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Summary of Changes Since Vatican II (Page 2)

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

Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass

Summary of Changes Since Vatican II (Page 2)

A Revolution in the Church?

Primary Sources Include: Davies, Amerio

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  • "Commands vs. Urgings"- The Church, who represents Christ on earth, now seems to prefer to urge rather than command. But did Christ simply urge or did He command? Urgings, of course, are not the same as "commands", but instead give people the idea that such urgings may be discarded/ignored, or at least that one's assent is not absolutely mandatory. Persons may not realize that the salvation of their eternal souls depends upon following such "urgings".

  • New Practices Favored at the Expense of Traditional Doctrine - Not only are "new practices" favored since Vatican II, but old practices may be looked down on, seemingly forbidden, etc. This may occur even despite the fact that the "new practices" have been condemned by popes and saints (or even Scripture - e.g. 1 Cor. 11:5-10, 1 Cor. 14:33-35, 2 Jn. 1:10-11).

  • New Martyrology - A new martyrology has been issued, which eliminates various persons who have been venerated by Catholics for centuries. This seems to imply that the Church has been "fast and loose" with the facts for many years. Even the Second Vatican Council's ordering of the new martyrology seems to destroy confidence in the Church's traditional records - "The accounts of martyrdom or the lives of the saints are to accord with the facts of history." (Sacrosanctum Concilium)

  • Changed Religious Profession/Renewal of Vows - According to the Second Vatican Council: "Moreover, a rite of religious profession and renewal of vows shall be drawn up in order to achieve greater unity, sobriety, and dignity." (Sacrosanctum Concilium) Interestingly, religious orders were flourishing before the Council. Since the Council, however, religious life has been in a state of crisis. One is left to wonder why such rites which were supposedly "less unified, sober and dignified" had done such a fine job for the Church for so long - whereas newer, "more unified, sober, dignified" rites have seen the "near collapse" of religious orders. Furthermore, some may find it offensive that our ancestors' practices were disdainfully judged to have been wanting in "unity, sobriety, and dignity".

  • Changed Marriage Rite - Although the Second Vatican Council called for the marriage rite to be "revised and enriched so that it will more clearly signify the grace of the sacrament and will emphasize the spouses' duties" (Sacrosanctum Concilium), the new marriage rite "utterly fails to adequately convey the most important principles of marriage" - e.g. that the husband is the head of the family (Eph. 5:23, 1 Cor. 11:3), that obedience is owed by the wife (Gen. 3:16), that the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and education of children (1917 Code of Canon Law: "Can. 1013 § 1 The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children; the secondary [end] is mutual support and a remedy for concupiscence."), etc. Note: Click here for 'Marriage / Family / Home' Reflections (Catholic Life Section)

  • Increased Toleration of 'Mixed Marriages' - Despite the Church's continual warnings and prohibitions against the dangers of mixed marriages [e.g. "Can. 1060 Most severely does the Church prohibit everywhere that marriage be entered into by two baptized persons, one of whom is Catholic, and the other belonging to a heretical or schismatic sect; indeed, if there is a danger of perversion to the Catholic spouse and children, that marriage is forbidden even by divine law." (1917 Code of Canon Law)], such marriages today are often tolerated, or even thought of as "progress". This is contrary to almost innumerable warnings of the Church against such marriages, which lead to serious dangers for Catholics. Note: Click here for more information on 'Mixed Marriages' (Catholic Life Section)

  • Changed Funeral Rite - Previously, a deceased Catholic could expect that his funeral would be conducted with great reverence. The seriousness of sin and judgment would be clear. The priest would wear black. Persons would know that the soul of the deceased may stand in great need of prayers, etc. With the new rite, all is changed. The priest may wear white. The rite may be conducted with little reverence. Rather than hear about the seriousness of sin and judgment, one may hear a near 'canonization' of the person. Only the best catechized Catholics would know that the soul of the departed probably stood in great need of prayers. And, in fact, one may not think of the deceased's soul at all, since the word "soul" may not even be mentioned once in the entire rite! Should the eternal soul of the deceased person be saved, but in purgatory, he or she may well suffer great pains much longer since there seems to be little or no emphasis on their sufferings or need for prayer. Note: For more information on purgatory try here ('Purgatory Release Project' / Catholic Activities Section). As stated by Amerio: "[Formerly a funeral service was] an expression of piety and an occasion of intercession, and the body was honored with candles, incensation and aspersion with holy water. The officiating priest pronounced no panegyric, and was even forbidden to stay and listen to a funeral oration delivered by someone else. [The rite itself was the same for everyone, and was not altered by the fact of accidental additions of pomp and ceremony for some people. Praise was not to be given to anyone, but prayers were offered for all. The importation of the Protestant custom of laudatory speech about the dead person is wholly undesirable. Often the priest has not know the person in question and then, invidiously says nothing, or says something inappropriate about him. The humbler sort of people often have nothing said about them at all, while at the funerals of those who have held some prominent position in the world the priest goes on a length, irrespective of whether the man was religious or not.] Remembrance and prayers for the deceased were repeated on the seventh and thirtieth days after his death, and on the anniversary, when the Office of the Dead was often sung. Detailed provisions were made regarding these matters in wills, including the endowment of Masses, bequests for pious works, indulgences to be offered up, and specifications regarding the tomb." The loss of such precious traditions may cause the soul severe torment in purgatory (try here for more information).

  • Cutting off From the Past / Great Break With Tradition - It may appear that the Church has been taken over by "a group determined to cut itself off from its past". In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, "the liturgical traditions of a millennium are cast aside and the teaching which these traditions enshrined is ignored" (Davies)

  • Changed Exorcisms - Ancient prayers and practices used in exorcisms - which have been proven effective - may have been abandoned in the wake of Vatican II. The new procedures have been criticized by exorcists [e.g. for failing to include an actual exorcism - "an exorcism is not a prayer to God; exorcism is a command issued to the Devil in the name of God. The very word exorcism tells you that - exorcizo, I adjure" [As one priest ("Fr. X") says, "As with the so-called 'exorcism' in the modern Rite of Baptism, simply placing the sub-heading Exorcism does not make what follows an exorcism"], by giving the appearance that the priest does not have special power to cast out the devil, by omitting important directives in use for hundreds of years, for "scandalously [refusing] to bless objects but only persons", etc.], and even Pope Paul VI has said, "I do not know why we have shortened exorcisms: I am not sure that it was very realistic or fitting." Fr. Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist in Rome, has said "The declarations contained in the new Ritual are very serious and very damaging. They are the fruit of ignorance and inexperience." He also comments that the long awaited ritual "has turned into a farce. An incredible obstacle that is likely to prevent us acting against the demon." He also uses terms such as "absurd", "masterstroke of incompetence", "absolutely ineffectual", and refers to "grave errors" in the ritual, and says that "We have a clergy and an episcopate who no longer believe in the devil, in exorcisms, in the extraordinary evil that the devil can cause, nor in the power that Jesus has given us to drive out demons." He complained that exorcists are now "up against a wall of rejection and derision" from various high-ranking prelates.

  • Changed Blessing of Holy Water - The new rite may entirely exclude both a blessing and the traditional exorcism! One priest ("Fr. X") has stated that "[The Book of Blessings] is a book of non-blessings. To take but one example, the 'blessing' of holy water outside of Mass contains no actual blessing of the water. The closest thing to it is a prayer to God asking for certain effects by the use of this water. The so-called 'Prayer of blessing' (in Latin and English) refrains from using the word 'bless' even once, and there is no Sign of the Cross made over the water. The Devil must have laughed when that 'Book of Blessings' was issued. The traditional exorcism of water and salt, and all the other Roman Ritual's traditional prayers against the devil and his influence were almost completely abolished."

  • Controversies / Scandals - Certain persons even at the highest levels of the Church have been involved in various controversies / scandals (not to mention the clerical abuse scandals)

  • Lost Historical Continuity

  • Blurring of Distinction Between Priest & Laity / Apparent Loss of Respect for Priest - Enthralled with the "prestige" of being a 'lay reader' or 'lay minister' or otherwise feeling "empowered", many of the faithful have lost the sense of the ministerial priesthood and have come to believe there is little difference between themselves and the priest. They increasingly encroach on his responsibilities, even to the possible loss of eternal souls (click here for an example). They often have insufficient knowledge of the faith and frequently act inappropriately. They have even called for the priesthood to be brought down more - they might advocate the elimination of celibacy, women priests, priestless 'liturgies', etc. Most of the faithful have taken to calling the priest by his first name (e.g. "Fr. Bob") instead of the more respectful form (e.g. Fr. Smith). Biblical instructions such as "With all your soul, fear God, revere his priests" (Sirach 7:29) and "...treat him as sacred, because I, the LORD, who have consecrated him, am sacred" (Lev. 21:8) may seem foreign to many Catholics nowadays.

  • Many Priests Have Lost Gravity of Conduct - "What sad effects would not arise if that gravity of conduct which belongs to the priest, should be in any way lessened; if he should yield with lightness to the charm of every novelty; if he should deport himself with pretentious indocility towards his superiors; if he should lose that weight and measure in discussion which is so necessary, particularly in matters of faith and morals." (Pope Leo XIII, "Fin Dal Principio", 1902 A.D.)

  • Priests & Nuns May Now Wear Lay Dress - "And forasmuch as, though the habit does not make the monk, it is nevertheless needful that clerics always wear a dress suitable to their proper order, that by the decency of their outward apparel they may show forth the inward correctness of their morals; but to such a pitch, in these days, have the contempt of religion and the rashness of some grown, as that, making but little account of their own dignity, and of the clerical honor, they even wear in public the dress of laymen - setting their feet in different paths, one of God, the other of the flesh; - for this cause, all ecclesiastical persons, howsoever exempted, who are either in sacred orders or in possession of any manner of dignities, personates, or other offices, or benefices ecclesiastical; if, after having been admonished by their own bishop, even by a public edict, they shall not wear a becoming clerical dress, suitable to their order and dignity, and in conformity with the ordinance and mandate of the said bishop, they may, and ought to be, compelled thereunto, by suspension from their orders, office, benefice, and from the fruits, revenues, and proceeds of the said benefices; and also, if, after having been once rebuked, they offend again herein, (they are to be coerced) even by deprivation of the said offices and benefices; pursuant to the constitution of Clement V published in the Council of Vienne, and beginning Quoniam, which is hereby renewed and enlarged." (Council of Trent)

  • Community Emphasized at the Expense of Individual Piety

  • Lost Protection Against Errors (e.g. in Missal)

  • Introduction of Undignified Elements into Churches (e.g. offensive modern art, felt banners, projectors, etc.) - "[I]t is necessary that the spirit of the sacred liturgy and its directives should exercise such a salutary influence on them that nothing improper be introduced nor anything unworthy of the dignity of the house of God or detrimental to the sacred functions or opposed to solid piety." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

  • Apparent Forgetfulness of Evil, Ruin of Souls, Damnation, Etc.

  • Adoption of "Constant Innovation" - It has gotten to the point that many post-conciliar documents "may be looked over for what they now allow, rather than what they prevent". As Pope Pius VI lamented many years ago, "Who would not be fearful at the present condition of the Christian people? The divine love by which we abide in God and God in us grows very cold as sins and wickedness increase every day. Who would not be shocked when considering that We have undertaken the task of guarding and protecting the Church at a time when many plots are laid against orthodox religion, when the safe guidance of the sacred canons is rashly despised, and when confusion is spread wide by men maddened by a monstrous desire of innovation, who attack the very bases of rational nature and attempt to overthrow them?" (Pope Pius VI, "Inscrutabile", 1775 A.D.)

  • Loss of the "Clear Conviction of the Heavenly Virtue" of Sacraments - "Not only are the faithful to be taught that confession was instituted by our Lord. They are also to be reminded that, by authority of the Church, certain rites and solemn ceremonies have been added which, although not essential to the Sacrament, serve to place its dignity more fully before the eyes of the penitent, and to prepare his soul, so that kindled with devotion, he may more easily receive the grace of God. When, with uncovered head and bended knees, with eyes fixed on the earth and hands raised in supplication, and with other indications of Christian humility not essential to the Sacrament, we confess our sins, our minds are thus deeply impressed with a clear conviction of the heavenly virtue of the Sacrament, and also of the necessity of most earnestly beseeching and imploring the mercy of God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

  • Shift of Focus From the Spiritual to Earthly - Such shifts can be dangerous and lead us on the path of secular humanism. Clearly, the Church should be focused on spiritual matters rather than worldly matters. It is a fact that the idea of 'heaven on earth' is impossible given the Fall, and to promote such fantasies will inevitably lead to disappointment. We must remember that simple "good works" are not enough - we are not justified by good deeds alone. In fact, most persons have at least some good works to their credit. We must remember that all the good works in the world are of no avail whatsoever to one's salvation if a person dies with the guilt of a single unrepented mortal sin on his or her soul. [Refresher: "Faith teaches that the pains of Hell are eternal, and it also warns us that one single mortal sin suffices to condemn a soul forever because of the infinite malice by which it offends an infinite God." (St. Anthony Mary Claret) Note: This refers to an unrepented mortal sin. Every mortal sin - no matter how evil - can be forgiven if the sinner is truly contrite.] Further, it is said that "'natural goodness' can entice people away from true goodness - that which is done for love of God". We must further remember that it is impossible to please God without faith (Heb 11:6) and that "without faith, every human labor is empty" (St. Fulgence of Ruspe)

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  • Adoption of Seemingly Endless, Fruitless Dialogue - "The word dialogue represents the biggest change in the mentality of the Church after the council, only compatible in its importance with the change wrought by the word liberty in the last century. The word was completely unknown and unused in the Church's teaching before the council. It does not occur once in any previous council, or in papal encyclicals, or in sermons or in pastoral practice. In the Vatican II documents it occurs 28 times, twelve of them in the decree on ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio. Nonetheless, through its lighting spread and an enormous broadening in meaning, this word, which is very new in the Catholic Church, became the master-word determining post-conciliar thinking, and a catch-all category in the newfangled mentality. People not only talk about ecumenical dialogue, dialogue between the Church and the world, ecclesiastical dialogue, but by an enormous catechesis, a dialogical structure is attributed to theology, pedagogy, catechesis, the Trinity, the history of salvation, schools, families, the priesthood, the sacraments, redemption, and to everything else that had existed in the Church for centuries without the concept being in anybody's mind or the word occurring in the language." (Amerio)

  • Apparent Abandonment of Scholasticism & Criticism of Scholastic Theology - "The theology of Thomism has been attacked and even discarded in some circles despite the fact that it was highly regarded by so many popes throughout the centuries." 

"Whether it is ignorance or fear, or both, that inspires this conduct in them, certain it is that the passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism, and there is no surer sign that a man is on the way to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for this system." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907 A.D.)

Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors: "The method and principles by which the old scholastic doctors cultivated theology are no longer suitable to the demands of our times and to the progress of the sciences." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, This proposition was condemned in the Syllabus of Errors, Dec. 8, 1864 A.D.)

"For these reasons most learned men, in former ages especially, of the highest repute in theology and philosophy, after mastering with infinite pains the immortal works of Thomas, gave themselves up not so much to be instructed in his angelic wisdom as to be nourished upon it. It is known that nearly all the founders and lawgivers of the religious orders commanded their members to study and religiously adhere to the teachings of St. Thomas, fearful least any of them should swerve even in the slightest degree from the footsteps of so great a man... And we know how in those great homes of human wisdom, as in his own kingdom, Thomas reigned supreme; and that the minds of all, of teachers as well as of taught, rested in wonderful harmony under the shield and authority of the Angelic Doctor... But, furthermore, Our predecessors in the Roman pontificate have celebrated the wisdom of Thomas Aquinas by exceptional tributes of praise and the most ample testimonials. Clement VI in the bull 'In Ordine;' Nicholas V in his brief to the friars of the Order of Preachers, 1451; Benedict XIII in the bull 'Pretiosus,' and others bear witness that the universal Church borrows luster from his admirable teaching; while St. Pius V declares in the bull 'Mirabilis' that heresies, confounded and convicted by the same teaching, were dissipated, and the whole world daily freed from fatal errors; others, such as Clement XII in the bull 'Verbo Dei,' affirm that most fruitful blessings have spread abroad from his writings over the whole Church, and that he is worthy of the honor which is bestowed on the greatest Doctors of the Church, on Gregory and Ambrose, Augustine and Jerome; while others have not hesitated to propose St. Thomas for the exemplar and master of the universities and great centers of learning whom they may follow with unfaltering feet. On which point the words of Blessed Urban V to the University of Toulouse are worthy of recall: 'It is our will, which We hereby enjoin upon you, that ye follow the teaching of Blessed Thomas as the true and Catholic doctrine and that ye labor with all your force to profit by the same.' Innocent XII, followed the example of Urban in the case of the University of Louvain, in the letter in the form of a brief addressed to that university on February 6, 1694, and Benedict XIV in the letter in the form of a brief addressed on August 26, 1752, to the Dionysian College in Granada; while to these judgments of great Pontiffs on Thomas Aquinas comes the crowning testimony of Innocent VI: 'His teaching above that of others, the canonical writings alone excepted, enjoys such a precision of language, an order of matters, a truth of conclusions, that those who hold to it are never found swerving from the path of truth, and he who dare assail it will always be suspected of error.' The ecumenical councils, also, where blossoms the flower of all earthly wisdom, have always been careful to hold Thomas Aquinas in singular honor. In the Councils of Lyons, Vienna, Florence, and the Vatican one might almost say that Thomas took part and presided over the deliberations and decrees of the Fathers, contending against the errors of the Greeks, of heretics and rationalists, with invincible force and with the happiest results. But the chief and special glory of Thomas, one which he has shared with none of the Catholic Doctors, is that the Fathers of Trent made it part of the order of conclave to lay upon the altar, together with sacred Scripture and the decrees of the supreme Pontiffs, the 'Summa' of Thomas Aquinas, whence to seek counsel, reason, and inspiration. A last triumph was reserved for this incomparable man - namely, to compel the homage, praise, and admiration of even the very enemies of the Catholic name. For it has come to light that there were not lacking among the leaders of heretical sects some who openly declared that, if the teaching of Thomas Aquinas were only taken away, they could easily battle with all Catholic teachers, gain the victory, and abolish the Church. A vain hope, indeed, but no vain testimony. Therefore, venerable brethren, as often as We contemplate the good, the force, and the singular advantages to be derived from his philosophic discipline which Our Fathers so dearly loved. We think it hazardous that its special honor should not always and everywhere remain, especially when it is established that daily experience, and the judgment of the greatest men, and, to crown all, the voice of the Church, have favored the Scholastic philosophy. Moreover, to the old teaching a novel system of philosophy has succeeded here and there, in which We fail to perceive those desirable and wholesome fruits which the Church and civil society itself would prefer. For it pleased the struggling innovators of the sixteenth century to philosophize without any respect for faith, the power of inventing in accordance with his own pleasure and bent being asked and given in turn by each one. Hence, it was natural that systems of philosophy multiplied beyond measure, and conclusions differing and clashing one with another arose about those matters even which are the most important in human knowledge. From a mass of conclusions men often come to wavering and doubt; and who knows not how easily the mind slips from doubt to error? But, as men are apt to follow the lead given them, this new pursuit seems to have caught the souls of certain Catholic philosophers, who, throwing aside the patrimony of ancient wisdom, chose rather to build up a new edifice than to strengthen and complete the old by aid of the new - ill-advisedly, in sooth, and not without detriment to the sciences. For, a multiform system of this kind, which depends on the authority and choice of any professor, has a foundation open to change, and consequently gives us a philosophy not firm, and stable, and robust like that of old, but tottering and feeble. And if, perchance, it sometimes finds itself scarcely equal to sustain the shock of its foes, it should recognize that the cause and the blame lie in itself. In saying this We have no intention of discountenancing the learned and able men who bring their industry and erudition, and, what is more, the wealth of new discoveries, to the service of philosophy; for, of course, We understand that this tends to the development of learning. But one should be very careful lest all or his chief labor be exhausted in these pursuits and in mere erudition. And the same thing is true of sacred theology, which, indeed, may be assisted and illustrated by all kinds of erudition, though it is absolutely necessary to approach it in the grave manner of the Scholastics, in order that, the forces of revelation and reason being united in it, it may continue to be 'the invincible bulwark of the faith.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Aeterni Patris", 1879 A.D.) (emphasis added)

  • Lack of Respect For Feelings of the Faithful When Implementing Changes - "No consideration was given for the faithful when the Mass switched to the new rite - they were told that they should accept the new rite with 'joyous enthusiasm' and even had been told that the old Mass - the only Mass they knew, the very Mass that produced countless saints, the only Mass that their forefathers worshiped in, the Mass so highly praised even by those outside the Church - the Mass (in its essentials) which was used from nearly the beginning of the Church and guided by the Holy Spirit for hundreds and more years allowed people to be 'lazy' and that the Mass concocted by 'experts' in the 1960's would be better for them." This was despite the proven great fruit of the old practices, despite the fact that the prelates imposing such changes had taken an oath against Modernism, despite the fact that tradition was supposed to be respected, and despite the fact that certain practices inherently had rights - as granted by longstanding tradition ["It is unlawful to alter the established customs of the Church ... Remove not the ancient landmarks which the fathers have set." (St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church)] as well as by papal documents (e.g. the perpetually valid Quo Primum). As Davies says, "While St. Paul opposed any attempt to force Gentile converts to adopt Jewish customs, hence his celebrated rebuke to St. Peter in Galatians 2, neither he nor the other Apostles considered it necessary for Jewish Christians to abandon their traditional rites. Commenting on this, Cardinal Newman writes: 'But they neither abandoned the Jewish rites themselves nor obliged any others to do so who were used to them. Custom was quite a sufficient reason for retaining them; every Christian was to remain in the state in which he was called... Now from this obedience to the Jewish law, enjoined and displayed by Our Blessed Lord and His Apostles, we learn the great importance of retaining those religious forms to which we are accustomed, even though they are in themselves indifferent, or not of Divine origin... Granting that the forms are not immediately from God, still long use has made them divine to us; for the spirit of religion has so penetrated and quickened them, that to destroy them is, in respect to the multitude of men, to unsettle and dislodge the religious principle itself. In most minds usage has so identified them with the notion of religion, that the one cannot be extirpated without the other. Their faith will not bear transplanting... In these times especially, we should be on our guard against those who hope, by inducing us to lay aside our forms, at length to make us lay aside our Christian hope altogether.'"

  • A 'Right' to 'Religious Liberty' Seems to Have Been Invented - Although the Second Vatican Council's document on religious freedom states that it "leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ", the document is also seen to grant a new right to "indiscriminate, public religious liberty." Faithful Catholics see that this concept of an indiscriminate, public religious liberty went from 'insanity' to a supposed 'right', from a "liberty of perdition" to "human progress". "If it is a human right, why did Moses not recognize such a right? Nor hundreds of popes, nor saints, nor councils?" At what point, then, did error and heresy acquire rights? As Fahey has stated, "Nothingness can have no rights since it has no existence. It is impossible for a thing which does not exist to have any rights. Therefore to attribute rights to a non-existent entity is an injustice. But what are you doing if you attribute rights to error except attributing them to a non-existent entity? It is enough to consider what truth and error are in order to understand this. Truth is found in the intellect in the measure in which the intellect is in exact conformity with reality. When the intellect has an idea which is not in conformity with reality, then we have an error. But what is really happening in such a case? I have in my mind the idea of something as if this thing formed part of the order of being. I attribute it rights in my mind, as if it were portion of the divine scheme of things. But it is not so in reality. In point of fact it is a baseless creation of my own mind. How can I take as the foundation of my life and of my actions a 'reality' which is no reality? What can be the outcome of such an aberration? Precisely what happens in the case of any structure raised without foundation. If I take as a basis for my life and action an idea of my own to which nothing real or objective corresponds the whole intellectual and social edifice I raise on that basis is of necessity bound to crumble. There can be no other solid foundation for action and life than an objective reality. This then is why truth alone has the right to exist in the individual and in the social order. From no point of view can error claim this right. When it gets a footing in a mind or among the multitude, it usurps rights not belonging to it, it is unjust. Evil is the privation of the being and goodness due to a thing. Now error is the specific evil of the intelligence, the privation of the grasp of the order of the world which the intelligence is meant to have. It is a malady to be cured, a disease to be healed, a cancer to be eradicated, not a perfection to be extolled and proclaimed worthy of respect... Our Lord came down to restore the Divine Life of Grace to the human race and to each individual in it. For this end He revealed truth to the world. This truth belongs to Him in virtue of His divine right and also in virtue of His work of redemption. If this truth belongs to Him and is given to the world by Him in a well-defined sense and for a very definite purpose, then to ruin or lessen it is to commit an injustice. It is to sacrifice the rights of Jesus Christ... Certainly there is no place for anything but truth." Note: This does not mean one is forced to be Catholic - such an idea has always been condemned, but rather that those who preach a false religion be legitimately prevented from doing so. For more on 'Religious Liberty' click here (Catholic Life Reflections).

It should be noted that the above is only a partial list of changes, and barely touches on the many alterations made to the Mass - changes which have had a dramatic impact on the lives of Catholics. Note: For a more thorough discussion of the changes to the Mass, click here. Note also that not all changes may be authorized - some may not be, and some may just be 'tolerated.' 

Finally, one should note that all these changes have consequences. Note: Click here for 'Fruits of Vatican II'.

"Let them innovate nothing, but keep the traditions." (Pope St. Steven I, 3rd century A.D.)

"It is unlawful to alter the established customs of the Church... Remove not the ancient landmarks which the fathers have set." (St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church)

"It is absurd, and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old." (Decretals, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The best advice that I can give you is this. Church traditions - especially when they do not run counter to the faith - are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed them down" (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"[I]t is not the part of prudence to neglect that which antiquity in its long experience has approved and which is also taught by apostolic authority." (Pope Leo XIII, "Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae", 1899 A.D.) 

"A small thing is not small when it leads to something great; and it is no small matter to forsake the ancient tradition of the Church that was upheld by all those who were called before us, whose conduct we should observe, and whose faith we should imitate." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church)

"Keep the talent of the Catholic faith inviolate and unimpaired. What has been faithfully entrusted, let it remain in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold, so give gold. For my part, I do not want you to substitute one thing for another; I do not want you impudently to put lead in place of gold, or fraudulently, brass. I do not want the appearance of gold, but the real thing." (St. Vincent of Lerins)

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions that you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter' (2 Thes. 2:15). From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there was much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"'Guard,' says [St. Paul], 'what has been committed' (1 Tm. 6:20). What does it mean? It is what has been faithfully entrusted to you not what has been discovered by you; what you have received, not what you have thought up; a matter not of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public Tradition; a matter brought to you, not put forth by you, in which you must not be the author but the guardian, not the founder but the sharer, not the leader, but the follower." (St. Vincent of Lerins)

"Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain 'restoration and regeneration' for [the Church] as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a 'foundation may be laid of a new human institution,' and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing 'may become a human church.'" (Pope Gregory XVI, "Mirari Vos", 1832 A.D.)

"First of all [Modernists (or liberals - the 'worst enemies of the Church' - click here)] lay down the general principle that in a living religion everything is subject to change, and must change, and in this way they pass to what may be said to be, among the chief of their doctrines, that of Evolution. To the laws of evolution everything is subject - dogma, Church, worship, the Books we revere as sacred, even faith itself" (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907 A.D.) 

"The whole question of the present condition of the Church can be summed up as follows: is the essence of Catholicism preserved? Do the changes that have occurred allow the same essence to continue in existence amidst changing circumstances, or do they turn it into something else?... A legitimate development of an idea occurs when it expands within itself; a mutation happens when it goes beyond its own limits and moves towards something else." (Amerio) 

"The innovations in the Novus Ordo Missae, and on the other hand the things of eternal value relegated to an inferior or different place (if indeed they are still to be found at all), could well turn into a certainly the suspicion, already prevalent, alas, in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by Christians can be altered or silenced without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound forever. Recent reforms have amply shown that fresh changes in the liturgy could not but lead to utter bewilderment on the part of the faithful, who are already giving signs of restiveness and of an indubitable lessening of faith. Amongst the best of the clergy the practical result is an agonizing crisis of conscience of which numberless instances come to our notice daily." (Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci) 

What Hasn't Changed? 

Considering the unprecedented, widescale changes in the Church in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, it would appear that nothing is sacrosanct. Although this may seem true to some extent, it is actually far from the truth. Despite the external (and even internal changes) in the Church, there are many things which are untouchable and which will never be subject to change. For example:

We have God's assurance that, no matter what, the "gates of hell" will not prevail against the Church (Mt. 16:18). Therefore, we can rest assured that such elements of the Church are untouchable. 

Note: This does not mean, however, that these truths will always be clear or that priests or even certain high-ranking prelates will expound these truths ("there is a difference between carrying a hat in your pocket and carrying it on your head") - but rather that they will remain the official teaching of the Church.

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"The Church can never be brought down. Indeed it grows under persecution, and those who attack it are destroyed." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"In vain will the Princes of the earth seek, in their conceited calculations, to destroy the Church: God, who has founded her, will make her triumph. Empires shall pass away, and their persecutions: the Church will survive them all, knowing neither wrinkle or decay." (Dom Gueranger)

"The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing... Again, errors have assailed her; but in fact, the greater number of errors that have arisen, the more has the truth been made manifest... Nor has the Church failed before the assaults of demons: for she is like a tower of refuge to all who fight against the devil." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Nothing human is lasting; but the Church's ceaseless duration will excite the spleen of incredulity and baffle all its calculations. Persecutions, heresies, schisms, apostasies, and scandals - all will strive to work her ruin; but she will survive them all. The descendants of her bitterest foes will call her mother. Thrones and dynasties, nations, and even whole races, will be carried away by the tide of time, she alone will subsist throughout the ages, stretching out her arms to receive all men, teaching ever the same truths, repeating, even to the last day, the same symbol of faith, and ever faithful to the instructions given her by our Risen Jesus during these forty days preceding his Ascension (Acts 1:3)." (Dom Gueranger)

Is it a 'Revolution'?

It has been said that "those who are objective see that it is a revolution". In fact, liberal prelates have freely admitted that the Second Vatican Council has been a "revolution" and a "major conquest of the Catholic Church".

If "revolution" is defined as: 

"A drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving"

one could surely make the case that Vatican II and its aftermath have caused a revolution in the Church.

Although some things in the Church are never subject to change (see above), the external appearance of the Church has changed so much that even these unchangeable items may appear to have changed. As Amerio points out, "It is, however, essential to remember that the substance of the Church exists only in her accidents, and that an unexpressed substance, that is, one without any accidents, is a nullity, a non-existent. The entire existence of an individual across time is, furthermore, contained in his acts of intellect and will: and what are intellection and violation but accidental realities which occur, come and go, emerge and disappear? Yet one's moral destiny, salvation or damnation, depends on just those accidents. So too the whole life of the Church in time is her life as it exists in accidentalities and contingencies. How then can one fail to recognize her accidentals as important, and indeed substantially important? Are not changes in accidental forms accidental and historical changes, occurring within the unchangeable nature of the Church? And if all the accidents were to change, how would we be able to tell that the substance of the Church had not changed? What remains of a human person when his whole accidental and historical expression is changed?"

It is clear that these changes were unprecedented and appear to "overhaul" the entire Church. Many persons seem to think that the Church started with the Second Vatican Council (even many recent Church documents often do not seem to consider pronouncements prior to the Second Vatican Council). In fact, some may have unwittingly admitted the revolutionary nature of the changes by referring to the Church not as the 'Catholic Church', but as the 'Conciliar Church'.

"The liturgical reform is in a very deep sense the key to the aggiornamento. Make no mistake, this is the starting point of the revolution." (Msgr. Dwyer)

 "The [Second Vatican] Council is [the Revolution of] 1789 in the Church" (Cardinal Suenens)

"The liturgical reform is a major conquest of the Catholic Church" (Archbishop Bugnini, "chief architect of the New Mass")

Have the Changes Been Good? 

The fruits of these unprecedented changes speak for themselves. Although the Second Vatican Council clearly stated that:

"[T]here must be no new innovations unless of the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care should be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing."

it is clear that many of the changes have most certainly not worked for the "genuine good" of the Church. In fact, the changes to practices recommended for centuries by the Magisterium have led to a "widescale collapse" in various areas of the Church (vocations, Mass attendance, belief in dogmas of the faith, etc.). The fact that some (or even many) people like certain changes, does not mean they are good for the Church, or even good for those individuals.

Have these changes really been good? Do they help the Church with her primary mission to save souls? Do they better glorify God? Do they help people to become more holy? "Every human thing is of more or less importance in proportion to its relation to God's glory; we should value everything in this proportion" (Liturgical Year). Consider that...

  • Many Catholics today are so poorly catechized that they do not know the chief truths of their faith

  • Many Catholics today believe they can disregard the hierarchical authority of the Church

  • Many Catholics today reject basic tenets of the Catholic faith

  • A large number of Catholics today are (objectively speaking) living in a state of mortal sin

  • Vocations have reached a crisis

  • Many Catholics today have apparently lost all sense of reverence and fear of the Lord

  • Sacrilege and profanation is widespread

  • Many Catholics today do not attend Mass or receive the Sacrament of Penance

  • Those outside the Church (and even those inside the Church) today may not know that the Catholic faith is necessary for salvation. Note: Click here for more information

  • The Church today is plagued by disunity, scandal, and liturgical abuse

  • All sorts of sin, error, heresy, etc. are tolerated

  • There is very little regard for the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints among many Catholics today

  • Confusion in the Church is widespread: "It is a peculiarity of Vatican II that it generated confusion rather than cleared it up" (Amerio)

  • In many areas of the Church today, the integrity of the faith has been sullied - even priests & bishops openly teach error. In fact, the Vatican is said to have "lost control" over entire sectors of the Church. Davies has said: "Cardinal Seper admitted quite frankly that the American Bishops were defying Rome. I asked him why the Holy See was taking no action to discipline them, and he gave me the depressing reply that the Holy See no longer exercised effective control over the American hierarchy."

Further, there is less respect for the priesthood, less reverence, less orthodoxy, less control, increased religious indifferentism, increased falling away from the faith. There have even been invalid sacraments, fewer conversions, and more demonic activity. Finally, in various areas of the Church, there is has been a depletion of finances, destruction of sacred art, destruction and sale of churches, closure of schools, convents & seminaries, persecution of those who wish to keep the traditions, and various attempts to discourage personal piety. Note: Click here for more fruits of Vatican II.

Considering the above, one may repeat the question "If these changes are so good for the Church - if there is so much value in them - why the widespread drop in vocations, the loss of faith, the vocations crisis, the clerical scandals, and the loss of everything that would be a good indicator of the Church's health?" And, if it was such a great success, "Where exactly can we find the positive impact on the world that it was designed to achieve?" How exactly have the changes profited the Church or individual souls? 

Even if one were to look at the purpose of the Second Vatican Council and its hoped-for fruits, as envisioned by the Pope who called it and the Pope who closed it, one could see that it is far from living up to its purpose and realizing such good fruits - and, in fact, has even drawn the Church father from them: 

Pope John XXIII on the upcoming Council: 

"The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council [Vatican II] is this, that the sacred Deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously" with a "renewed, serene and tranquil adherence to all the teachings of the Church in their entirety and preciseness, as they still shine forth in the acts of the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council." 

"Everyone wants the forthcoming Ecumenical Council to give all possible impetus to the spread of Christianity. It must give louder and louder utterance to that 'word by which the kingdom is preached' mentioned in the parable of the sower, and help to bring about the wider extension of 'the kingdom of God' in the world."

"The Ecumenical Council [Vatican II] will be a meeting of the successors of the Apostles, men to whom the Savior of the human race gave the command to teach all nations and urge them to observe all His commandments. Its manifest task, therefore, will be publicly to reaffirm God's rights over mankind, whom Christ's blood has redeemed, and to reaffirm the duties of redeemed mankind towards its God and Savior." 

"We too, Venerable Brethren, on the example of Our predecessors, are most anxious that the whole Catholic world, both clerical and lay, shall prepare itself for this great event, the forthcoming Council, by ardent prayer, good works, and the practice of Christian penance... The salutary results we pray for are these: that the faith, the love, the moral lives of Catholics may be so re-invigorated, so intensified, that all who are at present separated from this Apostolic See may be impelled to strive actively and sincerely for union, and enter the one fold under the one Shepherd." 

Pope Paul VI after the Council: 

"This strong invitation to holiness could be regarded as the most characteristic element in the whole Magisterium of the Council, and so to say, its ultimate purpose"

Considering the above, how on earth could the Council honestly be assessed as a shining success?

According to Davies, one important Council Father has lamented: "I regret having voted in favor of the Council Constitution in whose name (but in what a manner!) this heretical pseudo-reform has been carried out, a triumph of arrogance and ignorance. If it were possible, I would take back my vote, and attest before a magistrate that my assent was obtained through trickery".

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"It was the final session of the Council, the most essential, in which the Pope [Paul VI] was to bestow upon all humanity the teachings of the Council. He announced this to me on that day with these words, 'I am about to blow the seven trumpets of the Apocalypse' [that is, the trumpets which announced the disasters that were to befall earth - fire, hail, falling star, death, etc.]" (Jean Guitton, personal friend of Pope Paul VI) 

"Is this the reform or the suicide of the Church?" (Fr. Kennedy)

"[T]hrough some crack, the smoke of Satan has penetrated the temple of God." (Pope Paul VI, 6/29/72)

"The Church is in a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would better be called self-demolition. It is an acute and complicated upheaval which nobody would have expected after the council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking herself." (Pope Paul VI, 1968 A.D.)

"It was believed that after the council a sunny day in the Church's history would dawn, but instead there came a day of clouds, storms and darkness." (Pope Paul VI, 1972 A.D.)

 "Change must be judged not so much for its own sake as for its content, its finality.. Is the new of today leading us to a really better Christianity?" (Pope Paul VI)

"[The Second Vatican Council] was also followed by confusion, some decline, especially in the west, and pockets of collapse." (Cardinal Pell)

"If the Church were not Divine, the [Second Vatican] Council would have buried her." (Cardinal Siri) 

"[T]he opening to the world has become a veritable invasion of the Church by worldly thinking. We have perhaps been too weak and imprudent." (Pope Paul VI)

"Unless we are blind, we must even state bluntly that what we see looks less like the hoped-for regeneration of Catholicism than its accelerated decomposition." (Fr. Louis Bouyer)

"The liturgical reform, welcomed with so much idealism and hope by many priests and lay people alike has turned out to be a liturgical destruction of startling proportions - a debacle worsening with each passing year. Instead of the hoped-for renewal of the Church and of Catholic life, we are now witnessing a dismantling of the traditional values and piety on which our faith rests." (Msgr. Gamber)  

"The results appear cruelly different from everyone's expectations, beginning with those of John XXIII and later of Paul VI. A new Catholic unity was expected; instead, there was a dissention that...went from self-criticism to self destruction... The balance, therefore, appears to be negative... It is undeniable that this period was decidedly unfavorable to the Catholic Church." (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, 11/9/1984)

"The smoke of Satan has entered everywhere. Everywhere!" (Fr. Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist in Rome) 

"We must admit realistically and with feelings of deep pain, that Christians today in large measure feel lost, confused, perplexed and even disappointed; ideas opposed to the truth which has been revealed and always taught are being scattered abroad in abundance; heresies, in the full and proper sense of the word, have been spread in the area of dogma and morals, creating doubts, confusions and rebellions; the liturgy has been tampered with; immersed in an intellectual and moral relativism and therefore in permissiveness, Christians are tempted by atheism, agnosticism, vaguely moral enlightenment and by a sociological Christianity devoid of defined dogmas or an objective morality." (Pope John Paul II, 1981 A.D.) 

"It must be lamented that, especially in the years following the post-conciliar liturgical reform, as a result of a misguided sense of creativity and adaptation there have been a number of abuses which have been a source of suffering for many. A certain reaction against 'formalism' has led some, especially in certain regions, to consider the 'forms' chosen by the Church's great liturgical tradition and her Magisterium as non-binding and to introduce unauthorized innovations which are often completely inappropriate." (Pope John Paul II, 2003 A.D.)

"Test everything; retain what is good." (1 Thes. 5:21) 

"... every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 3:10)

Continued On Next Page


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