'Traditionalist' Errors Interpreting Vatican II (Part II)

[S]chismatics are cut off like branches from the vine, and, being destined for punishment, are reserved like dry wood for the fires of Gehenna. [1]

[...the Council was hijacked by the liberal elements within the Church, who from the very beginning schemed to have rejected the pre-Conciliar preparatory schemas and replaced by progressive ones prepared by their own “experts.” The liberals were also able to get their members onto the Council Commissions. The new schemas, passed as the Council’s decrees, constitutions, and declarations, contain, more or less explicitly, some of the same doctrinal errors for which liberals in the past had been condemned. Let us take by way of example the following passages]

Having begun a pattern in the previous url of demonstrating how self-styled 'traditionalists' commonly misinterpret the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, this url will wrap up that subject and solidify one of the seven theses of this treatise; namely that "self-styled 'traditionalists' woefully misinterpret and blatantly misrepresent both the teachings of Vatican II and also the teachings of past Popes and Councils". What will also be defended is the thesis that regardless of the abuses that have occurred in various places, the Council's teachings were in accordance with Catholic Tradition properly understood.

I - 'Traditionalist' Objections (Part V):

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

["Man is the only creature on earth that God has wanted for its own sake" (Gaudium et Spes, §24)]

Here is the context of the Constitution Gaudium et Spes (GS) §24 on the point being raised:

Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. [2]
Context is a marvelous thing is it not???

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

["The Lord hath made all things for Himself" (Proverbs 16).]

Since (i) the essence of love is to will good towards the beloved for their sake and (ii) God loves man in a manner unique to all creatures on the earth and (iii) God created man with the free-will to love Him as no other creature on earth can, then (iv) man is logically the only creature on earth that God willed into existence for its own sake. In short, this is no contradiction of GS §24 whatsoever. It is instead a ridiculously petty attempt to manufacture a contradiction where one does not exist and is thus blatantly dishonest.

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

[and "all things on earth should be ordained to man" (§12).]

Here is the context of GS §12:

According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown.
But what is man? About himself he has expressed, and continues to express, many divergent and even contradictory opinions. In these he often exalts himself as the absolute measure of all things or debases himself to the point of despair. The result is doubt and anxiety. The Church certainly understands these problems. Endowed with light from God, she can offer solutions to them, so that man's true situation can be portrayed and his defects explained, while at the same time his dignity and destiny are justly acknowledged.
For Sacred Scripture teaches that man was created "to the image of God," is capable of knowing and loving his Creator, and was appointed by Him as master of all earthly creatures that he might subdue them and use them to God's glory. "What is man that you should care for him? You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet" (Ps. 8:5-7).
But God did not create man as a solitary being, for from the beginning "male and female he created them" (Gen. 1:27). Their companionship produces the primary form of interpersonal communion. For by his innermost nature man is a social being, and unless he relates himself to others he can neither live nor develop his potential.
Therefore, as we read elsewhere in Holy Scripture God saw "all that he had made, and it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). [3]
If God ordained that man should have dominion over the whole earth (cf. Genesis 1:26ff), then by extension all things on earth are thus "ordained to man".

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

[...to help him save his soul]

GS does not say or imply differently. Ergo, this is just more arbitrary and unjustified (not to mention uncharitable and unsubstantiated) assertions.

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

[Moreover, "by His incarnation the Son of God has in a certain way united himself with each man" (§22)]

Here is the text being referred to:

The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a figure of Him Who was to come, namely Christ the Lord. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. It is not surprising, then, that in Him all the aforementioned truths find their root and attain their crown.
He who is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15), is Himself the perfect man. To the sons of Adam He restores the divine likeness which had been disfigured from the first sin onward. Since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled, by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too. For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin.
As an innocent lamb He merited for us life by the free shedding of His own blood. In Him God reconciled us to Himself and among ourselves; from bondage to the devil and sin He delivered us, so that each one of us can say with the Apostle: The Son of God "loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Gal. 2:20). By suffering for us He not only provided us with an example for our imitation, He blazed a trail, and if we follow it, life and death are made holy and take on a new meaning.
The Christian man, conformed to the likeness of that Son Who is the firstborn of many brothers, received "the first-fruits of the Spirit" (Rom. 8:23) by which he becomes capable of discharging the new law of love. Through this Spirit, who is "the pledge of our inheritance" (Eph. 1:14), the whole man is renewed from within, even to the achievement of "the redemption of the body" (Rom. 8:23): "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the death dwells in you, then he who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also bring to life your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who dwells in you" (Rom. 8:11). Pressing upon the Christian to be sure, are the need and the duty to battle against evil through manifold tribulations and even to suffer death. But, linked with the paschal mystery and patterned on the dying Christ, he will hasten forward to resurrection in the strength which comes from hope.
All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all men of good will in whose hearts grace works in an unseen way. For, since Christ died for all men, and since the ultimate vocation of man is in fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery.
Such is the mystery of man, and it is a great one, as seen by believers in the light of Christian revelation. Through Christ and in Christ, the riddles of sorrow and death grow meaningful. Apart from His Gospel, they overwhelm us. Christ has risen, destroying death by His death; He has lavished life upon us so that, as sons in the Son, we can cry out in the Spirit: Abba, Father! [4]
Unless these self-styled 'traditionalists' are planning on espousing the heresies of Monophysitism or Apollinarianism, or Monothelitism - all of which deny some essential element of Our Lord's human nature - then they have to affirm the full human nature of Our Lord Jesus Christ in all except sin.

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

[God assumed an individual nature (e.g., Dz.114).]

Of course he did. Nevertheless, that does not mean that Our Lord did not through becoming man and utilizing the means whereby man utilizes (hands, feet, brain, emotions, etc.) that in doing so, He unite himself "in some fashion with every man" and in that manner sanctify the everyday actions of mankind. Also, it is important to remember that the Bible mentions Our Lord as "the New Adam" and the "First-born of all creation." These are inclusive terms not exclusive ones. These terms imply that Jesus has positive implications for the entire human race. He is the (potential) Saviour of the World, not just the (actual) Saviour of Christians (1 Tim. 4:10; 1 John 4:14). Yet again the false Protestant dichotomous mindset of the Society rears its head it seems. (A dichotomous mindset that is not uncommon to self-styled 'traditionalists'.)

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

[so "Human nature...has been raised in us also to a dignity beyond compare" (§22)]

Since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled, by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too. [5]
Yet more selective citing of sources.

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

[...a little less than the angels... (Psalm 8:6).]

Yes and GS §12 quotes Psalm 8:5-8 explicitly. (It was bolded further up in this url when the passage was cited.) Again the question if these so-called 'traditionalists' actually even read the Council documents they quote from comes to mind. Also, the Psalms were written before the Incarnation. The Lord in the New Covenant has a much more intimate relationship with His creation than he did prior to the point of the Incarnation. Besides, when did God ever become an angel as He became man??? Through a great debasing act of assuming our nature, God elevated it to a new dignity, indeed a "dignity beyond compare" surpassing that of Adam in his non fallen state. This is really not all that difficult to comprehend.

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

[and because of "the sublime dignity of the human person" (§26)]

The current version of their page deletes the first "the" in the reference above. Nonetheless, here is GS §26 in context with the part referred to above underlined:

Every day human interdependence grows more tightly drawn and spreads by degrees over the
whole world. As a result the common good, that is, the sum of those conditions of social life
which allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to
their own fulfilment, today takes on an increasingly universal complexion and consequently
involves rights and duties with respect to the whole human race. Every social group must take
account of the needs and legitimate aspirations of other groups, and even of the general welfare
of the entire human family.

At the same time, however, there is a growing awareness of the exalted dignity proper to the human person, since he stands above all things, and his rights and duties are universal and inviolable. Therefore, there must be made available to all men everything necessary for leading a life truly human, such as food, clothing, and shelter; the right to choose a state of life freely and to found a family, the right to education, to employment, to a good reputation, to respect, to appropriate information, to activity in accord with the upright norm of one's own conscience, to protection of privacy and to rightful freedom, even in matters religious.

Hence, the social order and its development must invariably work to the benefit of the human
person if the disposition of affairs is to be subordinate to the personal realm and not contrariwise, as the Lord indicated when He said that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

This social order requires constant improvement. It must be founded on truth, built on justice and animated by love; in freedom it should grow every day toward a more humane balance. An improvement in attitudes and abundant changes in society will have to take place if these objectives are to be gained.

God's Spirit, Who with a marvelous providence directs the unfolding of time and renews the face of the earth, is not absent from this development. The ferment of the Gospel too has aroused and continues to arouse in man's heart the irresistible requirements of his dignity. [6]
"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

[Only he who lives well is worthy (Apocalypse 3:4).]

This writer wonders if people such as these even bother to read the sources they quote. GS §26 outlines some ways that man is to "live well." Besides, the Bible also has this to say:

And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God He created him: male and female he created them. And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth. [7]
The Objections of 'Traditionalists' (The So-Called "Conciliar Teachings"):

[his "rights and duties are universal and inviolate" (§26)]

The word "including" was added to the text above on the new page. Presumably this is to segue into their misquotes of the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae. Nonetheless, see the previous citation of Genesis and note the dominion assigned to man by the Almighty Himself. No more needs to be said on this point.

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

[He who buries his talent will be stripped of it.]

All that they have "proven" is that there is no shortage of their constant rebellious attempt to manufacture problems where none exist. This is common for the schismatic as they must do anything to justify their rebellion from Almighty God but He is not fooled. The Council in GS §26 sought to explain how man is supposed to used his talents, akin to the men in the parable who started with two and five talents respectively and from them made four and ten respectively. By contrast, the only one who wants seemingly to "bury talents" are the self-styled 'traditionalist' groups.

Note yet again that there were no contradictions proven but as Religious Liberty is on the horizon next, perhaps they will come up with a viable objection there. Thus far, they have failed on every point attempted and have not justified their schism from the Church one iota.

II - 'Traditionalist' Objections (Part VI):

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

["The Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom..." (Dignitatis Humanae, §2)]

They eliminate the context from this quote. Here is the statement in context:

This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others within due limits.  [8]
Notice that this reference in the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae (DH) is not a reference to some unfettered religious liberty but instead to one that is reasonably circumscribed.

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

[Contrary condemned statement:" Liberty of conscience and of worship is the proper right of every man..." (Pius IX, Quanta Cura)]

Only someone who does not bother reading their sources before quoting them could make this error. Here is what the Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura (QC) actually says:

From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity," viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way." But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching "liberty of perdition;" and that "if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling. [9]
QC §3 is hardly condemning DH §2 when they are both read in context. QC condemns the concept of absolute liberty restrained by no authority while DH claims that religious freedom is a civil right and that someone may not be coerced into acting in a manner contrary to their beliefs whether public or private within due limits. The two statements actually compliment one another and do not at all contradict. Yet again more lies and misrepresentations of Vatican II by so-called "loyal Catholics" (Ex. 20:16; Deut. 5:20).

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

["...all men should be immune from coercion on the part of...every human power so that, within due limits, nobody is forced to act against his convictions nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his convictions..." (§2)]

Again they cut out key parts that put the statement in proper context. What they omit from this passage will be bolded to show their disingenuousness more clearly:

The Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. Freedom of this kind means that all men should be immune from coercion on the part of individuals, social groups and every human power so that, within due limits, nobody is forced to act against his convictions nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his convictions in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in associations with others. [10]
It is real easy to make a "contrary condemned statement" when you butcher the citation.

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

[Contrary condemned statement:"...the best condition of society is the one in which there is no acknowledgment by the government of the duty of restraining... offenders of the Catholic religion, except insofar as the public peace demands" (Pius IX, Quanta Cura)]

The parts of QC §3 that were omitted in their reference will be underlined in the below:

And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that "that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require." [11]
Yet again the two are talking about different subjects altogether. DH is referring to individuals, social groups, and other human powers within due limits restraining people from acting against their conscience in religious matter public or private. There is no claim whatsoever from DH that civil power cannot restrain people at all. (Which no doubt is the intended interpretation by the SSPX and other 'traditionalists'.) Instead the point being made is that that any intrusions onto personal liberties must be reasonably limited. In essence, the civil authorities should not restrain anyone who is not guilty of disturbing the social order. Considering the rise of totalitarian regimes in the period since QC that suppressed all religious freedoms, this is certainly a reasonable statement by the Council Fathers in DH. Since QC says that it is erroneous to assert that no duty is recognized by civil powers to restrain offenders, it is not germane to the content of DH where such duties, though prescribed, are nonetheless affirmed. Besides, if a totalitarian regime is suppressing all religions that would include the True Religion too. Therefore, DH can be said to be laying a foundation for all religions to be free from undue repression by civil authorities so that Catholics in those countries have the right to practice their faith. In this sense, DH is a development that compliments QC in some ways. However, since a General Council (extraordinary authority) issued DH and the ordinary teaching authority (papal magisterium) issued QC, DH would effectively trump QC if there were any dispute. However, there is none when both quotes are read in proper context and the times and circumstances (and target audiences) are taken into account.

But before leaving off with referencing Quanta Cura, the following reference from QC §5 is not likely to be one that groups such as the SSPX will draw attention to for reasons which will be obvious:

Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that "without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church's general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals." But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church. [12]
Without a shadow of doubt, groups such as SSPX stand condemned and proscribed by the Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura, promulgated by Pope Pius IX of blessed memory. Meanwhile, attempts such as the ones above to manufacture contradictions between QC and DH fail and fail badly.

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

["This right of the human person to religious freedom must be given such recognition in the constitutional order of society as will make it a civil right" (§2)]

Note what they "conveniently" left out of their citation, which immediately follows the passage they paraphrased:

The Council further declares that the right to religious freedom is based on the very dignity of the human person as known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom must be given such recognition in the constitutional order of society as will make it a civil right. It is in accordance with their dignity that all men, because they are persons, that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore bearing personal responsibility, are both impelled by their nature and bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth once they come to know it and direct their whole lives in accordance with the demands of truth. But men cannot satisfy this obligation in a way that is in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy both psychological freedom and immunity from external coercion. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective attitude of the individual but in his very nature.  For this reason the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it. The exercise of this right cannot be interfered with as long as the just requirements of public order are observed. [13]
Yet again context is among the worst enemies of the 'traditionalist'.

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

[Contrary condemned statement: "Liberty of conscience and of worship...should be proclaimed and asserted by law in every correctly established society..." (Pius IX, Quanta Cura)]

QC §3 has already been covered and it is clear that there is no contradiction whatsoever. Only by tearing DH from proper context along with butchering its citations can any "contradictions" be fabricated. These people have no shame. And thus far, they have failed to demonstrate anything except their own blatant dishonesty in citing sources. But the examination of the pamphlet earlier on revealed this common 'traditionalist' tendency towards dishonesty in citing sources. And to think the SSPX is probably among the most honest of all dissident 'traditionalist' groups. Bearing false witness is apparently is not a sin in their religion whereas in the Catholic faith it is (Ex. 20:16; Deut. 5:20).

However, before moving off of this subject, one of the criticisms of the author's original treatise version - and a criticism that was not addressed in the previous revision of the work - is that Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical Letter Immortale Dei presented problems for the religious liberty arguments advanced by DH. As space constraints would not allow for that argument to be refuted in the detail it would require, it suffices to note here that Immortale Dei and Libertas - part of the latter being examined in the appendix of the last url - were concerned with teaching the duties and obligations of the civil authority and all persons to recognize the one true Church of Christ. Far from controverting this position - which was an argument from the standpoint of divine law - the Declaration explicitly affirms it:

Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ. Over and above all this, the council intends to develop the doctrine of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and the constitutional order of society. [14]
So any attempt to accuse the Second Vatican Council of denying teachings which dealt specifically with the moral duties of men and societies towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ from the standpoint of the divine law - which is what the teachings of Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII of venerable memory constituted - can be thrown out of court as a facile accusation based on shallow research and selective citation. (When it is made by those who confidently assert that they are "defending the tradition".) Since the Declaration specifies that it leaves the teachings pertaining to the divine law "intact" and focuses instead on the right to "freedom from coercion in civil society", it is clear that the teachings of the earlier popes and of DH are examples of comparing apples and oranges.

III - 'Traditionalist' Objections (Part VII):

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

[ "...the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using (separated churches) as means of salvation" (Unitatis Redintegratio, §3), and so]

UR §3 was covered earlier on. Oh well, this time even more context will be applied and the footnotes will be left in and explained:

Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts, {19} which the Apostle strongly condemned. {20} But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions 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 upon 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,{21} and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.{22}

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.

The brethren divided from us also use many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community. These liturgical actions must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation.

It follows that the separated Churches{23} and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.

Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life- that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ's Catholic Church, which is "the all-embracing means of salvation," that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God. This people of God, though still in its members liable to sin, is ever growing in Christ during its pilgrimage on earth, and is guided by God's gentle wisdom, according to His hidden designs, until it shall happily arrive at the fullness of eternal glory in the heavenly Jerusalem. " [15]

The footnotes for the relevant section of the Decree are as follows (all emphasis taken from the text of the Decree):

19. Cf. 1 Cor. 11, 18-19; Gal. 1, 6-9; 1 Jn. 2, 18-19.

20. Cf. 1 Cor. 1, 11 sqq; 11, 22.

21. Cf. CONC. FLORENTINUM, Sess. VIII (1439), Decretum Exultate Deo: Mansi 31, 1055A.

22. Cf. S. AUGUSTINUS, In Ps. 32, Enarr. II, 29: PL 36, 299.

23. Cf. CONC. LATERANENSE IV (1215) Constitutio IV: Mansi 22, 990; CONC. LUGDUNENSE II (1274), Professio fidei Michaelis Palaeologi: Mansi 24, 71 E; CONC. FLORENTINUM, Sess. VI (1439), Definitio Laetentur caeli: Mansi 31, 1026 E.

24. Cf. Iac. 1, 4; Rom. 12, 1-2. [16]

This writer was unaware that supporting a teaching with references to Scripture, the writings of the Doctor of Grace, and magisterial texts from previous ecumenical councils (such as Lateran IV, Lyons II, and Florence) was so "liberal" and "untraditional".

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

[PRINCIPLE 2… 2. The Catholic Church Is The Unique Ark Of Salvation

The Catholic Church firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within Her, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics, cannot become participants in eternal life but will depart "into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" (Mt. 25:41), unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock...(Council of Florence, Dz 714)]

'Traditionalists' who argue as the SSPX does here dig their own grave in more ways then one. If they had read the Florence decree in proper context (which they never do with anything) they would know that the statement above was specifically directed towards the Apostolic churches which were re-aligning themselves with Rome in the fifteenth century. Those Apostolic churches who (seeking reunification with Rome) knew of the necessity of union with Rome for salvation. In this context, the decree from the Council of Florence must be assessed because otherwise it is not being properly understood.

As Catholic writer Matt1618 has noted in analyzing the Decree of Pope Eugenius IV:

We notice, that in the background, the mention of various heresies that have knowingly denied various truths of the Catholic Faith. All of these heresies mentioned had contact with the full gospel and many (such as the Arians, Manichaeans, and Monophysites) were anathematized. All these sects have heard the message, but refused to enter the Church despite that fact. Also, notice at the end, it says, that those who shed their blood for Christ, will not be saved, unless they did it within the bosom of the Catholic Church. This again reiterates that they have heard the gospel of Christ. They indeed can not be saved even if martyred because prior to this they had rejected the gospel.
In the same breath of the message of those who have rejected the true gospel, the Pope makes the statement about the pagans, Jews, etc.. This takes as a starting assumption that they have (like the Arians, Monophystes, Ebionites) heard the message of Christ's gospel. It is not talking about those who have not heard the gospel. The ones that these decrees are mentioning are those that have heard the message. If they had heard the message and obstinately stay outside the Church, they cannot be saved. Notice that in this decree, just like the first two mentioned, the decree does not say, "Well, if those pagans and Jews, etc. have never heard of the gospel, they can not be saved." In order for the strict EENS view to be correct, it needs to say that. It did not. After hearing the full gospel, they have rejected it, so anybody who stays a pagan, Jew, etc. are indeed condemned to hell (just like the Ebionites, Arians, etc.) They are thus condemned unless they physically become members of the Church. This is fully consistent with what the Church teaches now. [17]
There was no universal condemnation of all people physically outside the Catholic Church in the decrees of Florence
because the boundaries of what constituted "the Church" had not been definitively set forth at the time. There was also no universal condemnation in the decrees of Florence because only God can judge the inner man and the Church have always acknowledged this. There is also the fact that the statement itself, while definitive, is not formally so. (Instead it is definitive statement because it was reiterating the dogma extra ecclesia nulla salus as previously defined by Lateran IV and particularly by Pope Boniface VIII in the Apostolic Letter Unam Sanctum.) In that sense the exposition element of the teaching would not necessarily fall under the mantle of infallible teaching - particularly since this Decree was to a
particular church and not one promulgated to the universal church either expressely or tacitly.

But those factors aside, the Church makes no claims to judge the subjective status of anyone. She can only state that those aware of the obligation of belonging to the Church but who culpably refuse to do so are destined for eternal hell fire. She can also (and should) chide Catholics who do not appear to be following the dictates of the Faith in these matters. This would of course also involve evangelizing others to bring them onto the Church where their election can be made much more sure but not beyond all possible doubt. Therefore, there are two choices. Either radical 'traditionalists' unilaterally claim that all people physically outside the Church at death are certainly and without doubt in hell or they can shut up and quit hiding behind the statement "outside the Church there is no salvation".

Those who are not culpably aware of their obligations within this realm were not the intended target of this decree which if it is read in full context becomes quite obvious. And removing one small sentence from a text several pages in length and divorced from the time period and target audience guarantees an error in proper interpretation because the sitz im leben would be undermined. Now notice that this is what every example of referencing the Vatican II documents and papal encyclicals thus far in this url and the previous one: note the pathetic track record of accuracy with this methodology. 'Traditionalists' apply this single sentence as if the statement is universally applicable in every situation - and as if the terms are univocal. In doing this, they fail to recognize the difference between a dogmatic principle (where there is no equivocation possible) and individual circumstances where there are countless possible impediments. The decrees and intentions of Florence never said what the 'traditionalist' seeks to make them say as they were formulating a dogmatic principle that those they addressed (the Copts) were aware of and in agreement with.

As Matt pointed out, the very language implies someone who had culpably rejected the faith and Muslims and Jews had indeed done so culpably in a corporate manner but not necessarily an individual one (i.e. in every case of individual Muslims and Jews). Nevertheless, it is obvious that 'traditionalists' such as these will stop at nothing to manufacture "contrary condemned statements" out of thin air where they do not exist: a practice akin to the flawed "either/or" dichotomy so common in anti-Catholic methodology. Now if the SSPX (and other radical 'traditionalists') want to claim that the odds of salvation outside the Church are much slimmer then for those within the Church, than that is one thing. It is a theologically open hypothesis that they are free to hold or reject. But they take it much further then that and instead try to play the role of the Almighty.

Who are we to place limits on God's mercy??? Who are we to underestimate His full understanding of potential impediments to accepting the truth and the circumstances that mitigate partial or full culpability??? The 'traditionalist' in claiming this is making a unilateral condemnation based on reading the decrees of Florence out of context. They are not taking into account the assumptions involved and their target audience in the fifteenth century but instead are treating Magisterial documents the way Fundamentalists treat the Scriptures. It is another shameless display of duplicity because there is a difference between a dogmatic statement that is true in the purest sense and individual cases where degrees of culpability can vary. Only God knows for sure. Besides, a bit of history is needed here for proper context. As Fr. William G. Most noted in an article he wrote on this subject matter:

The old Congregation of the Index in more recent times condemned two writings. One by P. Gravina, which held that by far the greater number are saved, was condemned on May 22, 1772. However, some of his arguments were foolish and he used apocryphal revelations. The general idea of the greater number of persons saved was also held earlier by Venerable Joseph of St. Benedict. As part of the process of canonization, 40 theologians were appointed to examine his writings along with other doctors elsewhere. None objected to his thesis. On the other hand, on July 30, 1708 a work under the pen name of Amelincourt - actually it was written by Abbé Olivier Debors-Desdoires - which held that most persons are lost, was condemned. [18]
In short, the Church does not claim to know either way if more people are saved or condemned. Therefore, arrogant posturing 'traditionalists' should take note of this and be far more humble in approaching the dogma Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus as if it is any kind of certainty when indeed it most assuredly is not. The simple answer is that we do not know.

Pope Pius XII said it best when he said that there are those outside the Body of the Church who are joined to her Soul by "a certain desire and longing". The Holy Father stated that they were "[in a] state where they cannot be sure of their salvation" (Mystici Corporis Christi §103). This is another example of the tightrope walking that the theologian must do in balancing God’s Perfect Justice with His Infinite Mercy. However 'traditionalists’ (falsely-so-called) are unable to do this and as usual prove to be ignorant and unstable and they are without question twisting Magisterial documents to their own destruction (2 Pet. 3:14-17). A fine line must be walked and unbiblical, unhistorical, unMagisterial, and illogical rigorism is not how you handle indifferentism and universalism.

The Catholic Church’s Magisterial documents handle this issue marvelously but they must be read and digested and not merely proof-texted. The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium is a profoundly deep piece of theological writing and surpasses in authority the Ordinary Magisterium level of teaching. Like the Decree of Union with the Copts from Florence and the Apostolic Letter Unam Sanctum, it deals with the Body of the Church but it also deals with the Soul of the Church who are "in a number known only to God". It is noted that if they have invincible ignorance they may be saved by the virtue of charity; this is interestingly enough exactly what St. Paul said in the Epistle to the Romans (2:12-16, 25ff).

The assertion of the Decree Unitatis Redintegratio (UR) is that those who are not fully incorporated into the Church who are of good will have access to God's grace through various elements that are salvific which are from the Catholic Church and lead back to her. UR in speaking of them was referring to the means whereby God utilizes the saving elements of the Catholic Church present in various bodies corporately separated from the Mystical Body to save those of good-will. (Who are either unaware of the necessity of the Church for salvation or who cannot dispel their ignorance of this knowledge through the use of ordinary diligence.) In short, people of good will and not those who shirk from the obligation to enter into or remain in the Catholic Church.

The Church historically has made very dogmatic pronouncements on this matter to those aware of this obligation. (Such as the Copts at Florence who actively sought out the Roman Church for reunion or dissidents such as King Philip IV who refused to submit to Pope Boniface VIII's spiritual authority - and occasioned the latter's Apostolic Letter Unam Sanctum.) She has by contrast sought more irenic means to appeal to those who are of good will who are unaware of this obligation. (Such as Pope Pius XII's reference from Mystici Corporis Christi above and the reference to Unitatis Redintegratio §3 where the means whereby those of good-will are saved through the Church is explained.)

What happened in the latter two cases is objectively not where the self-styled 'traditionalists' tend to find themselves. No, they are generally dogmatic about the standing of others before God while simultaneously refusing submission to the Roman Pontiff in areas where it does not please them to acknowledge it. As a result, they objectively tend to find themselves in the same position as the Copts of Cantante Domino and Philip IV of Unam Sanctum. In light of this predicament, they should be very careful and remember the Lord's admonition that "by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you" (Matt. 7:2; Mark 4:24; Luke 6:38).

To summarize the objections of those who postulate a contradiction between Unitatis Redintegratio and Cantate Domino in a single sentence: the assertion is a theologically facile one. Self-styled 'traditionalists' should learn to make the proper distinctions or withdraw themselves from these kinds of discussions. Otherwise they only come across looking very foolish indeed.

IX - 'Traditionalist' Objections (Part VIII):

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

["ecumenical action should be encouraged so that...Catholics might cooperate with their separated brethren...by a common profession before the nations of faith in God and in Jesus Christ..." (Ad Gentes, §115).]

This is a typo because it is actually AG §15 not §115 being cited. Yet again though the standard selective citing and heavy editing is evident. Here is what this section actually says (putting in bold print the actual parts the SSPX cites in AG §15):

The ecumenical spirit should be nurtured in the neophytes, who should take into account that the brethren who believe in Christ are Christ's disciples, reborn in baptism, sharers with the People of God in very many good things. Insofar as religious conditions allow, ecumenical activity should be furthered in such a way that, excluding any appearance of indifference or confusion on the one hand, or of unhealthy rivalry on the other, Catholics should cooperate in a brotherly spirit with their separated brethren, according to the norms of the Decree on Ecumenism, making before the nations a common profession of faith, insofar as their beliefs are common, in God and in Jesus Christ, and cooperating in social and in technical projects as well as in cultural and religious ones. Let them cooperate especially for the sake of Christ, their common Lord: let His Name be the bond that unites them This cooperation should be undertaken not only among private persons, but also, subject to approval by the local Ordinary, among churches or ecclesial communities and their works. [19]
Now while the above would appear to be a far worse example than a shoddily prooftext of the teaching of the Decree Ad Gentes, in fairness to the SSPX, the text above was compared to the authors' copy of Austin Flannery's edition of the conciliar documents. There were distinct differences and it would appear that the SSPX used the Flannery edition. The differences will be put in brackets in the paragraph below with the citations from the SSPX again bolded:
The ecumenical spirit should be [nourished among] neophytes; [they must appreciate that their brothers] who believe in Christ are disciples of Christ, [and having been] reborn in baptism, [share in many of the blessings of] the People of God. Insofar as religious conditions [permit], ecumenical action should be encouraged so that, [while avoiding] every [form] of indifference or confusion [and also senseless] rivalry, Catholics might collaborate with their separated brethren, insofar as it is possible, by a common profession before the nations of faith in God and in Jesus Christ, and [by a common fraternal effort] in social, [cultural], technical  and religious [matters in accordance with] the Decree on Ecumenism. Let them cooperate especially [because] of Christ, their common Lord. [May] His Name [unite] them! [There should be collaboration of this type] not only [between] private persons, but also, subject to [the judgment of] the local Ordinary, [between] churches or ecclesial communities and their [undertakings].   [20]
There are some differences in the translations - the first one appears to be more literal whereas the Flannery version appears to try and translate the text to read as it would if composed in English. (The underlined words parts were the only significant differences.) Nonetheless, even giving the benefit of the doubt with the translation, it is clear that there was a deliberate intention to leave out the part about "while avoiding every form of indifference or confusion" because this contradicts the stereotype the 'traditionalists' want to spin about the Council endorsing a kind of false indifferentism. This is a disgusting display of dishonesty and all to manufacture another "contradiction".

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

[PRINCIPLE 7: 7. Protestants And Other Non-Catholics Do Not Have The Faith: Now it is manifest that he who adheres to the teaching of the Church, as to an infallible rule, assents to whatever the Church teaches; otherwise, if, of the things taught by the Church, he holds what he chooses to hold, and rejects what he chooses to reject, he no longer adheres to the teaching of the Church as to an infallible rule, but to his own will....Therefore it is clear that such a heretic with regard to one article has no faith in the other articles, but only a kind of opinion in accordance with his own will (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II II, Q.5, A.3)]

St. Thomas Aquinas did not address Protestants with this article as there were no Protestants around in the 1200's. The implicit point being made by St. Thomas is that the heretic is "holding what they choose to hold" and "rejecting what they choose to reject". All of this indicates that the person being addressed knows what they are supposed to accept and does not accept it. Besides, these radical 'traditionalists' reject the teachings of an ecumenical council of the Church, portions of Canon Law that they deem as inappropriate via their own private judgment, etc. Since these miscreants refuse proper submission to all that the Church teaches, they can hardly be said to be assenting "to whatever the Church teaches." Thus, to St. Thomas Aquinas, the most extreme elements of the SSPX and others in the radical 'traditionalist' movement (which includes many of their clergy) would be recognized as at a minimum schismatic and possibly (in light of Vatican I) heretics. Not only that but they are Pharisees for doing the very thing they accuse Protestants of doing. The so-called 'traditionalists' as usual fail to put matters into proper perspective on these issues.

Most Protestants have no idea of many Catholic doctrines that they should accept nor do they have any idea that the Church's teachings are the basis for the Christian rule of faith. Therefore, now the SSPX has decided to misrepresent St. Thomas and quote him as they please. Well as it was already shown earlier in this treatise in reasonable detail why groups such as SSPX are clearly in objective corporate schism, here is what St. Thomas says about schismatics:

[T]he unity of the Church consists in two things; namely, in the mutual connection or communion of the members of the Church, and again in the subordination of all the members of the Church to the one head, according to Col. 2:18,19: "Puffed up by the sense of his flesh, and not holding the Head, from which the whole body, by joints and bands, being supplied with nourishment and compacted, groweth unto the increase of God." Now this Head is Christ Himself, Whose vice-regent in the Church is the Sovereign Pontiff. Wherefore schismatics are those who refuse to submit to the Sovereign Pontiff, and to hold communion with those members of the Church who acknowledge his supremacy.
Reply to Objection 1. The division between man and God that results from sin is not intended by the sinner: it happens beside his intention as a result of his turning inordinately to a mutable good, and so it is not schism properly so called.
Reply to Objection 2. The essence of schism consists in rebelliously disobeying the commandments: and I say "rebelliously," since a schismatic both obstinately scorns the commandments of the Church, and refuses to submit to her judgment. But every sinner does not do this, wherefore not every sin is a schism.
Reply to Objection 3. Heresy and schism are distinguished in respect of those things to which each is opposed essentially and directly. For heresy is essentially opposed to faith, while schism is essentially opposed to the unity of ecclesiastical charity. Wherefore just as faith and charity are different virtues, although whoever lacks faith lacks charity, so too schism and heresy are different vices, although whoever is a heretic is also a schismatic, but not conversely. This is what Jerome says in his commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians [In Ep. ad Tit. iii, 10: "I consider the difference between schism and heresy to be that heresy holds false doctrine while schism severs a man from the Church." Nevertheless, just as the loss of charity is the road to the loss of faith, according to 1 Tim. 1:6: "From which things," i.e. charity and the like, "some going astray, are turned aside into vain babbling," so too, schism is the road to heresy. Wherefore Jerome adds (In Ep. ad Tit. iii, 10) that "at the outset it is possible, in a certain respect, to find a difference between schism and heresy: yet there is no schism that does not devise some heresy for itself, that it may appear to have had a reason for separating from the Church." [21]
Which interestingly enough is exactly what 'traditionalists' do when they demonize Vatican II (VC II) as these kinds of people so often do. For VC II must be heretical or evil in some way so that the radical 'traditionalist' groups can seek to justify their separation from the Church. St. Thomas had the 'traditionalist' modus operandi pegged seven hundred years in advance. (Sts. Augustine and Jerome discerned it nine hundred years years before him.) But that is not all the Angelic Doctor had to say about schismatics:
Spiritual power is twofold, the one sacramental, the other a power of jurisdiction. The sacramental power is one that is conferred by some kind of consecration. Now all the consecrations of the Church are immovable so long as the consecrated thing remains: as appears even in inanimate things, since an altar, once consecrated, is not consecrated again unless it has been broken up. Consequently such a power as this remains, as to its essence, in the man who has received it by consecration, as long as he lives, even if he fall into schism or heresy: and this is proved from the fact that if he come back to the Church, he is not consecrated anew. Since, however, the lower power ought not to exercise its act, except in so far as it is moved by the higher power, as may be seen also in the physical order, it follows that such persons lose the use of their power, so that it is not lawful for them to use it. Yet if they use it, this power has its effect in sacramental acts, because therein man acts only as God's instrument, so that sacramental effects are not precluded on account of any fault whatever in the person who confers the sacrament.
On the other hand, the power of jurisdiction is that which is conferred by a mere human appointment. Such a power as this does not adhere to the recipient immovably: so that it does not remain in heretics and schismatics; and consequently they neither absolve nor excommunicate, nor grant indulgence, nor do anything of the kind,and if they do, it is invalid.  [22]
Who are these schismatics to question the judgment of the Church??? Their spirit of rebellion is from the same source as all other rebellions in history (stubborn pride), it should not surprise that they have much in common with the founders of such movements - people such as Fr. Martin Luther. In their lack of charity and their arrogant boasting of giving "true" interpretations of Tradition (and yes 'traditionalist' groups do these things in spades) and judging the competence of the Magisterium, they reveal a startling parallel that in light of all their ranting against Protestantism is highly ironic. They mirror the very attitudes and antics of those "reformers" they like to vilify.

For Luther, Calvin, and other Protestant self-styled "reformers" took this very same attitude when it came to "true" interpretations of the Bible!!! It is also interesting to note that Luther claimed that Popes and Ecumenical councils could err and used this pretext to refuse to obey the pope or the ecumenical councils. The so-called 'traditionalist' groups in their slanderous misinterpretation of Vatican II, the Popes since Vatican II, and in their refusal to submit to the teachings of the Magisterium of the Church act no different. The reader really needs to stop and ask themselves how such people can talk like Luther and the so-called "reformers" and act like Luther and the so-called "reformers" and not also be guilty as Luther and the so-called "reformers" were. Granted Luther and company were heretics but these kinds of so-called 'traditionalists' are unquestionably schismatic. (And some such as the sedevacantists are heretical.) Eight paltry sections of objections down, two to go. This could be done all day with such examples but in the interest of economy and in moving onto the examination of historical parallels we need to start wrapping this topic up.

X - 'Traditionalist' Objections (Part IX):

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

[Why, even concerning non-Christian religions: "The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is good and holy in these religions. She has a high regard for the manner of life and conduct..." (Nostra Aetate, §2)]

Larger passages of the Declaration Nostra Aetate are posted here for proper context and because it highlights an important aspect of Christian charity that seem to be missing from many people in the 'traditionalist' movement (but certainly not all of them). Many who belong to these types of movements prefer to subscribe to what is best called ‘Ku Klux Katholicism’.

'Ku Klux Katholicism' is a reference to those whose idea of authentic Catholicism is a rude and triumphalistic bashing of other people. This attitude is not at all Christian and is also not at all charitable. Approaching those without the grace of the Faith while displaying a lack of charity will inevitably bear bad fruit and only worsen the already scandalous unity in Christendom when done with other Christians. When done to non-Christians it is a poor witness for the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Remember all the faith and hope in the world is worthless without charity (1 Corinthians 13). This seems to be something that many self-styled 'traditionalists' imbibe in if not explicitly than implicitly in belonging to organizations or movements that are spiteful towards those who differ from them in point of view. Nevertheless, here are the relevant parts of Nostra Aetate from VC II - the caps in the introduction taken verbatim from the template:


Paul, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God
Together with the Fathers of the Sacred Council
For Everlasting Memory


From ancient times down to the present, there is found among various peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things and over the events of human history; at times some indeed have come to the recognition of a Supreme Being, or even of a Father. This perception and recognition penetrates their lives with a profound religious sense…
The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ, "the way the truth, and the life" (John 14, 6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself...
The Church therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men…
[A]s the Church has always held and holds now, Christ underwent His passion and death freely, because of the sins of men and out of infinite love, in order that all may reach salvation. It is, therefore, the burden of the Church's preaching to proclaim the cross of Christ as the sign of God's all-embracing love and as the fountain from which every grace flows...
We cannot truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way any man, created as he is in the image of God. Man's relation to God the Father and his relation to men his brothers are so linked together that Scripture says: "He who does not love does not know God" (1 John 4, 8).
No foundation therefore remains for any theory or practice that leads to discrimination between man and the man or people and people, so far as their human dignity and the rights flowing from it are concerned.

The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or
harassment of them because of their race, colour, condition of life, or religion. On the contrary,
following in the footsteps of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, this Sacred Synod ardently
implores the Christian faithful to "maintain good fellowship among the nations" (1 Peter 2, 12),
and, if possible to live for their part in peace with all men (14), so that they many truly be sons
of the Father who is in heaven (15).

The entire text and all the individual elements which have been set forth in this Declaration have
pleased the Fathers. And by the Apostolic power conferred on us by Christ, we, together with
the Venerable Fathers, in the Holy Spirit, approve, decree and enact them; and we order that
what has been thus enacted in Council be promulgated, to the glory of God. [23]

In light of what was just referenced, observe the manner whereby these kinds of people shine forth with the love of Christ for other people.

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

["All the gods of the Gentiles are devils." (Psalm 95). "...beware lest thou have a mind to imitate the abominations of those nations" (Deuteronomy 18:9)]

Nostra Aetate's approach is far more Christian and far more charitable than these ‘Ku Klux Katholiks’ who want to don the bed-sheets and burn crosses on people's lawns as a way of representing Christ to those ignorant of Him. How utterly repulsive this approach is; however, as the Angelic Doctor has noted, charity is often lacking in the schismatic cut off from the graces of the Church so we should not be completely surprised.

Nonetheless, if they feel the need to quote Scripture to justify uncharitable behaviour, here is Psalm 95 to provide the context of the prooftext above:

A canticle for David himself, when the house was built after the captivity. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing ye to the Lord and bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day.  Declare his glory among the Gentiles: his wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and exceedingly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made the heavens. Praise and beauty are before him: holiness and majesty in his sanctuary. Bring ye to the Lord, O ye kindreds of the Gentiles, bring ye to the Lord glory and honour: Bring to the Lord glory unto his name. Bring up sacrifices, and come into his courts: Adore ye the Lord in his holy court. Let all the earth be moved at his presence. Say ye among the Gentiles, the Lord hath reigned. For he hath corrected the world, which shall not be moved: he will judge the people with justice. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad, let the sea be moved, and the fulness thereof: The fields and all things that are in them shall be joyful. Then shall all the trees of the woods rejoice before the face of the Lord, because he cometh: because he cometh to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with justice, and the people with his truth. [24]
The reader would never realize that the verse quoted was contrasting the greatness of God with the nothingness of the Gentile gods. The passage prooftexted above does not contradict the teaching of the Declaration Nostra Aetate when looked at in full context. With that in mind, here is the text of Deuteronomy 18:9-14 to provide context for the second prooftext:
When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee, beware lest thou have a mind to imitate the abominations of those nations. Neither let there be found among you any one that shall expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass through the fire: or that consulteth soothsayers, or observeth dreams and omens, neither let there be any wizard, Nor charmer, nor any one that consulteth pythonic spirits, or fortune tellers, or that seeketh the truth from the dead. For the Lord abhorreth all these things, and for these abominations he will destroy them at thy coming.  Thou shalt be perfect, and without spot before the Lord thy God. These nations, whose land thou shalt possess, hearken to soothsayers and diviners: but thou art otherwise instructed by the Lord thy God. [25]
If the Church (i) rejects nothing that is good and holy in other religions and (ii) Deuteronomy 18:9-14 outlines abominations that the Church herself rejects, then (iii) Deuteronomy 18:9-14 is a non-sequitur to the teaching of Nostra Aetate and no more needs to be said about it. However, as these so-called 'traditionalists' claim to be speaking for the Tradition, let us see what one of the Supreme Pontiffs had to say about the Church's view of pagan beliefs and customs:
The Church from the beginning down to our own time has always followed this wise practice: let not the Gospel on being introduced into any new land destroy or extinguish whatever its people possess that is naturally good, just or beautiful. For the Church, when she calls people to a higher culture and a better way of life, under the inspiration of the Christian religion, does not act like one who recklessly cuts down and uproots a thriving forest. No, she grafts a good scion upon the wild stock that it may bear a crop of more delicious fruit.

Although owing to Adam's fall, human nature is tainted with original sin, yet it has in itself something that is naturally Christian; and this, if illumined by divine delight and nourished by God's grace, can eventually be changed into true and supernatural virtue.

This is the reason why the Catholic Church has neither scorned nor rejected the pagan philosophies. Instead, after freeing them from error and all contamination she has perfected and completed them by Christian revelation. [26]

This should be adequate to refute the pretensions of these pseudo-'traditionalists' when it comes to what is and is not the Church's policy towards pagan beliefs since Pius XII and his predecessors get an automatic "get out of jail free" card. (Whereas if John XXIII or any of his successors said what was noted above, they would be argued with - and insulted by - these kinds of people: proof is that they disputed with the Declaration Nostra Aetate which says virtually the same thing that Pope Pius XII did above and they will not savage Pius XII in like manner.)

XI - 'Traditionalist' Objections (Part X):

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

["Together with their head, the Supreme Pontiff, and never apart from him, they (the Bishops) have supreme and full authority over the universal Church;..." (Lumen Gentium, §22)]

Okay, here is another (in an endless number) of common flagrant 'traditionalist' misrepresentations as to what is said in the Council documents (in this case Lumen Gentium §22). Here is the relevant parts for proper context:

The college or body of bishops has for all that no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, as its head, whose primatial authority, let it be added, over all, whether pastors or faithful, remains in its integrity. For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, namely, and as pastor of the entire Church, has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered. The order of bishops is the successor to the college of the apostles in their role as teachers and pastors, and in it the apostolic college is perpetuated. Together with their head, the Supreme Pontiff, and never apart from him, they have supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff. The Lord made Peter alone the rock-foundation and the holder of the keys of the Church (cf. Mt. 16:18-19), and constituted him shepherd of his whole flock (cf. Jn. 21:15 ff.). It is clear, however, that the office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter (Mt. 16:19), was also assigned to the college of the apostles united to its head (Mt. 18:18; 28:16-20)." [27]
How can they possibly manufacture a contradiction here??? Well, they will try to pit the primacy against the authority of the apostolic college in standard Protestant "either/or" fashion of course.

"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

[PRINCIPLE 4: 4. The Church Is Founded Upon Peter And His Successors Forever

If anyone then says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself or by divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church...let him be anathema....

If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world...let him be anathema (Vatican I, Dz 1825, 1831). ]

LG §22 (in support of its contentions) cites Vatican I almost verbatim. What part of "the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, namely, and as pastor of the entire Church, has full, supreme and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered" contradicts what is quoted by the 'traditionalists' above???

[But it is opposed to the truth and in evident contradiction with the divine constitution of the Church to hold that, while each bishop is individually bound to obey the authority of the Roman Pontiffs, taken collectively the bishops are not so bound (Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum).]

LG §22 nowhere states that collegiality of the bishops as an infallible teaching authority can in any way be separated from the Roman Pontiff or at all exercised without his consent. Here is what LG 22 says yet again:

Together with their head, the Supreme Pontiff, and never apart from him, they have supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff. [28]
St. Thomas More once said (upon perusing Tyndale's Bible translation) that "there are about as many errors here as
there are drops of water in the ocean." The same problems exist with 'traditionalists' and their allies when it comes to accurately portraying the truth and being honourable in their citations of sources, etc. (cf. Ex. 20:16; Deut. 5:20).

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

["Now, the episcopal consecration confers, together with the office of sanctifying, the duty also of teaching and ruling..." (§21)]

Now, episcopal consecration confers, together with the office of sanctifying, the duty also of teaching and ruling, which, however, of their very nature can be exercised only in hierarchial communion with the head and members of the college.  [29]
"True Catholic Teaching" (According to the Private Judgment of 'Traditionalists'):

["This (episcopal) dignity, in fact, depends immediately on God as to the power of orders, and on the Apostolic See as to the power of jurisdiction..." (Deesemus Nos, Pope Pius VI)]

Read the referenced part of LG §21 noting especially the part in bold: it specifies exactly what Pope Pius VI says in Deesemus Nos. Hence, no contradiction and yet again the 'traditionalist' using these arguments is in error. Also, note carefully the words of Pope Pius VI in the posted quote:

"Episcopal dignity, in fact, depends immediately on God as to the power of orders, and on the Apostolic See as to the power of jurisdiction..."

And lest the reader forget, the power of jurisdiction was demonstrated beyond any shadow of doubt in the two urls discussing schism sections to not exist in the case of dissident schismatic Bishops. You need the sanction of the Apostolic See for establishing an apostolic mission or for powers of jurisdiction and without one of these faculties, a bishop has no authority to perform any priestly functions. (Nor would the priests under them have faculties either.) So will these dissident schismatic groups claim either jurisdiction or that they have received a mandate to establish an apostolic mission??? One or the other is required for validity and in both cases such authority can only come from the pope. And as the majority of self-styled 'traditionalists' profess allegiance to the pope in the abstract while they refuse to submit to his authority or hold communion with those who recognize his supremacy - either one of which qualifies as schismatic - while sedevacantist heretics deny that there is a valid pope: in neither case do the adherents have a viable leg to stand on. (As these last two sections -  a mere sampling of what could be supplied - more then adequately proves.)

While these rounds could go on indefinitely, we have to stop somewhere. In the last url and this one about 40 of these kinds of objections and misinterpretations have been amply refuted in detail. It is clear beyond any reasonable doubt that they have no idea what they are talking about. This ignorance is not only when it comes to Vatican II and what it taught but also Catholic doctrine, dogmatics, honesty, citing sources in context, or any of the many nuances that go into properly understanding the ramifications of different teachings. Yet ironically enough, these people think others should listen to them. Their arrogance in light of the profound ignorance they possess would be laughable if it was not truly sad and indicative of a proud spirit possessing them: the spirit of pride. If they check their Baltimore Catechism under the 7 Capital Sins, they will see that pride is number 1 on the list: a point they should think long and hard about before continuing to ‘kick against the goad’ (Acts 9:5; 26:14).

XII - Conclusion:

In short, the common ‘garden variety’ accusations leveled at the teachings of Vatican II fail not only overwhelmingly, but completely to in any way demonstrate contradictions between the Ecumenical council and past council/papal teachings. Certainly more could be covered then was here; however, it has been shown in this section without the slightest shred of doubt that the SSPX citations not only of VC II but papal encyclicals and other magisterial documents, which they claim "contradict" VC II teachings, in fact do no such thing. Instead the sources cited often compliment the teachings of VC II. In every instance, the 'traditionalist' group fails to prove their case. The author wonders at what point is the degree of error being manifested by these types of groups going to reach critical mass for the readers. Consider the track record thus far:

(i) 'Traditionalists' are in serious error with regards to knowing what does and does not constitute authentic Tradition. (ii) They are likewise dead wrong on the Mass. (Not only its validity but also their claims that it was somehow "Protestantized" and countless other assertions made about the Pauline liturgy.) Also, (iii) 'traditionalists' are profoundly ignorant about the authority and infallibility of Vatican II. (They also err grievously with regards to the degree of assent owed to not only of the Council but also to the authentic papal Magisterium teachings of the post-Council popes.) Furthermore, (iv) 'traditionalists' lie consistently about their status. (They claim to be in communion with the Catholic Church when they are not. As a result they are not properly authorized to offer Mass and administer the sacraments.) And now (v) they are shown unambiguously to be woefully in error in a whole slew of attempts to manufacture ‘contradictions’ between the Council/post Council popes and pre-Council/VC II popes. But we are not finished yet.

It is the trademark of schismatics and heretics to pit the documents of the Magisterium against one another as these 'traditionalists' have done. That is the subject of the next section where the Siamese twin heresies that 'traditionalism' so often shamelessly apes will be revealed and examined. Just as this section has been another series of nails driven into the coffin of 'traditionalism', another paraphrase of Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman comes to mind: "To be deep in knowledge of Vatican II and the pre-Council papal magisterium is to cease to be a 'traditionalist'".


[1] St. Optatus of Mileve: The Schism of the Donatist, 1:10 in OPT, 10 (c. 367 AD)

[2] Vatican II: Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium Et Spes" (GS) §24 (December 7, 1965)

[3] GS §12

[4] GS §22

[5] GS §22

[6] GS §26

[7] Genesis 1:26-28

[8] Vatican II: Declaration "Dignitatis Humanae" (DH) §2 (December 7, 1965)

[9] Pope Pius IX: Encyclical Letter "Quanta Cura" (QC) §3 (December 8, 1864)

[10] DH §2

[11] QC §3

[12] QC §5

[13] DH §2

[14] DH §1

[15] Vatican II: Decree "Unitatis Redintegratio" (UR) §3 (November 21, 1964)

[16] UR §3 footnotes

[17] Matt1618: "An Examination Of The 3 De Fide Decrees On ‘No Salvation Outside The Church’, De Fide Decree #3: Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino of 1441, (c. 1998)

[18] Rev. William G. Most: "The Number of Those Saved" (c. 1997)

[19] Vatican II: Decree "Ad Gentes" (AG) §15 (December 7, 1965)

[20] AG §15 (Austin Flannery translation)

[21] St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologiae, IIa, IIae 39 (circa 1270-73)

[22] St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologiae, IIa, IIae 39 (circa 1270-73)

[23] Nostra Aetate (NA) §2, §3, §4-5 (October 28, 1965)

[24] Psalm 95 in its entirety

[25] Deuteronomy: 18:9-14

[26] Pope Pius XII" Encyclical Letter "Evangelii Praecones" §56-58 (June 2, 1951)

[27] Vatican II: Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" (LG) §22 (November 21, 1964)

[28] LG §22

[29] LG §21

Additional Notes:

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

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 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 citations from the Second Vatican Council's Declaration "Dignitatis Humanae" were obtained at the following link: http://www.rc.net/rcchurch/vatican2/dignitat.hum

The citations from Pope Pius IX's Encyclical Letter "Quanta Cura" were obtained at the following link:

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 Matt1618's essay "An Examination of the 3 De Fide Decrees on ‘No Salvation Outside the Church'" was obtained at the following link: http://www.freeyellow.com/members3/matt1618/eens.html

The citations from Fr. William Most was obtained at the following link: http://www.trincomm.org/most/getwork.cfm?worknum=65

The citations from the Second Vatican Council's Decree "Ad Gentes" were obtained at the following link:

The citations from St. Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Theologiae" were obtained at the following link: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/303901.htm

The citations from the Second Vatican Council's Declaration "Nostra Aetate" were obtained at the following link:

The citation from Pope Pius XII's Encyclical Letter "Evangelii Praecones" was obtained at the following link: http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12EVANG.HTM

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

Monitum on the Link to the SSPX's Website Below:

The citations in this url and the previous 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. This may not be perfectly identical to the way they read now, but they were deemed close enough to be left as they were. (Parts that are no longer there or were modified were noted in this url and the previous one.)

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.

©2003, 2000, "A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism'" (Part 11), written by I. Shawn McElhinney. This text may be downloaded 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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