Iowa Bishop: “The so-called “spirit” of the Council has no authoritative interpretation” — Text of new pastoral letter

Short, concise, and to the point…

“The so-called “spirit” of the Council has no authoritative interpretation. It is a ghost or demon that must be exorcised if we are to proceed with the Lord’s work…”

Bishop Nickless, Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa


In a new pastoral letter Bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, R. Walker Nickless called on Catholics to, “reclaim and strengthen our understanding of the deposit of faith.” In rebuking the demon or ghost of the “Spirit of Vatican II”, the good Bishop states what clearly is needed concerning pre-conciliar and post-conciliar interpretations of the Second Vatican Council:

“It is crucial that we all grasp that the hermeneutic or interpretation of discontinuity or rupture, which many think is the settled and even official position, is not the true meaning of the Council. This interpretation sees the pre-conciliar and post-conciliar Church almost as two different churches. It sees the Second Vatican Council as a radical break with the past. There can be no split, however, between the Church and her faith before and after the Council. We must stop speaking of the “Pre-Vatican II” and “Post-Vatican II” Church, and stop seeing various characteristics of the Church as “pre” and “post” Vatican II. Instead, we must evaluate them according to their intrinsic value and pastoral effectiveness in this day and age … “


Full Text: Ecclesia Semper Reformanda (The Church is Always in Need of Renewal) — A Pastoral Letter on the Future of the Church in the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa



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