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Papal preacher: continuity is key to understanding Vatican II

December 14, 2012

In the 2nd in his series of Advent Sermons, the preacher of the pontifical household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, spoke about the proper interpretation of the teachings of Vatican II. Reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the Council, the papal preacher said that confusion arose because of the mistaken belief that the Council was a radical break from past Church teachings. He contrasted the “hermeneutic of rupture” with the “hermeneutic of continuity” in interpretations of the Council, saying that only the latter is accurate:

The problems in its implementation arose from the fact that two contrary hermeneutics came face-to-face and quarreled with each other. One caused confusion, the other, silently but more and more visibly, bore and is bearing fruit.

The Advent Sermons are preached on Fridays during the liturgical season in the Redemptoris Mater chapel of the apostolic palace. Pope Benedict XVI and members of the Roman Curia attend the weekly reflections.


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  • Posted by: koinonia - Dec. 15, 2012 4:36 PM ET USA

    There were quarrels before, during and after Vatican II between these hermeneutics. Unfortunately, without clarification to work with, the quarrels continue. So many people no longer know their faith, the hermeneutic of rupture has carried the day almost by default. During this Year of Faith profound reflection and incessant prayer and sacrifice might prove efficacious as the embers of restoration are fanned into ever-growing flames of revival within Christ's Mystical Body.