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Vatican 2's Infallibility-Where's the Beef?

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  • Vatican 2's Infallibility-Where's the Beef?

    Disclaimer: This will 'not' be a discussion on the problems contained within the Vatican 2 documents in reference to previous Church teaching/tradition, this will be solely a discussion about whether it exercises the same infallibility present within other Ecumenical Councils before it.

    Disclaimer Disclaimer: While I privately disagree with the contents (and, obviously, infallibility) of the Vatican 2 documents, while they are implemented, they are still binding to all members of the Catholic Church, including me, so I cannot, and will not, preform an act contrary to them, while still implemented.

    Does Vatican 2 exercise the same protection of infallibility that extends to other Ecumenical Councils? One should note that Pope John XXIII's opening statement:

    “The salient point of this council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all. For this a council was not necessary. [...] The substance of the ancient doctrine of the Deposit of Faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.
    So, already, we have a statement that the Council was a non-dogmatic, purely pastoral Council, that makes the claim to not have made any strong, doctrinal statements in regards to the previous Church definitions of infallibility. Already, this seems to prove the view that Council does, indeed, not exercise infallibility.

    Bishop Butler of England also shares this view:

    “Not all teachings emanating from a pope or Ecumenical Council are infallible. There is no single proposition of Vatican II - except where it is citing previous infallible definitions - which is in itself infallible.”
    As well as Bishop Rudolf Graber:

    “Since the Council was aiming primarily at a pastoral orientation and hence refrained from making dogmatically binding statements or disassociating itself, as previous Church assemblies have done, from errors and false doctrines by means of clear anathemas, many questions took on an opalescent ambivalence which provided a certain amount of justification for those who speak of the spirit of the Council.”
    Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

    -Thomas Aquinas

    I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

    -Hernando Cortez

    What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

    -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

  • #2
    I'd have to do more research to be able to give a good answer here, but I'd like to start by asking about an apparent contradiction in your post. You start by implying that there are points in Vatican II that contradict previous doctrines, then you try to build an argument off of the premise that Vatican II introduces no doctrinal novelties. Which is it?
    Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
      I'd have to do more research to be able to give a good answer here, but I'd like to start by asking about an apparent contradiction in your post. You start by implying that there are points in Vatican II that contradict previous doctrines, then you try to build an argument off of the premise that Vatican II introduces no doctrinal novelties. Which is it?
      Eh, I should have just said previous Church Tradition, instead of doctrine/tradition. The things they go against aren't infallible doctrine per say, rather just long-standing Church tradition and teaching, not that their importance should be diminished by that, though.

      ....though there is the one issue about Communion in the Hand that is theological in nature, and not just a matter of tradition.

      Edit: Actually Communion in the Hand has nothing to do with Vatican 2, sorry about that.
      Last edited by TimelessTheist; 08-23-2014, 12:15 AM.
      Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

      -Thomas Aquinas

      I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

      -Hernando Cortez

      What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

      -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

      Comment


      • #4
        Pope John never said that the council was not dogmatic. In fact, Dei Verbum and Lumen Gentium are "dogmatic constitutions". Vatican II was not inspired by a single doctrinal crisis or the need to clarify a particular point against an Arius or a Nestorius, but to understand the proper posture of the Church relative to the world around Her.
        Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
          Pope John
          I keep reading this as "Papa John's." May need to do something about this late-night craving.
          Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

          I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

          Comment


          • #6
            Pope John never said that the council was not dogmatic.
            His statement, previously posted, does not lie.

            which is predominantly pastoral in character.”
            In fact, Dei Verbum and Lumen Gentium are "dogmatic constitutions".
            Those are simply proclaiming previously held dogmas, so they're not really what I'm talking about here. I'm talking in reference to the 'entire' Council being a dogmatic one, which, according to Pope John, no, it is not.


            Vatican II was not inspired by a single doctrinal crisis or the need to clarify a particular point against an Arius or a Nestorius, but to understand the proper posture of the Church relative to the world around Her.
            I never said it was.

            Anyway, the idea that the Church should conform to 'the world around Her' is an idea that, I would say, is far from a good one, actually quite bad indeed.
            Last edited by TimelessTheist; 08-23-2014, 01:34 AM.
            Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

            -Thomas Aquinas

            I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

            -Hernando Cortez

            What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

            -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

            Comment


            • #7
              What do you think is meant by "pastoral"?
              Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                What do you think is meant by "pastoral"?
                Definition: "relating to the spiritual care or guidance of members of the Church"

                Dogma-

                Definition: "a principle or set of principles laid down by the Church as incontrovertibly true."

                Simple.
                Last edited by TimelessTheist; 08-23-2014, 09:31 PM.
                Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

                -Thomas Aquinas

                I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

                -Hernando Cortez

                What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

                -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                  Definition: "relating to the spiritual care or guidance of members of the Church"

                  Dogma-

                  Definition: "a principle or set of principles laid down by the Church as incontrovertibly true."

                  Simple.
                  Can a pastoral discussion involve dogma? Vatican II may have been conceived and executed as a pastoral council, but that doesn't mean that doctrine is irrelevant to its proceedings, or that no significant doctrinal developments are evident in Council documents.
                  Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                    Can a pastoral discussion involve dogma? Vatican II may have been conceived and executed as a pastoral council, but that doesn't mean that doctrine is irrelevant to its proceedings, or that no significant doctrinal developments are evident in Council documents.
                    Well, as you said, there were two dogmatic constitutions, but that's about it. Except for the parts where they're referring to previous dogmas, none of it is infallible. It was all meant to be a pastoral reform.
                    Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

                    -Thomas Aquinas

                    I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

                    -Hernando Cortez

                    What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

                    -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                      Well, as you said, there were two dogmatic constitutions, but that's about it. Except for the parts where they're referring to previous dogmas, none of it is infallible. It was all meant to be a pastoral reform.
                      A major part of the council consisted of actually coming to understand what actually was and was not dogma-- what was and was not an indispensable part of Tradition, and what could therefore be adapted. That's hardly insignificant.
                      Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                        A major part of the council consisted of actually coming to understand what actually was and was not dogma-- what was and was not an indispensable part of Tradition, and what could therefore be adapted. That's hardly insignificant.
                        It was a pastoral, non-dogmatic council, that itself, denied it invoked infalliability.

                        "the teaching authority of the Church, even though not wishing to issue extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements,"

                        I don't really see how it can be seen any other way.
                        Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

                        -Thomas Aquinas

                        I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

                        -Hernando Cortez

                        What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

                        -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                          It was a pastoral, non-dogmatic council, that itself, denied it invoked infalliability.

                          "the teaching authority of the Church, even though not wishing to issue extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements,"

                          I don't really see how it can be seen any other way.
                          What is meant here by "extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements?" To say that they do not intend to settle a major crisis and thus invoke the full extent of the Church's authority-- as at, say, Nicaea-- is not to say that the ordinary teaching authority of the magisterium doesn't apply.

                          But what does it matter one way or the other?
                          Don't call it a comeback. It's a riposte.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Spartacus View Post
                            What is meant here by "extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements?" To say that they do not intend to settle a major crisis and thus invoke the full extent of the Church's authority-- as at, say, Nicaea-- is not to say that the ordinary teaching authority of the magisterium doesn't apply.

                            But what does it matter one way or the other?
                            Yeah, that's not what I'm saying either. It's still binding, if not infallible. The point is though, that non-infallible councils can make mistakes, and be changed by proceeding Church councils.
                            Last edited by TimelessTheist; 08-27-2014, 10:30 PM.
                            Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

                            -Thomas Aquinas

                            I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

                            -Hernando Cortez

                            What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

                            -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
                              Well, as you said, there were two dogmatic constitutions, but that's about it. Except for the parts where they're referring to previous dogmas, none of it is infallible. It was all meant to be a pastoral reform.
                              It certainly is treated infallibly.
                              A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                              George Bernard Shaw

                              Comment

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