"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Summary of Changes Since Vatican II: A Revolution in the Church

Summary of Changes Since Vatican II: A Revolution in the Church

What Has Changed? 

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, an unprecedented number of changes have been implemented in the Church. Not only was the ancient rite of Mass changed ("for the first time in history, a manufactured liturgy was imposed upon the faithful"), but there was also a new canon law, a new catechism, new prayers/songs, a new liturgical calendar, a new bible translation, new canonization procedures, new rites for ordination and baptism, new exorcism procedures, indulgences were changed, etc. 



Although not all changes were authorized or called for by Vatican II, the Second Vatican Council may be considered an impetus for such change. In fact, not just external practices have changed since this revolutionary council, but the entire orientation of the Church has changed. The changes, while not revising infallible dogmas - which, of course, is impossible - have nonetheless given the impression that the Church has changed entirely. 

In fact, some have referred to the Church after the Second Vatican Council not as the "Catholic Church", but as the "Post-Conciliar Church". This terminology is interesting especially in light of the fact that some post-conciliar documents from the highest levels of the Church may appear as if the Church itself started with Vatican II. As Amerio has stated, "This conviction that a great innovation has occurred in the Church, attested by the universal change in everything from ideas to material objects to terminology, is also apparent in the continual reference made to the faith of the Second Vatican Council, while abandoning reference to the one Catholic Faith, which is the faith of all the councils." In any event, the Church after the Council has clearly presented a "new face" to the world.

The following is a brief summary of some changes since the Second Vatican Council: 

  • Changed Indulgences 
  • Changed Blessings
  • Changed Calendar
  • New Canon Law
  • New Catechism
  • New Educational System
  • Religious Order Changes
  • Roman Curia Reorganized
  • Overthrow of Rules in Religious Life
  • Abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books (Index Librorum Prohibitorum)
  • Discarding of Symbols (papal chair, tiara, etc.)
  • Less Focus on the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Less Focus on Saints
  • Changed Artwork
  • Removal & Destruction of Existing Priceless Works of Art
  • Changed Music 
  • Changed Breviary
  • Changed Rosary - Note: Click here for more on this topic
  • Changed Prayers
  • Changed Orientation of Priests (e.g. "from spiritual to psychiatric", "from theological to psychological")
  • Changed Catechesis - It is well known that some popular catechesis actually is contrary to the perennial Catholic faith. Parents have even had to remove their children from 'Catholic' schools to protect them from false / dangerous teachings (including inappropriate sex education).
  • Adoption of Collegiality - This practice tends to weaken papal authority as well as the authority of individual bishops. As stated by Amerio, "The weakening of a unifying papal authority began institutionally with the transfer in 1966 to local bishops of certain faculties previously reserved to the Holy See... The bishops' law-making power was subsequently further enlarged, with a corresponding contraction of Roman jurisdiction, and received a definitive status in the new Code of Canon Law". Also, with collegiality, bishops are said to "actually suffer a loss of control" since they may tend to relinquish their authority to local or national councils. 
  • Increased Reliance on Lay 'Experts'
  • Increased Conformity to the World
  • Use of 'Medicine of Mercy' Rather Than Authority / Correction
  • Apparent Shift in Emphasis from Truth to Liberty - Contrary to the long-standing custom of fighting error & heresy, it now seems as though error & heresy are "not a big deal".
  • Apparent Forgetfulness of the Church's True Mission of Saving Sinners From Hell
  • Apparent Shift from Truth to Subjectivism
  • Apparent Exchange of "Certainty of Truth" for "Seeking of Truth"
  • "Focusing on Unity at the Expense of Truth"
  • Dropped Liturgical Seasons (e.g. Septuagesima)
  • Elimination of Ember Days
  • Elimination of Rogation Days ("which date from at least the 400's -500's - and which the saints participated in")
  • Reduction / Elimination of Octaves and Vigils
  • Changing of Friday Abstinence Regulations
  • Elimination of Preparatory Period Before Lent
  • Relaxation of Penance in Lent - "The observance of Lent is the very badge of Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of the cross of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God's glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, of private woe." (Pope Benedict XIV, 1741 A.D.)
  • Reduced Fast Days
  • Reduced Emphasis on Penance & Mortification / Near Elimination of Penitential Days - "...a private work of devotion has neither the merit nor the efficacy of one that is done in company with the Church, and in communion with her public act; for the Church, as bride of Christ, communicates an exceptional worth and power to works of penance done, in her name, in the unity of the social body. St. Leo the Great is very strong on this fundamental principle of Christian virtue. We find him insisting on it in the sermons he preached to the faithful of Rome on the occasion of this fast [September Ember Days], which was then called the feast of the seventh month. 'Although,' says he, 'it be lawful for each one of us to chastise his body by [certain] self-imposed punishments, and restrain, with more or less severity, the concupiscences of the flesh which war against the spirit, yet need is that, on certain days, a general fast be celebrated by all. Devotion is all the more efficacious and holy, when the whole church is engaged in works of piety, with one spirit and one soul.''" (Liturgical Year)
  • Apparent Forgetfulness That We Are a Church Militant - "We hear of a people of God on the march, a pilgrim Church - a Church no longer Militant against the powers of darkness, but one which, having lost its link with eternity, marches to a future envisioned in purely temporal terms." (Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci)
  • Apparent Distancing of Church from Calvary - According to Cardinal Wyszynski, "[The] post-conciliar church] is distancing itself appreciably from the event of Calvary".
  • Introduction of Constant Change / Loss of Stability - "The Church has lost the sense of stability. Prior to Vatican II, there was great stability. Those who sought change were the ones who were looked at suspiciously. Now, the psychology has been shifted to accept change." It now almost seems as if nothing is free from change.
  • Emphasis Shift - In contrast with Holy Scripture, which tells of God's love and mercy, yet often details the rigorous punishments for disobedience to God, the Post-Conciliar Church tends to focus rather heavily on love and mercy. As the Baltimore Catechism reminds us, "The forgetfulness of God's justice will lead us into the sins of presumption."
  • Changes to Rituals Which Cause a Widespread Loss of Reverence & Solemnity, Frequent Incidents of Liturgical Abuse, Sacrilege, and Profanation
  • Toleration of Undue Freedom
  • Apparent Refusal of Shepherds to Act as Such - "Bishops and other ordinaries should remember that they are shepherds... and that they must so rule over their subjects as not to dominate over them but to love them as sons and brothers; they should endeavor by exhortation and admonition to deter them from wrongdoing lest they be obliged to administer due punishment after the faults have been committed." (Council of Trent)
  • Apparent Forgetfulness on the Part of Shepherds That Their Primary Job is to Save Souls - "Now priests seem to think their job is to make us feel better about ourselves or to act as psychiatrists."
  • Frequent Distortion / Corruption of the Concept of Love / Charity
  • Apparent Changed Outlook on Death Penalty - Contrary to what has always been taught by the Church, the post-conciliar Church appears to condemn the death penalty even for those guilty of grave crimes. However, as the Catechism of the Council of Trent states, "Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this [Fifth] Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the [Fifth] Commandment is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord."
  • Changed Treatment Regarding Those Who Commit Suicide - Since the Second Vatican Council, it is commonly assumed that persons who take their own life are not responsible for their actions. While this may make the survivors feel better, it shows great forgetfulness that such an action is objectively a grave sin against God (the unlawful taking of one's life, the sin of despair, etc.). It also tends to ignore the fact that the Church holds that one who is guilty of an unrepented mortal sin will suffer eternal damnation. Further, it does not discourage others from taking an action which may lead to their eternal ruin.

  • Increased Democracy in the Church - Note, of course, that democracy is contrary to the Church's hierarchical nature, as established by Christ
  • Shift in Emphasis From Truths to Feelings
  • Apparent Exchange of Certainty for Relativism 
  • New Bible Translations - New translations of Holy Scripture have been approved which "give the Church's enemies much to be thankful for". In addition to "watering down" passages relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the new translations may also be criticized for certain footnotes, headers, questionable translation choices, inclusive language, "heterodox tendencies", "linguistic imprecision", etc. In fact, in one well-known, widely-used translation, the word "hell" is completely excluded.
  • Changed Architecture - In contrast to the splendor of Solomon's temple and to the beautiful, holy and inspiring Catholic churches of times past, many modern churches are plain, functional, barren, and even ugly. Before, they gave honor to God and "instructed and raised the heart and mind to God". Nowadays, churches tend to be egalitarian and often fail to achieve the lifting of one's heart and mind to God.
  • Shift From Individual Responsibility to Community Responsibility / Near Elimination of Personal Responsibility
  • Less Emphasis on the Value and Necessity of Suffering 
  • New Canonization Procedures - The numerous changes have led to an unprecedented number of canonizations, and have also led some of the faithful to express concern over various aspects of the new procedures [e.g. elimination of the "devil's advocate", reduction of the waiting period (allowing the process to be conducted while 'emotions are high'), loosening of procedures, reduction in the number of required miracles, concerns over conflicts of interest, concerns over the elimination of unfavorable witnesses deemed "unsuitable", concerns over "political correctness" in the canonization process, concern that the process may not prevent factual errors, concern that the process has become politicized (e.g. using canonization to advance certain causes), concern over lost confidence in the process, concerns regarding the reduced role of the pope, and even some concern regarding the infallible nature of canonizations, etc.] Click here for more on this topic.
  • Altered Devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary & the Saints 
  • Changes Which Give the Impression That Traditions & Dogmas May be Open to Compromise 
  • Clear Unity Replaced by "Search for Unity"
  • Shift from "One True Church" to a Near Universal Religion 
  • Increased Concern Over Public Opinion
  • Apparent Relinquishment of Authority in Favor of a "Desire to Please"
  • Changed Vocabulary / Terminology (Often Ambiguous, Less Precise) - For example, rather than refer to the Church as the Catholic Church or Catholics as Catholics, they may simply be referred to by the generic term "People of God".
  • Frequent Surrender in the Face of Pressure
  • Heterodox Teachers / Prelates Frequently Tolerated - "It is a miserable time when a man's Catholic profession is no voucher for his orthodoxy, and when a teacher of religion may be within the Church's pale, yet external to her faith." (Cardinal Newman)  
  • Over-emphasis on Human Dignity
  • Widespread Lack of Awareness of One's Own Sinfulness
  • Apparent Forgetfulness of the Reality of Evil
  • Toleration of Actions Which Tend to Threaten the Indissolubility of Marriage (e.g. unprecedented number of annulments)
  • Reduction in Demands Made of Catholics - "Relaxing of rules teaches that duties can be eliminated when they prove difficult, it also results in the relaxing of the will, and provides no checking of natural impulses." According to Cardinal Wyszynski, "[The post-conciliar Church] is reducing its demands and no longer resolving problems in accordance with the will of God, but in accordance with man's natural capacities".
  • Revolutionary New, Protestantized Liturgies - "With all due respect, some Catholic churches have become Protestant churches or community halls." (Msgr. Campell) Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci have even stated that "To prepare a complete study of all the pitfalls, dangers and psychologically and spiritually destructive elements the new rite contains, whether in texts, rubrics or instructions, would be a vast undertaking." Note: Click here for more on this topic.
  • Changed Ordination Rite - According to Davies, the ordination rite "has been Protestantized even more thoroughly than the New Mass". He says that, "[E]very prayer in the traditional rite which stated specifically the essential role of a priest as a man ordained to offer propitiatory sacrifice for the living and dead has been removed. In most cases these were the precise prayers removed by the Protestant Reformers, or if not precisely the same there are clear parallels."
  • Changed Baptisms - According to Fr. Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist in Rome: "the rite of baptism for children has also been spoiled. It has been so drastically overhauled that the exorcism against Satan has virtually been eliminated. This had always held a very great importance for the Church, so much so that it is called the minor exorcism. [Pope] Paul VI himself publicly protested against this new rite."
  • Changed Rites for Other Sacraments - Many of these changes have been drastic.
  • Elimination of Explicitly Sacrificial Prayers in Mass - This change is quite troublesome as it parallels the changes made by the Protestant 'Reformers' in the 16th century. Note: Click here for more on this topic.
  • Changed Readings at Mass. Note: Click here for more on this topic.
  • Changed Cycle of Readings For Mass - The new sequence is based on a 2-3 year cycle of readings rather than a one year cycle (which means that the same readings may take up to three years to reappear, thereby reducing retention).
  • Changed Mass Prayers. Note: Click here for more on this topic.
  • Abolition of Black Vestments
  • Loss of Minor Orders [Note: Traditional communities may still use minor orders.]
  • Introduction of Audible Liturgy. Note: Click here for more on this topic.
  • Changed Altars - Marble altars have been replaced by wooden tables
  • "Demotion" of the Altar - The altar, which represents Christ, in many new (or "wreckovated") churches, rather than being elevated above the laity, may now be on the same level as - or even lower than - the laity
  • "Demotion" of the Tabernacle - Often, the Tabernacle has been removed from the altar and has even been moved outside the church (e.g. into a chapel). As Pope Pius XII said, "To separate the Tabernacle from the Altar is tantamount to separating two things which, of their very nature, must remain together." 
  • Communion Under Both Species - This practice has led to profanation, sacrilege, and the blurring of the distinction between priest and laity. This practice as was "introduced illegally and as a rebellion against authority". Note: Click here for more information
  • Introduction of Vernacular Language - With the adoption of the vernacular, the Church loses control, she loses her universality, exchanging her prayers said in "one voice" to more closely resemble "the Tower of Babble". Not only does the Church have to waste time, money, and effort on translations - which have proven to be faulty - her doctrine has suffered from lack of safeguards. "As referring to the use of the vernacular in liturgical prayers - false, rash, disturbing the prescribed order of the celebration of the mysteries, and easily productive of many evils." (Pope Pius VI, "Auctorem Fidei", 1794 A.D.) Note: Try here for more information
  • Communion in the Hand - This practice has also led to profanation, sacrilege, and the blurring of the distinction between priest and laity and was also "introduced illegally and as a rebellion against authority". Note: Click here for more information
  • Reduced Eucharistic Fast
  • Elimination of the Altar Rail - With the removal of the altar rail, not only are communicants encouraged to stand rather than kneel for Holy Communion, but its removal serves to blur the distinction between the sanctuary and the nave and between the priest and the faithful.
  • "Impoverished" Liturgical Vestments
  • Possible Elimination of Relics in Altars - Prior to the Second Vatican Council, altars were required to contain relics. This may be traced back to the earliest days of Christianity when Christians (that is, Catholics), celebrated Masses on the tombs of saints. It also corresponds to Scripture, where we see the martyrs under the altar (See Rv. 6:9). After Vatican II, this practice may be optional.
  • Reduction in Altar Cloths
  • Replacement of Sacred Chant By Secular Music - This change has also been accompanied by a change in musical instruments (e.g. from a pipe organ to guitars and drums).
  • Elimination of Side Altars - "The proposition of the synod enunciating that it is fitting, in accordance with the order of divine services and ancient custom that there be only one altar in each temple, and therefore, that it is pleased to restore that custom, [is condemned as] rash, injurious to the very ancient pious custom flourishing and approved for these many centuries in the Church, especially in the Latin Church." (Errors of the Synod of Pistoia, Condemned in the Constitution "Auctorem Fidei," Aug. 28, 1794 A.D.)
  • Many Dropped Feast Days - Many feast days were dropped from the universal calendar (or given a lesser status). Note that many of these feasts trace back hundreds of years or more and include especially popular, beloved saints. 
  • Drastic Changes in Prayers for Remaining Feasts - For example, one priest has pointed out that "All Souls' Day is [now] No Souls' Day, even in the original Latin, where the word for soul (anima) has been suppressed in the prayers of November 2." 

  • Candles in Church - Reduced or eliminated. Some may now be artificial.
  • Crucifix in Church - May be reduced in size, distorted, may not contain a suffering Jesus, etc. Some may be simply plain crosses
  • Changed Emphasis of Penance / Exchanging of Confessionals for 'Reconciliation Rooms - Since the Second Vatican Council, the Sacrament of Penance can almost seem to be a psychiatric session rather than an expression of sorrow for one's sins. In fact, the confessionals themselves have been replaced by "reconciliation rooms" in many parishes. Traditional style confessionals are small "boxes" (or "little booths") which (usually) contain a fixed screen and a kneeler. They are humble, anonymous, and may be dark and somewhat "confining". Traditional confessionals help create an atmosphere proper to the confession of one's sins; sins which destroy our friendship with God and (if not forgiven) may cause us to suffer eternal hellfire. "Reconciliation rooms" may be more "cheery", spacious, and tend to de-emphasize the seriousness of sin, making it seem a "slight matter". They do not induce humility and are not nearly as likely to draw our consideration to the fact that sin could cost us our eternal souls. The "chit chatting" in the confessional may also tend to blur the distinction between the priest and the laity as it tends to de-emphasize the priest's awesome power of forgiving sin and the fact that he holds Christ's place (as judge and healer) - but instead tends to makes him more akin to one's peer.
  • Shift From Formality to Informality
  • Elevation of Man / Apparent Forgetfulness of God (Man-Centered vs. God-Centered) - There seems to be a turning away of man's eyes from God to man. Further, given the changes since the Council (relaxation of penance, discipline, etc.) one might even ask, "Has the council done nothing but seek to please men?"
  • Appearance of an "Elastic Creed" - According to Cardinal Wyszynski, "the Creed has become elastic and morality relativistic".
  • Shift in Emphasis From "Life is a Difficult, Serious Journey" to "Life is a Joy" - Such a shift not only fails to keep us focused on our true purpose in life, but it also fails to prepare us for the difficulties we may encounter.
  • Apparent Forgetfulness of Fear of the Lord / Fear of Judgment - "'Do not fear those who can kill the body and then can do nothing more; but fear Him who has the power to kill both body and soul in the Gehenna of fire; so I tell you fear Him.' If, then, the Lord inspired fear, and inspired it strongly, and doubled it by repeating the threat, I ask you, is it wrong of you to fear? I would not say that. Fear openly, there is nothing better for you than fear; there is nothing you ought to fear more." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 5th century A.D.) As St. Paul says, "So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling." (Phil. 2:12)
  • Frequent Inappropriate Handling of Holy Things - The laity now often handle - even carelessly - the most sacred of all things, Jesus' Body & Blood in the Holy Eucharist, despite the fact that we see in the Old Testament that God struck Uzzah down after he touched something he shouldn't have (the Ark). Worse still, since many take Communion in the hand (click here) and don't examine their hands for particles, they cause Christ's body to literally be thrown on the ground and trampled on. Note: Remember that even the smallest particle is Jesus' flesh & blood, whole and entire: "Christ, whole and entire, is contained not only under either species, but also in each particle of either species." (Catechism of the Council of Trent) 
  • Apparent Consideration of Jesus as Our "Buddy" Rather than as Almighty God, Our Lord and Judge
  • Adoption of Non-Catholic Spirituality by Certain Members of the Church (e.g. yoga) - Such (dangerous) practices may be accompanied by pagan rituals/symbolism, and those who practice them may attempt to discredit traditional Catholic spirituality.
  • Reduced Eucharistic Adoration
  • Changed Sacramentals
  • Lay 'Ministers' Note: Click here for more on this topic.
  • Female Altar Servers
  • Near Loss of the Latin Language
  • Heresy Tolerated (or Not Forcefully Condemned) - Such toleration of heresy / strange doctrine tends to increase the danger of poisoning of the Faith. "St. Paul's command to Timothy not to teach strange doctrine has been turned on its head: skepticism and mobilism lead people to look for strange doctrines as if they were a sign of a living faith." (Amerio) 
  • Frequent Adoption of Terminology Acceptable to Protestants (e.g. table vs. altar, bread vs. Host, etc.)
  • Seeming Attempt to Cover Over (or Rework) the Doctrine of "No Salvation Outside the Church" Note: Click here for more information 
  • Shift From "Repugnance" Towards Modern World to Embracing of the Modern World
  • Implications That Previous Church Documents / Dogmas Expire or Lose Validity
  • Apparent Denial of Absolute Truths / "Denial of Certainty"
  • Changes Which May Imply a False "Absolute Equality" of Sexes
  • Concessions to a Harmful Feminist Agenda / Discounting Traditional and Scriptural Concepts Regarding the Proper Actions & Roles of Women[e.g. women being silent with covered heads in church; wife's duty of obedience; wife's primary role as mother; etc. try here for more info)] - "Such support also tends to encourage women to become 'units of production', sacrificing their families (including having fewer children) to work outside the home."
  • Appearance of a "Watered Down" Doctrine
  • Apparent Adoption of Previously Condemned "Situation Ethics" Where Subjective Judgment and Moral Relativism Replace Objective Truths and Absolute Moral Standards
  • Apparent Support for the Condemned Concept of "Separation of Church and State"
  • Apparent (or Actual) Change of Purpose in Various Religious Orders
  • Apparent Shift From the Service of God to the Service of Man
  • "Denigration of the Historical Church" - There seems to be no shortage of persons disparaging the Church's past, even high ranking prelates. "The Church, which has never betrayed the happiness of the people by consenting to dubious alliances, does not have to free herself from the past" (Pope St. Pius X, "Our Apostolic Mandate")
  • Detachment from the Past / Disregarding of the Past / Disparaging of the Past (e.g. the Church's glorious past has been seemingly exchanged for a "sinful past that requires numerous apologies") - Includes a "near silence on all things of the past" and a "sweeping away of historical elements - a wholesale overthrow of hundreds of years or more of tradition - which has served to cut modern Catholics off from previous Christian generations."
  • Less Discipline / Less Recourse Against Offenders - According to the Council of Vienne, and well-verified over the last several decades, "where discipline is despised, religion suffers shipwreck." Not only are there fewer reasons for automatic excommunication in the new Canon Law, but there appears to be a reluctance to discipline all but two types of persons: (1) the most severe offenders, and (2) traditionalist Catholics. Scripture is clear that those who are not disciplined are bastards (Heb. 12:8). St. Augustine considers that*, "A father beats a boy, and a seducer of boys caresses. If you but name the two actions, who would not choose the caresses and decline the blows? But if you take note of the persons whose actions they are, it is love that beats the boy and iniquity that caresses him." St. Augustine also writes, "[I]n reading the testimonies of Sacred Scripture which indicate that there is presently, or foretell that there will be in the future, a mingling of good and evil person in the Church, anyone who understands these testimonies in such a way that he supposes the diligence and severity of discipline ought to be relaxed and omitted is not taught by those same writings but is deceived by his own conjecture... In our times, when the sword has ceased to be visible in the discipline of the Church, what must be done is point out by degradations and excommunications." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 413 A.D.) [* Note: The reader is reminded that discipline of children should obviously be done within reason. One should not abuse children.]
  • Internal Dissent
  • Relaxation of Rules - "When rules are relaxed, people act worse, not better"
  • Frequent (Apparent) Adoption of a Policy of "Shutting One's Eyes to Sin" (especially sins against the first commandment) - According to Cardinal Wyszynski, "[the post-conciliar Church] shuts its eyes to sin, and is afraid of being reproached for not being modern"
  • Changed Environment Requiring Catholics to Make a Distinction Between "Traditional Catholics", "Conservative Catholics", "Progressive Catholics", Etc.
  • Manner of Reform Itself is a Break With Tradition - "[Previously,] All genuine reforms within the Church have been based on old foundations; none have attempted to lay new ones. To attempt to lay them is the essential characteristic of heresy, from the Gnosticism of the first centuries, to Catharism and the other mediaeval heresies regarding poverty, to the great German heresy of the sixteenth century." (Amerio)
  • Certain Elements of the Reform Are Difficult to Reconcile With Tradition - "Indeed, the extent and depth of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council call for a renewed commitment to deeper study in order to reveal clearly the Council's continuity with Tradition, especially in points of doctrine which, perhaps because they are new [!], have not yet been well understood by some sections of the Church." (Pope John Paul II) Note: It should be remembered that the Church cannot create new doctrine, but exists to preserve and pass on the doctrine it has already received. For more on this topic, click here.
  • Increased Local Authority at the Expense of Papal Authority
  • Ridicule and Persecution of Those Who Uphold Traditional Doctrine & Practices - This occurs even as those who spread heterodox teaching and perform sacrilegious acts go unpunished - or even rewarded.
  • Universal Documents May No Longer Be Published in the Church's Official Language
  • Movement From Unity to Disunity / Uniformity to Pluralism
  • Shying Away From 'Negative' Topics (Hell, Judgment, Sin, Purgatory, etc.) - "We no longer talk about sin at precisely the same time as the world is more sinful than ever!"
  • Heterodox Teachings Common
  • Wayward Prelates Not Corrected
  • Seeming Denial of the Loss of Human Dignity When One Commits Sin - and Therefore Becomes the Slave of Sin - "Jesus answered them, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.'" (Jn. 8:34)
  • "Apparent Lack of Critical Thinking and Discounting of Reason" by Certain Liberal Prelates
  • New Orientation (Horizontal Vs. Vertical)
  • Lost Missionary Impetuous
  • Less Focus on Last Things
  • Failure to Refute Errors - Error refutation has been exchanged for "dialog".
  • Document Changes - Post-Vatican II documents tend to be vague / ambiguous and may even appear to contain contradictions. According to Davies, "This is typical of the conciliar documents, which contain passages that contradict each other or cancel each other out... [Even one Protestant 'observer'] noted the extent to which the conciliar documents are compromise texts: 'On far too many occasions they juxtapose opposing viewpoints without establishing any genuine internal link between them.'" 
  • "Excessive Optimism" - There have been charges of "utopian, excessive optimism", "undue optimism, as though all differences could be composed by good will", "failure to appreciate original sin", etc. This seems to overlook the fact that "moral corruption is advancing with rapid strides" (Pope Leo XIII, Arcanum, 1880 A.D.)
  • Lack of Awareness That We Have Enemies - "We now act as though we have no enemies, either earthly or spiritual. This sounds nice, but isn't realistic." As St. Peter warns, "Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour." (1 Pt. 5:8)
  • Increased Focus on Earth Rather Than Heaven - "We now seem to be focused on a paradise on earth which can never occur."
  • Seeming Shift from Supernatural Outlook to Worldly Outlook
  • Went From Laments to a 'New Springtime' - Recent pre-conciliar popes issued a number of troubling laments regarding the state of the world before the Second Vatican Council. For example, consider the following laments of Pope Leo XIII:
"Now, Venerable Brethren, you know the times in which we live; they are scarcely less deplorable for the Christian religion than the worst days, which in time past were most full of misery to the Church. We see faith, the root of all the Christian virtues, lessening in many souls; we see charity growing cold; the young generation daily growing in depravity of morals and views; the Church of Jesus Christ attacked on every side by open force or by craft; a relentless war waged against the Sovereign Pontiff; and the very foundations of religion undermined with a boldness which waxes daily in intensity. These things are, indeed, so much a matter of notoriety that it is needless for Us to expatiate on the depths to which society has sunk in these days, or on the designs which now agitate the minds of men. In circumstances so unhappy and troublous, human remedies are insufficient, and it becomes necessary, as a sole resource, to beg for assistance from the Divine power." (Pope Leo XIII, "Quamquam Pluries", 1889 A.D.)
"Can we be Catholic in mind and heart and gaze with dry eyes on that land where our wondrous Redeemer deigned to establish the seat of His kingdom? Now We see His teachings attacked and His reverence outraged, His Church embattled and His Vicar opposed. So many souls redeemed by His blood are now lost, the choicest portion of His flock, a people faithful to Him for nineteen centuries. How can We bear to look upon His chosen people exposed to a constant and ever-present danger of apostasy, pushed toward error and vice, material miseries, and moral degradation?... Finally, the general social order is undermined at its foundations. Books and journals, schools and universities, clubs and theaters, monuments and political discourse, photographs and the fine arts, everything conspires to pervert minds and corrupt hearts. Meanwhile the oppressed and suffering people tremble and the anarchic sects arouse themselves. The working classes raise their heads and go to swell the ranks of socialism, communism, and anarchy. Characters exhaust themselves and many souls, no longer knowing how to suffer nobly nor how to redeem themselves manfully, take their lives with cowardly suicide." (Pope Leo XIII, "Custodi Di Quella Fede", 1892 A.D.)
Since the Council, the world has seen a drastic erosion of morals and a marked increase in all forms of sin (including serious sins of abortion, euthanasia, adultery, homosexual actions, contraception, etc.). In fact, serious sin seemingly runs rampant in nearly all corners of the world. Further, the Church itself has been plagued by scandals, disobedience, heterodox prelates, liturgical abuse, confused faithful, etc. Her children often do not listen to Her and may even boldly reject Her teachings. Given the present grave situation in the world and in the Church, one would expect to find increasing laments from the highest levels of the Church. Instead, we have been told that the Church after the Council is experiencing a "new springtime" and a "new Pentecost". Despite the overwhelmingly bad fruits of the last four decades (click here), it is said that the Council has been a "new surge of life for the Church" and that "In spite of all appearances, the Church is now more united in the fellowship of service and in the awareness of apostolate" and that she is now "more serviceable for her mission of salvation for all". 
  • A New Optimism Which Seems to Deny Original Sin & Its Effects - Since the Council, there has been "indefensible, unwarranted optimism". In fact, it has been said that "we are so optimistic now that it almost seems that our weak flesh is no longer subject to sin!" Some people actually seem to believe that the Council did away with sin, hell & purgatory - and contrary to scripture, many seem to believe that all persons will eventually be saved (the false concept of "universal salvation"). As St. Paul says, "Be not deceived: God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap." (Gal. 6:7-8)
  • "Modernizing Party" No Longer Criticized - Although Pope St. Pius X called modernism "the synthesis of all heresies", and made prelates take the Oath Against Modernism (click here), the post-conciliar Church has eliminated such protections, and has even appeared to adopt certain elements of the modernist mentality. Some have lamented that "Yesterday's orthodoxy has become today's heresy" (Davies).
  • Less Papal Authority Accepted
  • Church May be Seen as More Weak - The lack of formal commands, anathemas, and warnings against sin / hell / judgment, etc. tend to give the impression that the Church has become more weak. Remember that "God is not weak" (St. Athanasius), and neither should His Church be!
  • Issuance of Numerous Papal Apologies - Although apologies may be thought to "smooth things over" on one hand, apologies from the highest levels of the Church may have serious negative outcomes (e.g. they may lead those outside the Church to question the Church's claim to hold truth). Further, those outside the Church seem to think that apologies "don't go far enough" and may constantly seek more apologies and other "concessions" for perceived wrongs. Some ask "How can we ask forgiveness of that which our forefathers gave their lives for?" Some wonder how previous papal condemnations are "simply discarded as 'failures to understand the circumstances'", especially when we are the ones who are so far isolated from those circumstances which surrounded them. Also, many wonder how someone can apologize for another person, while others may wonder how meaningful such apologies really are (especially since all parties are deceased and cannot speak for themselves). And, finally, it may be noted that "St. Peter was never called to apologize for Judas."
  • Adoption of an "Increased, Almost Insatiable Thirst for Novelty"
  • Went From Obedience to Disobedience 
  • Weakening of Authority in Minds of Faithful
  • Increased Independence 
  • Toleration of Cremation, Which Was Previously a Condemned Practice: "Can. 1203 § 1 The bodies of the faithful departed shall be buried, their cremation being reprobated. § 2 If anyone by any manner orders that his body be cremated, it is illicit to execute that desire; and if this was added to any contract or testament or any other act it is considered as not being added." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

  • Omission of Important Catholic Doctrines From the Liturgy - One attending the Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass - imposed on the faithful in the wake of the Second Vatican Council - may find that little or no mention is given to sin, devil, judgment, hell, need for penance, pains of purgatory, the Mass as a sacrifice, etc. Note: For more information, try here
  • Attempt to Alter the 'Sorrows of Mary' Devotion - Attempt to supplant the traditional version with a new version more suitable to Protestants.
  • Attempt to Alter the Stations of the Cross - Attempt to supplant the traditional version with a new version more suitable to Protestants.
  • Dropped: "Feast of the Most Precious Blood" - "Strange history of the Feast of the Most Precious Blood" (July 1): "This feast was instituted by Pope Pius IX in the mid 19th century and was elevated to the highest rank (first class) in 1934 by Pope Pius XI. The Pope who called the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII, called devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus the 'devotion of our times'. After Vatican II, the feast was dropped from the universal calendar, along with many other feasts."
  • Church Which Converted the World Vs. Church "Opened to the World" - "She is supposed to be a leaven in the world, not to let the world be a leaven in Her."
  • Seeming Support Given to False Doctrine of Evolution
  • Widespread Adoption of a False Ecumenism - This controversial practice has led to widespread religious indifferentism, watering down of Catholic doctrine, scandal, sacrilege, etc. It has hampered missionary activity, and leads to a false idea of "universal salvation". Note: For more on Religious Indifferentism, click here. For more on Ecumenism, try here.
  • The Mass Went From Being Criticized by Protestants to Being Praised by Protestants. Note: For more information, try here
  • Loss of Humility in Relation to God - Prior to the Second Vatican Council, Catholics displayed humility in a number of ways (e.g. silence in Church, kneeling, proper dress, proper behavior, etc.). They knew that the priest acted on behalf of Christ, and they behaved humbly towards him. They were aware that they were dependent on God, that they were unworthy to receive the Holy Eucharist, and that sin could cost them their eternal souls. Since the Council, Catholics often fail to display humility, even in church (e.g. by talking, sitting while the Eucharist is exposed, dressing inappropriately, turning their back on the Holy Eucharist, improper behaviors, etc.). Many seem to have lost respect for the lofty position of the priest, and even call him by his first name. Many also seem to have lost the sense of their smallness in relation to God and their unworthiness to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion (they even put the Host in their hands). They may presume that their sins will not lead to damnation, but rather (since they think they are "basically good persons") they imagine that they do not have to worry (click here for more on this topic). In fact, the important virtue of humility in relation to God can seem almost nonexistent among many Catholics.
  • "Repression of Explicitly Catholic Symbolism in Churches" - In the attempt to not offend non-Catholics, various Catholic churches have suppressed Catholic symbolism. This harms tradition and can lead to confusion on the part of the faithful (e.g. "does the Church no longer believe that...?"). Finally the loss of symbolism tends to lead to forgetfulness (imagine if crucifixes and crosses were suddenly removed from all churches) and removes opportunities to educate & inspire. 
  • Altered College of Cardinals
  • Abandonment of the Ancient Mass - In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, a New Rite of Mass (Novus Ordo) was imposed upon the faithful. Not only was such an imposition unprecedented in the entire history of the Church, but the New Rite of Mass has been criticized, even by high ranking prelates (e.g. Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci stated that: "[T]he Novus Ordo Missae - considering the new elements, susceptible of widely differing evaluation, which appear to be implied or taken for granted - represents, as a whole and in detail, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Holy Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent, which, by fixing definitively the 'canons' of the rite, erected an insurmountable barrier against any heresy which might attack the integrity of the Mystery."). Many Catholics - laity and priests alike - have suffered from being unable to worship in the same manner as the saints, their ancestors - in a manner that has produced great fruits. The differences between the two Rites of Mass is great, and the fruits speak for themselves (click here for more information). [Note: Thankfully, however, the traditional Mass is still licitly said and has been making a comeback worldwide. For more information, click here.]
  • "Reduced Safeguards for the Faith and Faithful" - Since the Second Vatican Council, various safeguards have been dropped (e.g. the elimination of the "devil's advocate", which helped assured that candidates for canonization were truly worthy; elimination of the need for an imprimatur, which helped protect readers from error; the elimination of the Oath Against Modernism, which helped protect the Church from modernism - the "synthesis of all heresies"; etc.).
  • Withholding of Anathemas - Formerly, the Church used the anathema both to protect the integrity of the faith and to protect the faithful. In fact, the unity in the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council has been attributed to the anathema, which prevents errors from spreading and makes true Catholic teaching clear. Nowadays, even high ranking persons in the Church who are engaging in outright disobedience, scandal, error, heresy, and even unspeakable actions are often subject to little or no discipline. In some cases, they are even rewarded! Previously, persons guilty of heresy & error would have been under anathema (and therefore punished/removed). Now they are often left alone or only slightly admonished. "Anathemas are biblical, historical - and now suddenly avoided like the plague - even though we have more need of them than ever." As Von Hildebrand has said:
    "The vilification of the anathema - though it is through the anathema that the Church has preserved her identity and the purity of her teaching since St. Paul and through the centuries - is a typical consequence of distorting love of neighbor, and of confusing this love with a weak cheerfulness, niceness, and readiness to give in. The fear of the anathema betrays above all a loss of the sensus supernaturalis, a lapse into that this-worldliness which is more concerned with the earthly welfare of man than with his eternal salvation."
    "The anathema is an act of love of God because it condemns the offense against God which lies in the distortion of Christian revelation and of the teaching of the holy Church, and because it officially unmasks error as error. The protection of the divine Revelation has been entrusted to the holy Church, and to fulfill this holy trust is a central act of holy obedience and of love for divine truth, and indeed for God Himself. And it is an act of sublime love of neighbor to protect the faithful from the poison of false teachings, for it is far more important and higher objective good for man to remain in the true faith, than to be relieved in his physical or psychic sufferings. The anathema is for men in statu viae (in their pilgrimage through life) something which protects that greatest good, which is so important for the salvation of their souls. It is thus a very great act of love because it protects the faithful from the deceits of heretics, who speak in the name of the Church, especially when they hold a position of authority and thus belong to the ecclesia docens (the teaching Church). These heretics are listened to with much sympathy and openness by the simple believing layman, and this makes it quite easy to seduce him to error and to poison his faith. Is it not a more fundamental, deeper act of love of neighbor to protect the faithful by unmasking heretics - and suspending them if they hold any office of authority - than to protect men against a plague, or to mitigate their poverty, or even to eliminate social injustice?... And even for him who is condemned it is an act of the greatest love of neighbor. It is for him like the knife of a surgeon which cuts away the cancer of a patient. It is a fully earnest admonition, an enlightenment as to his errors, an invitation to return to the truth. It protects him from completely lapsing into heresy without fully realizing it - it enables him to grasp the full incompatibility of his theses with the teaching of the holy Church, to feel the significance of his error, and with terrible seriousness it forces him to decide 'for or against God and His holy Church.'" 

    • "Commands vs. Urgings"- The Church, who represents Christ on earth, now seems to prefer to urge rather than command. But did Christ simply urge or did He command? Urgings, of course, are not the same as "commands", but instead give people the idea that such urgings may be discarded/ignored, or at least that one's assent is not absolutely mandatory. Persons may not realize that the salvation of their eternal souls depends upon following such "urgings".
    • New Practices Favored at the Expense of Traditional Doctrine - Not only are "new practices" favored since Vatican II, but old practices may be looked down on, seemingly forbidden, etc. This may occur even despite the fact that the "new practices" have been condemned by popes and saints (or even Scripture - e.g. 1 Cor. 11:5-10, 1 Cor. 14:33-35, 2 Jn. 1:10-11).
    • New Martyrology - A new martyrology has been issued, which eliminates various persons who have been venerated by Catholics for centuries. This seems to imply that the Church has been "fast and loose" with the facts for many years. Even the Second Vatican Council's ordering of the new martyrology seems to destroy confidence in the Church's traditional records - "The accounts of martyrdom or the lives of the saints are to accord with the facts of history." (Sacrosanctum Concilium)
    • Changed Religious Profession/Renewal of Vows - According to the Second Vatican Council: "Moreover, a rite of religious profession and renewal of vows shall be drawn up in order to achieve greater unity, sobriety, and dignity." (Sacrosanctum Concilium) Interestingly, religious orders were flourishing before the Council. Since the Council, however, religious life has been in a state of crisis. One is left to wonder why such rites which were supposedly "less unified, sober and dignified" had done such a fine job for the Church for so long - whereas newer, "more unified, sober, dignified" rites have seen the "near collapse" of religious orders. Furthermore, some may find it offensive that our ancestors' practices were disdainfully judged to have been wanting in "unity, sobriety, and dignity".
    • Changed Marriage Rite - Although the Second Vatican Council called for the marriage rite to be "revised and enriched so that it will more clearly signify the grace of the sacrament and will emphasize the spouses' duties" (Sacrosanctum Concilium), the new marriage rite "utterly fails to adequately convey the most important principles of marriage" - e.g. that the husband is the head of the family (Eph. 5:23, 1 Cor. 11:3), that obedience is owed by the wife (Gen. 3:16), that the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation and education of children (1917 Code of Canon Law: "Can. 1013 § 1 The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children; the secondary [end] is mutual support and a remedy for concupiscence."), etc. Note: Click here for 'Marriage / Family / Home' Reflections (Catholic Life Section)
    • Increased Toleration of 'Mixed Marriages' - Despite the Church's continual warnings and prohibitions against the dangers of mixed marriages [e.g. "Can. 1060 Most severely does the Church prohibit everywhere that marriage be entered into by two baptized persons, one of whom is Catholic, and the other belonging to a heretical or schismatic sect; indeed, if there is a danger of perversion to the Catholic spouse and children, that marriage is forbidden even by divine law." (1917 Code of Canon Law)], such marriages today are often tolerated, or even thought of as "progress". This is contrary to almost innumerable warnings of the Church against such marriages, which lead to serious dangers for Catholics. Note: Click here for more information on 'Mixed Marriages' (Catholic Life Section)
    • Changed Funeral Rite - Previously, a deceased Catholic could expect that his funeral would be conducted with great reverence. The seriousness of sin and judgment would be clear. The priest would wear black. Persons would know that the soul of the deceased may stand in great need of prayers, etc. With the new rite, all is changed. The priest may wear white. The rite may be conducted with little reverence. Rather than hear about the seriousness of sin and judgment, one may hear a near 'canonization' of the person. Only the best catechized Catholics would know that the soul of the departed probably stood in great need of prayers. And, in fact, one may not think of the deceased's soul at all, since the word "soul" may not even be mentioned once in the entire rite! Should the eternal soul of the deceased person be saved, but in purgatory, he or she may well suffer great pains much longer since there seems to be little or no emphasis on their sufferings or need for prayer. Note: For more information on purgatory try here ('Purgatory Release Project' / Catholic Activities Section). As stated by Amerio: "[Formerly a funeral service was] an expression of piety and an occasion of intercession, and the body was honored with candles, incensation and aspersion with holy water. The officiating priest pronounced no panegyric, and was even forbidden to stay and listen to a funeral oration delivered by someone else. [The rite itself was the same for everyone, and was not altered by the fact of accidental additions of pomp and ceremony for some people. Praise was not to be given to anyone, but prayers were offered for all. The importation of the Protestant custom of laudatory speech about the dead person is wholly undesirable. Often the priest has not know the person in question and then, invidiously says nothing, or says something inappropriate about him. The humbler sort of people often have nothing said about them at all, while at the funerals of those who have held some prominent position in the world the priest goes on a length, irrespective of whether the man was religious or not.] Remembrance and prayers for the deceased were repeated on the seventh and thirtieth days after his death, and on the anniversary, when the Office of the Dead was often sung. Detailed provisions were made regarding these matters in wills, including the endowment of Masses, bequests for pious works, indulgences to be offered up, and specifications regarding the tomb." The loss of such precious traditions may cause the soul severe torment in purgatory (try here for more information).
    • Cutting off From the Past / Great Break With Tradition - It may appear that the Church has been taken over by "a group determined to cut itself off from its past". In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, "the liturgical traditions of a millennium are cast aside and the teaching which these traditions enshrined is ignored" (Davies)
    • Changed Exorcisms - Ancient prayers and practices used in exorcisms - which have been proven effective - may have been abandoned in the wake of Vatican II. The new procedures have been criticized by exorcists [e.g. for failing to include an actual exorcism - "an exorcism is not a prayer to God; exorcism is a command issued to the Devil in the name of God. The very word exorcism tells you that - exorcizo, I adjure" [As one priest ("Fr. X") says, "As with the so-called 'exorcism' in the modern Rite of Baptism, simply placing the sub-heading Exorcism does not make what follows an exorcism"], by giving the appearance that the priest does not have special power to cast out the devil, by omitting important directives in use for hundreds of years, for "scandalously [refusing] to bless objects but only persons", etc.], and even Pope Paul VI has said, "I do not know why we have shortened exorcisms: I am not sure that it was very realistic or fitting." Fr. Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist in Rome, has said "The declarations contained in the new Ritual are very serious and very damaging. They are the fruit of ignorance and inexperience." He also comments that the long awaited ritual "has turned into a farce. An incredible obstacle that is likely to prevent us acting against the demon." He also uses terms such as "absurd", "masterstroke of incompetence", "absolutely ineffectual", and refers to "grave errors" in the ritual, and says that "We have a clergy and an episcopate who no longer believe in the devil, in exorcisms, in the extraordinary evil that the devil can cause, nor in the power that Jesus has given us to drive out demons." He complained that exorcists are now "up against a wall of rejection and derision" from various high-ranking prelates.
    • Changed Blessing of Holy Water - The new rite may entirely exclude both a blessing and the traditional exorcism! One priest ("Fr. X") has stated that "[The Book of Blessings] is a book of non-blessings. To take but one example, the 'blessing' of holy water outside of Mass contains no actually blessing of the water. The closest thing to it is a prayer to God asking for certain effects by the use of this water. The so-called 'Prayer of blessing' (in Latin and English) refrains from using the world 'bless' even once, and there is no Sign of the Cross made over the water. The Devil must have laughed when that 'Book of Blessings' was issued. The traditional exorcism of water and salt, and all the other Roman Ritual's traditional prayers against the devil and his influence were almost completely abolished."
    • Controversies / Scandals - Certain persons even at the highest levels of the Church have been involved in various controversies / scandals (not to mention the clerical abuse scandals)
  • Lost Historical Continuity
  • Blurring of Distinction Between Priest & Laity / Apparent Loss of Respect for Priest - Enthralled with the "prestige" of being a 'lay reader' or 'lay minister' or otherwise feeling "empowered", many of the faithful have lost the sense of the ministerial priesthood and have come to believe there is little difference between themselves and the priest. They increasingly encroach on his responsibilities, even to the possible loss of eternal souls (click here for an example). They often have insufficient knowledge of the faith and frequently act inappropriately. They have even called for the priesthood to be brought down more - they might advocate the elimination of celibacy, women priests, priestless 'liturgies', etc. Most of the faithful have taken to calling the priest by his first name (e.g. "Fr. Bob") instead of the more respectful form (e.g. Fr. Smith). Biblical instructions such as "With all your soul, fear God, revere his priests" (Sirach 7:29) and "...treat him as sacred, because I, the LORD, who have consecrated him, am sacred" (Lev. 21:8) may seem foreign to many Catholics nowadays.
  • Many Priests Have Lost Gravity of Conduct - "What sad effects would not arise if that gravity of conduct which belongs to the priest, should be in any way lessened; if he should yield with lightness to the charm of every novelty; if he should deport himself with pretentious indocility towards his superiors; if he should lose that weight and measure in discussion which is so necessary, particularly in matters of faith and morals." (Pope Leo XIII, "Fin Dal Principio", 1902 A.D.)
  • Priests & Nuns May Now Wear Lay Dress - "And forasmuch as, though the habit does not make the monk, it is nevertheless needful that clerics always wear a dress suitable to their proper order, that by the decency of their outward apparel they may show forth the inward correctness of their morals; but to such a pitch, in these days, have the contempt of religion and the rashness of some grown, as that, making but little account of their own dignity, and of the clerical honor, they even wear in public the dress of laymen - setting their feet in different paths, one of God, the other of the flesh; - for this cause, all ecclesiastical persons, howsoever exempted, who are either in sacred orders or in possession of any manner of dignities, personates, or other offices, or benefices ecclesiastical; if, after having been admonished by their own bishop, even by a public edict, they shall not wear a becoming clerical dress, suitable to their order and dignity, and in conformity with the ordinance and mandate of the said bishop, they may, and ought to be, compelled thereunto, by suspension from their orders, office, benefice, and from the fruits, revenues, and proceeds of the said benefices; and also, if, after having been once rebuked, they offend again herein, (they are to be coerced) even by deprivation of the said offices and benefices; pursuant to the constitution of Clement V published in the Council of Vienne, and beginning Quoniam, which is hereby renewed and enlarged." (Council of Trent)
  • Community Emphasized at the Expense of Individual Piety
  • Lost Protection Against Errors (e.g. in Missal)
  • Introduction of Undignified Elements into Churches (e.g. offensive modern art, felt banners, projectors, etc.) - "[I]t is necessary that the spirit of the sacred liturgy and its directives should exercise such a salutary influence on them that nothing improper be introduced nor anything unworthy of the dignity of the house of God or detrimental to the sacred functions or opposed to solid piety." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)
  • Apparent Forgetfulness of Evil, Ruin of Souls, Damnation, Etc.
  • Adoption of "Constant Innovation" - It has gotten to the point that many post-conciliar documents "may be looked over for what they now allow, rather than what they prevent". As Pope Pius VI lamented many years ago, "Who would not be fearful at the present condition of the Christian people? The divine love by which we abide in God and God in us grows very cold as sins and wickedness increase every day. Who would not be shocked when considering that We have undertaken the task of guarding and protecting the Church at a time when many plots are laid against orthodox religion, when the safe guidance of the sacred canons is rashly despised, and when confusion is spread wide by men maddened by a monstrous desire of innovation, who attack the very bases of rational nature and attempt to overthrow them?" (Pope Pius VI, "Inscrutabile", 1775 A.D.)
  • Loss of the "Clear Conviction of the Heavenly Virtue" of Sacraments - "Not only are the faithful to be taught that confession was instituted by our Lord. They are also to be reminded that, by authority of the Church, certain rites and solemn ceremonies have been added which, although not essential to the Sacrament, serve to place its dignity more fully before the eyes of the penitent, and to prepare his soul, so that kindled with devotion, he may more easily receive the grace of God. When, with uncovered head and bended knees, with eyes fixed on the earth and hands raised in supplication, and with other indications of Christian humility not essential to the Sacrament, we confess our sins, our minds are thus deeply impressed with a clear conviction of the heavenly virtue of the Sacrament, and also of the necessity of most earnestly beseeching and imploring the mercy of God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)
  • Shift of Focus From the Spiritual to Earthly - Such shifts can be dangerous and lead us on the path of secular humanism. Clearly, the Church should be focused on spiritual matters rather than worldly matters. It is a fact that the idea of 'heaven on earth' is impossible given the Fall, and to promote such fantasies will inevitably lead to disappointment. We must remember that simple "good works" are not enough - we are not justified by good deeds alone. In fact, most persons have at least some good works to their credit. We must remember that all the good works in the world are of no avail whatsoever to one's salvation if a person dies with the guilt of a single unrepented mortal sin on his or her soul. [Refresher: "Faith teaches that the pains of Hell are eternal, and it also warns us that one single mortal sin suffices to condemn a soul forever because of the infinite malice by which it offends an infinite God." (St. Anthony Mary Claret) Note: This refers to an unrepented mortal sin. Every mortal sin - no matter how evil - can be forgiven if the sinner is truly contrite.] Further, it is said that "'natural goodness' can entice people away from true goodness - that which is done for love of God". We must further remember that it is impossible to please God without faith (Heb 11:6) and that "without faith, every human labor is empty" (St. Fulgence of Ruspe)

  • Adoption of Seemingly Endless, Fruitless Dialogue - "The word dialogue represents the biggest change in the mentality of the Church after the council, only compatible in its importance with the change wrought by the word liberty in the last century. The word was completely unknown and unused in the Church's teaching before the council. It does not occur once in any previous council, or in papal encyclicals, or in sermons or in pastoral practice. In the Vatican II documents it occurs 28 times, twelve of them in the decree on ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio. Nonetheless, through its lighting spread and an enormous broadening in meaning, this word, which is very new in the Catholic Church, became the master-word determining post-conciliar thinking, and a catch-all category in the newfangled mentality. People not only talk about ecumenical dialogue, dialogue between the Church and the world, ecclesiastical dialogue, but by an enormous catachresis, a dialogical structure is attributed to theology, pedagogy, catechesis, the Trinity, the history of salvation, schools, families, the priesthood, the sacraments, redemption, and to everything else that had existed in the Church for centuries without the concept being in anybody's mind or the word occurring in the language." (Amerio)
  • Apparent Abandonment of Scholasticism & Criticism of Scholastic Theology - "The theology of Thomism has been attacked and even discarded in some circles despite the fact that it was highly regarded by so many popes throughout the centuries." 
"Whether it is ignorance or fear, or both, that inspires this conduct in them, certain it is that the passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism, and there is no surer sign that a man is on the way to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for this system." (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907 A.D.)
Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors: "The method and principles by which the old scholastic doctors cultivated theology are no longer suitable to the demands of our times and to the progress of the sciences." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, This proposition was condemned in the Syllabus of Errors, Dec. 8, 1864 A.D.)
"For these reasons most learned men, in former ages especially, of the highest repute in theology and philosophy, after mastering with infinite pains the immortal works of Thomas, gave themselves up not so much to be instructed in his angelic wisdom as to be nourished upon it. It is known that nearly all the founders and lawgivers of the religious orders commanded their members to study and religiously adhere to the teachings of St. Thomas, fearful least any of them should swerve even in the slightest degree from the footsteps of so great a man... And we know how in those great homes of human wisdom, as in his own kingdom, Thomas reigned supreme; and that the minds of all, of teachers as well as of taught, rested in wonderful harmony under the shield and authority of the Angelic Doctor... But, furthermore, Our predecessors in the Roman pontificate have celebrated the wisdom of Thomas Aquinas by exceptional tributes of praise and the most ample testimonials. Clement VI in the bull 'In Ordine;' Nicholas V in his brief to the friars of the Order of Preachers, 1451; Benedict XIII in the bull 'Pretiosus,' and others bear witness that the universal Church borrows luster from his admirable teaching; while St. Pius V declares in the bull 'Mirabilis' that heresies, confounded and convicted by the same teaching, were dissipated, and the whole world daily freed from fatal errors; others, such as Clement XII in the bull 'Verbo Dei,' affirm that most fruitful blessings have spread abroad from his writings over the whole Church, and that he is worthy of the honor which is bestowed on the greatest Doctors of the Church, on Gregory and Ambrose, Augustine and Jerome; while others have not hesitated to propose St. Thomas for the exemplar and master of the universities and great centers of learning whom they may follow with unfaltering feet. On which point the words of Blessed Urban V to the University of Toulouse are worthy of recall: 'It is our will, which We hereby enjoin upon you, that ye follow the teaching of Blessed Thomas as the true and Catholic doctrine and that ye labor with all your force to profit by the same.' Innocent XII, followed the example of Urban in the case of the University of Louvain, in the letter in the form of a brief addressed to that university on February 6, 1694, and Benedict XIV in the letter in the form of a brief addressed on August 26, 1752, to the Dionysian College in Granada; while to these judgments of great Pontiffs on Thomas Aquinas comes the crowning testimony of Innocent VI: 'His teaching above that of others, the canonical writings alone excepted, enjoys such a precision of language, an order of matters, a truth of conclusions, that those who hold to it are never found swerving from the path of truth, and he who dare assail it will always be suspected of error.' The ecumenical councils, also, where blossoms the flower of all earthly wisdom, have always been careful to hold Thomas Aquinas in singular honor. In the Councils of Lyons, Vienna, Florence, and the Vatican one might almost say that Thomas took part and presided over the deliberations and decrees of the Fathers, contending against the errors of the Greeks, of heretics and rationalists, with invincible force and with the happiest results. But the chief and special glory of Thomas, one which he has shared with none of the Catholic Doctors, is that the Fathers of Trent made it part of the order of conclave to lay upon the altar, together with sacred Scripture and the decrees of the supreme Pontiffs, the 'Summa' of Thomas Aquinas, whence to seek counsel, reason, and inspiration. A last triumph was reserved for this incomparable man - namely, to compel the homage, praise, and admiration of even the very enemies of the Catholic name. For it has come to light that there were not lacking among the leaders of heretical sects some who openly declared that, if the teaching of Thomas Aquinas were only taken away, they could easily battle with all Catholic teachers, gain the victory, and abolish the Church. A vain hope, indeed, but no vain testimony. Therefore, venerable brethren, as often as We contemplate the good, the force, and the singular advantages to be derived from his philosophic discipline which Our Fathers so dearly loved. We think it hazardous that its special honor should not always and everywhere remain, especially when it is established that daily experience, and the judgment of the greatest men, and, to crown all, the voice of the Church, have favored the Scholastic philosophy. Moreover, to the old teaching a novel system of philosophy has succeeded here and there, in which We fail to perceive those desirable and wholesome fruits which the Church and civil society itself would prefer. For it pleased the struggling innovators of the sixteenth century to philosophize without any respect for faith, the power of inventing in accordance with his own pleasure and bent being asked and given in turn by each one. Hence, it was natural that systems of philosophy multiplied beyond measure, and conclusions differing and clashing one with another arose about those matters even which are the most important in human knowledge. From a mass of conclusions men often come to wavering and doubt; and who knows not how easily the mind slips from doubt to error? But, as men are apt to follow the lead given them, this new pursuit seems to have caught the souls of certain Catholic philosophers, who, throwing aside the patrimony of ancient wisdom, chose rather to build up a new edifice than to strengthen and complete the old by aid of the new - ill-advisedly, in sooth, and not without detriment to the sciences. For, a multiform system of this kind, which depends on the authority and choice of any professor, has a foundation open to change, and consequently gives us a philosophy not firm, and stable, and robust like that of old, but tottering and feeble. And if, perchance, it sometimes finds itself scarcely equal to sustain the shock of its foes, it should recognize that the cause and the blame lie in itself. In saying this We have no intention of discountenancing the learned and able men who bring their industry and erudition, and, what is more, the wealth of new discoveries, to the service of philosophy; for, of course, We understand that this tends to the development of learning. But one should be very careful lest all or his chief labor be exhausted in these pursuits and in mere erudition. And the same thing is true of sacred theology, which, indeed, may be assisted and illustrated by all kinds of erudition, though it is absolutely necessary to approach it in the grave manner of the Scholastics, in order that, the forces of revelation and reason being united in it, it may continue to be 'the invincible bulwark of the faith.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Aeterni Patris", 1879 A.D.) (emphasis added)
  • Lack of Respect For Feelings of the Faithful When Implementing Changes - "No consideration was given for the faithful when the Mass switched to the new rite - they were told that they should accept the new rite with 'joyous enthusiasm' and even had been told that the old Mass - the only Mass they knew, the very Mass that produced countless saints, the only Mass that their forefathers worshiped in, the Mass so highly praised even by those outside the Church - the Mass (in its essentials) which was used from nearly the beginning of the Church and guided by the Holy Spirit for hundreds and more years allowed people to be 'lazy' and that the Mass concocted by 'experts' in the 1960's would be better for them." This was despite the proven great fruit of the old practices, despite the fact that the prelates imposing such changes had taken an oath against Modernism, despite the fact that tradition was supposed to be respected, and despite the fact that certain practices inherently had rights - as granted by longstanding tradition ["It is unlawful to alter the established customs of the Church ... Remove not the ancient landmarks which the fathers have set." (St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church)] as well as by papal documents (e.g. the perpetually valid Quo Primum). As Davies says, "While St. Paul opposed any attempt to force Gentile converts to adopt Jewish customs, hence his celebrated rebuke to St. Peter in Galatians 2, neither he nor the other Apostles considered it necessary for Jewish Christians to abandon their traditional rites. Commenting on this, Cardinal Newman writes: 'But they neither abandoned the Jewish rites themselves nor obliged any others to do so who were used to them. Custom was quite a sufficient reason for retaining them; every Christian was to remain in the state in which he was called... Now from this obedience to the Jewish law, enjoined and displayed by Our Blessed Lord and His Apostles, we learn the great importance of retaining those religious forms to which we are accustomed, even though they are in themselves indifferent, or not of Divine origin... Granting that the forms are not immediately from God, still long use has made them divine to us; for the spirit of religion has so penetrated and quickened them, that to destroy them is, in respect to the multitude of men, to unsettle and dislodge the religious principle itself. In most minds usage has so identified them with the notion of religion, that the one cannot be extirpated without the other. Their faith will not bear transplanting... In these times especially, we should be on our guard against those who hope, by inducing us to lay aside our forms, at length to make us lay aside our Christian hope altogether.'"
  • A 'Right' to 'Religious Liberty' Seems to Have Been Invented - Although the Second Vatican Council's document on religious freedom states that it "leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ", the document is also seen to grant a new right to "indiscriminate, public religious liberty." Faithful Catholics see that this concept of an indiscriminate, public religious liberty went from 'insanity' to a supposed 'right', from a "liberty of perdition" to "human progress". "If it is a human right, why did Moses not recognize such a right? Nor hundreds of popes, nor saints, nor councils?" At what point, then, did error and heresy acquire rights? As Fahey has stated, "Nothingness can have no rights since it has no existence. It is impossible for a thing which does not exist to have any rights. Therefore to attribute rights to a non-existent entity is an injustice. But what are you doing if you attribute rights to error except attributing them to a non-existent entity? It is enough to consider what truth and error are in order to understand this. Truth is found in the intellect in the measure in which the intellect is in exact conformity with reality. When the intellect has an idea which is not in conformity with reality, then we have an error. But what is really happening in such a case? I have in my mind the idea of something as if this thing formed part of the order of being. I attribute it rights in my mind, as if it were portion of the divine scheme of things. But it is not so in reality. In point of fact it is a baseless creation of my own mind. How can I take as the foundation of my life and of my actions a 'reality' which is no reality? What can be the outcome of such an aberration? Precisely what happens in the case of any structure raised without foundation. If I take as a basis for my life and action an idea of my own to which nothing real or objective corresponds the whole intellectual and social edifice I raise on that basis is of necessity bound to crumble. There can be no other solid foundation for action and life than an objective reality. This then is why truth alone has the right to exist in the individual and in the social order. From no point of view can error claim this right. When it gets a footing in a mind or among the multitude, it usurps rights not belonging to it, it is unjust. Evil is the privation of the being and goodness due to a thing. Now error is the specific evil of the intelligence, the privation of the grasp of the order of the world which the intelligence is meant to have. It is a malady to be cured, a disease to be healed, a cancer to be eradicated, not a perfection to be extolled and proclaimed worthy of respect... Our Lord came down to restore the Divine Life of Grace to the human race and to each individual in it. For this end He revealed truth to the world. This truth belongs to Him in virtue of His divine right and also in virtue of His work of redemption. If this truth belongs to Him and is given to the world by Him in a well-defined sense and for a very definite purpose, then to ruin or lessen it is to commit an injustice. It is to sacrifice the rights of Jesus Christ... Certainly there is no place for anything but truth." Note: This does not mean one is forced to be Catholic - such an idea has always been condemned, but rather that those who preach a false religion be legitimately prevented from doing so. For more on 'Religious Liberty' click here (Catholic Life Reflections).

It should be noted that the above is only a partial list of changes, and barely touches on the many alterations made to the Mass - changes which have had a dramatic impact on the lives of Catholics. Note: For a more thorough discussion of the changes to the Mass, click here. Note also that not all changes may be authorized - some may not be, and some may just be 'tolerated.' 

Finally, one should note that all these changes have consequences. Note: Click here for 'Fruits of Vatican II'.

"Let them innovate nothing, but keep the traditions." (Pope St. Steven I, 3rd century A.D.)

"It is unlawful to alter the established customs of the Church... Remove not the ancient landmarks which the fathers have set." (St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church)

"It is absurd, and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old." (Decretals, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The best advice that I can give you is this. Church traditions - especially when they do not run counter to the faith - are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed them down" (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"[I]t is not the part of prudence to neglect that which antiquity in its long experience has approved and which is also taught by apostolic authority." (Pope Leo XIII, "Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae", 1899 A.D.) 

"A small thing is not small when it leads to something great; and it is no small matter to forsake the ancient tradition of the Church that was upheld by all those who were called before us, whose conduct we should observe, and whose faith we should imitate." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church)

"Keep the talent of the Catholic faith inviolate and unimpaired. What has been faithfully entrusted, let it remain in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold, so give gold. For my part, I do not want you to substitute one thing for another; I do not want you impudently to put lead in place of gold, or fraudulently, brass. I do not want the appearance of gold, but the real thing." (St. Vincent of Lerins)

"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions that you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter' (2 Thes. 2:15). From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there was much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"'Guard,' says [St. Paul], 'what has been committed' (1 Tm. 6:20). What does it mean? It is what has been faithfully entrusted to you not what has been discovered by you; what you have received, not what you have thought up; a matter not of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public Tradition; a matter brought to you, not put forth by you, in which you must not be the author but the guardian, not the founder but the sharer, not the leader, but the follower." (St. Vincent of Lerins)

"Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain 'restoration and regeneration' for [the Church] as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a 'foundation may be laid of a new human institution,' and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing 'may become a human church.'" (Pope Gregory XVI, "Mirari Vos", 1832 A.D.)

"First of all [Modernists (or liberals - the 'worst enemies of the Church' - click here)] lay down the general principle that in a living religion everything is subject to change, and must change, and in this way they pass to what may be said to be, among the chief of their doctrines, that of Evolution. To the laws of evolution everything is subject - dogma, Church, worship, the Books we revere as sacred, even faith itself" (Pope St. Pius X, "Pascendi Dominici Gregis", 1907 A.D.) 

"The whole question of the present condition of the Church can be summed up as follows: is the essence of Catholicism preserved? Do the changes that have occurred allow the same essence to continue in existence amidst changing circumstances, or do they turn it into something else?... A legitimate development of an idea occurs when it expands within itself; a mutation happens when it goes beyond its own limits and moves towards something else." (Amerio) 

"The innovations in the Novus Ordo Missae, and on the other hand the things of eternal value relegated to an inferior or different place (if indeed they are still to be found at all), could well turn into a certainly the suspicion, already prevalent, alas, in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by Christians can be altered or silenced without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound forever. Recent reforms have amply shown that fresh changes in the liturgy could not but lead to utter bewilderment on the part of the faithful, who are already giving signs of restiveness and of an indubitable lessening of faith. Amongst the best of the clergy the practical result is an agonizing crisis of conscience of which numberless instances come to our notice daily." (Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci) 

What Hasn't Changed? 

Considering the unprecedented, widescale changes in the Church in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, it would appear that nothing is sacrosanct. Although this may seem true to some extent, it is actually far from the truth. Despite the external (and even internal changes) in the Church, there are many things which are untouchable and which will never be subject to change. For example:

We have God's assurance that, no matter what, the "gates of hell" will not prevail against the Church (Mt. 16:18). Therefore, we can rest assured that such elements of the Church are untouchable. 
Note: This does not mean, however, that these truths will always be clear or that priests or even certain high-ranking prelates will expound these truths ("there is a difference between carrying a hat in your pocket and carrying it on your head") - but rather that they will remain the official teaching of the Church.

"The Church can never be brought down. Indeed it grows under persecution, and those who attack it are destroyed." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"In vain will the Princes of the earth seek, in their conceited calculations, to destroy the Church: God, who has founded her, will make her triumph. Empires shall pass away, and their persecutions: the Church will survive them all, knowing neither wrinkle or decay." (Dom Gueranger)

"The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing... Again, errors have assailed her; but in fact, the greater number of errors that have arisen, the more has the truth been made manifest... Nor has the Church failed before the assaults of demons: for she is like a tower of refuge to all who fight against the devil." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Nothing human is lasting; but the Church's ceaseless duration will excite the spleen of incredulity and baffle all its calculations. Persecutions, heresies, schisms, apostasies, and scandals - all will strive to work her ruin; but she will survive them all. The descendants of her bitterest foes will call her mother. Thrones and dynasties, nations, and even whole races, will be carried away by the tide of time, she alone will subsist throughout the ages, stretching out her arms to receive all men, teaching ever the same truths, repeating, even to the last day, the same symbol of faith, and ever faithful to the instructions given her by our Risen Jesus during these forty days preceding his Ascension (Acts 1:3)." (Dom Gueranger)

Is it a 'Revolution'?

It has been said that "those who are objective see that it is a revolution". In fact, liberal prelates have freely admitted that the Second Vatican Council has been a "revolution" and a "major conquest of the Catholic Church".

If "revolution" is defined as: 
"A drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving"
one could surely make the case that Vatican II and its aftermath have caused a revolution in the Church.
Although some things in the Church are never subject to change (see above), the external appearance of the Church has changed so much that even these unchangeable items may appear to have changed. As Amerio points out, "It is, however, essential to remember that the substance of the Church exists only in her accidents, and that an unexpressed substance, that is, one without any accidents, is a nullity, a non-existent. The entire existence of an individual across time is, furthermore, contained in his acts of intellect and will: and what are intellection and violation but accidental realities which occur, come and go, emerge and disappear? Yet one's moral destiny, salvation or damnation, depends on just those accidents. So too the whole life of the Church in time is her life as it exists in accidentalities and contingencies. How then can one fail to recognize her accidentals as important, and indeed substantially important? Are not changes in accidental forms accidental and historical changes, occurring within the unchangeable nature of the Church? And if all the accidents were to change, how would we be able to tell that the substance of the Church had not changed? What remains of a human person when his whole accidental and historical expression is changed?"
It is clear that these changes were unprecedented and appear to "overhaul" the entire Church. Many persons seem to think that the Church started with the Second Vatican Council (even many recent Church documents often do not seem to consider pronouncements prior to the Second Vatican Council). In fact, some may have unwittingly admitted the revolutionary nature of the changes by referring to the Church not as the 'Catholic Church', but as the 'Conciliar Church'.

"The liturgical reform is in a very deep sense the key to the aggiornamento. Make no mistake, this is the starting point of the revolution." (Msgr. Dwyer)

 "The [Second Vatican] Council is [the Revolution of] 1789 in the Church" (Cardinal Suenens)

"The liturgical reform is a major conquest of the Catholic Church" (Archbishop Bugnini, "chief architect of the New Mass")

Have the Changes Been Good? 

The fruits of these unprecedented changes speak for themselves. Although the Second Vatican Council clearly stated that:

"[T]here must be no new innovations unless of the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care should be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing."

it is clear that many of the changes have most certainly not worked for the "genuine good" of the Church. In fact, the changes to practices recommended for centuries by the Magisterium have led to a "widescale collapse" in various areas of the Church (vocations, Mass attendance, belief in dogmas of the faith, etc.). The fact that some (or even many) people like certain changes, does not mean they are good for the Church, or even good for those individuals.

Have these changes really been good? Do they help the Church with her primary mission to save souls? Do they better glorify God? Do they help people to become more holy? "Every human thing is of more or less importance in proportion to its relation to God's glory; we should value everything it this proportion" (Liturgical Year). Consider that...

  • Many Catholics today are so poorly catechized that they do not know the chief truths of their faith
  • Many Catholics today believe they can disregard the hierarchical authority of the Church
  • Many Catholics today reject basic tenets of the Catholic faith
  • A large number of Catholics today are (objectively speaking) living in a state of mortal sin
  • Vocations have reached a crisis
  • Many Catholics today have apparently lost all sense of reverence and fear of the Lord
  • Sacrilege and profanation is widespread
  • Many Catholics today do not attend Mass or receive the Sacrament of Penance
  • Those outside the Church (and even those inside the Church) today may not know that the Catholic faith is necessary for salvation. Note: Click here for more information
  • The Church today is plagued by disunity, scandal, and liturgical abuse
  • All sorts of sin, error, heresy, etc. are tolerated
  • There is very little regard for the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints among many Catholics today
  • Confusion in the Church is widespread: "It is a peculiarity of Vatican II that it generated confusion rather than cleared it up" (Amerio)
  • In many areas of the Church today, the integrity of the faith has been sullied - even priests & bishops openly teach error. In fact, the Vatican is said to have "lost control" over entire sectors of the Church. Davies has said: "Cardinal Seper admitted quite frankly that the American Bishops were defying Rome. I asked him why the Holy See was taking no action to discipline them, and he gave me the depressing reply that the Holy See no longer exercised effective control over the American hierarchy."
Further, there is less respect for the priesthood, less reverence, less orthodoxy, less control, increased religious indifferentism, increased falling away from the faith. There have even been invalid sacraments, fewer conversions, and more demonic activity. Finally, in various areas of the Church, there is has been a depletion of finances, destruction of sacred art, destruction and sale of churches, closure of schools, convents & seminaries, persecution of those who wish to keep the traditions, and various attempts to discourage personal piety. Note: Click here for more fruits of Vatican II.
Considering the above, one may repeat the question "If these changes are so good for the Church - if there is so much value in them - why the widespread drop in vocations, the loss of faith, the vocations crisis, the clerical scandals, and the loss of everything that would be a good indicator of the Church's health?" And, if it was such a great success, "Where exactly can we find the positive impact on the world that it was designed to achieve?" How exactly have the changes profited the Church or individual souls? 
Even if one were to look at the purpose of the Second Vatican Council and its hoped-for fruits, as envisioned by the Pope who called it and the Pope who closed it, one could see that it is far from living up to its purpose and realizing such good fruits - and, in fact, has even drawn the Church father from them: 
Pope John XXIII on the upcoming Council: 
"The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council [Vatican II] is this, that the sacred Deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously" with a "renewed, serene and tranquil adherence to all the teachings of the Church in their entirety and preciseness, as they still shine forth in the acts of the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council." 
"Everyone wants the forthcoming Ecumenical Council to give all possible impetus to the spread of Christianity. It must give louder and louder utterance to that 'word by which the kingdom is preached' mentioned in the parable of the sower, and help to bring about the wider extension of 'the kingdom of God' in the world."
"The Ecumenical Council [Vatican II] will be a meeting of the successors of the Apostles, men to whom the Savior of the human race gave the command to teach all nations and urge them to observe all His commandments. Its manifest task, therefore, will be publicly to reaffirm God's rights over mankind, whom Christ's blood has redeemed, and to reaffirm the duties of redeemed mankind towards its God and Savior." 
"We too, Venerable Brethren, on the example of Our predecessors, are most anxious that the whole Catholic world, both clerical and lay, shall prepare itself for this great event, the forthcoming Council, by ardent prayer, good works, and the practice of Christian penance... The salutary results we pray for are these: that the faith, the love, the moral lives of Catholics may be so re-invigorated, so intensified, that all who are at present separated from this Apostolic See may be impelled to strive actively and sincerely for union, and enter the one fold under the one Shepherd." 
Pope Paul VI after the Council: 
"This strong invitation to holiness could be regarded as the most characteristic element in the whole Magisterium of the Council, and so to say, its ultimate purpose"
Considering the above, how on earth could the Council honestly be assessed as a shining success?
According to Davies, one important Council Father has lamented: "I regret having voted in favor of the Council Constitution in whose name (but in what a manner!) this heretical pseudo-reform has been carried out, a triumph of arrogance and ignorance. If it were possible, I would take back my vote, and attest before a magistrate that my assent was obtained through trickery".

"It was the final session of the Council, the most essential, in which the Pope [Paul VI] was to bestow upon all humanity the teachings of the Council. He announced this to me on that day with these words, 'I am about to blow the seven trumpets of the Apocalypse' [that is, the trumpets which announced the disasters that were to befall earth - fire, hail, falling star, death, etc.]" (Jean Guitton, personal friend of Pope Paul VI) 

"Is this the reform or the suicide of the Church?" (Fr. Kennedy)

"[T]hrough some crack, the smoke of Satan has penetrated the temple of God." (Pope Paul VI, 6/29/72)

"The Church is in a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would better be called self-demolition. It is an acute and complicated upheaval which nobody would have expected after the council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking herself." (Pope Paul VI, 1968 A.D.)

"It was believed that after the council a sunny day in the Church's history would dawn, but instead there came a day of clouds, storms and darkness." (Pope Paul VI, 1972 A.D.)

 "Change must be judged not so much for its own sake as for its content, its finality.. Is the new of today leading us to a really better Christianity?" (Pope Paul VI)

"[The Second Vatican Council] was also followed by confusion, some decline, especially in the west, and pockets of collapse." (Cardinal Pell)

"If the Church were not Divine, the [Second Vatican] Council would have buried her." (Cardinal Siri) 

"[T]he opening to the world has become a veritable invasion of the Church by worldly thinking. We have perhaps been too weak and imprudent." (Pope Paul VI)

"Unless we are blind, we must even state bluntly that what we see looks less like the hoped-for regeneration of Catholicism than its accelerated decomposition." (Fr. Louis Bouyer)

"The liturgical reform, welcomed with so much idealism and hope by many priests and lay people alike has turned out to be a liturgical destruction of startling proportions - a debacle worsening with each passing year. Instead of the hoped-for renewal of the Church and of Catholic life, we are now witnessing a dismantling of the traditional values and piety on which our faith rests." (Msgr. Gamber)  

"The results appear cruelly different from everyone's expectations, beginning with those of John XXIII and later of Paul VI. A new Catholic unity was expected; instead, there was a dissention that...went from self-criticism to self destruction... The balance, therefore, appears to be negative... It is undeniable that this period was decidedly unfavorable to the Catholic Church." (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, 11/9/1984)

"The smoke of Satan has entered everywhere. Everywhere!" (Fr. Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist in Rome) 

"We must admit realistically and with feelings of deep pain, that Christians today in large measure feel lost, confused, perplexed and even disappointed; ideas opposed to the truth which has been revealed and always taught are being scattered abroad in abundance; heresies, in the full and proper sense of the world, have been spread in the area of dogma and morals, creating doubts, confusions and rebellions; the liturgy has been tampered with; immersed in an intellectual and moral relativism and therefore in permissiveness, Christians are tempted by atheism, agnosticism, vaguely moral enlightenment and by a sociological Christianity devoid of defined dogmas or an objective morality." (Pope John Paul II, 1981 A.D.) 

"It must be lamented that, especially in the years following the post-conciliar liturgical reform, as a result of a misguided sense of creativity and adaptation there have been a number of abuses which have been a source of suffering for many. A certain reaction against 'formalism' has led some, especially in certain regions, to consider the 'forms' chosen by the Church's great liturgical tradition and her Magisterium as non-binding and to introduce unauthorized innovations which are often completely inappropriate." (Pope John Paul II, 2003 A.D.)

"Test everything; retain what is good." (1 Thes. 5:21) 

"... every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 3:10)


Does God Desire the Changes? 

Although we cannot speak for God, common sense tells us that the changes - which have caused a loss of faith, rampant sacrilege, widespread heresy, a "near collapse" of the Church, and include changes which are contrary to the teachings / warnings / practice of many popes, saints, councils, and even those which oppose Scripture (e.g. 1 Cor. 14:33-35, 1 Cor. 11:4-10) - could not be positively willed by God. In fact, not even Vatican II called for - or wanted - all the changes which have occurred.

We must remember that the mere fact that something has happened, does not mean that God positively willed it, but rather that He tolerates it. In fact, we know that God tolerates many bad (and even evil) things - and the fact that they have occurred in no way means that God directly wills them.

It may be helpful when assessing the events in the Church over the last several decades to look into exactly how they have happened. When one does, he or she may find that many of the changes were implemented due to disobedience, misrepresentation/distortion, conspiracy, political maneuvers, "agreements of silence", "dubious alliances", "shameful propaganda", etc. Does that sound like the work of the Holy Spirit? Does it not rather sound like another spirit was involved?
Are we supposed to believe that the Holy Spirit wants a "one world" Church that rejects Catholic doctrine? That He now wants us to attempt the impossible - to be a friend to God and to the World? That the unchangeable God actually sought the wholesale abandonment of Tradition? That the Holy Spirit wanted the Mass to be aligned with "Protestant sensibilities"? That He wanted exorcisms - used against His fierce enemy - "watered down"? That God - Truth itself - now seeks to give equal rights to error? Are we to believe that the many popes and saints who took a firm stand against error in the past - even to the point of martyrdom - were all wrong? That God desired that "professed enemies of the Church" be involved in Her reform? That those "theologians" which previous popes had condemned or put under suspicion should now set the tone for the whole Church? Are we to believe that nineteen centuries of popes, saints, councils, etc. were in error about many things and the Holy Spirit sought to fix them only in the drug-infested culture of the 1960's? Are we to believe that God sought the widespread loss of faith, the falling away from the Church, the reduction of vocations, reduced conversions, increased sinfulness, disunity, confusion of dogma that would result from the changes? How then are we to believe that the unchangeable, infinitely good, and infinitely holy God positively desired the changes which have sought or led to these occurrences?

"And somehow or other those who please the world most who please Christ least." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)  

"Jesus Christ expressly tells us that it is impossible to be for God and the World at the same time, because when we want to please the one, it means becoming the enemy of the other." (St. John Vianney) 

Isn't the Church Allowed to Change? 

With regard to change in the Church, one must keep in mind various important points, such as:

  • God is unchanging
  • Truth is unchanging
  • "Change implies imperfection"
  • The Church is not supposed to change - but rather exists to pass on what it has already received 
  • The Church is a divine institution and cannot simply change because her members might want her to
  • The Church's teachings are timeless and never need to be "modernized" (although the Church is in time, She is in a sense above time as well)
  • Change involves consequences
  • Not all change is good
  • "Things belonging to immemorial custom have rights"
Furthermore, the dogmas of the Church are not subject to changing interpretations over time. As stated by the First Vatican Council: 
"The meaning of Sacred Dogmas, which must always be preserved, is that which our Holy Mother the Church has determined. Never is it permissible to depart from this in the name of a deeper understanding."
"If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema." 
Other condemnations include the following:
"If anyone rejects any written or unwritten tradition of the church, let him be anathema." (Second Council of Nicaea)
Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors: "The Roman Pontiff can and should reconcile and adapt himself to progress, liberalism, and the modern civilization." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, This proposition was condemned in the Syllabus of Errors, Dec. 8, 1864 A.D.) 
Error CONDEMNED by Pope St. Pius X in "Lamentabili": "The organic constitution of the Church is not immutable; but Christian society, just as human society, is subject to perpetual evolution." (Pope St. Pius X, This proposition was condemned in "Lamentabili", 1907 A.D.)
Error CONDEMNED by Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors: "Divine revelation is imperfect, and therefore subject to continuous and indefinite progress, which corresponds to the progress of human reason." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, This proposition was condemned in the Syllabus of Errors, Dec. 8, 1864 A.D.) 
It is important to note that the Church's traditional motto is "Semper idem" ("always the same") and that the pope is to be the guardian and defender of tradition. As indicated in scripture, the Church is to hand down what was received - not something that has been newly invented:
"O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid profane babbling and the absurdities of so-called knowledge. By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith. Grace be with all of you." (1 Tm. 6:20-21)
"Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us." (2 Tm. 1:13-14)
"I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you." (1 Cor. 11:2)
"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching." (Heb. 13:7-9)
"Let what you heard from the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made us: eternal life. I write you these things about those who would deceive you." (1 Jn. 2:24-26)
Regard for tradition assures that the purity of the faith is retained and passed on. Furthermore, regard for tradition has always been held in high repute by the Church, as evidenced by quotations such as...
"Let them innovate nothing, but keep the traditions." (Pope St. Steven I, 3rd century A.D.)
"[N]othing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning." (Pope Agatho)
"It is absurd, and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old." (Decretals, as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")
"Plainly it is a falling away from faith and an offense chargeable to pride, either to reject any of those things that are written or to introduce things that are not written [i.e. in Scripture]." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 371 A.D.)
"It behooves us unanimously to observe the ecclesiastical traditions, whether defined or simply retained by customary practice of the Church." (St. Peter Canisius, Doctor of the Church)
"The best advice that I can give you is this. Church traditions - especially when they do not run counter to the faith - are to be observed in the form in which previous generations have handed them down" (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)
"The Church appeals to the faithful not to abandon or make light of the traditions of the Fathers but to receive them reverently as a precious possession of the Catholic family and to honor those traditions." (Pope Paul VI)
"The customs of God's people and the institutions of our ancestors are to be considered as laws. And those who throw contempt on the customs of the Church ought to be punished as those who disobey the law of God." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)
"To announce, therefore, to [Catholics] something other than that which they have received is never permitted, is nowhere permitted, and never will be permitted. And to anathematize those who announce anything other than that which has been received once and for all has never been unnecessary, is nowhere unnecessary, and never will be unnecessary". (St. Vincent of Lerins, c. 434 A.D.)
"'Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter.' From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there was much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)
"If then you adhere to the ancient faith, and which has been transmitted to us by the Holy Fathers...and if you in nothing deviate from the doctrine of the universal Church, (for neither are we wiser than our Fathers, nor is it lawful for us to take upon ourselves some novelty or other than our Fathers learned and taught,) this faith let us all mutually hold in sincerity of mind and truth of heart, and there is peace. Let us keep inviolate the rules which the Church has received from those same Fathers, and there is peace." (Pope Gelasius I)
"Those, therefore, who dare to think or to teach otherwise or to spurn according to wretched heretics the ecclesiastical traditions and to invent anything novel, or to reject anything from these things which have been consecrated by the Church...or to invent perversely and cunningly for the overthrow of anyone of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church; or even, as it were, to use the sacred vessels or the venerable monasteries as common things; if indeed they are bishops or clerics, we order (them) to be deposed; monks, however, or laymen, to be excommunicated" (Second Council of Nicaea, 787 A.D.)
"The Church of Christ, zealous and cautious guardian of the dogmas deposited with it, never changes any phase of them. It does not diminish them or add to them; it neither trims what seems necessary nor grafts things superfluous; it neither gives up its own or usurps what does not belong to it. But it devotes all its diligence to one aim: to treat tradition faithfully and wisely; to nurse and polish what from old times may have remain unshaped and unfinished; to consolidate and strengthen what already was clear and plain; and to guard what already was confirmed and defined." (St. Vincent of Lerins, 5th century A.D.)
"For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient documents faithfully and wisely; if they really are of ancient origin and if the faith of the Fathers has transmitted them, she strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus - that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning." (Pope Pius IX, "Ineffabilis Deus", 1854 A.D.)
"Truth and its philosophic expression cannot change from day to day, least of all where there is a question of the self-evident principles of the human mind or of those propositions which are supported by the wisdom of the ages and by divine revelation. Whatever new truth the sincere human mind is able to find certainly cannot be opposed to truth already acquired, since God, the Highest Truth, has created and guides the human intellect, not that it may daily oppose new truths to rightly established ones, but rather that having eliminated errors which may have crept it, it may build truth upon truth in the same order and structure that exist in reality, the source of truth. Let no Christian therefore, whether philosopher or theologian, embrace eagerly and lightly whatever novelty happens to be thought up from day to day, but rather let him weigh it with painstaking care and a balanced judgment, lest he lose or corrupt the truth he already has, with grave danger and damage to his faith." (Pope Pius XII)
"But perhaps someone is saying, 'Will there, then, be no progress of religion in the Church of Christ?' Certainly there is, and the greatest. For who is there so envious toward men and so exceedingly hateful toward God, that he would try to prohibit progress? But it is truly progress and not a change of faith. What is meant by progress is that something is brought to an advancement within itself; by change, something is transformed from one thing to another. It is necessary, therefore, that understanding, knowledge, and wisdom grow and advance strongly and mightily as much in individuals as in the group, as much in one man as in the whole Church, and this gradually according to age and the times; and this must take place precisely within its own kind, that is, in the same teaching, in the same meaning, and in the same opinion. The progress of religion in souls is like the growth of bodies, which, in the course of years, evolve and develop, but still remain what they were... [A]lthough in the course of time something evolved from those first seeds and has now expanded under careful cultivation, nothing of the characteristics of the seeds is changed. Granted that appearance, beauty, and distinction has been added, still, the same nature of each kind remains." (St. Vincent of Lerins, c. 434 A.D.)
"'Guard,' he says, 'what has been committed.' What does it mean, 'what has been committed'? It is what has been faithfully entrusted to you, not what has been discovered by you; what you have received, not what you have thought up; a matter not of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public Tradition; a matter brought to you, not put forth by you, in which you must not be the author but the guardian, not the founder but the sharer, not the leader, but the follower. 'Guard,' he says, 'what has been committed.' Keep the talent [see Mt. 25:14-30] of the Catholic Faith inviolate and unimpaired. What has been faithfully entrusted, let it remain in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold, so give gold. For my part, I do not want you to substitute on thing for another; I do not want you imprudently to put lead in place of gold, or fraudulently, brass. I do not want the appearance of gold, but the real thing. O Timothy, O priest, O interpreter, O teacher, if a divine gift has made you suitable in genius, in experience, in doctrine to be the Bezalel [i.e. skilled craftsman] of the spiritual tabernacle, cut out the precious gems of divine dogma, shape them faithfully, ornament them wisely, add splendor, grace and beauty to them! By your expounding it, may that now be understood more clearly which formerly was believed even in its obscurity. May posterity, be means of you, rejoice in understanding what in times past was venerated without understanding. Nevertheless, teach the same that you have learned, so that if you say something anew, it is not something new that you say." (St. Vincent of Lerins, c. 434 A.D.)
"Of the dogmas and kerygmas preserved in the Church, some we possess from written teachings and others we receive from the tradition of the Apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety both are of the same force. No one will contradict any of these, no one, at any rate, who is even moderately versed in matters ecclesiastical. Indeed, were we to try to reject unwritten customs as having no great authority, we would unwittingly injure the Gospel in its vitals; or rather, we would reduce kerygma to a mere term. For instance, to take the first and most general example, who taught us in writing to sign with the sign of the cross those who have trusted in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? What writing has taught us to turn to the East in prayer? Which of the saints left us in writing the words of the epiclesis at the consecration of the Bread of Eucharist and the Cup of Benediction? For we are not content with those words the Apostle or the gospel has recorded, but we say other things also, both before and after: and we regard these other words, which we have received from unwritten teaching, as being of great importance to the mystery. Where is it written that we are to bless the baptism water, the oil of anointing, and even the one who is being baptized? Is it not from silent and mystical tradition?... And the rest of the things done at Baptism - where is it written that we are to renounce Satan and his angels? Does this not come from that secret and arcane teaching which our Fathers guarded in a silence not too curiously meddled with and not idly investigated, when they had learned well that reverence for the mysteries is best preserved by silence... In the same way the Apostles and Fathers who, in the beginning, prescribed the Church's rites, guarded in secrecy and silence the dignity of the mysteries; for that which is blabbed at random and in the public ear is no mystery at all. This is the reason for our handing on of unwritten precepts and practices: that the knowledge of our dogmas may not be neglected and held in contempt by the multitude through too great a familiarity." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 375 A.D.)
Also, it should be remembered that novelty / modernism has been strictly condemned by the Church. In fact, modernists / liberals have been referred to as "the worst enemies of the Church" (Bl. Pope Pius IX) and "the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church" (Pope St. Pius X). Click here for more on modernism.
It should further be noted that such prohibitions against change do not mean that nothing in the Church is subject to change, but rather that any change should not be sought for its own sake and that any changes made should never contradict what has always been held. Changes, where permissible, should only be made for the glory of God and for the good of the Church and souls (e.g. making truths more clear, removing error, etc.) - and never to their detriment. 

"And to radiate this [holy] light is one of the glorious characteristics of the holy Church. It is her task to confront in the light of Christ all those new problems which emerge from various situations. She must ever and again let us hear the voice of Christ and she should never adapt herself to the spirit of the times. For we should never forget that if the Church is in the world, she is not of the world. In spite of all the imperfections of her members she bears witness even in her external structure that she is of divine origin." (Von Hildebrand)

"How short-sighted are such Catholic as these, who hope to make [the Church] acceptable to the world by giving thee the semblance of a human institution! The world is too shrewd: it knows thee to be essentially supernatural, and this is what it can never tolerate. Wiser and more Christian by far are they who, detesting profane theories, have, like devoted Machabees, drawn the [spiritual] sword against thine enemies, O Church of Christ! And even in an age like this, when faith has grown weak, have so well understood their Christian duty as to die in thy defense, and, by so doing, to win the crown of martyrdom. Yes, it is our duty to confess thee: to disguise thee is to belie thee. Thou art one of the articles of our Creed: 'I believe the holy Catholic Church.' Thou hast been known these [two thousand] years; and shall men now pretend that thou must conform to the world's capricious views? This cannot be. Jesus made thee be like himself - a sign of contradiction: and a such we must receive thee. We must listen to the protestations against false principles and practices, and not attempt to remodel thee." (Dom Gueranger) 

Final Note 

It may be helpful to keep in mind some final points:
  • Some of the changes made in the so-called "Spirit of Vatican II" are actually contrary to the expressed directives of the Second Vatican Council. For example, if the directives of Vatican II were really being followed, the Traditional Mass would be available everywhere, there would be no harmful novelties in the New Mass, the Latin language would be in wide use, Gregorian Chant would be given "pride of place", the pipe organ would be commonly used, etc.
"Finally, in faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully recognized rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way." (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, The constitution on the sacred liturgy, December 4, 1963, emphasis added) 
"[T]here must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them, and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing." (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, The constitution on the sacred liturgy, December 4, 1963, emphasis added) 
"The use of the Latin language, with due respect to particular law, is to be preserved in the Latin rites." (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, The constitution on the sacred liturgy, December 4, 1963, emphasis added)
"Nevertheless care must be taken to ensure that the faithful may also be able to say or sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them." (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, The constitution on the sacred liturgy, December 4, 1963, emphasis added)
"The Church recognizes Gregorian chant as being specially suited to the Roman liturgy. Therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services." (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, The constitution on the sacred liturgy, December 4, 1963, emphasis added) 
"The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church, for it is the traditional musical instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lifts up men's minds to God and higher things." (Second Vatican Council, Sacrosanctum Concilium, The constitution on the sacred liturgy, December 4, 1963, emphasis added) 
  • It has been argued that the Second Vatican Council was taken over by progressive prelates and that said that "the [other] council Fathers never imagined what was going to happen". The "takeover" of the council has been well documented.
  • Clinging to the observances of the past is safe. Remember that the Church has always been protected over the centuries by the unchanging Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has never changed and will never change.
  • The Church was not invented by the Second Vatican Council of the 1960's, nor can a council change the Church into another entity. Further, the pronouncements of her previous pontiffs do not simply become obsolete. "It was truly absurd to maintain that the laws of previous Pontiffs become obsolete, if they are not confirmed expressly by one's successors" (Pope Leo XII, "Quo Graviora") 
  • To criticize the Church of the past is to criticize nearly all of the popes, councils, and saints. It also seems to question whether the Holy Spirit was guiding the Church for so many years. 
  • The argument that the changes bring the Church closer to the earliest days of Christianity is fallacious. Not only have certain changes made since the Second Vatican Council been selective (they exclude many primitive practices that innovators don't like - e.g. long penances, public penances, penitential practices, penalties for sin, etc.), but the entire concept of reverting the Church back to the earliest days has been condemned by the Pope. Remember that it would be wrong to "try to shrink the Church back to its infancy" - to a time when the Church was weaker and less developed - to a time when she was persecuted and 'illegal'. Remember that the Church did not even have a complete Bible in the earliest days. Note: For more on this topic, click here.
  • It may be well to consider what the martyrs, previous popes, and saints would think of the changes. Would Our Lord actually prefer such changes? If the Church was so in need of the changes which have occurred in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, why was the Church so much healthier before the changes? Why had she produced so many saints and done so much good? Why is it that the "overthrow of the wisdom and practices of hundreds and even a thousand or more years" is considered progress? If it really is progress, why does all the evidence point elsewhere (e.g. vocations crisis, drop in Mass attendance, reduced belief in the tenets of the faith, etc.)?
  • Remember that "that Council of Trent has equal authority with Vatican II." In fact, one may argue that the Council of Trent is superior since it was clearly dogmatic, whereas the Second Vatican Council was merely pastoral...
"There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions engaging the infallibility of the ecclesiastical Magisterium. The answer is known by whoever remembers the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964: given the Council's pastoral character, it avoided pronouncing, in an extraordinary manner, dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility." (Pope Paul VI, General Audience, Jan.12, 1966) (emphasis added)
As Cardinal Ratzinger, council father and the future Pope Benedict XVI has said, "There are many accounts of it which give the impression that, from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and that what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II. The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super-dogma which takes away the importance of all the rest." (emphasis added)
"I was relieved when we told that this Council was not aiming at defining or giving final statements on doctrine, because a statement of doctrine has to be very carefully formulated and I would have regarded the Council statements as tentative and liable to be reformed." (Bishop Morris)  
"Taking into account conciliar practice and the pastoral purpose of the present Council, the sacred synod has defined as binding on the Church only those matters of Faith and Morals which it has expressly put forward as such." (Cardinal Felici, Secretary General of the Council) (emphasis added)
If certain items are pitted against each other, how could it be right to be "obedient" to one "pastoral council" and "disobedient" to all other clearly doctrinal councils? Remember that pastoral matters are not infallible - and not always best for the Church. As Davies has said (emphasis added): "There had been twenty councils prior to Vatican II, but anyone reading the Catholic press today, or listening to the typical bishop or theologian, would imagine that no other general council had ever been held, or even that the Church had begun with Vatican II. From a dogmatic standpoint, Vatican II is the least important of all the councils. It settled no disputed question, it promulgated no dogmatic definition binding upon the faithful, it deliberately refrained from investing any of its teaching with the note of infallibility." Finally, it has been claimed that one Cardinal asserted that "the protection of the Holy Ghost at the Council is seen in His withholding of the seal of defining infallibility from any of the documents of Vatican II."  
  • Some have boldly claimed that if we look at various condemned councils (e.g. Constance, Basel, Pistoia), we will find "points of affinity" with the Second Vatican Council. 
  • The serious changes made in the Church in the wake of the Second Vatican Council have been authorized by and made by men who took an oath against Modernism [which, among other things said that "I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously" and "with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili" and "I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition... The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way."].
  • It is unacceptable to attribute dogmatic changes to a "deeper understanding". As the First Vatican Council has stated: 
"Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by holy mother church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding." 
"May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding."
"If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the church which is different from that which the church has understood and understands: let him be anathema." 
  • The changes imposed on the faithful in the wake of the Second Vatican Council notably showed no respect for tradition, a practice unthinkable prior to the 1960's. As Pope Leo XIII has said, "It has been and always will be the intent and tradition of the Apostolic See to make a large allowance, in all that is right and good, for the primitive traditions and special customs of every nation."
  • The faithful have the right - if not the duty - to request that harmful changes be rescinded. "The subjects for whose benefit a law is passed have always had - more than the right - the duty, if it should instead prove harmful, of asking the legislator with filial trust for its abrogation." (Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci) 
Finally, it should be noted that an honest and well-intentioned discussion of various negative fruits of the Second Vatican Council does not mean that one "doesn't accept the council" or is "disobedient." As Catholics, we are not forced to keep our heads in the sand and deny truth. Remember that Jesus is Truth. Instead, we must remember that we are confirmed as "Christian soldiers" and are part of a "Church Militant". We are not simply to ignore evils - including widespread sacrilege - as if such were the "will of God". No, we must fight them with all our might (of course, non-violently). Eternal souls are clearly on the line.
Unfortunately, tradition-minded Catholics are often simply written off as "divisive" or "disobedient" or are attacked on a personal level simply because they wish to follow the hundreds or thousands of saints, over 250 popes, the authors of scripture, numerous councils, etc. Their accusers may claim to be good Catholics, and they may be, but one wonders how good Catholics can simply discard the entire patrimony of the Church (including advice/warnings of popes, saints, councils, and even points of Scripture) in favor of practices resulting from a single revolutionary council whose fruits have included the near tearing of the Church "from top to bottom". 
If one wishes to argue against certain contentions of traditional Catholics, one cannot simply level unwarranted charges against individuals, but must base arguments on facts. This, of course, will be a difficult proposition since the fruits of the last four decades speak for themselves (click here). Further, it is baseless to argue points of doctrine repeated by traditional Catholics who simply parrot what those before them have said (e.g. popes, saints, councils, early church fathers, and even the authors of Scripture). Those disputing certain contentions of traditional Catholics should take it up with those who originally uttered them - especially the hundreds or thousands of saints, the authors of scripture, other council fathers, dozens of popes, etc.
They may want to further ask themselves when, in the entire history of the Church, have those in charge of protecting the faith ever had to remark that...
"...for on many points [the New Mass] has much to gladden the heart of even the most modernist Protestant." (Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci)
When, again, in the entire history of the Church, has a pope ever had to lament that... 
 "[T]hrough some crack, the smoke of Satan has penetrated the temple of God." (Pope Paul VI, 6/29/72)
Or that the results of a council...
"appear cruelly different from everyone's expectations, beginning with those of John XXIII and later of Paul VI. A new Catholic unity was expected; instead, there was a dissention that...went from self-criticism to self destruction... The balance, therefore, appears to be negative... It is undeniable that this period was decidedly unfavorable to the Catholic Church." (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, 11/9/1984)
Or that...
"[I]n the years following the post-conciliar liturgical reform, as a result of a misguided sense of creativity and adaptation there have been a number of abuses which have been a source of suffering for many. A certain reaction against 'formalism' has led some, especially in certain regions, to consider the 'forms' chosen by the Church's great liturgical tradition and her Magisterium as non-binding and to introduce unauthorized innovations which are often completely inappropriate." (Pope John Paul II, 2003 A.D.)
And finally, what other pope in history ever had to note that the fruits of a council must be carefully discerned from the fruits which come from Satan, 'the prince of this world'?:
"[O]ne must learn how to 'discern' [the salvific fruits of the Spirit bestowed in the Council] carefully from everything that may instead come originally from the 'prince of this world'. This discernment in implementing the Council's work is especially necessary in view of the fact that the Council opened itself widely to the contemporary world" (Pope John Paul II, 1986 A.D.)

"If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 15:18-19)

"Adulterers! Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (Jms. 4:4)

"Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever." (Jn 2:15-17)

"Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all (the) flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Eph. 6:10-17)



  1. Can you give a brief explanation on the Pre-Vatican 2 and the Traditionalists view on Pope John Paul II, specifically? Thanks!

    1. "Conciliar or Catholic?

      Father Gommar A De Pauw
      federalexpression Youtube"


    2. JP2 contributed to the destruction of the church, fr depauw was good

    3. Thanks for the reference. I will check it/him out.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Vatican II was the Revolution in the Church. After that Rome even started calling the new entity 'the Conciliar Church' - ie the church of the council.

    The novus ordo protestantized mass contained changes to the consecration of the Chalice which placed it under the anethama of Trent which catechism devotes an entire chapter to why the Chalice is consecrated "for many" not "for all" even though our Saviour died for all men. In tragedy, not all men choose to receive His salvation.

    So the sacrifice is changed in such a way as to be invalidated. And when the novus ordo is mandated under the seal of the Fisherman's ring - as it was since 1971, then I would say that the Conciliar church suppressed the one, true eternal sacrifice of the canonised Roman Rite throughout its jurisdiction and replaced it with a false and protestant communion supper.

    If this is not the Abomination which makes desolate - then nothing is.

  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UF8FEVicyo&t=97s

  4. Sooner or later, Rome will become pagan again!