Bishop Barron on The Meaning of Vatican II

Another part of a video series from Bishop Barron will be commenting on subjects from modern day culture. For more visit

Word on Fire Vatican II FAQs page:
Bishop Barron’s Resources on the Second Vatican Council:

Bishop Robert Barron

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  1. Wayne G says:

    Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal) was a Theologian at Vatican II.

  2. Dino Valente says:

    A consideration of Vatican II using the concepts of genus and species.

    Without getting into the historical background, inner workings and doctrinal details of the Vatican II documents and rather relying on what most Catholics know about it the following analogy I think is most revealing:

    Aristotle says that the natural way of learning and coming to know things is from the generic to the more specific. Just as when we see something moving in the distance we first identify it as a body and then as it moves closer an animal and even closer a man and finally as this particular person Socrates.

    Now it needs to be understood that there is a difference between our knowledge of a thing and the thing itself. Our knowledge is always more generic than the thing itself existing in reality which is very specific. If someone were to give the definition of the species of a thing instead of giving the definition of the genus of that thing one would give a more precise and fuller account of the thing. In other words the more specific our knowledge becomes of something the closer our knowledge resembles the thing. The truer our knowledge is, in the sense of having more truth – adeguatio res et intellectus.

    This is the natural way man comes to know. To try to move in the opposite direction is unatural and against human nature. To try to forget what one already KNOWS about something in order to know it more generically is an act of violence against oneself. It would entail force that goes against one's own nature.

    Now what is more generic and less specific is more universal. Whereas as what is more specific is more exclusive. In the same way when one says the word animal it can apply to many things. Where when one says man it excludes many things and applies to just one type of animal. Now things that exist in reality ARE NOT generic they are specific.

    The Church founded by Our Lord is a real existing reality. It is something specific with its own essential elements and properties.

    Now the Councils, pronouncements and doctrines through the ages became more and more specific. The Church's awareness of itself approached more and more the reality of its own being. It is impossible to move in the other direction. In other words it is impossible to move from a specific knowledge to a more general confused knowledge. A generic knowledge of anything is always more confused than a specific one, just as knowing something only in so far as it is an animal is more confused than knowing it specifically: a man. Instead our knowledge specifies as we gain acquantaince and experience of a thing. This should.not be confused with the knowledge particular persons had of the Church. Ofcourse the apostles and early Christians had a very specific knowledge of the Church. However the Church's formulated doctrine was not as specific. Throughout the centuries this doctrine became better formulated and more specific. This was neccesary especially to rule out heresy and error. A more generic knowledge on the other hand is more open to heresy and error.


    Now one could argue that the council taught no error. Entering into this debate is not easy and not for the most of us. However knowing that the council purposefully decided to be less specific and more generic is known by all of us. Can we say that a generic knowlwdge of a thing is deficient compared to a fuller specific knowlwdge of a thing? Trying to go against oneself and forget what one once knew creates the impression that one must have been wrong once upon a time. Because why else would one try to forget what once knew? Especially if what one once knew one used to think was valuable and true, a treasure to be safeguarded.

    How many people do we know who  have used Vatican II to look back and interpret older Councils? Anything more specific than the Council is frowned upon as superfluous and outdated. But does truth age? Never the less can we blame them for acquiring this habit when this is a natural consequence of artificially regressing  and not progressing in knowledge? Of trying to be less specific and more generic.

    I leave you to draw the conclusions.

  3. Michael Bergfeld says:

    Vatican ll has never been really applied. Most 《renewal》is purely human work, and therefore out of the case.

  4. Lee Harvey Oswald says:

    The meaning of Vatican II can be summed up in one word and I will do it for you and I won't waste ten minutes of your time: Apostasy

  5. Heather Whitehead says:

    Vatican 2 IS as it does.

    It is a clownshow mostly out there.

    Reform is needed.

  6. C. Matthias.T. says:

    Isn't this an summary of the debate between the progressives and the moderates ?

  7. T K says:

    "The devil can imitate humility but not OBEDIENCE." – St. Faustina
    "He who is not with the Pope is not with God." – Sr Lucia

  8. Him Bike says:

    I trip out on Catholics who want the church to be exactly like they like it or else.
    I wish we had only Latin mass.
    But I ain’t the pope
    I don’t like girl altar servers
    But I ain’t the pope.
    I wish we only received communion on the tongue
    But I ain’t the pope.
    I wish we had a hard core conservative pope.
    But I ain’t God

  9. Bill Anderson says:

    The Novus Ordo Mass!

  10. Andy CowBoy says:

    Traditional vs. Modern Holy Roman Catholic Church

  11. ps allen says:

    Jesus 33 AD – “My Kingdom is not of this world”. “Do not love the world or the things in the world” John 2:15

    Pope John XXIII 1959 – "I want to throw open the windows of the Church to the world so that we can see out and the people (world) can see in”

    Pope Paul VI. 1972 – “Through some crack, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God”

  12. Chris Bernal says:

    The meaning of Vatican II will be missed if philosophy is discarded as capable of elaborating and explaining theological doctrine.. That is precisely what happened with Vatican II. Instead, the likes of Congar, Rahner, Kung, De Lubac , and not the least Marie Dominique Chennu and their philosophy shaped and determined Vatican II. It should be noted that the above philosophers cum theologians came after Immanuel Kant who, with his a priori categories, exerted enormous influence on Hegel, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Derrida whose turn it was to influence Congar et al. In fact, so tremendous was the effect on Chennu that the book he published found its way to the Index of Forbidden Books. Clearly, St. Thomas Aquinas was cast aside for Kantian philosophy for even Benedict XVI acknowledged that St. Thomas Aquinas was best relegated during his time. Objectivity has been cast aside for a priori categories, which is the root cause of religious freedom, liberation theology, relativity of morals and ecumenism. If one has to look for a meaning of Vatican II, one must have to look for the the philosophies of the men who crafted Vatican II and its documents.

  13. Duke says:

    Adapted from a talk given by Dr. Marian Horvat, the foremost expert on Our Lady of Good Success in the English-speaking world, this is an illustrated presentation that explains the life and sufferings of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, and the prophecies that Our Lady of Good Success revealed to her. This is an apparition that has had constant Church approval for over four hundred years – every bishop of Quito since 1611 has given their approval to Our Lady of Good Success.

    What were in these prophecies?

    • The apostasy that would occur in the Church, shortly after the middle of the 20th-Century (the exact date of Vatican Council II, 1962-1965)

    • The corruption of the clergy and how many "depraved priests would scandalize the Christian people"

    • The corruption of good Catholic customs

    • The lack of virgin souls and the general flood of impurity in the 20th century

    • The almost total extinguishing of the light of Faith

    Every prophecy of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres has come to happen exactly as Our Lady said it would, and they were meant for us to know, so that we could fight Progressivism and invoke Our Lady under the title of Good Success, who promised to help the faithful souls of our times who have recourse to her.

  14. Paul Gundrum says:

    I believe it was Pope Francis I heard say "Stop Complaining, and start Praying." When we complain and are stubborn, we "block" the Holy Spirit from moving in our hearts.

    I've read so many complaints about Vatican II, but if it's so bad why do those who disagree not pray about it? Has worldly culture become so powerful in the lives of Christians that we cannot openly discuss, submit to the authority of the Pope & Bishops, and pray for change according to God's Will? Must we constantly write bad posts in ignorance and rebellion? After spending years in Protestant churches, watching egos destroy God's work, how can "Traditionalists" condone the same thing with Catholicism? Hasn't God always directed his Church?

    When Bishop Barron (or any Bishop for that matter) makes a statement concerning instruction in our Faith, where do we get the nerve to feel as though we can just brush it off as a "common" man's opinion? The title Bishop has been passed down from the Apostles to modern day, and Bishops have the authority to speak in such a manner. We do not.

    Perhaps when listening to Bishop Barron or others, and We find ourselves in disagreement, rather than argue in ignorance we should Pray that God opens our eyes, and ask the Bishop to explain further so we can understand.

    Then we can have ONE Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, and change WILL happen with God's providence and timing.

  15. Teddy Young says:

    As always great info, thank you

  16. Fantasy Pups says:

    Fascinating! Here is a better take on the 3 parties at play in V2 and developments since V2

  17. Andrea Wood says:

    Y’all… this is no way to speak to anyone, let alone a priest or a Bishop. Get a freaking grip on yourselves.

  18. ipso246 01 says:

    The exposition on the Concilium – Communio divide is enlightening, goes to show how guided a lot of the councilmen were not to proceed with a "Vatican III", and how Vat II itself has been the subject of wild and far-fetched misinterpretations. I can understand how some people wanna blame the council for the disciplinary and catechetical crisis of the Church. That's fine and valid. Of course, implementation of Vat II has always been evolving under each pope.

    But that's not the whole story, or even the main issue, especially considering the faithful worldwide, Catholics in Christian-minority regions, developing countries, those with diverse participation of the laity. All of Catholicism has been under attack by various ideologies and forces, even before the 1960s, left AND right, authoritarian AND liberal. It's not just the "council's fault." Ordinations and baptisms are still on the rise. Please brothers and sisters, we are the Church too, read the documents! Engage our bishops, priests, deacons, and nuns!

  19. Mary Callahan says:

    I an happy that the mass is in the language of the people!

  20. Chris & Jane J. says:

    Any Mass that is approved by the Catholic Church, any Mass that is valid and licit is the one Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And when I am attending those, I am as much in the presence of the angels and saints and Our Holy Mother at Our Lord Jesus' Sacrifice as I ever was in any other valid or licit Mass