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The Year of Delusion Begins

by Christopher A. Ferrara
December 9, 2015

In his homily at Mass for the inauguration of the “Year of Mercy,” Francis revived a delusion about Vatican II from which the Church seemed to be at least beginning a recovery during the reign of Pope Benedict:

Today, as we pass through the Holy Door, we also want to remember another door, which fifty years ago the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council opened to the world. This anniversary cannot be remembered only for the legacy of the Council’s documents, which testify to a great advance in faith. Before all else, the Council was an encounter. A genuine encounter between the Church and the men and women of our time. An encounter marked by the power of the Spirit, who impelled the Church to emerge from the shoals which for years had kept her self-enclosed so as to set out once again, with enthusiasm, on her missionary journey. It was the resumption of a journey of encountering people where they live: in their cities and homes, in their workplaces.

This assessment of what happened after the Council is about as congruent with the real world as hallucinations induced by LSD. 

First, the legacy of the Council is no “genuine encounter between the Church and the men and women of our time” but rather the flight from a genuine encounter, which would mean telling “the men and women of our time” the truth about their situation — the situation of all of us sinners — before God: that we are fallen creatures in need of redemption through sanctifying grace, that the Sacraments of the Catholic Church are channels of that grace, and that without that grace we are lost for all eternity. 

The only “encounter” Vatican II has led to is an endless, pointless, useless, unfailingly polite conversation with people today’s churchman does not wish to offend and will avoid offending at all costs — even at the cost of the saving Truth itself.  A genuine encounter?  Don’t make me laugh. And before the Council the Church had failed to encounter people in a genuine way?  What a joke.  And what an insult to the Church herself.

And what of this nonsense that before Vatican II the Church was “self-enclosed” and needed to “set out once again, with enthusiasm, on her missionary journey.”  Please!  The missionary journey has ground to a complete stop thanks to the utter novelties of “ecumenism,” “dialogue” and “interreligious dialogue” — all unheard-of in the Church before the Greatest Council Ever.  And now what do we have but a Pope who declares that “proselytism” — that is, seeking converts, which is the very essence of missionary activity — “is solemn nonsense.”  

A renewed missionary journey since Vatican II?  That’s a whopper for the ages.

The homily continues in the same delusional vein: “It was the resumption of a journey of encountering people where they live: in their cities and homes, in their workplaces.”

For Heaven’s sake!  Where was the Church “encountering” people before 1962?  On the moon? Were there no Catholic parishes, Catholic schools, Catholic youth groups, or Eucharistic Congresses in the cities and towns populated by Catholics before Vatican II?  Were all the priests and bishops hiding out in heavily guarded palaces?  Did Bishop Sheen, for example, not have a television audience larger than Milton Berle’s on the strength of nothing more than his compelling oratory, a blackboard and piece of chalk?

Enough of this neo-Catholic fairy tale of the mean and nasty “fortress Church” of the pre-conciliar dark ages that was failing to “encounter” people.  It is the post-Vatican II ecclesial establishment that has failed in its duty of encounter — the encounter demanded by the divine commission.

They have fed people stones when they need bread, causing millions to defect to Protestant sects where at least they hear about the glory of Heaven and the fires of hell.  Since the Council, conversions have plummeted along with baptisms, Church weddings, Mass attendance and vocations — there are fewer priests in the world today than there were nearly fifty years ago. Parishes are closing, Catholic schools are shutting down, and dioceses are going bankrupt on account of homosexual priest scandals.  And the Catholics who remain in the pews are now as liberal on matters of faith and morals, by and large, as their Protestant neighbors.

No, after the Council the Church did not “emerge from the shoals which for years had kept her self-enclosed.” Rather, she ran aground on the shoals — the shoals of the Council — and is now self-enclosed in the post-conciliar delusion that the Church has never been so vibrant as she is now, thanks to Vatican II, when her actual condition (humanly speaking) can be summed up in two words uttered by John Paul II: “silent apostasy.”

And so it seems that the Year of Mercy will also be a Year of Delusion.  But that is what Sister Lucia of Fatima meant by “diabolical disorientation.”