Vatican II, Before and After

Web Master's Note: As we prepare to publish this article on the world wide web, we learn that the Russian KBG thug, -----who was never prosecuted for his crimes against humanity, but is instead celebrated as a "friend" by POTUS [Bush & Company]-----  now head of Russia, is preparing to have the Russian government take authority over Catholic doctrine and curtail Catholic activities even more than is now the policy [The Catholic Church is not permitted to evangelize, for instance]. We immediately recall what Fr. Paul Kramer wrote in his Fatima piece, "FATIMA: The Impending Great Chastisement Revealed in the Third Secret of Fatima", wherein he quoted the nephew of the Fatima seer, Sr. Lucy: " . . . the nephew of Sister Lucy, Father Jose dos Santos Valinho, who plainly stated his view on February 14, 2003 on the Italian TV program Enigma, that the third part of the secret is closely connected to the second part. It concerns the Church: war, persecution and the loss of faith. There will be a universal crisis in the Church and in the whole world." Barbara Anderson's, Vatican II, Before and After, is a timely reminder of this dire warning, in the form of a synopsis of the devastation in the vineyard.

Advertisers often use a comparison of before and after to sell their products.  Before is the horrible example; after is the marvelous desired result of using the product.

 Vatican II is not often viewed in a before and after light.  To appreciate what has come after Vatican II, it is useful to examine what the Church was like before Vatican II.  This examination is for the American Church.  Statistics show a quantitive decrease in membership, vocations, and conversions, plus monetary assets after Vatican II.  Even casual observation shows a decrease in trust, respect and moral certainty.  Many of those outside the Church did not like us, but they respected our moral certitude and steadfastness.   The general public's view of a priest, for example, went from Bing Crosby's portrayal of a slightly whimsical, but loveable, cleric, to a current view of distrust of priests, in general, and a disdain for the bishops who were not good shepherds in weeding out child molesters in their midst.
By any measure, the Church has suffered after Vatican II.  Before, churches were full and more were being built, schools were overflowing and multiplying, seminaries assured a robust priesthood as they spilled out and more were created, nuns were predominant in schools that taught excellent scholastics and matching knowledge of, and love for, Catholicism.  All this growth was provided by the average Catholic in the crowded pews of the time.  These same Catholics were soon told that they did not know what was happening at Mass, that they needed a friendlier (no Latin) liturgy, and a New Orientation.  (New, deeper application insures best results!)  The same Catholics that sacrificed so much for their faith were told they didn't understand that faith and that Vatican II would give them a different look at their faith, a New Orientation.
Statistically, the resuls are disastrous.  The number of Catholic priests has fallen from 58,000 to 45,000.  By 2020 there will be 31,000 and half will be over the age of 70.  In 1965, 1,575 new priests were ordained, but in 2002, the number fell to 450.  At present, some 3,000 parishes are without priests.  Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians fell from 49,999 to 4,700, a decline of over 90 percent.  Since 1965 two thirds of seminaries opened have closed their doors.  (A look at the reasons for the steep decline of priests will come later in this article.)  The number of Catholic nuns, 180,000 in 1965, has fallen by 60 percent.  Since the close of Vatican II the number of teaching nuns has fallen 94 percent.  Their resolute obedience to orthodoxy and recognition of their vital role in educating Catholics has been replaced by mostly lay people, some of whom are not even Catholic.  When one sees a nun today, if one even recognizes a nun, the impression one is more likely to get is that of a professional businesswoman.  About half the Catholic high schools open in 1965 have closed.  Almost half of the 4.5 million students in those schools in the mid-1960s are gone.  A great treasure has been lost.  Now, only 10 percent of lay religious teachers accept the Church's teaching on contraception, 53 percent think a Catholic woman can get an abortion and remain a good Catholic, 65 percent say Catholics have the right to divorce and remarry, and a New York poll reported that 70 percent of Catholics aged 18 to 54 believe that the Holy Eucharist is just a "symbolic reminder" of Jesus.  Only one in four Catholics attends Mass on Sunday today, while in 1958 three out of every four Catholics did so.
The Church has always had dissidents and pre-Vatican II was no different.  Prominent clergy were counted among them, and the names of some were Hans Kung, Dominique Chenu, Edward Schillebeeckx, Henri d Lubac, Karl Rahner, and Yves Congar.  The conceit of dissidents has always been that they alone hold truth, they are more educated, more sophisticated in faith, and even more discerning of the revelations of the Holy Spirit than the Pope and the Magisterium.  These itchy spirits
embraced a New Theology.  (It's new, improved, gets your house cleaner!)  Many popes through the ages have condemned modernism in strong language, but it keeps popping up, renamed.  Vatican II was claimed for the New Theology.  Some of the previous named dissidents had been reprimanded by the popes in the past and mild sanctions were levied, but these sanctions were equivalent to an ecclesiastical slap on the wrist.  One of the worst offenders was Hans Kung, who was censored by the Vatican for heretical views.  Those views include the following: rejection of the Church's infallibility, the suggestion that any Baptized person has the power to confect the Holy Eucharist, the claim that bishops do not receive their teaching authority from Christ, the denial that Christ was "consubstantial" with the Father, and the undermining of unspecified doctrines concerning the Virgin Mary.  He was not reprimanded for other heterodox tenets, found in one of his most famous books, "On Being a Christian", that denied the bodily resurrection of Jesus (p. 350), denied that Christ founded the institutional Church, (p. 109), denied the Divinity of Christ (p. 130), dismissed the miracles of the Gospel (p. 233), and denied that the Mass is the re-presentation of Calvary (p. 323).
While these are not currently widely recognized names to many Catholics, it is important to know what this group of dissidents thought and spoke, since they came to heavily influence the tone of Vatican II.  It has even been claimed that this school of thought, led by certain bishops and "periti" (experts) "hijacked" Vatican II.  Out of the famously described "open windows" of the Church went orthodoxy and the teachings of the great and inspirational St. Thomas, along with the popes' warnings against modernism.  (It's new, modern, replaces your old, worn-out model.)  It's especially important to realize that the influence of the named modernists and their current disciples still permeates the teaching-texts of Catholic seminaries and universities.  Their teachings have served as the principal formation for priests, religious, theologians and Catholic college students.
A promotion of ecumenism was ushered in.  The New Theology demanded that Catholics dialogue and collaborate with Communists, Muslims, heretics, and schismatics (excepting the schism of Archbishop Lefebvre, who clung to the pronoucements of previous popes and would not accept ecumenism).  Vatican II was the first such gathering to omit the condemnation of Russia and Communism in general.  Ignoring the warnings of Pope Leo XIII, Pius IX, Pius X and Pius XI, who said we could not refrain from condemning this incomparable evil, the Vatican-Moscow Agreement, or Ostopolitik, was struck.  Simply put, the agreement called for a moderating of the harsh treatment by the Soviets against Catholics, in return for the Church's soft pedaling condemnation of Communism.  This agreement assured the presence of two Communist observers, which was only assured if Communism was not condemned, or even mentioned.  This was the ultimate ecumenism.
Longstanding enemies of the Church, the Freemasons, were delighted at what they saw as an adoption of their thinking.  Representative of Freemasons' thoughts, Yves Marsaudon of the Scottish Rite praised the ecumenism ushered in at Vatican II.  He said "Catholics . . . must not forget that all roads lead to God.  And they will have to accept that this courageous idea of freethinking, which we can really call a revolution, pouring forth from our Masonic lodges, has spread magnificently over the dome of St. Peter's".  And, "One can say that ecumenism is the legitimate son of Freemasonry".  Freemason Jacques Mitterand approved, and wrote: "Something has changed within the Church, and replies given by the Pope to the most urgent questions such as priestly celibacy and birth control, are hotly debated within the Church itself; the word of the Sovereign Pontiff is questioned by bishops, by the faithful, by priests.  For a Freemason, a man who questions dogma is already a Freemason without an apron''.

The accuracy of their braggadaccio could be questioned, except that their observations have proven correct, to a large degree.
Another bitter enemy of the Church, Communism, gained mightily from the council, in that it was not condemned there.  The council would compromise the moral liberty of the Church by pretending that the most systemized form of human evil in human history did not exist, even though, at the very moment that the council opened, the Soviets were persecuting, imprisoning and murdering millions of fellow Catholics.  The persecution goes on today, as Communists never keep their bargains.  The Faustian bargain added to the misery wherever Communism had taken over, without the considerable moral pressure of the Catholic Church no longer proclaiming it to the world.  In the early '50s, Bella Dodd, a former high-ranking official of the American Communist Party, said "In the 1930s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within".  These men were to be ordained and rise to positions of influence and authority as Monsignors and Bishops.  A dozen years
before Vatican II Dodd stated that: "right now they are in the highest places in the Church".  Bella Dodd turned against the Communist Party and exposed it.  She converted to Catholicism shortly before her death.  Her testimony has been confirmed by Soviet defectors.  Ex-KGB officer Anatoly Golitsyn defected in 1961, and forecast with 94% accuracy happenings in the Communist Bloc.  He confirmed that this "penetration of the Catholic and other Churches is part of the party's 'general line' in the struggle against religion".  Hundreds of files smuggled into the West tell about the KGB cultivating and financing the close relationships with "progressive" Catholics and financing their activities.  One wonders where those eleven hundred priests are today and how far up the clerical ladder they have risen.  Opening the windows let in  more of the world than was anticipated by some in the Church.  (Revolutionary!  Win new friends and influence people!)
Since priests are the lifeblood of the Church, an examination of the priesthood before and after Vatican II proves instructive.  Priests were generally trusted by the public and given due respect.  Even non-Catholics recognized the collar as belonging to one who would help people.  A body blow has been dealt to that image.  Unfortunately, the blow has been delivered by those who should have known better.  Some of the American Bishops, ever on the cutting edge of Political Correctness, permitted homosexuals in the priesthood.  After all, (the thinking went), priests were called to chastity, and the priesthood would be a good place for them.  As has been shown by the aggressive promoters of this orientation, homosexuality did not lend itself to chastity.  As soon as enough of them were accepted, they began an aggressive effort to weed out what they perceived as traditional candidates, as those traditionalists were the ones who would threaten their power in the seminaries.
This clique of homosexuals was named "The Lavendar Mafia" by Father Andrew Greeley, who was well aware of the group and those who protected and promoted them.  It included an underground of liberal faculty members who set out to change the doctrines, dogma and mission of the Church.  (Try it!  Put a little spice in your life!)  Others had their own agendas.  Sometimes, candidates to the priesthood had to pass a "gatekeeper", which very often was a nun in the vocations office.  All too often, this nun was of the "progressive" persuasion and was fixated on promoting women to the priesthood.  A candidate who did not agree didn't pass the "gatekeeper".  Practices designed to keep orthodox men out and to advance homosexuals is extensively outlined in Michael Rose's book, "Goodbye, Good Men".  One can wonder how many wonderful young men were turned away because they were orthodox.  The "gatekeeper" nuns and their like-minded successors bear responsibility for weeding out the priests so desperately needed now, and whose loss they bemoan as they press for married and women priests.  This is like the man who murdered his parents and then complained that he was an orphan.  The monetary cost of settling suits brought by victims of sexual predators in just three dioceses, Spokane, Washington, Portland, Oregon and Tucson, Arizona since 1950 is approximately $840 million dollars.  More suits have been added recently. Aside from the draining of dollars, the moral cost has been devastating.  Nobody can know how many possible conversions have been lost, how many Catholics have been so sickened as to leave the Church, and the cost of loss of prestige and image of a once-esteemed Church.
In spite of the seminarian drought, notable seminaries have always blossomed and produced priests.  These seminaries have been administered by orthodox bishops who  are loyal to the Pope and the Magisterium.  They instill a spirit of sacrifice that is rare in today's materialistic society.  Michael Rose, in his book, quotes one such nourishing bishop, Elden F. Curtiss, Archbishop of Omaha, Nebraska, who spelled it out succintly:

"It seems to me that the vocation 'crisis' is precipitated by people who want to change the Church's agenda, by people who do not support orthodox candidates loyal to the magisterial teaching of the Pope and bishops, and by people who actually discourage viable candidates from seeking priesthood and vowed religious life as the Church defines these ministries.  I am personally aware of certain vocations directors, vocations teams and evaluation boards who turn away candidates who do not support the possibility of ordaining women or who defend the Church's teaching about . . . birth control, or who exhibit a strong piety toward certain devotions, such as the rosary".
The promotion of Vatican II goes on.  Those who know little of the actual happenings there still tout it as a great turning point in the Church.  A relatively few Catholics realize, for instance, that at Vatican II no dogma was defined and no heresy condemned.  Some say that cause and effect cannot be proven.  Some say that America's slide into secularism was the cause of the Church's decline.  Others counter that the slide was greased by a Church that went missing in action.  However, the close proximity between Vatican II and the general decline of the Church is a compelling "coincidence".  What was promised, deeper faith and becoming more attractive to the world, has not been realized.

(New, improved, the world will love you!)  Rarely has so much hype been expended for something which produced so much less than advertised.
Barbara Anderson
In the Year of Our Lord,

 July 17, 2005