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Monday, April 14, 2014

“Neo-Catholicism”: A Comprehensive Definition on Wikipedia

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Neo-Catholicism and neo-Catholic are shorthand terms for a new form of "conservative Catholicism" or "neo-conservative Catholicism" that emerged in the Catholic Church during and after the Second Vatican Council. Use of the terms was first popularized in the book The Great Façade; Vatican II and the Regime of Novelty in the Roman Catholic Church (2002), a study of unprecedented changes in the Catholic Church since Vatican II. The essential element of this current in the Church is its progressivism relative to Catholicism as it existed before Vatican II.



Neo-Catholicism is analogous to neoconservatism in the political sphere, as distinguished from Catholic traditionalism, which can be likened to political paleoconservatism. Neo-Catholicism, like neoconservatism in politics, is not simply traditional conservativism, but rather a combination of conservative and liberal elements representing a progressive tendency overall.

The neo-Catholic is thus distinguishable from the traditionalist Catholic. Just as the neoconservative is fiscally conservative but socially liberal, the neo-Catholic is doctrinally conservative while nonetheless progressive in embracing or defending changes in Catholic practice, attitudes, and theological speculations arising during the post-conciliar period, none of which have been imposed as doctrinally binding but rather represent predilections of the neo-Catholic current.

General description

Neo-Catholicism as a new phenomenon in the Catholic Church was described in 1996 by the Catholic commentator George Sim Johnston in an essay favorably reviewing the book Being Right: Conservative Catholics in America. Johnston outlined a form of "conservative" Catholicism that was, he noted, quite different from the Catholicism of the pre-Vatican II era:

The featured players [James Hitchcock, Helen Hull Hitchcock, George Weigel and James Sullivan, formerly of Catholics United for the Faith] do not locate themselves on the theological "right." They embrace Vatican II, don't pine for the Tridentine liturgy, and support the historically radical ecumenism of John Paul II....

By any historical measure, the "conservatives" in this volume are progressive Catholics. Until recently, their views on the role of the laity would not have played well with the Roman curia. Nor would their choice of philosophical mentors: von Balthasar, de Lubac, Congar, Danielou — not to mention John Courtney Murray...

Unlike the Sadducees on the Catholic left and the Pharisees on the truly Catholic right, the "conservatives" in this volume understand the pontificate of John Paul II because they understand the Second Vatican Council. They understand that Christ founded a teaching Church whose doctrines are not subject to whim and manipulation. But they also realize that the Church, being human and organic, has to change. Vatican II was the antidote to the triumphalism, legalism, clericalism, and, yes, Jansenism, that plagued the Church forty years ago.[1]

Neo-Catholicism denotes the current of Catholicism that Johnston describes: a form of liturgical, theological, philosophical, and ecclesial progressivism that would not have been viewed favorably by Rome before Vatican II, even if neo-Catholicism falls short of outright Modernism, a system of errors against the Faith condemned by Pope Saint Pius X before the Council in his landmark encyclical Pascendi.[2]

Neo-Catholics are, in fact, Catholics in good standing, as are Traditionalists, but there are marked differences between the two constituencies. Neo-Catholicism cannot be equated with simply "all Catholics except traditionalists." Nor is it merely a pejorative coined by traditionalists for polemical purposes. The term is intended to capture the unprecedented development Johnston describes: the post-conciliar division of the body of Catholics into three main currents: a Catholic "left" (Modernists or liberals), a "truly Catholic right" (traditionalists), and the new "conservative" middle ground occupied by those who "by any historical measure... are progressive Catholics." A rough parallel is that of the division of Judaism into Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox branches. Such a division was not seen in the Catholic Church before Vatican II.

Specific characteristics and positions

In concrete terms neo-Catholicism embraces or defends what one neo-Catholic commentator favorably describes as "a series of reforms and changes which have scarcely left a single Catholic unaffected; and which, in many respects, have changed the external image of the Church."[3] Yet none of these changes has actually been imposed upon the Catholic faithful by a command of the Church, leaving Catholics free to be traditionalists. (See, "Theological Status of Neo-Catholic versus Traditionalist Positions," below). These changes include the new vernacular liturgy, and the new pastoral undertakings of "ecumenism," "dialogue," and "interreligious dialogue," which in practice have dramatically liberalized Catholic attitudes without any alteration of formal Catholic doctrine or dogma.

The resulting notes of neo-Catholicism in terms of theology and praxis include these:

  • Denigration of the pre-Vatican II Church as "triumphalist," legalist, clericalist and generally in need of "renewal" and "openness" to the "modern world," as exemplified by Johnston's commentary.[4]

  • Minimization or outright dismissal of pre-Vatican II papal teaching on the errors of modernity as found in such Church documents as the Syllabus of Errors of Blessed Pius IX, which neo-Catholic commentators tend to dismiss as the outmoded defense of "a fortress Church, standing in opposition to the modern world and rejecting all new ideas."[5]

  • Disparagement of the Church's pre-Vatican condemnation of Modernism as an overreaction to theological creativity.[6]

  • Characterization of pre-Vatican II teaching on faith and morals as stale, "formulaic" and in need of reformulation and updating for "modern times."[7]

  • The exaltation of Vatican II as a "new Pentecost" or "new springtime" for the Catholic Church, involving a new "vision" of the Church (hence neo-Catholicism) by which the Church would surpass her former narrow Scholasticism and make herself more appealing and relevant to modern man and the modern world.[8]

  • A staunch defense of the "updating" or aggiornamento of the Church in contradistinction to traditionalists, who maintain that the aggiornamento has been disastrous for the Church, pointing to the admission of Pope Benedict XVI, shortly before his resignation became effective, that a "virtual Council" or a "Council of the media" had caused "so many disasters, so many problems, so much suffering: seminaries closed, convents closed, banal  liturgy...".[9]

  • An appeal to the "true Council" or the "real Council" in the face of the situation admitted by Pope Benedict, but with no concrete explanation of what the "true" or "real" Council would require as opposed to what has actually been done in its name.[10]

  • An insistence that Catholics "accept and obey" Vatican II, not  merely in the sense of recognizing it as a validly convoked ecumenical council that restated a great deal of traditional teaching—a recognition accorded by the vast majority of traditionalists—but in the sense of some  ill-defined alteration of Catholicism never reduced to specific, binding propositions that would involve a real change in what Catholics must believe or do today as compared with the faith before the Council.[11]

  • A general paucity in theological discussion, if not a total absence, of references to the papal encyclicals and ecumenical councils of the Church before Vatican II, as if Vatican II represented a "zero hour in which everything would begin again, and all those things that had been done badly would now be done well."[12]

  • A disdain for the Scholastic system of Saint Thomas Aquinas.[13]

  • The embrace or acceptance without objection of liturgical innovations forbidden prior to Vatican II, including Mass entirely in the vernacular, liberalized vernacular translations of the Mass, new "Eucharistic prayers" replacing the Roman Canon, the entire Mass uttered aloud, altar tables with the priest facing the people, Communion in the hand, lay lectors, lay men and women distributing the consecrated Bread and Wine, secular instead of sacred music, and altar girls.[14]

  • A staunch defense of the unprecedented changes in the liturgy following Vatican II, versus the traditionalist claim that the changes have adversely affected the Church as admitted by the future Pope Benedict XVI: "I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration ["collapse" (crollo) in the Italian edition] of the liturgy..."[15]

  • A staunch defense, for nearly forty years, of theologically liberal mistranslations of the Latin typical edition of the New Mass (e.g. pro multis—for many—mistranslated as "for all"), even though the Vatican itself finally ordered correction of the mistranslations in the latest edition of the Roman Missal to restore faithfulness to the normative Latin text.[16]

  • The opinion that Paul VI forbade celebration of the traditional Latin Mass without special permission in the form of an "indult"—a contention refuted by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 with the promulgation of Summorum   Pontificum and the accompanying Explanatory Letter to the bishops, which declared that the traditional Mass was "never abrogated" and was "in principle, always  permitted."[17]

  • The opinion that the Pope has plenary power to suppress or even abolish the traditional Latin liturgy as he sees fit, because it involves merely "externals, or human components,"[18]      contrary the teaching of Benedict XVI in the Explanatory   Letter that "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely    forbidden or even considered harmful," and that it "behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place."

  • A liberal interpretation of the Catholic dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus (no salvation outside the Church) not seen in pre-Vatican II teaching  or even in Vatican II or post-conciliar binding doctrinal pronouncements, including the acceptance of "implicit faith in Christ" on the part of non-Catholics without any actual desire for Baptism or Church membership, extending so far (with some proponents) as the "anonymous Christianity" of Karl Rahner.[19]

  • A defense of the "hope" that no one at all is condemned eternally to hell, according the "new theology" exemplified by Hans Urs von Balthasar, versus the Scriptural warnings of Christ about the fate of the damned, the traditional teaching of Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas, and the ecumenical councils prior to Vatican II (which itself did not change the traditional teaching).[20]

  • A general affinity for the "new theology" exemplified by von Balthasar, de Lubac, Congar, Danielou, and Murray, despite Roman disapprobation and even silencing  before Vatican II, and despite the continuing lack of any formal acceptance by the Church of the controversial assertions of these theologians respecting ecclesiology and salvation.[21]

  • The dismissal of the preconciliar Popes as "prophets of doom" respecting their condemnation of developments in the modern world and their predictions of civilizational collapse, and the adoption of an attitude of optimism regarding modernity.[22]

  • A tendency to belittle the repeated preconciliar papal warnings regarding Masonic conspiracies against Church and State.[23][24]

  • Practical  abandonment of the Church's pre-Vatican II condemnation of Catholic participation in inter-religious gatherings and worship in common with non-Catholics.[25]

  • Abandonment, if not outright repudiation, of the Church's pre-Vatican II teaching on the duty of nations as well as individuals to profess the Catholic faith according to what pre-conciliar teaching called "the Social Kingship of Christ."[26]

  • A tendency to minimize the literal truth of the Bible as history, especially the first three Chapters of Genesis, with an acceptance of the theory of evolution that exceeds the restrictions set forth by Pope Pius XII in Humani  generis and by the Pontifical Biblical Commission under Pope Saint Pius X.[27]

  • A  liberalized attitude toward sexuality and "sex education" (condemned before Vatican II) which, while not denying Catholic doctrine on marriage and procreation, attempts to "sacralize" the sexual act while eliminating "prudery" concerning sexual relations ("holy sex"), according to a novel and speculative "theology of the body" based on "meditations" by John Paul II, never made part of official Catholic doctrine, as interpreted by controversial lay commentators such as Christopher West.[28]

  • The promotion of "natural family planning (NFP)" as a "lifestyle", rather than a method for spacing births to be employed only for "serious motives," thus introducing the idea of routinely planned limitations on the size of Catholic families, unknown in Catholic teaching before Vatican II, with a concomitant (even if unintended) tendency toward elevation of the unitive over the procreative end of marriage, contrary to the traditional teaching that "The primary end of marriage is the procreation and the education of children."[29]

  • The post-conciliar emergence of unprecedented "ecclesial movements," including the aptly named Neocatechumenal Way and the "Catholic Charismatic Renewal," which promote newly invented liturgies that depart even from the liberalized norms of the New Mass, and novelties of theology and worship not recognized in the traditional teaching of the Church, such as the supposed "necessity of 'Baptism in the Holy Spirit,' as a universal act," the idea of "worship 'outside of Mass'," prayer meetings "featuring alleged prophecy, faith healing and glossolalia," and the belief that, contrary to traditional Church teaching, the abilities to pray in tongues and to heal did not pass away with the end of the Apostolic Age but are still available to those "anointed in the Spirit."[30]

Without actually denying any doctrine or dogma of the Church, the current of neo-Catholicism has produced a liberalized or progressive Catholic constituency never seen in the Church before the post-Vatican II period. Speaking only of the effects on the liturgy, Msgr. Klaus Gamber, writing with the approval of then Cardinal Ratzinger, described the outcome thus:

A Catholic who ceased to be an active member of the Church for the past generation and who, having decided to return to the Church, wants to become religiously active again, probably would not recognize today's Church as the one he had left. Simply by entering a Catholic church, particularly if it happens to be one of ultra-modern design, he would feel as if he had entered a strange, foreign place. He will think that he must have come to the wrong address and that he accidentally ended up in some other Christian religious community.[31]

Theological status of Neo-Catholic versus Traditionalist positions

One remarkable aspect of neo-Catholicism is that none of its progressive characteristics in terms of theology and praxis has ever been made a requirement of the Catholic faith by the Church's official teaching office (Magisterium). Despite the changes that have swept the Catholic Church since Vatican II, Catholics are free to remain entirely within the pre-existing current of Catholicism now called "traditionalism," including the traditional Latin Mass. In fact, the Second Vatican Council did not announce any new article of faith, change existing doctrine, or require any new religious practice of Catholics.[32] As Cardinal Ratzinger explained in 1988: "The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council..."[33]

In particular, the Church's teaching office has never juridically compelled attendance at the new liturgy to the exclusion of the old. Nor has the Church required the engagement of the faithful in ecumenism, dialogue, or interreligious dialogue, novel undertakings in the realm of the pastoral which have never been imposed on Catholics as an obligation of the practice of their faith.

As Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Ratzinger removed existing restrictions on recourse to the traditional Latin liturgy with Summorum Pontificum and lifted the excommunications of the four bishops of the traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X. In defense of the latter gesture, Pope Benedict protested that "one gets the impression that our society needs to have at least one group to which no tolerance may be shown; which one can easily attack and hate. And should someone dare to approach them—in this case the Pope—he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint."[34]

Objections to use of the term

Objections to use of the term neo-Catholicism have been lodged principally by persons who resent the term being applied to them. The main objection is that the term is "malleable" or overly broad.[35] The same objection, however, can be leveled against the terms "traditionalism," "radical traditional Catholicism," "conservative Catholic," or, in politics, "neo-conservative," "neo-liberal," "center-left," "center-right," "moderate," and so forth. Too, some argue that it is merely a veiled slander of celebrity converts as many members of this constituency are, in fact, converts from Evangelicalism.[36] As no term describing a current of thought can achieve absolute precision, the objection appears to relate, not to the term as such, but rather its application to particular people. Objectors to the terms neo-Catholicism and neo-Catholic seem to have little difficulty, however, in determining that the terms apply, at least to some extent, to themselves.[37]

Another objection to the term is that the characteristics it describes are not uniformly present in those who are said to belong to the Catholic current the term denotes. For example, not all neo-Catholics are also political neo-conservatives who support United States war policy over and against the Church's just war teaching,[38] and not all of them are devotees the "new theology." But the same objection applies to any other category of thought designated by a term: certain members of the category may depart from certain of its characteristic features while still being fairly described by the term overall. (For example, not all communists believe in compulsory state redistribution of wealth, and only some believe in violent revolution.) Particular exceptions as to given individuals aside, the essential element of the term remains useful as a descriptor for a new constituency in the Church, arising after the Second Vatican Council, composed of members of the Church who, while orthodox, nonetheless "by any historical measure... are progressive Catholics"[39] as distinguished from traditionalist or liberal Catholics.

It is further objected that as the views and practices designated "neo-Catholicism" are either approved or permitted by Rome, neo-Catholicism is simply Catholicism, and neo-Catholics are "simply Catholics." But the same could be said of traditionalists, who "prefer to be referred to... simply as Catholics," because their own practices and views, including attachment to the Latin liturgy and widely and freely published criticism of Vatican II and its results by such authors as Romano Amerio, are likewise approved or permitted by Rome. (To be distinguished from traditionalism is sedevacantism, rejected by the overwhelming majority of traditionalists, which holds that the conciliar and post-conciliar Popes are not valid popes and that the last valid Pope was Pius XII.)

The terminological problem is that two groups of Catholics claiming to be "simply Catholic" differ markedly and sometimes dramatically in matters of theology and praxis, a development not seen until after the Council. The terms neo-Catholicism and neo-Catholic are intended to express the difference between traditionalists and those Catholics who adopted progressive theological views and new practices after the Council even though the Church has never actually commanded any Catholic to do so. The resulting dynamic tension throughout the ecclesia between two essentially orthodox constituencies, one of which did not exist a half-century ago, has no parallel in Church history.



  1. Jump up ^ Crisis, May 1996, p. 6 (paragraph  breaks added). Emphasis added. All emphasis in this article is added unless otherwise indicated.
  2. Jump up ^
  3. Jump up ^ Likdoudis and Whitehead, The Pope, the Council and the Mass (PCM) (rev. ed., W. Hanover: The Christopher Publishing House, 1981), p. 11.
  4. Jump up ^ James Likoudis and Kenneth D. Whitehead, PCM, p. 27.
  5. Jump up ^ See e.g. Alan Schreck, The Compact History of the Catholic Church (Ann Arbor: Servant Books, 987), p. 95, 105.
  6. Jump up ^ Schreck, Compact History, 105.
  7. Jump up ^ See e.g. Janet Smith, Catholic Dossier, Nov.-Dec. 1997, p. 60 ("The faithful Catholics of my generation have rushed to the intellectual ramparts. We have been  determined to do so not in any pre-Vatican II formulaic fashion, but to do so by reformulating the basics in terminology more accessible to our times and to draw upon the best of modern thought...").
  8. Jump up ^ See, e.g. George Weigel, Zenit interview, March 8, 2002 (approving view that Vatican II was "a new Pentecost—a privileged moment in which the Holy Spirit prepared the Church for a springtime of evangelization.... to rediscover  itself as a great evangelical movement..."); see also, Janet Smith, "The Wake of Vatican II," Catholic Dossier,  November 2000 ("Those of us who have labored in the trenches are most  grateful for and appreciative of the reinforcements and new troops the  Holy Spirit is raising up, for soon we may see the Church the Council      envisioned.").
  9. Jump up ^ Address to Clergy of Rome, February 14, 2013, Retrieved April 12, 2014. Since the mass media did not implement Vatican II, the reference to a "Council of the media" can be seen as a suggestion that the media pressured the bishops and the conciliar Popes to implement the Council in ways that harmed the Church or to permit the many abuses that occurred in the name of the Council. The admission is quite dramatic.
  10. Jump up ^ See, e.g., Janet Smith, "The Wake of Vatican II;"see also, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, p. 390. ("The task, therefore, is not to suppress the Council but to discover the      real Council and to deepen its true intention in the light of present  experience.")
  11. Jump up ^ Likoudis and Whitehead, PCM, 39  (2006 ed.).
  12. Jump up ^ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), p. 372.
  13. Jump up ^ See e.g. Michael Novak, Commonweal, August 11, 2000, p. 16 (stating that Vatican II set the Church "free from the island of Latin Scholasticism on which she has for some centuries been marooned, and launched her once more on the currents of human history with hope, with courage, with joy, with the exhilaration proper to those who see in the darkness the star of eternal life").
  14. Jump up ^ See e.g., Likoudis and Whitehead, PCM, pp. 71-72, 103, 106; Mark Shea, "How I Navigate Liturgical Issues," September 5, 2013 (defending altar girls). Retrieved April  10, 2014. On forbidden liturgical innovations before Vatican II, see  John XXIII, Veterum sapientia, issued a few months before Vatican  II, in which the Pope warned bishops to be "on their guard lest      anyone under their jurisdiction, eager for revolutionary changes,  writes against the use of Latin in the teaching of the higher sacred studies or in the Liturgy, or through prejudice makes light of the Holy See's will in this regard or interprets it falsely." See also, Pius XII, Mediator Dei (1947)(defending the use of Latin in the liturgy and noting that it would "be straying from the straight path were [one] to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform"; and see Pius VI, Auctorem fidei (1794)(condemning the the Synod of Pistoia's call for "a greater simplicity of rites" in the liturgy, "expressing it in the vernacular language... uttering it in a loud voice")
  15. Jump up ^ See, e.g., Likoudis and  Whitehead, PCM, pp. 151-161 (2006 ed); Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Milestones: Memoirs, 1927-1977 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1998), pp. 148-149.
  16. Jump up ^ Likoudis and Whitehead, PCM, pp.108-109; "Pro multis means 'for many,' Vatican rules," November 18, 2006, Retrieved April 12, 2014. See also, Fr. Dylan James, "New Translation of the Missal: Some Explanations" (explaining that Vatican had finally ordered the corrections after 38 years so that the "English translation is a better reflection of the original Latin [which] will help make sure that the prayers form us into better Catholics." Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  17. Jump up ^ Likoudis and Whitehead, PCM, pp. 16, 67-68 (2006 edition); see Christopher A. Ferrara, Turning  Point: Traditional Mass Never Abrogated, Triduum Not 'Banned', Traditional      Sacraments Restored, July 19, 2007.
  18. Jump up ^ Likoudis and Whitehead, PCM, pp.  46-47 (2006 ed.),
  19. Jump up ^ See e.g. Avery Cardinal Dulles, Who  Can Be Saved?, First Things, February 12, 2008 (asserting, without  citation to any explicit authority in Church teaching, that "even  atheists can be saved if they worship God under some other name and place their lives at the service of truth and justice"). Compare St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-II, Q. 2, Art. 7: "Objection 1. It would seem that it is not necessary for the salvation of all that they should believe explicitly in the mystery of Christ.... On the contrary, Augustine says (De Corr. et Gratia vii; Ep. cxc): 'Our faith is sound if we believe that no man, old or young is delivered from the contagion of death and the bonds of sin, except by the one Mediator of God and men, Jesus Christ.'"
  20. Jump up ^ See e.g., Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, Will All Be Saved, First Things, February 25, 2009.
  21. Jump up ^ See e.g. Scott Hahn, Covenant  and Communion (Baker Brazos Press: 2009), p. 17 (describing Rahner and  von Balthasar as "the greatest theologians of the last century").
  22. Jump up ^ See e.g., Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Pope John XXIII and Vatican II. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  23. Jump up ^ See e.g. Likoudis and Whitehead, PCM, p. 146: "The Rock-man Peter is not at the mercy of conspirators  of whatever persuasion." In fact, Pope Pius IX had to flee for his  life disguised as a simple priest after Mason-led forces besieged the Quirinal Palace, killing his prime minister and secretary. Compare Leo XIII, Humanum genus (1884)(declaring that "with them [the Freemasons] it is lawful to attack with impunity the very foundations of the Catholic religion, in speech, in writing, and in teaching; and even the rights of the Church are not spared, and the offices with which it is divinely invested are not safe. The least possible liberty to manage affairs is left to the Church; and this is done by laws not apparently very hostile, but in reality framed and fitted to hinder freedom of action..."). See also, Declaration on Masonic Associations (1983), Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ("The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.")
  24. Jump up ^
  25. Jump up ^ Cf. Pius XI, Mortalium animos (1928) ("this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of  Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it.")
  26. Jump up ^ See James Hitchcock, "The Real Post-Conciliar Reforms," Catholic Dossier, Nov.-Dec. 1997, p. 50 ("The lingering belief...that Catholic theory required the union of Church and state has been finally laid to rest. It was a skewed way of looking at the world and an albatross that impeded Catholic influence."); see also, Likoudis and Whitehead, PCM, 188-189.
  27. Jump up ^ See e.g. 'George Sim Johnston, Did Darwin Get It Right?: Catholics and the Theory of Evolution (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 1998); see  also Joseph Gehringer, "Evading the Truth," a critique of Johnson's book as 'the de facto "bible" of many Catholic evolutionists" who deny the historicity of the Genesis account in contradiction to pre-Vatican II teaching. Compare Pius XII, Humani  generis (reprobating the opinion that the human race descended by evolution from many first humans, i.e., "polygenism");,  not from Adam and Eve.) See also, decisions of the Pontifical      Biblical Commission (then an organ of the papal Magisterium) On the Historical Character of the First Three Chapters of Genesis  (1909)(holding that Catholics may not "call into      question... the formation of the first woman from the first man; the oneness of the human race; the original happiness of our first parents in the state of justice, integrity, and immortality; the command given to man by God to prove his obedience; the transgression of the divine command through the devil's persuasion under the guise of a serpent; the casting of our first parents out of that first state of innocence; and also the promise of a future restorer." Cf.  See also, original Latin text of Commission's decisions at Vatican website: Retrieved on April 12, 2014.
  28. Jump up ^ See e.g. Gregory Popcack, Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving  (Crossroad Publishing Company, 2008). See also, Christopher A.      Ferrara, "The Christopher West Show,";  Janet Smith, Smith responds to Alice von Hildebrand's critique of Christopher West,Catholic News Agency, October 20, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2014. When unable to ignore or dismiss critics of their lay interpretations of John Paul II's thought, NFP exponents frequently become belligerent. See, e.g.
  29. Jump up ^ Patrick Coffin, Sex Au Naturel (Steubvenville, OH: Emmaus Road Publishing), Kindle Edition, 2674. See  The Couple to Couple League, the largest lay Catholic organization promoting NFP, has gone so far as to suggest a previously unheard-of moral      duty to employ NFP to reduce family size out of "Christian prudence": "When Christian prudence leads a couple to conclude that they should postpone a pregnancy, they should abstain from marital      relations during the fertile times." The League further declares:  "NFP allows well-instructed couples, with proper use, to achieve the      same effectiveness of spacing babies as artificial birth control" and thereby furthers "[t]he right of the couple to exercise  responsible parenthood..." League Statement of Principles,      The ambiguous term "responsible parenthood" appears nowhere in the teaching of the Church before Vatican II.
  30. Jump up ^ Retrieved April 13, 2014. It must be noted that some neo-Catholic commentators are critical of the rather bizarre excesses of these movements, as are all traditionalists; but the movements nonetheless constitute an aspect of the phenomenon, not seen before Vatican II, of a posited "new" form or "vision" of the Church.
  31. Jump up ^ Klaus Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background (Harrison, NY: Foundation for Catholic Reform, 1993), p. 107. French language preface by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.
  32. Jump up ^ For example, after decades of controversy over whether the Council had altered the teaching of Pius XII and his predecessors on the absolute identity between the Catholic Church and the Mystical Body of Christ by using the phrase "the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church instead of simply "is the Catholic Church," the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith finally intervened in 2007 to declare that "the Second Vatican Council did not intend to change-and therefore has not changed-the previously held doctrine on the Church" and that "(c)ontrary to many unfounded interpretations, therefore, the change from 'est' to 'subsistit' does not signify that the Catholic Church has ceased to regard herself as the one true Church of Christ." Commentary on the Document A Response to Some Questions Concerning Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church,"
  33. Jump up ^ Address  to the Chilean Bishops, July 13, 1988.
  34. Jump up ^ See Decree Remitting the Excommunication 'Latae Sententiae' of the Bishops of the Society of St Pius X, January 21, 2009; "Letter Of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of the Catholic Church Concerning the Remission of the Excommunication of the Four Bishops Consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre", March 10, 2009.
  35. Jump up ^ See e.g., Mark Shea, In Search of the Sinister and Elusive Neo-Catholic, 2010.
  36. Jump up ^ Hilary White, "Revenge of  the Neo-Cats"
  37. Jump up ^ See David  L. Alexander, "My Official Neo-Catholic Acid Test", December 4, 2011.
  38. Jump up ^ Alexander, "My Official Neo-Catholic Acid Test"
  39. Jump up ^ Johnston, "Being  Right", Crisis', May 1996, p 6



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