Daily Archives: October 28, 2011

A Re-Wording of the Spirit of Vatican II

I was listening this morning to a Catholic talk radio station. The host was interviewing someone who described the effect of Vatican II with a term I have not heard before used in this context: Protestantism.

At first, I thought I had misunderstood what he said, but he repeated the word. He said that the reforms of Vatican II were attempts to return the Church to its more ancient roots which he likened to the reforms of protestantism.

I have to disagree with all due respect to the radio guest.

Vatican II was a thoroughly Catholic event under the guidance of two Popes, John XXIII and Paul VI. Both were vicars of Christ. The Holy Spirit guided the workings of this council as He has done in previous ecumenical councils. Of this, there can be no doubt unless one apostasizes from the one true faith. One may have some thoughts about how the reforms of the liturgy, ecumenism, religious liberty, etc. were operationalized, (and in fact we are updating the language of the Eucharistic liturgy – another reform resulting from Vatican II, not in a break from it or in opposition to it) but I don’t think one can accurately describe the results of Vatican II as protestantism.

The protestant reformation was a very different occurence, and sprang up in opposition to papal authority and Church Tradition (capital “T” not small “t” tradition).

Let us be careful with the words we are using to describe the influence of the Holy Spirit in the Catholic Church.