Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bp. Athanasius Schneider’s proposal for a “Syllabus” on the correct interpretation of Vatican II

His Excellency Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, has made quite a splash over the last few years.
He first caught people’s eyes at the Synod on the Eucharist in 205 in Rome where he gave an intervention, as a priest, while secretary of the liturgy committee of the bishops’ conference in Kazakhstan.  He suggested to the Fathers of the Synod, if you can believe this, that faith in and devotion to the Eucharist wasn’t all that it should be in some places.  He suggested that to foster faith and devotion we should perhaps kneel and receive Communion – I am not making this up – on the tongue rather than in the hand.
Athanasius SchneiderHis ideas found favor in some high quarter, for soon thereafter he was consecrated bishop.  A book with his radical views was published by the Vatican’s own publishing house with a preface by the then-secretary for the Congregation for Divine Worship, Malcolm, now Cardinal, Ranjith.   His book Dominus Est is in now in English.
On 17 December 2010, again in Rome, Bp. Schneider gave an address at a conference which attracted more attention.
In the face of chaos which has been caused by a misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Council, by liberals who want to use the Council as a tool to force the Church into conformity with the world, or traditionalists who desire to reject the Council, Bp. Schneider proposed that there should be a document with magisterial effect which corrects false interpretations and offers positive guidelines.  This would be a sort of “Syllabus”, both of errors and proper principles.

The whole text in English is HERE, thanks to the good folks at EWTN.
To set up his proposal, Schneider offers an over view of the “pastoral” objective of the Council in 7 Vote for Fr. Z!points, derived from Sacrosanctum Concilium 9.
He states that the only authentic interpreters of the Council are Councils themselves and the Roman Pontiffs.  Therefore, in his exposition, Bp. Schneider makes extensive references to addresses of Bl. John XXIII and Paul VI during the sessions of the Council itself wherein they talk about the purpose and goals and context of the Second Vatican Council.
Bp. Schneider has strong and good observations about liturgical practice and, and this will raise the hackles on liberal necks, the need for brave faithful pastors who will not shrink from doing their duty in protecting and teaching the Catholic Faith without distortions or diminution.  He has mordant observations in this regard, though delivered in a gentle way.
I have read the entire text of the address from beginning to end.  It is long, so you may want to listen in stages.  You will find the part about rupture and the proposal for a “Syllabus” in the second half.
I read all the references and citations.  I don’t use the convention of saying “quote… unquote” or the like.  Hopefully you will hear the citations in the way I read them.
I hope this will be useful to those of you who haven’t the time or patience to read the address, but can listen to it with attention.
At the end of my PODCAzT I include a tune that was on the pop charts in October 1962 as the Second Vatican Council was opened and underway.  It says something about those times and, in a way, Bp. Schneider and perhaps even the undersigned.
Name that tune.ttp://www.wdtprs.com/podcazt/11_01_21.mp
listen to a reading of his comments on Fr. Z's pod cast