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What Went Wrong With Vatican II: The Catholic Crisis Explained [Kindle Edition]

Ralph M. McInerny
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Vatican II was supposed to herald a Golden Age in the Catholic Church--yet in the thirty years since it ended, chaos & dissension have rocked the pulpits and emptied the pews. Today, theologians rise against the Pope, laymen turn away in dismay and confusion. McInerney cuts through conventional wisdom to reveal the council's true message--a message which, if widely known, would send shock waves through both the conservative and liberal wings on the Church...and would bring many Catholics back to the practice of the Faith.

After Vatican II, instead of enjoying the expected renaissance, the Church seemed to fall apart: priests and bishops rejected Church teachings, convents and seminaries emptied, and laypeople were thrown into confusion. I vividly remember my own dismay when I discovered that although I had entered the Catholic Church because I had come to see (with Cardinal Newman's help) the necessity for a teaching authority, large numbers of Catholics were chafing under that authority and yearning for an illusory freedom. This strange rebellion in the post-Vatican II Church is examined and blisteringly rebuked in Ralph McInerny's What Went Wrong with Vatican II.

McInerny contends that the problem wasn't Vatican II itself, which, as an ecumenical council, enjoyed the protection of the Holy Spirit. The problem, he argues, came afterward: with Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI s restatement of the Church s constant teaching that artificial contraception is immoral. Instead of greeting it with respect and obedience, a large group of clergy dissented publicly from Humanae Vitae and touched off a civil war in the Church as they competed with the Vatican for the obedience of the faithful. In this crucial book, McInerny traces the problem and shows what we must do now to restore the Church.


Product Details

  • File Size: 512 KB
  • Print Length: 168 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Sophia Institute Press (September 2, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005L2HG8Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #362,055 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
113 of 128 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The book's central argument is that with the publication of Humanae Vitae in 1968, liberal, progressive and modernist Catholic theologians, who had anticipated that Pope Paul VI would change the church's teaching on contraception, were infuriated with the encyclical's teaching, which supported and reinforced the Church's traditional teaching on marriage, family and contraception. Angered, and emboldened by "the cultural revolution that has shaken the West: the radical liberal ideology with its individualistic, rationalistic, and hedonist cast," these theologians openly, aggressively and maliciously revolted against the Church's Magisterium.
Progressive and modern theologians have maintained this position for thirty years, ridiculing and criticizing all letters, teachings and encyclicals of the Church and Magisterium. They espoused questioning all Magisterial authority while asserting their authority to dissent, and the lay Catholic right to "decide everything according to their own conscience." Additionally there have been shameful liturgical abuses that were never anticipated or promulgated by Vatican II, yet all done under the 'spirit of Vatican II.'
Dr. McInerny asserts that Vatican II affirmed and restated the traditional teachings of the Church and all prior councils. What went wrong at Vatican II is "not with the documents that were promulgated, but the false interpretations of them in the post conciliar period." Concomitantly, the dissension of so many theologians has thoroughly confused the Catholic laity and the confusion and dissension infected every aspect of the Church's life and teachings during the past 30 years. Dissent became good, more dissent was better!
What is the crisis in the Church?
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent May 23, 2001
Format:Paperback
My first reaction when I began reading this book was that the title was (as someone else said) misleading. Those who are looking for a book about the liturgical reforms that arose from the council should look elsewhere. However, I think McInerny presents a good argument for the cause of the current crisis of authority in the Catholic Church. The book is short and leads to a neat conclusion that ties everything together. While it may seem like all the discussion about Humanae Vitae is off topic, it is not, and in fact it allows the book to work in two ways: both as a discussion of the current tension between the Magisterium and dissenting theologians, and as a good description of how conscience is supposed to function for an individual Catholic.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, but it begs some questions October 11, 2003
Format:Paperback
If you have any read any other reviews, you realize that this book is more about Humanae Vitae that about Vatican II. But that should not concern you as Humanae Vitae provides all the examples that Mr. McInerny needs.
The book is basicly a short primer on the ways that dissident theologians have attacked the authority of the Church and set themselves up as the final arbitrators of the Faith. The book is fairly written, though rather brief (with a large font). Mr. McInerny makes no bones about his position, but he does treat his opposition fairly. It is for this reason that you should read this book if are interested in this subject (even if you have made up your mind one way, or the other).
But the one topic that Mr. McInerny does not address is the history of the opposing theologians. One is given the impression that the dissident theologians came to being during Vatican II---without any pre-history. Of course, this is absurd. Life long commitments are not changed in an instant. But Mr. McInerny does not look at the topic of why there were dissenting theologians pre-Vatican II and what engendered them.
But, all in all, the book is a brief, but good read. I should add that I do live in South Bend (home of Notre Dame, where Mr. McInerny teaches), but I do not know Mr. McInerny.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hint: It wasn't the Council.... July 25, 2006
By Dumb Ox
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In the decades following the second Vatican Council, Catholics remain confused about it. What was its purpose? Did it really change everything and try to strip away Catholic identity? Why did we even need it? The Catholic Church was in great shape in the years immediately preceding the council.... wasn't it?

This book provides some valuable insight into what the council was about and why it was necessary. It also exposes how renegade theologians, not hierarchy as is commonly believed, ruined the council's implementation. Vatican II was never the problem. It didn't destroy Catholic identity or try to undermine the faith. In fact, it wasn't until 1968, years after the close of the council, that the real crisis in obedience began in the Church, and that had to do with Pope Paul VI's landmark encyclical, Humanae Vitae. Dissident theologians were publicly embarrassed when the pope did not come out in support of artificial contraception after they'd said he would. They told Catholic married couples that the encyclical could be ignored and fostered disobedience. This book explores the rebellion among the theologians and its bitter fruit of disobedience to lawful Church authority. It's a real eye-opener to anyone who's often wondered just what Vatican II taught and why this council is singularly blamed for everything wrong with the Church today.

The best part is, like Dr. von Hildebrand before him, Mr. McInerney not only identifies the crisis, he identifies its cure. Above all else, his message is: Trust the Church and do not bail out on her. Christ gave her to Catholics to bring them to Heaven and promised that the gates of hell would never overcome her.... and He never breaks His promises.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars quite arguably the worst Pope since Pius IX (a mean-spirited Pope who...
Sadly, McInerny is quite wrong about Vatican II. Simply stated the Apostolic Constitution of Pius V stated that the Latin canon he formulated at Trent in the 16th century for the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Robert Burns
2.0 out of 5 stars Book that moves like a crippled snail
Mr McInnernyis one of my favorite writers. Not on this book however. I have read about Vatican II ad naseum and he simply had the stage and missed the mark. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A FAMED CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHER LOOKS SURPRISINGLY "POSITIVELY" AT THE...
Ralph Matthew McInerny (1929-2010) was a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, as well as the creator of the popular Father Dowling Mysteries books. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Steven H Propp
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy read and gets to the heart of the matter
This books is a quick read which correctly identifies the vehicle which negatively influenced the implementation of Vatican II. Read more
Published on April 4, 2013 by Dan
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, but not very deep
I love books, but have never been a good reader. In fact, I have never finished an entire book in one sitting, until today (when I purchased the Kindle addition). Read more
Published on May 30, 2012 by JSD
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Historically Engaging.
This book put flesh and explanation to a lot of confusion and trouble in the Church during the past 40 years... Read more
Published on April 23, 2012 by Mary Fisher
1.0 out of 5 stars When all else fails
When all else fails try to re-cast what actually happened. The Church is now approaching 50 years since Vatican II. Read more
Published on April 18, 2010 by Occam's safety razor
5.0 out of 5 stars Vatican II, a perspective of authority.
Many things were written about this life changing event for the Catholic Church but rarely has one included the spiritual dimension as well. Read more
Published on October 4, 2009 by Bill Bradley
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but I had higher expectations
Rather than the title "What Went Wrong With Vatican II" this book should have had a title about the fallout after Humanae Vitae because that is it's main focus. Read more
Published on December 11, 2008 by Sacerdos Atque Discipulus
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Laid Plans...
Given the enthusiasm with followed the aftermath of the Vatican II Council and the allegiance with which Catholics both liberal and conservative still give to its memory, one has... Read more
Published on November 24, 2006 by Labarum
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