The Unquestionable Council, by John A. Monaco

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By John A. Monaco, Crisis Magazine, Aug. 24, 2021

John A. Monaco is a doctoral student in theology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, and a Visiting Scholar with the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

There exists in many Catholic circles a general obsession with the Second Vatican Council, one that pervades every single aspect of Catholic life. Whether liberal or conservative, progressive or traditionalist—all must somehow reckon with Vatican II. How we worship, what we believe, how to view the world—all of these things are, for the average practicing Catholic, mediated through Vatican II, influenced by Vatican II (if not by the documents, then in its “spirit”), and dictated by Vatican II. To a degree, this makes sense, given the council’s proximity to our current moment in history.

But for a 2,000-year-old Church, the period between 1962 and 2021 is not even quite 3% of the Church’s existence.  …

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