Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Obama is a "Vatican II" President

So declares John W. O'Malley in a recent article in America: The National Catholic Weekly. John W. O'Malley, S.J., is university professor, theology department, at Georgetown University and author of What Happened at Vatican II. I found the article interesting on several levels. Not simply because he promotes Obama, but because he seemingly views the "spirit of Vatican II" as largely lost in at least the American branch of the Church of Rome.

He writes:
We have a Vatican II president. ... [W]hen I heard his speech at Grant Park in Chicago the night he was elected, and more recently his commencement address at Notre Dame, that is what immediately struck me. On those occasions he embodied and professed in his public persona the spirit of the council. ... The expression [“the spirit of Vatican II”], used widely at the time of the council and given a certain official standing at the Synod of Bishops in 1985, has lately in Roman circles been quietly downgraded, if not dismissed as meaningless. ... In my book, What Happened at Vatican II, I argue that beneath the particular issues the council dealt with—episcopal collegiality, for instance, and religious liberty—more profound and far-reaching issues lurked. I call these the issues-under-the-issues. I ground them in the texts of the council and in that way ground “the spirit of the council” and give it verifiable substance. Among the issues-under-the issues was style, the issue especially pertinent for grounding “the spirit of the council.” The council spoke in a new style, a style different from all previous councils. It eschewed words implying punishment, surveillance, hostility, distrust and coerced behavior-modification that characterized previous councils. It employed words that espoused a new model for Christian behavior—not new, of course, to the Christian tradition as such, but new to council vocabulary. I am referring to words like brothers and sisters, cooperation, partnership, human family, conscience, collegiality and especially dialogue. The new words cannot be dismissed as casual asides or mere window dressing. The council used them too insistently, intentionally and characteristically for them to be that. This new vocabulary made the council a major language-event in the history of the church. ... I often hear laments that the spirit of Vatican II is dead in the church. Is it not ironic that not a bishop but the President of the United States should today be the most effective spokesperson for that spirit? To judge from the enthusiastic response he received from the graduates at Notre Dame, his message captured their minds and hearts. Maybe through young Catholics like those at Notre Dame who are responding to Obama’s message the spirit of Vatican II will, almost through the back door, reenter the church.
(source - Obviously, I've heavily edited it, including adding emphases)

-TurretinFan

1 comment:

natamllc said...

I believe there is a difference between that great whore, as some have claimed her to be and a donkey!

God can use and does use even fools to proclaim the Gospel.

The RCC is so innertwined within her self exaltations, historically, it makes perfectly good sense what Mr. O'Malley writes, both, about the RCC and President Obama.

In light of Truth, which is Eternal, it is nevertheless meaningless when it comes to the Salvation of the Elect.