|Whats that say?|
For the average Catholic what does this mean? Is there really a fruitful interpretation that has taken place anywhere in the Church, or is it really just a fantastical ideal that never really happened? It is my proposal that there is no great fruit that has taken place in regard to a 'hermeneutic of continuity', but rather we have continuing confusion among the faithful who constantly have to squint just right in order to get anything useful out of the Council documents. I shall officially coin a new term and rename this 'The Hermeneutic of Squintinuity.' That is, if you hold your head to the side just right, and squint your eyes just right, everything will line up just like it supposed to, and then the true "spirit" of Vatican II will materialize before your eyes!
|Wait if I squint just right...|
|Hold on, is that the spirit of Vatican II over there?|
|Where is everyone?|
That being said, I do think it is important for orthodox theologians to take the documents from the Vatican II era and go through them and try to reconcile them with the Church's teaching when confusing parts of the text raise their ugly head. If anyone has read the Council documents, it is plain to see that they are the most poorly written and ambiguous Council documents in the history of the Church. For more on the documents that you may want to read, 'The Rhine Flows into the Tiber." So while recognizing that we do indeed have a need to squint over some of these documents to make them fit, what good does that do for the average Catholic in the pew? I say it does little, and in fact, the average Catholic does not want to, nor should have to squint over poorly written documents in order to make them fit into the traditional teaching of the Church. It is an exercise in futility and most of us simply don't want to waste our time.
What becomes even more frustrating is that almost every bishop, priest, or theologian today acts is if there was nothing ever produced by the Church other than the Vatican II documents. Everyone acts as if Pope John XXIII was the first pope of the Church. It often seems as if the Church started with Vatican II. The pontificate of Pope Francis has only made matters worse. He has canonized Pope John XIII and Pope John Paul II, while ignoring the great pontificate of Pope Pius XII, making an even larger rift between the pontificates of the two. As we know the Council documents cannot stand on their own and thus in order for us to have a clear picture of the Catholic faith we must refer to the popes and Church documents before the Council. It seems however that day by day Pope Francis puts yet another brick in the wall separating us from the Church before the Council.
|Full steam ahead!|
|The result of too much squintinuity.|