Home Catholic How to Resist and Remain Catholic in a Post Vatican II World

How to Resist and Remain Catholic in a Post Vatican II World

by S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D

The Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, remains a topic of debate and controversy among Catholics. While some embrace its reforms and teachings, others find them incompatible with traditional Catholic doctrine and practice. For these individuals, the question arises: how can one resist Vatican II and still remain a good Catholic?

Understanding the Concerns:

Those who resist Vatican II often cite concerns regarding its impact on various aspects of the Church, including:

  • Liturgy: The shift to vernacular languages and changes in the Mass are seen by some as diminishing the sacredness and solemnity of the liturgy.
  • Ecumenism: While fostering dialogue with other Christian denominations is seen as positive, some worry it diminishes the unique and irreplaceable role of the Catholic Church.
  • Role of the Laity: The increased emphasis on lay involvement is seen by some as undermining the authority of the clergy and blurring the lines between ordained and lay ministries.
  • Social Justice: While advocating for social justice is important, some believe the focus on social issues detracts from the Church’s primary mission of spiritual salvation.

Remaining a Good Catholic:

Despite these concerns, there are ways to remain a faithful Catholic while maintaining reservations about certain aspects of Vatican II. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Focus on the Essentials: Differentiate between core Catholic doctrines and practices, which remain unchanged, and the specific reforms introduced by Vatican II.
  • Seek Guidance: Discern your concerns with trusted spiritual advisors, preferably those familiar with traditional Catholic teachings.
  • Embrace Tradition: Continue to cherish and uphold the rich traditions of the Church, including Latin Mass and devotional practices.
  • Engage in Dialogue: Seek respectful dialogue with others who may hold different views on Vatican II, fostering understanding and unity within the Church.
  • Maintain Fidelity: Remain committed to the Church, its teachings, and the Pope, even if you have reservations about specific aspects of post-Vatican II practices.

Finding Balance:

Resisting aspects of Vatican II does not denote an opposition to the Catholic Church or the Pope. It underscores a desire to preserve the Church’s long-standing traditions and ensure their rightful place in the modern world. Finding a balanced approach, where one upholds core Catholic principles while acknowledging the complexities of Vatican II, is key to navigating this challenging terrain.

Shayne Heffernan

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