Co-Workers of the Truth 6/21

Benedict XVIThe Christian is encouraged to that realism that is none other than a total attentiveness to the signs of the time.  For that reason, I do not accept the premise that one can (unrealistically) expect things to go on as before, as though Vattican Council II had never taken place.  Many of the concrete results that we witness today do not reflect the intentions of the Council fathers, but that is not a valid reason for saying that “it would have been better if it had never taken place”.  Cardinal Henry Newman, historian of the councils, a very learned man, who was a convert from Anglicanism to Catholicism, pointed out that a council is always a risk for the Church and should therefore be called to consider only a few matters and should not be unduly protracted.  It is true that reforms require time, patience, and a willingness to accept the risk involved, but it is not permissible to say, “Let’s not hold a council because councils are dangerous.”  On the contrary, it is my considered opinion that the real time of Vatican Council II has not yet begun: its documents will enable us to discover their true spirit.  When they have thus been rediscovered in their full truth, these great documents will make it possible for us to understand what has taken place and to react to it with new strength.  I repeat: the Catholic who sees clearly, and hence with sadness, the harm that has been caused his Church by the misinterpretations of Vatican Council II must seek and find in that same Council the possibility of giving her a new life.  The council belongs to him, not to those who want to continue on a road that cannot but have catastrophic results, it is not the Council of those who want to have nothing more to do with Vatican Council II, which they regard as a “fossil from the age of clericalism”.

From: Zur Lage des Glaubes, pp. 37-38 

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