Saturday, July 25, 2020

Another Interview with Archbishop Viganò

Two Perspectives on Vatican II

The first is from theologian and bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla, as relayed by Sandro Magister: A Bishop and Theologian Breaks the Silence Over the “Banality” of Viganò and Company

In fact, this is the contribution of the most significant statements of this last decade, before, during, and after Pope Benedict's statement in 2005.
We could outline the theme of the legacy in three moves:
a) Vatican II as style: to resume the original way in which the council fathers (which historical studies have made known to us) posed problems with the method and resources that they put to work in order to propose a response to the challenges of their time in the interaction between subjects, textual “corpus,” and new readers;
b) the principle of pastorality: to bring out the originality of Vatican II, its creative ideas and its basic intuitions in the areas of both method and content;
c) the future of the Council: to rediscover the state of invention that characterized that epochal turning point and that today needs, at the beginning of the third millennium, a creative recovery and a new ecclesial pragmatics.

And the following is from Adam DeVille: Vatican II as “chosen trauma” and “chosen glory”.

If nothing else, the decision to be faced by Catholics today is whether we will allow ourselves to manifest the maturity necessary to stop treating Vatican II as either a trauma or a glory and instead to see it as all councils from our past: an event where some of the crooked lines of human history were used by God to write straight the salvation of the world. If He is content to leave some lines askew on the page, some tares and wheat in the fields of the Church until the end of the age (cf. Matt. 13: 24-30), why can we not grant ourselves the same freedom to stop clinging to pseudo-intellectual genealogies helpful to nobody and instead get to work healing today’s myriad crises in Church and world alike?
Even though DeVille is Ukrainian Catholic, he assumes that Vatican II was an ecumenical council, or at least a council of both Roman Catholics and of Eastern Catholics. As far as I'm concerned, even if various Eastern Catholic bishops signed the documents, that does not make Vatican II an ecumenical council, and even the claim that it was a "general" council of the churches in communion with the bishop of Rome is question, given the lack of equal weight given to Eastern perspectives. I see it in content and function as being a synod of the Latin churches in communion with the bishop of Rome, and it needs to be understood carefully: not as an ecumenical council, but as a Latin council with certain pretensions, to be historically situated in the development of the Roman papacy in the second millenium and with reference to the claims of Rome, which go back to the first millenium. It also must be understood with the proximate and not-so-proximate causes that lead up to the council, which explain why Latin bishops and theologians thought some sort of reform was necessary.