The Second Vatican Conchshell…

The Second Vatican Conch Shell is something you put to your ear in order to hear whatever you want to hear.

And then use it to bludgeon some hapless traditionalist.



balthasar-and-mickey-mousewindswept cardinals vatican 2

Assisi John Paul II religious leaders

john paul ii hockey stickdancing priests vatican 2

It gets worse. 

pope francis clown nose

janus two face

“Compromise Formulas”

I recently had a long conversation in Facebook about Pope “downright nonsense” Francis, and my conclusion was (once more) that it’s best that I stop watching this papacy too closely–though, if you think I’m a maniacal analyst of Pope Francis, you need to get online more. I just think Pope Francis is making life more difficult for orthodox Catholics.


I’m glad that I’m in the minority on this, but it’s extremely tiresome to talk against what feels like insuperable water carrying.

joe biden pope francis

The bottom line is, I can’t deny that, [after some prayer and a concern or two from readers, I’ve revised this to represent my feelings more accurately:] on the whole in a number of cases, I’m embarrassed to call Pope Francis the Vicar of Christ. I felt much the same way about John Paul II’s actions at Assisi in 1986, and about Benedict XVI’s unqualified congratulations to the newly elected Barack Obama; so my reactions to Pope Francis are more a matter of frequency than uniqueness. Not for the first time, I’ll let Dale Price speak for me: “For a man with undeniable pastoral gifts, it’s equally clear he has his blind spots, and I hope he grows in that respect. Right now, I’m in the position of loving the pontiff, but not really liking him. I am hoping and praying that changes.” I have never considered myself a traditionalist, but looking back only a few centuries, I can’t deny that he seems to be the odd man out. I admit my traditionalist Catholic apprehension, regardless of what slings and arrows it may cause me to suffer. I love and promote Pope Francis’s acts of charity and homiletical “bullseyes” on my blog when I find them (e.g. 1 and 2 and 3), but on the whole I find it depressingly contrived to have to do back flips when the pope acts or speaks like the Vicar of Christ should. I’m glad that a bunch of atheists’ limbic systems responded to Pope Francis kissing a man with boils–but then? (My Facebook “convo” was with him, by the way.) Look how quickly they snapped back even after his letter to Scalfari and the idea of the salvation of atheists (1 and 2) when the Vatican clarified that, no, regardless what Pope Honey Badger said, things are not that simple. The Evangelical-megachurch bait-and-switch is a deadly game to play, and only underscores the paradox: in one breath anti-proselytizers denounce the “numbers game” of proselytism yet in the next play up the unprecedented numbers of people being “converted unto” Pope Francis. Despite the fact that Pope Francis was probably the easiest sell we’ve ever had the the MSM, the honeymoon is wearing off. Hooray. For those non-believers still on a Francis high, though, to what are they really being drawn? I think the jury is still out. It’s a cotton candy papacy so far. Smiles, thumbs-up, UN kudos, resurrexifixes, media gaffe after media gaffe, surveys, clown noses, liturgical whateverism, etc. etc. It’s just too hard to keep watching without getting agitated.

In light of my recent exchange, the following from Rorate Caeli (via Pertinacious Papist) was immensely healing and encouraging.

What to do when everything seems to be immersed in tremendous confusion? What to do when nothing seems to exist with certainty?

Man is made to live in the presence of God, and in God to find his own substance and peace. At one time the Catholic Church communicated this peace. It was the world, far from God, that was in continuous agitation, but the Church — no. The Church was stability.

It was the godless world which was immersed in a continuous Revolution loved by unstable and desperate souls, who, discontent with life, sought anxiously after impossible novelties which could fill their interior emptiness.

But the Church – no: always the same, composed and pacific in the stability of God, She advanced through the sea of history and was a safe vessel for the souls who did not love the Revolution, recognizing it as false and deceptive.

Many were struck by the marvellous peace that emanated from the Catholic Church, a peace that convinced and converted, a peace which is among the greatest signs of God. … “The serenity of the Faith and immutable doctrine was reflected in the possession of the truth full of certainty and peace.” How sweet these words are! They are the very sweetness of God and give serenity to every heart that seeks it in His Church.

But now all has changed… dreadful days have come upon us which the appeasing rhetoric of modernized Christians cannot hide: the Revolution of the atheist world has entered the Church and is wearing everything down. There is no longer any stability and the Church appears to have entered into a perennial Revolution which changes everything continuously: confusion in the rites, confusion in doctrine, confusion in morals, confusion in discipline. You do not know if the truth of today will be the same tomorrow. Many, priests and faithful, rush around anxiously in order not to be left behind, adapting themselves in whatever way they can, to this wearisome confusion. …

First of all, it is important not to be beset by agitation, it is important not to react like revolutionaries: that would be like treating a disease, which is precisely what the Revolution is, with the same illness. … Instead, it is essential to stay really outside of the Revolution, by living Catholicism integrally in the stability that was there, before the Revolution invaded everything.

In the darkness of [the present] confusion, you need to decide before God to live a stable Catholic life. In order to do this you have to identify a place that transmits the peace of the Faith which possesses revealed truth. A place where the Traditional Mass is celebrated: choose it as a reference for your life, allowing yourself to be educated by this place. Do not live in agitation, in a perennial struggle, but live like Catholics in the Liturgy of all time, in the Doctrine of all time, in the Grace of all time according to the Sacraments of all time; and with that, do all the good that the Lord permits you to do. …

In other words, being a Christian is the coolest thing ever!

Daddy-Babyfather : baby :: God : humanity


About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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10 Responses to The Second Vatican Conchshell…

  1. graywills says:

    ‘The Second Vatican Conch Shell’ – love it – absolutely love it!

  2. Brock Fowler says:

    There is a blog called “The Reluctant Traditionalist”:

    That was my feeling for a long time (reluctant). After all, I was a convert who never experience the pre-Vatican II Church, I have little aptitude for Latin, and then there are some traditionalists who… well, you sometimes do run into crazies (certainly on the internet, and occasionally in person).

    But I joined the Church because came to believe that it was founded by Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit: which means that the Church did not start in 1965…and so we should not act as though it did…nor should we act as though prior Popes and Councils didn’t really count.

    I’ve come to love it: I’m no longer reluctant. And I’ve been blessed with an a place to go to mass with is friendly, balanced, and utterly sane.

  3. graywills says:

    Wonderful – absolutely wonder-full!

  4. Branch says:

    I saw this comment recently: “Laurie Goodstein’s new piece, “Conservative US Catholics Feel Left Out of the Pope’s Embrace,” gives voice to a strain of Catholicism in this country that has been increasingly noticeable. A few of the quotes in this piece are patently ridiculous – like the person who accuses Pope Francis of being “dangerously close” to heresy. But the greatest irony is that some Catholics from this part of the church were the same ones who would excoriate anyone who disagreed in the slightest with any statement of Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI. Apparently, it’s now okay to disagree with the Pope.” – Fr. James Martin, S.J.

    The greatest irony, actually, is that Fr. Martin actually cares what the Pope has to say now.

  5. cmatt says:

    Not surprising – too may people confuse people (i.e., a pope) with their statements (which can be either odx or hdx). It has always been ok to disgree with hdx statements, regardless from whom they eminate. Just so happens JP II and BXVI made far fewer statements that were dangerously close to hdxy, so fwere opportunities to disagree.

  6. Dale Price says:

    Martin knows better. When “conservative” Catholics start screaming and yelling about Denziger stuff–apostolic letters, encyclicals, etc.–or disciplinary decisions, he’ll have a point. His problem is that the progressive side has been trying to run the Catechism through the shredder, and their attempts to imitate faithful Catholics are like a really bad drag show.

    We can see your Adam’s apple, Fr. Jim.

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  10. V2 conchshell is great and the reference to revolution is not wrong for if Sacred Theology is required to be recast so as to reach the man of today then it will always require recasting because the man of today is different than the man of 1962-65 the Council was appealing to and the same goes for the Lil’ Licit Liturgy; it to must change to suit the times and the dignity of man.

    O, and then there is the fact that we are suffused with a new ecumenism and everything, it is claimed, ought to be oriented towards it and reconciled with it, whereas this undignified man considers Ecumenism the universal solvent dissolving Tradition and Doctrine and if you, rightly, think I am simply wrong (my speciality) then consider Mystici Corporis teaching what is necessary to be considered a member of the Body of Christ vs what V2 taught.

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