Fr. Z unpacks part of Pope Benedict's talk with the clergy in Rome recently. In it, the Pope makes an important distinction between the Council of Vatican II and the media's interpretation of it...the Council of the Media. Here we see that as the Holy Father says, "...the world perceived the Council through them, through the media."
Think about that for a moment. Competing agendas, ideologies sometimes driven by Church insiders. The media was/is not the Fathers of Vatican II.
Then the Pope says, "The media saw the Council as a political struggle, a struggle for power between different currents within the Church. It was obvious that the media would take the side of whatever faction best suited their world. There were those who sought a decentralization of the Church, power for the bishops and then, through the Word for the “people of God”, the power of the people, the laity. There was this triple issue: the power of the Pope, then transferred to the power of the bishops and then the power of all … popular sovereignty. Naturally they saw this as the part to be approved, to promulgate, to help."
Note, when you hear someone talk about the spirit of Vatican II you are really hearing from the Council of the Media with its agenda-driven motives. The rupture that occurred in the liturgy is noted by the Pope:
"This was the case for the liturgy: there was no interest in the liturgy as an act of faith, but as a something to be made understandable, similar to a community activity, something profane. And we know that there was a trend, which was also historically based, that said: “Sacredness is a pagan thing, possibly even from the Old Testament.
In the New Testament the only important thing is that Christ died
outside: that is, outside the gates, that is, in the secular world”. Sacredness ended up as profanity even in worship: worship is not worship but an act that brings people together, communal participation and thus participation as activity. And these translations, trivializing the idea of the Council, were virulent in the practice of implementing the liturgical reform, born in a vision of the Council outside of its own key vision of faith."
From this Pandora's Box of 'reforms' of the Council of the Media came the endless stream of liturgical abuses, many of which are so common and accepted that most parishioners have no idea that certain actions are, in fact, incorrect. It was, indeed, a profanation of worship.
The Pope then explains how the Virtual Council, the Council of the Media is at long last breaking down. "It seems to me that 50 years after the Council, we see how this Virtual Council is breaking down, getting lost and the true Council is emerging with all its spiritual strength. And it is our task, in this Year of Faith, starting from this Year of Faith, to work so that the true Council with the power of the Holy Spirit is realized and Church is really renewed. We hope that the Lord will help us."
Pope Benedict XVI will be greatly missed.