Browse Our Articles & Podcasts

Time to Let Go of Vatican II

Several months back Father Hugh Somerville-Knapman, OSB wrote a must read article over at his blog, Dominus mihi adjutor. For those not familiar with Fr. Hugh, a Benedictine monk and priest of Douai Abbey in Berkshire, U.K., he is no liturgical bomb thrower. His arguments are always well reasoned and thoughtful, which is why it’s worth revisiting.

“Vale Vatican II: Moving On” verbalizes what a growing number of the faithful are finally coming to grips with. In the words of Fr. Hugh: “it is time now to let go of the Council.” While I encourage everyone to read the full article, there are several points worth highlighting here.

Fr. Hugh begins by making the (obvious) acknowledgement that the world has changed greatly since the 1960’s. This would hardly matter if the Council  had sought to clarify doctrine and timeless truths, but it is relevant for a Council claiming to be pastoral in its scope and very purpose. As Father writes:

It described itself as a pastoral council, and it sought to repackage the teaching, life and worship of the Church to suit a world in flux. For this very reason the Council was necessarily going to have a best-before date. That date has been passed. The sad thing is that its milk turned sour very soon after packaging.

Fr. Hugh rightly notes that “Catholic vitality has plummeted” in the post-conciliar years, at least when measured by weekly Mass attendance and vocations. There is no need to restate the dire data here. If one still disputes this they cannot be taken seriously and should step away from the grown up table; these discussions aren’t for you.

Father continues with an assessment of the ecclesial landscape of the last five decades:

By any reasonable standard of judgment the application of the Council failed, miserably, to achieve the Council’s aims. This statistical revelation of decline is quite apart from the decline experienced by Catholics as they have seen dogmas, doctrines, morals and many other elements of Catholic life thrown into chaos in the wake of the Council.

Acknowledging that the Church is indeed growing in much of the developing world (think Africa and Asia), Fr. Hugh notes that its growth in the west is only occurring in certain places:

But here’s the rub: it is growing precisely where much of what was discarded by the post-conciliaristas is slowly and sensibly being reclaimed and integrated into the world of 2017 rather than the mid-1960s. What they are reclaiming is essential, timeless Catholicism rather than the tired mantras and shibboleths of the “Vatican II Church”. The young have discovered, and many of the older re-discovered, that there was a Church before Vatican II, and it was healthy, vital and beautiful.

Fr. Hugh then states his simple, clear, and polemic free conclusion: it’s time to move on from the Council and (instead) to reclaim what the Church always was:

Thus it makes no sense to be constantly referencing every contemporary initiative to Vatican II, for justification or acceptance-value. It is time to move from a post-conciliar Church to a post-post-conciliar Church; which is to say, it is time to reclaim the Church as She has always been in her essence and her stable form, which has been able to function viably and vitally in every age and circumstance since the time of Christ.

A growing number of the faithful have indeed moved on from post-conciliarism. Among many Catholics, particularly the young, the sentiment and conclusions of Fr. Hugh are being realized. Our point of reference and foundation is the Church’s history and tradition, not simply the most recent Council in the history of the Church.

Sadly, it would seem few bishops have connected the dots yet. May thoughtful articles by thoughtful men, such as Fr. Hugh Somerville-Knapman, help them to finally move on (and move forward) as the Church reclaims “essential, timeless Catholicism.” For the sake of the salvation of souls, pray that it happens soon.

Originally published at

77 thoughts on “Time to Let Go of Vatican II”

  1. The good news is that history is utterly ruthless in her judgments. A forest worth of paper and an ocean of ink have been wasted by Catholics trying to polish up Vatican II and the boring failure of the Novus Ordo liturgy that closely followed it, but to no avail. I can’t even muster the energy to argue with Vatican II. It just doesn’t matter anymore.

  2. Can’t you just hear Francis ranting…..“dangerous nostalgia………..!!”?

    Why would anyone of sound mind not look back with fondness on a time when the Church was not overrun with heretics and homos?

      • Saint Peter Damian was honest and forthright in his denunciation of sodomy and his attacks against and denunciations of that sinkhole of perversion was such that an impassable chasm was opened between the Catholic Church and those who practiced that sick and poisonous perversion whereas today, we have Our heretical Pope saying who am I to judge homosexuals and his heretical henchmen are striving to be the most creative in defending queerdom.

        Even Emeritus Bishop Ratzinger’s document that was supposed to erect a barrier against sodomites entering the seminaries was so weak and ineffectual as to be an embarrassment to real men.

        Feminism and Sodomy are the two scourges continually whipping the Body of Christ and there is no man in the Prelature with the cojones to come out and stand in opposition to the assault to say nothin about stopping the scourging.

  3. But the greater the failure of a liberal idea, the more horns its proponents sound! We can and should demand that the horn blowers name one success coming out of this misconceived and misguided council, just one. And we have to demand it be tangible, not some fantasy notion like “greater participation” or “a deeper appreciation of Scripture.” That kind of malarkey is precisely what got us into the mess we are now in. Like the effects of weed smoked by children of the lamentable ’60s, these phrases may seem grand but are ultimately meaningless and harmful to your (spiritual) health.

    • I wholeheartedly agree. To me it’s also similar to a pervert after being convicted by the courts blaming his victims for the crimes he committed.

    • Johnny,

      Thought you might enjoy a picture of the most striking church of Douai Abbey mentioned in the article. It is only 20 miles from my house and I have been there many times. It has been caught up in the VAT2 activities as much as any church organisation, but its tireless music director Dr John Rowntree has been instrumental in promoting the heritage of Church music and I have treasured memories of any number of superb liturgies and concerts under his baton. One measure of the failure of VAT2 is its musical “heritage”. Amazing how much magnificent music has come out of the bad old days and how much toe curling shite has come out of the glorious renewal and participation.

      • The church is gorgeous; you’re lucky to have something this splendid right there in the neighborhood, so to speak. As for the bad music today, I remember reading — long ago — the comments of a nun who was a musician. She referred to what we hear on Sunday these days as “cornfield ditties.” Admirable succinctness on her part, I think.

        • I’m from good old Pennsyltucky.

          Friend of mine and I both come from farm stock that came over here as Catholics in the 17 and 1800s only for most of us to leave the faith. We both became Catholics whilst retaining proudly (as if we could lose it) our hillbilly PA Dutch heritage. My friend said once of the Novus Ordo (which he attends, mind you, owning to travel difficulties, family, etc) that it didn’t seem quite right for the Mass to be said in the “same language we use at home in the dive bar in Waynesboro.”

          Couldn’t have said it better.

      • Good grief, what did they do to the sanctuary side of this chapel? Looks like it was half demolished in the 70s and rebuilt in the modernist image.

        • Very well spotted! One half of the Church was built in the early 20th century. Its proportions were designed for a really long high building. But they ran out of money and the West end terminated in a temporary wall. This made the Church look very strange and short. In the early 1990s a modern portion with the huge lantern roof was added. I went to the dedication ceremony around 1993. The interior is seamless. It is on the outside that the two incongruous halves are very obvious.

  4. In the mode of “We are all Keynesians now” (Attributed to Richard Nixon but spoken by Milton Friedman) we Catholics can say “We are all protestants now”owing to all of the heresies, feminism, and sodomitic culture that trailed in the wake of that crummy council.

    Making Catholics protestants may or may not have been the intent of the conciliar commies but, judging by the results, it may just as well have been the intent.

    What these bastids did to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is simply evil. Period.

    The bastids killed the Offertory and replaced it with the corpse of a meal prayer by the Messiahs-Deniers.

    Juts think of that one action. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the single most important and holiest action of the Church at any time of the day on this planet and the bastids intentionally killed it.

    Yes, they are bastids for they have no legitimate Catholic Father than can identify but I’d sure like to see them try and identify one.

    These bastids do not give a shit about the Mass and the incessant claims of continuity in the Liturgy is a bold-faced LIE.

    The Neo-protestant Rite Lord’s Supper MUST be destroyed and replaced with the Real Mass

  5. Has there ever been any project in the history of man as pathetically dated (trapped, as it is, in a naive, Kennedy-esque optimism regarding the inherent superiority of Modern Man) and irrelevant before the ink was even dry on the documents than the Second Vatican Council? That era’s fads have become today’s embarrassing faux pas in everything from fashion to music to liturgy. And yet this “non-doctrinal” Council is still, according to the neo-Catholics, supposed to be the gold standard by which we view the Holy Catholic Faith?

    I’ll let the (ficitional) Pius XIII take it from here:

  6. I live only 20 miles from Douai Abbey and have visited it numerous times for services and concerts. So I am delighted to see that it is getting publicity. I am not sure if Father Hugh has recently checked out the bookshop at the back of his very striking Abbey church. Its many titles still smell too much of either a very dated post-VAT2 mentality or acclamation of Pope Francis and all his merciful works. So a clear-out and restocking might be one first step.

    I suppose it is too much to expect our senior clergy to get past VAT2. When they were young, it must have looked as marvellous as the invention of the wheel. And they have invested their whole lives and energies in promoting efforts allegedly inspired by it.

    How disappointing it must be for them to discover that we are still arguing about Dignitas Humanae (no, religious liberty is definitely not a closed issue). Or that we are casting aspersions on Nostra Aetate and its blandly welcoming attitude to Islam. Or that Latin liturgies look like the wave of the future, with the congregations full of large families. Or that major initiatives such as ARCIC (Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission) have simply run into the sand after talking since 1969. Not that it stops ARCIC continuing to meet in nice locations and yak forever about unity as the churches disintegrate and become ever more divided.

    • About 20 miles from Douai? Its 37 miles for me. Dare I ask in which direction of the compass you are located from Douai?

      I wouldn’t say that Dom Hugh is typical of the Benedictines there, but even when I had my pre-ordination retreat at Douai a number of the monks were letting the practice of concelebration fall into desuetude.

  7. Monday after Sexagesima

    Monday after Sexagesima
    Morning Meditation

    Our holy Redeemer has ransomed us from eternal death at the price of His own Blood, and He does not wish to see these souls of ours lost which have cost Him so much. When He sees souls that are constraining Him by their sins to sentence them to hell, He, as it were, weeps with compassion for them and says: And wherefore will ye die, O house of Israel? Return ye and live! (Ezech. xviii. 31). My children, why will you destroy and damn yourselves when I have died upon a Cross to save you? Return to Me as penitents, and I will restore to you the life you have lost.

    The Apostle, St. Paul, teaches that God willeth the salvation of all: He will have all men to be saved. (1 Tim. ii. 4). And St. Peter writes: The Lord dealeth patiently for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance. (2 Peter. 9). For this end the Son of God came down from Heaven, and was made Man, and spent thirty-three years in labours and sufferings, and finally shed His Blood and laid down His life for our salvation. And shall we forfeit our salvation?

    Thou, my Saviour, didst spend Thy whole life in securing my salvation, and in what have I spent so many years of my life? What fruit hast Thou hitherto reaped from me? I have deserved to be cut off and cast into hell. But Thou desirest not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live. (Ezech. xxxiii. 11). Yes, O God, I leave all and turn myself to Thee. I love Thee, and because I love Thee I am sorry for having offended Thee. Accept of me, and suffer me not to forsake Thee any more.

    How much did not the Saints do to secure their eternal salvation! How many nobles and kings have forsaken their kingdoms and estates, and shut themselves up in cloisters! How many young persons have forsaken their country and friends, to dwell in caves and deserts! And how many Martyrs have laid down their lives under the most cruel tortures! And why? — to save their souls. And what have we done?

    Woe to me, who, although I know that death is near at hand, yet think not of it! No, my God, I will no longer live at a distance from Thee. Why do I delay? Is it that death may overtake me in the miserable state in which I now am? No, my God, do Thou assist me to prepare for death.


    O God, how many graces has my Saviour bestowed on me to enable me to save my soul! He has caused me to be born in the bosom of the true Church; He has many times pardoned me my transgressions; He has favoured me with many lights in sermons, in prayers, in meditations, in Communions, and spiritual exercises; and often has He called me to His love. In a word, how many means of salvation has He granted me which He has not granted others!

    And yet, O God, when shall I detach myself from the world and give myself entirely to Thee? Behold me, O Jesus, I will no longer resist. Thou hast obliged me to love Thee. I desire to be wholly Thine: do Thou accept of me, and disdain not the love of a sinner who has hitherto so much despised Thee. I love Thee, my God, my Love, and my All. Have pity on me, O Mary, for thou art my hope.

    Spiritual Reading

    Father Balthassar Alvarez, a great servant of God, used to say that we must not think we have made any progress in the way of God until we have come to keep Jesus crucified ever in our heart. And St. Francis de Sales said that “the love which is not the offspring of the Passion is feeble.” Yes; because we cannot have a more powerful motive for loving God than the Passion of Jesus Christ, by which we know that the Eternal Father, to manifest His exceeding love for us, was pleased to send His only-begotten Son upon earth to die for us sinners. Hence the Apostle says that God, through the excess of love wherewith He loved us, willed that the death of His Son should convey life to us: For his exceeding charity wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ. (Ephes. ii. 5). And this was precisely the expression used by Moses and Elias on Mount Tabor, in speaking of the Passion of Jesus Christ. They did not know how to give it any other appellation than an excess of love: And they spoke of his excess, which he should consummate in Jerusalem. (Luke ix. 31).

    When our Saviour came into the world, the shepherds heard the angels singing, Glory to God in the highest. (Luke ii. 14). But the humiliation of the Son of God in becoming Man, through His love for man, might have seemed rather to obscure than to manifest His Divine glory: but no; there was no means by which the glory of God could have been better manifested to the world than by Jesus Christ dying for the salvation of mankind, since the Passion of Jesus Christ has made us know the perfection of the Divine attributes. It has made us know how great is the Mercy of God, in that a God was willing to die to save sinners; and to die, moreover, by a death so painful and ignominious. St. John Chrysostom says, that the Passion of Jesus Christ was not an ordinary suffering, nor His death a simple death like that of other men.

    It has made us know the Divine Wisdom. Had our Redeemer been merely God, He could not have made satisfaction for man; for God could not make satisfaction to Himself in place of man; nor could God make satisfaction by means of suffering, for He is impassible. On the other hand, had He been merely man, man could not have made satisfaction for the grievous injury done by him to the Divine Majesty. What, then, did God do? He sent His own very Son, true God with the Father, to take human flesh, that so as man He might by His death pay the debt due to the Divine Justice, and as God might make full satisfaction.

    The Passion, moreover, made us know how great is the Divine Justice. St. John Chrysostom says, that God reveals to us the greatness of His Justice, not so much by hell in which He punishes sinners, as by the sight of Jesus on the Cross; since in hell creatures are punished for sins of their own, but on the Cross we behold a God cruelly treated in order to make satisfaction for the sins of men. What obligation had Jesus Christ to die for us? He was offered because it was his own will. (Is. liii. 7). He might have justly abandoned man to his perdition; but His love for us would not let Him see us lost: wherefore He chose to give Himself up to so painful a death in order to obtain for us salvation: He hath loved us and delivered himself up for us. (Ephes. v. 11). From all eternity He had loved man: I have loved thee, with an everlasting love. (Jer. xxxi. 3). But then, seeing that His justice obliged Him to condemn man, and to keep him at a distance, separated eternally from Himself, His mercy urged Him to find a way by which He might be able to save him. But how? By making satisfaction Himself to the Divine Justice by His own death. And consequently He willed that there should be affixed to the Cross whereon He died the sentence of condemnation to eternal death which man had merited, in order that it might remain there, cancelled in His Blood. Blotting out the writing of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. He hath taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross. (Colos. ii. 14). And thus, through the merits of His own Blood, He pardons all our sins: Forgiving you all offences. (Colos. ii. 13). And at the same time He spoiled the devils of the rights they had acquired over us, carrying along with Him in triumph as well our enemies as ourselves, who were their prey. And despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them confidently in open show, triumphing over them in himself. (Colos. ii. 15). On which Theophylact comments: “As a conqueror in triumph, carrying with Him the booty and the enemy.”

    Evening Meditation


    The Lover of souls, our most loving Redeemer, declared that He had no other motive in coming down upon earth to become man, than to enkindle in the hearts of men the fire of His holy love: I am come to cast fire on the earth; and what will I but that it be kindled. (Luke xii. 49). And, oh, what beautiful flames of love has He not enkindled in so many souls, especially by the pains that He chose to suffer in His death, in order to prove to us the immeasurable love which He still bears to us! Oh, how many souls, happy in the Wounds of Jesus, as in burning furnaces of love, have been so inflamed with His love, that they have not refused to consecrate to Him their goods, their lives, and their whole selves, surmounting with great courage all the difficulties which they had to encounter in the observance of the Divine law, for the love of that Lord Who, being God, chose to suffer so much for the love of them! This was just the counsel that the Apostle gave us, in order that we might not fail, but make great advances in the way of salvation: Think diligently upon him, who endureth such opposition from sinners against himself, that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds. (Heb. xii. 3).

    Wherefore St. Augustine, all inflamed with love at the sight of Jesus nailed on the Cross, prayed thus sweetly: Imprint, O Lord, Thy Wounds in my heart, that I may read therein suffering and love: suffering, that I may endure for Thee all suffering; love, that I may despise for Thee all love. Write, he said, my most loving Saviour, write on my heart Thy Wounds, in order that I may always therein behold Thy sufferings and Thy love. Yes, in order that having before my eyes the great sufferings that Thou, my God, didst endure for me, I may bear in silence all the sufferings it may fall to my lot to endure; and at the sight of the love which Thou didst exhibit for me on the Cross, I may never love or be able to love any other than Thee.


    O Saviour of the world, O Love of souls, O Lord most lovely of all beings, Thou by Thy Passion didst come to win to Thyself our hearts, by showing us the immense love Thou didst bear us in accomplishing a Redemption which has brought to us a sea of benedictions, and which cost Thee a sea of pains and ignominies. It was principally for this end that Thou didst institute the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, in order that we might have a perpetual memorial of Thy Passion: “That we might have for ever a perpetual memorial of so great a benefit,” says St. Thomas, “He gives His body to be the food of the faithful” which St. Paul had already said: As often as you shall eat this bread, you shall show the death of the Lord. (1 Cor. xi. 26). Oh, how many holy souls hast Thou persuaded by these prodigies of love, consumed by the flames of Thy love, to renounce all earthly goods, in order to dedicate themselves entirely to loving Thee alone, O most amiable Saviour! O my Jesus, I pray Thee make me always remember Thy Passion; and grant that I also, a miserable sinner, overcome at last by so many loving devices, may return to love Thee, and to show Thee, by my poor love, some mark of gratitude for the excessive love which Thou, my God and my Saviour, hast borne to me. Remember, my Jesus, that I am one of those sheep of Thine, to save which Thou didst come down on the earth, and didst sacrifice Thy Divine life. I know that, after having redeemed me by Thy death, Thou hast not ceased to love me, and that Thou dost still bear to me the same love which Thou hadst for me when Thou didst die for my sake. Oh, permit me not any longer to lead a life of ingratitude towards Thee, my God, Who dost so much deserve to be loved, and hast done so much to be loved by me.

    And thou, O most holy Virgin Mary, who didst take so great a part in the Passion of thy Son, obtain for me, I beseech thee, through the merits of thy sorrows, the grace to experience a taste of that compassion which thou didst so sensibly feel at the death of Jesus; and obtain for me also a spark of that love which wrought all the martyrdom of thy afflicted heart. Amen.

    “Let my mind, O Lord Jesus Christ, I beseech Thee, be absorbed in the fiery and honeyed sweetness of Thy love, that I may die for love of the love of Thee, Who wert pleased to die for love of the love of me.” (Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi).

  8. We’ve been saying this for years. What Vatican II set out to do (in it’s good intentions) failed quickly. No need to rehash what was said above, it’s just that others will slowly realize this the farther away we go in time from the council: The Failed Council.

    Let’s hope that someone like Francis won’t get an Idea to call a Vatican II 2 – rather, we need a Trent II.

    • Vatican II, part 2, reminds me too much of a bad movie franchise. Under Pope Francis, we would probably get a true horror show.

  9. In the linked article, Father Hugh notes that his Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth (who is also my bishop) failed to mention VAT2 at all in a letter written on the 5th anniversary of his appointment. No surprise there. Bishop Philip was born late in 1955 and was barely ten years old when it finished. There will soon be many bishops, archbishops and cardinals around the world who have no memory of VAT2 and may be ready to revise or ditch the policies arising from it.

  10. It was indeed a “robber council’. Deprived me and my children of so many treasures, so much Truth and Beauty. I’m filled with profound sadness for my Dad, all my aunts, uncles, cousins and millions of others who left the Church. May God have mercy on the souls of those deluded shepherds of the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond for their neglect of souls. Marcel LeFebvre, Padre Pio, pray for us!

    • “A Robber Council” — that’s perfect! And I’m so sorry for your family. I have 25-30 cousins and I think most have left the Church.

      • Pope St. Leo the Great used the term “latrocinium” to describe the Robber Council of Ephesus (this was a false council NOT the true Council of Ephesus I.e. the Third Ecumenical Council which infallibly defined the dogma of the Divine Maternity of tge Virgin and commanded that She be called Theotokos).

  11. It won’t be until the current generation of bishops formed by it are gone to their eternal reward. When those being ordained as priests today are bishops, so call it 20 to 30 years. Until then, these prelates will drag their feet on the vain hope of Vatican II being equal to Trent, instead of attempting to read them where they’re complimentary (and there is more than most on both sides want to admit): recognizing that Sacrosanctum Concilium wanted wider use of vernacular, so it makes sense for the propers and variable parts perhaps, but not a complete ban on Latin (ie: bringing Latin back for at least the Ordinary/unchanging parts of the Mass, that the Office should be required to be in Latin, that religious should reclaim their Rites: see the Dominicans and Norbertines and Carthusians, etc), that Chant should be required on at least Sundays and Solemnities, that ‘instituted’ lectors and acolytes and ordained deacons should be in every parish, instead of having laymen substitute in those roles. To recognize that we should still want to save the souls of protestant heretics, Jews, and Muslims and converting them. That Hell is real and the Four Final Things should be preached from every ambo.

  12. If we are moving on from the council, what are people’s thoughts on Latin. I haven’t had too much experience with it myself attending Novus Ordo mass. It seems like it makes the faith less accessible.

    • Not really, Jordan. It might surprise you how quickly what you need to know can be learned. There have always been liturgical languages, Hebrew among the Jews, Latin among the Catholics. If anything, it makes faith MORE accessible, MORE comprehensible.

    • The Tridentine Latin Mass teaches the essential elements of the Faith in its very form. All of us facing God, the continual sacrifice of Malachi 1:11. The majesty and reverence cannot be found anywhere else, other than the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. I have been in an FSSP parish for 2+ years, and will never return.

      Find the nearest TLM and make it your only Mass, even if it means moving.

    • I have my grandmother’s 1962 Marian Missal and I’m counting the days until I can use it. Seems like missals make the mass readily accessible but one must pay attention….

    • Not really, Jordan. It takes a little bit of effort and patience but you will be surprised how quickly it all falls into place. Visually the TLM is much more obvious. And you have your Missal, Latin on one side, English on the other. When I first started going to the TLM I found the best thing to do was prepare at home first, familiarize myself with the Missal….then go to Mass and just watch and listen. Learn to recognise the first line of the prayers so that you know where you are. It took me about 3 months to be comfortable and able to follow. By two years I could sing all the responses and by now…getting on for 5 years…it all seems second nature. On the odd occasion when I have no choice but to go to a NO it seems alien. When I first started to go, a friend advised me to go for 10 weeks following…don’t give up…and by the end of 10 weeks you will “get it”. It was true.

    • I can see why you’d think that, but Latin is the official language of the Roman Rite and held to be a sacred language, it was used to communicate the idea of the mystery during the mass and to prevent the priest from ad libbing or adding words or even heresy to the text.
      Furthermore, Catholics in the past were well catechized and received much religious instruction from the priest to the point that they know what’s taking place at the altar, for example, taking spiritual communion and uniting our intentions with the priest as he offers the sacrifice etc. As many have said below as well, there are missals where you can follow the mass and the prayers said as well with the Latin on one side and the English/Vernacular on the other. Upon attending my first TLM ever, I didn’t feel in any way the faith being less accessible, but following the prayers my faith was strengthened as the prayers contained in the TLM is much richer in theology and sacrificial language than that of the Novus Ordo. Had the faith been less accessible until the Novus Ordo Missae in 1969, the church must have been depriving its faithful for a very long time, in the East with its Slavonic language and in the West in Latin… obviously that’s not what we believe, even the council of Trent saw the error in the vernacular only masses of the Anglicans and condemned it as their liturgy was were prone to errors being added and the focus shifting from God to the people.
      I hope that helps.

    • Just a short note… a Latin illiterate myself, the mass before the council was quiet, easily accessible because we all use our personal missal — Latin text on the left, vernacular on the right — presented in parallel. You could tell where Father was by his actions, but not by speech as much, since most of the low mass was offered silently. Yes, there was some “timing” issues. Father would usually arrive at a critical point before I did, but since you had the text you were as familiar with the it as we are today with our responses et al.
      The quiet was its sensible characteristic, and it provided a consciousness of the Transcendent, something sorely lacking in the Novus Ordo. I have not attended a mass offered in Latin in fifty years, but I long again for the silence, the communal silence and rapt attention, the intimacy it provides with God.

        • No. SPPX perhaps thirty miles away, maybe more. I am fortunate to be in a parish where our pastor is devout. Novus Ordo, ad orientem, no exchange of peace. Daily adoration, benediction, rosary on Sunday.
          It could be far worse! I am very grateful, but the music on Sunday is murder…

      • I’m much, much too young to know about the “old days,” but my impression is that it was pretty good as long as it wasn’t offered by a hack political Cardinal in bed with the Kennedy’s, a Cardinal who arguably was drunk at the first funeral Mass ever offered for a U.S. President….

        When I read about some of these guys, the way things have gone since doesn’t really stun me.

    • Preparing at home is best. But there is nothing in my opinion more beautiful than a Solemn High Mass. From the Asperges me, Kyrie, the Gloria, Creed, Sanctus, Agnus Dei….these chanted prayers are powerful and most beautiful. Maybe go to youtube and listen to them. I cannot sing the Gloria or Creed by heart yet…but I’m getting there…and I am a painfully slow learner.

    • It’s not really about Latin. It’s about having a truly reverential Mass that makes you feel like you are in heaven already. Receiving your Lord kneeling at the alter rail, than cafeteria-style. Praying and kneeling during consecration, rather than being forced to do the sign of peace. Keeping a sense of the sacred, with only priests and layman in full religious clothes around the altar. The moments of silence, the sacredness.

      I was a fallen away Catholic for decades. Discovering Latin Mass turned me devout in no time at all. I attend Mass as often as I can now, abstain from meat on Friday, pray the rosary almost daily, traditional Catholic practices that were discouraged after Vatican II. While I have nothing against a reverential Novus Ordo Mass such as that you can experience at Brompton Oratory in London, your average Novus Ordo and the Latin Mass are world apart.

  13. In the same way Pope St Leo the Great repudiated the 2nd Council of Ephesus and called it the Robber Council, the same need to be done to Vatican II. The ambiguity in language led to the ‘conservatives’ and progressives having their own viable interpretation of the documents, so no, it is not the “misapplication” of the council, but the council itself that led to the lax discipline, protestantized liturgy, lukewarmness, religious indifferentism and undermining of several dogmas of the church.
    The fruits have been almost entirely rotten and we need the bishops to re-evaluate the council and all the reforms that came from it- new mass, new Canon law, new canonization etc. I may sound harsh, but imagine if Pope St Pius X or Pope Gregory XVI were with us today, they’d be stunned due to the lack of continuity, and mystified after seeing the “Prayer Meetings” at Assisi in 1986.
    Until the day comes, we should pray that God raises bishops, cardinals and a Pope who will have the courage to do it, i the same way Pope Leo I did.

  14. +1 Father Hugh Somerville-Knapman!
    I’m sure that Fr has much more insight and a deeper rationale that I ever did, but I come to the same conclusion years ago.
    VCII was a complete failure. None of the desired objectives were achieved. Instead of progressing the cause of salvation, the Church is in full retreat.
    I am trained as an engineer and have worked in the high-tech world for over 40 years. I know little to no formal theology.
    But from practical real-world experience, I can recognize failure. In my world, we stop doing what fails. At the very least, we retreat to what has worked and think how to proceed from there. IMHO, we have too few practical men in leadership positions in the church.
    The only explanations are incompetence or evil. I pray that they are only incompetent.

    • Maybe the Council was unimaginably successful. Maybe the drivers got precisely the results they were aiming for. Evidence suggests evil, not incompetence.

  15. The Secretariat of State is leading the way in waving good-bye to Vatican II. On the surface, an accord between the Holy See and the PRC conflicts with the spirit and letter of ‘Christus Dominus’, the Vatican II decree concerning the pastoral office of bishops in the Church. The bishops of the Patriotic Association are members of the PRC parliament. Those bishops, while technically part of an illicit Chinese bishops’ conference, are ultimately answerable to the civil authorities via the PRC Religious Affairs Bureau.

    Maybe this anticipated agreement will open the door for English bishops to sit in the House of Lords! What does an accord with the PRC suggest about the authority of the decrees of Vatican II ?

    The relevant passages from ‘Christus Dominus’:
    20. Since the apostolic office of bishops was instituted by Christ the Lord and pursues a spiritual and supernatural purpose, this sacred ecumenical synod declares that the right of nominating and appointing bishops belongs properly, peculiarly, and per se exclusively to the competent ecclesiastical authority.

    Therefore, for the purpose of duly protecting the freedom of the Church and of promoting more conveniently and efficiently the welfare of the faithful, this holy council desires that in future no more rights or privileges of election, nomination, presentation, or designation for the office of bishop be granted to civil authorities. The civil authorities, on the other hand, whose favorable attitude toward the Church the sacred synod gratefully acknowledges and highly appreciates, are most kindly requested voluntarily to renounce the above-mentioned rights and privileges which they presently enjoy by reason of a treaty or custom, after discussing the matter with the Apostolic See.

  16. Profound thanks for bringing Father Hugh’s critique to our attention. I would never have bumped into it. Common sense and genius have embraced!
    Thank God somebody said it plain, clear and without rancor.
    Who has the ears to hear? Who can read the signs of the times today?

  17. I am in total agreement with the good Father, but his recommendation will go nowhere with the current hierarchy. The Pope most Cardinals and Bishops keep shoving in our face the greatness of VII and that it must be adhered to.

    • Maybe I’m mistaken but I’m thinking that even Bishop Athanasius Schneider in the Kazakhstan statement relies most heavily on VII documents. It would seem to me to bolster the time honored teaching of the Church you could go even a little further back than that with even more credible documents. So, to me, it says, we don’t like what you’re doing but we love VII, we do NOT want to imply that we’re not with the VII, or that there was ANY problem before your arrival. I don’t know, maybe they mean VII stunk and you’re not even down with VII so you’re not even in the parking lot of the ball park but I still didn’t love that move.

      • I suspect and hope that Bishop Schneider knows more and thinks more than he is letting on. I don’t think he loves V II …I think he is just using their own words against them to make his case. If you start quoting pre V II documents you get labeled as a crypto Lefebvrian and neutralised.

        • “If you start quoting…” That’s of itself very telling isn’t it. So they’ve neutralized Catholicism essentially. These people are bad hombres but they were never stupid or incompetent.

  18. The Church will NEVER shed the yoke of Vatican II without a major schism. That is the reality. The usurpers will not give up their hard won gains from the past century- and, in particular, the past fifty years. That is the truth. The Modernists now own most of the church buildings and seminaries. What is left resides with the SSPX, and the Catholic Eastern rites. The Latin rite is in shambles. God, please help us!

    • Do give some credit to the FSSP, the Institute of Christ King, and other Traditional Latin Mass Catholics who are in communion with Rome. I attend FSSP masses and could not be more happy with my priest.

  19. Precisely why I feel totally Catholic assisting often at SSPX liturgies. The cardinals bishops and new mass are a complete and total disaster. The council was hijacked by radicals and is the butt of many jokes. We will know a tree by its fruit. I’ve had it with the emasculated Masonic bishops and open heresies. This pope is unabashedly satanic. Zero leadership. This priest is right, move forward with what made the church great before this ludicrous “council”. Good riddance.

  20. I would contend that Vatican II was necessary for the good of the Church into the future. It made it simple for the modernists and heretics, who had been growing in numbers and influence for several decades, to pursue their nefarious agenda. Now the unprecedented resultant crisis in the Church must reach its dramatic climax as quickly as possible, Thus: enter, stage left, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. It is his appointed role, and in accordance with the permissive Will of God to preside over the climax of this greatest ever crisis in the entire history of the Church. And he demonstrates, with ever word he utters; with very move he makes, that he’s the man for the job. We are all only too painfully aware how the worst of the worst in the Church, who have been around for many a long year, have been let of the leash under the approving eye of the purported “Vicar of Christ.” From March 2013, they began to openly declare their hand. This whole, rotten edifice, this corrupted and increasingly false Catholic Church, must be toppled, never to rise again. And “the Council” will be forever buried in the rubble. Alleluia! Praise the Lord!

  21. Since it’s inception Vatican II has been a catastrophe for the Church. One needs to have read no further than, Dietrich von Hildebrand’s ‘Trojan Horse in the City of God—The Catholic Crisis Explained, published in 1967 to realize what was happening. For all intents and purposes the Vatican II, Novus Ordo, Catholic Church is a Protestant sect. For more on this see Novus Ordo Watch

  22. Well I read the must read article. He’s right. We are surrounded by the remaining old enthusiasts of v2. And just today I attended a training program featuring the mournful guitar work of the St Louis Jesuits. And we must all get along even though many are out to undermine what we hold very dear : passing on the Catholic faith whilst we can.

  23. As a new convert to the Church, one year this coming Easter, I came close to abandoning my pursuit of Catholicism because what I found inside the parish was not the same as what I found in history. It was painful to expect the beauty and grandeur of the Latin Church only find attitudes, teaching, and practices that resembled the Protestant ways I was finally convicted to leave behind. I pray and hope the Church can move forward and leave behind the experiment with conformity.

    • You, good sir, shall be in my prayers.

      My ancestors were Catholics from getting off the boat in the 1700s only to fall prey to God knows what in the 20th century.

      It is an odd feeling to see I have all the comforts and luxuries those penny-pinching peasants never dreamed of having, yet look at what’s happened to the parish life they once knew as their own. My ancestral parishes are all in fairly dismal shape. And yet they are better – much better – than some in more liberal dioceses. What a time.

    • God brought you home, M.W. The crisis in the Church WILL end one day. We have to cooperate with the grace of God and remain faithful to Him and the Church He founded – the Catholic Church.

    • Thank you for the encouragement. It is the Church founded by Christ and Him crucified that I pursue and will do so as best I can until this passes. Though She stumbles, She shall not fall.

  24. Thanks so much, Mr Williams. As you so rightly declare: “There is no need to restate the dire data here”.

    Sadly, as George Orwell’s hero Winston Smith stated in “1984”, freedom is the freedom to say 2 + 2 = 4. As one of Pope Francis’ pals has declared that 2 + 2 might = 5 in theology, let’s note a few catastrophic statistics before we are sent to Room 101 and emerge hailing the new dawn of VAT2.

    Ordinations to secular priesthood in England and Wales, 1965: 213

    Ordinations to secular priesthood in England and Wales, 2009: 14

    Obviously, those ordained in 1965 would have started their seminary training in 1959 and most likely made their settled decision for the priesthood even earlier. Once VAT2 was announced early in 1959, the future was immediately uncertain and all manner of speculation as to what might happen could begin.

    Note the long term decline of the once great diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, just south of the Scottish border. The glorious new dawn of VAT2 has utterly hollowed out the diocese, with Mass attendance dropping from 100,000 in 1981 to 37,000 by 2013….and most likely down to 30,000 by now. Numbers of priests have dropped in parallel.

    Other English dioceses have little to crow about.

  25. Praise God, let it be so that we could move past the entire mistake of VII and reclaim what so many misguided prelates tried to dismantle.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Popular on OnePeterFive

Share to...