Catholic Tradition: Theologically Different Churches

Tradition Reminds Us:  Theological Differences Need Not Rupture the Unity of the Church

Eastern Catholics, while fully Catholic and in communion with Rome, differ in more ways than just liturgy.
They also possess a unique spiritual tradition, as well as a unique theological approach.

Roman Opus-genre Evangelical Catholicism also possesses its own traditionalist spiritual and theological approach significantly aligned with Church Councils prior to 1962…as different from Vatican II (1962-65) which was distinctly different from prior councils in its non-absolutist approach to Catholic theology, government, and liturgy.  (See https://www.scribd.com/document/311633660/Exploring-a-VATICAN-II-Catholic-Rite)

A uniquely transformative council from its very outset, Vatican II was often perceived as a threat to traditionalist Catholicism and its future.  In light of this perception, Popes John Paul II  and Benedict XVI gave Opus Dei the canonical status and structure of a papal prelature in support of its existence and propagation throughout the world.  To date, this move has resulted in the resurgence of traditional Catholicism globally.

Consequently, now it is the Post-Vatican II Church which is in danger of disappearing into Opus-genre Evangelical Catholicism with its well-funded strategic focus on laity as the servants of a clerical Church.  (See Heidi Schlumpf’s three-part FOCUS series at https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/focus-campus-ministry-has-big-money-conservative-connections

Meanwhile, the post-Vatican II Church falls into the background… as if the Second Vatican Council was about nothing more than spiritual renewal and the laity’s call to holiness.

Opus-genre Evangelical Catholicism is now the majority universal expression of Catholicism.  Given this, perhaps we ought to pay more attention to the Catholic tradition of unity in diversity that existed for many centuries between Rome and those Eastern Catholic Churches in union with Rome.  The quote below is from a website introducing the West to Eastern Catholicism:

“Is it true that the Eastern Catholic Churches are allowed to have different theological expressions?
If so what does it involve?

This certainly is true. The Eastern Catholic Churches are not only “allowed” but are actively encouraged to cultivate their own distinctive theological expressions.

Eastern Catholics, while fully Catholic and in communion with the Pope, differ in more ways than just liturgy. We also possess a unique spiritual tradition, as well as a unique theological approach.

While we agree with the Latin Church on fundamental matters of doctrine, we approach doctrine in a very different way – from the Eastern perspective.

While the Western Church has traditionally formulated doctrine in terms of scholastic Latin theology, we rely almost exclusively on the theology of the Eastern Church Fathers. This difference, rather than rupturing the unity of the Church, further expresses the true UNIVERSALITY of Christ’s Church.

This is authoritatively taught by the Second Vatican Council:

“All in the Church must preserve unity in essentials. But let all, according to the gifts they have received enjoy a proper freedom, in their various forms of spiritual life and discipline, in-their different liturgical rites, and even in their theological elaborations of revealed truth” (UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO, no. 4).”

                                                                 (Excerpt above from Doctrine | From East to West)

Returning to the first Roman Catholic prelature approved by two popes, Opus Dei has different theological perspectives on Vatican II.  That theological perspective has been updated and rebranded in George Weigel’s book, EVANGELICAL CATHOLICISM.  Opus-genre Evangelical Catholicism, now global majority Catholicism, is very different in perspective from Vatican II Catholicism.

Given the above, wouldn’t a Vatican II “Branch” Church with its much more culturally-open theological perspective be the best resolution to national and global Church polarization?

A Vatican II Prelature would perhaps be the first step to a global Vatican II Church.  A Vatican II Church could be an invaluable asset to the universal Church alongside the global Opus-genre Evangelical Catholic Church and the 25+ other Eastern and other Rite-Churches in union with Rome, no?

Also see:  Can the Church Dialogue Its Differences into Unity?

“Be open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit?”

“In his homily Thursday Pope Francis stressed the need to be open to the novelty of the Holy Spirit, by discerning new movements and directions without being immediately closed off from them.”

Source: Be open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis advises :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

One of those surprises might be that the Holy Spirit is calling Vatican II Catholics to raise up a new Rite in union with the Pope and alongside the 23 other Catholic Rites including the Roman Rite.

As part of a larger family from its beginning, the Roman Rite/Church has blessed Catholicism with its many gifts, flaws and demands. In all this, it has always operated out of a monarchical God/authority theology with its rewards/punishments system of order.  Vatican II altered that vision of God and Catholicism.

  Vatican II will always be unacceptable at heart to the strictest understanding of Roman Rite Catholicism, except for those document statements which back-up traditionalism.  Roman Rite Catholicism is merely protecting and defending both the theology it considers to be God’s Will and the Church’s role and identity as it sees it.

Therefore, in appreciation for the Roman Rite and all it has done to bring Catholicism forward to us, we Vatican II Catholics have basically two options for remaining within the larger Catholic family in union with the pope…other than staying with the Roman Rite or joining one of the 22 Eastern Catholic Rites in union with Rome:

(1) Fight exceedingly well-organized, well-connected and well-supported entities like Opus  D e i which are not going to allow their Rite/Church to meld into a Vatican II mold no matter how patiently we hope and pray otherwise, no matter how hard Good Pope Francis tries to bring them around to the Spirit of Vatican II and other “innovations”.

(2) The other option for Vatican II Catholics is to take this “now quiet but still strong” rejection of Vatican II on the part of Roman traditionalism as the work of the Spirit…calling us forth to stand as strongly in our understanding of Catholicism as they do in theirs.

Then, maybe we hear the Holy Spirit trying to tell us something we don’t want to hear, even telling Pope Francis something he doesn’t want to hear…that we need both a Roman Catholic AND a Vatican II Rite within the fold of the Universal Church.

Seeing (2) as a viable option, we might at some point just want to discuss the possibilities in small groups, then in non-canonical parish or diocesan councils.  You think?

Whatever you do, don’t get overwhelmed with thinking that all this would demand duplicating Roman Rite Church structure.  It would not.

 

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…

Francis Juggles Vatican II & RCC

“He (Pope Francis) is a Christian certainly but he is also a Roman Catholic, and Christianity is only one component of Roman Catholicism. There is mercy on one side and control on the other. How will he keep both those balls in the air before one drops?”  William Shea From Internet Conference “50 Years After Vatican II”

Very good, honest question! The Pope is a Vatican II Rite Catholic in a Church institution of mostly Roman Rite Catholics. He is struggling with a polarization which is 50 years old and worsening by the day as it did with the past two popes…each side having very different views of God and the God-human relationship.

Isn’t it time to raise the suppressed Vatican II Council to the status of Rite along with the 20+ other inter-independent Catholic Rites in union with Rome?…Rites with different perspectives on theology and different practices in governance and liturgy.

Pope Francis could move the Vatican II Rite forward and Pope Emeritus Benedict could hold Roman Rite Catholicism intact…because both rites are going to need each other…a unity unafraid of diversity.
Just a thought…

“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!”

 

 

EXPLORING THE WAY TO A VATICAN II RITE (PDF SLIDES)

VISUAL PDF PRESENTATION FOR PERSONAL THOUGHT OR GROUP DISCUSSION
Click here:  Exploring the Way 4 VATICAN 2 Rite
(Slides are not time-sensitive.  Scroll down at your own pace.)
Download of presentation available at link above.

Too many people think that Uniformity or Schism are the only solutions to the severe polarization in the Catholic Church.  That is not the case!

Too many people think that Catholic priests cannot marry…when Eastern Rites in union with Rome have many married priests.

For too long, other rites in union with Rome have been explained as being different from the Roman Rite ONLY in Liturgy.  That is not the case!

Check out how and why it is possible to have a Vatican II Rite in union with Rome.

(If link above does not work, Click on link below to see PDF Presentation.  Link above loads faster.)

Exploring the Way 4 VATICAN 2 Rite

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