Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Bishop calls for a new “Syllabus of Errors”

January 22nd, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

His Excellency Athanasius Schneider, O.R.C., Auxiliary Bishop of  Karaganda (Kazakhstan), Titular Bishop of Celerina (Numidia) and noted Patristics scholar, recently delivered an address that has been drawing considerable attention from victims of the ‘spirit’ of Vatican II.

The occasion was The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council: A Pastoral Council – Historical, Philosophical and Theological Analysis, a conference sponsored by the Franciscans of the Immaculate and held in Rome on December 17.  Bishop Schneider’s talk was entitled “Proposals for a correct reading of the Second Vatican Council.”

After a lengthy introduction Bishop Schneider addressed what Pope Benedict has termed “the hermeneutic of rupture” …

The characteristic of rupture in the interpretation of the conciliar texts is shown in the most stereotypical and widespread way in the thesis of an anthropocentric, secularizing, or naturalistic shift by the Second Vatican Council in regard to the preceding ecclesial tradition. One of the most well-known manifestations of such a confused interpretation was, e.g., the so-called Theology of Liberation and the subsequent devastating pastoral practice.

An interpretation of rupture of doctrinally lesser weight is shown in the pastoral-liturgical field. One can cite under this topic the loss of the sacred and sublime character of the liturgy and the introduction of more anthropocentric gestural elements. This phenomenon makes itself evident in three liturgical practices well known and widespread in nearly all the parishes of the Catholic world: the nearly total disappearance of the use of the Latin language, the reception of the Eucharistic Body of Christ directly on the hand and standing, and the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice in the modality of a closed circle in which priest and people continually look each other in the face.

His Excellency then went on to suggest that His Holiness issue a new “Syllabus of Errors.” This syllabus would not only identify the interpretive errors that have taken place since the close of the Council but it would also put forth the correct interpretations, all with the full force of the Papal Magisterium behind it …

In the decades past there have existed, and exist to this day, groupings within the Church that commit an enormous abuse of the pastoral character of the Council and of its texts, written according to that pastoral intention, since the Council did not wish to present its own definitive or irreformable teachings. From the pastoral nature of the Council’s texts it is evident that its texts are, on principle, open to further completion and to greater doctrinal clarification. Taking account of the experience of several decades since then, of interpretations doctrinally and pastorally confused, and contrary to the continuity, over two millennia, of doctrine and prayer of the faith, the necessity and the urgency rise for a specific and authoritative intervention by the pontifical Magisterium for an authentic interpretation of the conciliar texts with completions and doctrinal clarifications: a type of “Syllabus errorum circa interpretationem Concilii Vaticani II”. There is need for a new Syllabus, this time directed not so much against errors coming from outside the Church, but against errors spread within the Church on the part of those who maintain a thesis of discontinuity and rupture with its doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral application. Such a Syllabus would consist of two parts: a part marking errors and a positive part with propositions of doctrinal clarification, completion, and precision.


Thus there truly is the need for a conciliar Syllabus with doctrinal value, and moreover there is need to increase the number of holy, courageous pastors, profoundly rooted in the tradition of the Church, free from any type of mentality of rupture whether in the field of doctrine or of liturgy. In fact, these two elements constitute the indispensable condition so that doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral confusion may diminish notably and the pastoral work of the Second Vatican Council may bear many and lasting fruits in the spirit of tradition, which joins us with the spirit that reigns at all times, everywhere, and in all true children of the Catholic Church, which is the one and the true Church of God on the earth.

A complete translation of His Excellency’s remarks may be found here.

UPDATE: Fr. Z. has the above translation available as a podcast.



One Response to “Bishop calls for a new “Syllabus of Errors””

  1. Ben Anderson says:

    excellent! yes, this would help! Although I think by now, everyone knows what the council said and didn’t say… what we really need is follow through on what our church documents say. What good is more documents if the documents we have (GIRM, CCC, Code of Canon Law (what’s the abbrv for that?) are so readily discarded ?

    I’m sure there’s a lots of good reads on the council. Here’s one Choir sent me a while back that I found informative:

    and this one (not so much about the council, but about actually enacting change instead of just giving it lip service)

    But if they really wanted something swifter than the “biological solution”, they had better provide for it by getting dirt under their fingernails with them and not just wringing their hands a lot and repeating… “reverence… obedience… beauty… pretty please…”.

    Sure, the Holy Father is trying to lead by example. No, we don’t want to create havoc by a too brutal imposition of X, Y or Z, as in the 60?s and 70?s. But, after all these years of seeing that somethings aren’t working so well, perhaps it is time to change them? If you have a tumor, you want it out. Sure, sometimes you have to shrink it with chemo and radiation, but at a certain point you want it out. As St. Augustine mentioned in one of his descriptions of Christ as Medicus, the doctor doesn’t stop cutting just because the patient is screaming for him to stop.

    If after all these years, priests, bishops, liturgists aren’t applying Redemptionis Sacramentum, which isn’t really too ambiguous, if there is still too much illicit creativity going on, then… do something about it.

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