Hilary White Wants to Trash & Bury Vatican II; I Defend It

Hilary White Wants to Trash & Bury Vatican II; I Defend It September 22, 2020
Radical reactionary Catholic Hilary White wrote on 7-31-10 at The Remnant / cross-posted on Rorate Caeli on 8-29-10:
Benedict is of that generation that put all their eggs into the Vatican II basket and is determined to ‘make the council work’. This despite that 45 years after its close, they are still arguing over what its purpose was. Like nailing Jell-O to the wall. Younger Catholics, those of us that are left in the pews, simply cannot understand this obsession of the last generation with that monumental failure. But for the Ratzinger generation, ‘The Council’ defined Catholicism, and it seems they cannot be convinced to give it a dignified burial. [From: “Introducing Hilary White (The Remnant’s Rome Correspondent)”]
She also trashed Pope St. John Paul II in the same interview. All the “usual suspects” are promulgating this radical Catholic reactionary rotgut these days. LifeSiteNews stated on 9 June 2014, in its article: “In defense of Hilary White”: “All of the Catholic staff of LifeSiteNews are unusually knowledgeable and faithful sons of the Church.”
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I see. So it is “faithful” to say that an ecumenical council of the Church is so irrelevant that it is a “monumental failure” that should be given “a dignified burial” and that Catholics (including even Pope Benedict XVI) who actually admire and abide by its teachings are suffering from a harmful obsession?
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It’s said by many that the problem with Vatican II was in its “implementation”. Bad implementation is what we can all agree on. I have no problem with that, because that ties in with the “Spirit of Vatican II” nonsense from the liberals that we all agree was rotgut. I would say that Hilary (above) was not talking about implementation, but rather, the council itself. She said no one can figure out its purpose, which was like “nailing Jell-O to the wall.” She assumes it is a total failure and that its advocates are obsessed (almost as if we’re nuts, since “obsessed” is at least a neurosis). And she wants to “bury” it.
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That ain’t talking about whether it has been properly implemented. That is, rather, dissing it altogether, which is unacceptable, I contend, for any orthodox Catholic to do. This is my criticism of radical Catholic reactionaries. They habitually throw the baby out with the bathwater. It’s not enough to say that Vatican II was promulgated badly. They have to attack it itself. Same thing with the ordinary form Mass. Same thing with ecumenism. In all three cases, they go after the essence of the things, rather than corruptions or abuses (as I do, quite a bit).
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This is why I put them in a different category, and why folks have lost patience with their endless complaints and attacks upon the Church, and not just on abuses. And it’s why many of them will keep going down that destructive road right into sedevacantism, and if they keep going further and further “out”: away from orthodoxy, to the place where Gerry Matatics is now: no valid Masses at all, so why go to church anymore? I think neo-atheism is in his future. Mark my words.
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I would say the main contributions of Vatican II would be important developments in the areas of religious tolerance, ecumenism, promotion of the role of the laity, urging Catholics to share and explain the faith in ways that are more accessible and understandable to non-Catholics, and emphasis on collegiality and conciliar infallibility, while reaffirming papal infallibility. In many ways it followed the ideals of St. John Henry Cardinal Newman, who is my theological hero.
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Ecumenism, to too many, is seen as antithetical to apologetics, when it is not at all. I’ve done both vigorously for over 30 years in my work and outreach efforts. Both/and . . . Various cultural factors made evangelism quite unfashionable, and those got into the Church as well, since lots of Catholics are more American than they are Catholic. If people dissed apologetics and the aspect of rational understanding of the faith, they would evangelize less, and support missions less. Also, as folks become more and more secularized, the incipient relativism of that causes them to want to share the faith less. It is seen as “proselytizing” or intolerant.
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Thus, in my opinion, the two main causes (among many) of “collapse” of missions and the schools and nuns and all the rest are secularization outside the Church (constantly seeping into the thinking of Catholics; hence the Catholic vote absurdly went for Obama twice) and Protestant-like either/or thinking within it. I vigorously reject both, which is why I’m still evangelizing and defending the faith after 24 years as a Catholic . . .
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Part of apologetics is defining terms properly and identifying those who espouse a serious error, lest others be led astray.
I think my readers want to know about a Catholic journalist who disses Vatican II and wants to “bury” it. That’s relevant information for those of us who actually respect magisterial Church teaching and authority.
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I don’t find Pope Francis’ pointed observations about reactionaries nearly as cutting and acerbic as many of Paul’s and Jesus’. There are people like the ones he describes out there. But of course, if every “traditionalist” assumes he is talking about the whole lot of them, then they wrongly assume that it is out of prejudice or falsehood, rather than as a prophetic voice of denunciation of sin.
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The same thing happened to me recently. I condemned “prophets of gloom and doom” and I was jumped all over, as supposedly tarring all “traditionalists” with this brush. I had done no such thing. I simply condemned this thing itself, wherever it occurs; from whomever. I didn’t say who was doing it, or what proportion of what group. All that was merely assumed by my critic.
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If pressed, I would say I had in mind a portion of radical Catholic reactionaries, whom I distinguish from “traditionalists.” I see that dynamic with the pope and his endless babbling critics, too. People are assuming lots of stuff that doesn’t necessarily follow at all.
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Yeah, lots of modernists and theological liberals were out and about in the 1940s-1960s. Anyone knows that. I think it had some influence on Vatican II, but not enough to make any of the documents heterodox. I believe in faith that the Holy Spirit guided the documents, just as He has all the ecumenical councils, despite all the sins, follies, and foibles of men.
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(originally posted on 16 June 2014 on Facebook)
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Photo credit: RitaE (9-5-17) [Pixabay / Pixabay license]
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