Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI (as Cardinal Ratzinger): Vatican II Has the Same Authority as Trent (if one goes, both go)

It must be stated that Vatican II is upheld by the same authority as Vatican I and the Council of Trent, namely, the Pope and the College of Bishops in communion with him, and that also with regard to its contents, Vatican II is in the strictest continuity with both previous councils and incorporates their texts word for word in decisive points . . .

Whoever accepts Vatican II, as it has clearly expressed and understood itself, at the same time accepts the whole binding tradition of the Catholic Church, particularly also the two previous councils . . . It is likewise impossible to decide in favor of Trent and Vatican I but against Vatican II. Whoever denies Vatican II denies the authority that upholds the other two councils and thereby detaches them from their foundation. And this applies to the so-called 'traditionalism,' also in its extreme forms. Every partisan choice destroys the whole (the very history of the Church) which can exist only as an indivisible unity.

To defend the true tradition of the Church today means to defend the Council. It is our fault if we have at times provided a pretext (to the 'right' and 'left' alike) to view Vatican II as a 'break' and an abandonment of the tradition. There is, instead, a continuity that allows neither a return to the past nor a flight forward, neither anachronistic longings nor unjustified impatience. We must remain faithful to the today of the Church, not the yesterday or tomorrow. And this today of the Church is the documents of Vatican II, without reservations that amputate them and without arbitrariness that distorts them . . .

I see no future for a position that, out of principle, stubbornly renounces Vatican II. In fact in itself it is an illogical position. The point of departure for this tendency is, in fact, the strictest fidelity to the teaching particularly of Pius IX and Pius X and, still more fundamentally, of Vatican I and its definition of papal primacy. But why only popes up to Pius XII and not beyond? Is perhaps obedience to the Holy See divisible according to years or according to the nearness of a teaching to one's own already-established convictions?

(The Ratzinger Report, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1985, 28-29, 31)


Ricardo Sene said...

Hey Davi, Thank God I found this text. Its from here where you copy paste the text of the Facebook, right? at the time i saw the first fhrase and though it was only that. Now i read it entirely.

Interact to me, help me in my studies.

I'd like to point another text from Ratzinger where the Holy Father calls a document from VacII as a kind of Anti Syllabus, and i'd like to know how do you aproach these both directions.

I only have the portuguese version, so ill translate myself, so it may not be like the original. The source is below, however.

"If is desirable to give an overall assessment of this text [of Gaudium et Spes], it could be said that it means (along with the texts on religious freedom and on world religions) a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a sort of Antisyllabus"

(Cardeal Joseph Ratzinger, Teoria de los Princípios Teológicos, Herder, Barcelona, 1985, p. 454).

and after:

"Let us be content here with the confirmation that the document plays the role of an Anti Syllabus, and, consequently, expresses the intention of a official reconciliation [between] the church and the new period established from the year 1789"

(Cardinal Ratzinger. Theory Theological Principles. Barcelona: Editorial Herder, 1985, p. 458).

Ratzinger points the document oposite to what Syllabus taught, calling it a kind of a antisyllabus. How do you combine this affirmation with the text above? How would you approach this?

Do you know this text? it's valid? How is your view?

God bless.

Dave Armstrong said...

Not familiar with it and don't have time to delve into this. Sorry!

Dave Armstrong said...


The liturgy / New Mass is an entirely different subject. As I don't have time to delve into this huge discussion, I can't allow this comment to remain up without reply, because it is too controversial and may lead people astray.

My blog is not a platform for the promulgation of various "traditionalist" opinions.

At least the first comment had some relation to Vatican II.

This has nothing to do with friendship (no problem!): only with the purpose of my blog and what is appropriate to post in comments.

Ricardo Sene said...

Ok, it's understandable.

Just send me a copy of the text pls :)

Ricardo Sene said...

Just for the clarify, what do you mean by tradicionalist? What can I understand for tradicionalist?

Ricardo Sene said...

Hey Dave, I know you already said no time, but pls, don't forget to send me the text I sent, ok? I forgot to keep a copy for myself.

God bless.