Today, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Church gives us readings that portray the Lord bringing back his own. In the first reading he brings back the captives from Babylon. In the Gospel he brings back the lost shep. Maybe, the Sacred Heart is looking for help in bringing back lost Christians.
In Europe Sunday Mass attendance is off by more than a third, and it is the same with our Catholic school graduates. People blame Vatican Two, but they do it for opposite reasons: some saying Vatican Two went too far, others saying it didn’t go far enough.
Many of my priest friends say Vatican II went too far. They were very snug in our old way of doing things. Privately they are saying that only the teachings of the Council of Trent were orthodox. They see the teachings of the Vatican Council as something else. A lady I know was two years taking instructions from one of those priests. She told me, “I haven’t been baptized yet, but I know more about the Council of Trent than anyone else in Jacksonville.”
The first complaint of those who say that Vatican II didn’t go far enough is that the Church’s structure is too close to Feudalism. They point out that under Feudalism a king was God’s immediate representative, with the barons as his fiefs, and landlords as their fiefs. With the Church, the Pope is God’s immediate representative, with the bishops as his fiefs, and the pastors their fiefs
It was in 500 A.D. when Feudalism was the only workable structure, that the Church reluctantly adapted herself to Feudalism as the only way to survive. Now, in an age when democracy is nearly the only workable structure, she might need to adapt ourselves to it to survive.
The second complaint of those who say that Vatican Ii didn’t go far enough is that she kept too many religious trappings, while not pushing a spirituality that comes with identifying with God in his creation.