Rorate Caeli

Time for a new Syllabus?

A veritable hurricane struck at Rome yesterday, December 17, 2010, just steps away from the Basilica of St. Peter: a bishop has offered nothing less than ... the reassertion of the infallible magisterium of the Church.

Since December 16 there has been a major conference taking place in Rome entitled "Vatican II, a pastoral council: historical, philosophical, and theological analysis." Requested by the courageous Franciscans of the Immaculate, the symposium is taking place in the conference rooms of Santa Maria Bambina behind Bernini's colonnade near the Palace of the Holy Office in a virtual media silence despite the newsworthiness of the theme under the pontificate of Benedict XVI and the quality of the speakers.

Two anticipated speeches marked the first day: that of Mgr. Gherardini, author of “Vatican II: an open debate” and Professor Roberto De Mattei, Italian historian and author of a recent volume on the council called “The Second Vatican Council: A story never written” (currently available only in Italian, Lindau editions). Both responded to criticism aimed at their work, paradoxically from elsewhere in the conservative camp, wherein lie a few rare defenders of the infallibility of the Council.

Yesterday, December 17, it was Monsignor Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda who highlighted the event during his communication on the theme of the worship of God as the theological basis for the pastoral council. Offering a long anthology of very theologically orthodox quotations extracted from the conciliar texts, he somehow presented to his audience selected texts of a Vatican II, “more orthodox than Trent.” The captatio benevolentiae was particularly effective; the assembly anxiously awaited the next words to fall from the bishop’s mouth. It was then, while denouncing the misinterpretation of the council in the post-conciliar period, that the bishop concluded his remarks by suggesting...the writing of a Syllabus infallibly condemning "the misinterpretation of the Vatican Council II”.

Because, according to Bishop Schneider, only the supreme magisterium of the Church (the Pope or a new ecumenical council) may correct the abuses and errors arising from the Council and correct its understanding and its reception in the light of Catholic tradition. Responding to a request for clarification, he caused the scholarly gathering to burst out laughing by stating that it was not possible to convene a council for another 500 years. It is left therefore, to the supreme magisterium of the Pope. Hence his call for a new Syllabus that would list the condemned errors side by side with their orthodox interpretations.

Like so many other instances over the past 40 years, it is the infallible judgment of the Pope in "restating" Vatican II that is called for. Except that since the "freedom of speech" put in place by Benedict XVI, it is now up to officials to make that call.

Osservatore Vaticano

The photo is from the blog Te Deum Laudamus 


  1. Johnny Domer5:48 AM

    I pray he does not end his life as the Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda. This man needs to become a least.

  2. One would also need to do some serious editing to, or perhaps issue an erratta sheet for, each constitution, since much of the "confusion" or "misinterpretation" is guaranteed by the vague or even at times contradictory language used. Yes, there are very orthodox things said in each, and there are very wacky things said in each of these documents.
    Consider - things like Latin language or Gregorian chant are to be retained or given pride of place, but these are modified with expressions such as "all things being equal". These are then further compounded by other statements about deferring to the local ordinary for what is or is not appropriate. Which is it? Either chant retains pride of place, or all things are equal, or the local bishop can do whatever he wants. It is not "misinterpreting" so much as it is exploiting loopholes, countless loopholes, that has taken place.

  3. Anonymous12:49 PM


    Something was accurate and precise but applied incorrectly or biased.

    Although I am thankful for this type of speeches we hear now, I humbly think that the root remains untouched. Vat2 shouldn't be "corrected" but ignored, avoided, and forgotten.

    Its few orthodox statements (from previous orthodox magisterium) can be gathered in a booklet.

  4. Prof. Carlos Ramalhete1:05 PM

    Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda is a very sensible position, allowing him to travel and preach everywhere. Msgr. Rifan, the Brazilian Tradicional Apostolic Administrator, due to the responsibilities of the Apostolic Administration, more often than not has to stay in Campos.

    I think the Holy Father is trying to get us some "flying bishops" spreading the word around, and an auxiliarship in Karaganda is almost like being "in partibus", but with more authority.

    A red hat may come, but as for now there is too much work to be done.

    May God bless all good Bishops.

  5. Thank you for providing this news.

    The photo displayed was taken by me at the 2009 Call to Holiness in Royal Oak, Michigan. Below is a post with links to more photos of Bishop Schneider. I don't mind bloggers using the photos - I even encourage it, but ask for attribution (my name or blog link is sufficient). This way, others know where they originate and sources wanting high resolution for printing know where to obtain them. Here is my photopost from that event.

    I have photographed His Excellency several times during his trips into metro Detroit. More can be found at my Smugmug site:


  6. Anonymous2:38 PM

    I think Vatican II should be treated the way Pope Pius II treated the Council of Constance. It had a heretical (concilliarism) decree passed during a non-ecumenical session, but ecumenical sessions passed documents which were imbued with the spirit of concilliarism at best (such as Frequens). Pope Martin V's application of its decrees afterward follow the concilliarist interpretation--which pretty much ran rampant in the post-concilliar era.

    Pope Pius II, a former concilliarist himself, publically retracted his own errors during his papacy and condemned concilliarism generally in "In minoribus" and elsewhere even though in that same bull he avows his loyalty to the that Council and its doctrine on the authority of General Councils.

    Point being, there is precedent for have the Pope solemnly condemning errors which have their roots in certain interpretations of Concilliar decrees, without impuging the Council itself.

  7. VeeJay3:26 PM

    Sounds like "Anonymous (post #6)is an "anglo jurist". Since when does the Pope have to have "precedent" for condeming error in Church practice and/or teaching.


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