[Hat tip to JM]
“At the conclusion of one of the most important recent books on the Second Vatican Council, What Happened at Vatican II (2008), John O’Malley SJ states that the most important ‘issue under the issues’ at the council called by John XXIII was language. The Jesuit historian argues that Vatican II was ‘a language event’ and that ‘the style of discourse was the medium that conveyed the message’.” * * *
First of all, by refusing to include canons and decrees in its official teachings, Vatican II of its very nature created room for dissent and ambiguity in a way that no other council had ever done before.
Second, by intentionally adopting a novel rhetorical and ideological strategy for addressing error and articulating truth, Vatican II differed from prior councils in a way that the sensus catholicus is still attempting to digest, and, to be frank, may never succeed in wholly assimilating. The conflicts arising after Vatican II are, therefore, rooted in the conciliar intentions and documents themselves, and not, as in prior councils, in the extrinsic reactions to them. It is, therefore, a red herring to argue that, since previous councils were also followed by conflict and resistance, and were also met with unforeseeable challenges many years or even decades later, therefore the post-Conciliar crisis is just a typical function of ecclesial councils.
... In contrast, Vatican II generated such a tsunami of doctrinal, liturgical, and canonical “considerations” that it’s impossible for anyone to know precisely which horn of the many ambiguities one is required to affirm. After all, if an ecumenical council has enshrined the ambiguities, who are we to dissolve them?
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Was the Second Vatican Council "different"? Is the devil in the detail of language?
"Was the Second Vatican Council 'different'? (Part 1)" (FideCogitActio, May 9, 2015). This is merely Part 1 of what promises to be a substantial discussion. Here are just a few excerpts: