As stated previously in this Column when discussing the errors of Feeneyism on Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire, the Universal Ordinary Magisterium whether it contains non-fallible or infallible teaching, must be adhered to by all Catholics. There comes a problem, then, when assessing Vatican II because it “changed” Church teaching on major issues, and therefore has created a crisis for everyone. The R&R faction has taken on the function, it seems, to try to spin, distort, change Vatican II teaching so that it somehow fits in with dogma and the Ordinary Magisterium before the Council. Sometimes it’s the other way around: some try to ignore, distort, spin, change dogma prior to the Council to make it fit into the understanding of Vatican II. Either way there’s a disconnect, a break, a lack of continuity with the pre-Vatican II Church and the post-Vatican II church.
One myth that continues to juggernaut through Traditional and Novus Ordo circles is the idea that Vatican II was a so-called “pastoral council,” which didn’t intend to define dogma—therefore what it said and did was not binding in an official manner. They claim that Paul VI teaches this, and Taylor Marshall the Grand Poobah of Recognize and Resist, writes thusly in his book Infiltration; The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within: Pope Paul VI promulgated Dignitatis humanae on 7 December 1965, and the next day he closed the Second Vatican Council and stated:
“The magisterium of the Church did not wish to pronounce itself under the
form of extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements”…
The Council made no extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements.
NOTHING BINDING CAME FROM VATICAN II—says Dr. Taylor Marshall. [p.143]
Nothing binding? Let’s look again. This is what Paul VI really said:
In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary
statement of dogmas that would be endowed with the note of infallibility, BUT IT STILL PROVIDED ITS TEACHING WITH THE AUTHORITY OF SUPREME ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM. THIS ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM, WHICH IS SO OBVIOUSLY OFFICIAL, HAS TO BE ACCEPTED WITH DOCILITY, AND SINCERITY BY ALL THE FAITHFUL, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MIND OF THE COUNCIL ON THE NATURE AND AIMS OF THE INDIVIDUAL DOCUMENTS.
From Novus Ordo Watch:
It is important to understand that in Taylor Marshall, we do not merely have a commentator making a hapless, but innocent mistake about the authority of what Paul VI claimed Vatican II to have. We are dealing with a man who quietly omits text from a quote so that he can promote a position contradicted by what he omitted. Vatican II is binding, there is no question about this in the mind of Paul VI. To say otherwise is at best an ignorant distortion, and at worst a damnable lie. I believe Taylor Marshall, and the rest of the R&R bloggers know this.