Needless to say, that grabbed my attention. A couple of thoughts crossed my mind. I couldn't imagine that one of retired Bishop Gumbleton's trendy-lefty gang would be on Ave Maria radio offering his take on the Council, although one never knows. After all, I'm a tyro in these parts of Eastern Michigan. What do I know? What I sincerely hoped for was someone like John Lamont with something genuinely sensible, positive, substantive, new and interesting to say. No such luck.
Now keep in mind that this is not a transcript of a digital recording or anything, but merely what I can reconstruct from memory -- and that the on-air spot could not have been longer than a half-minute, or maybe a minute at the most.
What the gentleman said is that we all owe a debt of gratitude to Blessed John XXIII and to the Council born of his vision for the gift of something new and indispensable, which the Catholic Church would not have had were it not for them. The gift of the Pope and his Council, he said, is the ability we now have to communicate the Gospel in a new, "pastoral way" (his term), so that the modern world can hear and readily understand and receive it.
I can think of some positive statements on Vatican II that I've read and would be willing to endorse, but this is not quite one of them. This guy made it sound as if the Church had never heard of the need for evangelization or translating the Gospel into language intelligible to foreign cultures prior to Vatican II. Which makes me wonder how he thinks our pagan European ancestors became Christians. As for modern times, what about the massive network of Jesuit and Franciscan missions in India, China, Japan, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina in the 17th century, which occurred well after the Middle Ages and voyages of global discovery in modern times. What are people thinking nowadays when they say such things?
- John Lamont, "Why the Second Vatican Council was a Good Thing & Is More Important Than Ever" (Musings, August 31, 2005)
- "John Lamont on What was Wrong with Vatican II" (Musings, October 12, 2008).