Monday, April 02, 2012
Trailer for a major French documentary about the Vatican Council in its Fiftieth Anniversary Year- the Pope has proclaimed a Year of Faith to celebrate the Council which starts in October.
The thesis of the film is that the Vatican has lost its battle with the world for souls and is now loosing the battle for the soul of the Church with the traditionalists. For contrast, a view of the Assisi re-union and its more recent re-runs- which certainly does not hold the view of the Pope as a centrist figure. Pope Benedict maybe can be considered as a centrist but certainly not Pope John Paul II, who despite what the world said, was the most radical Pope that the Church ever had. One only has to examine his failed attempt to reconcile phenomenology with Thomism, influenced by the eccentric Max Scheler who ended up renouncing his Catholicism.
Joseph Ratzinger, it is rumoured, wanted to resign rather than attend the first Assisi meeting- if so, it is not clear what is now driving contemporary Papal policy. The most disturbing aspect of the first Assisi is the removal of the Cross- after all martyrs have died in the past for clinging to the Cross and in the modern times people loose their jobs for having a Cross around their neck.
Vatican II was the point at which the Church became self-obsessed and inward looking- ironic given what the Fathers said about openness to the world. One assumes that the keenest supporters of Vatican II would be appalled that it is being used as a touchstone of Catholic orthodoxy to the exclusion of everything else. They would be onto Vatican IV or V by now. Wherever the next Council is held, it should be far away from the Vatican.