This one is good for a chuckle.
From the National Catholic Distorter: I’m Over Vatican II by Nicole Soleto (Young Voices contributor). And yes, I added the “Really! I Am!!” part – it was probably edited out.
To tell you the truth, I am not sure I was ever under it. Lately, I’ve been hanging out with some folks who were around during Vatican II and maintain a deep hope that our church will revert back to the sentiments of those “glory days.” While I understand where they are coming from, I’m not convinced that we want to go back.
So she’s over Vatican II, but she hangs around folks from the Vatican II era who obviously aren’t. Is she visiting nursing homes (ok – that was a cheap joke. I admit it)? Just what are the “glory days” of Vatican II anyway? You mean the do-whatever-the-heck-you-want approach to liturgy? The Anything Goes mentality? The ripping out of statues from churches and suppression of pious devotions? When priests and nuns left their orders in droves? Those were the “glory days”? You’re right – we do not want to go back there!
Sure, the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) was a pivotal moment and brought sweeping reforms that our church desperately needed. At the same time, for me, Vatican II didn’t go far enough. I would never want to go 40-plus years back in time, especially to a time that afforded fewer people fewer rights.
She never explains what the “sweeping reforms” were, assuming that her readers all know what they are. But these sweeping reforms served only to sweep out of the Church much that was integral to our Catholic identity. As a result, the Church became Protestantized in numerous ways: it’s about me and Jesus; it’s about ‘spirituality’; it’s about what I think it true; it’s about my feeeeeeeelings. There were reforms in Vatican II, to be sure, but they were never intended to create the rupture that resulted. The misapplication of the council has caused a split in the Church that Pope Benedict is seeking to repair, a work begun by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.
And if she’s “over” Vatican II, why does she then say “Vatican II didn’t go far enough”? Sounds like the sort of thing someone says when they’re not over something. Like when a girl breaks up with her boyfriend: “I’m so over him. I’m not ever gonna think about him again. He means nothing to me.” And then proceeds to talk about him for the next month and a half.
And no-one wants to go back 40-plus years anyway – we only want the course corrected, the damage repaired and the mistakes fixed. We desire the hermeneutic of continuity. We desire Christ to be the center of the Mass again – not the priest, not the congregation, not the musical director. Because it isn’t about us. It’s about sacredness and holiness. It’s about restoring authentic Catholic identity.
Then the writer goes on to print responses to a question she put up on her Facebook page: “What does Vatican II mean to you”? The replies are standard fluff and puffery. Here’s a couple (my emphases in bold):
“This semester I’ve been taking a class on Vatican II and we’ve been reading mostly council documents. I think I had approached the class waiting to be stunned and excited by these documents, because I believed the Catholic myth that Vatican II was this amazing (near-eschatological!) event which has yet to be fully realized in the Church. But, as I read the texts I’m reminded time and again about how dated their insights are, and although it is true that some in the church advocate for regressing to positions prior to Vatican II and therefore we need to fight somewhat just to keep the council in view, mostly the reforms of Vatican II are just starting points, bare minimums for efforts of contemporary theologians and church reformers today. There is a lot of work left to be done. Certainly some great things happened at Vatican II, but when we take seriously the reforms of the Council, we’ve really only just begun.”
“I always say that if I were thrown back in time before the days of Vatican II, I would never walk into a Catholic church. There’s absolutely no reason why I should have to cover my head when my male counterparts don’t have to, and I would have refused to do it then and probably got burned at the stake for it (not literally of course).”
Yep – she’s so over Vatican II, she’s seeking opinions to show just how over it she is. Truth is, she’s panicky because Pope Benedict, the Pope of Christian Unity, is moving the Church forwards. But to her, it looks like we’re sliding backwards because she really isn’t over Vatican II.