Monday, July 25, 2005

Dad29 on "Benedict XVI vs. The demi-Pelagians"

My fellow victimco-beneficiary of the Curt Jester observes a battle. It's Benedict XVI vs. The demi-Pelagians. He notes a Zenit interview with Tracy Rowland that reveals the fundamental misunderstanding of Gaudium et Spes. This tragic mistake has caused many misplaced efforts to accomodate The Church to the World, rather than enlighten the world with Christ mediated through The Church. His money quote:
The popular interpretation of this document was that it represented an acknowledgment on the part of the Church that modernity is OK and that it is the will of the Holy Spirit that Catholics accommodate their practices and culture, including liturgical culture, to modernity's spirit as quickly as possible.

This had the effect of generating a cultural revolution within the Church such that anything that was characteristically pre-conciliar became suspect.

Modes of liturgical dress, forms of prayer, different devotions, hymns that had been a part of the Church's cultural treasury for centuries, were not just dumped, but actively suppressed. To be a practicing Catholic in many parishes, one had to buy into the pop culture of the 1960s and 1970s.

Against this, Ratzinger has been critical of what he calls "claptrap and pastoral infantilism" -- "the degradation of liturgy to the level of a parish tea party and the intelligibility of the popular newspaper."

If the project of "Gaudium et Spes" is taken to mean "accommodating the practice of the faith to the culture of modernity," then I think that the project has been problematic in pastoral terms.
This misinterpretation may also have positioned many Bishops into surrendering to the libertine culture that resulted from the sexual revolution. I've already discussed tonight how tragic this decision of many of America's prelates has been for the Roman Catholic Church in America. Not to mention the world.

Pope John Paul the Great spent much of his papacy forging a correct interpretation of this document of the Second Vatican Council, an interpretative key, if you will. Pope Benedict XVI may do the same for Lumen Gentium, another crucial Vatican II document that has been grossly misinterpreted. The two papacies together may finally right many of the pastoral and doctrinal errors that so many in the Church appear to have made since the close of the Second Vatican Council. Might this be the springtime of a proper implementation of Vatican II? Stay tuned.