Catholic Culture’s “Split Mind”

Some believe we have gone far beyond the need for “aggorniamento,” i.e. updating” of church structures, language and reconnecting to the culture in the vernacular.

Perhaps we have just begun the aggorniamento process which needs to acknowledge that we have arrived at a split mind within the Western/Latin Branch of Catholicism…a place where Roman and Vatican II Catholics see things so very differently, that we speak two very different cultural languages as Catholics, akin to the 1054 East-West mystical/scholastic split mind in Catholicism, including the Eastern Churches which remained in union with Rome.

This “split mind” in our Church drove the direction of Vatican II and, according to the article below and other sources, this “minority mind” had such a great influence on the Church that we are still wrestling with its contributions today.

It was, after all, Patriarch Maximos and his small Melkite band in a sea of Latin Rite hierarchs, who managed to introduce such items as:

  • the use of the vernacular,
  • eucharistic concelebration,
  • communion under both species in the Latin liturgy,
  • restoration of the diaconate as a permanent order,
  • creation of what would become the periodically held Synod of Bishops
  • creation of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity,
    • championing new attitudes to and less offensive vocabulary in ecumenical relationships with Eastern Orthodox and other Christians,
      • recognition of Eastern Catholic communities for what they are, “Churches,” not “rites.”

From “Eastern Christians in Australia” by Lawrence Cross in Australian eJournal of Theology 19.2(August 2012)

So, we ask, “Should so many be so hesitant of even addressing the option of a Vatican II Rite standing next to its 22 Eastern siblings in union with “elder sibling” Rome?

Sisters Lea and Consilia
4vatican2rite@gmail.com

 

Jesus Brings Division? Catholica.com

“Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. This is what it will be like. It will be as if a household of five were divided, three against two and two against three…”  From Luke 12:49-53

“At present there is increasing talk of schism. Will it be necessary for conservatives to separate, as the Old Catholics in Holland did after Vatican I? Or is it time for progressives to break away and form ‘The People of Vatican II’ as some are advocating?

In the end the question is, can we be in communion with people who have different thoughts and attitudes to ours? Historically, when divisions occur, at some point we break off communion. Religious people, whether catholics or protestants, christians, muslims or jews, take the matter of being ‘in communion’ very seriously. We value purity of doctrine above family bonds. We can’t break bread with you! This is very sad. It is very odd. I wonder is this the aberration that Jeshua knew they would not avoid?

What is the ‘unity’ he prayed for? Was it uniformity of thought and expression in a world whose very evolution and development is a product of diversity? Was it conformity that is changeless in a living world where adaptation to different environments is the rule of life’s survival? Was it to be unchanging in a cosmos where there is nothing that is not moving? Sameness, permanence, being still: these are all illusion.
Or was he thinking of a family bond that would hold us together, even while we find many different paths through life. Unity in diversity.

What is the touchstone? What is the bond that makes us one? Why do our divisions hurt more than the divisions that are part and parcel of politics in a democracy, of business interests, of sport and even of football codes? Why do we treat difference in our Christian Family as worse than criminal? Why do we cut off communion and refuse to talk with the ‘others’? Is it reasonable? Or is it childish recoil from the pain of family hurt where any disharmony is magnified into trauma.

I believe that, in the last analysis, it’s a matter of trust.
We do not trust those who are different, or go a different way. The sad fact is that our rejection of them shows that we do not trust God to lead them along their paths. We judge them because the thought that there might also be another way threatens our security. Without understanding them, we reject them on the measure of our own perception of the truth. To cement our stance in place we all claim that God’s approval makes our position absolute.  Children! Children! Behave yourselves. Remember where you are!

In our Father’s house we must first trust him. It is the embodiment of believing – to trust. It takes faith out of the airy intellectual and makes the heart big enough to embrace other sisters and brothers, God’s other children. It is not foolish or irresponsible to trust God. But it is silly to try to run his world our way.”

Article excerpt reprinted with permission.

Click link below to read Full article by Tony Lawless at Catholica.com:
He Brings Division? Sunday Readings

 

 

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/

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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

IS This Pontificate Stuck in the Mud?

Text below is response to this NCR link:
The pontificate might be stuck in the mud | National Catholic Reporter

Is this pontificate stuck in the mud as the above NCR article suggests…
OR is it our unrealistic expectations of this pontificate that are stuck in the mud?

Almost one millennium ago, Roman Catholicism rejected synodality in favor of monarchical papacy and centralized government in opposition to Eastern Church synodality…resulting in the East-West Great Schism of 1054.

Vatican II re-introduced synodality to the Roman Church/Rite through the influence of Patriarch Maximos of the Melkite Eastern Church/Rite in union with Rome.
Yet, because of an official note Pope Paul VI attached to Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, papal monarchy was once again preserved in its former glory dating as far back as 5th century Christianity.

In response to the official papal note attached to Lumen Gentium, AMERICA Magazine article on Synodality said, “While the advance of collegiality among bishops is regarded as one of the great ambitions of the Second Vatican Council, it was an idea still born.”   7/1/2013

WHY?  Because papal monarchy and centralized government are embedded in Roman Church/Rite theology and tradition. 

As long as God is held in faith as the Divine Monarch, so long will Roman Catholicism model its divinely appointed government on monarchy over synodality.
Likewise, so long will the most significant breakthroughs of Vatican II be still born.

When are we Vatican II Catholics going to stop expecting Roman Rite Catholicism to surrender its theological understanding of itself? 

Synodality and collegiality are NOT compatible with Roman Rite theology, governance or liturgy.

WHAT CHOICES ARE LEFT FOR VATICAN II CATHOLICS? 

Must Vatican II Catholicism remain still born for another millennium or longer?
Do we just wait and watch from heaven?  God will take care of everything for us?

Could we at least look at the possibility of a Vatican II Catholic Rite in union with Rome?  Might that be something the Holy Spirit is calling forth during this papacy?

Click here for PDF visual slide presentation “Exploring the Possibilities of a Vatican II Rite”.  Link, Share, or download this and/or Position Paper on “Saving Both Vatican II and Traditional Catholic Visions

WHY THE CHURCH NEEDS A NEW RITE ALONGSIDE THE ROMAN RITE…

Pope Francis is a good and holy man!  Many think he can save the Catholic Church from ripping apart at the seams.  Maybe so, but we think NOT!

Pope Francis’ job is to hold the threads of unity together as long as possible…
…even if that unity “cannot” surrender hierarchy as the model for God & Church,
…even if that unity “cannot” recognize the sexism of patriarchy,
…even if that unity “cannot” recognize sexual relationship outside man-woman marriage,
…even if that unity “cannot” discuss certain topics like women’s ordination,
…even if that unity must protect the image of the Church AT ALL COST.

Continue reading

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.”

 

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…

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