"Fr. Bede Rowe of A Chaplain Abroad has an amusing post about the observance of the anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.Fr. Z's take is a amusing and interlaced with ads for Mystic Monk Coffee, which he suggests would have improved communication at the Council:
He begins:I think of it as the beginning of one of my exams:It has to be said, that the response was not rip roaring excitement. After all, once you have the Pope being able to solve the problems, why do you need a Council? You can’t second guess what was in someone’s mind or heart, but could Blessed John XXIII really have meant to call a Council like the ones in the past? I very much doubt it.
Answer the following question in ink using only one side of the paper provided.
“What do you think the coming Vatican Council should discuss?”
*In case of confusion, put your Diocese.
So in a spirit of enthusiasm and exuberance Blessed John asked them all what they wanted to talk about.
And what do you think the answer was? Liturgical reform? Religious liberty? The theology of being a Bishop?
No. They wanted a tighter adherence to the rules and discipline of the Church and a new Marian Dogma. That’s right - more Our Lady and more obedience. Think of what happened in the aftermath and then again at what the collective mind of the Council Fathers was on the eve after the consultation.
We can ask ourselves whether or not the Bishops were so deluded as to be sitting in the middle of a Church which was hopelessly out of touch and in such terrible need of reform (as those who reread history will have us believe) and not to notice what was going on. I spring to the defence of these Bishops. If nothing else, at that time in the Church we were involved in every social enterprise going. They did not live in ivory towers, and Christ’s Priests and lay faithful were at the coal face – not on some ‘liturgical committee’ which seems to have replaced actually 'being in the world' as the activity of choice for your average professional Catholic nowadays.
So how did all this change? What caused it to go so very much off course?
I’m going to go for Marxist ideology, Original Sin, and Modern Theology. (You may start booing now).
Pius XII had thought about a Council to conclude the work of Vatican I, which had been interrupted. He was advised against having a Council and, in fact, scrapped the idea. John XXIII, on the other hand, seemed determined to have one. Once it was underway, as some report, he seem to have tried to get it back into the box and failed. Then he died.
The Second Vatican Council still causes a lot of confusion, principally because people who talk about it a lot haven’t actually read the documents.
HEY! Here’s a novel idea!
... I have it from the highest authority that if the Council Fathers had had Mystic Monk Coffee… or Tea for that matter… none of the confusion that has devastated the Church for the last few decades would have occurred! Trust me on this one.
Do you want to cause confusion? No!
Do you want to issue documents that will be accused of ambiguity and even heresy? No!
Do you want to force Pope’s to use phrases such as “smoke of Satan” and “hermeneutic of continuity”? No!
Take it from me, friends, you had better refresh your supply of Mystic Monk Coffee right now!