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Fissures in the impregnable
walls of
Vatican II:
a petition
to the pope commentary

Fissures in the impregnable walls of Vatican II: a petition to the pope


DICI has just published an English translation of a petition by 50 Italian Catholic academic leaders submitted on September 14th to Pope Benedict XVI requesting a closer and serious examination of the Second Vatican Council.

What is startling about this open letter is that the questions mirror very closely the same ones asked Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and recently the Society of St. Pius X in its theological discussions with Rome. Questions that traditionally-minded Catholics had been told for nearly four decades they were not allowed to ask, as the Second Vatican Council had to be unconditionally accepted, as if it were a super-dogma.

Here we present some interesting extracts from the petition:

Book cited in petition
Iota Unum: click to purchase

The questions that we have had the audacity to pose to you in this humble petition certainly may displease that part of the hierarchy that already declared that they did not appreciate Msgr. Gherardini’s petition two years ago. We mean that part of the hierarchy that does not yet seem to have understood the exceptional seriousness of the crisis that has afflicted the Church for fifty years; a crisis whose pre-conciliar premises burst onto the scene during the Council, as the book by Professor de Mattei has demonstrated, and before that, more succinctly, the book by Fr. Ralph M. Wiltgen, S.V.D. [The Rhine Flows into the Tiber], and the one by Professor Romano Amerio [Iota Unum].


In all these arrangements, which are certainly of the utmost importance to the Church and which You made motu proprio [on Your own initiative] with Your full authority as Supreme Pontiff that is derived from Your potestas iurisdictionis [power of jurisdiction] over the whole Church of Our Lord—in all these things our sensus fidei as simple Catholic laymen sees the obvious work of the Holy Ghost. We therefore conclude our humble petition by invoking the aid of the Holy Ghost so that, in this enterprise of reestablishing Christ at the heart of Catholicism, Your Holiness might also include the hoped-for review of the Council.

Book cited in petition

The Rhine Flows into the Tiber: click to purchase
Cited within the petition from Professor de Mattei's book, Il Concilio Vaticano II: Una storia mai scritta [Vatican Council II: A story never written]:
from Archbishop Lefebvre:
I Accuse the Council: click to purchase

At the end of this volume, allow me to address reverently His Holiness Benedict XVI, whom I acknowledge to be the successor of Peter to whom I feel inseparably bound, expressing my deep thanks to him for having opened the doors to a serious debate about the Second Vatican Council. I repeat that I wanted to make a contribution to this debate, not as a theologian, but as an historian, joining however in the petition of those theologians who are respectfully and filially asking the Vicar of Christ on earth to promote an in-depth examination of Vatican II, in all its complexity and its full extent, to verify its continuity with the twenty preceding councils and to dispel the shadows and doubts which for almost a half a century have caused the Church to suffer, with the certainty that the gates of hell will never prevail against Her (Mt. 16:18). © 2013                    home                    contact