Monday, February 12, 2018

Neo-Paganism: the Problem Vatican II Failed to Correct

So, Vatican II did not achieve the good of the faithful or of the world which it boldly declared as its aim. That much is clear. We are not better off.

But, it is necessary in this regard to go back to Ratzinger's assessment of the paganism of his 1950's Catholic Bavaria: "The New Pagans and the Church". A Catholicism which simply went through the motions. It was a worldly religiosity with very little depth. He says that a great fall-out, because of the superficiality of the faith, was inevitable. It was largely a humbug Catholicism, much too identified with the world.

"In the long run, the Church cannot avoid the need to get rid of, part by part, the appearance of her identity with the world, and once again to become what she is: the community of the faithful. Actually, her missionary power can only increase through such external losses. Only when she ceases to be a cheap, foregone conclusion, only when she begins again to show herself as she really is, will she be able to reach the ear of the new pagans with her good news, since until now they have been subject to the illusion that they were not real pagans. Certainly such a withdrawal of external positions will involve a loss of valuable advantages, which doubtless exist because of the contemporary entanglement of the Church with civil society. This has to do with a process which is going to take place either with, or without, the approval of the Church, and concerning which she must take a stand (the attempt to preserve the Middle Ages is foolish and would be not only tactically, but also factually, wrong). Certainly, on the other hand, this process should not be forced in an improper manner, but it will be very important to maintain [a] spirit of prudent moderation..."

What he is saying is that for too long "the faithful" have been living a practical atheism deceiving both themselves and the world. He says that the majority of Catholics no longer practice their faith. And they actually work against the faith of the Church. They are "the new pagans."

"It is...evident that they no longer simply embrace the faith of the Church, but that they make a very subjective choice from the creed of the Church in order to shape their own world view. And there can be no doubt that most of them, from the Christian point of view, should really no longer be called believers, but that they follow, more or less, a secular philosophy. They do indeed affirm the moral responsibility of man, but it is based on, and limited by, purely rational considerations. The ethics of N. Hartmanns, K. Jaspers, and M. Heidegger, for example, defend the more or less known convictions of many morally upright men, but they are in no sense Christians.. The well-known [recently published] little book entitled, What Do You Think About Christianity? can open the eyes of anyone, who has allowed himself to be deceived by the Christian façade of our contemporary public image, to the realization of how far and wide such purely rational and irreligious morality has spread. Therefore, the modern man today, when he meets someone else anywhere, can assume with some certainty that he has a baptismal certificate, but not that he has a Christian frame of mind. Therefore, he must presume as the normal state of affairs the lack of faith of his neighbor."

Thus the Church's structure had changed over the centuries from a Church of the converted to a mere club.
And the consciousness of the still-believing Christians had changed accordingly into a general indifferentism regarding the essential need of the Church for salvation. That it is basically the same no matter what religion you are. That God and religion are really unimportant, even though everyone gave lip service to both.

That was the problem of the 1950's which Vatican II addressed and tried to answer, but, rather than fixing it, made it much worse. Now the paganism is wide-open and obvious on all sides.

It's not enough to say that Vatican II failed. The modern Church is failing in her primary mission of salvation and she has been doing so for more than the half a century since Vatican II.
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