Thursday, June 7, 2012

Available: "New Things and Old: Re-Implementing Vatican II"

By Wade St. Onge

Sorry I could not get the price cheaper, but because of the size of the book (428 pages), Lulu would not allow me to go much less than I did. The cute thing, though, is the price is the same as the year the Vatican II Council ended - 1965 (or $19.65).

DESCRIPTION (from the back cover)
Events that occurred and issues that arose before, during, and after the Second Vatican Council explain and demonstrate how its implementation was largely "hijacked" by a loose coalition of Church leaders influenced by a resurgent Modernist theology condemned as “the synthesis of all heresies” by Pope Pius X at the beginning of the century. Thus, the Council’s directives and teachings were never fully and truly actualized. As a result, the Church must now revisit the documents and implement them according to the minds of the Council Fathers. In heavily citing the documents themselves, various misinterpretations and misunderstandings are corrected, while key areas of renewal and reform outlined by the Council are highlighted and targeted for an overdue implementation.


“That all changed with Vatican II”. As I continued to study and delve into my Catholic faith in the years following my return to the sacraments in 1997, I was hearing this more and more from the people I would encounter and the books I would read. But the more I studied, the more I discovered that the “spirit of Vatican II” was being claimed for things that were not called for by the Council or even contradicted the Council.

I also became concerned about the term “pre-Vatican” being applied to those who assented to the dogmas of the Catholic Church, especially the more controversial and less accepted ones. I was loyal to the teachings and authority of the Magisterium, and since Vatican II was an expression of the Magisterium, I accepted the Council. In fact, I was in agreement with more of the Council’s teachings than those who were criticizing me for not accepting it. How, then, could people call me “pre-Vatican”?

These were concerns of mine as I entered the seminary. I saw the pastoral need to “set the record straight” on Vatican II. I began to read through the documents of Vatican II, pulling out statements which would demonstrate that so many changes (and proposed changes) that were claimed to be in the “spirit of Vatican II” were in contradiction to the actual teachings and directives of the Council documents. The more I read, the more confirmed I became in my position, and the more I came to realize how most of the people who speak about the “spirit of Vatican II” have obviously not even read the documents themselves.

The finished product was a much smaller work than this one. This initial document was basically Chapter 7 of this present manuscript with a brief commentary that was later spliced in here and there to Chapter 5.B.1. The idea to write a full book on this began when, having gone through the Vatican II documents and pulling out what it did not teach, I decided it was even more important to go through them again and write about what it did teach. I also became more aware that there were people who were indeed “pre-Vatican”, who rejected the Council, and I realized this must be addressed as well. Finally, I realized there was a whole back story that was the necessary foundation to truly understanding Vatican II.

In my re-reading of the documents, I was struck, when reading about the laity, how profound the conciliar statements were, and at the same time came to realize how little of it seemed to have become a reality in the Church. As I continued to study, I came to understand that due to various factors, the Council had never been fully implemented. Convicted that Vatican II was a prophetic work of the Holy Spirit that was relevant and important for our time, I began a work which would put forth my position, the reason for my position, and a plan to fully and properly implement the Council according to the mind of the Council Fathers.

Part I, consisting of chapters 1-4, describes the post-conciliar crisis and backtracks in order to explain its cause. Part II, consisting of chapters 5-6, addresses misunderstandings, demonstrates how the Council is not only relevant to the present but essential, and devises a plan for fully and properly implementing it today so it may bear fruit for years to come. The final part, Part III, consisting of chapters 7-9, extensively quotes the Council – first to correct those who claim the “spirit of Vatican II” for virtually every change (licit or illicit), secondly to correct “traditionalists” who claim that Vatican II is a “corruption” that must be “repealed”, and third and finally to synthesize the documents by arranging them according to category and thus presenting a condensed and orderly catalogue of the reforms and changes called for.

Chapter 9 need not be read from beginning to end as it is a “reference text”. For instance, a married layman involved in an interfaith pro-life group may want to look up and read the categories pertaining to the Faithful, the Laity, and Ecumenism. Furthermore, the chapter is not meant to be a substitute for the actual documents themselves. As with most theological works, reading the original is always best. For those who are so inclined, I would recommend this. For others, I would recommend, as a nice compliment to this book, Dr. Alan Schreck’s The Crisis and The Promise (cited later), which nicely summarizes and comments on the Council documents.

Admittedly, I overuse quotations and quote-string. Due to the fact I have never been published and am not well known, I must rely on the authority of others to be persuasive. 

Begun in 2002, I have finally, after many breaks and revisions, completed the project. Having been rejected by Paulist Press and Ignatius Press after submitting them upon request, and after exhausting all other possible Catholic publishers, I decided to self-publish.

Let us all hope and pray, along with the late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, and do our part, so that we may truly experience a “New Pentecost”.


Preface ... 8 


1. Chapter 1: The Past: A Council Betrayed ... 13

2. Chapter 2: Before the Council: Modernism ... 28

3. Chapter 3: During the Council: Two Schools ... 42 
A. Two Camps: “Conservatives” and “Liberals”
B. Two Schools: Scholasticism and La Nouvelle Théologie 
C. Preparation for the Council 
D. “Liberals” Defeat “Conservatives” 
E. Modernist Influence at the Council

4. Chapter 4: After the Council: Implementation Hijacked ... 76 
A. A Climate Ripe for a Modernist Explosion 
B. The Hijacking Begins 
C. Humanae Vitae: Death Knell of Church Authority
D. A “Mis-implementation”


Chapter 5: The Present – 50 Years Later:
            The Place of Vatican II Today ... 103 
A. Differing Views: Modernist and Traditionalist 
B. Response to Modernist and Traditionalist Views
C. The Relevance of Vatican II Today

Chapter 6: The Future: Re-Implementing Vatican II ... 169
A. Central Conciliar Theme: “What is New and What is Old” (Mt. 13:52)
B. Principles of Reform 
            1. Return to the Letter
            2. Discover the True Spirit
            3. Ressourcement / Aggiornamento
            4. Critical Reflection on the Initial Reform
            5. Reflection on Initial Reform: Church
                        (a) The Traditionalist Extreme
                        (b) The Modernist Extreme
            6. Reflection on Initial Reform: World
            7. Rooted in the Paschal Mystery
            (a) Goal: Deeper Reception:
                        Interior Assimilation and Practical Implementation
             (b) Pastoral Program: Five Points
C. The Pastoral Plan Explained


Chapter 7: The “False Spirit of Vatican II”:
                        33 Misunderstandings of Vatican II Corrected ... 190

Chapter 8: “Pre-Vatican”:
            10 Alleged “Errors of Vatican II” Refuted ... 219

Chapter 9: The “True Spirit of Vatican II:
            50 Key Council Teachings Presented ... 242

Detailed Outline ... 362
End Notes ... 402