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Summary of Changes Since Vatican II

Latin Mass / Catholic Trad. | Mass Changes | Fruits of Vatican II

Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass

Summary of Changes Since Vatican II

A Revolution in the Church?

Primary Sources Include: Davies, Amerio

Important Notice: The following is provided for informational purposes only and is not comprehensive. We make no guarantees regarding any item herein. We are not liable for any occurrence which may result from using this site. All applicable items subject to change without notice. By using this site you indicate agreement to all terms. For more terms information, click here.


Click link below or scroll down to view all:

What Has Changed?

What Hasn't Changed?

Is it a 'Revolution'?

Have the Changes Been Good?

Does God Desire the Changes?

Isn't the Church Allowed to Change?

Final Note

Also See...


 

"The primary characteristic of the post-conciliar period is an all-embracing change affecting every aspect of the Church, whether internal or external." (Amerio)

  


What Has Changed? 

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, an unprecedented number of changes have been implemented in the Church. Not only was the ancient rite of Mass changed ("for the first time in history, a manufactured liturgy was imposed upon the faithful"), but there was also a new canon law, a new catechism, new prayers/songs, a new liturgical calendar, a new Bible translation, new canonization procedures, new rites for ordination and baptism, new exorcism procedures, indulgences were changed, etc. 

Although not all changes were authorized or called for by Vatican II, the Second Vatican Council may be considered an impetus for such change. In fact, not just external practices have changed since this revolutionary council, but the entire orientation of the Church has changed. The changes, while not revising infallible dogmas - which, of course is impossible - have nonetheless given the impression that the Church has changed entirely. 

In fact, some have referred to the Church after the Second Vatican Council not as the "Catholic Church", but as the "Post-Conciliar Church". This terminology is interesting especially in light of the fact that some post-conciliar documents from the highest levels of the Church may appear as if the Church itself started with Vatican II. As Amerio has stated, "This conviction that a great innovation has occurred in the Church, attested by the universal change in everything from ideas to material objects to terminology, is also apparent in the continual reference made to the faith of the Second Vatican Council, while abandoning reference to the one Catholic Faith, which is the faith of all the councils." In any event, the Church after the Council has clearly presented a "new face" to the world.

The following is a brief summary of some changes since the Second Vatican Council: 

  • Changed Indulgences 

  • Changed Blessings

  • Changed Calendar

  • New Canon Law

  • New Catechism

  • New Educational System

  • Religious Order Changes

  • Roman Curia Reorganized

  • Overthrow of Rules in Religious Life

  • Abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books (Index Librorum Prohibitorum)

  • Discarding of Symbols (papal chair, tiara, etc.)

  • Less Focus on the Blessed Virgin Mary

  • Less Focus on Saints

  • Changed Artwork

  • Removal & Destruction of Existing Priceless Works of Art

  • Changed Music 

  • Changed Breviary

  • Changed Rosary - Note: Click here for more on this topic

  • Changed Prayers

  • Changed Orientation of Priests (e.g. "from spiritual to psychiatric", "from theological to psychological")

  • Changed Catechesis - It is well known that some popular catechesis actually is contrary to the perennial Catholic faith. Parents have even had to remove their children from 'Catholic' schools to protect them from false / dangerous teachings (including inappropriate sex education).

  • Adoption of Collegiality - This practice tends to weaken papal authority as well as the authority of individual bishops. As stated by Amerio "The weakening of a unifying papal authority began institutionally with the transfer in 1966 to local bishops of certain faculties previously reserved to the Holy See... The bishops' law-making power was subsequently further enlarged, with a corresponding contraction of Roman jurisdiction, and received a definitive status in the new Code of Canon Law". Also, with collegiality, bishops are said to "actually suffer a loss of control" since they may tend to relinquish their authority to local or national councils. 

  • Increased Reliance on Lay 'Experts'

  • Increased Conformity to the World

  • Use of 'Medicine of Mercy' Rather Than Authority / Correction

  • Apparent Shift in Emphasis from Truth to Liberty - Contrary to the long-standing custom of fighting heresy, it now seems as though heresy is "no big deal"

  • Apparent Forgetfulness of the Church's True Mission of Saving Sinners From Hell

  • Apparent Shift from Truth to Subjectivism

  • Apparent Exchange of "Certainty of Truth" for "Seeking of Truth"

  • "Focusing on Unity at the Expense of Truth"

  • Dropped Liturgical Seasons (e.g. Septuagesima)

  • Elimination of Ember Days

  • Elimination of Rogation Days ("which date from at least the 400's -500's - and which the saints participated in")

  • Reduction / Elimination of Octaves and Vigils

  • Changing of Friday Abstinence Regulations

  • Elimination of Preparatory Period Before Lent

  • Relaxation of Penance in Lent - "The observance of Lent is the very badge of Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of the cross of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God's glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, of private woe." (Pope Benedict XIV, 1741 A.D.)

  • Reduced Fast Days

  • Reduced Emphasis on Penance & Mortification / Near Elimination of Penitential Days - "...a private work of devotion has neither the merit nor the efficacy of one that is done in company with the Church, and in communion with her public act; for the Church, as bride of Christ, communicates an exceptional worth and power to works of penance done, in her name, in the unity of the social body. St. Leo the Great is very strong on this fundamental principle of Christian virtue. We find him insisting on it in the sermons he preached to the faithful of Rome on the occasion of this fast [September Ember Days], which was then called the feast of the seventh month. 'Although,' says he, 'it be lawful for each one of us to chastise his body by [certain] self-imposed punishments, and restrain, with more or less severity, the concupiscences of the flesh which war against the spirit, yet need is that, on certain days, a general fast be celebrated by all. Devotion is all the more efficacious and holy, when the whole church is engaged in works of piety, with one spirit and one soul.''" (Liturgical Year)

  • Apparent Forgetfulness That We Are a Church Militant - "We hear of a people of God on the march, a pilgrim Church - a Church no longer Militant against the powers of darkness, but one which, having lost its link with eternity, marches to a future envisioned in purely temporal terms." (Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci)

  • Apparent Distancing of Church from Calvary - According to Cardinal Wyszynski, "[The] post-conciliar church] is distancing itself appreciably from the event of Calvary"

  • Introduction of Constant Change / Loss of Stability - "The Church has lost the sense of stability. Prior to Vatican II, there was great stability. Those who sought change were the ones who were looked at suspiciously. Now, the psychology has been shifted to accept change." It now almost seems as if nothing is free from change.

  • Less Discipline / Less Recourse Against Offenders - According to the Council of Vienne, and well-verified over the last several decades, "where discipline is despised, religion suffers shipwreck." Not only are there fewer reasons for automatic excommunication in the new Canon Law, but there appears to be a reluctance to discipline all but two types of persons (1) the most severe offenders, and (2) traditionalist Catholics. Scripture is clear that those who are not disciplined are bastards (Heb. 12:8). St. Augustine considers that*, "A father beats a boy, and a seducer of boys caresses. If you but name the two actions, who would not choose the caresses and decline the blows? But if you take note of the persons whose actions they are, it is love that beats the boy and iniquity that caresses him." St. Augustine also writes, "[I]n reading the testimonies of Sacred Scripture which indicate that there is presently, or foretell that there will be in the future, a mingling of good and evil person in the Church, anyone who understands these testimonies in such a way that he supposes the diligence and severity of discipline ought to be relaxed and omitted is not taught by those same writings but is deceived by his own conjecture... In our times, when the sword has ceased to be visible in the discipline of the Church, what must be done is point out by degradations and excommunications." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 413 A.D.) [*Note: The reader is reminded that discipline of children should obviously be done within reason. One should not abuse children.]

  • Emphasis Shift - In contrast with Holy Scripture, which tells of God's love and mercy, yet often explains the rigorous punishments for disobedience to God, the Post-Conciliar Church tends to focus rather heavily on love and mercy. As the Baltimore Catechism reminds us, "The forgetfulness of God's justice will lead us into the sins of presumption."

  • Apparent Unwillingness to Discuss "Negative" Topics (e.g. judgment, purgatory, hell, etc.)

  • Changes to Rituals Which Cause a Widespread Loss of Reverence & Solemnity, Frequent Incidents of Liturgical Abuse, Sacrilege, and Profanation

  • Toleration of Undue Freedom

  • Apparent Refusal of Shepherds to Act as Such - "Bishops and other ordinaries should remember that they are shepherds... and that they must so rule over their subjects as not to dominate over them but to love them as sons and brothers; they should endeavor by exhortation and admonition to deter them from wrongdoing lest they be obliged to administer due punishment after the faults have been committed." (Council of Trent)

  • Apparent forgetfulness on part of shepherds that their primary job is to save souls - "Now priests seem to think their job is to make us feel better about ourselves or to act as psychiatrists"

  • Frequent Distortion / Corruption of the Concept of Love / Charity

  • Apparent Changed Outlook on Death Penalty - Contrary to what has always been held in the Church, the post-conciliar Church appears to condemn the concept of the death penalty for those guilty of certain grave crimes

  • Changed Treatment Regarding Those Who Commit Suicide - Since the Second Vatican Council, it is commonly assumed that persons who take their own life are not responsible for their actions. While this may make the survivors feel better, it shows great forgetfulness that such an action is objectively a grave sin against God (the unlawful taking of one's life, the sin of despair, etc.). It also tends to ignore the fact that the Church holds that one who is guilty of an unrepented mortal sin will suffer eternal damnation. Further, it does not discourage others from taking an action which may lead to their eternal damnation.

  • Increased Democracy in the Church - Note, of course, that democracy is contrary to the Church's hierarchical nature, as established by Christ

  • Shift in Emphasis From Truths to Feelings

  • Apparent Exchange of Certainty for Relativism 

  • New Bible Translations - New translations of Holy Scripture have been approved which "give the Church's enemies much to be thankful for". In addition to "watering down" passages relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the new translations may also be criticized for certain footnotes, headers, questionable translation choices, inclusive language, "heterodox tendencies", "linguistic imprecision", etc. In fact, in one well-known, widely-used translation, the word "hell" is completely excluded.

  • Changed Architecture - In contrast to the splendor of Solomon's temple and to the beautiful, holy and inspiring Catholic churches of times past, many modern churches are plain, functional, barren, and even ugly. Before, they gave honor to God and "instructed and raised the heart and mind to God". Nowadays, churches tend to be egalitarian and often fail to achieve the lifting of one's heart and mind to God.

  • Shift From Individual Responsibility to Community Responsibility / Near Elimination of Personal Responsibility

  • Less Emphasis on the Value and Necessity of Suffering 

  • New Canonization Procedures - The numerous changes have led to an unprecedented number of canonizations, and have also led some of the faithful to express concern over various aspects of the new procedures [e.g. elimination of the "devil's advocate", reduction of the waiting period (allowing the process to be conducted while 'emotions are high'), loosening of procedures, reduction in the number of required miracles, concerns over conflicts of interest, concerns over the elimination of unfavorable witnesses deemed "unsuitable", concerns over "political correctness" in the canonization process, concern that the process may not prevent factual errors, concern that the process has become politicized (e.g. using canonization to advance certain causes), concern over lost confidence in the process, concerns regarding the reduced role of the pope, and even some concern regarding the infallible nature of canonizations, etc.] Click here for more on this topic.

  • Altered Devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary & the Saints 

  • Changes Which Give the Impression That Traditions & Dogmas May be Open to Compromise 

  • Changes Which May Imply a False "Absolute Equality" of Sexes

  • Concessions to a Harmful Feminist Agenda / Discounting Traditional and Scriptural Concepts Regarding the Proper of Role of Women [wife's duty of obedience, wife's primary role as mother, etc. (try here for more info)] - "Such support also tends to encourage women to become 'units of production', sacrificing their families to work outside the home"

  • Certainty of Truth Replaced by "Search for Truth" 

  • Clear Unity Replaced by "Search for Unity"

  • Shift from "One True Church" to a Near Universal Religion 

  • Increased Concern Over Public Opinion

  • Apparent Relinquishment of Authority in Favor of a "Desire to Please"

  • Changed Vocabulary / Terminology (Often Ambiguous, Less Precise) - For example, rather than refer to the Church as the Catholic Church or Catholics as Catholics, they may simply be referred to by the generic term "People of God"

  • Frequent Surrender in the Face of Pressure

  • Heterodox Teachers / Prelates Frequently Tolerated -"It is a miserable time when a man's Catholic profession is no voucher for his orthodoxy, and when a teacher of religion may be within the Church's pale, yet external to her faith." (Cardinal Newman)  

  • Over-emphasis on Human Dignity

  • Widespread Lack of Awareness of One's Own Sinfulness

  • Apparent Forgetfulness of the Reality of Evil

  • Toleration of Actions Which Tend to Threaten the Indissolubility of Marriage (e.g. unprecedented number of annulments)

  • Reduction in Demands Made of Catholics - "Relaxing of rules teaches that duties can be eliminated when they prove difficult, it also results in the relaxing of the will, and provides no checking of natural impulses". According to Cardinal Wyszynski, "[The post-conciliar Church] is reducing its demands and no longer resolving problems in accordance with the will of God, but in accordance with man's natural capacities".

  • Revolutionary New, Protestantized Liturgies - "With all due respect, some Catholic churches have become Protestant churches or community halls." (Msgr. Campell) Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci have even stated that "To prepare a complete study of all the pitfalls, dangers and psychologically and spiritually destructive elements the new rite contains, whether in texts, rubrics or instructions, would be a vast undertaking." Note: Click here for more on this topic.

  • Changed Ordination Rite - According to Davies, the ordination rite "has been Protestantized even more thoroughly than the New Mass". He says that, "[E]very prayer in the traditional rite which stated specifically the essential role of a priest as a man ordained to offer propitiatory sacrifice for the living and dead has been removed. In most cases these were the precise prayers removed by the Protestant Reformers, or if not precisely the same there are clear parallels."

  • Changed Baptisms - According to Fr. Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist in Rome: "the rite of baptism for children has also been spoiled. It has been so drastically overhauled that the exorcism against Satan has virtually been eliminated. This had always held a very great importance for the Church, so much so that it is called the minor exorcism. [Pope] Paul VI himself publicly protested against this new rite."

  • Changed Rites for Other Sacraments - Many of these changes have been drastic

  • Elimination of Explicitly Sacrificial Prayers in Mass - This change is quote troublesome as it parallels the changes made by the Protestant 'Reformers' in the 16th century. Note: Click here for more on this topic.

  • Changed Readings at Mass. Note: Click here for more on this topic.

  • Changed Cycle of Readings For Mass - The new cycle is based on a 2-3 year cycle of readings rather than a one year cycle (which means that the same readings may take up to three years to reappear, thereby reducing retention)

  • Changed Mass Prayers. Note: Click here for more on this topic.

  • Abolition of Black Vestments

  • Loss of Minor Orders

  • Introduction of Audible Liturgy. Note: Click here for more on this topic.

  • Changed Altars - Marble altars have been replaced by wooden tables

  • "Demotion" of the Altar - The altar, which represents Christ, in many new (or "wreckovated") churches, rather than being elevated above the laity, may now be on the same level as - or even lower than - the laity

  • "Demotion" of the Tabernacle - Often, the Tabernacle has been removed from the altar and has even been moved outside the Church (e.g. into a chapel). As Pope Pius XII said, "To separate the Tabernacle from the Altar is tantamount to separating two things which, of their very nature, must remain together." 

  • Communion Under Both Species - This practice has led to profanation, sacrilege, and the blurring of the distinction between priest and laity. This practice as was "introduced illegally and as a rebellion against authority". Note: Click here for more information

  • Introduction of Vernacular Language - With the adoption of the vernacular, the church loses control, she loses her universality, exchanging her prayers said in "one voice" to more closely resemble "the Tower of Babble". Not only does the Church have to waste time, money, and effort on translations - which have proven to be faulty - her doctrine has suffered from lack of safeguards. "As referring to the use of the vernacular in liturgical prayers - false, rash, disturbing the prescribed order of the celebration of the mysteries, and easily productive of many evils." (Pope Pius VI, "Auctorem Fidei", 1794 A.D.) Note: Try here for more information

  • Communion in the Hand - This practice has also led to profanation, sacrilege, and the blurring of the distinction between priest and laity and was also "introduced illegally and as a rebellion against authority". Note: Click here for more information

  • Reduced Eucharistic Fast

  • Elimination of the Altar Rail - With the removal of the altar rail, not only are communicants encouraged to stand rather than kneel for Holy Communion, but its removal serves to blur the distinction between the sanctuary and the nave and between the priest and the faithful.

  • "Impoverished" Liturgical Vestments

  • Possible Elimination of Relics in Altars - Prior to the Second Vatican Council, altars were required to contain relics. This may be traced back to the earliest days of Christianity when Christians (that is, Catholics), celebrated Masses on the tombs of saints. It also corresponds to Scripture, where we see the martyrs under the altar (See Rv. 6:9). After Vatican II, this practice may be optional.

  • Reduction in Altar Cloths

  • Replacement of Sacred Chant By Secular Music - This change has also been accompanied by a changed in musical instruments (e.g. went from a pipe organ to guitars and drums)

  • Elimination of Side Altars - "The proposition of the synod enunciating that it is fitting, in accordance with the order of divine services and ancient custom that there be only one altar in each temple, and therefore, that it is pleased to restore that custom, [is condemned as] rash, injurious to the very ancient pious custom flourishing and approved for these many centuries in the Church, especially in the Latin Church." (Errors of the Synod of Pistoia, Condemned in the Constitution "Auctorem fidei," Aug. 28, 1794 A.D.)

  • Many Dropped Feast Days - Many feast days were dropped from the universal calendar (or given a lesser status). Note that many of these feasts trace back hundreds of years or more and include especially popular, beloved saints. 

  • Drastic Changes in Prayers for Remaining Feasts - For example, one priest has pointed out that "All Souls' Day is [now] No Souls' Day, even in the original Latin, where the word for soul (anima) has been suppressed in the prayers of November 2." 

  • Candles in Church - Reduced or eliminated. Some may now be artificial.

  • Crucifix in Church - May be reduced in size, distorted, may not contain a suffering Jesus, etc. Some may be simply plain crosses

  • Changed Emphasis of Penance / Exchanging of Confessionals for 'Reconciliation Rooms - Since the Second Vatican Council, the Sacrament of Penance can almost seem to be a psychiatric session rather than an expression of sorrow for one's sins. In fact, the confessionals themselves have been replaced by "reconciliation rooms" in many parishes. Traditional style confessionals are small "boxes" (or "little booths") which (usually) contain a fixed screen and a kneeler. They are humble, anonymous, and may be dark and somewhat "confining". Traditional confessionals help create an atmosphere proper to the confession of one's sins; sins which destroy our friendship with God and (if not forgiven) may cause us to suffer eternal hellfire. "Reconciliation rooms" may be more "cheery", spacey, and tend to de-emphasize the seriousness of sin, making it seem a "slight matter". They do not induce humility and are not nearly as likely to draw our consideration to the fact that sin could cost us our eternal souls. The "chit chatting" in the confessional may also tend to blur the distinction between the priest and the laity as it tends to de-emphasize the priest's awesome power of forgiving sin and the fact that he holds Christ's place (as judge and healer) - but instead tends to makes him more akin to one's peer.

  • Shift From Formality to Informality

  • Elevation of Man / Apparent Forgetfulness of God (Man-Centered vs. God-Centered) - There seems to be a turning away of man's eyes from God to man. Further, given the changes since the Council (relaxation of penance, discipline, etc.) one might even ask, "Has the council done nothing but seek to please men?"

  • Appearance of an "Elastic Creed" - According to Cardinal Wyszynski, "the Creed has become elastic and morality relativistic"

  • Shift in Emphasis From "Life is a Difficult, Serious Journey" to "Life is a Joy" - Such a shift not only fails to keep us focused on our true purpose in life, but it also fails to prepare us for the difficulties we may encounter

  • Apparent Forgetfulness of Fear of the Lord / Fear of Judgment - "'Do not fear those who can kill the body and then can do nothing more; but fear Him who has the power to kill both body and soul in the Gehenna of fire; so I tell you fear Him.' If, then, the Lord inspired fear, and inspired it strongly, and doubled it by repeating the threat, I ask you, is it wrong of you to fear? I would not say that. Fear openly, there is nothing better for you than fear; there is nothing you ought to fear more." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 5th century A.D.) As St. Paul says, "So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling." (Phil. 2:12)

  • Frequent Inappropriate Handling of Holy Things - The laity now often handle - even carelessly - the most sacred of all things, Jesus' Body & Blood in the Holy Eucharist, despite the fact that we see in the Old Testament that God struck Uzzah down after he touched something he shouldn't have (the Ark). Worse still, since many take Communion in the hand (click here) and don't examine their hands for particles, they cause Christ's body to literally be thrown on the ground and trampled on. Note: Remember that even the smallest particle is Jesus' flesh & blood, whole and entire: "Christ, whole and entire, is contained not only under either species, but also in each particle of either species." (Catechism of the Council of Trent) 

  • Apparent Consideration of Jesus as Our "Buddy" Rather than as Almighty God, Our Lord and Judge

  • Adoption of Non-Catholic Spirituality by Certain Members of the Church (e.g. yoga) - Such practices may be accompanied by pagan rituals/symbolism, and those who practice them may attempt to discredit traditional Catholic spirituality.

  • Reduced Eucharistic Adoration

  • Changed Sacramentals

  • Changed Liturgy. Note: Click here for more on this topic.

  • Lay 'Ministers' Note: Click here for more on this topic.

  • Female Altar Servers

  • Near Loss of the Latin Language

  • Heresy Tolerated (or Not Forcefully Condemned) - Such toleration of heresy / strange doctrine tends to increase the danger of poisoning of the Faith. "St. Paul's command to Timothy not to teach strange doctrine has been turned on its head: skepticism and mobilism lead people to look for strange doctrines as if they were a sign of a living faith." (Amerio) 

  • Frequent Adoption of Terminology Acceptable to Protestants (e.g. table vs. altar, bread vs. Host, etc.)

  • Seeming Attempt to Cover Over (or Rework) the Doctrine of "No Salvation Outside the Church" Note: Click here for more information 

  • Shift From "Repugnance" Towards Modern World to Embracing of the Modern World

  • Implications That Previous Church Documents / Dogmas Expire or Lose Validity

  • Apparent Denial of Absolute Truths / "Denial of Certainty"

  • Appearance of a "Watered Down" Doctrine

  • Apparent Adoption of Previously Condemned "Situation Ethics" Where Subjective Judgment and Moral Relativism Replace Objective Truths and Absolute Moral Standards

  • Apparent Support for the Condemned Concept of "Separation of Church and State"

  • Apparent (or Actual) Change of Purpose of Various Religious Orders

  • Apparent Shift From the Service of God to the Service of Man

  • "Denigration of the Historical Church" - There seems to be no shortage of persons disparaging the Church's past, even high ranking prelates. "The Church, which has never betrayed the happiness of the people by consenting to dubious alliances, does not have to free herself from the past" (Pope St. Pius X, "Our Apostolic Mandate")

  • Detachment from the Past / Disregarding of the Past / Disparaging of the Past (e.g. the Church's glorious past has been seemingly exchanged for a "sinful past that requires numerous apologies") - Includes a "near silence on all things of the past" and a "sweeping away of historical elements - a wholesale overthrow of hundreds of years or more of tradition - which has served to cut modern Catholics off from previous Christian generations"

  • Near Elimination of Discipline, Even Though Abuses Are Well-Known & Widespread - "It seems the Church is now only capable of discipline in the case of 'Traditionalists' and some very flagrant liberals"

  • Internal Dissent

  • Relaxation of Rules - "When rules are relaxed, people act worse, not better"

  • Frequent (Apparent) Adoption of a Policy of "Shutting One's Eyes to Sin" (especially sins against the first commandment) - According to Cardinal Wyszynski, "[the post-conciliar Church] shuts its eyes to sin, and is afraid of being reproached for not being modern"

  • Changed Environment Requiring Catholics to Make a Distinction Between "Traditional Catholics", "Conservative Catholics", "Progressive Catholics", Etc.

  • Manner of Reform Itself is a Break With Tradition - "[Previously,] All genuine reforms within the Church have been based on old foundations; none have attempted to lay new ones. To attempt to lay them is the essential characteristic of heresy, from the Gnosticism of the first centuries, to Catharism and the other mediaeval heresies regarding poverty, to the great German heresy of the sixteenth century." (Amerio)

  • Certain Elements of the Reform Are Difficult to Reconcile With Tradition - "Indeed, the extent and depth of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council call for a renewed commitment to deeper study in order to reveal clearly the Council's continuity with Tradition, especially in points of doctrine which, perhaps because they are new [!], have not yet been well understood by some sections of the Church." (Pope John Paul II) Note: It should be remembered that the Church cannot create new doctrine, but exists to preserve and pass on the doctrine it has already received. For more on this topic, click here.

  • Increased Local Authority at the Expense of Papal Authority

  • Ridicule and Persecution of Those Who Uphold Traditional Doctrine & Practices - This occurs even as those who spread heterodox teaching and perform sacrilegious acts go unpunished - or even rewarded.

  • Universal Documents May No Longer Be Published in the Church's Official Language

  • Movement From Unity to Disunity / Uniformity to Pluralism

  • Shying Away From 'Negative' Topics (Hell, Judgment, Sin, etc.) - "We no longer talk about sin at precisely the same time as the world is more sinful than ever!"

  • Heterodox Teachings Common

  • Wayward Prelates Not Corrected

  • Seeming Denial of the Loss of Human Dignity When One Commits Sin - and Therefore Becomes the Slave of Sin - "Jesus answered them, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.'" (Jn. 8:34)

  • "Apparent Lack of Critical Thinking and Discounting of Reason" by Certain Liberal Prelates

  • New Orientation (Horizontal Vs. Vertical)

  • Lost Missionary Impetuous

  • Less Focus on Last Things

  • Failure to Refute Errors - Error refutation has been exchanged for "dialog"

  • Document Changes - Post Vatican II documents tend to be vague / ambiguous and may even appear to contain contradictions. According to Davies, "This is typical of the conciliar documents, which contain passages that contradict each other or cancel each other out... [Even one Protestant 'observer'] noted the extent to which the conciliar documents are compromise texts: 'On far too many occasions they juxtapose opposing viewpoints without establishing any genuine internal link between them.'" 

  • "Excessive Optimism" - There have been charges of "utopian, excessive optimism", "undue optimism, as though all differences could be composed by good will", "failure to appreciate original sin", etc. This seems to overlook the fact that "moral corruption is advancing with rapid strides" (Pope Leo XIII, Arcanum, 1880 A.D.)

  • Lack of Awareness of That We Have Enemies - "We now act as though we have no enemies, either earthly or spiritual. This sounds nice, but isn't realistic." As St. Peter warns, "Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour." (1 Pt. 5:8)

  • Increased Focus on Earth Rather Than Heaven - "We now seem to be focused on a paradise on earth which can never occur"

  • Seeming Shift from Supernatural Outlook to Worldly Outlook

  • Went From Laments to a 'New Springtime' - Recent pre-conciliar popes issued a number of troubling laments regarding the state of the world before the Second Vatican Council. For example, consider the following laments of Pope Leo XIII:

"Now, Venerable Brethren, you know the times in which we live; they are scarcely less deplorable for the Christian religion than the worst days, which in time past were most full of misery to the Church. We see faith, the root of all the Christian virtues, lessening in many souls; we see charity growing cold; the young generation daily growing in depravity of morals and views; the Church of Jesus Christ attacked on every side by open force or by craft; a relentless war waged against the Sovereign Pontiff; and the very foundations of religion undermined with a boldness which waxes daily in intensity. These things are, indeed, so much a matter of notoriety that it is needless for Us to expatiate on the depths to which society has sunk in these days, or on the designs which now agitate the minds of men. In circumstances so unhappy and troublous, human remedies are insufficient, and it becomes necessary, as a sole resource, to beg for assistance from the Divine power." (Pope Leo XIII, "Quamquam Pluries", 1889 A.D.)

And:

"Can we be Catholic in mind and heart and gaze with dry eyes on that land where our wondrous Redeemer deigned to establish the seat of His kingdom? Now We see His teachings attacked and His reverence outraged, His Church embattled and His Vicar opposed. So many souls redeemed by His blood are now lost, the choicest portion of His flock, a people faithful to Him for nineteen centuries. How can We bear to look upon His chosen people exposed to a constant and ever-present danger of apostasy, pushed toward error and vice, material miseries, and moral degradation?... Finally, the general social order is undermined at its foundations. Books and journals, schools and universities, clubs and theaters, monuments and political discourse, photographs and the fine arts, everything conspires to pervert minds and corrupt hearts. Meanwhile the oppressed and suffering people tremble and the anarchic sects arouse themselves. The working classes raise their heads and go to swell the ranks of socialism, communism, and anarchy. Characters exhaust themselves and many souls, no longer knowing how to suffer nobly nor how to redeem themselves manfully, take their lives with cowardly suicide." (Pope Leo XIII, "Custodi Di Quella Fede", 1892 A.D.)

Since the Council, the state of the world has seen a drastic erosion of morals and a marked increase in all forms of sin (including serious sins of abortion, euthanasia, adultery, homosexuality, contraception, etc.). In fact, serious sin runs rampant in nearly all corners of the world. Further, the Church itself has been plagued by scandals, disobedience, heterodox prelates, liturgical abuse, confused faithful, etc. Her children often do not listen to Her and may even boldly reject Her teachings. Given the present grave situation in world and in the Church, one would expect to find increasing laments from the highest levels of the Church. Instead, we have been told that the Church after the Council is experiencing a "new springtime" and a "new Pentecost". Despite the overwhelmingly bad fruits of the last four decades (click here), it is said that the Council has been a "new surge of life for the Church" and that "In spite of all appearances, the Church is now more united in the fellowship of service and in the awareness of apostolate" and that she is now "more serviceable for her mission of salvation for all". 

  • A New Optimism Which Seems to Deny Original Sin & Its Effects - Since the Council, there has been "indefensible, unwarranted optimism". In fact, it has been said that "we are so optimistic now that it almost seems that our weak flesh is no longer subject to sin!" Some people actually seem to believe that the Council did away with sin, hell & purgatory - and contrary to scripture, many seem to believe that all persons will eventually be saved (the false concept of "universal salvation"). As St. Paul Says, "Be not deceived: God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap." (Gal. 6:7-8)

  • "Modernizing Party" No Longer Criticized - Although Pope St. Pius X called modernism "the synthesis of all heresies", and made prelates take the Oath Against Modernism (click here), the post-conciliar Church has eliminated such protections, and has even appeared to adopt certain elements of the modernist mentality. Some have even argued that "Yesterday's orthodoxy has become today's heresy" (Davies).

  • Less Papal Authority Accepted

  • Church May be Seen as More Weak - The lack of formal commands, anathemas, and warnings against sin / hell / judgment, etc. tend to give the impression that the Church has become more weak. Remember that "God is not weak" (St. Athanasius), and neither should His Church be!

  • Issuance of Numerous Papal Apologies - Although apologies may be thought to "smooth things over" on one hand, apologies from the highest levels of the Church may have serious negative outcomes (e.g. they may lead those outside the Church to question the Church's claim to hold truth). Further, those outside the Church seem to think that apologies "don't go far enough" and may constantly seek more apologies and other "concessions" for perceived wrongs. Some ask "How can we ask forgiveness of that which our forefathers gave their lives for?" Some wonder how previous papal condemnations are "simply discarded as 'failures to understand the circumstances'", especially when we are the ones who are so far isolated from those circumstances which surround them. Also, many wonder how someone can apologize for another person, while others may wonder how meaningful such apologies really are (especially since all parties are deceased and cannot speak for themselves). And, finally, it may be noted that "St. Peter was never called to apologize for Judas."

  • Adoption of an "Increased, Almost Insatiable Thirst for Novelty"

  • Went From Obedience to Disobedience 

  • Weakening of Authority in Minds of Faithful

  • Increased Independence 

  • Toleration of Cremation, Which Was Previously a Condemned Practice: "Can. 1203 § 1 The bodies of the faithful departed shall be buried, their cremation being reprobated. § 2 If anyone by any manner orders that his body be cremated, it is illicit to execute that desire; and if this was added to any contract or testament or any other act it is considered as not being added." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

  • Omission of Important Catholic Doctrines From the Liturgy - One attending the Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass - imposed on the faithful in the wake of the Second Vatican Council - may find that little or no mention is given to sin, devil, judgment, hell, need for penance, pains of purgatory, the Mass as a sacrifice, etc. Note: For more information, try here

  • Attempt to Alter the 'Sorrows of Mary' Devotion - Attempt to supplant the traditional version with a new version more suitable to Protestants.

  • Attempt to Alter the Stations of the Cross - Attempt to supplant the traditional version with a new version more suitable to Protestants

  • Dropped: "Feast of the Most Precious Blood" - "Strange history of the Feast of the Most Precious Blood" (July 1): "This feast was instituted by Pope Pius IX in the mid 19th century and was elevated to the highest rank (first class) in 1934 by Pope Pius XI. The Pope who called the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII, called devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus the 'devotion of our times'. After Vatican II, the feast was dropped from the universal calendar, along with many other feasts."

  • Church Which Converted the World Vs. Church "Opened to the World" - "She is supposed to be a leaven in the world, not to let the world be a leaven in Her"

  • Seeming Support Given to False Doctrine of Evolution

  • Widespread Adoption of a "False Ecumenism" - This controversial practice has led to widespread religious indifferentism, watering down of Catholic doctrine, scandal, sacrilege, etc. It has hampered missionary activity, and leads to a false idea of "universal salvation". Note: For more on Religious Indifferentism, click here. For more on Ecumenism, try here.

  • The Mass Went From Being Criticized by Protestants to Being Praised by Protestants. Note: For more information, try here

  • Loss of Humility in Relation to God - Prior to the Second Vatican Council, Catholics displayed humility in a number of ways (e.g. silence in Church, kneeling, proper dress, proper behavior, etc.). They knew that the priest acted in behalf of Christ, and they acted humbly towards him. They were aware that they were dependent on God, that they were unworthy to receive the Holy Eucharist, and that sin could cost them their eternal souls. Since the Council, Catholics often fail to display humility, even in church (e.g. by talking, sitting while the Eucharist is exposed, dressing inappropriately, turning their back on the Holy Eucharist, adopting improper behaviors, etc.). They seem to have lost respect for the lofty position of the priest, and even call him by his first name. They seem to have lost the sense of their smallness in relation to God and their unworthiness to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion (they even put the Host in their hands). They seem to presume that their sins will not lead to damnation, but rather that since they are "basically a good person", they should not have to worry (click here for more on this topic). In fact, the important virtue of humility in relation to God can seem almost nonexistent among many Catholics.

  • "Repression of Explicitly Catholic Symbolism in Churches" - In the attempt not to offend non-Catholics, various Catholic churches have suppressed Catholic symbolism. This harms tradition and can lead to confusion on the part of the faithful (e.g. "does the Church no longer believe that...?"). Finally the loss of symbolism tends to lead to forgetfulness (imagine if crucifixes and crosses were suddenly removed from all churches) and removes opportunities to educate. 

  • Altered College of Cardinals

  • Abandonment of the Ancient Mass - In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, a New Rite of Mass (Novus Ordo) was imposed upon the faithful. Not only was such an imposition unprecedented in the entire history of the Church, but the New Rite of Mass has been criticized, even by high ranking prelates (e.g. Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci stated that: "[T]he Novus Ordo Missae - considering the new elements, susceptible of widely differing evaluation, which appear to be implied or taken for granted - represents, as a whole and in detail, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent, which, by fixing definitively the 'canons' of the rite, erected an insurmountable barrier against any heresy which might attack the integrity of the Mystery."). Many Catholics - laity and priests alike - have suffered from being unable to worship in the same manner as the saints, their ancestors - in a manner that has produced great fruits. The differences between the two Rites of Mass is great, and the fruits speak for themselves (click here for more information). [Note: Thankfully, however, the traditional Mass is still licitly said and has been making a comeback worldwide. For more information, click here.]

  • "Reduced Safeguards for the Faith and Faithful" - Since the Second Vatican Council, various safeguards have been dropped (e.g. the elimination of the "devil's advocate", which helped assured that candidates for canonization were truly worthy; elimination of the need for an imprimatur, which helped protect readers from error; the elimination of the Oath Against Modernism, which helped protect the Church from modernism - the "synthesis of all heresies"; etc.) 

  • Withholding of Anathemas - Formerly, the Church used the anathema both to protect the integrity of the faith and to protect the faithful. In fact, the unity in the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council has been attributed to the anathema, which prevents errors from spreading and makes true Catholic teaching clear. Nowadays, even high ranking persons in the Church who are engaging in outright disobedience, scandal, error, heresy, and even unspeakable actions are often subject to little or no discipline. In some cases, they are even rewarded! Previously, persons guilty of heresy & error would have been under anathema (and therefore punished/removed). Now they are often left alone or only slightly admonished. "Anathemas are biblical, historical - and now suddenly avoided like the plague - even though we have more need of them than ever." As Von Hildebrand has said:

    "The vilification of the anathema - though it is through the anathema that the Church has preserved her identity and the purity of her teaching since St. Paul and through the centuries - is a typical consequence of distorting love of neighbor, and of confusing this love with a weak cheerfulness, niceness, and readiness to give in. The fear of the anathema betrays above all a loss of the sensus supranuralis, a lapse into that this-worldliness which is more concerned with the earthly welfare of man than with his eternal salvation."

    And:

    "The anathema is an act of love of God because it condemns the offense against God which lies in the distortion of Christian revelation and of the teaching of the holy Church, and because it officially unmasks error as error. The protection of the divine Revelation has been entrusted to the holy Church, and to fulfill this holy trust is a central act of holy obedience and of love for divine truth, and indeed for God Himself. And it is an act of sublime love of neighbor to protect the faithful from the poison of false teachings, for it is far more important and higher objective good for man to remain in the true faith, than to be relieved in his physical or psychic sufferings. The anathema is for men in statu viae (in their pilgrimage through life) something which protects that greatest good, which is so important for the salvation of their souls. It is thus a very great act of love because it protects the faithful from the deceits of heretics, who speak in the name of the Church, especially when they hold a position of authority and thus belong to the ecclesia docens (the teaching Church). These heretics are listened to with much sympathy and openness by the simple believing layman, and this makes it quite easy to seduce him to error and to poison his faith. Is it not a more fundamental, deeper act of love of neighbor to protect the faithful by unmasking heretics - and suspending them if they hold any office of authority - than to protect men against a plague, or to mitigate their poverty, or even to eliminate social injustice?... And even for him who is condemned it is an act of the greatest love of neighbor. It is for him like the knife of a surgeon which cuts away the cancer of a patient. It is a fully earnest admonition, an enlightenment as to his errors, an invitation to return to the truth. It protects him from completely lapsing into heresy without fully realizing it - it enables him to grasp the full incompatibility of his theses with the teaching of the holy Church, to feel the significance of his error, and with terrible seriousness it forces him to decide 'for or against God and His holy Church.'" 

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