Thursday, November 26, 2015

Vatican II is policy, not doctrine: Catholicism and Americanism

America can work for us: by the '50s the Northeast was almost a Catholic country.

Francis is bad but this was one of our worst Popes, the vacillating one who let the Sixties in.

Paul VI: Vatican II is not binding on Catholics. Vatican II didn't define doctrine and nothing can change doctrine. The vernacular in worship, religious liberty American style, and ecumenical and interfaith studies and talks are fine, rightly understood, but we're better off ignoring this council.

Thomas Case in 1992: "A contention between American patriots and European fascists is ripping the Society [of St. Pius X] apart."

That is a difference between American and European Catholic traditionalisms but it doesn't have to split Catholics. The church doesn't define doctrine about politics or economics; the political means to the end of saving souls and human flourishing are up to us, as long as we don't buy the end justifying the means.
Religious liberty is fine?
Sure! The generosity of some American colonies and of America's founding fathers made the country a great home for Catholics.
Religious liberty American style is heresy.
So Catholics before Vatican II who were proud American citizens were in mortal sin?
Catholics before Vatican 2 who support the idea of separation of Church and State as per the secularist understanding of the liberals were and are heretics. Heresy existed long before your country was created.
It's a razor-fine distinction but on one hand there's religious freedom as a relative good for the church to flourish, or how Catholics could be Americans, and then there's indifferentism, the fashionable modern belief that all religions are really the same, like denominationalism in modern liberal American Protestantism; your choice and strictly a private matter, like what brand of motor oil you buy. John Courtney Murray went too far, being Americanized (the Americanist heresy Leo XIII condemned?): seeing Catholicism as just another denomination. That doesn't mean Catholics can't be good Americans. Pre-Vatican II American Catholics were! (Are, as arguably we are pre-Vatican II Catholics.) Vatican II rightly interpreted says the American way can work for the church, a policy change from favoring a state church (which as Catholics we still can do), not a change in our doctrine, which is impossible. I know it sounds close to what the Syllabus Errorum condemns but again it's a fine distinction. In other words we accept religious freedom as an option but without the secularist understanding of it that the church condemns (insisting that freedom's the only way: the Americanist heresy).
There can be no policy change from favouring the true religion to having the State treat religion and falsehood equally. That idea of change is condemned by Vatican I.
Policy can and does change. Doctrine doesn't. We still teach we are the church, even with the council's subsistit in (which I have no problem with; we've always recognized the Orthodox' bishops and Masses and Protestant baptisms).
It is doctrine that States have the moral obligation to support and promote only the true religion (Social Kingship of Christ). The negation thereof is absurdity and heresy.
But there are different ways of promoting and supporting the true religion. We can have a state church like Franco Spain (and I like El Caudillo) but we don't have to.


  1. What about "Quas Primas"? How can it be reconciled with Duties to a secular republican government?

    1. I'd have to look that up. The church is fine with the American experiment, and history bears that out (Cardinal Spellman's America was great!), thus so am I.

  2. My understanding of the SSPX position is that all the documents of Vatican II can be recomciled with Catholic teaching except for Dignitatis Humanae's teaching on religious liberty.

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