  • Why even Pope Francis sees the need for a “multi-faceted unity” of faith in Cardinal Kasper’s article, “Vatican II: Toward a Multifaceted Unity,” (ORIGINS, July 2, 2015)**

Catholicism is not new to the idea of branching out.  Rome, Antioch and Alexandria are today three branches of the original Christian “mother” Church in Jerusalem.  Has the time come to officially recognize a Vatican II Branch of Catholicism?

We could say Holy Mother Church has already conceived a new Vatican II vision by the Holy Spirit at Vatican II.  That vision is the seed of a new branch of Catholicism born in the documents and in the people who experienced the implementation of the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council and in those who were later influenced by it.

 

The Roman Branch of Catholicism was reared and educated in scholasticism, systematic theo-logic and an ethics of justice.

The yet-to-be-proclaimed Vatican II Branch has been nurtured in a conciliar commitment to “the construction of a new form of the church adequate to the demands of our age” as Richard R. Gaillardetz puts it.*

This new form of Church would, according to Gaillardetz, include:

  • dialogical engagement compared to hierocratic monoply on truth
  • mutual respect between clergy and laity, differing from a hierarchy of respect
  • pastoral approach to doctrinal formation  in contrast to a scholastic approach
  • unity-in-difference committed to humble learning from each other

In his book , An Unfinished Council, Chapter 4, “Toward a New Ecclesial Form,” Richard Gaillardetz does not suggest the formation of a new branch of Catholicism, but rather a rebuilding of the temple from within the ruins of the old temple by means of a “synthesized reading” of the documents of Vatican II.

We do not find this solution to be a fair assessment of Roman Catholicism and its contributions to the Church.

  • Roman Catholicism is hardly a temple in ruins. It has complete control of the Church.
    • Even though that complete control has driven many from the pews,
      Roman Rite Catholicism has a very faithful following of cardinals, bishops and people who want the the church to return to the highly-structured Roman system of theology/doctrine, governance and liturgy.
  • Not to mention, there will always be people who find support in highly-structured systems for the certainty and security of mind they provide. It may also be that we gravitate toward a more structured approach at different times in our lives.

There will also always be people who need a less-structured variation of Catholicism……those who need a more open Catholicism…

…much as Paul of Tarsus needed a more open interpretation of the Apostles’ original interpretation of Christianity as a Jewish sect entirely compatible with Judaism.

…much as early Catholicism later needed to make room for the Roman and Eastern Rite branches of the faith.

For these people and all those who see Vatican II as a singular event in the course of the history and future of the Catholic Church, we ask again,

Would a Vatican II Branch of the Church be such a terrible thing?

Would it not unify the Catholic Church and PREVENT schism?

Would it not it make the Church MORE healthy and LESS myopic?

For more information:
https://ritebeyondrome.com/picture-the-possibility-of-a-vatican-ii-rite/
For further discussion:  https://ritebeyondrome.com

Links below are to sources quoted in this article:

* https://cruxnow.com/faith/2015/09/13/will-catholicism-go-the-way-of-judaism/

**http://dc2015.ei-research.net/origins/

Continue reading

Much As We Want Pope Francis’ Strategy for Reform to Work…

In response to article in National Catholic Reporter: “Francis is Reforming the Roman Curia by Circumvention” by Robert Mickens.

Robert Mickens asks: “Is the pope making any moves to ensure that he will leave a legacy that cannot be undone when he is gone? Which means he has to make some structural or organizational changes.”

Mickens notes Pope Francis’ strategy of “Neutralizing” the CDF and “Softening” the heads of other branches of the Curia.

Hmmmmm…will this change, which will take years that Pope Francis may or may not have, ever come about? And even if it does…

This “neutralizing and softening strategy” of Pope Francis…
…can it ever lead to structural change within the RC Rite/Church?
…… a Rite/Church in which so many ‘new’ priests/bishops of the past 30 years have been formed in the hands of O P U S Dei and SSPX…
……with their ultraconservative vision and understanding of the Church?

The Roman Rite vision of Church is A VERY different vision from Pope Francis…with his “situational ethics” which Pope Benedict XVI condemned.
But even this isn’t the core of the problem of Church reform.

Pope Francis’ vision of Church reform is stuck in Constantine’s vision of hierarchy as the only strategy to unity. This vision of hierarchic unity, in turn, is based on a theology of God as Divine Monarch, even Divinely Loving Monarch. This reform is NOT the reform that Vatican II points to, no matter how “synodal” the Church gets as the years go on.

On the other hand,

Pope Francis understands the idea of a multifaceted unity according to Cardinal Kasper and his ORIGINS article, “Vatican II: Toward a Multifaceted Unity. (Volume 45, Number 9).

Yet, Pope Francis’ reform persists in the direction of hierarchic unity instead of considering that the Roman Rite may never really take to Vatican II’s embrace of diversity.

The Church NEEDS the Roman Rite with its hierarchic vision of God, theology, governance and liturgy.  AND YET…

Just as the Church needed the input of the Melkite Eastern Rite at Vatican II to challenge it to consider and embrace synodality, collegiality, and a different view of the world…

…SO THE CHURCH ALSO NEEDS A VATICAN II RITE to challenge and be challenged by the Roman Rite and its sister/brother Eastern Rites in union with Rome.

 

Otherwise, we will be stuck forever trying to push and pull reform back and forth between Roman and Vatican II visions for the Church.   No?

Link to Robert Micken’s article: http://www.ncronline.org/blogs/roman-observer/francis-reforming-roman-curia-circumvention

Subscribe, Share, Comment or Contribute your ideas on Rite Beyond Rome. 4vatican2rite@gmail.com

No Vatican II Rite! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What Loss to World & Church!

Ah, so Vatican II was just another one of those Church Councils, was it?

Well, no, it was obviously a very dangerous Council because it could have changed today’s Church and World had it not been perceived as a threat to Roman Rite Catholicism.

“Keep it from rupturing the Church” has been the main concern of post-Vatican II popes.  “Spiritualize it…Merge it into the Roman Rite and we will be all the better for it.”

Pope Francis takes a different turn. His strategy is to socialize Vatican II by focusing it on helping the poor and away from doctrinal change which undergirds Roman hierarchical structure.

Is the World better off without the full implementation of Vatican II as a new Catholic Rite with its open vs. closed system approach to World and Church?

Let’s see…Would we have …

▪    Massive failure of Christian conscience in regard to world response to the global immigrant crisis…a crisis too similar to the global failure of Christian conscience at the time of the Holocaust.  Such moral failure, including the introduction of nuclear warfare, were major reasons the Second Vatican Council was convened.

Would we be engaged in the following global/national phenomena today if a Vatican II RITE had emerged out of the Council by the 1980’s?

•    Significant increase in ethnic and religious wars?
•    New rise in rampant racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia?
•    So many favored national candidates with anti-xyz tyrannical positions?
•    First world regression into old self-satisfied nationalism and denominationalism?
•    Aggressive controversy in media (including blogs) replacing efforts at genuine dialog?
•    Corporate lobbying vs. climate control, bank regulation, and domestic programs?

IS the Church better off for having resisted the movement of Vatican II toward a paradigm shift in theology, governance and liturgy?

Let’s see…would there have been…

▪    Long and strong resistance to accountability for the clergy sex abuse scandal, especially at higher bureaucratic levels?

▪    Conservative/liberal rupture within the Church…with parishes, religious communities and families split asunder…even the Church itself.

▪    Unprecedented and continued loss of practicing and dedicated Catholics from parishes in much of the world…including loss of vocations to priesthood and religious life…including loss of women to ordained ministry.

According to Cardinal Kasper: “We have neither fully implemented the council nor really received the post-conciliar documents; they have remained without consequence.  We are at a standstill.”  (Cardinal Kasper, ORIGENS, July 2, 2015 (Volume 45, No. 9)  “Vatican II: Toward a Multifaceted Unity”)

Has Vatican II been resisted as a Council because it is such a paradigm shift in perspective from Roman Catholicism…so much so  that…

…in order to become once again an effective moral influence in the modern world,

…We desperately need a Vatican II Rite?
…alongside the 23 other different inter-independent Catholic Rites,
…a Vatican II Rite to stand in sisterly/brotherly union with Rome?    

Think about it!   To Comment: Click on title of article and scroll to bottom of page.

Visit :  PICTURE THE POSSIBILITY OF A VATICAN II RITE

Blessings and thanks for reading and thinking about this!
Sisters Lea and Consilia et al
https://RiteBeyondRome.com

Vatican II, A Rupture in Catholicism?

For too long, we Vatican II Catholics have understandably confused Roman Rite Catholicism with the Universal Catholic Church,
…mainly because Roman Rite Catholicism is internally confused about that one as well.

Vatican II, however, was definitely a rupture in that kind of confused thinking.
More than that, Vatican II was a rupture in the very theology that
…supports what Rome defines as bona fide Catholicism.

Meanwhile, Roman Catholicism has tried to quietly stitch together that rupture between
…Vatican II theology and RC theology with authoritative words
…like “continuity,” “tradition,” and “unity”.
The  justifiable effort here was to spiritualize the aggiornamento (updating) of the Church …in order to save the Church from the “excesses” of Vatican II.
The unintended consequence of this action was to shut down /melt down  Vatican II …into business (theology/governance/liturgy) as usual.

The Holy Spirit, however, was not to be shut out or melted down into business as usual.
Just as the first Pentecost was a rupture in the Judaic vision of itself, humanity and God,
…so was Vatican II a rupture in the Roman Church’s view of itself, God and the world
…a rupture in Roman Catholic Theology.
(Vatican II expert Richard Gaillardetz discusses “micro-ruptures evident in the teaching of Vatican II” in Boston College School of Theology video, “Fulfilling the Unrealized Vision of Vatican II”.)

With Vatican II, the Holy Spirit initiated a challenge to Roman Rite theology,
…as well as RC hierarchic style of governance and its liturgical/sacramental practice.
Vatican II also challenged the ROMAN Catholic  vision of the Church
…as well as its concepts of Catholic identity and Catholic culture.

Any kind of rupture, even sacred micro-ruptures in theology alone;
…these were not the intent of Vatican II,
…but these ruptures were definitely the consequence of the Vatican II event.

The purpose of Vatican II was the updating of the Roman Catholic Church,
…and some cardinals/bishops didn’t even see the need for that.  

The Holy Spirit had different ideas, inviting the Council to move in other directions
…right from the start
…as typified when the cardinals/bishops resisted
…the imposition of a curial-fixed agenda on the Council proceedings.

How often, the Holy Spirit calls us in one direction, only to take us off down a road we never expected, always with results beyond any we could ever have imagined. 

Continue reading

Saving Both Vatican II and Traditionalist Visions

There is no reason for Catholicism to be reserved only for its most orthodox believers.

The Church is large enough to presently accommodate 22 other Rites which view and practice Catholic theology, governance and liturgy differently…and still remain in union with Rome.

IS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TOO SMALL FOR A VATICAN II RITE…where there would be a place for Vatican II Catholics all over the world?

For Position Paper:  RESOLVING POLARIZATION OF VATICAN II AND ROMAN CATHOLIC VIEWPONTS,  Click in document window below. Scroll up to bottom of document where you can zoom in to full page view.  Document Download also possible below.

 

African Theologian Makes Good Points, Yet…

Four significant quotes from Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, principal of Hekima University College in Nairobi and well-known African theologian:

1. “My reading of it (Amoris Laetitia) tells me that Francis reaffirms in uncompromising terms 
the church’s teaching on abortion, contraception, birth control, and 
marriage. What we must not forget is that (Pope Francis) is just as uncompromising 
in affirming the centrality of conscience (#303), discernment, pastoral 
accompaniment, and compassion.”

2. “Part of his message to us is that we need to refrain from the common 
practice of equating “irregularity” with “mortal sin” [paragraph 301].”

3. “If African bishops are wise, they would realize that the pope gives them
 license to be creative in addressing pastoral situations of family life 
and marriage. Francis is actually saying: “Don’t hide behind the veil 
of magisterium!”

4. “I believe that there is still a long way to go before we actually make 
the bold steps that are long overdue with regard to critical issues such
as the role of women in church, homosexual unions, reproductive rights,
all of which are broached and addressed in the document.”

RITE BEYOND ROME Response:

Fr. Orobator’s last quote about there being “a long way to go before we actually make 
the bold steps that are long overdue with regard to critical issues,”…this is why Catholicism needs a new inter-independent Vatican II Rite in union with Rome as part of the universal Catholic Church.

As an historic example of what a non-Roman Catholic Rite has already contributed to the universal Catholic Church, take “the small band of Melkite Eastern Rite/Church leaders, in a sea of Latin Rite hierarchs,” who brought their wisdom and long-term experience to the Second Vatican Council….”introducing such items as the use of the vernacular, eucharistic concelebration, communion under both species, restoration of the diaconate as a permanent order, creation of what would become the periodically held Synod of Bishops and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, while championing new attitudes to and less offensive vocabulary in ecumenical relationships with other Christians…”
  (From article “Eastern Christians in Australia” by Lawrence Cross in Australian eJournal of Theology 19.2, August 2012)

Do you think that the Second Vatican Council would have ever been an “event of unparalleled significance,” as Vatican II expert Gailliardetz calls it, without the contributions of the inter-independent non-Roman Melkite Rite/Church in full union with Rome?

Could a Vatican II Catholic Rite/Church, with every intention of remaining in union with Rome…could it help shorten what Fr. Orobator calls the “long way to go before we actually make the bold steps that are long overdue with regard to critical issues such as the role of women in church, homosexual unions, reproductive rights, all of which are broached and addressed in “Amoris Laetitia”?

More than shorten the time for change, could that inter-independent Vatican II Rite help save the Catholic Church itself, including the Roman Rite/Church? 
Google Rite Beyond Rome.

(See National Catholic Reporter for full article on Fr. Orobator by Joshua McElwee , April 11, 2016.  http://ncronline.org/news/african-theologian-responds-amoris-laetitia)

Unity pre-supposes Diversity

Psalm 132 (133) which reads: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity.”

Comment Source: Vatican II Essays

Oscar Cullman, guest of the Secretariat of Unity at the Second Vatican Council, is mentioned frequently in Yves Congar’s Book, MY JOURNAL OF THE COUNCIL. Cullman argues that unity pre-supposes diversity; it cannot by definition by mere uniformity. Thus diversity may be seen as a necessary structure of unity…a polarity of unity and diversity as a necessary element within the structure of community.

“A community of one heart and one mind”… We need a “polarity of unity” between heart and mind, a polarity of unity where”brothers and sisters dwell together in unity” as in Psalm 132(133). We need the sacred separateness of inter-independent Catholic rites with their different interpretations of theology and different practices of governance and liturgy. We need the holy oneness of different rites challenging, remembering, creating anew in a dynamic on-going inter-coursing union.

We need a Vatican II Rite!
Vatican II and Roman Visions for the Church: Do They Really Sync?  http://wakeuplazarus.net/v2/ES…

Different Rites for Different Visions?

 

Source: Vatican II Essays

Vatican II and Roman Visions for the Church:
Do They Really Sync?

by Lea Hunter and Consilia Karli

Fifty years after Vatican II ended, liturgy has become, for the most part, a TV dinner served up in “one size fits all” portions instead of being a celebration of Catholic diversity in unity.   Why has liturgy lost so much of its Vatican II spirit of diversity?  We would answer:

1.     Because Rome’s understanding of unity is order, uniformity, hierarchy and obedience to hierarchy,

2.     Because diversity in unapproved thought or liturgical practice is viewed as the seed of schism from the Roman Catholic perspective.

Given this situation, it is hard to believe that liturgical reform was first on the agenda of Vatican II.
“This decision (to address liturgical reform first) was a profession of faith in what is truly central to the Church… a Church freed from the hierarchical narrowness of the previous hundred years and returned to its sacramental origins.” 
These are the words of the 35 year-old Joseph Ratzinger writing in his 1966 book about his views and experience as a scholarly advisor to the Second Vatican Council.  (Theological Higthlights of Vatican II by Joseph Ratzinger)

Little did the then-future pope know that liturgical reform would reach so deeply into and question so profoundly “what is truly central to the Church”.  Little did Fr. Ratzinger know then that he and his papal predecessor would do everything they could to shut down liturgical diversity along with all its concomitant theological inquiry. 

The situation in the Church today is this: Roman Rite Catholicism and Vatican II Catholicism are like conjoined twins moving in different directions.  Only this…one twin is stronger, always dragging the other along with it.  Vatican II is not yet a Catholic Rite alongside the 20+ other Catholic Rites in union with Rome.  So Vatican II, like the conjoined twin, has no life of its own, no freedom to develop its own theological perspective, it own liturgical expression or its own means of governance as other Catholic rites have.  As a result of this, the conjoined Roman/Vatican II Catholic body continues to bleed members into larger and larger pools of Dones and Nones, such that the entire conjoined body is at great risk of dying, or worse yet… at risk of becoming entirely irrelevant in the near future.

There is still opportunity to remedy the inevitable and unnecessary demise of a Church that believes itself invulnerable.  If Vatican II were raised from Council to the status of equal Rite/Church in union with Rome and the other inter-independent Eastern Catholic Rites/Churches, such separateness could redound to the greater benefit of the whole Body of Christ… making inculturation and inclusion, among other difficult issues, much easier to resolve.

If Rome were not amenable to raising Vatican II to a new rite within the Church, then one might remember that schism is not the dirty word it is made out to be.  If it weren’t for the Eastern Church schisms, for example, Vatican II would not have had the modern experience of inter-independent governance as a working Catholic model for its teachings on collegiality.  (Ever Ancient, Ever New: Structures of Communion in the Church by Archbishop John R. Quinn)

Vatican II expert, Richard Gaillardetz, wrote in his recent book, An Unfinished Council:  “Vatican II was in many ways an unfinished council.  The council bishops were able to establish key pillars in the construction of a new vision for the church of our time, but, for various reasons, they were not able to draw those pillars together into a coherent, unified structure.” 

Along comes Francis, who is trying “to draw those pillars together.”  Meanwhile, the energy of many Church reform organizations has been put on hold, as if this good pope and his advisory council can whip the Roman Catholic Church into a Vatican II mode… if only we wait long enough.  Likewise, theories abide that our pontiff can pack the curial court with Francis-type cardinals available for the next papal election… if only he lives long enough and we wait long enough. Yet as popular as Pope Francis is himself, no up-tick in Mass attendance has been evident.  And as for any possibility of doctrinal change, Pope Francis disavows the need for it.

The unfulfilled challenge of Vatican II is “to draw together those (key pillars identified by the council bishops)… to draw them “together into a coherent, unified structure” representing a new vision for the church of our time.  The questions we raise are these:

1.     Is the task of syncing the Vatican II and Roman visions for a vibrant unified Church an impossible task… as it has been for the past three papacies prior to Pope Francis? 

2.     Is this present task as impossible as was the syncing of the Eastern and Roman rite visions of the Church almost a thousand years ago?

3.     Do we need to abandon the idea of syncing different visions for the Church?  Could syncing these very different visions ultimately sink the Church? 

Historically, different rites developed in the Church.  These Catholic rites so needed to express their vision for the Church that they risked and endured schism in order to be faithful to that vision.  The universality of the Church calls us to stop looking at different western visions of Catholicism as inferior or as threat to the vision that the Roman Rite holds for the Church-at-large.

The full implementation of Vatican II may very well require the establishment of a new inter-independent Catholic rite alongside the 23 other Eastern rites already in union with Rome.  The work on this project starts with the self-identification of women and men, lay and clergy, as Vatican II Rite Catholics in union with Rome.  Much of the formation of a Vatican II Rite has already started with national and international reform organizations comprised of laity, theologians, clergy and religious, including local and regional Eucharistic communities. 

Now is the time to pick up the unfinished business of the Second Vatican Council:  transvaluation of doctrine and its intimate connection to liturgy.  The evolution of computer technology continues to make this task easier by the day while it also increases the potential for full and active participation of all.

In closing, we remember these words from Pope John XXIII’s inaugural address at the opening of the Second Vatican Council, October 11, 1962:

“In the present order of things, Divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations… And everything, even human differences, leads to the greater good of the church.”

 

The Future of the Church

Source: Vatican II Essays “The Church in Canada”

Richard Shields: “The “who” in “who will read the signs of the times?” are the People of God. The future of the Church in Canada is in the hands of the people.”

Lea’s Response to quote above:  The future of the Church worldwide is in the hands of the People of God! And right now, walk away they should! The “sensus fidei” is on target.  Unfortunately they are walking away from Catholicism, a universal Church which has so much more to offer than what the Roman Rite holds as its divine right to define and contain as Catholicism.

When will the “gray hairs” who have experienced the power of the Spirit Moving in Vatican II take a last bold step and free Vatican II from its suppression in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church?

When will we together proclaim Vatican II as an equal inter-independent rite alongside the 23 Eastern rites in union with Rome? (Whether Rome wishes to be in union with us at this time is its decision.)

Imagine what this new rite could do for the universal Church in terms of diversity.  Just as the Eastern rites have their own theological perspectives, their own liturgical expressions, and their own methods of governance to contribute to the universal Catholic Church, so could the Vatican II Rite.

Will we not exercise this power we have to open the Church to equal participation in decision-making for women, LGBT persons, and for so many others?

Imagine the possibilities for inculturation and multi-cultural communities…the possibilities for ecumenism that were short-circuited soon after Vatican II!

Should we instead stand back in more and more humble obedience to a Roman Rite which has declared itself the universal Church with sole power to interpret the working of the Holy Spirt in Vatican II?

The Roman Rite NEEDS a Vatican II Rite!  All the Catholic Rites NEED each other as challenge to see differently.  The universal Catholic Church NEEDS a Vatican II Rite as much as it needs the Roman Rite and the 23 other Eastern Rites!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK?
    Email 4Vatican2Rite@gmail.com to become a contributor.

VATICAN II RITE SEES GOD AND OBEDIENCE DIFFERENTLY

“In the Mass Readings 489 for today, Saint Paul is helping the Faithful keep obedience in perspective. “to lead the Gentiles to obedienceby the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have finished preaching the Gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:18-19). Obedience must be to God, whatever the “politically correct” risks may be.”

  • Some say God is about OBEDIENCE. They see God as the King of the realm and/or the Father of a family of obedient and unruly children. This God-view keeps obedience as the pinnacle of Roman Rite theology.

    Vatican II theology sees God differently. Vatican II theology sees life and love differently, and so sees God differently. Two very different Catholic cultures: Roman and Vatican II. There is no stuffing one into the other without eviscerating one or the other or both.

    Eastern Catholic Rites in union with Rome see God and each other differently. Eastern and Latin/Western Rites see each other differently.  Is there no room for a Vatican II Rite in the Catholic Church?

    Google “Rite Beyond Rome” or go to https://RiteBeyondRome(dot)wordpress(dot)com or email 4Vatican2Rite@gmail.com for link to above site.

“You Still Aren’t Going to Get a Rite.”

JK to Sister Lea:

“You still aren’t going to get a rite. You may get a separate ecclesial community, but it won’t be in union with the Successor to Peter. If that doesn’t matter to you, well…”

 


Sister Lea to JK:

“You think I am advocating for a Vatican II Rite for myself?

Vatican II was effectively shut down and “synthesized” into the Roman Rite by the papacy in the last 30-40 years.

We who have experienced the joy of the Spirit in the Vatican II Rite OWE it to those who follow us to RAISE VATICAN II FROM COUNCIL TO NEW RITE!

Besides, you never know, the Successor to Peter just might find himself glad for a Vatican II Rite. No more straddling the great polarization divide, no more frustration and appeasements for each side of the divide…diluting the vision of both sides.

With a new rite, both Roman and Vatican II Rites can pursue their very different visions of Church… in union with Rome or not, as Rome chooses.”

 


 

JK to SisterLea

“That’s my point, the bit you wrote about “NOT.” That’s what’s not going to happen. If you’re talking about a separate body, not in union with Rome, it’s being done all the time. Lots of ecclesial communities already have a system in place. You don’t even have to set up your own (though I suspect it’s REALLY about being able to call the shots…but if that’s so, you can go autocephalous. There’s even an organization or association that helps facilitate such things).

As for your take on the Council, I’m going with Saint John Paul II and the Pope Emeritus and the idea of the hermeneutic of continuity over that of rupture. They were there.”

 


 

Sister Lea to JK

“I am NOT talking about “a separate body, not in union with Rome, ” NOT one that denounces Rome, but one that sees its brother Rome in all its sacred separateness…the same separateness it has now with the 20+ other rites in union with Rome.

I am NOT interested in “calling the shots” or setting up an alternative system. The model of Church that Vatican II called forth will do just fine.

As you well know, Joseph Ratzinger, then-future Pope Benedict XVI was also at Vatican II as theological advisor to the Council. His book written in 1966, THEOLOGICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF VATICAN II, is full of the joy and spirit of the Council along with the struggle between “integrists and progressives”…the same struggle going on now 50 years later! Only now we look at a hermeneutic of unity through diversity!”

 

 

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