(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love - Used With Permission)
" "In the first place it should be known that if a person is seeking God, his beloved is seeking him much more." — St. John of the Cross

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Revisiting Wednesday - "Holy Spirit" vs. "Spirit of Vatican II"

Thank you Allison Gingras and Elizabeth Riordan, for inviting your fellow Catholic bloggers to re-post their favorite articles on "Worth Revisiting” Wednesdays. 

Go there now (and every Wednesday) and enjoy what these authors have to offer.

During the rest of each week. visit Allison at  Reconciled To You and Elizabeth at Theology Is A Verb
Given the rampant disbelief in and irreverence toward the Holy Eucharist, I chose to share this 2013 post:

"Holy Spirit" vs. "Spirit of Vatican II"

(Originally posted January 21, 2013)

I have made a commitment during this Year of Faith to do a number of things, including reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Vatican II Documents. Both exercises have been worthwhile. From time to time I hope to share the fruits of my efforts.

Today, I will start with a few questions.

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Did you know that at the time of Vatican II the vast majority of Catholic Bishops in the world were opposed to permitting reception of Holy Communion in the hand and that as a result our Holy Father decided not to change the manner in which Communion was administered? (See Instruction On The Manner of Distributing Holy Communion)
They feared then (and I would argue the resulting realty became) a widespread loss of reverence for and belief in the Real Presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. In fact, the Holy Father “urged bishops, priests and laity to obey carefully the law” requiring reception of Holy Communion while kneeling and on the tongue.

Despite the Pontiff’s entreaty, many Episcopal Conferences persisted and insisted on permitting reception of Communion in the hand. In response to such widespread defiance, Pope Paul VI relented and allowed Bishop Conferences to request his permission to do so by submitting a detailed account to him of the reasons which led them to take such action.

Did you know that? Have you ever seen the justification offered by the Bishops of this country or your Diocese for ignoring the Pope’s initial directions? Might it now be the time to pull those explanations out of moth balls and take a fresh look at them, especially in light of the widespread irreverence and disbelief in the Real Presence that so typifies much of the Catholic Church today?

You probably also did not know that the same Bishops were to send a report to Rome six months after authorizing Communion in the hand informing the Holy Father as to the outcome of their policies. Was that done? Has anyone seen those reports?

Our Bishops are human and can and do make mistakes. I suspect we will not be too surprised to see now how inaccurate and wrong the assessments and justifications were that they offered then for defying the Holy Father’s initial directions.

Is it not time for our Bishops to reassess their past posture on this crucial issue and objectively re-evaluate and report on the extent to which their policies have or have not contributed to the widespread lack of belief in the Real Presence? I suspect the objective evidence will demonstrate that it is time to correct that error and return to receiving Holy Communion on our knees and on our tongues. I highly recommend that you read Dominus Est! It Is the Lord! Reflections of a Bishop of Central Asia on Holy Communion.

The Holy Spirit will never lead its Church or its members to do something contrary to Scripture, Holy Tradition or the Church's Magisterium. Unfortunately, the man-made and often relied upon “Spirit of Vatican II” has and continues to do so.

What do you think?


  1. What a great exercise to read the Catechism and all the Vatican II documents. I have worked my way through a few of the documents and am always shocked about a few things;: one, they are very readable; two, they seem so far in their content from anything I learned in the watered down religion classes of the 70s and 80s. They are rich and beautiful. Catholics should make it a practice of going to the sources for their information about the faith. And yes, definitely time to revisit reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament. I believe the young people especially are craving that reverence and sense of the Sacred that is lost in so many churches.

    1. Thanks for the visit and comments Debbie. How different our Church and our world might be today had we read and taken to heart both the Catechism and the documents of Vatican II. Who would have thought that the content of these documents would be misrepresented.How our Lord is abandoned, ignored and mistreated.

  2. The antidote to modernism is Tradition ,
    That is one reason I now drive 30 minutes to a tridentine Mass instead of 5 In a novus ordo experiment.
    Support Bishops like Athenasius shnider.
    I think I missed spell his name.