Historian sees merit in Pope Francis for having reopened the debate on Vatican II: in order for it to emerge from the Great Equivocation.
Roberto de Mattei
[published in Italian daily Il Foglio - July 12, 2014 edition]
Was the Second Vatican Council a council that was “betrayed”? By whom?
It is a pertinent question, following the publication of Instrumentum Laboris, the Vatican document that will lead the discussion in the upcoming Synod on the Family. The texts cited by Instrumentum Laboris are in fact, only from the Council or post-council, almost as if a radical shift has occurred in the magisterium of the Church since the 1960s on the theme of the family which is of crucial importance today.
The Bologna School has no doubts: there had been this theological and pastoral shift , but Paul VI stifled the incentive. All of the regrets of “The History of Vatican Council II”, written by Giuseppe Alberigo, are staked on the contrast between the “prophet”, John XXIII, who inaugurated the “new Pentecost” in the Church, and the icy John Baptist Montini who ditched it. Behind this historical reading of Vatican II and now re-proposed by Alberigo’s followers, Alberto Melloni, Giuseppe Ruggieri and Massimo Faggioli, is the innovative theology of Marie-Dominique Chenu, Yves Congar and most of all, Karl Rahner. Up to 1965, during the last weeks of the final session, at a conference entitled “The Council: the beginning of a beginning” , the German Jesuit, presented Vatican II as the beginning of a new era in the history of the Church, destined to renovate the community of believers, in an analogous manner to what had happened at the First Council of Jerusalem. Paul VI had betrayed the Council with the Nota praevia in 1964, in which he wanted to limit the significance of collegiality introduced by Lumen Gentium but most of all [he betrayed it]with the “repressive” encyclical Humanae Vitae in 1968.read...