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Gherardini agrees with SSPX in new book about Vatican II


Msgr. Brunero Gherardini's new book, Il Vaticano II: Alle radice d'un equivoco (Vatican II: at the roots of a misunderstanding (Turin, Lindau, 2012, 410 pages), is being released in Italy. This last offspring is coming after at least three big brothers which saw the light of day in 2009: The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council: a Much-Needed Discussion; “Problems, Ambiguities and Compromises of the Interreligious Dialogues; Quod et Tradidi Vobis. Tradition, Life and Youth of the Church.

Christina Siccardi, known in Italian circles, raises the right questions around this new book:

Does Vatican II teach truly and exclusively what has been revealed and transmitted? Does the objective meaning of words used at Vatican II correspond to those of the preceding Magisterium and, in last analysis, to those of the divine Revelation?[1]

When anyone questions conciliar doctrine, the new generation, either of bishops and priests, or of simple lay faithful, is often placed off-limits, and even reacts assuming the position of "defensor fidei" - that is to say, of Vatican II. Here, our Monsignore raises obvious questions on hotly disputed Vatican II teachings (the list is long), and ultimately, the fundamental question of the ‘magisterial’ validity of the conciliar texts. For him, those teachings which are new and not referred to past definitions have no value by themselves and need to be interpreted in the light of past doctrine, under pain of setting Vatican II as an insurmountable Mammoth crushing twenty previous council teachings.

Gherardini is a phenomenon producing seismic reactions in the Roman milieu. His is a dissenting voice in the all too common chorus of Hosanna in praise of the past Council. He denounces the radical change of direction of the post-conciliar Church epitomized in the Assisi acts. The root of all this ambiguity - which he complains is never put under examination - is anthropocentricism.

Modern man, towards whom the conciliar anthropocentrism has made advances, has absorbed ideas which undermine the relations both natural and revealed between the creature and the Creator, has turned into the flag-bearer and herald of such ideas, and therefore falls into an irreconcilable state with the truth of doctrine and Tradition.

Hence, the drifts of the Nouvelle theologie and of the Liberation Theology.

If Msgr. Gherardini does not share all the ideas of the SSPX, he certainly agrees with the Society on fundamental concepts: the Tradition is living only if uninterrupted; the romanitas of its founder; the critique of the worldliness of the present Church. Would it be far-fetched to wonder whether the stormy declarations of this late ‘convert’ to the traditional cause express the inner sentiments of an important minority of Church leaders in Rome?


1 Extracted from a book review posted on on May 9, 2012.

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