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Seattle Catholic is not affiliated with the Archdiocese of Seattle
Seattle Catholic
A Journal of Catholic News and Views
16 Jan 2002
"By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them." (Matt 7:16)

The Most Abused and Actively Misrepresented Decree to Come out of Vatican II

There has been much writing and commentary over recent years addressing the documents of Vatican II pointing to the many insertions in those writings, which by their word structuring, allow for differing interpretation. Because this particular phenomenon was unheard of in the compositions of all the past General Councils of the Church, many have suspected that these writings were purposely structured in such manner that would allow reinterpretation after the Council. "The texts of the official Counciliar and post-Counciliar documents are carefully written. In the majority of cases, when they adhere to progressivist principles, they leave a door open for an interpretation that could be made according to Tradition." 1 Some have even referred to these inserted ambiguities as "time bombs."

The conjecture put forth pointing to these purposeful insertions is supported by the reality now seen whereby in every instance of potential double meaning, the one coming to the fore is, that which reverses the center of attention from the transcendent (God), to that of the world (man/modernism). Moreover, these inversions have served to subject the Church to an internally driven chaos and destruction never before experienced in its history.2

There is one of these insertions/wordings, however that stands out especially as the most abused, misrepresented and destructive of them all. It pertains to the sacred Liturgy and you see its workings in the vast majority of Masses one might attend in our day. This composition is found in one sentence (no. 14) in the "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy" (Sacrosanctum Concilium). It reads: "In the restoration and promotion of the sacred Liturgy the full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else..."

The assertion that the Mass must employ "the full and active participation" of the people is an open-ended declaration that, lacking specifics, has led to every form of excess and abuse. Rome directly confronted these aberrations as far back as 1980 when the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship issued its warning and "INSTRUCTION CONCERNING WORSHIP OF THE EUCHARISTIC MYSTERY" (Inaestimabile Donum). We read:

Christ mandated: "My house (churches) shall be called the house of prayer to all nations." (Mark 11:17, Mat. 21:13 and Luke 19:46). Yet, what do we witness today in far too many of our churches. In such settings, a surrounding conducive to individual prayer, devotion and reflection is practically non-existent. The so-called dictate of "the full and active participation of all the people," has transformed the "house of prayer" with its holy, reverent, solemn and prayerful environment to that of "gathering" halls with its attendant accruements of welcoming, introductions, hand shaking and hugs, conversation and worldliness with some ritual inserted to assure meeting the Sunday obligation.

The holy sanctuary set aside and prominent, incorporating the altar of Christ's sacrifice and the tabernacle preserving His real presence, has always rightfully been revered and treated as a holy space (read Moses before God in the burning bush). Now we witness the sanctuary and sacristy, before and during Mass, as the "peoples activity center" with men, women and children, in every form of profane dress, flowing to and fro, all "actively participating" in "ministry," of course.

Most all of this extraordinary lay activity is neither mandated by the Church nor essential to the Mass. Indeed, it detracts from the sacred Liturgy by the fact that such activity obstructs attentiveness on Christ whose adoration and beseeching should be our first and paramount intention at any Mass. For the Modernist, however, whose priorities are to the world and thus the divination of man, the call for "the full and active participation by all the people," in the absence of specificity, presents itself as a tool for asserting lay participations in the Liturgy far in excess of the original intent of the framers of the Vatican II documents. Moreover, this is precisely what has been done

If this abuse continues to run unabated in parishes allowing or furthering such activity, then the empirical record now decisively established from recent decades, shows that those parishes are headed for decline, if not dissolution. The truly faithful recognize and know when Christ is being withdrawn from them and they will seek Him elsewhere. May God have mercy on us!

Erven Park
Toledo, WA

1 Atila Sinke Guimaraes, Author
2 This present day crisis in the Church attributed directly to the heresy of Modernism was foretold accurately by Pope St. Pius X prior to his death (1835 - 1914).
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