Over the course of several debates I have noticed a trend. Several times a debate will start out on the topic of Vatican II and end with some rather negative comments on Pope Francis. Why? What does Pope Francis have to do with anyone’s acceptance of Vatican II or obedience to an ecumenical council? The guy was not even at the council.
If you have also noticed this trend, perhaps you have also come to the following reflections.
I will note also that I do recognize that I am speaking of religious people here. Why else would they bother debating about Vatican II?
Many people do not simply dislike Vatican II, they dislike Francis and most clergy who don’t support their views religious or political. That is why a conversation about communion on the hand or Vatican II’s liturgy will end up with someone calling Francis a heretic or the worst Pope ever. (He is most certainly not) Some of those who dislike Vatican II have this sense that if they could just get rid of Francis everything could go back. Or that in anger of being deprived of what they think was Catholic Tradition before Vatican II they view the entire post council Church as something bad. It can be hard to stick to facts or stay on topic when arguing against these emotions. So let us have compassion and treat our debating friends with respect and not get heated up. Their hearts are hurting.
I simply want to point out some logical fallacies.
Something someone believes in another area does not disprove their argument in a unrelated topic. (Although, it may mean you must be cautious)
For example, if I were to quote Bishop Barron’s positive stances on Vatican II, it is not a valid argument to say that Bishop Barron does not believe in Hell so he is wrong about Vatican II. That same logic could be applied to Martin Luther in reverse to show its inconsistency. Luther’s wrong belief about Papal Primacy does not mean that we should not hold to his more Catholic stance on Mary’s perpetual virginity’s – which he thought was true. The two ideas are not related directly.
Listing negative things about someone like Pope Francis does not prove a counter argument.
For example, Francis may have (I don’t think so) done many things incorrectly. That is not a valid argument against why a new topic or new situation is bad or incorrect, nor is it a reason to disobey him. (It only means to use caution) For example, you may think that this or that action is incorrect but unless directly – cause and effect – related to the issue at hand saying negative things about Francis is only an attack on his person not his views or arguments. Even the demons tremble at angles because they know some truth, so to can someone very wrong in a lot of things get other things correct.
This post is not to make fun of anyone. I have respect for everyone that challenges my stances. This post simply brings to light the relationship between obedience and respect for the Pope (current or not) and a obedience and respect for Vatican II. I don’t hold that everyone who does not like Francis does not like Vatican II or vice verse. I simply note that often the bulwark of Francis or the Pope is deeply connected to Ecumenical councils. When one falls both go out of the mind. Thus, please try to preserve in obedience to the Pope and the Council or else the other might leave you also.