by Wigand Siebel
Translated from the German by Leonard Latkovski, M.A., O.S.J.
with a Preface by the Translator
Edited byRev. James F. Wathen, O.S.J.
Copied from http://www.the-pope.com/prog-jp2.html
Norbert L. Behrendt(1917-1980)formerly of Highland, Maryland, who sponsored the printing of this booklet which was first released in January, 1980. Printed form-to-HTML conversion by email@example.com (http://www.fred.net/jmcnally) (Former associate of Norbert L. Behrendt)
Professor Dr. of Political Science, Wigand Siebel was born on January 4, 1929 in Westphalia. He studied in Kiel, Munich and Munster.
1955-1959: Fellow at the Institute for Christian Social Sciences in Munster.
1955: Received his Doctorate in Political Science at Munster.
1955-1959: Publishing Company of Freiburg
1959-1964: Fellow of Social Research at University of Munster in Dortmund.
1964: Promotion to academic status in Munster
Since 1965: Full Professor at Saarbrucken
Professor Latkovski was born on September 14, 1905, the seventh of nine children, in Riga, Latvia. He was brought up in a strong Catholic tradition.
1926: He enrolled at the State University in Riga, in the Department of Classical Philology and after sixteen full semesters graduated with the degree of Magister Philologiae.
1928: Faculty member of the University of Riga
From 1925 he contributed articles to the Latvian Catholic Press, which were mainly translations from the Catholic News service from Polish, German, Italian, French and Spanish.
1944-1950: In Germany as a refugee of World War II.
From 1951 to 1977 he taught at Bellarmine College in Louisville. His courses included Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German, Russian, French, Spanish, History, Communication Arts, Comparative Literature, Linguistics and Semasiology (also called Semantics). “The Professor,” as he is known throughout the Louisville area, has published several books and essays, among which are Last Names, Nicknames and Clans (two volumes). He has written many articles on matters of history, folklore, general culture and linguistics; these run in the hundreds. Lately he has served Louisville firms as a translator and interpreter. Not to be overlooked is his first-hand acquaintance with Communism and his expertise on the subject of the World Revolution and Conspiracy, of which he speaks in the following brief preface.
I wish that everyone who thinks of himself as a Catholic could read this excellent article by Dr. Wigand Siebel, which is a thorough analysis of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Redemptor Hominis. With the typical precision and accuracy of a true German scholar, the author has literally shredded this writing and exposed it for what it is. It is because the new Pope has given so many people the hope that he means to restore traditional Catholicity that this article should be given the widest circulation. We may hope that it will not be long before Dr. Siebel’s most important book Katholisch oder Konziliar (which I have read) appears in English.
In addition to what Wigand Siebel has said in the following article, I wish to make a few comments of my own.
There is a conspiracy to take over the Catholic Church, to turn it away from its position and purpose of leading us to the Heavenly Kingdom – the Kingdom which is not of this world – and to make it nothing but a tool of a world government, whose promise is that of a worldly paradise. When I speak about a conspiracy, many people do not believe there is such, and they ask me: “How can you prove it?” Here is my answer:
Conspiracy means “whispering,” that is, secret talk. Those who are engaged in a conspiracy do not call a press conference; they do not announce their activities before a microphone. It is necessary to search long and hard to find proof of a conspiracy, including the great conspiracy which is now at work in the Catholic Church. Therefore, expect to have to find the proof yourself for this Conspiracy.
Next: A conspiracy is always aimed at the strong one, at the establishment, usually the legitimate establishment. The intention is to bring this establishment down so that there will be no resistance to the designs of the conspirators. The Catholic Church has always been a bulwark of morality, of justice, and truth; it was ever like the Rock of Gibraltar. But no longer. The Church has been invaded, infiltrated, and taken over at all levels. A conspiracy is never undertaken against the powerless, the insignificant, the weak. We can say: nobody conspires against a beggar on a street corner. He is not a threat to anyone, nor does he have anything which one would connive to take from him.
Through conspiracy it is possible to bring down any system and to take it over, unless there are vigilance and resistance. In 63 B.C., Catalina plotted to seize the government and would have succeeded had not Consul Marcus Tullius Cicero exposed the conspirators and thus saved the Roman Republic. In 1919, there was established in Russia (at that time there was no “Soviet Union” – this was organized and officially declared only in 1922) an organization called the Communist International (in Russian, the Komintern). The purpose of the Komintern was to direct the activities of Communist parties and members throughout the world. One of the first projects decided upon by the Komintern was to set about the replacement of Latin with the vernacular in the Catholic Church. This sounds unbelievable, does it not? To think that atheistic Communists (whom most people think of as being interested only in political power) would have had so much interest in the Catholic Church. They had this interest because Communism seeks total power and that includes the power of the Church. They reasoned that in order to destroy the Church, they would have to destroy the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
And lo, there is now no one, universal Catholic Church, united by a liturgical language, a common doctrine and a revered tradition. The Church in every country, indeed, every church in every diocese, is now different. Parish churches have become places for “experimentation” and entertainment. For years Communist conspirators within the Church failed to change the sacred Liturgy, and this for two reasons: first, because the popes of the first half of the twentieth century were strong defenders of the Faith (and all that pertained thereto); and secondly, the Communists themselves temporarily gave up their attempt to change the Church, as they hoped that once the Revolution had succeeded worldwide, they would have the political power to subdue the Church as they seem to have done in Russia.
The communists failed to destroy the Mass in the 1920’s; but they succeeded forty years later through the Second Vatican Council. Since this unholy Council, the Church has been turned into an institution of secular humanism, as is evidenced by the use of such terms as “the celebration of life,” “the glorification of man,” and “ecumenism,” to mention but a few. Dr. Siebel’s article makes it very clear that the theology of Pope John Paul II is this same humanism.
Pope John XXIII initiated the reconstruction of the Church with his “Aggiornamento,” which referred to the effort to bring the Church “up-to-date;” in French, “mettre a la date.” The implication was this: All were to recognize that the Church was out-of-date. A most frequently heard expression is: “We live in a changing world,” – as if there has ever been a time when nothing changed in the world; as if the world was formerly like a stagnant pond. And so a mere thoughtless saying, “We live in a changing world,” is used to justify and explain any “experimentation” and the most irreverent activities carried out in the churches because they represent something new and different.
During the reign of Pope John, the Conspiracy was allowed to rise to the surface and its agents were given the highest positions in the Church. The Conspiracy infiltrated the seminaries and gained control of chanceries throughout the world. There is no problem with seeing that such is the case, if only one can believe one’s own eyes!
The Church is now permeated with the heresy promoted by the Jesuit Priest, Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) that, ultimately, every human being will be saved. This notion is given great prominence in the New Mass, of which I shall speak later. As Dr. Siebel points out, the idea has now been given the status of a dogma of the Church by Pope John Paul II.
Moreover, Chardin’s thought blends very nicely with the utopianism of the World Revolution, which is one of the dominant themes of all its literature and propaganda. Chardin taught that the evolutionary process, which is an essential aspect of physical nature, includes also the spiritual nature of man, and the history of salvation as well. In other words, all things move inevitably toward “omega point.” The Revolution uses this idea to explain its tearing apart of all the institutions of the contemporary world, including the Catholic Church. All this destruction is necessary as it is necessary for the grain of wheat to “die” in the ground before the sprouting can occur. (Lenin’s slogan for it was: “You have to break an egg to make an omelet.”) The agents of the Revolution are therefore not the cause of the upheavals and chaos of this century; such things would happen no matter what, as a result of forces inherent in things. Since human beings are only matter, their actions are subject to the same forces as those at work in all other things. Revolutionaries do no more than recognize and abet a process which is predetermined, and which cannot be prevented, only temporarily delayed.
The glory of the Second Vatican Council is that it gave recognition to this process of change, and even aligned the whole Church with it. It embraced the utopian idea, and set about amending and re-forming the Church so that, instead of being an obstacle to the Revolution, and something which must inevitably be cleared out of the way, it now is a part of the process and a contributor to the bringing about of the “New Order.” John Paul II sees himself as called upon to play the role of a continuer and developer of the Revolution in the Church (Cf. 7.1). As Dr. Siebel shows, this encyclical represents an effort to synthesize the main ideas of the Council, and bring them clearly into harmony with Revolutionary thinking and directions.
Being utopian, the Revolution makes innumerable promises. And no matter how well one knows their deceitful purpose, one can never deny their attractiveness. We are given the hope that soon there will be liberty and justice for all – as well as revenge upon those who have been the cause of the suppression of rights and organized injustice. (Included here, of course, are all those Catholics who, in upholding the traditions of the Church and who defend her past and her honor, have stood in the way of true progress, and continue to do so.)
The rhetoric of the “Liberals” (they were referred to as “progressivists”) at the Council smacked very noticeably of this utopianism. And since the Council, in every country, Catholic institutions of all kinds – churches, colleges, seminaries, convents, every place where a crowd could be gathered – have been visited by lecturers who have indoctrinated their listeners in the “spirit of the Council” with which the Church has been anointed. In this way, the people have been conditioned to accept whatever interpretations were given (or were about to be given) to the Conciliar decrees. Simultaneously, those who dared voice misgivings or who sought to ask difficult-to-answer questions were condemned as resisting the Holy Father and the Holy Spirit Himself. (Such procedure coincides with the standard Communist tactic: “Destroy the Accuser!”)
The message of these propagandists was (and is) “We are now out of the ghetto; now we can join the community of other Christians.” Under this barrage of Conciliarist (Revolutionary) propaganda the people witnessed and were forced to accept the flaying of the Church, which was described as “bringing it up-to-date.” In church after church – all of which curiously, had to be renovated at the same time – altar statues, religious paintings, windows, pews, vestments and practically everything that was recognizable to the people as expressive of their belief, were literally hauled out and either thrown on the junk pile or put up for auction.
While the people were being subdued with threats of eternal damnation for even thinking of resistance to the changes (really the only thing for which one could be damned anymore!) the teaching and practice for every aspect of the Faith were drastically altered, so that, by now, that which is presented as worship in the Conciliar churches bears less resemblance to ancient rites than do the worship services of many Protestant churches. The noble and doctrinally precise Latin, which dates in many prayers to the earliest years of the Church in Rome, has been replaced with vernacular verbiage which means, like Pope John Paul’s encyclical, one thing to “traditionalists,” and something altogether different to “Conciliarists.”
As a result of all that has taken place, the very opposite of what was promised has come to pass: instead of greater participation in the ceremonies, there is less. No wonder! – most of those in attendance do not know what will happen next. Besides this, there is an ever-increasing disinterest and even disgust. Church attendance has dropped throughout the world, because the “eucharistic service” is not only shallow and meaningless, there is also serious reason to question its validity as a sacrament and its presentation seems obviously born of a passion to give the people a show.
The great musical compositions of the ancient Church have been deliberately and inexplicably replaced by that which, at its best, is tastelessly humanistic and, at its worst, is unmistakably Revolutionary. Not infrequently what one hears is a-religious and irreverent. In place of sermons of faith and devotion, the people are constrained to listen to something they never heard of before – “homilies.” These are chatty little talks which give the impression that the priest is not a teacher with authority, but a kind of commentator. His “commentary” carries as much weight as his hearers deign to give it. (Those who read John Paul’s encyclical will see that he has changed the style with which the pope speaks to the Church and the world.) For an extra treat, sometimes records are played or films are shown. On feastdays and other important days (such as the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.) inventive priests stage special demonstrations which easily and often must be described as sacrilegious and abominable. No longer are there standards for anything. Everything is done with the deliberate intention of contradicting tradition, or catering to the tastes of the most “Liberal,” the most immature, or the biggest dupes that can be found. Not only is there no end in sight of these abuses, but there is the constant and insatiable demand for more of the same. The general consequence of all this is that now the churches out of which everything has been emptied, are themselves being put up to auction.
And to make that which is strange stranger still, while all this has been happening, the Popes of Rome speak in tones of excited enthusiasm. Pope John Paul II looks forward to the bursting forth of a “New Age,” at whose threshold the Church now stands. And, believe it or not, he anticipates the turn of the century as if it were to be the millenium, that utopian time when the Revolution will have enveloped the whole world! “At this moment it is difficult to say what mark that year  will leave on the face of human history or what it will bring to each people, nation, country and continent, in spite of the efforts already being made to foresee some events” (1.1).
When Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was elected to the Chair of Saint Peter, he took the name of John Paul II. Thereby he made it clear in what direction he would go – the very same as his predecessors, John XXIII and Paul VI. No matter what they see or hear, Catholics should keep that fact in mind.
The Church plunges into profoundest confusion for the simple reason that once the Revolution has started, there is no end to it. There are always more and more demands for innovations and changes, more experimentation. By now the abuses and follies have reached apocalyptic proportions, and yet there are no shepherds to put a stop to them. I take the occasion here to recommend to the reader an excellent booklet; actually, it is a copy of a speech by L’Abbe Louis Coache, which he gave on October 24, 1969. The book’s title is: Eveques, Restez Catholiques! (“Bishops, Remain Catholics!”). Any Catholic who reads this book will know what has been happening in the Church since Vatican II. Obviously, our bishops did not heed the warning.
Deception in its many forms is one of the main weapons of the Conspiracy. Deception in the Catholic Church is now all-pervasive. Besides outright lies, those, in power and their subalternates and pen-men use subtle means to deceive us. Half-truths are told, words with double meanings are used, history is distorted, logic is violated at every turn, controversy is forbidden, the Scriptures are mistranslated and deliberately misquoted or quoted out of context. Dr. Siebel finds the Pope himself patently falsifying the words of Our Lord and St. Paul in order to give strength to his humanistic exultations.
Along the same line, allow me to call the following point to the reader’s attention: In the encyclical here under study, Pope John Paul uses the expression, the “missionary and apostolic church” (12.1). A Scripture scholar would never use such a phrase, because both words mean the same thing; one word is Latin, the other is Greek. The Apostolic Church is a missionary church, because the very meaning of the word apostle in Greek is “the one who has been sent out;” from apostellein. This word is coined from a Hebrew model sholia, “sent out.” Classical Greek does not have the word “apostle;” it appeared for the first time in the New Testament. Likewise, the word missionary is derived from the Latin word for “send,” mittere. To say “missionary and apostolic,” then, is like a chemist saying “formic and myric acid.” Both are the same: One is Greek (myric), and the other,”formic,” is Latin (after formica, which is the Latin word for “ant”).
The United Nations was instituted and has always been controlled by the Communist International. The Communist program calls for the UN to be the “front office” of the One World Government, an agency of which will be a world council of “all the major religions” – Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Hinduism, etc., tossed together like a kind of combination salad – each enjoying and granting complete religious freedom to each other and all their adherents – the very kind, as Dr. Siebel shows, Pope John Paul so effusively advocates in Redemptor Hominis. By recognizing and honoring the UN by their presence and good wishes, Popes Paul VI and John Paul II abdicated the leadership of the Catholic Church and their own position of the Vicar of Christ the King and tendered them to this organization of power-usurpers. Speaking to this hypocritical assemblage of atheists, agnostics, Communists, Jews, Masons, and cannibals, the Pope said: “You will lead the world to peace.” It was one of the greatest blunders a pope could ever make.
The Pope seeks popularity and public support by very plebeian conduct. Telling jokes, singing folk songs, and acting like a cheerleader. Such things are beneath the dignity of the person who occupies the Chair of Saint Peter. No great spiritual leader, no prophet has ever sought popularity within the sinful world. What the crowd likes is of poor taste and low quality. The only way to please the masses is to yield to the demands of the masses. Formerly, the Catholic Church was under strong leadership; it was a dominant and guiding force, and one the powers of this world had to reckon with. Now, however, radicals are in charge and all are instructed to defer to them. With the encouragement of expedientist bishops, these radicals clamor for additional “reforms”: abortion, divorce, the abolition of priestly celibacy, the ordination of women to the priesthood (and, after that, to the episcopacy!) and so on. The crowd will applaud only when their demands are met. It is impossible to please the masses of the sinful world if one commands morality and integrity of faith.
Nowadays it seems that the Catholic Church depends on modern scholars, on the “research” of theologians who have very little faith or none at all. Never before has the Church depended on human wisdom and knowledge, never has it depended on human theories which come and go; the new supplants the older. The Catholic Faith is based upon Divine Revelation, the inspired Scriptures, and a Tradition that goes back to the Apostles. It is preserved not by arrogant and self-righteous academics, but by saints, martyrs who give their lives for the sake of Christ.
Ecumenism is the plague of our times. Christ did not teach ecumenism. There were plenty of agnostics and atheists in his day. Our Lord knew them; but He did not commission His Apostles to go and discuss their mutual differences. He told them to go and to preach. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” (Mk. 16:16). The Apostles did as they were told. And when they heard that something was going wrong in the early Church, they either went themselves to correct the problem, or delegated an assistant to do so. We do not read of any dialogue with either trouble-makers or unbelievers.
Ecumenism has brought nothing but harm to the Catholic Church. Catholics of the Conciliar Church have conceded, have given up many things (even their Faith!) to please so-called “separated brethren,” while the separated brethren have, not yielded an inch. We, Catholics are the losers. Many people leave the Church because the liturgical services have become trite and meaningless. Converts to Catholicism are rare or nowhere to be found. Only that attracts which is strong; what is weak does not attract; indeed, it repels. Catholics are now ashamed of their Church.
Pope John Paul II continues to use the term (first used by John XXIII) that the Catholic Church is “open.” Open to what? Open to heresies, “experiments,” and to Protestant influences. For their part, the Protestants are continuing the “unfinished Reformation.”
In truth, the Church has become open to evil and been closed to the true Faith and to Catholic Tradition. Pope Paul VI several times received in audience Communist leaders from the Soviet Union, from Hungary, and other Communist-held countries. Yet he refused to grant audiences to groups of “Traditionalist” Catholics who came to Rome as pilgrims. He refused to see his brethren in the Faith, the true defenders of Catholic truth, who strive to be loyal to Jesus Christ. Yet he found it possible to welcome warmly Podgorny, Gromyko, Kadar, and the like. Can we call such a Church “open”? It is closed to the faithful and open to the radicals and even to persecutors of the Church. In his encyclical we see Pope John Paul praising his predecessor to the heavens. There is a Latin proverb that says: similis simili gaudet – one enjoys one like himself.
Indeed, Pope John Paul seems to be unable to praise Paul VI enough. Considering the fact that the latter was responsible for the Novus Ordo Missae (the New Mass) and countless other destructive changes in the Church, the Pope leaves us with no doubt as to where his heart is. Not only is he totally unbothered by what Pope Paul did to the Church, not only is he rapturously enthusiastic over the “achievements” of the Council, but he states emphatically that, despite everything (6.6), what has been set in motion must be kept going in the same direction.
The Novus Ordo Missae is the bitterest fruit of the Council and the embodiment of its creed. It is to the Conciliar Church what the Roman Mass is to the Catholic Faith. No matter what spokesmen of the Conciliar Religion say, no act of any pope of the Church’s history has been more strenuously opposed and condemned than the issuance of the New Mass. In every country, Catholics pleaded for the preservation of the True Mass, only to be treated as recalcitrants and outsiders by Paul. The new Pope may eulogize Giovanni Baptiste Montini endlessly; he will never erase the stain of infamy which Paul VI, the recent Pontiff, brought upon himself by introducing the novus ordo.
When Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass recently in Chicago, I watched the telecast. At the Consecration, he spoke very distinctly the following words: “for you and for all men.” The Latin of the Missal, the testimony of the Scriptures and the constant tradition of the centuries record Our Lord’s words at the Last Supper as: “for you and for many unto the remission of sins.” The Church has never taught general redemption, the redemption of all men. Though Christ suffered and died for all men, the fruits of Redemption were never intended for all men, but only for “such as were to be saved” (Acts 2:47). Salvation will not be granted to those who believe not in the mystery of Redemption, those who do not seek or strive to be redeemed, those who do not accept Christ, “the savior of the world” (Jn. 4:42), those who fail to become united to Him in His Mystical Body, which is the Church (Eph. 4:16). If it were possible for all men to be saved, regardless of their relationship to Christ, then His Sacrifice on the Cross would have been unnecessary and purposeless. “Redemption is a gratuitous act of almighty God, but only for those who freely accept this grace through faith and Christian virtue. Pope John Paul’s ceremonial actions accord with his written words in Redemptor Hominis, and further unite him with both Pope John XXIII, who expressed the heresy of universal salvation (though only rarely and vaguely, in order not to reveal too much too soon), and Pope Paul VI, who did so more clearly.
The traditional Latin Mass-often referred to nowadays as “the Tridentine Mass” (after the Council of Trent) – was not an institution of Pope St. Pius V. Rather, that Pope established a uniform ritual for the Mass in the Roman Rite, where before, in some parts of Europe, there were minor differences in prayers and ceremonies. Pius V declared and promulgated that the Mass of the Missale Romanum (the roman missal) was to be maintained strictly and unchangeably “in perpetuity” in the year 1570:”Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted toalter this letter or heedlessly to venture togo contrary to this notice of Our permission,statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant,indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition.Should anyone, however, presume to commit such an act,he should know that he will incur the wrathof Almighty God and of the Blessed ApostlesPeter and Paul.”(Apostolic Constitution, Quo Primum)
Every pope thereafter for four hundred years remained loyal to the universally established rite of the Mass. Pope Paul boldly broke this tradition and installed a rite, which had been devised by extremely “Liberal” liturgists, assisted and censored by six well-known leftist Protestant theologians.
On the day of Paul VI’s death, in August, 1978, there was a tempest of thunder, rain, and high winds, such as has seldom been seen in Rome.
In conclusion: The Catholic Church goes ever deeper into crisis. If we must consider the fact that these modern theologians are poisoning the minds of young people in schools (colleges which used to be Catholic are no longer Catholic) and in seminaries. And the deception which has been started will go on. It is my opinion that about 98 per cent of those who attend the Novus Ordo Missae, the “New Mass,” – which is a distortion, an exercise in confusion and a monstrous deception and is consequently invalid – do so only because of their habit of “going to Mass on Sunday.” (I must correct myself: they can go on Saturday evening and sleep or play golf on Sunday!) The people are blindfolded and do not see the difference between the true and the false. And they have no interest in finding out for themselves that they are being deceived by a misguided clergy. Many of those who go to the New Mass do not like it because they see that there is something not right, and yet, out of “blind obedience,” like sheep, they follow the crowd. However, in the Day of Judgment, they will be responsible for allowing themselves to be deceived.
Dr. Wigand Siebel, the author of the article “The Program of Pope John Paul II,” is absolutely right when he says: “The little flock of faithful Catholics has received the warning of what is coming.” It is up to that little flock to remain strong in the Faith and hold on. They are the real Church, while the rest have departed from the true faith. The Conciliar Church, it is quite obvious, is not open to them (not even for dialogue!); on the contrary, the modern “reformed” Church is hostile to all that is truly Catholic. In spite of that, the “little flock” will survive, because the very Founder of the Church is (and will remain) with those who remain loyal to Him.* * * * *
THE PROGRAM OF POPE JOHN PAUL IIIntroduction
The encyclical Redemptor Hominis of Pope John Paul II of March 4, 1979 should be thought of as a programmatic document. It is the first of his pontificate and its content and length show clearly that the new Pontiff wants in it to mark the direction of his reign, and at the same time the road of the Church in the future. The original text had already been written in Polish by November of 1978. Pope John Paul has indicated that the encyclical is a result of his personal meditations. Indeed, it is so highly personal that it is hard to think of it as a papal encyclical. It has, of course, been published in Latin.
The title of the encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, “The Savior of Man,” must also be taken as thematic. Christ is the Savior of the “world” (John 4:42); the Savior of all men (I Tim. 4:10). He is the Savior of all men; particularly, He is the Savior of “believers” (I Tim. 4: 10), i.e., those who compose the Church, whom He “has acquired with His own blood” (Acts 2:28). Christ has redeemed believers not only objectively by the fact that as their representative He atoned for their sins, but also subjectively because He absolves them and sanctifies them, when in faith and charity they turn to the Cross to receive the redeeming grace that He gained for them thereon. Thus, Christ is the Redeemer of His Body (Eph. 5:23), which is the Church.
We ask: Is Christ truly the “Savior” of “Man”? There seems to be no indubitable scriptural basis for this expression. Very certainly the author chooses his words for a purpose. What this purpose is will be discussed in the following paragraphs in four headings:
I. The New Advent
II. The New Church
III. The New Way
IV. Novelty and Tradition
I. THE NEW ADVENT:
At the beginning of the encyclical the Pope makes reference to the year 2000 which “will be the year of a great jubilee” (1.2): “We find ourselves in a certain way in the midst of a New Advent, at a time of expectation.” He repeats the same idea a number of times in the course of this writing: “While the ways on which the council of the century has set the church going, ways indicated by the late Pope Paul VI in his first encyclical, will continue to be for a long time the ways that all of us must follow, we can at the same time rightly ask at this new stage: How, in what manner shall we continue? What should we do, in order that this new advent of the Church connected with the approaching end of the second millenium may bring us closer to him whom sacred Scripture calls “Everlasting Father, Pater futuri saeculi“? (7.1)
Christian love always awaits the “revelation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19), who have been called to future glory. At the same time creation looks forward to the “revelation of the sons of God,” as was said in Chapter Eight two times. According to Pope John Paul, the Church of the New Advent prepares itself for a “new coming of the Lord” (20.7). Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI expected a new spring in the Church. Pope John Paul II is more realistic: he expects the rise of the Church; a New Advent lies in the future, even in the near future, namely, at the end of the second millenium. Why is there such frequent mention of “the appearance of the sons of God”? The reference from the Epistle to the Romans is echoed in that to the Colossians (3:4), where the text reads as follows: “When Christ shall appear, who is your life, then you also shall appear with him in glory.” In this encyclical, this reference is not clearly elaborated. The New Advent is a new stage which will bring us closer to the “Pater futuri saeculi.” This stage is not the end of the world. Consequently, we are to conclude that the “appearance of the sons of God” and the term “the coming of the Lord” can be understood as the worldwide ecumenical movement.
We are speaking then of a type of condition which marks “the foundation for ever more mature achievements of the people of God’s march towards the Promised Land in this stage of history approaching the end of the second millenium” (22.6). And at the end of his encyclical there is no mention of the New Advent of the Church, rather the Pope speaks “of humanity’s new Advent” (22.6). The origin of the expression “the New Advent” is traceable to Vatican II and, in particular, the activity of Pope Paul VI. “This inheritance has struck deep roots in the awareness of the Church in an utterly new way, quite unknown previously thanks to the Second Vatican Council, which John XXIII convened and opened, and which was later successfully concluded and perseveringly put into effect by Paul VI” (3.1), and now has become a reality in the Church. The inheritance of the Conciliar Popes is of great importance: John Paul says: “This is confirmed by my choice of these two names. By following the example of my venerable predecessor in choosing them, I wish like him to express my love for the unique inheritance left to the Church by Popes John XXIII and Paul VI, and my personal readiness to develop that inheritance with God’s help” (2.2). “John XXIII and Paul VI are a stage to which I wish to refer directly as a threshold from which I intend to continue” (2.3). “In referring today to this document that gave the program of Paul VI’s pontificate, I keep thanking God that this great predecessor of mine, who was also truly my father, knew how to display “ad extra,” externally, the true countenance of the church” (4.1). “I must keep all this in mind at the beginning of my pontificate as a reason for giving thanks to God, for warmly encouraging all my brothers and sisters, and for recalling with heartfelt gratitude the work of the Second Vatican Council and my great predecessors who set in motion this new surge of life for the church, a movement that is much stronger than the symptoms of doubt, collapse and crisis” (5.4). The expression “new surge” is also much emphasized throughout the encyclical. The occupants of the papal throne before John Paul II always used the form “We” in order to accentuate unity with the Holy Spirit and at the same time the unity of the faithful. As a sign of the “new surge of life” in the Church the Pope uses the expression “I,” which he maintains throughout the encyclical.
II. THE NEW CHURCH:
1. A New Awareness
The Church of the New Advent has a new awareness which derives from the Second Vatican Council. “The Second Vatican Council did immense work to form the full and universal awareness by the church, of which Pope Paul VI wrote in his first encyclical. This awareness – or rather self-awareness – by the Church is formed ‘in dialogue'” (11.1). “The rich inheritance of the pontificate of Pope Paul VI … has struck deep roots in the awareness of the Church in an utterly new way, quite unknown previously” (3.1). “The church’s consciousness, enlightened and supported by the Holy Spirit … must remain in the first source for the church’s love, as love in turn helps to strengthen and deepen her consciousness” (3.2).
In what then does this “consciousness” of the Church consist? “The Church’s consciousness must go with the universal openness, in order that all may be able to find in her ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ'” (Eph. 3:8). This openness is made possible and can be seen as the expression of the Church’s “awareness of her own nature and certainly of her own truth” (4.1). “It gives the Church her apostolic urgency, or her missionary dynamism professing and proclaiming in its integrity the whole of the truth transmitted by Christ. At the same time we must carry on the dialogue that Paul VI in his encyclical Ecclesiam Suam calls ‘the dialogue of salvation'” (4.1). If “the missionary dynamism” of the Church is in truth an opening of the Church to the whole wide world, the Pope can only be speaking of a kind of mission in reverse! This is a flooding of the Church by the world, while the Church exposes itself to this inundation through dialogue.
2. A New Unity
If the Church, as it is described above, experiences a change of consciousness through its “opening” then the unity of the Church will be very hard to recognize. Allegedly, its unity will be strengthened: “In spite of all appearances, the church is now more united in the fellowship of service and in the awareness of apostolate. This unity springs from the principle of collegiality, mentioned by the Second Vatican Council” (5.1). Is not the truth the very opposite and the appearance true to the fact?
The encyclical addresses itself to “the venerable brethren in the office of bishops, the priests and religious orders, sons and daughters of the Church and to all men of good will.” More noteworthy, non-Catholic Christians are not named by themselves. Are they addressed here? By all means, with these words: “Beloved sons and daughters.” We must conclude that non-Catholic Christians are to be considered among the sons and daughters of the Church. Furthermore, it would seem that non-Christians also fall into this category. However, in the Latin original the address reads “venerable brothers and dear sons.” According to this language it is much easier to include non-Christians whether they be considered as brothers or as sons.
“The Church is a kind of sacrament or sign and means of intimate union with God, and of the unity of all mankind” (7.3). This viewpoint is derived from the constitution of the Council which is entitled Lumen Gentium, “The light of Nations,” is of central importance in this encyclical. This particular sentence is quoted three times in different places. To designate the Church as a sacrament, however, is a questionable procedure, for the Church is more than a sacrament; it is a divine institution in which all the sacraments are included. It is also highly questionable whether one can define the Church as a sign and tool for the unity of the whole of mankind. The Church is not a sign of unity of mankind, because the unity of mankind lies exactly in the Catholic Church; and besides, man is obliged to enter it if he would be saved. If the Church were only a sign for the unity of mankind, then the obligation to enter it could not be maintained. The sign would be an indication of a unity of human beings which must be brought about. The Church, however, is not a sign for the unity of all men, because many men lose their souls. Neither is the Church a “tool” for bringing about the unity of the entire human race. If such were the case, then the Church would indeed be in the service of man; but the Church is meant to serve God alone. Moreover, the Church could not have as its purpose the establishing of a condition which lies outside herself, for she has the meaning of her existence within herself. For the Church has received the “assignment to continue the work of redemption of mankind to the last days.” The Church is the only institution of salvation established by Christ for all men. The doctrine of the Church was falsified by the Vatican Council to make her into a kind of sacrament.” From this viewpoint all other statements about the Church and ecumenism take their origin.
The Council coined the term “the People of God” to be synonymous with the Church, and the hallowed designation of “the Mystical Body of Christ” was pushed into the background. Correspondingly, John Paul’s encyclical says: “The Church is therefore the people of God” … also ‘Christ’s mystical body'” (21.2). The Mystical Body as the people of God? Here lies an inadmissable shifting. The Church in the first line is “The Body (viz., the Mystical Body) of Christ” according to the teaching of Saint Paul, which doctrine was expounded in depth by Pope Pius XII. Only in the second line can the Church be seen as “God’s people.” Now, what is the significance of the term “God’s people,” or “the people of God”? Does it truly refer to the Catholic Church? It is not hard to answer this question, for in the entire encyclical the Catholic Church is not mentioned one single time. Most conspicuously, even the word “Catholic” is carefully and completely avoided. Who then belongs to “the people of God”? “Membership in that body has for its source a particular call, united with the saving action of grace. Therefore, if we wish to keep in mind this community of the people of God, which is so vast and so extremely differentiated, we must see first and foremost Christ saying in a way to each member of the community: ‘Follow me'” (Jn. 1:43-21.2).
Can this community, which is “so vast and extremely differentiated,” be the Catholic Church? Does not Christ speak to every man: “Follow me”? The sentence gives only an apparent answer to the question of belonging: fundamentally, everything is left open. Only at the end of the paragraph is the question about belonging to the Church answered somewhat more clearly: one gathers that “the people of God” is “a community precisely because all its members form it together with Christ Himself, at least because they bear in their souls the indelible mark of a Christ” (21.1). This “indelible mark” can have been caused only by Baptism. The minimum requirement for belonging to the “people of God,” then, would be Baptism. Consequently, all baptized people must belong to “God’s people.” It is in this sense that the following sentence must be understood: “What the Spirit said to the church through the Council of our time, what the Spirit says in this church to all the churches (cf. Rev. 2:7 – sic) cannot lead to anything else – in spite of momentary uneasiness – but still more mature solidity of the whole people of God, aware of their salvific mission” (3.1). Notwithstanding, it is insufficient to say that all those who have been baptized belong to the Catholic Church. Full membership requires further conditions: i.e., the acknowledgment of the true Faith and being joined to the congregation of the Church. However, the word “at least” (in Latin: saltem) can be interpreted otherwise: the minimum is that one be baptized. It is better if one have “a particular call, united with the saving action of grace” (21.1).
All this suggests that Baptism is not a precondition of membership in the Church, which is to say, God’s People are not only those who have been baptized. We are led to ask whether a non-Catholic reader will derive a broader meaning from the Pope’s words. What indeed does the Pope mean by the “indelible mark” (signum) of Christ? There is a discrepancy in the translation from the Latin text with reference to “the Church and God’s People” (1.1). We find these words: “Likewise the church, which has struck root in many varied fields of the life of the whole of present-day humanity, also acquires the certainty and, one could say, the experience of being close to man, to each person, of being each person’s church, the church of the people of God” (22.5).
3. A New Mother of the Church
In order to make the concept of the Church more relevant, Pope Paul VI invented an impressive phrase in proclaiming the title for Our Lady of “the Mother of the Church.” As might be expected, this title is given a dominant place in the Pope’s reference to the Mother of God; there is a full chapter on this subject. What does this title, the Mother of the Church, mean? We have this answer: If we are aware of the duty “to keep up this dynamic link between the mystery of the redemption and every man” (22.1), … then we seem to understand that it means to say that the Church is a mother (Lumen Gentium, 63-64, AAS 57-1965), and also that it means to say that the Church always, and particularly at our time, has need of a mother” 22.2). The Mother Church therefore needs a mother. Why “particularly at our time”? This can be explained only in terms of the “new consciousness” of the Church, which consists of an opening to the world. We now perceive that the faithful, the sons and daughters of the Church, besides their Mother Church, need a mother for their Mother, an idea which cries out for further clarification! The Church’s openness to the world enlightens us to the fact that the idea of the Church as the Body of Christ and the Mother of believers is an obstacle (to non-believers). The Church must above all now be presented as God’s People; not as a Holy Virgin, not as an institution with all the means of salvation, nor again as the Mother of the members of the Body of Christ. The pilgrim People of God, which (in the Pope’s concept) is dissolved more and more into the formlessness of mankind, needs “particularly at our time,” a mother, whose conceptualization allows us to forget the Church as the Bride of Christ. Hence, this mother is referred to all men. We now have “the special characteristic of the motherly love that the mother of God inserts in the mystery of redemption and the life of the church finds expression in its exceptional closeness to man and all that happens to him” (22.4). However, if there is a “Mother of the Church,” then the very concept of the Church has already been changed, the time of its institution is being pushed back. The Church as an institution can have no mother; she is the Mother of God’s People. At the same time, the parallel between Mary and the Church is discarded. As the Mother of the Church, Mary stands above the Church; thus is destroyed the idea that Mary is the image of the Church, a concept which has a central importance in our traditional understanding of the Church.
4. New Universality
“Real and important advances” have been made on the road to unity which was prescribed by the Second Vatican Council (6.1). “There are people who in the face of the difficulties or because they consider that the first ecumenical endeavors have brought negative results would like to turn back” (6.2). These are allowed to remain inactive. But “can we fail to have trust … in our Lord’s grace as revealed recently through what the Holy Spirit said and we heard during the Council?” (6.2). Vatican II expressed the word of the Holy Ghost and therefore it is not permitted to give up the ecumenic initiative. “True ecumenical activity means openness, drawing closer, availability for dialogue, and a shared investigation of the truth in the full evangelical and Christian sense … The Church is at the same time ‘seeking the universal unity of Christians'” (6.2). Why does “real ecumenical work” mean “openness”? Because the conversion to the Catholic Church and therewith to Catholic truth is not seriously required anymore. The opening to the world, in fact, allows entrance without conversion, without commitment. In place of conversion, there is “dialogue” instead of commitment to the truth, there is exchange of views and positions, which by its very nature never comes to an end; rather, all this is carried on as a “mutual search for the truth.” If a person already has the truth in the form of Catholic doctrine, can he continue to “seek for the truth,” without actually turning away from it? As a matter of fact, seeking for the “universal unity of Christians” has always existed and still exists in the Catholic Church: the Church is the one, holy, Catholic (i.e., universal) Church. When “the Church” engages in a search for the very thing which the Church is, we must say that there is a serious incompatibility between Catholic doctrine and what is being spoken of.
One sign which the striving for unity calls for is Intercommunion (“interfaith communion”). This must be so because the Church is “gathering particularly today in a special way around the Eucharist and desiring that the authentic eucharistic community should become a sign of the gradually maturing unity of all Christians” (20.7). Thereby “the Eucharist always was and must continue to be the most profound revelation of the human brotherhood of Christ’s disciples and confessors, it cannot be treated merely as an ‘occasion for manifesting this brotherhood'” (20.4).
Although unity among Christians must be striven for, there already exists a unity among them, according to the encyclical: “This is apostolic and missionary unity, missionary and apostolic unity” (12.1). Vatican II, contrary to this thinking, spoke of our “separated brethren.” Are we to understand that all Christians are in one “apostolic unity”? Unmistakably the Latin text declares clearly: “Haec unio est apostolica et missionaria, missionaria et apostolico.” In translation: “This is apostolic and missionary unity, missionary and apostolic unity.” Until the recent Council, the Catholic Church always strongly maintained that she is the only truly Christian community which is apostolic in the full meaning of the word. Correspondingly, at the end of this encyclical, the Pope gives his “apostolic blessing” and the publication in which the encyclical appears is entitled, “The Acts of the Apostolic See.” Regardless, in a curious and complex sentence, the Pope attempts to interpret the word “apostolic.” “Apostolic unity” means nothing else but a total opening: all Christian communities should open themselves to the world as the Catholic Church has done. We cannot but conclude that there would follow, to repeat the expression, “a mission in reverse.” The text quoted earlier continues: “Thanks to this unity we can together come close to the magnificent heritage of the human spirit that has been manifested in all religions, as the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration ‘Nostra Aetate‘ says (1-2 AAS 58  740-741). It also enables us to approach all cultures, all ideological concepts, all people of good will” (12.1). The Bishop of Trier, Bernhard Stein, has commented on this subject as follows: “This pluralism must not only be tolerated, but it must be required.” And what the Pope says can only contribute to our need to open ourselves to facts and systems of thought which are neither Christian nor Catholic.” Is it possible, by virtue of the “apostolic unity” of all Christians, or all religions, and of all philosophies of life, to approach and draw closer to spiritism? And to atheism? And to materialism? We see then the kind of opening to the world that is contemplated: it is indeed complete; dialogue must be denied no one. Therefore, there are no criteria whereby the door might be closed upon anyone. Only he is to be left outside who rejects dialogue. Further, the desired dialogue contains already a cultic element and aims toward a new cult. This idea is presented to us in the following sentence: “What we have just said must also be applied – although in another way and with due differences – to activity for coming closer together with the representatives of the non-Christian religions, an activity expressed through dialogue, contacts, prayer in common, investigation of the treasures of human spirituality, in which, as we know well, the members of these religions also are not lacking.
We ask: Is common prayer possible with followers of different religions, as for example, Hindus and Christians? In this instance, the addressee of the assembled community would not be the same. Of course, everybody may pray to his God or gods for the same intention, for peace, for example. It was reported that, in September, a world conference of religions has already taken place. “More than 250 representatives of the larger world religions from some 50 countries of the world participated in the Third World Conference of Religions to pray for peace in Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A. At this conference, in addition to about one hundred Christians, there were forty Buddhists, forty Muslems, twenty-five Hindus, as well as smaller groups of Jews, Shintoists, Sikhs, followers of Zoroaster; there were also followers of African and Indian natural religions. During the conference there was a “multi-religion service” held in the Cathedral of St. Patrick in New York, in which Cardinal Cooke (New York), Archbishop Fernandez (New Delhi), a Shintoist priest from Japan and a rabbi all participated. The question arises, will the peace of Christ be the same as the peace of Mohammed or Krishna? And why did a “multi-religion service” have to be celebrated when the addressee was not the same? Could not each of the religious groups pray for peace by itself? Because of the patent danger to the faith of participants, the Church has always prohibited prayers with persons of different religions and beliefs.
III. THE NEW WAY:
1. A New Gospel
The “humanism” of the encyclical is authoritatively expressed not only through statements made by the Second Vatican Council, but also through the teaching of Pope Paul VI. It is worth our while to point out here and to recall his address on December 7, 1965, in which he challenged modern humanists: “Recognize our new humanism. We too, we more than all others, are admirers of man.”
The admiration of man was also the goal of various declarations of the Council. This encyclical of John Paul II looks forward to approaches to men of all beliefs and to those of no beliefs at all, with the hope of bringing them together and awaking their consciousness. Humanism is universal. “What social, economic, political or cultural program could renounce … humanistic relations? … We are firmly convinced that there is no program in today’s world in which man is not invariably brought to the fore, even when the platforms of the program are made up of conflicting ideologies concerning the way of conceiving the world” (17.2).
Wherefore, as humanism is universal, the image and picture of a man who strives for “universal unity” must be imprinted upon his awareness. For this reason the central, actual and real content of the encyclical is its message concerning Man. This fact is well-documented exteriorly through the repetition of such words as man, human and humanity. “Man” is mentioned more than 350 times, and in this way, one gains the impression that the frequent repetition of “man” and “human” is an intentional style and way of speaking. Man does not appear here anymore as an ordinary man, or generic man; rather, as a specific concrete being: the man who lives here and now. The encyclical focuses on “man in all his truth, in his full magnitude. We are not dealing with the ‘abstract’ man, but the real, ‘concrete,’ ‘historical’ man. We are dealing with ‘each’ man” (13.3). This man is today “the way” for the Church. On the basis of “the continually and rapidly increasing experience of the human family … we understand with greater clarity that there is at the basis of all these ways that the church of our time must follow, in accordance with the wisdom of Pope Paul VI, one single way” (13.1). These words mean that now we have to go on a special road. Exactly what is this? Namely: “Jesus Christ is the chief way for the church. He Himself is our way ‘to the Father’s house’ (cf. Jn. 14:1) and is the way to each man” (13.2). However, “this man is the primary route that the church must travel in fulfilling her mission: He is the primary and fundamental way for the church” (14.1). In repeated turns of speech this statement is confirmed. “This man is the way for the church – a way that, in a sense, is the basis of all the other ways that the church must walk” (14.3). “Since this man is the way for the church, the way for her daily life and experience, for her mission and toil, the church of today must be aware in an always new manner of man’s ‘situation'” (14.4).
Man, therefore, is, according to this encyclical, the basis of all ways and he is at the same time the way of daily life for the Church. Decisive for the situation of man is his dignity: “For if, as was already said, man is the way for the church’s daily life, the church must be always aware of the dignity of the divine adoption in receiving the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom. 8:15) and of his destination to grace and glory” (cf. Rom. 8:30-18.4). “The dignity which each human being has reached and can continually reach in Christ … is the dignity of both the grace of divine adoption and the inner truth of humanity” (11.4). The dignity of a child of God belongs accordingly not only to those who are baptized, but also to every man, and this dignity is at the same time the dignity of the inner truth of being a man. “This confirms what we have already referred to, namely that man is and always becomes the ‘way’ for the church’s daily life” (21.5).
If man is the way of the Church, then, necessarily he is the truth for the Church and he determines the life of the Church. Man is characterized by vitality, which vitality can be found in the concrete. The daily life, the new situation, the afflictions, the worries and sorrows of men. The Church considers – as can be seen in chapters 15 and 16 – all the anxieties of man concerning his human condition. Man is in torment about the future of man on earth and about the direction of the development of progress which is an essential element of her mission, and in fulfillment of this mission, the Church interprets the situation of man in the world of today according to the most important signs of our time. Therefore one can say: “All roads lead to man.” Christ has said about Himself: “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14.6). Admittedly this encyclical recalls these words of Christ. All the same, is it not an expression of entirely unseemly audacity to declare that man is the way of the Church?
Since, according to the encyclical, man has to become her way and her goal, then the “Church must … be aware of the threats to man and of all that seems to oppose the endeavor ‘to make human life ever more human’ (Gaudium et Spes, L.c., p. 1056) and make every element of his life correspond to man’s true dignity” (14.4). In the same spirit the chairmen of the European Bishops Conferences (among them, Archbishop Dwyer of Birmingham, Archbishop Etchegary of Marseilles, Cardinal Suenens and Cardinal Hoeffner) have issued before the elections of European Parliament a proclamation, in which – though being very distant from it – in the hope of promoting a Christian Europe, they have appealed “for the strengthening of faith and hope for a man redeemed through Christ. We must together build a human Europe.”
The relation to the dignity of man therefore can be considered as nothing less than a gospel, says the Pope: “Man’s astonishment over his breath-taking dignity can be considered to have become a gospel in itself. When man ‘appropriates’ and ‘assimilates’ the whole of the reality of the incarnation and redemption, … he bears fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deep wonder at himself” (10.1). “That deep amazement at man’s worth and dignity is the Gospel; that is to say: the good news. This amazement determines the church’s mission in the world and, perhaps even more so, ‘in the modern world'” (10.2). If the astonishment over himself is what justifies the mission of the Church, then Christ also has a place in the history of man. This astonishment, says the Pope, is “closely connected with Christ. It also fixes Christ’s place – so to speak, his particular right of citizenship – in the history of man and mankind” (10.2).
2. A New Freedom
In close relation with the dignity of man stand human rights, which serve for the well-being of man. “The Declaration of Human Rights linked with the setting up of the United Nations Organization certainly had its aim not only to depart from the horrible experiences of the last world war but also to create the basis for continual revision of programs, systems and regimes precisely from this single fundamental point of view, namely, the welfare of man” (17.4). Is there only one historical viewpoint, the welfare of man in society? Where then are the rights of God? We have particular reference here to what are referred to as religious freedom and freedom of conscience, which ideas were promoted at the Vatican Council, and are against the clear and binding teaching of the Catholic Church, as it was clearly stated by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Quanta Cura. The present encyclical of John Paul II adheres to the viewpoint of the Council: “Actuation of this right is one of the fundamental tests of man’s authentic progress in any regime, in any society, system or milieu” (17.9). “The Second Vatican Council considered especially necessary the preparation of a fairly long declaration on this subject. This is the document called ‘Dignitatis Humanae‘ (cf. AAS 58-1966, 929-946), in which is expressed not only the theological concept of the question but also the concept reached from the point of view of natural law, that is to say from the ‘purely human’ position, on the basis of the premises given by man’s own experience, his reason and his sense of human dignity” (17.8). As a matter of fact, the natural right has been designated as a divine law, therefore in no way can it be considered a right from a “purely human” standpoint. Cardinal Wojtyla not only took part in the formulation of the pastoral “Constitution of the Church in the Modern World” (Gaudium et Spes), but he also contributed (it seems, less successfully) and had some influence on the Declaration on Religious Freedom. Having a good background in philosophy and having served as a professor of Moral Theology, he is very familiar with problems of this sort. He commented orally and in writing (at the Council). His language in that instance was quite traditional; its final form seems to have been given insufficient attention. Cardinal Wojtyla must have been among those seventy Council Fathers who rejected the first draft of the decree on religious freedom.
However, the encyclical Redemptor Hominis speaks an entirely different language: “Certainly the curtailment of the religious freedom of individuals and communities is not only a painful experience but it is above all an attack on man’s very dignity, independent of the religion professed or of the concept of the world which these individuals and communities have” (17.8). This is the language of “Liberalism,” which the Church, even in a situation of totalitarian oppression, cannot baptize. In the Christian view, there can be only one kind of “true progress for man,” namely, a progress towards God, by a growth in virtue, particularly growth in the love of God (charity). How else can religious freedom be considered as the “fundamental testing-ground for the true Progress of man … in every system and in every situation”? Since Vatican II introduced into the Church this concept of religious freedom, then evidently before the Council there never was “a true progress for man” within the Church. The fact is, not only has the idea of religious freedom never existed within the Church, it was very strongly denounced by a number of popes. Gregory XVI and, after him, Pius IX called such an idea “nonsense,” namely, the teaching that “freedom of conscience and of worship is a special right which belongs to every individual and which must be, protected by the law in every well-organized society; the same must be said for the idea that every citizen inherits at birth a right to express his opinion on any matter either through the spoken word or in print without the least interference by either civil or religious authorities.” And Leo XIII declared: “If this freedom is considered with reference to civil governments, whereby it is maintained that the state has no reason to worship God or to promote open and public divine services, since no cult may be preferred before any other, in that all cults must be considered equal and should have equal rights notwithstanding the Catholic faith of the people of the state under consideration: such a situation may be found only when a civil society acknowledges no obligations towards God whatsoever and conducts it’s affairs according to the idea that a state may break God’s law and escape punishment. These ideas, of course, are entirely wrong.
On the contrary, a society may not break God’s law and hope to go unpunished. Pope Pius XI stated: “The opinion that a community of people and a state are not subject to the divine and natural law and to the divine rights is obviously godless, for it goes against sound thinking; in the field of education, such an opinion is extremely dangerous and destructive. To defend the idea of religious freedom as it has been propounded by Vatican II seems to be defending heresy.
From the point of view of opening the Church to the world, however, this heresy is indispensable, and must be regarded as fundamental. Without this doctrine, dialogue cannot be carried on. Dialogue presumes equality among participants. Understandably, Vatican II considered the Declaration on Religious Freedom as “especially necessary.” At the same time it becomes obvious from what point of view religious freedom is being assessed: it is judged simply from a “purely human point of view.” Such an attitude seems to have left the rights of God completely out of consideration. Can one validly interpret the natural law against God, when the natural law is undeniably derived from the eternal law? Such a thing can be done only by one who has a distorted concept of the natural law. Because the heresy of religious freedom is an assault on the Christian understanding of faith in a vital form, the teaching of it in any guise was condemned. Though condemned by several popes, in the encyclical Quanta Cura, Pope Pius IX did so in a very specific way, which is to say, he condemned the idea of religious freedom unequivocally and definitively; in short, ex cathedra. This fact is clear from the terms of its rejection. Many theologians and theological texts have accepted this last condemnation as an ex cathedra ruling, among whom was Matthias Scheeben. Not surprisingly, the idea of the rejection of religious freedom has been suppressed and for many progressive theologians, it is like “a thorn in the eyes.”
For this reason the definitive rejection of religious freedom is not only suppressed (as in the 32nd edition of Denzinger), but also the ex cathedra statement has been adjudged not to fulfill the requirements for a rejection at this level and therefore, in their opinion, the acceptance of this condemnation is not obligatory. The arguments against this rejection have been brought forward as follows: “The requirements for a final pronouncement have grown in number. The intention to define something must be expressed clearly. The Pope must say: “We pronounce, We declare, We define,” (pronuntiamus, declaramus, definimus, et al). Such was the case with both dogmas concerning Mary. Or, as a second possibility, a Council must adjoin to the canon of condemnation, the strong expression, “let him be anathema” (anathema sit, let him be excommunicated). When a pope and not a Council makes a solemn definition, then he must, so it is alleged, pronounce: “We declare, We define.” Where indeed did this rule originate? Certainly these formulas appear but why are they binding? If there be an institution which can provide reliable information about the form, then we need to consult the First Vatican Council, which defined Papal Infallibility. This Council confirms (DS 3074) that a pope, exercising his office as chief shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in the application of apostolic power, declares upon a certain teaching in the area of faith or morals. This particular form-requirement has been fulfilled in the encyclical Quanta Cura. Moreover, the fact has been overlooked that as in the case of the newly-defined dogmas (referred to above), their definition is made as a positive declaration of the Church’s teaching; then, in parallel with it, positions to the contrary are rejected (anathematized). It would be incongruous for the rejection of heresies to be introduced with the series: pronuntiamus, declaramus, definimus, et al., (we pronounce, we declare, we define, etc.) In the case of the censure of some heresy, it is customary for the Pontiff to say: Auctoritate nostra apostolica reprobamus, proscribimus, atque damnamus … which translates: By our apostolic authority we reject, proscribe and condemn. And these are the words used by Pope Pius IX in the encyclical Quanta Cura (DS 2896). There is no room left for the slightest doubt, therefore, that the idea of religious freedom has been condemned finally and definitively “from the Chair of St. Peter.”
This heresy of the Second Vatican Council, which is now being propagated by Pope John Paul II, challenges not only the Chair of St. Peter, from which the Church speaks, but also challenges the Rock on which the Church was built. Religious freedom is so important for the New Way of the Church, though, that every measure must be taken to preserve it as an unconditionally binding truth. For this reason, this is the subject chosen for treatment, not in chapter 17 which deals with human rights, but rather, in chapter 21, which concerns the freedom of man, in which the idea of truth in general is discussed. Thus, the encyclical does not disdain to designate religious freedom even as divine revelation. And so it says: “the Church in our time attaches great importance to all that is stated by the Second Vatican Council in its ‘Declaration on Religious Freedom.’ … We perceive intimately that the truth revealed to us by God imposes on us an obligation. We have, in particular, a great sense of responsibility for this truth. By Christ’s institution the church is its guardian and teacher, having been endowed with a unique assistance of the Holy Spirit in order to guard and teach it in its most exact integrity” (12.2). According to this way of thinking, divine public revelation has not ended with the last Apostle; on the contrary, it continues. And God evidently has used Vatican II to reveal new truths to men. There is more yet: the encyclical insinuates that the idea of religious freedom is not a part of the Scriptures’ message. It continues: “The ‘Declaration on Religious Freedom’ shows us convincingly that, when Christ and, after him, his Apostles proclaimed the truth that comes not from men but from God (‘My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me’ [Jn. 16:7], that is, the Father’s), they preserved, while acting with their full force of spirit, a deep esteem for man, for his intellect, his will, his conscience and his freedom. Thus the human person’s dignity itself becomes part of the content of that proclamation, being not necessarily in words but by an attitude towards it. This attitude seems to fit the special needs of our times” (12.2). In other words, the message of the Gospel contains nothing expressly about the dignity of the human person; therefore, religious freedom is not a part of the content of the Gospel; the Gospel contains “an attitude” favorable to “religious freedom” which now comes to light due to “the special needs of our time.”
3. A NEW MAN
a) A New Salvation
Man is “the way of the Church.” What man is this? The right way leads to the goal of the wanderer. What does this goal consist of? Of man, who is himself the new way. This man, then, cannot be an ordinary man, the average man. He must be a new man, as the Church has never known him. In the first place, this is redeemed man. Salvation has been given to him at the moment of his becoming a man. “As the council teaches, ‘by his (Christ’s) incarnation, he, the Son of God, in a certain way united himself with each man.'” (AAS 58  1042, GAUDIUM ET SPES, “Joy and Hope,” Art. 22). This encyclical repeats this notion in various places, viz., 13.1 and 18.1: “The church therefore sees its fundamental task in enabling that union to be brought about and renewed continually” (13.1). “This union of Christ with man is in itself a mystery. From the mystery is born ‘the new man'” (18.2). However, such a unification is not a unification in a full sense, as the little phrase “in a certain way” indicates. Complete unification can come only through the free decision of one’s own will and the consent of all participants. The meaning of this decision on the part of a man for union with Christ is left unexplained. Can Christ unite Himself with every man? With the Scribes and Pharisees, the experts’ on the Law; also with Judas; also with those who deny Him and abide in sin?
In “the human dimension of the mystery of the redemption, … man finds again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to his humanity. In the mystery of the redemption man becomes newly ‘expressed’ and, in a way, is newly created” (10.1). We must ask: Does a man really become ‘created anew’ through objective redemption without being obliged to decide and commit himself to Christ and His Church? The text of the encyclical continues: “He is newly created! ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Gal. 3:28).” But the Epistle to the Galatians refers not to all men, but rather to believers. This is indicated immediately before the verse quoted quite unmistakably and pointedly: “For you are all the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ.” (Gal. 26,27) The encyclical through an arbitrary selection of biblical excerpts presents a completely falsified view of the Gospel. Faith and Baptism as necessities for achieving salvation are pushed aside. Man should just “draw near to Christ. He must, so to speak, enter into him with all his own self, he must ‘appropriate’ and assimilate the whole of the reality of the incarnation and redemption in order to find himself” (10.1). The act of profession of faith does not fit into this consideration. The papal writer wishes all men to take to themselves and recognize as a part of themselves what they already possess.
In this way the “unity of Christ,” which He has already effected in every man, allegedly is the force which reshapes him interiorly; and thus it is the principle of new life. The Pope explains: “Christ’s union with man is power and the source of power, as St. John stated so incisively in the prologue of his Gospel: ‘(The Word) gave them power to be made the sons of God.’ (Jn. 1:12). Man is transformed inwardly by this power as the source of a new life that does not disappear and pass away but lasts to eternal life” (18.1). But, is this the teaching which the Gospel of Saint John enunciates? No, not at all. Here again, just as with regard to the Epistle to the Galatians mentioned above, the decisive element has been omitted. The complete statement of the Prologue reads as follows: “But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name.” (Jn. 1: 12). Actually, this passage deals with accepting Christ and believing in His name; from this faith does the power come to become the children of God. The encyclical, however, passes over in silence this teaching of the Gospel, for no other reason than that it does not fit in with the teaching John Paul is giving. For, why should man need faith, if he already has come into full possession of redemption – “each human being has reached and can continually reach in Christ … the dignity of both the grace of divine adoption and the inner truth of humanity” (11.4)? On the contrary, the Apostle Paul says: “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise, by the faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to them that believe” (Gal. 3:22).
b) A New Conversion
One could point out by way of opposition that the encyclical contains a chapter about the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance. And as long as Penance is proclaimed, one cannot maintain a theory that will allow people to believe that they are already redeemed in a complete sense. How, then, does the encyclical understand Penance? To whom are these words addressed: “Repent and believe the gospel”? (Mk. 1:15). If one follows the text of the encyclical, one may conclude that only Christians, or, to be exact, only Catholics are referred to. Penance here is required in order to participate in the Eucharist. That every man must perform penance – not a single word is written to suggest such a thing. The encyclical deals with the practice of penance in the Church so as to comment favorably on the new arrangement of penitential prayers (20.6).
In a “church” whose character has been determined through complete openness to the world, penance and conversion are requisite only for those for whom that Church’s way towards man has not as yet become their own way of life. The decree on ecumenism of Vatican II states: “There is no real ecumenism without real interior conversion because out of an open flow of love the desire from within grows and becomes mature. There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without interior conversion, for it is from newness of attitudes of mind, from self-denial and unstinted love, that desires of unity take their life and develop in a natural way” (Art. 7). Christians, in particular Catholics, have been converted not to Christ and to His Church but to ecumenism. Thus, they now fulfill the “mission” of “converts.” Pope John Paul II speaks accordingly: “Nevertheless, it is certain that the church of the new Advent, the church that is continually preparing for the new coming of the Lord, must be the church of the Eucharist and of penance. Only when viewed in this spiritual aspect of her life and activity is she seen to be the church the divine mission, the church in statu missionis, as the Second Vatican Council has shown her to be” (20.7).
Another objection could be: In another place (12.1), there is some discussion about conversion with regard to the Church’s mission. Here the term can be understood only in terms of the conversion of men to the Church. In order to invalidate this objection, we need only to consider the questionable sentence in context. This particular paragraph deals with the mission of the Church and human freedom. At the beginning of the paragraph “apostolic and missionary unity” is nailed down. Then the Pope continues: “Thanks to this unity we can together come close to the magnificent heritage of the human spirit that has been manifested in all religions as the Second Vatican Council’s declaration ‘Nostra Aetate‘ says (AAS 58  740-741). It also enables us to approach all cultures, all ideological concepts, all people of good will.” Then there is a discussion about “the mission” and at the end of the same section one can read the following words: “And we know well that the conversion that is begun by the mission is a work of grace in which man must fully find himself again” (12.1).
In this kind of conversion man must return to himself and find himself completely. Is this really so? What do these words mean? Is the Pope not saying that this conversion produces a ‘new man’? (Col. 3:10). The encyclical explains itself when it refers back to the text already quoted: “For this reason the Church in our time attaches great importance to all that is stated by the Second Vatican Council in its ‘Declaration on Religious Freedom'” (12.2). Therefore, man must return and find himself by availing himself of complete religious freedom which guarantees him the right to choose freely his religion or philosophy of life. “Conversion” then is nothing but that point in life at which one recognizes his dignity as a person and exercises his religious freedom. The Church, according to the opinion of this encyclical, is not only to permit this freedom but even to assist in its exercise: “The church, because of her divine mission, becomes all the more a guardian of this freedom which is a condition and basis for the human person’s true dignity” (Ibid.).
c) The New Master
The new man, as he is already redeemed, should have no question about his redemption. He has only to explore that which he already possesses. We must conclude, however, that man already has been redeemed, the reality of sin need not be taken seriously – neither the reality of original sin nor the reality of personal sins. Man has supposedly regained his dignity effectually through the redemption. “The Church knows with all the certainty of faith that the redemption that took place through the Cross has definitively restored his dignity to man and given back meaning to his life in the world, a meaning that was lost to a considerable extent because of sin” (10.2). As already truly redeemed, the new man does not have any need of divine services. In truth, the new man does not have those goals which have been established by the Church; he needs not to be instructed as to his conduct. Section 18, which deals with the subject of the Church, “the Church as concerned for man’s vocation in Christ,” does not mention with a single word man’s vocation; that is to say, in no way is there any indication of the obligations which the Church must teach. The result is that man is being thrown back on his own resources, “man who in his reality has, because he is a ‘person,’ a history of his life that is his own and, most important, a history of his soul that is his own. Man who in keeping with the openness of his spirit within and also with the many diverse needs of his body and his existence in time, writes a personal history of his through numerous bonds, contacts, situations, and social structures … man in the full truth of his community and social being … this man is the primary route that the Church must travel in fulfilling her mission” (14.1). If the new man with respect to the Church is independent of obligations and the consequences of his decisions, then he is a standard unto himself and his own fulfillment. He is the Church, he is the truth, and, therefore, he is the master of the Church. “His (Christ’s) Church, made up of all of us, is ‘for men’ in the sense that, by basing ourselves on Christ’s example and collaborating with the grace that He has gained for us, we are able to attain to ‘being kings'” (21.4). On this way leading from Christ to man … nobody can halt the church” (13.2).
How does the Church fulfill its duties in service to man? “The church performs this ministry by sharing in the ‘triple office’ belonging to her Master and Redeemer. This teaching, with its biblical foundation, was brought fully to the fore by the Second Vatican Council, to the great advantage of the church’s life. For when we become aware that we share in Christ’s triple mission, his triple office as priest, as prophet and as king, we also become more aware of what must receive service from the whole of the church as the society and community of the people of God on earth, and we must likewise understand how each one of us must share in this mission and service” (18.4). These “offices of Christ” till now have been better designated as the ministries of teaching, governing, and sanctifying. The Church must fulfill these offices. The Church is Christ continuing to live and to work on earth. However, why should “each of us” (Ibid.)? Again, it appears that unbelievers also are being spoken of here as participants in the offices of Christ. Vatican II wanted to emphasize the position of laypeople. But, as the encyclical makes clear, the main concern is with the prophetic office of the laity.
The area is defined with relative precision. Of the other two offices, that of Kingship is treated in a very hazy and blurred manner. The office of prophecy is given pride of place and importance,: “The sharing of the prophetic office of Christ himself shapes the life of the whole of the church in her fundamental dimension” (19.5). Instruction in the Faith and catechesis are considered the content of the prophetic office. Then, quite suddenly, both are separated: “Furthermore, increasing care must be taken that the various forms of catechesis and its various fields … give evidence of the universal sharing by the whole of the People of God in the prophetic office of Christ himself” (19.6). To the office of “prophecy,” therefore, belongs not only catechesis, but also the teaching of any truth or moral obligation. Consequently, we are to think of prophecy as being exercised not only in connection with the search for the truth by a Christian, but the search for truth by anyone: “Thus, a sense of responsibility for truth is one of the fundamental points of encounter between the church and each man and also one of the fundamental demands determining man’s vocation in the community of the church” (19.6). Under these circumstances the “office of prophecy” can be nothing else but the position which corresponds to the opening of the Church, i.e., the Christian must be open to the prophetic suggestions (insights, disclosures, etc.) regardless of where they might come from and regardless of what they might proclaim. Understandably, nothing is said about the subordination of laity to the hierarchy in this proclamation. Even theologians are only invited to “closer cooperation” with the “Chair” (19.4). But then, what is the Chair (of Peter) if it corresponds to this kind of “prophetic office”?
If the Church’s “service to man” is as it is here described, then it would seem that man or mankind may be regarded as the “treasury” of the Church. The encyclical says on this point: “Seeking to see man, as it were with ‘the eyes of Christ himself,’ the church becomes more and more aware that she is the guardian of a great treasure, which she may not waste but must continually increase. Indeed, the Lord Jesus said ‘He who does not gather with me scatters’ (Mt. 12:30). This treasure of humanity enriched by the inexpressible mystery of divine filiation (cf. Jn. 1:12) and the grace of ‘adoption as sons’ (Gal. 4:5) in the only son of God, through whom we call God ‘Abba, Father’ (Gal. 4:6, Rom. 8:15), is also a powerful force unifying the church above all inwardly and giving meaning to all her activity” (18.3). How can the treasury of mankind be augmented? How can one collect more if mankind itself is already the wealth of the Church, the treasure which gives meaning to its total activity? The words of Scripture: “He that is not with me is against me; he that gathereth not with me, scattereth” (Mt. 12:30), refer to the Church. In the Church the chosen are collected for the resurrection to life. Obviously, mankind cannot be gathered into the Church, since there are men who are against Christ, there are some who do not gather, rather they squander. However, if one refers to the sentence in the encyclical which speaks of the “treasure” of mankind, those who squander and scatter are those only who will not accept this new teaching; they know well the doctrine that: “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt. 22:14). In holding this position, the Pope is teaching that men do not need to be concerned about being saved; it follows that the Church loses her true purpose in the bargain and can be considered as nothing more than an establishment whose essential work is seeing after the earthly welfare of men. Catholic doctrine does not see man as the goal of religion; man is the goal neither for the Church nor for men themselves, for God alone is the goal of all creation. And for this goal, there is purpose in enduring life’s hardships. That a man may be lost in eternity, this idea has no place in the encyclical; one would look in vain to find it there.
IV. NOVELTY AND TRADITION
Seen as a whole, the teaching of the encyclical Redemptor Hominis is in no way new. It fits completely into the frame of Vatican II, and does nothing more than reduce all its modernistic statements to a single common denominator, including the thinking of Pope John XXIII, and since the Council, the entire orientation of the Church of Rome. The encyclical has the great merit that it has brought many points into clearer focus, which until now have been insufficiently recognized. Granted, clarity and technical accuracy are not characteristic features of this writing; its sentence structure is cumbersome; neither is this a systematic exposition. Many ideas have been left unfinished, in a hazy and indistinct form, as is, indicated by the use of such expressions as “to a certain extent,” “in a certain way,” and the unintelligible and liberal use of words in quotation marks. All this is a sign of uncertainty and vagueness. However, seen as a whole, the encyclical has undeniably a fascinating inner logic, which, it must be admitted, is perceived only when one has learned the “double-speak,” i.e., expressions which have a double meaning – they can be taken in a traditional sense and are likely to be taken thus by one who reads the document hastily; this is how to miss the actual meaning. One might admire the ingenious way key ideas are marshalled into a traditional format and so interspersed with a confused and irreconcilable host of ideas that certain associations of thoughts are awakened while a totally different meaning is being expressed. In spite of the length of the encyclical, recognition of the main ideas is relatively easy, especially since they are much repeated. These ideas accord quite closely with the spirit of Vatican II, even if they are confusedly joined with traditional-sounding expressions. Certain notions in the encyclical are expressed more lucidly than in the Vatican decrees. Particularly this central idea is given prominence, namely, that since mankind is already fully redeemed, the Church, which was formerly thought to bring men to redemption in Christ, is now preached as superfluous. The opening of the Church to the world, the dialogue, ecumenism, religious freedom – at the root of all these is the above-stated proposition. And while derivative tenets are postulated very clearly by Vatican II, this matrix idea was left for future disclosure. Vatican II does not recognize the Catholic Church as the Church of Jesus Christ; rather, it is described as “a realization;” consequently, other “realizations” cannot be positively excluded. Moreover, the Council avoided setting the boundaries of the Church clearly, neither did it explicitly attribute to the Catholic Church the exclusive means of salvation; instead it enunciated vague suggestions that all men are to be considered already redeemed and saved. In this regard the encyclical Redemptor Hominis has contributed clarification for which one can be thankful.
The humanistic premises of Vatican II have now been given explicit expression, and anyone can recognize them who wants to see. That the leading ideas of the “Reform” were accepted by the chief personalities of the Council can be seen from the message of John XXIII spoken at the opening of the Council. He said: “All men from birth have been redeemed through the Blood of Christ.” With this statement as a principle, he confirmed the viewpoint of Karl Rahner about “Anonymous Christians.” But now in Pope John Paul II’s first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, this idea is fully developed and professed. We can expect the New Rome to speak even more boldly in the future. At any rate, there can be no mistake that this encyclical goes along with the tradition established by John XXIII and Vatican II. As a matter of fact, the statement that “to every man has been assigned the dignity of divine filiation” has been considered the most unfortunate statement in the entire encyclical. Our adoption by God most certainly comes from the teaching of Christ and the Apostles and is a traditional belief both among Catholics and other Christians. But extending this state of adoption to include all men born of woman as a teaching of the Church amounts to giving the Church a totally new orientation and relationship to men; this is not just a slight shifting of perspectives of the Church towards the world. We have here then a position which is not merely an idea which is at variance with an article of the Catholic Faith; neither is it a single heretical deviation which might distinguish one religious sect from another: rather, the thinking proclaimed here represents the most radical re-orientation of the Church herself. Herewith the Church is being turned away from Christ to men, and is being opened completely to include the world. This is a turning of a full 180 degrees, which cannot be accepted by any Catholic; indeed, such an about-face from God cannot be accepted by believing members of other Christian denominations either. Therefore all must regard the teaching of the encyclical Redemptor Hominis as directed against Christianity. Herewith the religion of man has taken a giant step closer to all pseudo-religions and ideologies in which man is the center.
We may be thankful that the true position of the New Church has been clarified, for the encyclical Redemptor Hominis has divulged fully the fundamental tenets of the Second Vatican Council and as well as the momentous face volte of the official Church. The small flock of Christians has received a warning of what is coming.
 Bellarmine College in Louisville, where Professor Latkovski taught for 26 years, now allows a group of Jews the use of its chapel.
 Josef Schmitz van Horst: “Der Humanismus Papst Johannes Paul II,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 17, 1979.
 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Vol. 71 (1979) S 257-324. Quotations from the encyclical are from the NC Documentary, March 13, 1979.
 P. Pius XI: Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928, paragraph 10.
 Cf. Wigand Siebel: Katholisch oder Konziliar, Munich, 1978, p. 71.
 P. Pius XII: Encyclical letter, Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943, Pt. I, 1:5.
 Cf. P. Pius XII, Ibid.
 Ignaz Keszler: “A Religious Demonstration,” an interview with Bernhard Stein, Bishop of Trier, Saarbruecker Zeitung, June 8, 1979.
 Paulinus, Archdiocesan papers of Trier, Vol. 105 (1979) No. 37, p. 3.
 P. Paul VI: Apostolic Constitution, “Evangelii Nuntiandi,” 6: AAS 68 (1976) 9.
 Headline of Section 14. The headlines are not found in the Latin original.
 “Europe should be a chance,” published in Paulinus, Archdiocesan paper in Trier of April 29, 1979.
 Cf. Siebel, op. cit., p. 37f.
 Missus Romanus: “Le cardinal Wojtyla et la declaration conciliare sur la liberté religieuse,” Itinéraires, January, 1979, p. 164.
 Encyclical Libertas Praestantissimum of June 28, 1888.
 Encyclical Mirari Vos of August 15, 1832.
 Encyclical Divini illius Magistri of December 31, 1929.
 Cf. P. Athanasius Kroeger, OSB: “Reflections on the Declaration on Religious Freedom of Vatican II,” Una Voce, 1979, pp. 143-207.
 Cf. Siebel, op. cit., p. 64f.
 The encyclical’s ambiguity is evidently the explanation for the fact that it has been received completely differently even in conservative circles. It has found enthusiastic reception from L. Salleron in L’Aurore March 22, 1979), and from P. Bruckberger in Figaro magazine (March 24, 1979). L’Abbé George de Nantes analyzes the encyclical more critically in La Contre-Réforme Catholique (No. 140, April, 1979); P. Noel Barbara does likewise in Forts dans la Foi, (No. 57, Apr. 1979).
 Cf. Siebel, op. cit., p. 68f.
 Ibid., p. 78f.
 John XXIII: Address at the opening of the Council, October 11, 1972.
 P. Athanasius Kroeger: “The Norm of God and Human Rights,” Beda-Kreis, No. 189, July/August, 1979, 19068.
WIGAND SIEBEL’S OTHER WORKS:
Die Logik des Experiments in den Sozialwissenschaften (1965)
(The Logic of Experiment in Social Sciences)
Freiheit und Herrschaftsstruktur in der Kirch (1971)
(Freedom and Hierarchy in the Church)
Soziologie der Abtreibung (1971)
(The Sociology of Abortion)
Liturgie als Angebot (1972)
(Liturgy as Offering)
Einführung in die systematische Soziologie (1974)
(Introduction to Systematic Sociology)
Grundlagen der Logik (1975)
(Fundamentals of Logic)
Katholisch oder Konziliar – Di Krise der Kirche Heute (1978)
(Catholic or Conciliar – The Crisis in the Church Today)Description of “Catholic or Conciliar”(An Answer to those who are eager for Reform and who believe in Progress)
There is much discussion about the Catholic Church. However, opinions differ widely as to the causes and reasons for its current reconstruction. What has happened to the Catholic Church? This question has disturbed many Christians, Catholics and non-Catholics both. Yes, many who observe the Church from the outside are disturbed also.
The reformed liturgy, the use of the vernacular, the teachings of the (Modernist) theologians – all these contribute to a very confused state of affairs.
This book analyzes the major happenings in the Church in such a way as to give a unified picture and to prepare us for things to come. Many people see the Second Vatican Council as the source of the endless innovations which characterize the modern Church, but the true significance of these innovations is beyond their comprehension. This book attempts to give the background of the Council, to describe precisely the Church’s present state, and to suggest a Catholic perspective of the situation.
The following is a real question: Is the Conciliar Church Catholic? Vatican II altered the Church’s direction, gave it an entirely different orientation; the result has amounted to a full-scale attack on the essentials of the Faith.
This book is indispensable for everyone, that is, who is genuinely concerned about the Catholic Church and who is looking for objective and clarifying information. The abundance of material which has been gathered through painstaking research makes the book a mass of reference. Moreover, the facts therein are well-organized and intelligently used. For anyone who is really interested in the Catholic faith at this point in time, this book provides solid reading along crucial lines of thought. Its argumentation is conclusive.
NOTE: The availability of “Catholic or Conciliar” in English is uncertain. The original German edition may still be available from the publisher: LANGEN-MULLER VERLAG, Hubertastrasse 4, D-8000, Munchen 19, Germany.