In The Great Façade: Vatican II and the Regime of Novelty in the Roman Catholic Church, Christopher A. Ferrara and Thomas E. Woods, Jr., examine the process that has devastated Catholicism over the past 40 years. The fact that the institution and the religion are in crisis is obvious to anyone that has eyes to see or ears to hear. Churches are being closed because pews are un-peopled, the number of those receiving the sacraments is dwindling and the percentage of Catholics who believe in the claims of their faith is small. Most bishops are knee-jerk leftists. Seminaries are empty, and recent scandals have shown that too many of those who are ordained priests are sexual deviants. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Likewise, the forces mobilized to destroy it didn’t appear over night. For more than a century before Vatican II, popes fought and warned of internal elements who sought to alter the church’s historic opposition to the dangers of liberalism, including sexual pedagogy, materialism and socialism. Pope John XXIII, who instigated the liberalizing Second Vatican Council, changed the modus operandi. On summoning all the bishops to Rome for the council, he declared that it was time to open the windows of the Church to the modern world—a transparently suspect strategy given that this was the1960s, when Communism was expanding its dominion across the world and the introduction of the birth-control pill was goading unparalleled libertinism. A request by 450 bishops that the council condemn Communism was rejected. Pope John Paul II repeatedly has referred to the “new springtime of the Church” that somehow, somewhere has been initiated by Vatican II. Either he lives on a different planet than the one billion adherents of the religion he leads, or he merely is defending the devastating policies for which he is largely responsible. Without any doubt, during the 25 years of his pontificate, the magnitude of the crisis had gotten progressively worse. The myth that John Paul II has been a great pope is beginning to fade. It is too difficult to explain away senseless papal acts such as kissing the Koran, praying to John the Baptist to protect Islam, his curia’s coddling of Red China, ecumenical negotiations with voodoo witches and pro-abortionists, and the complete bastardization of the liturgy that spiraled out of control on his watch. Many Catholics excuse the pope by blaming current heterodoxy on the bishops—but John Paul II appointed 95% of today’s bishops. These are his men on his mission. If the pontiff’s liberal credentials are in doubt, consider the Final Declaration of the Inter-religious Assembly that was published under his authority in October 1999. This document asks the world’s religions to “confront together, responsibly and courageously, the problems and challenges of our modern world (i.e. poverty, racism, environmental pollution, materialism, war, proliferation of arms, globalization, AIDS, lack of medical care, breakdown of family and community, marginalization of women and children, etc.).” Except for the token mention of the family, this could pass for the platform of the 2004 Democratic convention. As Messrs. Ferrara and Woods explain, none of the novelties instituted since Vatican II require assent from Catholics. By design, all the post-traditional prerogatives have been based on vague definitions and wiggle words that avoid establishing new doctrine. The New Order is all the result of a successful ideological putsch that can be rolled back. The Second Vatican Council was an ecclesiastical Woodstock. It unleashed forces inside the Catholic Church that genuflected to the delusions and experiments of the era rather than raise swords against them. The destruction continues to this day. Christopher Ferrara and Thomas Woods have written an impressively thorough exegesis on the crisis. The total failure of Vatican II should be admitted, and the whole sham finally abandoned.
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