Vatican II

Seminary of the Holy Spirit

Vatican II today remains controversial. Progressives claim that the teachings of the Council are a rupture, a discontinuity from previous Catholic teachings as represented by Trent and Vatican I. This progressive school of thought believes that Vatican II did not go far enough in its reforms, but one must go even further. These interpreters hence claim that under a "Spirit of Vatican II" the liberal reforms must go beyond the teachings of Vatican II and utilize a progressive modern critique of traditional Catholic teaching.

 

On the other hand there is the traditionalist school who also believe that the teachings of Vatican II is a rupture from Vatican I and Trent. These interpreters reject Vatican II as heretical and look at the pre-Council era as a golden age where Trent and Vatican I exemplify what an Ecumenical Council should be. This school has a spectrum of thought between those who hold that while Vatican II was catastrophic for the Church it is still valid to those who completely reject Vatican II and the post-Vatican II Magisterium. This latter view is the sedevacantist position. 

The task of Le Nouvel Esprit is to develop a middle position that accepts the validity of Vatican II, but that Vatican II is not a rupture from prior Catholic teachings. Our position starts with the profession that Vatican II is a gift of the Holy Spirit to man and the whole of humanity. This must be the starting point to understand the Council. It is within this perspective that our investigations will undertake. 

Articles

This page contains many short reviews of books on Vatican II and gives a recommendation to the reader whether one should purchase it or whether the book is dangerous for one's faith. Our standard for evaluation is our hermeneutics of Vatican II as developed and investigated on our site, and found below. 

Vatican II Book Reviews

 
Hermeneutics of Vatican II

Part I: Gift of the Holy Spirit

This essay is the first part in the series Hermeneutics of Vatican II which examines how Catholics should understand Vatican II as a gift of the Holy Spirit. This message of the Council as a Spirit bestowed gift upon humanity is something not talked about often and yet critical for how one ought to understand the Council.

By Jeremy Hausotter

8/16/2020

Part II: Continuity or Discontinuity?

Part II focuses on the question whether Vatican II is in continuity or discontinuity with Catholic Tradition and the authority of the Council. The question of dissent is also investigated. We argue Catholics must give obedience to even the non-infallible teachings of Vatican II

By Jeremy Hausotter

10/3/2020

Part III.1: Vatican II and Faith

Part III is broken up into multiple parts. Part III.1 analyzes Vatican II's teachings on faith, Vatican II as an exercise of faith, and faith as a decipher. The overall thesis is that Vatican II must be implemented as an enrichment of faith.

By Jeremy Hausotter

5/16/2021

Part III.2.1: Vatican II as a Study of Man

Part III.2 applies the hermeneutic of faith to several problems in interpreting Vatican II. Part III.2.1 examines the meaning of Vatican II as a study of man. The main thesis is that Vatican II's address to modern man must be understood as an act of faith and evangelization.

By Jeremy Hausotter

5/16/2021

Part III.2.2: The Hermeneutic of Dialogue

Part III.2.2 examines the meaning of dialogue and how Vatican II's concept of dialogue cannot be separated from faith and truth and that the ultimate purpose of dialogue is the salvation of the world.

By Jeremy Hausotter

5/16/2021

Part III.2.3: The Hermeneutic of Pastoral

Part III.2.3 investigates the meaning of Vatican II being a pastoral Council. Vatican II's pastorality cannot be separated from dogma, for each requires the other in order to be intelligible.

By Jeremy Hausotter

5/16/2021

Part III.2.4: The Hermeneutic of Aggiornamento

Part III.2.4 explores the meaning of aggiornamento and how this concept is inseparable from doctrine, Vatican II's pastorality, faith, dialogue, and renewal.

By Jeremy Hausotter

5/16/2021

Part III.2.5: The Hermeneutic of Ad Intra and Ad Extra

Part III.2.5 identifies the concepts of ad intra and ad extra as the subjective and objective meanings of the hermeneutics of faith.

By Jeremy Hausotter

5/16/2021

Part III.2.6: The Spirit of Vatican II

Part III.2.6 examines the controversy over the Spirit of Vatican II, arguing that its authentic interpretation is the Holy Spirit.

By Jeremy Hausotter

5/16/2021

Part III.2.7: The False Hermeneutic of Ambiguity

Part III.2.7 addresses several arguments put forth that Vatican II's teachings are ambiguous. It is argued that the hermeneutic of ambiguity is a false ambiguity for it presupposes the hermeneutics of rupture and discontinuity.

By Jeremy Hausotter

5/16/2021

Part III.3: The Hermeneutic of Suspicion

Part III.3 examines the meaning of the hermeneutic of suspicion according to Paul Riceour and how it is applied to Vatican II. In opposition to this hermeneutic we promote the hermeneutic of faith.

By Jeremy Hausotter

5/16/2021

Part IV: Textual Hermeneutics

Part IV develops two textual principles for interpreting Vatican II while situating both within a wider spirituality of gift.

By Jeremy Hausotter

10/3/2021

Part V: The Theological Priority of the Dogmatic Constitutions

Part V argues why the dogmatic constitutions have theological priority for interpreting Vatican II

By Jeremy Hausotter

10/3/2021

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Commentary of Dignitatis Humanae

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Part I: Commentary on the Text

Dignitatis Humanae remains controversial today because here Vatican II famously declared that man has a right to religious freedom. Part I works through the Declaration paragraph by paragraph examining the text.

By Jeremy Hausotter

3/15/2020

Part II: The Magisterium’s Understanding of Religious Freedom

Part II of this Commentary explores the notion of religious freedom found in the papacies from Leo XII to Francis in order to understand the condemnations of indifferentism and the development of an authentic understanding of religious freedom.

By Jeremy Hausotter

7/27/2020

Part III: Dignitatis Humanae and the SSPX

Part III explores three articles published by the SSPX and can easily be found on their website. The content of these articles are some arguments against the teachings of Dignitatis Humanae. Part III analyzes and refutes these SSPX arguments.

By Jeremy Hausotter

7/27/2020

Part IV: Dignitatis Humanae and Marcel Lefebvre

Part IV explores the book Religious Liberty Questioned by Marcel Lefebvre who is the founder of the SSPX. This investigation develops further some themes in Part III while also treating the problem of coercion within Catholic theology.

By Jeremy Hausotter

7/27/2020