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The Rhine Flows into the Tiber: A History of Vatican II Paperback – December 1, 1991

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About the Author

The Rev. Father Ralph M. Wiltgen, S.V.D. (1921-2002) was a Divine Word Missionary and journalist who founded the independent, multilingual Council News Service to report on the events of Vatican II.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 490 pages
  • Publisher: TAN Books; New edition edition (December 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895551861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895551863
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 88 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an unparalleled eyewitness account of just what transpired at the Second Vatican Council. The author's integrity and objectivity won him exclusive interviews with a great number of the Cardinal and Bishops, whatever their allegiance within the Council. The title neatly sums up the fact that Vatican II, and the documents of Vatican II, were shaped largely by the liberal ideas of the Fathers from the Rhine lands. In The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, the strategies of the liberals in promoting their ideas come through on every page. Father Wiltgen's journalistic masterpiece shows clearly the two main theological forces that were at work in the church before the Council, during the Council, and after the Council, and which remain very much at work in the Church today. Here are the actions and actual words of the famous personalities of the Council, including Cardinals Ottaviani, Frings, and Suenens; Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre; Fathers Karl Rahner, Joseph Rarringer, and Hans Kung - and of course, Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. This book is essential for anyone who would understand the new orientations which came to the fore with Vatican Council II - including the famous "Spirit of Vatican II" orientations which have led to momentous destruction and unprecedented changes in the entire Roman Catholic Church. Important reading! 304pp. PB. Imprimatur.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David Flores on March 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you want an impartial, professional, insightful, concise and "almost" authoritive book on Second Vatican Council you need to buy this. It clearly depicts the factions, the drama and the motives moving within, around and behind the Council Hall of Vatican Two. Fr. Wiltgen will give you the big picture of how certain members of the heirarchy from Europe and those who are trained in their seminaries direct and orientate the Council and the Pope himself into their own brand of Catholic theology. This book will give every reader the understanding of how the Church was being ambushed from within to change some of her fundamental doctrines. But in no way will you caught the author favoring either camps! Truly, Fr. Wiltgen is the best journalist to cover this momentous event in the life of the Church!
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Yuma on January 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book explains the division , so close and yet so far away, that
separates Christians East and West. As a former Protestant who "went home to Rome" for
twenty years before ending up as an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I have some thoughts.
Not long after converting to Catholicism in 1969 I realized that something was liturgically
amiss. There were ominous shades of what I thought I had just left behind in
Protestantism. Like innumerable older Catholics, I found elements of the novus ordo to be
not only smacking of Lutheranism but simply banal in comparison to the numinosity of the
Tridentine mass. Even when said in the vernacular ("Oh," remarked my older Catholic
neighbor, "If only the 'liturgical experts' had merely forced us switch to the English
translation on the left sided pages of our paperback Roman missels...") the Tridentine mass,
despite its shortcomings (even Archbishop Lefebvre admitted that it needed fine tuning),
conveyed the numinosity (a vital concept for those who turn to the Orient for their worship!)
that I was only able to find 20 frustrating years later in St John Chrysostom's and St. Basil's
Divine Liturgy. One ex-Catholic, Orthodox priest had dryly observed that the Orthodox
Church was the church you thought you were joining when you joined the Roman Catholic
Church.
Years later when reading Monsignor Ralph Wiltgens' The Rhine Flows into the Tiber I was
able to make sense of my confusion. In the book, Father Wiltgens, a self-proclaimed liberal
who attended the Council, triumphantly maps the manner in which the northern European
theologians were able to hijack the direction, and thus the product, of the committee
dealing with the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael on February 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you sit in your pew on Sunday and think, "Ugh, this is the worst...where did they come up with this stuff?" you will want to read this book.

In this well written volume, Mr. Wiltgen lifts the rock and lets the light shine on the factions responsible for twisting and redirecting the the Second Vatican Council away from it's original schemata.

Well indexed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian S. Donahue on September 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
Essential reading for any Catholic, especially those who are ready to leave the church. I've wondered for years what the heck happened at the council, and now it's starting to make sense. As a result, we're witnessing the self-destruction of the faith as never before.

It made me wonder, what will the future bring? What will happen when more and more faithful become aware of where the postconciliar nonsense came from? What will happen when it becomes crystal clear that the Vatican II / Novus Ordo is a rupture (at best!) from true teaching? I'm certain we are on a collision course; the only question is when and how.

If you care about truth, you deserve to read this book.

(As an aside, there are so many interesting players in this epic event (Rahner, Ratzinger, Kung, Lefebvre, etc), that you may need to do as I did, and make a chart of who is who, and from where, and said what, and influenced whom. Those more visually inclined may benefit from a feltboard with cutouts and names of the key people, or perhaps a set of action figures to align in the various camps. This may seem comical but I think it would truly help to keep everyone straight.)
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