'Traditionalist' Errors Interpreting Vatican II (Part I)

But since they allege the divine oracles and force on them a misinterpretation, according to their private sense, it becomes necessary to meet them just so far as to vindicate these passages, and to shew that they bear an orthodox sense, and that our opponents are in error. [1]
I - Introduction:

The intention of this section is to demonstrate quite clearly and without the slightest shred of doubt the common fallacious attempts made by so-called 'traditionalists' to discredit Vatican II through the manufacturing of "contradictions" that do not exist. (Not to mention utilizing false dichotomies in the process.) 'Traditionalists' do this while simultaneously ignoring the nature of development that characterizes the Church's near 2000 year existence when it opposes their positions. (Interestingly enough, this is precisely what our Protestant brethren do.)

Before delving into these subjects, it is important to reassert here that a Catholic is bound to all magisterial teaching of the Church on matters of faith and morals. Since a Catholic acting in this manner cannot be anything but in accord with Sacred Tradition, the term "Traditional Catholic" is oxymoronic. Catholics must accept the Bible and Tradition as interpreted by the Church and not by private individuals be they clergy or laymen.  (The latter by the way is one of the many Protestant positions/tendencies that 'traditionalists' adhere to.) Likewise, Catholics must accept the teachings of both Vatican II and post Council magisterial teachings and previous councils, papal apostolic letters, papal encyclicals, etc. Picking and choosing and interpreting Church documents for oneself against the teachings of the Church Magisterium is a Protestant notion and 'traditionalists' do this constantly. This error of theirs has already been looked at in other sections; however, in this url (and the one subsequent to it), the subject will be given extra attention for it is a serious flaw at the core of their philosophy.

II - A Necessary Principle for Proper Interpretation:

If the Bible (which is inspired) can be misinterpreted by men or (to paraphrase St. Vincent of Lerens) "is as capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters", the reader needs to ask themselves why any Catholic would be naïve enough to assume that non inspired magisterial documents would be any different. Why would the Bible have "some things that are hard to understand which the ignorant and the unstable wrest to their own destruction" (2 Pet. 3:16) while magisterial documents would be free and easily accessible to be understood by anyone at face value apart from the times, circumstances, and assumptions under which they were written in??? Such an assessment is obviously absurd but yet that is what the self-style 'traditionalists' do in trying to polarize the Council teachings against previous teachings all the while ignoring the context from which the teachings were promulgated or the assumptions of the time periods in which they were made. Catholics believe that the truth has been revealed once for all in the Divine Deposit of Faith (Jude 1:3). However, our understanding of those truths will constantly become more refined through the passing of time and years (John 16:13) not as additions to the Deposit but instead in a greater understanding of the manifold mysteries revealed to us once for all time. The example of a human person serves as an excellent illustration of this very principle at work.

A fertilized human egg has forty-six chromosomes, all of which contain the unique genetic blueprint of a human being. These chromosomes will never change but the human egg will undergo development and quite rapid development during the nine month gestation period. The development will not cease when the baby is born, and the embryo and fetus does not look completely the same as a new-born baby. The new-born baby, the child it grows into, the subsequent teenager phase, and the subsequent adult are all manifestations of the same human being in different phases of development. These are not "corruptions" of the human baby but a natural growth or progress of the human person setting forth explicitly what was once held potentially or implicitly in the one "deposit" formulated at conception. Consider for a moment how this principle applies to recently defined teachings which all Catholics are bound to accept with the assent of faith.

The theorem of development as a principle explains the process whereby dogmas such as the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, and Papal Infallibility can be defined so late yet not be in contradiction with the beliefs that the Church has either always held. In the case of the Marian dogmas they were held in an accepted partially nebulous form from earlier times. Papal infallibility was acted upon throughout history without fully understanding the exact magnitude or parameters of the belief until later on. All are contained in the deposit handed down "once delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) to be revealed in time as Our Lord said in the Gospels (John 16:12-13). This is merely an outline of the concept of course and others far more capable than this present author have covered in great detail the concept of development. (One which is paramount to understanding the primary difference between Catholics and other Christians.) The most notable work on this topic is that of Ven. Cardinal John Henry Newman whose "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine" should be mandatory reading for every Christian. However, because development is the paradigm that 'traditionalists' are most in need of understanding before they can make a proper assessment of the teachings of the Council, to briefly touch on it here antecedently seemed appropriate as it is the principle that will drive the entire examination of this section.

III - 'Traditionalist' Objections (Part I):

The following "proof texts" from Council documents and the SSPX’s spin on how Rome "interprets" things should prove instructional. These same types of objections are on a whole cornucopia of 'traditionalist' sites so the principles used in examining them can be used with any example out there. With each citation the proper context will be provided which the SSPX (in their arguments much like all dissident 'traditionalists') never does once in a few dozen citations of Council documents and the papal encyclicals of Popes Pius IX, Leo XIII, and John Paul II. The number of groups who identify themselves as 'traditionalists' who pull the charade that we are about to expose is not negligible. And while we will again be looking at examples from the SSPX, it bears noting again that they are by no means the only ones guilty of this proof text procedure.

As far as the little false "either/or" dichotomies, they are a common pattern of self-styled 'traditionalist' groups such as the SSPX. (And an amazingly Protestant tendency it is.) The temerity of the 'traditionalist' to selectively quote Magisterial documents and then say what the "Catholic" position is on them shows that they consider themselves to be the Magisterium of the Church — since they make these judgments in opposition to the very Magisterium they should be obeying if they were actually Catholic. In fact, with regards to the Society, consider what Bishop Richard Williamson (Society bishop for the North American continent) has said on the matter:

Q: Where is the true Church today? Is it with the official Catholic Church, as usual, or with the Protestants, as the Pope seems to say [where???], or with the so-called Traditionalists, as they [who???] say?
A:…As for the official Catholic Church, it becomes more Protestant in belief and practice day by day. But the so-called Traditionalists are remarkable [sic] united (one), producing good fruits (holy), in the faith of all time throughout the world (catholic), with complete respect for the Pope's authority (apostolic). Therefore it is in the direction of the so-called Traditionalists that you must today look for the true Church of Christ. [2]
Anyone even slightly familiar with Church history would see that this statement is right out of the Donatist handbook so to speak. The Fathers of the Church (most notably St. Opatus of Milve and St. Augustine of Hippo) disputed and effectively refuted the Donatists schismatics/heretics of their time. What the Donatists claimed is exactly the same thing that Bishop Williamson does here: that the Church became corrupt but that they (the Donatist schismatics) were the "true Church." It only goes to show that the timeless passage from Ecclesiastes is eternally relevant:
What is it that hath been? the same thing that shall be. What is it that hath been done? the same that shall be done. Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say: Behold this is new: for it hath already gone before in the ages that were before us. [3]
GK Chesterton once noted that to the heretic they are never heretical but instead are the orthodox party. To the mind of the heretic it is everyone else who disagrees with them who is the heretic. 'Traditionalist' groups are no different. They are not the schismatics you see, it is Rome who is the schismatic party. A number of their objections to Vatican II (VC II) and the Council documents will now be looked at. The SSPX prefaces the examples to be examined in this section with the assertion that the predominantly pastoral methods of Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI were "weak", "confused", and "one-sided". Here are the words they used:

[it is little wonder to find Catholic teaching presented...weakly (no definitions or condemnations), confusedly (no technical, scholastic terminology),  and one-sidedly (so as to attract non-Catholics)...All such vague and ambiguous teaching, already liberal in its method, would be interpreted in its true liberal sense after the Council.]

It seems odd that the Council's intention to present Catholic teaching in a catechesis format was somehow a "weak" format. This writer cannot recall offhand any condemnations in the old Roman Catechism. Would this mean that the Roman Catechism - which the SSPX supplies and sells - presents Catholic teaching "weakly"??? As far as the assertion of the teaching being "confused" because of a lack of scholastic terminology, would the SSPX be asserting that the Fathers of the Church taught in a confused manner??? Finally, as far as "one-sidedly", well self-styled 'traditionalists' are in no position to be throwing stones since they often present issues one-sidedly and in a manner whereby they seem to want to cause greater rifts and arguments. In doing this they fail to heed the admonitions of the Apostle who instructed the Corinthians to "not be a stumbling-block to Jews and Greeks and to the church of God, even as I myself in all things please all men not seeking what is profitable to myself but to the many, that they may be saved" (1 Cor. 10:32ff). It would seem that Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, and the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council were striving to follow this advice of the Apostle whereas groups such as the SSPX are content to give scorpions to those who ask for bread (cf. Luke 11:11-13).

What will be demonstrated decisively in this url and the following one is that the so-called 'traditionalists' do not utilize the proper means for understanding the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. All objections and citations of VC II documents or other magisterial documents (listed in this url and in the one following it) that are not footnoted were taken verbatim from the SSPX's web site. They will be enclosed in brackets and be in red ink.

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[The liturgy of the word is stressed (Sacrosanctum Concilium, §9) and the banquet aspect (§10), as well as active participation (§§11,14), and therefore the vernacular (§§36,54).]

The Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC) §9 says nothing about the stressing of the liturgy of the word but even if it did, why is stressing that necessarily a demeaning of the liturgy of the Eucharist??? This is engaging in a false dichotomy. A good argument could be made that increasing the number of readings and exposing the faithful to a greater amount of Scripture over the course of a liturgical year is a good thing. St. Jerome said quite eloquently "ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" yet it seems that the SSPX and their pseudo-'traditionalist' allies would encourage ignorance with their complaints that the Liturgy of the Word would be at all emphasized a bit more. However, SC §9 did not even mention what the SSPX claims it does but we covered it here nonetheless to point out how typically shoddy 'traditionalist' scholarship is. (And that shoddiness will become more and more apparent as we move through the next two urls.)

SC §10 emphasizes both the aspects of the Mass as a Sacrifice and a sacrificial meal:

Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows. For the goal of apostolic endeavor is that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of his Church, to take part in the Sacrifice and to eat the Lord's Supper. [4]
Because Luther denied the reality of the Mass as a genuine sacrifice and placed so much emphasis on the banquet aspect of the Mass, Trent in a reaction against Luther and the other self-styled "reformers" played up the sacrificial side of the Mass and belittled the community meal aspect. (This attitude actually preceded the "reformation" period by a couple of centuries and can be rightfully blamed for laying the groundwork for the "reformation" as one error often begets a converse error.) The Mass is not either a sacrifice or a meal (that annoying Protestant dichotomy yet again) but instead is both a sacrifice and a community meal. SC §10 emphasizes both aspects, which is the proper and "fully orbed" understanding of the divers metaphors at work.

As these groups also have problems with active participation in the liturgy and the vernacular, let us look at the parts of the Constitution that they refer to starting with SC §11:

But in order that the liturgy may be able to produce its full effects it is necessary that the faithful come to it with proper dispositions, that their minds be attuned to their voices, and that they cooperate with heavenly grace lest they receive it in vain. Pastors of souls must therefore, realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the laws governing valid and lawful celebration. It is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite and enriched by it. [5]
What is wrong with the faithful taking their rightful part in the liturgy??? If the SSPX claims that this is against "tradition" then again they show their ahistorical colours because any unbiased reading of Church history demonstrates that the early Church recognized the two metaphors distinctly. The faithful did take part in the Mass in the early Church and it was only later that the sharp "division" (schisma) developed between priest and people. As noted earlier in the Mass urls of this treatise the switch from plural prayer forms to singular prayer forms was the start of the movement away from encouraged lay participation and this began in the ninth century. Gradually the faithful were involved less and less until by the thirteenth century the traditional active participation of the laity had been overshadowed by the novelty of the priest performing all roles himself. Traditionally, the presbyters offered the sacrifice and the people were involved in the liturgy - each having their own specific roles in the process. What is inherently wrong with that???

'Traditionalism', as a particular philosophical outlook, operates far too much from a polemical sixteenth century mentality that the division between priest and people viz. the liturgy (which was overemphasized to reinforce the sacrificial aspect of the Mass in response to the Protestant denial of this core Apostolic doctrine) was somehow either normative or preferable. In reality, the liturgy for the first millennium was celebrated as a communal celebration. The priest played a central role certainly but not the exclusive manner in which he would later play. The laity were involved in the liturgy and not mere spectators as they gradually became by the time of the so-called "reformation"  and (as an extreme reaction against Protestant emphasis on lay participation) the common practice which prevails today in 'traditionalist' chapels.

The new rite both affirms the sacramental dimension of the Mass but also brings into play an additional often overlooked metaphor: the sacrificial meal. This is how the Aaronic priesthood functioned in the Old Testament whereas the items of sacrifice were eaten after both the priest and the one for whom the priest made the offering had previously offered a portion to God. The Church of the New Testament functions no differently. The one offering by Our Lord of Himself in a priestly capacity (Heb. 7:27, 10:11-14) is not called "the Last Supper" without reason. Further still, Our Lord did not offer himself in a priestly fashion as a sacrifice for sin on Calvary. There is a metaphor there that 'traditionalists' do not recognize because they have tunnel vision when it comes to the full mystery of the Mass — seeing only the sacrificial element. The teaching of SC §11 puts the Mass in proper perspective by recounting that it is a sacrificial meal. The ones with the problem properly understanding these theological issues are not the Fathers of Vatican II. The next two points deal with the vernacular usage in the Pauline liturgy:

The use of the Latin language, with due respect to particular law, is to be preserved in the Latin rites. But since the use of the vernacular, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or in other parts of the liturgy, may frequently be of great advantage to the people, a wider use may be made of it, especially in readings, directives and in some prayers and chants. Regulations governing this will be given separately in subsequent chapters. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Article 22:2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used. Its decrees have to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. Where circumstances warrant it, it is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language. Translations from the Latin for use in the liturgy must be approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority already mentioned. [6]
A suitable place may be allotted to the vernacular in Masses which are celebrated with the people, especially in the readings and "the common prayer," and also, as local conditions may warrant, in those parts which pertain to the people, according to the rules laid down in Article 36 of this Constitution. Nevertheless care must be taken to ensure that the faithful may also be able to say or sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them. Wherever a more extended use of the vernacular in the Mass seems desirable, the regulation laid down in Article 40 of this Constitution is to be observed. [7]
This was covered in earlier sections on the Pauline liturgy with citations from Pope Pius XII and the Council of Trent. What was demonstrated was the fact that the Church never condemned Masses being said in the vernacular tongues. Pope Pius XII mentions that sometimes the vernacular can be "of much advantage" (Mediator Dei §60) and the Council of Trent anathematized those who claimed that the Mass should be said only in the vernacular tongue; meaning that it could be celebrated in a non vernacular tongue. The Pauline liturgy is said in divers tongues including Latin so the allowances of the Second Vatican Council are hardly going against the condemnations of Trent. Further, the use of the vernacular in no way makes the Pauline Rite Mass any less valid so this is another red herring. But as we have already dealt with these insignificant objections in detail, no more needs to be said about them here.

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[The Novus Ordo Missae (cf. QUESTION 5).]

This now reads "The New Mass". Nonetheless, Question 5 at the SSPX site is basically a re-hashing of the exact same points already addressed in detail in the three Mass urls of this treatise. Therefore, we will not rehash them here but instead the reader is directed back to those sections should they desire to go to the SSPX web page and read their paltry objections. (The most substantial of which have all been addressed and meticulously refuted in this treatise.)

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[Catholics should pray with Protestants (Unitatis Redintegratio, §§4,8).]

The closest UR §4 gets to say anything about Catholics praying with Protestants is here:

Catholics, in their ecumenical work, must assuredly be concerned for their separated brethren, praying for them, keeping them informed about the Church, making the first approaches toward them. But their primary duty is to make a careful and honest appraisal of whatever needs to be done or renewed in the Catholic household itself, in order that its life may bear witness more clearly and faithfully to the teachings and institutions which have come to it from Christ through the Apostles. [8]
UR §8 does mention it though and the portion reads as follows:
In certain special circumstances, such as the prescribed prayers "for unity," and during ecumenical gatherings, it is allowable, indeed desirable that Catholics should join in prayer with their separated brethren. Such prayers in common are certainly an effective means of obtaining the grace of unity, and they are a true expression of the ties which still bind Catholics to their separated brethren. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them". [9]
Note what UR §8 specifically says about worshipping together with our "separated brethren":
Yet worship in common (communicatio in sacris) is not to be considered as a means to be used indiscriminately for the restoration of Christian unity. There are two main principles governing the practice of such common worship: first, the bearing witness to the unity of the Church, and second, the sharing in the means of grace. Witness to the unity of the Church very generally forbids common worship to Christians, but the grace to be had from it sometimes commends this practice. The course to be adopted, with due regard to all the circumstances of time, place, and persons, is to be decided by local episcopal authority, unless otherwise provided for by the Bishops' Conference according to its statutes, or by the Holy See. [10]
So praying a prescribed prayer for unity is intrinsically "evil" now is that it??? UR §8 is clear that only in certain limited circumstances (and of course with no reception of communion by our separated brethren) is worshipping in common in some limited situations permitted. As for why any circumstances would allow such a thing, UR §9 explains the reasons thusly:
We must get to know the outlook of our separated brethren. To achieve this purpose, study is of necessity required, and this must be pursued with a sense of realism and good will. Catholics, who already have a proper grounding, need to acquire a more adequate understanding of the respective doctrines of our separated brethren, their history, their spiritual and liturgical life, their religious psychology and general background. Most valuable for this purpose are meetings of the two sides--especially for discussion of theological problems where each can treat with the other on an equal footing--provided that those who take part in them are truly competent and have the approval of the bishops. From such dialogue will emerge still more clearly what the situation of the Catholic Church really is. In this way too the outlook of our separated brethren will be better understood, and our own belief more aptly explained. [11]
So there is a good reason for engaging in ecumenical talks of these sorts. After four hundred years of each side being insulated from one another with mutual distortions taking place, the idea of sitting down face to face and actually trying to talk through the differences is not something to be condemned. Perhaps the 'traditionalists' would object to the phrase about the two sides being on "equal footing". This objection would seem to mask a degree of insecurity on the part of those with these kinds of objections. The question then arises as to what they are afraid of. Are they that unconfident in the Catholic position that they feel they need an advantage in dialogue??? We have nothing to be afraid of by discussing issues on equal footing with our separated brethren. After all, the best way to overcome their ignorance of our positions (not to mention their suspicions) is for them to know the truth about us. Are they more likely to learn that from non-Catholics or from Catholics??? And likewise are we more likely to learn about what they really believe from them or from Catholics??? Catholics like to tell others to not trust ex-Catholics to fairly represent what they believe but then they trust others who are biased against various Protestant groups to fairly represent what "Protestants believe". (The same is the case with our Orthodox brethren.) Surely the reader can see the blatant inconsistency (to put it mildly) in this approach.

If our separated brethren know the truth about us (and thus are better able to see the reasonableness of our faith as opposed to the common caricatures of it), it only benefits not only Christian unity as a whole but also the Catholic Church in particular. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen noted once "there are less then one hundred people who hate the Catholic Church for what she is but there are millions who hate what they think the Catholic Church is." This needs to be dealt with and after four hundred years of the adversarial and polemical so-called 'traditionalist' approach, the different sides are no closer to unity in that interim and in many places there is more ignorance of the different positions then ever before. Clearly a new path needs to be blazed. The Church has chosen it and it is the Teaching Office of the Church that sets the tone for what is right and proper in our day and age. There is no sanction either in Scripture or in Tradition for little "Magisteriums" of the different 'traditionalist' groups to controvert the judgment of the Church (Rom. 13:1-2).

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[Eucharistic Hospitality (cf. QUESTION 8). ]

In certain grave situations - provided that they are properly disposed - the Church in her legislation allows for certain non-Catholics to receive certain sacraments. As the Church has the authority "to regulate the application of the divine laws" (Baltimore Catechism A. 126); that suffices with regards to the objections regarding sacramental reception.

Originally there was a magisterial reference here which since this url material was originally written was deleted by the SSPX. (It has been moved to an Addendum section further down on this url.) Thus far, there is no inaccuracy in saying that the 'traditionalists' have failed to prove any contradictions at all when the context of their references are looked at in reasonable detail.

IV - 'Traditionalist' Objections (Part II):

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[The Church of Christ subsists in (not is) the Catholic Church (Lumen Gentium,§8)]

Subsistence is a specific kind of existence. The Catholic Encyclopaedic Dictionary defines it as "that perfection whereby a being is capable of existing in itself" (Catholic Encyclopaedic Dictionary pg. 507). Subsistence (Lat. subsistare) is an old Scholastic term used to explain the manner whereby God exists. Unlike all other entities, God does not depend on another source for His existence. Instead, He is fully subsistent. Likewise the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church in such wise as she does not depend on any other Church or ecclesial community for she possesses the fullness of grace and truth. The same cannot be said of other Churches or ecclesial communities which depend on the Catholic Church for what degrees of truth that they possess.

So the Church of Christ can be properly said to subsist in the Catholic Church as this denotes existence to the fullest possible extent. Of course since the Church had never fully specified her boundaries explicitly prior to VC II, there was no way of knowing what the exact boundaries of the Church were. This is why the Fathers, Saints, and Doctors of the Church would insist on the necessity of belonging to the Church for one to be saved but they never at the same time declared anyone individually not in the visible Catholic Church to be damned. Think about that for a moment: not one Father said that it was not necessary to belong to the Church for one to be saved. At the same time no one who died outside the Church was ever declared to be damned by the Church in all of history (not even Judas). What this says about the necessity of belonging to the Church for salvation is that while it is a necessity surely that nevertheless God in the end is the final judge of who is inside the Church (be they implicitly or explicitly so) because only He knows the inner person. Here is the context of the term "subsistare" from Lumen Gentium (LG) §8.

The one mediator, Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth his holy Church, the community of faith, hope and charity, as a visible organization through which he communicates truth and grace to all men. But, the society structured with hierarchical organs and the mystical body of Christ, the visible society and the spiritual community, the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches, are not to be thought of as two realities. On the contrary, they form one complete reality which comes together from a human and a divine element. For this reason the Church is compared, not without significance, to the mystery of the incarnate Word. As the assumed nature, inseparably united to him, serves the divine Word as a living organ of salvation, so, in a somewhat similar way, does the social structure of the Church serve the Spirit of Christ who vivifies it, in the building up of the body (cf. Eph. 4:15).
This is the sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Savior, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care (Jn. 21:17), commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it (cf. Matt. 28:18, etc.), and which he raised up for all ages as "the pillar and mainstay of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines. Since these are gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, they are forces impelling towards Catholic unity. [12]
For an example of an "element of sanctification" that can be found outside the visible confines of the Church, consider the sacrament of baptism. When Pope St. Stephen in the mid third century decreed (against the protestations of St. Cyprian) that heretics were not to be re-baptized and the baptisms of heretics even by heretics were valid (as long as they baptized by water in a Trinitarian fashion), consider what he was saying about the Church as the custodian of the sacraments. The Church has always taught that only she was the custodian of the sacraments but heretics can validly baptize as long as they use the proper formula (Trinitarian formula). What this says is that the Fathers and Doctors of the Church always recognized implicitly that God's grace flowed through the Church and that God did not punish those outside the Church who (through no culpable fault of their own) were ignorant. In short, if they were good people who did as best as they knew how the will of God, then they would be justified in God's eyes (Acts 10:34). God only holds us accountable for what we know and only actual unrepented sins bring about our condemnation.

God is infinitely merciful; therefore He cannot judge someone without taking all aspects into account including that they may have been born in a disadvantaged situation. (Being a cradle Catholic is a blessing that far too many people do not realize.) The knowledge of the truth may through situations beyond their control be limited. As long as they are not knowingly resisting the truth then they can in some cases perhaps be saved in spite of the beliefs they hold and not because of them. The rationale here being that a person who knew the necessity of explicit membership in the Catholic Church if they were of good will and desirous of doing as God wills, they would join the Church. This was the rationale behind the concept of baptism of desire and also an implicit witness to the bounds of the Church which for the first time was explicitly set forth in Lumen Gentium, a Dogmatic Constitution of the Catholic Church.

The exposition of the Church in LG is a true development of doctrinal terminology and not an innovation as 'traditionalists' claim it is. However, such an exposition in no way implies that our separated brethren are not to be evangelized of course. Far from it, the Council actually urges Catholics to be more zealous in actively evangelizing our separated brethren as our predecessors in the Faith did. However, the reader needs to ask themselves if they actually see 'traditionalist' groups doing this. Evangelization does not mean (i) getting in people's faces and shouting at them (ii) insulting them by lying about their beliefs or (iii) using coercive means of persuasion. How often do the SSPX or other so-called 'traditionalist' groups engage in true evangelical outreaches??? For those who claim to hold the faith, they are not exactly generous in sharing it with others. And if they deny the rigorous interpretation of Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus - which they claim to (Archbishop Lefebvre was a defender of baptism of desire), then they by default profess that the Church of Christ can exist outside the visible boundaries. And to do this is to accept the notion of subsistare.

Traditional terminology of "body" and "soul" sought to explain this mystery but the analogy was flawed in some aspects. By contrast the term subsistare explains the traditional teaching in a manner that fully takes into account the maxim of St. Thomas that God is not bound by the sacraments. (By logical extension, He is not bound to the visible boundaries of the Church in order to save people either.) To accept this principle is to be in accordance with Tradition and also by default to accept subsistare. To reject subsistare is to reject by default Tradition and implicitly accept Feeneyism. Finally, since subsistare is a Scholastic term, the assertion that the Second Vatican Council utilized "no technical, scholastic terminology" is definitively refuted as false.

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[It is also in "separated Churches" (Ut Unum Sint, §11).]

Here is what the Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint (UUS) §11 actually says:

The Catholic Church thus affirms that during the two thousand years of her history she has been preserved in unity, with all the means with which God wishes to endow his Church, and this despite the often grave crises which have shaken her, the infidelity of some of her ministers, and the faults into which her members daily fall. The Catholic Church knows that, by virtue of the strength which comes to her from the Spirit, the weaknesses, mediocrity, sins and at times the betrayals of some of her children cannot destroy what God has bestowed on her as part of his plan of grace. Moreover, "the powers of death shall not prevail against it" (Mt 16:18). Even so, the Catholic Church does not forget that many among her members cause God's plan to be discernible only with difficulty. Speaking of the lack of unity among Christians, the Decree on Ecumenism does not ignore the fact that "people of both sides were to blame", and acknowledges that responsibility cannot be attributed only to the "other side". By God's grace, however, neither what belongs to the structure of the Church of Christ nor that communion which still exists with the other Churches and Ecclesial Communities has been destroyed.
Indeed, the elements of sanctification and truth present in the other Christian Communities, in a degree which varies from one to the other, constitute the objective basis of the communion, albeit imperfect, which exists between them and the Catholic Church.
To the extent that these elements are found in other Christian Communities, the one Church of Christ is effectively present in them. For this reason the Second Vatican Council speaks of a certain, though imperfect communion. The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium stresses that the Catholic Church "recognizes that in many ways she is linked" with these Communities by a true union in the Holy Spirit. [13]
This is an explicit manifestation of the implicit principle taught by Pope St. Stephen I that the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ is not limited to the visible confines of the Catholic Church. (A principle that we explicitly expounded on in the last section.) And as Christ is present wherever truth is proclaimed, His Church is thus present in a mysterious way dispensing His graces outside the visible confines of the Church to those who are not of their own fault ignorant of Christ and His Church.

As far as the divisions in Christendom go, the Holy Father is taking the mature approach here and admitting that there was no shortage of fault on both sides of the various disputes. 'Traditionalists' prefer to take the immature attitude of "well it was/is all their fault" as if the Church was not in need of serious legitimate reform at the time of the so-called "reformation". The essence of truth is unity; therefore for unity to be possible both sides must own up to their failings; otherwise unity is not possible. (And Christians on all sides continue the scandalous disunity which undoubtedly tears at the heart of Our Lord.) Besides, if self-styled 'traditionalists' are adamant that there is absolutely no possible connection to the Catholic Church in other Christian communities whatsoever, will they begin pronouncing that the members of these other churches are certainly damned??? After all, there is no salvation outside the Church. Therefore, since these groups are outside the visible confines of the Church, they are then automatically and immediately damned each one to a man right??? Unless 'traditionalists' are prepared to make such a unilateral statement, then they should be silent and not be critical of the Church doing her job of declaring doctrines of the faith.

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[which has separated brethren in separated "Churches" (Unitatis Redintegratio, §3)]

The term "church" has several usages both in theology as well as in canon law. It is sad that self-styled 'traditionalists' have the habit of projecting onto terms traditionally understood in equivocal senses a univocal interpretation. Nonetheless, here is what UR §3 really says:

Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissentions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church- whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church--do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.
Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too.
All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ…[14]
If anything, UR §3 is an explicit affirmation of many Catholic teachings previously held implicitly. Again, if the Church is custodian of the sacraments and if sacramental grace does not exist outside the Church, then heretical baptisms would not be valid but they are. So UR §3 does nothing but recognize this principle explicitly. This is thus another example of legitimate development of doctrine and not a "corruption" along the lines of Ven. Newman’s seven notes on legitimate development of doctrine. (A thesis which was explicitly approved of by Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X to name two of the several popes that have approved of Newman's theology.) The problem that self-styled 'traditionalists' have is that they do not read documents very carefully before they formulate their objections. The reason the SSPX and other so-called 'traditionalists' make such egregious blunders as we are delving into right now is because they do not consider the difference between the policies outlined in the Decree Unitatis Redintegratio and their usual blueprint for ecumenical approach: Pope Pius XI's Encyclical Letter Mortalium Animos. The two magisterial documents were written in different time periods, under different assumptions, and with different aims. Mortalium Animos was written specifically to address a method of ecumenism that sought reunion at the expense of truth. As Pope Pius XI noted in Mortalium Animos §5 after giving a brief description of the kinds of meetings these groups undertook and the principles that governed them:
We invoke, Venerable Brethren, your zeal in avoiding this evil; for We are confident that by the writings and words of each one of you the people will more easily get to know and understand those principles and arguments which We are about to set forth, and from which Catholics will learn how they are to think and act when there is question of those undertakings which have for their end the union in one body, whatsoever be the manner, of all who call themselves Christians. [15]
The key error that undergirds all of the encyclical's condemnations is highlighted above. Pope Pius XI would go on to expound in some detail on that theme but before touching on that it is important to consider what Vatican II sought to do that differed dramatically from what Pope Pius XI did.

For one thing, Pope Pius XI took at face value the term "ecumenism" as used by the Pan-Christians. Vatican II by contrast took the term "ecumenical movement" and defined it in a Catholic context as " the initiatives and activities planned and undertaken, according to the various needs of the Church and as opportunities offer, to promote Christian unity" (UR §4). The Council also made it unmistakably clear that authentic ecumenism aimed at overcoming the obstacles to ecclesiastical communion so that "all Christians will be gathered, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, into the unity of the one and only Church, which Christ bestowed on his Church from the beginning" (UR §4). And rather than a movement that was seeking a non-existent unity, the Council declared in the same Decree that "[t]his unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time" (UR §4).

So in short, Vatican II (VC II) defined the term "ecumenism" and outlined an acceptable policy for Catholics to follow in this endeavour: embracing what was good in the previous errors while reaffirming what was condemned. The core doctrinal teaching of Pope Pius XI's Encyclical Letter Mortalium Animos (MA) - that reunion cannot come at the expense of truth - was reaffirmed in the Decree. The errors outlined in MA §7 are worth noting in brief. Among them include (i) the idea that Our Lord's prayer for unity was merely an expression or desire that still lacks its fulfilment (ii) the opinion that the unity of faith and government, has hardly ever existed and does not currently exist (iii) that the unity of faith and government may one day be attained but in the meantime can only be regarded as an ideal. Further still, (iv) the Church either itself or its nature is divided into sections comprising of several churches or communities that remain separate, and though there are agreements on some doctrines and disagreements on others, that all of them enjoy the same rights (v) that the Church was one until the first Ecumenical Councils. Not only that but (vi) controversies must be entirely set aside and (vii) of the remaining doctrines "a common form of faith drawn up and proposed for belief, and in the profession of which all may not only know but feel that they are brothers" (cf. MA §7). Since every single one of these errors is directly opposed to the teaching of the Decree Unitatis Redintegratio, there is no reason to quote that encyclical letter in the Decree itself. (The policies of MA were modified because the Church unlike in the time of Pius XI was becoming an active partner in the ecumenical movement. However, the methodology of the Decree Unitatis Redintegratio was far removed from the methodology of the Pan Christian methods condemned by Pope Pius XI.)

The Second Vatican Council marked a definitive turning point in the realm of ecumenism wherein the Catholic Church "committed herself irrevocably to following the path of the ecumenical venture" (Ut Unum Sint §3) and outlined the principles that would guide her in directly involving herself in the ecumenical movement. Pope Pius XI did not set any sort of policy but was instead aiming to condemn certain errors at the heart of the Pan Christian movement for unity. The core error of course was indifferentism - an error that Unitatis Redintegratio declared was "foreign to the spirit of ecumenism" (UR §11). However, Unitatis Redintegratio sought to formulate an active policy for working towards Christian unity. By contrast, Mortalium Animos took the approach of reiterating the same "come back to Rome" speech which is hardly an approach that had any hope of working as long as every jot and tittle of orthopraxy was treated as immutable. (Not to mention the clergy of the Church continuing the charade of blaming the non-Catholics for leaving without taking any responsibility for the schisms herself because of certain actions committed by prelates in the past.)

As long as self-styled 'traditionalists' continue to prooftext documents instead of actually reading them, they will continue to tilt at windmills ala Cervantes' "Don Quixote" and fight a figment of their own imaginations. Whatever problems there have been in the ecumenical movement since the close of the Council - and there have been problems - they have not come from following the prescriptions of the Council and the papal exhortations of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[All the baptized are in Christ’s Church (Ut Unum Sint, §42).]

It happens that Pope Pius XII noted this principle in his Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis Christi when he declared that "[t]hrough the waters of Baptism those who are born into this world dead in sin are not only born again and made members of the Church, but being stamped with a spiritual seal they become able and fit to receive the other Sacraments" (Mystici Corporis §18). Of course the self-styled 'traditionalists' will not savage Pius XII for saying what they accuse John Paul II of saying. This double standard is blatantly hypocritical. As for what Pope John Paul II actually said in UUS §42, here is the text:

It happens for example that, in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount, Christians of one confession no longer consider other Christians as enemies or strangers but see them as brothers and sisters. Again, the very expression separated brethren tends to be replaced today by expressions which more readily evoke the deep communion -linked to the baptismal character-which the Spirit fosters in spite of historical and canonical divisions. Today we speak of "other Christians", "others who have received Baptism", and "Christians of other Communities". The Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism refers to the Communities to which these Christians belong as "Churches and Ecclesial Communities that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church". This broadening of vocabulary is indicative of a significant change in attitudes. There is an increased awareness that we all belong to Christ. I have personally been able many times to observe this during the ecumenical celebrations which are an important part of my Apostolic Visits to various parts of the world, and also in the meetings and ecumenical celebrations which have taken place in Rome. The "universal brotherhood" of Christians has become a firm ecumenical conviction. Consigning to oblivion the excommunications of the past, Communities which were once rivals are now in many cases helping one another: places of worship are sometimes lent out; scholarships are offered for the training of ministers in the Communities most lacking in resources; approaches are made to civil authorities on behalf of other Christians who are unjustly persecuted; and the slander to which certain groups are subjected is shown to be unfounded.
In a word, Christians have been converted to a fraternal charity which embraces all Christ's disciples. If it happens that, as a result of violent political disturbances, a certain aggressiveness or a spirit of vengeance appears, the leaders of the parties in question generally work to make the "New Law" of the spirit of charity prevail. Unfortunately, this spirit has not been able to transform every situation where brutal conflict rages. In such circumstances those committed to ecumenism are often required to make choices which are truly heroic.
It needs be reaffirmed in this regard that acknowledging our brotherhood is not the consequence of a large-hearted philanthropy or a vague family spirit. It is rooted in recognition of the oneness of Baptism and the subsequent duty to glorify God in his work. The Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism expresses the hope that Baptisms will be mutually and officially recognized. This is something much more than an act of ecumenical courtesy; it constitutes a basic ecclesiological statement.
It is fitting to recall that the fundamental role of Baptism in building up the Church has been clearly brought out thanks also to multilateral dialogues. [16]
Nowhere does it say in UUS §42 what the SSPX claims but even if it did, this writer wonders when they will castigate Pope Pius XII for his teaching in Mystici Corporis Christi §18 as well. It is after all hypocritical to be critical of JP II for a perceived fault that they would give Pius XII the benefit of the doubt on.

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[which ought to be as sisters (Unitatis Redintegratio, §14).]

The Churches are sisters in the same sense that the pope can refer to the bishops of the Church as his "venerable brethren". Nonetheless, here is what UR §14 actually says about the term "sister churches":

For many centuries the Church of the East and that of the West each followed their separate ways though linked in a brotherly union of faith and sacramental life; the Roman See by common consent acted as guide when disagreements arose between them over matters of faith or discipline. Among other matters of great importance, it is a pleasure for this Council to remind everyone that there flourish in the East many particular or local Churches, among which the Patriarchal Churches hold first place, and of these not a few pride themselves in tracing their origins back to the apostles themselves. Hence a matter of primary concern and care among the Easterns, in their local churches, has been, and still is, to preserve the family ties of common faith and charity which ought to exist between sister Churches. [17]
The SSPX (like other 'traditionalists') seems to feel no shame in altering words at will to defend their agenda of rebellion against the Apostolic see.

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[And so there is no need to convert, e.g., the Orthodox. ]

This is a non sequitur. It presumes that because the Western Churches and the Eastern Churches are "sister churches" that somehow the ruptured communion between them is of no consequence or needs to not be tended to. Nowhere is this stated anywhere in UR nor is it even inferred. However, this kind of thinking needs to be addressed because the Orthodox Churches never "belonged" to Rome to begin with and Orthodoxy does not represent in any way a kind of "past western Christianity" contrary to the presumptions that used to be entertained by many in this regard.

This does not mean that the breakdown in communion between the west and the east is a trivial matter, but to approach it from the standpoint of the Orthodox "leaving Rome" and needing to "return" by "conversion" is frankly an example of anachronistic error. It is an example of the offensive ecumenical vocabulary that characterized pre Vatican II ecumenical outreach. The Latins were of course not trying to be offensive in using it and when this was brought to the attention of the predominantly Latin Council Fathers by His Beatitude Patriarch Maximos IV Saigh, the Fathers were on the whole receptive to reassessing their approach towards the Eastern Churches.

The intention of the ecumenical movement as understood by the Catholic Church is "to promote Christian
unity" through striving to preserve "unity in essentials" (Unit. Red. §4). But rather then accept at face value what self-styled 'traditionalists' such as SSPX say about Unitatis Redintegratio (UR), how about reading what the Decree actually says in section 14. Here is the text:

[I]t must not be forgotten that from the beginning the Churches of the East have had a treasury from which the Western Church has drawn extensively in liturgical practice, spiritual tradition, and law. Nor must we undervalue the fact that it was the ecumenical councils held in the East that defined the basic dogmas of the Christian faith, on the Trinity, on the Word of God Who took flesh of the Virgin Mary. To preserve this faith these Churches have suffered and still suffer much.

However, the heritage handed down by the apostles was received with differences of form and manner, so that from the earliest times of the Church it was explained variously in different places, owing to diversities of genius and conditions of life. All this, quite apart from external causes, prepared the way for divisions arising also from a lack of charity and mutual understanding.

For this reason the Holy Council urges all, but especially those who intend to devote themselves to the restoration of full communion hoped for between the Churches of the East and the Catholic Church, to give due consideration to this special feature of the origin and growth of the Eastern Churches, and to the character of the relations which obtained between them and the Roman See before separation. They must take full account of all these factors and, where this is done, it will greatly contribute to the dialogue that is looked for. [18]

Before the self-styled 'traditionalists' apparently would declare such an action as "untraditional", perhaps a consideration of what the popes historically have done to promote Christian unity is called for. To quote from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article Union of Christendom:
[T]he important thing to observe is that the popes themselves...whatever were their personal affinities, never lost hold of the pure Christian ideal or thought to subordinate it to worldly politics. Thus a succession of popes from Gregory VII down to our own days (conspicuous among whom were Urban II, Blessed Eugenius III, Innocent III, Blessed Gregory X, Nicholas IV, Eugenius IV, Pius II, Calixtus III, St. Pius V, Clement VIII, Urban VIII, and Clement XIV) have manifested their strong desires and have striven most pathetically for the healing of this saddest of schisms, never losing heart even when the outlook was darkest, welcoming each gleam of sunshine as an occasion for repeating their assurances of a truly brotherly feeling, and a readiness to concede in the terms of union all that was not essential to the Church's faith and constitution. [19]
So the Church in Ecumenical Council by seeking to find a new approach towards Church unity in essentials and diversity in non-essentials was acting as the popes and Ecumenical Union Councils (Lyons II/Florence) have historically acted. Besides, the Orthodox and the Catholics share about 93-97% of common doctrines or beliefs. And unlike self-styled 'traditionalists’, the Eastern Churches have seven valid sacraments. Nevertheless, yet again a personal interpretation is read into the Council documents claiming something is there that clearly is not based obviously on a polemical motive and not an actual concern for the truth. These common 'traditionalist' objections are being "weighed in the balance and found wanting" (Dan. 5:27) with not one single example thus far of any genuine "contradictions".

V - 'Traditionalist' Objections (Part III):

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[Seminarians should take into account modern philosophy, progress in science (Optatam Totius, §15)]

Here is some actual context to the above blurb:

The philosophical disciplines are to be taught in such a way that the students are first of all led to acquire a solid and coherent knowledge of man, the world, and of God, relying on a philosophical patrimony which is perennially valid and taking into account the philosophical investigations of later ages. This is especially true of those investigations which exercise a greater influence in their own nations. Account should also be taken of the more recent progress of the sciences. the net result should be that the students, correctly understanding the characteristics of the contemporary mind will be duly prepared for dialogue with men of their time. [20]
Apparently we are to presume that there is something intrinsically wrong with taking into account divers forms of knowledge in philosophy and science.

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[Secular University studies and abandoning Thomism.]

And when per se did the Church ever claim that taking into account modern philosophy and scientific progress is necessarily an abandonment of Thomism??? Thomism was certainly the dominant school of theology in the Catholic Church but there are other schools of thought as well that also had/has an ancient pedigree (like the Scotus School for instance). If the 'traditionalists' and their allies were around in the time of the Angelic Doctor, they would have been one of the groups that called St. Thomas a heretic and sought to have his teachings suppressed. Based on what they think of modern philosophies and sciences today, ask yourself if we should doubt this in any way about the 'traditionalist' tunnel vision tendencies. (With regards to how they would have reacted to St. Thomas' teachings in his time period.) After all, St. Thomas did not utilize the "traditional" theological methods of his time. Which brings up another interesting point of consideration.

If self-styled 'traditionalists' are going to dump on people like Fr. Henri de Lubac SJ, Fr. Yves Congar OP, and other similarly influenced as they were (including Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) then they ought to be consistent. They ought to likewise dump on Ven. John H. Newman, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Vincent of Lerens, and St. Augustine for the same reasons. (Every single one of them to some extent had innovative insights on certain theological subjects.) But of course the so-called 'traditionalists' will not do that which underscores how utterly hypocritical they really are. Sure modern philosophy and science has its secular aspects to it but Aristotle and other Greek philosophers (not to mention Aristotelian philosophers like Averros and Avicenna and the Jewish philosopher Maimonides) preceded Aquinas and influenced St. Thomas' work in not a few aspects. Therefore, according to the so-called 'traditionalist', the Angelic Doctor if he used his formulary today would be labeled a "Modernist." Ven. John H. Newman was accused of being a Modernist after the Holy Office decreeLamentabili Sane was promulgated. The fact that his thesis and personal integrity were defended by Pope St. Pius X should shut these kinds of 'traditionalists' up. As for the rest, are 'traditionalists' going to impugn canonized saints with the charge of betraying the Church for their heavy involvement in secular philosophies and the development of methods that were "untraditional" for their respective time periods??? Of course not, these will get another free pass while Fr. de Lubac and Fr. Congar continue to be treated by them in manners akin to how many in the Church treated Ven. Newman during his lifetime. (And how not a few treated the theology of the Angelic Doctor whose orthodoxy had to be zealously defended at Lyons II by his master the aged St. Albert the Great.)

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[psychology, and sociology (§20).]

Again context needs to be supplied since these kinds of groups have no interest in properly representing those they are critical of:

They should also be taught to use the aids which the disciplines of pedagogy, psychology, and sociology can provide according to correct methodology and the norms of ecclesiastical authority. Likewise, let them be properly instructed in inspiring and fostering the apostolic activity of the laity and in promoting the various and more effective forms of the apostolate. Let them also be imbued with that truly Catholic spirit which will accustom them to transcend the limits of their own diocese, nation, or rite, and to help the needs of the whole Church, prepared in spirit to preach the Gospel everywhere. [21]
Now there is apparently something wrong with psychology and sociology. 'Traditionalists' are certainly not short in criticism. It is much easier to simply label anyone who disagrees with you to be a heretic and not look at the bigger picture and see if there are not philosophical and sociological reasons for differences in positions. How easy it is to go the route of the simplistic labeling and subsequent triumphalist attitudes towards those who disagree. Those with this attitude need to seriously read the thirteenth chapter of St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians and reflect on the Apostle's instructions on caritas (charity) which the standard 'traditionalist' attitude is so often bereft of.

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[open spirituality and subjective morality.]

Try arbitrary private interpretation and reckless irresponsible speculation of such by the SSPX and other self-styled 'traditionalists'. It seems that these kinds of pseudo-'traditionalists' would now claim without any evidence that the mere studying of these fields or being reasonably proficient in them thereby means that someone has an "open spirituality" or has "subjective morality". By logical extension, the Scholastics like St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Albert the Great must have been sufferers from "subjective morality" or "open spirituality" with all of that study of secular sciences and Greek/Arabic/Jewish philosophers that they involved themselves in too. After all, the self-styled 'traditionalist cannot have it both ways.

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[Marriage and married love equated (Gaudium et Spes, §§48,50).]

This is too long of a passage to put here in full but what the passages in the Constitution Gaudium et Spes (GS) §48 and §50 do in essence is explain the fully orbed nature of marriage and married love. The notion that marriage and married love are not by nature and God's Design equated is patently ridiculous. Let us be frank here for a moment: a man certainly should consider any woman he desires to marry as to her qualities for being a good mother (using Proverbs 31 as a guide). However, the idea that married love can in any way (or should) be inferior to the occasional product of that love (offspring) is akin to arguing the "more from less" argument which is illogical. A river cannot rise higher than its source and in a marriage, married love is essential to the survival and nurturing of the marriage (not to mention the survival of the species). The love of husband and wife being demeaned is one of the serious flaws of the 'traditionalist' view because the religious life is not elevated when the married state is torn down (as 'traditionalists' do constantly both explicitly and implicitly). Both are glorious and ordained by the Lord for growth in holiness. While certainly those in the service of the Lord have received an objectively higher calling, the fact that any such vocation is a gift from God means that the holder of it has no room to boast.

The states of marriage, single life, or religious vocation are considered "good", "better", and "best" only objectively in and of themselves. These objective classifications would not necessarily apply in this sense to everyone. (Indeed they very well  - and not infrequently - could be reversed where they are subjectively applied to different individuals.  The fact is, those not called to the religious vocation would quite possibly be ruined by the demands made much as one who was called to the religious vocations would not cope well in the married state if they did not go to where they were called by God. For the state to which one is called is the one in which they can live and attain the highest and most perfect life. In this light, it is not conducive to a proper understanding of and appreciation for the religious life if you tear down the source from which the religious life is propagated (the married life and the families of society).

Marriage by its very nature must be ordered both to the love/mutual good of the spouses and the procreation/education of children. To try to place either mutual end above the other is to skew the balance of the scale and to take a deformed look at the great mystery of matrimony. In an age where the death rate was still a serious factor in the equation of mankind's survival, the emphasis on procreation as a "primary end" would make perfect sense. Likewise, if society is ever at the point where the death rate again becomes the threat to the species that it once was, then the emphasis on procreation would be necessary again. This is not to belittle procreation by any means but to instead place it within the intrinsic nature of matrimony. Obviously no couple could validly marry who intended to have no children (as that would be an abuse of an integral purpose of marriage) but at the same time it is not honest to say that men and women become attracted to one another and marry for children. That might sound good in abstract philosophical speculations but that is not what happens in reality.

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[Annulments fiasco (cf. QUESTION 8).]

These guys are the last ones who have any credibility griping about annulments since they now issue annulments and without jurisdiction either. Catholics submit to Christ's Divinely established hierarchy, they do not judge it and accept only what they want to. This is private judgement which many notable and brilliant theologians (like Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman) have noted is the opposite of a genuine saving faith.

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[The Church renounces privileges civil authorities grant her (§76).]

The Church, by reason of her role and competence, is not identified in any way with the political community nor bound to any political system. She is at once a sign and a safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person.
The Church and the political community in their own fields are autonomous and independent from each other. Yet both, under different titles, are devoted to the personal and social vocation of the same men. The more that both foster sounder cooperation between themselves with due consideration for the circumstances of time and place, the more effective will their service be exercised for the good of all. For man's horizons are not limited only to the temporal order; while living in the context of human history, he preserves intact his eternal vocation. The Church, for her part, founded on the love of the Redeemer, contributes toward the reign of justice and charity within the borders of a nation and between nations. By preaching the truths of the Gospel, and bringing to bear on all fields of human endeavor the light of her doctrine and of a Christian witness, she respects and fosters the political freedom and responsibility of citizens. [22]
Those are the closest paragraphs to discussing what is claimed here but nowhere is that claim to be found. Yet another flagrant misrepresentation of a Magisterial document from so-called 'traditionalists'.

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[Catholic religion no longer to be the religion of any States.]

It is very important, especially where a pluralistic society prevails, that there be a correct notion of the relationship between the political community and the Church, and a clear distinction between the tasks which Christians undertake, individually or as a group, on their own responsibility as citizens guided by the dictates of a Christian conscience, and the activities which, in union with their pastors, they carry out in the name of the Church.[23]
Do 'traditionalists' ever actually read any of the Council documents in context or do they just hunt for scraps to salvage their pre-suppositions???

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[Wish for a World Authority (§82).]

This is stated nowhere in GS §82. The only parts that even come close are these:

[E]fforts which have already been made and are still underway to eliminate the danger of war are not to be underrated. On the contrary, support should be given to the good will of the very many leaders who work hard to do away with war, which they abominate. These men, although burdened by the extremely weighty preoccupations of their high office, are nonetheless moved by the very grave peacemaking task to which they are bound, even if they cannot ignore the complexity of matters as they stand. We should fervently ask God to give these men the strength to go forward perseveringly and to follow through courageously on this work of building peace with vigour. It is a work of supreme love for mankind. Today it certainly demands that they extend their thoughts and their spirit beyond the confines of their own nation, that they put aside national selfishness and ambition to dominate other nations, and that they nourish a profound reverence for the whole of humanity, which is already making its way so laboriously toward greater unity.

The problems of peace and of disarmament have already been the subject of extensive, strenuous and constant examination. Together with international meetings dealing with these problems, such studies should be regarded as the first steps toward solving these serious questions, and should be promoted with even greater urgency by way of yielding concrete results in the future.

Nevertheless, men should take heed not to entrust themselves only to the efforts of some, while not caring about their own attitudes. For government officials who must at one and the same time guarantee the good of their own people and promote the universal good are very greatly dependent on public opinion and feeling. It does them no good to work for peace as long as feelings of hostility, contempt and distrust, as well as racial hatred and unbending ideologies, continue to divide men and place them in opposing camps...But we should not let false hope deceive us. For unless enmities and hatred are put away and firm, honest agreements concerning world peace are reached in the future, humanity, which already is in the middle of a grave crisis, even though it is endowed with remarkable knowledge, will perhaps be brought to that dismal hour in which it will experience no peace other than the dreadful peace of death. But, while we say this, the Church of Christ, present in the midst of the anxiety of this age, does not cease to hope most firmly. She intends to propose to our age over and over again, in season and out of season, this apostolic message: "Behold, now is the acceptable time for a change of heart; behold! now is the day of salvation." [24]

This writer sees nothing of the relevant parts of GS §82 that speaks of a "wish for a world authority" in some broad and undefined parameters as the statement above clearly implies.

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[Full support for United Nations]

The site changed "United Nations" to "UN". Nonetheless, the UN itself was mentioned nowhere in GS except in a footnote so this is yet another flat out lie. (Where has the Vatican at any time given their support to the population control advocates and their promotion of abortion and other forms of contraception???) These people should be ashamed of themselves for stooping at any depth to try and patch up their sinking philosophical paradigm of warmed over Donatism and copy-cat Jansenism.

Besides, even if they were correct, this writer fails to see how giving support in principle to the United Nations is any different than what Pope Benedict XV thought was desirable as a means of thwarting future conflicts:

Things being thus restored, the order required by justice and charity re-established and the nations reconciled, it is much to be desired, Venerable Brethren, that all States, putting aside mutual suspicion, should unite in one league, or rather a sort of family of peoples, calculated both to maintain their own independence and safeguard the order of human society. What specially, amongst other reasons, calls for such an association of nations, is the need generally recognized of making every effort to abolish or reduce the enormous burden of the military expenditure which States can no longer bear, in order to prevent these disastrous wars or at least to remove the danger of them as far as possible. So would each nation be assured not only of its independence but also of the integrity of its territory within its just frontiers. [25]

Likewise, it seems that the principle outlined by Pope Benedict XV is not any different than what Pope Pius XII thought was desirable as a means of thwarting future conflicts:

The decisions already published by international commissions permit one to conclude that an essential point in any future international arrangement would be the formation of an organ for the maintenance of peace, of an organ invested by common consent with supreme power to whose office it would also pertain to smother in its germinal state any threat of isolated or collective aggression...No one could hail this development with greater joy than he who has long upheld the principle that the idea of war as an apt and proportionate means of solving international conflicts is now out of date...No one could wish success to this common effort, to be undertaken with a seriousness of purpose never before known, with greater enthusiasm, than he who has conscientiously striven to make the Christian and religious mentality reject modern war with its monstrous means of conducting hostilities. [26]

So much for the notion that support for an entity such as the United Nations is somehow a Vatican II novelty. But of course Pius XII and Benedict XV will receive the customary benefit of the doubt and John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II along with Vatican II will be vilified. This pattern is sadly predicable and ongoing with the pseudo-'traditionalists' who will grasp at any excuses they can find to justify their defacto schism from the Mystical Body of Christ.

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[Rite and formulae of penance are to be revised (Sacrosanctum Concilium §72).]

Here is the relevant passage from SC §72:

The rite and formulae of Penance are to be revised so that they more clearly express both the nature and effect of the sacrament. [27]
It is not irregular historically for the Magisterium to do this from time to time.

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[Face to face confessions and General Absolutions.]
Private Confessions used to be used for private sins where public ones were confessed before the entire congregation with the bishop (or a presbyter appointed by him) granting absolution only after the guilty party performed rather rigorous penances. Serious sins such as adultery, murder, or fornication were given the most severe penances and before the third century, absolution was withheld until the person was practically on their deathbed. The form of confession we have now did not exist as we have it now anywhere until the third century and was not the predominant way of applying the Sacrament until the fifth century. It was not a universal practice until the seventh century. Therefore, since initially confessions were in front of the entire assembly and absolution given by bishops (or presbyters if the bishops were not available), if face to face confessions are at all invalid, than so are private confessions to priests because in both cases the "rite and formulae" were changed. The Church has the authority to make such modifications to the rite if she chooses to. There are still no viable objections that have surfaced out of any of these whining complaints to justify schism. The question about whether these groups actually bother reading the Council documents and Encyclicals they quote from is one the reader should seriously be asking themselves.

VI - 'Traditionalist' Objections (Part IV):

The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[Extreme Unction should be an Anointing of the Sick (§§73,75).]

To quote from the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium §73 and §75 verbatim:

"Extreme Unction," which may also and more fittingly be called "Anointing of the Sick," is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive the sacrament has certainly already arrived...
The number of the anointings is to be adapted to the occasion, and the prayers which belong to the rite of Anointing are to be revised so as to correspond to the varying conditions of the sick who receive the sacrament. [28]
Again, the norms for celebrating each of the seven sacraments have been changed more than once over the centuries. This is a decision for the Church Magisterium to make and not dissident schismatics.

How Rome (According to the Schismatic 'Traditionalist') "Interprets" These Teachings:

[New matter, form and subject (i.e., the sick, not just the dying).]

The site link modified "not just the dying" to "not just those in danger of death". Considering the track record of these kinds of people thus far examined in this url (and thus far in this treatise) the reader needs to ask themselves if intricate elements such as matter and form of the sacrament (not to mention the subject) are areas where these people can be trusted for their accuracy. To start with we have the Scriptural basis for the promulgation of the sacrament which is the Epistle of James which states the following:

Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man. And the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him. [29]
As for this being a sacrament only for the dying, the Council of Trent in its fourteenth Session specifically declared (in the Decree on Extreme Unction) the following:
Now, this sacred unction of the sick was instituted by Christ our Lord, as truly and properly a sacrament of the new law, insinuated indeed in Mark, but recommended and promulgated to the faithful by James the Apostle, and brother of the Lord. Is any man, he saith, sick among you ? Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick man; and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him. In which words, as the Church has learned from apostolic tradition, received from hand to hand, he teaches the matter, the form, the proper minister, and the effect of this salutary sacrament. For the Church has understood the matter thereof to be oil blessed by a bishop. For the unction very aptly represents the grace of the Holy Ghost with which the soul of the sick person is invisibly anointed; and furthermore that whose words, "By this unction," &c. are the form...
And now as to prescribing who ought to receive, and who to administer this sacrament, this also was not obscurely delivered in the words above cited. For it is there also shown, that the proper ministers of this sacrament are the Presbyters of the Church; by which name are to be understood, in that place, not the elders by age, or the foremost in dignity amongst the people, but, either bishops, or priests by bishops rightly ordained by the imposition of the hands of the priesthood. It is also declared, that this unction is to be applied to the sick, but to those especially who lie in such danger as to seem to be about to depart this life: whence also it is called the sacrament of the departing...

Neither assuredly does the Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all other churches, observe aught in administering this unction,--as regards those things which constitute the substance of this sacrament,--but what blessed James has prescribed. [30]

Neither the Council of Trent or Blessed James stated that the "subject" of the sacrament was only someone in danger of death or who was dying. So that aspect of the assertion of substantial change in the sacrament's essence stands refuted by the testimony of the Ecumenical Council of Trent. That leaves the issues of matter, form, and intention of the sacrament itself.

The Magisterium of the Church today uses "oil blessed by a bishop", a priest anoints the sick person with the oil, and applies the words prescribed - the words themselves which constitute the form of the sacrament. As was noted earlier when discussing the form of the Pauline Missal consecrations, the principle of Pope St. Pius V’s De Defectibus is applicable here. The Pope in issuing an Apostolic Constitution to promulgate revised norms of administration for Extreme Unction made it very clear that his intentions in modifying the norms of administration were to express the same sense as the previous norms (i.e. convey a valid sacrament). Thus as the words used signify the same sense as the previous formulary, and the matter is the same as that defined by the Council of Trent (namely oil blessed by a bishop), followed by the imposition of hands and prayer; the matter, form, and subject remain unchanged. This falls under the indirect scope of Church infallibility and "[t]hese doctrines or facts need not necessarily be revealed; it is enough if the revealed deposit cannot be adequately and effectively guarded and explained, unless they are infallibly determined" (Catholic Encyclopedia art. Infallibility c. 1913).

The position that the new norms of sacramental administration were possibly invalid used to be defended by Mr. Michael Davies until he apparently saw the error of his ways and how this argument — if valid — makes the Constitution of the Church defectible. Since the assertion that the Church is not indefectible is by logical extension proximate to heresy, the claim that the revised norms of the sacraments are either invalid or of dubious validity is a position that is proximate to heresy if not defacto heretical. Therefore, the 'traditionalist' who believes that people should be "conditionally reconfirmed if they were confirmed after 1972" or that the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick contains "invalid matter, form, or intention" should realize that by implication they have just called their Lord and Saviour a lying fraud. Such an assertion even by implication is blasphemy.

To summarize this url, not only are the Church's teachings in the documents of the Second Vatican Council presented in a manner that is akin to catechesis (which is not "weak" unless the Roman Catechism was "weak") but the occasional scholastic terms are used (such as subsistare) when needed. Further still, these kinds of groups go out of their way to misrepresent the teachings; hunting for scraps of the texts to prooftext without bothering to read the texts in context. The next url will look at more errors in the proper interpretation of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council by self-styled 'traditionalists'. However, it is worth noting that so far not one single objection covered has any merit to it whatsoever.


[1] St. Athanasius the Great: Discourse Against the Arians I,37 , in NPNF2, IV:327-328 (c. 362 AD)

[2] Bishop Richard Williamson: "Questions and Answers on the Society of Saint Pius X", Verbum (December 1995)

[3] Ecclesiastes: 1:9-10

[4] Vatican II: Constitution "Sacrosanctum Concilium" (SC) §10 (December 4, 1963)

[5] SC §11

[6] SC §36

[7] SC §54

[8] Vatican II: Decree "Unitatis Redintegratio" (UR) §4 (November 21, 1964)

[9] UR §8

[10] UR §8

[11] UR §9

[12] Vatican II: Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" (LG) §8 (November 21, 1964)

[13] Pope John Paul II: Encyclical Letter "Ut Unum Sint" (UUS) §11 (May 25, 1995)

[14] UR §3

[15] Pope Pius XI: Encyclical Letter "Mortalium Animos" §5 (January 6, 1928)

[16] UUS §42

[17] UR §14

[18] UR §14

[19] Catholic Encyclopedia: Excerpt from the article "Union of Christendom" (c. 1913)

[20] Vatican II: Decree "Optatam Totius" (OT) §15 (October 28, 1965)

[21] OT §20

[22] Vatican II: Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium Et Spes" (GS) §76 (December 7, 1965)

[23] GS §76

[24] GS §82

[25] Pope Benedict XV: Encyclical Letter "Pacem Dei Munus Pulcherrimum" §17 (May 23, 1920)

[26] Pope Pius XII: Christmas Radio Address "Democracy and a Lasting Peace" §62-64 (December 25, 1944)

[27] SC §72

[28] SC §73, §75

[29] Epistle of James 5:14-15

[30] Council of Trent: Decree on Extreme Unction §1, §3 (November 25, 1551)

Additional Notes:

The citation of St. Athanasius the Great, Patriarch of Alexandria was obtained at Joe Gallegos' Corunum Apologetics website which specializes in Patristic studies: http://www.cin.org/users/jgallegos.htm

The citation from Bishop Richard Williamson was taken from a batch of Society citations given to the author by F. John Loughnan between January and March of 2000 for assistance in compiling this treatise.

The citations from the Second Vatican Council's Constitution "Sacrosanctum Concilium" were obtained at the following link:  http://www.rc.net/rcchurch/vatican2/liturgy.asc

The citations from the Second Vatican Council's Decree "Unitatis Redintegratio" were obtained at the following link: http://www.rc.net/rcchurch/vatican2/unitatis.red

The citation from the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" was obtained at the following link: http://www.rc.net/rcchurch/vatican2/lumen.gen

The citation from Pope John Paul II's Encyclical Letter "Ut Unum Sint" (That They May Be One) was obtained at the following link: ttp://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25051995_ut-unum-sint_en.html

The citation from Pope Pius XI's Encyclical Letter "Mortalium Animos" was obtained at the following link:

The citation from the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) article "Union of Christendom" was obtained at the following link: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15132a.htm

The citations from the Second Vatican Council's Decree "Optatum Totius" were obtained at the following link: http://www.rc.net/rcchurch/vatican2/v2priest.txt

The citations from the Second Vatican Council's Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium et Spes" were obtained at the following link: http://www.rc.net/rcchurch/vatican2/gaudium.ets

The citation from Pope Benedict XV's Encyclical Letter "Pacem Dei Munus Pulcherrimum" was obtained at the following link:  http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Ben15/b15pulch.htm

The citation from Pope Pius XII's 1944 Christmas Radio Address "Democracy and a Lasting Peace" was obtained at the following link: http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12XMAS.HTM

The biblical citations were originally taken from an online Douay-Rheims Bible no longer available on the Internet.
However, the Douay Rheims Bible located at the following site is similar in many ways to the one originally used:

The citation from the Council of Trent was obtained at the following link: http://history.hanover.edu/early/trent/ct14unct.htm

Addendum - SSPX Deletions From Original Page Material:

Originally in the reference above to "Eucharistic Hospitality", the SSPX's site followed it up with the following statement and magisterial reference. Fortunately the author happened to catch the difference when doing a last minute check of this treatise template and found the original reference to Pope Leo's Encyclical Letter Libertas missing.

So while the SSPX omitted this from their new page, it was left in this revision but moved to an Addendum because (i) it was originally there and (ii) it serves as a good example of the manner whereby they selectively snatch magisterial documents at random and prooftext them. The original SSPX text below is preserved both verbatim and in red and the response to it follows in sequence.

[Eucharistic Hospitality (cf. QUESTION 8). Human Law Is Ordained To Divine Law

Likewise the liberty of those who are in authority does not consist in the power to lay unreasonable and capricious commands upon their subjects...but the binding force of human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law (Leo XIII, Libertas §10).]

Let us see what was edited out of the quote of Pope Leo XIII by reading the entire paragraph in context. (This writer will underline the snippets quoted by the SSPX to show how they originally referenced Leo's encyclical in the same manner that Protestants reference the Scriptures to "prove" the Catholic Church is "unbiblical".)

From this it is manifest that the eternal law of God is the sole standard and rule of human liberty, not only in each individual man, but also in the community and civil society which men constitute when united. Therefore, the true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he pleases, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the State; but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law. Likewise, the liberty of those who are in authority does not consist in the power to lay unreasonable and capricious commands upon their subjects, which would equally be criminal and would lead to the ruin of the commonwealth; but the binding force of human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law. Thus, St. Augustine most wisely says: "I think that you can see, at the same time, that there is nothing just and lawful in that temporal law, unless what men have gathered from this eternal law." If, then, by anyone in authority, something be sanctioned out of conformity with the principles of right reason, and consequently hurtful to the commonwealth, such an enactment can have no binding force of law, as being no rule of justice, but certain to lead men away from that good which is the very end of civil society. [Pope Leo XIII: Encyclical Letter Libertas §10 (June 20, 1888)]
Pope Leo XIII was speaking of the eternal law of God and how civil law should function responsibly so that all people may "more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law." This has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic being discussed, which pertains to Catholic ecumenism and the Church's established guidelines for going about such an endeavour. Clearly this was another red herring thrown in for the sake of confusion.

Monitum on the Link to the SSPX's Website:

The citations in this url and the subsequent one which are not footnoted and in red were taken verbatim from the Society's web-pages and read as they did in March-May of 2000 when this url and the subsequent one were originally composed. (And before the SSPX moved their links.) In revising these sections the originally quoted texts were left intact as they read at the time which may not be perfectly identical to the way they read now but were deemed close enough to be left as they were. (Parts that are no longer there were underlined in this url and the subsequent one.)

The only parts of this page that have been noticeably altered except for the url address of the link were some footnotes subsequently being appended at the page and a few red herrings pertaining to Assisi, proseltysm, and a few quotes from Archbishop Lefebvre which were added. The author decided that the credibility of their footnoted additions could be assessed by the credibility of the arguments they made in this url and therefore did not need to be addressed here. The same is the case with their assessment of the theological qualifications of the Council's teachings which were dealt with in detail in this treatise in urls 6 and 7. (In discussing the authority of the Second Vatican Council and the theological qualifications of its various teachings.)

Due to time and space constraints, it was not possible respond to all of their errors at this link. However, that these kinds of allegations contain fundamental errors on numerous key points should by now be obvious to all but the willfully blind; however in conscience the writer feels the need to admonish the reader - if they feel the need to verify the authors use of references - to read the material at this link and at the site it goes to with extreme caution: http://sspx.org/SSPX_FAQs/q6_vaticanII.htm

The author can only assure the reader that as of December 2002 the referenced parts above are accurate and he has linked to the relevant page above only so that the citations may be verified as verbatim or near verbatim excerpts and not to be mutilated or modified caricatures to make them read differently than they do. (With the differences between the texts as of June 2000 and December of 2002 noted whenever they were noticed by this writer.)

©2003, 2000, "A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism'" (Part 10), written by I. Shawn McElhinney. This text may bedownloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published,
electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.


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