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"Springtime of Vatican II" Update

You Want Proof? Here It Is.

by Christopher A. Ferrara

The last desperate argument of those who maintain that Vatican II had no role in the post-conciliar crisis in the Church is that no one can "prove" empirically that the Council caused the crisis. It is a mere coincidence, so the argument goes, that the Council’s much-vaunted "opening to the world" and "dialogue with men of all shades of opinion" (cf. Gaudium et spes) were followed immediately by what Pope Paul VI himself lamented as the "auto-demolition" of the Church and "the invasion of the Church by worldly thinking." To be fair, Paul VI himself refused to draw the obvious connection between the Council’s liberalization of the Church  —  what Paul VI described as the Council’s "command" and "program" of "newness," whatever that means  —  and the subsequent disorder and loss of faith that followed.

But reason itself tells us that there must be a connection between the conciliar program of "newness" and the immediate and catastrophic declines in every area of the Church where "newness" was imposed: the new Mass was followed immediately be a decline in Mass attendance; the new rule of life in seminaries and convents was followed immediately by the emptying of the seminaries and convents; the new worldly approach of the priesthood was followed immediately by massive defections of priests and a loss of new vocations which has produced a disastrous vocations crisis today; the new "ecumenism" and "inter-religious dialogue" were followed immediately by a drastic decline in conversions, whereas before the Council, conversions were dramatically on the rise.

Suppose a doctor were to recommend to his patient a new experimental medication that would make his healthy patient even healthier than before by improving his muscle tone, skin, hair, and energy level. Suppose that immediately after ingesting this new medicine, the patient’s muscles became flaccid, his skin pallid, his hair dull, and he was immediately overcome by a profound lethargy he had never before experienced. Only an idiot would insist that it could be a coincidence that the patient suffered these four ill effects immediately after taking a medicine that was supposed to improve precisely those four aspects of his health. Such, however, is the obtuseness of those who refuse to admit a causal relation between the Council and the crisis.

Well, even the most obtuse defenders of the "coincidence" theory will have to be quiet now that the first systematic statistical work demonstrating a correlation between the Council and the crisis has been published. I am referring to "The Index of Leading Catholic Indicators" by Kenneth Jones. Jones has meticulously compiled statistic after statistic showing immediate drastic declines in every vital aspect of the Church touched by the conciliar "reforms"  —  reforms which, as I have noted, Paul VI (not to mention John Paul II) directly attribute to a supposed mandate of the Council.

In view of the overwhelming statistical evidence of drastic ecclesial decline immediately following the Council, Jones rightly concludes that "no reasonable person looking at the evidence could come to any other conclusions. The beginning of the declines in all categories commences after the Council, and it’s been all downhill since. Yes, I believe there is a positive correlation [between the Council and the declines]."

The key words here are "no reasonable person." But when it comes to denying any connection between the Council and the crisis in the Church, we are not dealing with reasonable people. These are, after all, the same people who slavishly adhere to the party line that Russia was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart back in 1984 and has undergone a "miraculous transformation." The "miraculous transformation" of Russia and the "springtime of Vatican II" are both part of the same delusion. It is surely this delusion which Our Lady of Fatima came to dispel when She confided to Sister Lucia the still-mysterious contents of the Third Secret.