MASCARUCCI: IMPOSSIBLE TO SEPARATE ERRORS AND VATICAN II.
10 Agosto 2020
Dear readers of Stilum Curiae, I never thought that the debate over the Second Vatican Council, initiated by Archbishop Viganò, would have stirred up so much interest in so many people. We have seen a great deal of interest here at our website, and people continue to send me contributions and observations. Today we are publishing the contribution of Americo Mascarucci, a journalist and writer, the author of several books including “La rivoluzione di Papa Francesco. Come cambia la Chiesa da don Milani a Lutero”. Happy reading.
I allow myself to make a contribution in the debate opened over the Second Vatican Council by the intervention of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. I begin by saying that I am not a theologian and that I do not have the same authority and competence on the matter as the illustrious commentators who have already contributed to the discussion. I am only a simple journalist who is passionate about the affairs of the Vatican, a passion that has led me to publish two books, both with the publisher Historica. The first, two years ago, was called “The Revolution of Pope Francis – How He is Changing the Church from Don Milani to Luther”; the second in January 2020, called “The Church in Politics – How the CEI Has Changed from Ruini to Pope Francis.”
For years now a debate has swirled around the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council: a hermeneutic of continuity, promoted in the first place by John Paul II and then by Benedict XVI, according to which the conciliar event was in perfect continuity with the Tradition and Magisterium of the Church and thus with the Tridentine tradition. In opposition to this vision, a hermeneutic of discontinuity has been promoted, above all by the disciples of the so-called “Bologna school” which developed around the cult of two hinge figures of progressive Catholicism, Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro and Don Giuseppe Dossetti, who on the contrary see in Vatican II a rupture with the Tradition.
The historian Roberto De Mattei in his book The Second Vatican Council (An Unwritten Story) has refuted the thesis that was very dear to both Wojtyla and Ratizinger, that of the hermeneutic of continuity, demonstrating how it is impossible to separate the Council from the errors that followed it. For De Mattei, the idea must be rejected that the errors can be considered as a pathology to be eradicated from a sound body. And today, as we see certain behaviors typified by the present pontificate, the thesis of De Mattei seems to take legs in all sorts of evidence, as the Council becomes the umbrella under which certain positions which are at least questionable are now being re-proposed.
Pope Francis is perhaps the best example of how Vatican II, far from wanting to renew the Church as a sign of unity and continuity, was instead the event that put an end to the Church as the “one” and only Church of Christ in apostolic continuity, the one Church in which salvation is found.
The thesis of the theologian and philosopher Karl Rahner, a great supporter of the Council as a rupture with the Tradition, seems today to be the guiding star that orients the present pontiff: according to Rahner, it is not membership in the Church that guarantees salvation but conscience, which if it is right and oriented towards the good brings man close to God even without believing in him (the theory of anonymous Christianity). Not by chance is the reigning pontiff applauded and acclaimed more by atheists than by practicing Catholics, and he has never kept it secret that he has a greater affinity for certain non-believers like Eugenio Scalfari than he does for so-called “traditionalist” Catholics.
It is thus not possible to separate the errors from the Council: it is not possible to think that the “schism of Isolotto” – an affair that developed in Florence in the “Catholic communist” community around the ideas of Giorgio La Pira – was the fruit of an erroneous interpretation of the conciliar spirit. Just as the commitment of so many Catholics to the Communist Party cannot be considered an erroneous interpretation, or the approach to the [Italian] divorce referendum by illustrious priests and theologians. And the “Lercaro case” was certainly not the fruit of an erroneous interpretation, or the famous homily of the Archbishop of Bologna against the war in Vietnam and American imperialism at the height of the Cold War, while the communists were repressing the revolts in the countries of Eastern Europe in blood, imprisoning, torturing, and killing priests and religious.
As Archbishop Viganò does a good job of making clear, in reality the Council was manipulated by true acts of sabotage in which organized acts of conspiracy, both internally and externally, were at work. Among these, particular attention should be given to the organization called “Opus Angeli” which had among its primary leaders the ultra-progressive Belgian Cardinal Leon Suenens and the Brazilian bishop Helder Camara, one of the primary proponents of Liberation Theology (often praised by Francis), who attempted to influence the work and final results of the Council by any means possible, with the support of the powers of the media. And although they failed in their goal of having the Council approve their agenda of civil rights, the abolition of priestly celibacy, openness to the ordination of women, the reform of sexual morality opening the way for the use of contraceptives and the possibility of birth control by the state, they still successfully muddied the waters, polluting the texts and thus opening the door to the free and equivocal interpretation of doctrine in a modernist key, the basis for subsequent errors.
John Paul II sought courageously to put the Council back on the right track, supported in this by the untiring work of Cardinal Ratzinger, but he was also drawn into deception on some disruptive issues, perhaps because he was the “first foreign Pope” in a Vatican Curia completely controlled by Italians, which he inherited from the “Montinian” era and in some measure was linked to the conciliar era and its errors. Otherwise there would be no explanation for the decision to adopt a harsh approach towards Bishop Marcel Lefebvre, the great opponent of the Council and the founder of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, a harsh line maintained strongly by Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, the protégé of the Secretary of State Agostino Casaroli and, like him, a promoter of Ostpolitik, the policy of the Church drawing close to the Soviet communist world. Lefebvre was excommunicated as a request of the most far-left wing of the Roman Curia, despite the contrary opinion of Ratzinger. But the French archbishop was punished, because paradoxically he was the one who with the greatest determination denounced the lacking hermeneutic of continuity of Vatican II [with the Tradition].
Saint John Paul II was not even capable of curbing and containing the “spirit of Assisi” and all of its excesses, as Vittorio Messori, who was a friend and great admirer of Wojtyla, has repeatedly pointed out. Messori denounced the way in which at the World Day of Peace held in Assisi on October 27, 1986, in the presence of representatives of all the religions of the world, unacceptable events took place, even to the point of pagan rites in the Basilica of San Francesco, chickens slaughtered on the altar of Santa Chiara, esoteric dances, etc. These excesses even escaped the notice of Ratzinger himself, who in the preceding days had intervened to stop other questionable initiatives of a sacrilegious flavor.
All this only served to prepare the terrain for that ecumenism that, far from favoring a relationship of reciprocal respect between different faiths in the sign of dialogue, ended by legitimizing the idea of a universal church, one equal God for everyone, with every human being free to choose the church best suited to his own preferences, because it is enough to believe in the one God in order to have salvation, independently of baptism. An idea that has been asserting itself with ever greater evidence in the last few years, after the Ratzingerian era marked by the attempt of Benedict XVI to reaffirm the hermeneutic of continuity against the efforts of the German episcopate, inspired by the ideas of the theologian Hans Kung, to accelerate the rupture with Tradition, especially in the area of morality and the independence of the national bishops’ conferences from Rome. These projects are finding fertile soil with Bergoglio thanks to the influence exercised on the present pontiff by German Cardinal Walter Kasper, who was the inspiration for the Synod on the Family and the openings to the divorced and remarried, cohabiting couples and gay unions, and also the promoter of an ever-closer relationship with the Lutheran and Protestant world.
The Synod on the Amazon was the logical consequence of a policy directed toward the triumph of syncretism, in the name of a universal God who as such can be recognized and venerated under any form, symbol, or divinity, whether Christian or pagan. The Catholic Church has now been reduced to being a simple agency of the promotion of the good, a sort of NGO uniquely capable of helping people, solidarity, and welcoming. It no longer has any goal of conversion, but is also interested in subjecting the faith to a project of planetary globalism (thus explaining the Koran being recited in church as a sign of respect for Muslim migrants welcomed in the name of universal-Sorosian humanitarianism).
Archbishop Viganò is correct; the time has come to discuss the Second Vatican Council and the fruits it has produced, with the hope that a future pope may adopt the same request for a profound revision of the sign of the one true faith, the one true Gospel, the one true Magisterium, the one true Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ the Son of God, God made man for the salvation of humanity.
Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino
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