The Contamination of Catholicism

The Great Populist Booze

I would like to explain to you the madness of the mentality engendered by Vatican II with two examples.

1) Some years ago I bought the “New Jerome Biblical Commentary” directly from Amazon (that is: without reading the introduction, etc.).When the tome arrived, I noticed that it was explicitly said that some of the contributions had been written by non-Cathlics, but their orthodoxy had been checked so there need be no worries.

This stroke me as very odd. Clearly, a non-Catholic is a person who is in error and no amount of ecu-maniacal waffle will ever change a iota in this. Why, therefore, a person who is in error might be asked to write a commentary about the truth is simply beyond me. “Ah, but we have checked!”, says the publisher; which sounds as logical as to say that you have asked the plumber to make a new chair for you, but you have checked that the chair is all right. One also wonders why it was so difficult to ask Catholic authors in the first place, as one assumes that there must still be a good number available. The only possible answer is that in the post Vatican II climate, it is considered bon ton to allow Protestants to explain Christianity to Catholics. I also wonder why the opinion about “orthodoxy” of a person who can even conceive to allow a Protestant to form Catholic consciences should be of any value. I mean, these are people telling me that the plumber is good enough to make me a new chair! Finally, I wonder whether even the texts from Catholic authors are properly orthodox: an editor so concerned with “ecumenism” as to invite Protestant authors might well choose only those among the Catholic authors who are most accepted by Protestants. You see, the one with orthodoxy is a slippery slope: if an editor doesn’t show that orthodoxy is the most important thing to him, he simply loses credibility.

Some people must stop drinking the Kool-aid (or the vodka) and start acting as Catholics. My tip to you: don’t buy the book, as the money can be better invested in writings of people of non dubious orthodoxy.

2) More recently, I ordered (always by Amazon, the situation in British bookstores being rather tragic, with “gay and lesbian” sections everywhere, and books of aggressive atheists prominently displayed in the meager “Christianity” section) a book called “A Benedictine daily prayer: a short breviary”. I thought this was safe, as it came directly from the religious order.

Fat chance. Once received the book, I noticed the comment that the book had been compiled in such a way as to be usable also by Protestants, in that those passages and prayers had been chosen, that are compatible with non-Catholic Christianity.This was explained with the fact that particularly in the US, such books are used in “ecumenical” communities. Which is as to say: as there are Catholics who pray together with Protestants (which as far as I know they are not even allowed to do; I might be wrong), let us protestantise ourselves. Here post-V II “ecumenism” shows its real face.

Isn’t it beautiful? You buy a (short) breviary from a Catholic religious order, and they give you something which has been purged from evidently Catholic elements in order to be acceptable to non-Catholics.

Idiots. No wait, let me rephrase this in a more polite manner. Idiots.

Also please note that the introduction made clear that the Benedictines themselves can’t use the version sold to me and must refer to properly orthodox sources instead. So, this compilation is not good enough for them, but  I can use it. This is patronising besides being idiotic.

This is the situation we are in these tragic post-Vatican II years; years when you can’t even buy a Benedictine breviary without falling in the trap of ever-present ecu-maniacal spirit.

At that point I have decided that in principle I wouldn’t buy anything published after the V II years anymore. Thankfully, we have a wealth of books that are now becoming available again (think of Fulton Sheen, or Ronald Knox, and the likes) and if one looks long enough one can find real pearls of Catholic orthodoxy, like the never enough admired Iota Unum, also available online for free. The wealth of Catholic apologetics written in times above suspicion grows every day, and the next years will certainly see an explosion in supply as Catholics wake up to the drunkenness of the post Vatican II mentality.

I suggest that you follow, as far as practicable, the same pattern whenever you are not absolutely certain beforehand of the book’s orthodoxy (and no, the book coming from the Benedictines is not enough!).

In the present times, you trust everything published after V II at your own peril.


Posted on August 10, 2011, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Mundabor, I also do the same thing. I always read pre-Vatican II. Thankfully there is a good Catholic library near me full of really old books. I find them not only more solid (as far as orthodoxy is concerned) but also better written and more intellectually rigorous. Standards have fallen mightily in the last 40 years.

    • Ah, a Catholic library near one, what a dream!

      Is that the place where all your beautiful booklets come from? Or are they family “heirlooms”?


  2. No Mundabor. They’re from different sources. Glad they’ve been of use.

  3. The simple answer is to use (or and tell it you only want books published before 1960 (or 1950, or 1910, or whenever).

  4. If you know how to use the New Jerome Biblical Commentary, it is perfectly useful and helpful. The “literal sense” of Scripture includes reading Scripture within its historical context with due attention paid to the Spirit in which it was written. Reading Scripture in light of its historical context means making sense of the literary conventions used by the sacred authors. I use the New Jerome as a handy one volume text that gives great insight on Catholic biblical hermeneutical principals. It isn’t the final word and series like the Sacra Pagina series do a much better job opening up Scripture within the life of the Church, reading it within context of the Tradition and the rest of the canon. But what the New Jerome does is very helpful, albeit incomplete within the life of the Church. It reflects a position that needs purification and completion, but it isn’t rubbish.

  5. Mundabor, if you take biblical studies seriously you will eventually have to read non- Catholics. When a Catholic Bible commentary employs non-Catholics, it does so at their own peril with regards to the “spiritual senses” of Scripture, particularly the “anagogical” sense, where in it’s deepest sense Scripture illuminates heavenly and sacramental realities. It doesn’t make it de facto heterodox.

    I think of the Ancient Christian Commentary series, itself an ecumenical work, that compiles the writings of the Church Fathers to comment on Scripture. The Fathers opened up the spiritual senses of Scripture to us most fully, extrapolating the meaning of Scripture beyond the literal sense (while rooted in it) in order to illuminate it’s deeper meanings and fulfillment in the Church. There have been an increasing number of Protestants who have appropriated the Fathers and have become experts in Patristics in their own right. Reading the Fathers are a trustworthy way back to the Church and their work has been a blessing.

    Common work like these are a fulfillment of Christ’s high priestly prayer in John 17. They are the beginning of a relationship of mutual understanding. As a Catholic, my belief is that truth leads to Truth. This doesn’t mean that by reading a Protestant scholar I undermine the Church. Pope Benedict draws from Protestant and Jewish writers in his Jesus of Nazareth series. A Catholic work can still be Catholic even when it may be just a shade ecumenical. If that were so, the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine Of Justification would be void (

    I certainly did not mean to misrepresent you in saying that you called it “rubbish”. I merely got that impression from what you wrote.

    • Tom,

      I never said that I want to start serious biblical studies.

      When I but a Catholic text, I simply expect it to be orthodox beyond doubt.

      I also haven’t said that the compilation is ipso facto heterodox, merely that at this point I can’t be sure it isn’t.

      As to the Protestant texts, if I read them I want to know it before I buy, and I do not want to find them where I expect to find Catholic orthodoxy.

      Please stop misrepresenting me and read what I write instead.


  6. Mundabor-

    I used the Jerome Biblical Commentary a great deal during my graduate studies, primarily because one of its writers (Fr. Ray Brown) once taught at the school where I studied and was a member of the religious society that runs the school.

    It was all right for the most part, but was shot through with the neo-modernism of the sort described in the post where you linked to Ite ad Thomam. Fr. Brown was in fact famous/infamous for importing that sort of thinking into Catholic biblical studies, where it had hitherto been unknown since the time of St. Pius X.

    It has since come to dominate the field, as I think you may have picked up on from your interlocutor Tom in the above posts.

    • Nihilsubsole,

      so you had the old version, right? I thought the old one was entirely orthodox as opposed to the “New Jerome” I have; it is saddening to hear that even the old version wasn’t immune from neo-modernism.


  7. Well, the commentary is influenced by neo-modernism, so it can in fact be interpreted in a completely orthodox way. It did receive a nihil obstat and imprimatur, after all. The problem is that many glosses can also be interpreted in a way that departs from tradition. Which interpretation is the way meant by the authors? We’ll never know . . .

    • Ah, the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur… that’s another sad story..


      P.s. still curious to know whether you have the NEW Jerome or the “Jerome”, the older version now, I understand, out of print…

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