This guest post is provided courtesy of my husband Peter, a social studies/math teacher at a charter high school in Central California. He is in his 18th year of teaching in both public and private schools in Texas, Arizona, and California; he is also in his third official year of homeschooling. He is a lifelong Catholic, and a talented mineral collector and family historian/genealogist.
This is perhaps the most comically-awful analysis I have seen yet of the election of Pope Francis and the general state of the Catholic Church. One wonders if this author – and Matthew Fox, whom he cites extensively – has even a first-grade understanding of the Catholic Church or its history.
If one actually reads the documents of Vatican II, one will see that they don’t represent anything like what this author claims that the “letter” of Vatican II represents (I notice that he doesn’t actually cite or quote a single Vatican II document here). He simply makes a string of assertions about the feel-good things that Vatican II supposedly represented or called for and then declares that those things inherently take precedence over the teaching or authority of any Pope since then. This is a great illustration of the “misuse” of the Second Vatican Council. Some people wish to see it solely as a vague but total endorsement of freedom that involves removing all restrictions on anything and everything a Catholic wishes to do, but there is nothing whatsoever in the documents of Vatican II that support that view. On the contrary, it was actually a very “traditional” council in many ways.
Traditionalists who wish to blame Vatican II for liturgical abuses, the loss of vocations, and the many other maladies that have infected the Church since that time usually fail to notice that it wasn’t Vatican II itself which caused any of those things (the Novus Ordo, for example, was not a direct product of the Council). So, to claim that the previous two Popes were essentially heretical for trying to undo Vatican II is to completely misrepresent what the Council was about in the first place. This, of course, is just one of many statements in this piece that are just flat-out wrong – a great example of simply not thinking, and instead letting one’s judgment be guided by what are essentially emotional impulses and insecurities.
I also find amusing his argument that “the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio emerges from a Jesuit order that has been largely purged of its independent-minded or left-leaning intellectuals”. Really? Then why are there more than, say, five Jesuits still left?