Edit: the Holy Father seems to be doing exactly what many thought the SSPX would have been unable to do. Surely, these criticisms are timely and apt.
The Pope Criticizes the Conciliar Texts
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(kreuz.net) Today, the in the Vatican, the seventh volume of the "Collected Writings" of Joseph Ratzinger was published.
Within are contained the publications of Fr. Joseph Ratzinger during the Pastoral Council (1962-1965).
The forward of the volume was written by Pope Benedict XVI on the 2nd of August in Castel Gandolfo.
Born of Clerical Euphoria
He enthused about the opening of the Council on October 11, 1962. That had been -- with a solemn procession of over 2,000 Conciliar Fathers -- a dazzling day:
"This was a moment of an extraordinary expectation. Something great had to happen."
The Pope mentioned that John XXIII. (+1963) summoned the meeting, "without asserting its concrete problems or programs."
What is Modernity?
The Pope wrote about the progression of the work of the so-called XIIIth Schema, from the Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium et Spes" -- about the Church in the World of Today.
The Conciliar Fathers wanted to revise the "ambiguous" concept of "World of Today". The goal of that had been to ascertain the relation of the Church to so-called modernity.
The Pope objected: "In order to clarify, it would have been necessary, to more precisely define the essential and constitutional elements." Actually that was not successful in Schema XIII.
Benedict XVI. wrote that "Gaudium et Spes" allegedly accomplished more important expressions for the understanding of "world" and "important contributions to the question of the Christian ethic". Actually this clarification in the nature of modernity has not been presented.
Benedict XVI. believed therefore that the encounter with the "great themes of modernity" had taken place in the highly controversial "declaration on religious freedom" and in "Nostra Aetate" -- to the documents on non-Christian religions.
Religion Was Left to the Area of the Subjective
For the "Declaration on Religious Freedom" the Holy Father wrote that the Conciliar Fathers thought that the "teaching of tolerance, as it was initially developed by Pius XII., in view of the development of philosophical thought and the self-determination of modern states" was no longer sufficient.
It has become a freedom to choose a religion, to change and practice.
The Pope saw a difficulty in this, that "it could appear as if the modern statement on religious freedom presupposes the unapproachability of reality for people and restricts the basis of religion in the area of the subjective."
The Problem Masked
The document on non-Christian religions, "Nostra Aetate", is denoted by the Pope in all seriousness as "precise and extraordinarily compact".
At the same time he saw in the "in itself excellent text" a "weakness":
"The document speaks of religion only positively and ignores then the sick and distorted forms of religion, which historically and theologically are of great significance: the Christian faith was for that reason from beginning to the end and inside out also critical of religion."
Pius XII would not Recognize the Church
Finally, the Pope asserted that the Conciliar Fathers would not have wanted to create any other Church and -- supposedly --- also could not have created: "For that we have neither the power nor the mandate."
Because it can't be, what may not be, the Pope views "the hermeneutic of break" as absurd. It is "against the Spirit and against the wills of the Conciliar Fathers."
All the same, it is a fact that Pius XII. would not recognize, what remains of it, his Church.