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?

Polarization or Stifling Consensus: The Only Choices?

Certainly, the Vatican’s choice for “Profound Consensus” over polarization in the Church would seem to be the most logical one.  But is it?

Logical or not, the Church is well on the road to a profound consensus which may not be what Vatican secretary Cardinal Parolin was recommending.

National Catholic Reporter: Cardinal Parolin addresses US bishops with call for ‘profound consensus’

Vatican II expert, Massimo Faggioli, describes the reality and danger of one-way polarization within the Church.  See link below where Rite Beyond Rome responds to his La Croix International article:

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To Read more:   https://www.scribd.com/document/370006049/Church-Polarization-or-Stifling-Consensus-Not-the-Only-Choices

 

To view and download PDF: Church Polarization or Dangerous Consensus?

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When “profound consensus” is rooted in “safe choice” over the risk of allowing the Holy Spirit to break through staid Catholic consciousness, is it the preferred choice for the Church in the world today?

In this instance, wouldn’t it be wiser and more rational to diversify the Church’s expressions of Catholicism in ways that maintain “consensual unity” AND dynamic and creative diversity…?
…as described in the 1973 book, POLARIZATION IN THE CHURCH, edited by Hans Kung and Walter Kasper?

Thanks for reading…Comments and questions appreciated!

(Click on article title to comment.)

 

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

Reform Roman Catholicism, A Rational Alternative?

Poor Pope Francis, his hands are tied by literal interpretations of tradition regarding women’s ordination, GLBT, Communion for the divorced and other issues.

As Patriarch of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church; he is caught between a rock and a hard place…between:

  • ancient interpretations of papal leadership rooted in monarchical male dominion with its considerable $$$ support
    and
  • modern understandings of leadership rooted in a cultural consciousness which rejects monarchic models for that of democratic unity.

How ironic is it that democracy-oriented “Catholics for reform” maintain that Pope Francis should speak as a monarch and command the Roman Rite to change.  How strange it is that reform-minded Catholics also express great satisfaction when  Pope Francis demotes or dismisses Romanist ultra-conservatives from office, no?

Doesn’t this type of reform-minded Catholicism wind up advancing the same “get rid of the opposition” uniformity position…a position that reformist Catholics have long criticized Romanist Catholics for using against Vatican II cardinals, bishops and pastors?

Despite the Roman Catholic position for a tradition against change,
reform-minded Catholics console themselves with the belief that Roman Catholicism will change eventually, even if they do not live to see that change.

A thousand years ago, Roman Rite Catholicism could not force the Eastern Catholic Churches to accept and practice Western interpretations of catholic theology, governance, and liturgy.  And so they worked out a settlement.

The settlement worked out to keep unity between East and West.  You might call the settlement a “toleration policy”…allowing Eastern Rite/Church differences such as married priests and collegial governance… as long as they promised to recognize the Patriarch of Rome as head of the Catholic Church.

This tradition of “friendly toleration” has been applied most recently with the Anglican Catholic Rite/Church which promises union with the Pope as Patriarch of Rome.   SO, why can’t dissent on this matter of women’s ordination and other matters be resolved by our Church’s ancient “toleration” policy…Roman Rite toleration of a Vatican II Rite/Church with its different interpretations and practices of theology, governance and liturgy?  …a Vatican II Rite in union with Rome?   Why not?

Dare We Catholics Believe Differently?

Literal & Poetic Interpretations of Catholicism, the real split?

“The Church in the Trump Era: Catholicism or Americanism?”…or Something Else?

In reply to Massimo Faggioli’s article:  “The Church in the Trump Era: Catholicism or Americanism?”  published 11.14.2016 on https://international.la-croix.com

Massimo Faggioli writes, “There is the problem of political and cultural polarization within [the American] Church” and notes “this problem goes beyond the bishops and includes some American theologians, Catholic colleges and universities, and organized lay associations such as the Knights of Columbus.”

When Massimo writes this about the American Catholic Church, he comes close to identifying by name the most influential arm of Catholic neo-conservatism embedded both financially and theologically in the WORLDWIDE Catholic Church from the Vatican down to local parishes…Opus Dei.

Opus Dei was founded in the 1930’s and has since spread to over 16 countries.  In 1982, Pope John Paul II created a new juridical status for this neo-conservative Catholic clerical/lay group…the “personal prelature” as special canonical recognition by the Roman Catholic Church.  As such, it claims to eschew political involvement in its preaching and practice, while other sources claim its mission is to infiltrate the highest spheres of political, economic and cultural power.  Another neo-conservative revisionist group, the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, was offered “personal prelature” status by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.

Opus Dei has been operating a strong recruiting campaign for young professionals, prospective seminarians and other college students in the USA and other countries since long before the 1995 America Magazine article about them.  Link below.

Couldn’t this neo-conservative bastion of revisionist Catholicism have something to do with:

  • the neo-conservative relationship of the U.S. bishops with Pope Francis?
  • the neo-conservative relationship of American Catholics toward their federal and local governments?

Remembering that the well-organized Opus Dei papal prelature is doing its faithful work in many other countries beside the USA,

  • could this be part of the reason for the rise of neo-conservative political movments in other countries?

Massimo says: “a rather urgent and dramatic question for Catholics in this great country…deep at the heart of the future of the Church in the United States is the fundamental choice between being a Roman Catholic Church in America or being an Americanist Catholic Church.”

There could be a third choice here, no?   Since Roman Catholicism, beginning with the U.S., is increasingly coming to be defined by revisionist neo-conservative movements of the Roman Catholic Church, shouldn’t the U.S. and Catholics worldwide have the choice to be part of a Vatican II Rite in union with Rome?

*    *    *    *   *   *   *   *   *

Opus Dei in the United States: From February 25, 1995 by James Martin, SJ

                    https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2012/12/13/opus-dei-united-states-february-25-1995

See Also:

https://ritebeyondrome.com/2017/09/23/church-unity-is-not-institutional-merger-cardinal-kasper/

“Huge gap separates Pope Francis from liturgical traditionalists” by Massimo Faggioli

Our comment below on Massimo Faggioli’s article…comment censored by Global Pulse Magazine  (GPM article link below):

“We appreciate Massimo Faggioli’s hope that Vatican II Church is going to make a come-back. However, in the few short years Pope Francis has, do you really believe he can reverse the massive “particular sympathy and irenic attitude” towards traditionalism” imbibed by the Catholic population and taught in many universities, seminaries, parishes and publications worldwide for the past 30+ years?

Furthermore, with the dying off of so many Vatican II Catholic clergy, theologians and laity, should we really sit back and depend on Pope Francis to revive the Vatican II Church…against the strong and pervasive traditionalist push for a “smaller, purer Church”?

Fact is, the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church has set itself up as a formidable opponent to Vatican II and its prophetic interpretations of theology, governance, liturgy and Catholic identity.  So why not let elder brother Rome stand guard over Council of Trent hermeneutics as the representative of institutional Catholicism?

Meanwhile, Pope Francis is in a position to liberate Vatican II from the hands of those who shall never see Vatican II  as anything more than a confirmation of the Council of Trent.

Pope Francis can protect the universal Church from schism by blessing the Trentonian and Vatican II traditions as “equally valid yet different” branches of Catholic thought and practice.

This move would be somewhat akin to the “separate yet one-with” brotherhood of Roman and the Eastern Church Catholicism which has a less scholastic/more mystical interpretations of Catholic theology, governance and liturgy than its Roman “elder brother”.

Otherwise, Francis dies and the Church moves comfortably back into its Curial mode of Trent Council Catholicism, as if Vatican II never really happened, no?”

Massimo Faggioli’s article: “Huge gap separates Pope Francis from liturgical tradionalists” – Global Pulse Magazine
http://www.globalpulsemagazine.com/news/huge-gap-separates-pope-francis-from-liturgical-tradionalists/3568     (article published 7.18.2016)

Dare We Catholics Believe Differently?

Have we even begun to understand what degree of change the Holy
Spirit was/is calling forth from within the event of the Second Vatican Council?

Some Catholics see the past few decades…from a different viewpoint…
…as an erosion of faith in the doctrines we have…

But others look at Vatican II as a gift of the Holy Spirit,
as God calling forth a whole new perspective on doctrine…
in which case, there is the need for a very deep deconstruction of
“how we believed before and often still do now.”

A deconstruction of Catholic belief
down to the very bedrock of our faith…

leaving behind
cherished understandings of doctrine…
in order to get to the root of doctrine
and its applications for our time.

NOT to change or break down Roman Rite theology …
which keeps the institution focused on certainty and security in the everyday world,
…
BUT to be a “next-door” theology in union with Rome…
……..from the point of a world constantly adapting to change…
…that each theology may call forth and challenge the other 
in our uncommon faith
in Jesus the Christ and our proclamation of the Good News to the world.

Uncommon Faith speaking from two different perspectives:

+Roman Rite Catholicism from the perspective of the “strong force” of a
…hierarchical, unchanging, all-knowing, all powerful God who is everywhere,
a God who designed the universe according to the order of His Will.

+ Vatican II Rite Catholicism from the perspective of the “weak” strength of a
…God that calls and promises but doesn’t command, awaits response but doesn’t demand.
The Name of which God carries an event that stretches us
beyond what we know to where we are certain we must go,
to an order other than hierarchy (the internal order of chaos theory perhaps),
…a divine “stepping back” which reveals how much we tend to rely on force as power,
…a divine will that models and solicits forgiveness, hospitality and love of the other
as the determining factors of who discovers or “gets into” the kingdom of God

More on Vatican II Theology to come on Rite Beyond Rome.
Meanwhile, read John D. Caputo’s books:
On Religion and The Weakness of God, A Theology of the Event with us.
Interested in conversation…comment below and/or email 4Vatican2Rite@gmail.com

View, share, download:
Slide Presentation: EXPLORING A VATICAN II RITE

Position Paper:  Resolving Polarization of Vatican II and Roman Catholic Visions

Sisters Lea and Consilia
https://ritebeyondrome.com

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

Against a Vatican II Rite

“If you truly understood the meaning, teachings and import of the Second Vatican Council you would not be so quick to misuse it as an excuse for advocating that which is not Catholic truth and promoting what the Council Fathers never taught.

You are accepting what Pope Benedict XVI rightly called the “hermeneutic of rupture” rather than the “hermeneutic of continuity”.

The Second Vatican Council was in no sense a “super council” that denied or changed what had come before it in time. Its goal was pastoral, as the Church sought new ways to teach the ancient truths of the Church.”

 
  • “There needs to be a “hermeneutic of singularity” which addresses the age of change in which we live!   Vatican II Fathers succeeded in opening the Church to change, whether they intended to do that or not.

    Would the Holy Spirit not have wanted to prepare the Church for these times of geometrically progressing change…ancient truths and all…continually transvaluing them so that they stay ALIVE for every generation?”

    Visit  PICTURE THE POSSIBILITY OF A VATICAN II RITE
    and  Reasons for a Vatican II Rite

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

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)

“how far the Church still has to go”

How Far the Church Has to Go..
M…. says: “My take on 2015 for the church is that it is the first time in a long time, we’ve seen some reason for hope. But if so, we’re still early in this Advent of hope. As others have noted here, there are many serious problems to be overcome. So perhaps the assessment here might better be framed as being an early step, where the church is finally showing itself some of the work that’s needed.

*Splits among the bishops are no longer whispered in gossipy tones: they themselves have brought the battle out into the open.

*The scandal has YET to be dealt with as it should. Yes, Francis created a Commission, yet, by all appearances, they have been relegated to the sound proof, communications proof rooms deep in the Vatican, for virtually nothing of note has come from that group. So yet another year has gone by with only minimal cases of accountability: cases that simply had to be dealt with because the issues were so public.

* Little or no change took place with respect to the role of women in the church, and the few changes that were made, make it clear that women remain seen as second tier in the church.

Yes, Francis offers hope, and for that I am thankful. But if anything, the promise of that hope, as it played out in 2015, only adds emphasis as to how far the church still has to go, and THAT story is far from uplifting.”

Sister Lea  responds  to comment above:
“Yes, M…!  To add to the “how far the church still has to go”, don’t we have to face up to the fact that Vatican II vision for the Church is very often in direct conflict with Roman Rite vision for the Church?”
Google: “RITE BEYOND ROME”

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.”

 

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