Some Thoughts on Vatican II, Part 1

This is not a post on the documents or formal results of the Council, but more on how things changed in a day-to-day way in the wake of it. I asked my mother (aged 83) once about what she remembered about the pre-Vatican II Church, and she said, “I remember going up to Father before [Read More…]

On the Duty of Bishops

Thanks (again!) to Daily Gospel Online, I was led to look at Christus Dominus, the Vatican II decree on the pastoral office of bishops.    I found the following (long) passage impressive for what it calls a bishop to do.  I have highlighted a few sentences that I found particularly striking: Bishops should dedicate themselves to [Read More…]

A Good Question and a Bad Answer

Russell Shaw has an article at the Catholic World Report on Vatican II with the title  Did We Really Need Vatican II?  I think the question is a good one, and I wish I had time to ruminate on it at length.  Unfortunately, I am on a research trip, and all I have time for [Read More…]

Pope Francis and the Gang of Eight

A recent episode of Salt + Light Television’s Vatican Connections offers a refreshingly balanced and informative report on Pope Francis’ recent creation of an advisory panel consisting of eight cardinals from around the world to advise him on church governance and particularly curial reform. [youtube=!]   One easily overlooked point given mention here is that [Read More…]

(Mis)Interpreting Vatican II

John O’Malley, SJ has a marvelous article at America Magazine on how not to understand Vatican II.  I refer you to the whole piece, but as a teaser I give you here his 10 principles to avoid: 1. Insist Vatican II was only a pastoral council. 2. Insist it was an occurrence in the life [Read More…]

On the Golden Jubilee of the Second Vatican Council

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. We can expect all the various factions in the Church to offer their perspectives on the Council and its legacy: what went wrong, what went right, what opportunities were seized, what opportunities were missed, what this or that document “really” said or [Read More…]

Quench Not The Spirit

When looking at any ecumenical council, to understand its declarations, one must move beyond the written letter and look to the spirit behind those declarations if one wants to understand what the council is teaching. It is easy to misconstrue a dogmatic declaration if you look only to what the councils had written down as [Read More…]

Loving Latin for all the Wrong Reasons

This post is dedicated to my son Francisco, who is going to summer school to take Latin.  His goal is to choose and translate a motto into Latin, so that it will sound impressive.  Unfortunately, the leading candidate for his motto is “Go to Hell, and take your cheap suit with you.” Sandro Magister is [Read More…]

Altar Girl Redux

I thought the question of altar girls had been settled twenty years ago.  In the face of mass disobedience by pastors and parishes in the United States and Europe, abetted by bishops who either quietly encouraged the practice or turned a blind eye to it, the Vatican allowed altar girls in the early 1990’s.   There [Read More…]