Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Is Vatican II infallible? (Part 2 of 6)

A post submitted by Fr. 'Romanus'.

Was Vatican II, like the Sedevacantists say, an invalid Council? –No. Vatican II was a true Ecumenical Council, the 21st in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

Vatican II was a true Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church, Approved, Decreed, and Established by Apostolic (i.e., Papal) Authority:

Paul, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God, together with the Fathers of the Sacred Council for everlasting memory. (Pope Paul VI’s opening words to Dei Verbum.)

Cf. the following:

Eugene, bishop, servant of the servants of God, for an everlasting record. (Pope Eugene IV’s opening words to the 9th Session of the Council of Florence)
Julius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. (Pope Julius II’s opening words to the 3rd Session of the 5th Lateran Council.)
Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. (Bl. Pope Pius IX’s opening words to the 1st Session of the First Vatican Council.)

Vatican II was truly an ecumenical council in the sense that all the conciliar teachings were ratified by the Fathers present:

Each and every one of the things set forth in this decree has won the consent of the fathers. We too, by the Apostolic Authority conferred on us by Christ, join with the venerable Fathers in approving, decreeing, and establishing these things in the Holy Spirit, and we direct that what has thus been enacted in Synod be published to God’s glory…I, Paul, Bishop of the Catholic Church.

Its mandates are to be Religiously Observed by Catholics:

At last all which regards the holy Ecumenical Council has, with the help of God, been accomplished and all the constitutions, decrees, declarations, and votes have been approved by the deliberation of the Synod and promulgated by us. Therefore, we decided to close for all intents and purposes, with our Apostolic Authority, this same Ecumenical Council called by our predecessor, Pope John XXIII, which opened October 11, 1962, and which was continued by us after his death. We decide moreover that all that has been established synodally is to be religiously observed by all the faithful, for the glory of God and the dignity of the Church… we have approved and established these things, decreeing that the present letters are and remain stable and valid, and are to have legal effectiveness, so that they be disseminated and obtain full and complete effect, and so that they may be fully convalidated by those whom they concern or may concern now and in the future; and so that, as it be judged and described, all efforts contrary to these things by whoever or whatever authority, knowingly or in ignorance, be invalid and worthless from now on. Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, under the [seal of the] ring of the fisherman, December 8… the year 1965, the third year of our Pontificate.

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