Here and then one reads an interpretation – much popular in the Vatican, I think – which makes of those Conciliar Fathers who approved and pushed the V II reform a sort of well-intentioned, but vaguely naive churchmen who, persuaded as they were of the virtues of modernity, were just a tad slow in understanding the problems this marriage between Christ and the modern world would engender.
There is no way the “modernisers” within the Church can escape their responsibility for what happened, and explanations like the one given above are, as we say in Italy, an attempt to hide behind one’s finger. Let us see why:
1) The idea that the world and the Church would now be – because this was the message – happy ever after is fundamentally flawed, and flawed in such a way that no one can claim not to see the falseness of the premise. After 2000 years in which the Church has proclaimed to be the enemy of the world, this idea that suddenly the world and the Church should pedal in tandem in perfect harmony just because we happened to have computers, aeroplanes and medical advancements is more than stupid, it is criminally disingenuous. Every halfway instructed peasant with a sincere heart would have been perfectly aware of this, but the “Conciliar Fathers” apparently weren’t. Congratulations for the sleight of hand, Fathers; just don’t claim innocence.
2) The behaviour of the same “Conciliar Fathers”, of the very same people who took part to the Council, in the following years is the best evidence most of the Conciliar Fathers wanted to surrender to the world and were perfectly uncaring about the consequences. If the narrative of the “good man of God who is just a bit inattentive” had been true, once gone back to their dioceses the bishops would have started an extremely fierce fight for the defence of those values which, one way or the other, they would have seen as being not negotiable. This simply did not happen, and the West was swept by a tsunami of secular legislation against which our heroes opposed, if that, nothing more than a faint meowing. In the years of and following the council, sodomy laws were abolishes in many countries, abortion laws were introduced, and divorce laws were introduced or extended. I remember those times, as even in my country abortion and divorce were introduced in a matter of just a few years. If you think the Church staged anything similar to a fight to protect Christian values, think again. Surrender was the order of the day, and we were given to understand this be something even clever, once we had taken account of “the times”. That the times are what people make of them did not occur to them. The world was unstoppable, and there was no other choice but to bow and go with the flow.
This despicable cowardice, this complete surrender to wordly demands would never had happened, if the “modernisers” among the Conciliar Father had been in good faith. If they had been in good faith, they would have recognised immediately – and with shocking evidence as the years went by – that everything was going the wrong way, that they had castrated the Church and that it was time to grow a pair and put up a fight. Nothing of the sort happened. Instead, Archbishop Lefebvre was ordered to surrender control of his seminary, and the indecent embrace with the world went on with an accompaniment of guitars and tambourines. I remember those days. I remember many around me pointing out to this self-evident reality. I remember every idiot could see what was happening, and I am sick and tired to read those who have made all this mess possible and created immense – though not irremediable – damage treated as if they had been just a bit naive. They weren’t. They were simply, together with the world and in tune with “the times”, smoking the joint of Satan and enjoying it. Some inhaled more and some inhaled less, but all the modernising troops did inhale in some measure, Popes not excluded.
This is why I oppose the narrative of the “good intentions”. The intentions were bad from day one, because the execution proves beyond doubt what the real intentions were.
It has become nowadays fashionable to shoot at Bugnini. Shoot away, say I; but Bugnini did not live on a parallel planet, and could not have operated without the support and complicity of a vast number of his colleagues. If we point out to Bugnini’s errors, we must perforce point out to those who abetted these errors and followed him en masse.
Please let us stop with the tale of the good “modernising” bishop because he wasn’t a good bishop, but a sellout. As long as the Church does not recognises this and tries to justify the unjustifiable, we’ll carry the poison of Modernism (because this it was, in milder or shall I say cleverer form) with us.
Responsibility comes from the Latin respondere, “to answer”.
The person who is responsible is the one who has to answer if things go wrong. He is in charge, therefore he is the first one to whom guilt is apportioned. To be in charge means to be the one who is in trouble when bad things happen, the first one who has some explaining to do, and it better be good.
This is a very simple concept. Empires have been built on it. Schools have used it all the times. Countless generations of parents have availed themselves of it. In church matters, Popes and Bishops have used it for almost two thousand years. Ask John Wyclif, or Jan Hus, or the Cathars how it worked. They’ll tell you in no uncertain terms.
The concept seems to be slowly dying. Responsibility is not seen as being in charge anymore, but rather as being the one who is supposed to make some noise.
Look at how many children behave (in church and outside) and consider to what extent this generation is enslaved to the whims of one’s own children, with an army of spineless parents not able to do anything more than to make their impotence and incompetence known to the general public. Make no mistake, the next generation of drug addicts, alcoholics, spineless, spoiled rotten eternal adolescents is growing under our very eyes. They can’t even behave in church, but they are supposed to get through the trouble and challenges of a lifelong marriage. Good luck with that.
Look at how teachers behave, their ability to promptly and severely punish – and therefore, being feared; and therefore, being obeyed and respected – almost completely vaporised by a generation who has demonised the very concept of authority and is simply terrified of every physical contact.
Look at the bishops, all too often reduced to be the smiling spectators of a dynamic which they, even when they don’t like it, feel obliged to leave unopposed. Unless, of course, they are pleased with it.
And look at the Popes, with the past century introducing an extraordinary, unprecedented Papal behaviour like publicly denouncing that from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God, without acting to close the goddamn fissure at once, and with utmost energy. Don’t think that this doesn’t continue today; it only happens in a less tragically ineffective way. Sadly, modern Popes don’t reign. They encourage.
The last generation seems to be the first one for which talking is considered a valid substitute for acting; again, so many people play the game (with their own children; with their own pupils; with their own priests; with their own cardinals and bishops) that this has become normal, and accepted as “the way things go”.
The one in charge is the one who has to act.
If he doesn’t, he’ll have to answer for it, some day.