Rough Draft

Hermeneutics of Vatican II
Part II.4: Is Vatican II an Ecumenical Council?

By Jeremy Hausotter
Oct. 3, 2020, Revised Jan. 30, 2022

Table of Contents

4. Is Vatican II an Ecumenical Council?
     4.1. The 1917 Code of Canon Law
          4.1.1. Who can Convoke an Ecumenical Council
          4.1.2. The Authority of Ecumenical Councils
          4.1.3. Summary of the 1917 Code
     4.2. The 1983 Code of Canon Law
          4.2.1. The Response Owed to an Ecumenical Council
     4.3. Is Vatican II an Ecumenical Council?
     4.4. The Theological Dimension of Ecumenical Councils
     4.5. The 1989 Profession of Faith

4. Is Vatican II an Ecumenical Council?

If the questions of continuity and authority over the Second Vatican Council are dependent upon the prior question of whether Vatican II is an Ecumenical Council, then we should ask ourselves is Vatican II an Ecumenical Council? And if so, what does this status entail? There is a twofold dimension to these two questions: the dimension of canon law, what does the Church’s law say on the matter, and secondly, the theological groundwork or foundation that the canon law is based upon, i.e. what is an Ecumenical Council theologically speaking?

4.1. The 1917 Code of Canon Law

In order to assess the question whether Vatican II is an Ecumenical Council according to the Church’s law, we must turn to the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law which was the codified law of the Church until the 1983 Code of Canon Law was promulgated and abrogated it. The 1917 Code was hence the Church’s law at the time of Vatican II.

4.1.1. Who can Convoke an Ecumenical Council

We begin with Canon 222.1 which states:

An Ecumenical Council cannot be held that was not convoked by the Roman Pontiff.[1]

This means that any council cannot be designated as an Ecumenical Council unless the Pope convokes it. Canon 222.2 establishes the role the Pope is to have over Ecumenical Councils in determining the subjects to be considered, procedures, and promulgation of the council’s teachings:

It is for this same Roman Pontiff to preside himself or through another over the Ecumenical Council, to establish and designate the matters that are to be treated and the order to be observed, and to transfer, suspend, dissolve, and confirm the Council and its decrees.[2]

No one else has these responsibilities. Notice however that in section 2 the wording is “this same Roman Pontiff”, meaning that the one who convoked the council has the authority over it. Canon 229 establishes the rule to be followed when the Pope who convoked the Ecumenical Council dies, that in this circumstance the Council is interrupted and paused until a new Pope is elected and orders its continuation.[3]

4.1.2. The Authority of Ecumenical Councils

There are two canons which concern the authority of Ecumenical Councils. Canon 227 states that the decrees of a Council require the approval of the Pope before they have definitive authority:

The decrees of a Council do not have definitive obliging force unless they are confirmed by the Roman Pontiff and promulgated by his command.[4]

However, once a council’s decrees are confirmed and promulgated by the Pope, then Canon 228.1 states:

An Ecumenical Council enjoys supreme power over the universal Church.[5]

4.1.3. Summary of the 1917 Code

To summarize the 1917 Code then, the Pope alone possesses the authority to: 1) convoke an Ecumenical Council (Canon 222.1), 2) set the council’s agenda and procedures (Canon 222.2), and 3) end a Council or promulgate its decrees (Canon 222.2). On the authority of an Ecumenical Council the Code affirms: 1) the council lacks definitive obliging force without the confirmation and promulgation of the conciliar decrees by the Pope (Canon 227), and 2) once this is done the council enjoys supreme power (Canon 228.1).

4.2. The 1983 Code of Canon Law

Today the Church is under the 1983 Code which abrogated the 1917 Code. The 1983 Code’s Canon 338 follows the 1917 Code’s Canon 222 concerning the Pope’s role and authority in Ecumenical Councils. The 1983 Code Canons 341.1 and 338.1 repeats the 1917 Code’s Canon 227 that Ecumenical Councils require their decrees to be promulgated by the Pope in order to oblige.[6] The 1983 Code likewise repeats the 1917 Code concerning the supreme and full power of Ecumenical Councils (Canons 336-337.1).[7]

4.2.1. The Response Owed to an Ecumenical Council

The 1983 Code of Canon Law in Canon 749.2 specifies that Ecumenical Councils possess infallibility when the bishops are gathered together exercising their roles as teachers and judges of the faith and declare a doctrine of faith or morals to be definitively held.[8] When an Ecumenical Council does such, then these definitive teachings declared are to be believed with the assent of the faith (Canon 750).[9] The New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law gives the following definition of definitive teachings: “‘Definitively proposed’ doctrines are those solemnly defined by the pope or by an ecumenical council or taught infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium as teachings to be definitively held.”[10]

Many contend that Vatican II did not pronounce any definitive teachings. Such a statement is ambiguous. On the one hand, the Vatican II papacy certainly understood the purpose of the Council as not giving new definitive teachings, while, on the other hand, the Council certainly did set forth new teachings and explicitly stated its intention to do so (such as in the case of Dignitatis Humanae). The question whether Vatican II taught a doctrine infallibly can be answered in different ways. It can be asserted that Vatican II did put forth infallible teachings in the case when the Council restated previous infallible teachings such as Vatican I’s definition of papal infallibility in Lumen Gentium 25. There is another question whether some teachings of Vatican II are infallible. This can be interpreted in different ways such as the Council explicitly stating a teaching is definitive, such as Dei Verbum 11’s definition of inerrancy[11], or whether a teaching falls under the sensus fidelium. The International Theological Commission argued that the teachings of Dignitatis Humanae is an example of sensus fidelium.[12] The question as to whether Vatican II has given new infallible teachings however can be bracketed aside, in part due to the prudence of Canon 749.3 “No doctrine is understood to be infallibly defined unless this is manifestly demonstrated.” and the fact that such an inquiry is unnecessary for our purposes of responding to the basic critics of the Council who believe they do not need to agree with non-infallible teachings. 

As far as the non-definitive teachings of an Ecumenical Council are concerned, Canon 752 states that Catholics are still required to give a “religious submission of intellect and will”[13] and to avoid whatever is not in accord with these doctrines.

While the assent of faith is not required, a religious submission of intellect and will is to be given to any doctrine which either the Supreme Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising their authentic magisterium, declare upon a matter of faith or morals, even though they do not intend to proclaim that doctrine by definitive act. Christ's faithful are therefore to ensure that they avoid whatever does not accord with that doctrine.

It is hence a grave error 1) to believe one can promote views contrary to the teachings of Vatican II because of the Council’s status as an Ecumenical Council still demands religious submission to its authority; and 2) to believe that the teachings of the Council as being non-definitive implies that one does not need to give a submission of intellect and will to them. Disagreements with the Council must be approached through the lens of faith and humility in order to encounter its teachings authentically and discern where the issue in the critic’s understanding lies.  Further, it must be noted that the canons here employ a distinction between two kinds of responses to the Church’s teaching authority: 1) an assent of faith in response to definitive teachings; and 2) a religious submission of mind to non-definitive teachings.

It should hence come as no surprise then that according to Canon 1371.1 those who teach a doctrine condemned by the Pope or an Ecumenical Council, or obstinately rejects teachings that require an religious submission of intellect and will as outlined in Canon 752 can be punished when after being warned do not retract his or her position.

The following are to be punished with a just penalty: a person who, apart from the case mentioned in Can. 1364 §1, teaches a doctrine condemned by the Roman Pontiff, or by an Ecumenical Council, or obstinately rejects the teaching mentioned in Can. 752 and, when warned by the Apostolic See or by the Ordinary, does not retract…[14]

Not only is a religious submission of intellect and will required to non-infallible teachings, but failure to give such can be punishable by canon law.

4.3. Is Vatican II an Ecumenical Council?

The 1917 Code clearly teaches that only the Pope can begin an Ecumenical Council and give such a Council’s teachings its authority. Did John XXIII however intend to convoke an Ecumenical Council? On January 25, 1959 John XXIII stunned the Curia in a speech within which he announced his intention to celebrate an Ecumenical Council: “An ecumenical council for the Universal Church”. His apostolic constitution Humanae Salutis formally convoked Vatican II.[15] No one doubted his intentions as they were quite clear. His very first sentence that opened the first session John XXIII ends it with a statement that the Ecumenical Council now begins.[16] No one doubted they were witnessing and participating in an Ecumenical Council starting October 11, 1962.

In the apostolic brief In Spiritu Sancto Paul VI declared 1) that he was closing the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council by his apostolic authority and 2) approving and promulgating the decrees of Vatican II. In approving the Vatican II texts Paul VI also affirmed that 3) the texts are valid and legally effective and 4) all efforts contrary to the texts are invalid.[17]

We can hence see that both Popes used their papal authority in accordance with the 1917 Code to begin and end an Ecumenical Council, and promulgate the conciliar texts. One cannot doubt that Vatican II was a legitimate Council in terms of canon law. Thus in order to reject the legitimacy of Vatican II from a canon law perspective requires a rejection of the validity of the papacies of John XXIII and Paul VI and argue that neither had authority to begin, end, and promulgate the teachings of Vatican II.

One could object that some of the teachings of Vatican II are non-binding because he or she claims that a particular teaching is heretical or erroneous. This can be rejected on a surface level in that such cases employ an interpretation the Magisterium has in her authority declared to be an invalid hermeneutic for such views rejects the continuity of tradition and authority of the Council. It does however raise a theological question that requires a deeper penetration into ecclesiology and this is the theological dimension of the debate. Can any Ecumenical Council in principle teach error?

4.4. The Theological Dimension of Ecumenical Councils

Ecumenical Councils are the gatherings of bishops and cardinals from around the world convoked by the Pope or in ancient times at the behest of the emperor. A recent development in the understanding of Ecumenical Councils now deny emperors the right to convoke such Councils. The first Ecumenical Councils were not convoked by the Pope but the Roman emperor which were then approved by the Pope.

The universality of such councils is not defined in terms of numbers nor geographical representation. All bishops are invited, but this universal gathering of the bishops historically need not be large. The First Council of Lyon, for example, had only about 140 bishops in attendance. The Councils with the highest attendance maxed out at around 1000 bishops and cardinals. The medieval Councils to Vatican I moreover were predominantly attended by European bishops with little representation from geographical regions outside of Europe. Vatican II in both categories was an anomaly in that not only did bishops from around the world come, but in numbers historically unseen. Vatican II had about 2500 bishops and cardinals in attendance across its four sessions with large representations from the different continents and Oceania, and across the different rites.

The universality of an Ecumenical Council derives itself from the fact that it is a gathering of bishops acting as true shepherds and judges on faith and morals in union with the Pope. The teachings of such Councils hence arise from the consent of the participating bishops and Pope. This gathering hence is universal in its authority for the Church as a whole.

The Church as a whole is indefectible.[18] The Holy Spirit is promised by Jesus to divinely assist the Church in her mission.[19] Jesus also promised that 1) he would never abandon the Church, that “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20) and 2) that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church (Mt 16:18). With this divine assistance the Church can be confident in her faith and ability to teach on faith and morals such that she is “the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). This is why she is indefectible: Christ willed and established the Church and entrusted to the Church his teachings and the proper authority to interpret them. The Church is a witness, bearer, and defender of the truth, a mission she cannot fail in.

The promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail means that the Church in her essence will not be corrupted. This essence includes her hierarchy, the liturgy, and her doctrines. All three elements are protected by the Church’s indefectibility which is nothing other than the Holy Spirit’s protection. We can reemphasize this in another manner: 1) Christ willed the Church; 2) the Church in her essence consists of her hierarchy, liturgy, and teachings, therefore 3) Christ willed the Church’s hierarchy, liturgy, and teachings.

When we consider Ecumenical Councils in particular, they enjoy a special authority and status because they are solemn exercises of the college of bishops in union with the Pope gathered as true pastors to judge on faith and morals. Ecumenical Councils are hence indefectible. This solemn exercise of the universal Church enjoys the Holy Spirit’s protection because the Council now speaks with supreme power over the universal Church.[20]

Not every teaching within an Ecumenical Council is infallible however. Those declarations that are infallible are to be adhered to with a submission of faith.[21] When a Council does not teach definitively, i.e. teach infallibly, then the teachings are to be held with a religious submission of intellect and will out of reverence because the bishops are gathered together speaking in the name of Christ on matters of faith and morals in their episcopal authority.[22]

Infallibility is distinguished from indefectibility in that infallibility is active, that in the act of pronouncing or teaching a dogmatic teaching that the Pope or Council is free of error and even the possibility of error.[23] When the right conditions are met for infallibility, this power is manifested in the exercise of authority. The indefectibility of the Church refers to her imperishableness and the essential immutability of her teachings, constitution, and liturgy, which entails in part an invincibility from error.[24]

It is because Ecumenical Councils are exercises of the bishops in communion with the Pope that they are authentic teachers of authority and this commands our respect and assent, either religious or submission of faith depending on the type of teaching. This is affirmed by the 1983 Code. We have already mentioned Canon 752, but Canons 752-754 all reinforce this idea that even when the Magisterium does not teach infallibly we are still required to respect that authority with a religious submission of the mind. Here are the three Canons in order:

Canon 752: Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff or the college of bishops declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act; therefore, the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.

Canon 753: Although the bishops who are in communion with the head and members of the college, whether individually or joined together in conferences of bishops or in particular councils, do not possess infallibility in teaching, they are authentic teachers and instructors of the faith for the Christian faithful entrusted to their care; the Christian faithful are bound to adhere with religious submission of mind to the authentic magisterium of their bishops.

Canon 754: All the Christian faithful are obliged to observe the constitutions and decrees which the legitimate authority of the Church issues in order to propose doctrine and to proscribe erroneous opinions, particularly those which the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops puts forth.

Note that Canon 754 is a restatement of Canon 1324 of the 1917 Code, and similar with Canon 753 and Canon 1326 of the 1917 Code.[25] In comparing the respective canons from the two Codes one finds both continuity and development.

The CDF document Donum Veritatis specifies that this religious submission of the intellect and will is not something “exterior or disciplinary but must be understood within the logic of faith and under the impulse of obedience to the faith.”[26] As such religious submission is a demand placed on the individual as a believer to conform his inner spiritual life under obedience towards what has been taught and to understand it within the context of the faith. 

4.5. The 1989 Profession of Faith

Those who are to teach Catholic theology at a university must make a profession of faith and state the 1989 Profession of Faith issued by the CDF. The last three paragraphs deal with obedience to the teachings of the Church. The teachings of Scripture, Tradition, and definitively taught or by solemn judgment of the Magisterium are to be firmly accepted. Non-definitive teachings are to be embraced with religious submission of mind.

Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate when they exercise their authentic Magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim these teachings by a definitive act.[27]

In case one doubted what types of teachings this paragraph referred to, the CDF published a commentary on the Profession of Faith that makes it explicitly clear that it refers to any teaching not proposed as definitive by a solemn judgment of the Magisterium. Such teachings still have authority because they originate out of the authentic teaching office of the Magisterium and college of bishops.[28] The CDF next warns in the commentary that opinions contrary to these teachings are erroneous, rash, or dangerous, and so are not to be taught in accordance with Canons 752 and 1371 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

A proposition contrary to these doctrines can be qualified as erroneous or, in the case of teachings of the prudential order, as rash or dangerous and therefore 'tuto doceri non potest'. 

We have addressed the questions as to what kind of assent is required towards an Ecumenical Council based upon the distinction as to whether its teachings are infallible or not. Even non-infallible teachings require a religious submission of the intellect and will. The question now is what role does disagreement or dissent exercise for the life of the Church? And relatedly, how is one supposed to proceed when he or she disagrees with a particular teaching?

 

Endnotes

[1] Catholic Church and Edward N. Peters, The 1917 Or Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law: In English Translation with Extensive Scholarly Apparatus (Ignatius Press, 2001), 94. Hereafter referred to as the  1917 Code.

[2] Ibid, 94.

[3] “If it happens that the Roman Pontiff, during the celebration of a Council, leaves life, [the Council] by law is interrupted until a new Pontiff resumes it and orders it to be continued.” Canon 229, ibid, 96.

[4] Ibid, 96.

[5] Ibid, 96.

[6] The 1983 Code’s Canon 341.1 also represents a development since it gives a collegial interpretation: the decrees of an Ecumenical Council are binding if it is approved by the Pope “together with the council fathers”. The pope alone however confirms and promulgates them. Cf. John P. Beal, James A. Coriden, and Thomas Joseph Green, New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (Paulist Press, 2000), 452. (Hereafter referred to as New Commentary). Note: While the New Commentary is excellent in many respects the reader should be aware that it does not always align with the teaching authority of the Magisterium when for example one of its authors disagrees that the CDF state that it is infallible doctrine that the Church cannot ordain women (913n2).

[7] "Can. 336 The head of the College of Bishops is the Supreme Pontiff, and its members are the Bishops by virtue of their sacramental consecration and hierarchical communion with the head of the College and its members. This College of Bishops, in which the apostolic body abides in an unbroken manner, is, in union with its head and never without this head, also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church.

Can. 337 §1 The College of Bishops exercises its power over the universal Church in solemn form in an Ecumenical Council.” 1983 Code of Canon Law.

[8] “The College of Bishops also possesses infallibility in its teaching when the Bishops, gathered together in an Ecumenical Council and exercising their magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals, definitively declare for the universal Church a doctrine to be held concerning faith or morals…” Canon 749.2.

[9] The text of Canon 750 is as follows: “Those things are to be believed by divine and catholic faith which are contained in the word of God as it has been written or handed down by tradition, that is, in the single deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and which are at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church, or by its ordinary and universal magisterium, which is manifested by the common adherence of Christ's faithful under the guidance of the sacred magisterium. All are therefore bound to shun any contrary doctrines.” Canon 750, emphasis mine.

The meaning of “the solemn magisterium of the Church” is defined in Canon 337.1 as an Ecumenical Council: “The College of Bishops exercises its power over the universal Church in solemn form in an Ecumenical Council.” Note however a distinction between solemn and infallibility. Ecumenical Councils are the solemn form of the College’s teaching authority and power, but this does not mean that such teaching is infallible. As the New Commentary states: “Similarly, even when the college of bishops teaches solemnly, as it did at the Second Vatican Council, it does not exercise its infallible authority. If it wished to teach infallibly within or outside of an ecumenical council, the college would have to do so quite explicitly, that is, with the expressed intention to act infallibly and the agreement that an opinion is to be definitively held (tamquam definitive tenendam).” (913).

[10] New Commentary, 915. Cf. the CDF’s Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio fidei, 11, for examples of definitive teachings.

[11] The CDF stated that the inerrancy of Scripture as defined in Dei Verbum 11 is to be definitively held in Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio fidei, 11.

[12] Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church, 73.

[13] The Latin term for submission here is obsequium. Those who wish to defend a legitimacy to dissent argue that obsequium is difficult to translate into English and propose alternative translations such as “respect”. Hence they claim one can respect magisterial teaching while still dissent.

We can make the following replies: first, the Magisterium’s documents translate the term as “submission”, and so while there is legitimacy in the question as to whether “submission” is the best translation, this translation should still be given weight.

Second, the term “respect” is itself ambiguous for its meanings can be distributed across two genera determined by one’s acceptance and obedience or nonacceptance and even disobedience towards an authority figure. One can say for example that he “respects” his enemies and such usage is of the latter genus. Those who promote “respect” instead of “submission” thus introduce an ambiguity concerning whether one owes obedience, and some even strive to strip this component of obedience out of the term obsequium.

Third, the Magisterium understands obsequium to include this element of obedience, such as expressed in the Profession of Faith, Donum Veritatis, Lumen Gentium, and the 1983 Code Canon 1371.1. Furthermore, the Church has jurisdictional authority over Catholics to coerce such obedience and even impose punishment.

Lastly, to dissent is a willful disobedience to the Church’s authority. To dissent out of “respect” is like calling a riot a peaceful protest. 

[14] Canon 752. Note that Canon 1364.1 refers to the case of those who incur a latae sententiae excommunication, that is, an automatic excommunication. 

[15] “Addresses of John XXIII on Vatican II,” Le Nouvel Esprit, accessed December 25, 2021, https://www.lenouvelesprit.com/church-docs-on-vatican-ii/john-xxiii-on-vat-ii.

[16] “Venerable Brothers, Mother Church rejoices because, by a special gift of Divine Providence, the much desired day has now arisen on which here, at the tomb of St. Peter, the Virgin Mother of God wishes, whose joy is celebrated today. maternal dignity, the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council solemnly begins.” Oct 11, 1962.

[17] “We have approved and established these things, decreeing that the present letters are and remain stable and valid, and are to have legal effectiveness, so that they be disseminated and obtain full and complete effect, and so that they may be fully convalidated by those whom they concern or may concern now and in the future; and so that, as it be judged and described, all efforts contrary to these things by whomever or whatever authority, knowingly or in ignorance be invalid and worthless from now on.” In Spiritu Sancto.

[18] Cf Lumen Gentium 25 which states that the universal Church herself is infallible.

[19] “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26 RSV-CE. All Scripture verses are quoted from the RSV-CE.

[20] Lumen Gentium 22. “The supreme power in the universal Church, which this college enjoys, is exercised in a solemn way in an ecumenical council. A council is never ecumenical unless it is confirmed or at least accepted as such by the successor of Peter; and it is prerogative of the Roman Pontiff to convoke these councils, to preside over them and to confirm them.”

[21] Ibid, 25. Cf. Canon 1323.1-2 of the 1917 Code.

[22] “Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place. For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old, making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock. Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.” Ibid, 25.

[23] A distinction can be made between active and passive infallibility where the latter is defined by Ludwig Ott as the laity’s assent to the faith, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Book 4, Part 2, Chapter 4, section 13.

[24] Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Book 4, Part 2, Chapter 4, section 12.

[25] Canon 1324: “It is not enough to avoid heretical depravity, but also those errors should be diligently fled that more or less approach [heresy]; therefore all must observe the constitutions and decrees by which these sorts of depraved opinions are proscribed and prohibited by the Holy See.”

Canon 1326: “Bishops also, although individually and even gathered in particular Councils they do not partake of infallibility in teaching, nevertheless, for those faithful committed to their care under the authority of the Roman Pontiff, they are truly doctors and teachers.”

[26] Donum Veritatis 23.

[27] Professio Fidei.

[28] “To this paragraph belong all those teachings – on faith and morals – presented as true or at least as sure, even if they have not been defined with a solemn judgement or proposed as definitive by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. Such teachings are, however, an authentic expression of the ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff or of the College of Bishops and therefore require religious submission of will and intellect. They are set forth in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of revelation, or to recall the conformity of a teaching with the truths of faith, or lastly to warn against ideas incompatible with those truths or against dangerous opinions that can lead to error.” Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio fidei.

Hermeneutics of Vatican II Articles

A Case Study: The Bad Fruits of Vatican II

Part I: Gift of the Holy Spirit

Part II.1: The Hermeneutic of Continuity

Part II.2: The Hermeneutic of Discontinuity

Part II.3: The Theological Notes and the Hermeneutic of Continuity

Part II.4: Is Vatican II an Ecumenical Council?

Part II.5: The Problem of Dissent

Part II.6: A Concluding Argument

Part III.1: Vatican II and Faith

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

Part III.2.2: The Hermeneutic of Dialogue

Part III.2.3: The Hermeneutic of Pastoral

Part III.2.4: The Hermeneutic of Aggiornamento

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

Part III.2.6: The Spirit of Vatican II

Part III.2.7: The False Hermeneutic of Ambiguity

Part III.3: The Hermeneutic of Suspicion

Part IV: Textual Hermeneutics

Part V: The Theological Priority of the Dogmatic Constitutions

Festenburger Frauenhimmel by Johann Cyriak Hackhofer 
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