In the Murky Waters of Vatican II
from Chapter 8
Another Source of Ambiguity -- Tendentious Omissions
1. Virginity of Mary Most Holy
Negation of Our Lady's virginity is a frequent fixture in progressivist circles.
Some deny it directly, others indirectly by vaguely speaking about some spiritual
virginity while downplaying bodily virginity. It is characteristic of this tendency
no longer to attribute virginal conception exclusively to Our
Msgr. Gerard Philips, the primary writer of the final text of Lumen Gentium,
explains the sinuous circumlocutions he employed when dealing with the virginity
of Mary during childbirth: "The conciliar text [Lumen Gentium 57]
did not avoid the expression of the Gospel, but pointed out another fact of
undeniable importance: 'The Son did not diminish her virginal integrity, but
rather consecrated it.' This circumlocution is very simple, and the formula
chosen is liturgical and traditional."
Msgr. Philips thus justifies this circumlocution: "It is known that many
questions, especially of late, have been raised about virginitas in partu."
Philips later explains that some bishops reacted to this and wanted the text
to affirm without subterfuge the characteristic of Mary: Virgo ante partum,
in partu, et post partum -- Virgin before childbirth, in childbirth, and after
childbirth. But their reaction was not taken into account. "The Council
considered that the terminology employed could suffice for that end, without
entering into biological details"
The official conciliar writer goes on: "One thing is certain: the virginity
in question...is not taught as a personal privilege of Mary."
Basing his argument vaguely on the Patristic fathers, Msgr. Philips continues
his text, not cited here, trying to overestimate the spiritual aspect of virginity
to the detriment of the bodily aspect, considered merely as a "symbol."
2. Original Sin
The text below by Canon Jacques Mouroux, a theologian held in considerable
renown for works written before the Council, refers to an intentional omission
which, he points out, weakens the doctrine on Original Sin.
"One cannot describe the human condition without including the tragic
reality of sin. One of the primitive texts contained an item about original
sin. "Text I" no longer carried any development on it. Many [conciliar]
Fathers rightly considered the text to be 'exaggeratedly optimistic,' and
so this tragic dimension of human condition was reintroduced. Incidentally,
Council wanted neither to add original sin to the title of chap. I, 'On
the Corruption of Nature,' nor to expressly mention original sin and certain
doctrinal precisions since that was not required by its aim. Always pursuing
its pastoral objective, it therefore limited itself, as far as this point
was concerned, to the doctrinal minimum indispensable for the equilibrium
of Christian truth and the clarification of man's painful condition."
Commenting on the three most important statements in Gaudium et Spes
on man's decayed condition, Mouroux points out the text's discretion in topic
18 (the mystery of death), as it mentions the sin of Adam: "Note, by the
way, the text's discretion: it explicitly mentions original sin (Gaudium
et Spes, 18b) without, however, making any precise comments. It says that
the depth of evil harkens back to Romans 1:21-25, which aims not at original
sin, but rather at the behavior of sinful humanity as such."
If the comment by Mouroux about Gaudium et Spes is well-founded, as
we should suppose, the way would be open for the negation of the sin of Adam
and Eve and for the defense of the notion -- opposed to dogma -- that at its
source original sin was not the sin of a couple but that of "all humanity."
The premise of this theory is that Adam could be a generic, cosmic reality:
humanity. The designation man supposedly means not so much an individual, but
a species. By the same token, Christ would also be a generic and cosmic reality.
Adam, then, would be mankind in its initial stage; and the resurrected Christ,
mankind in its final stage, representing the beginning of divinized humanity.
The author says that the Council did not define whether Adam was an individual
or a species. Hence doors are opened for a progressivist conception of a sin
of humanity rather than the sin of a first couple. Indeed, Mouroux affirms:
"The mystery of Christ and that of man finally make up only one mystery.
And this is why the Council...directly relates the mystery of the first man
to that of the Word Incarnate. By saying 'Adam, the first man,' the Council
repeats a biblical expression, but it does not intend to resolve here whether
Adam was an individual or a group."
In The Murky Waters of Vatican II is an excellent book for getting to the bottom of "what happened" during
the Second Vatican Council. It is required reading for anyone who would understand the state of the Church
The rest of Chapter 8 contains the following headings:
3. The Existence of Hell
4. Distinction between the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant
5. The Roman Character of the Church
6. Survival of the Western Patriarchates
7. The Council's Position Regarding Freudian Psychoanalysis
Taken from In
the Murky Waters of Vatican II by TAN
Books & Publishers, Inc.
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doctrine and history:
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the Heart of Jesus has a strong desire to love and pardon sinners who sincerely return to Him.
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