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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason


A Modern Parable

Vatican II

and the

Model of a Failed



A Modern Parable: Vatican II and the Model of a Failed Corporation


Imagine a corporation that is very large; indeed, has many thousands of managers and employees, and what is more, more than a billion customers. The corporation has prospered for 2000 years with the business model it had developed and which had been rigorously maintained by a succession of over 200 presidents and many more board members. The customers have been satisfied and in no way found the business wanting in the way of customer service and business policy.

A new president is then elected — and without any compelling warrant or reason, decides to change the business model dramatically. The managers and the employees are told — despite any evidence — that the business is wanting and could prosper more, even though it is at the apex of any competing businesses by several magnitudes of order. Business had been good, the customers happy, and the employees as well, but he and a handful of likeminded board members wished to change not only the model, but the erstwhile universally admired architecture of its thousands of stores throughout the world — as well as discarding all the lofty artwork that characterized its interiors to more accord with its less successful competitors. What is more, they had decided to replace the means of exchange itself, so that from now on every customer had to use the currency of the country where each store is located, instead of the credit card that had been issued by the company to be seamlessly used anywhere in the world in any of its stores. To make matters worse, if you left your own country you had to surrender the company credit card and use the currency of the country you were visiting, even if you did not understand it … or trust it.              


Decline Hailed as Growth

Within a few years, this once monolithic business, viewed as a paradigm of success in its area of competence, loses tens of thousands of employees and managers and — most importantly — the customer base, once in the area of 75% repeat business fell to 40%, and in a few more years to less than 25%.

Remarkably, the new president — and his successors — hail the change as a success, despite metrics in every area that show it in decline — indeed, almost in receivership! The stores close by the thousands, or are consolidated in an effort to stop the hemorrhaging of customers.

Then, in the middle of this disastrous downward spiral, the corporation is hit, in successive years, with over $3 Billion dollars of loss in the way of lawsuits due to negligent hiring practices; practices that resulted in employees being charged with large-scale and sordid misconduct, in fact, misconduct of the vilest sort, together with the incessant litigation that followed.


Shall the customers pay for the company’s negligence — or rather, be forced to pay the lawyers and the victims for the negligence of the managers? Incredibly, this appears to be necessary, for the corporation, even after selling off large portions of its portfolio and closing many, many, of its stores, faces more lawsuits still as many of its manager, and even its board members, continue to be indited for salacious crimes.

In the meanwhile, the customers become fewer and fewer, and to compound the problem, there are no new, trustworthy, employees to be had as a result of the magnitude of the scandal. The schools of management (hint: seminaries) must, of course, close also, for there are no more candidates (seminarians) for the positions which themselves are fewer and fewer.

Despite this, the Chairman (in the case of the Catholic Church, pope Francis) and the Board (the bishops and cardinals) are determined more than ever — not to return to the successful and prosperous method of the last 2000 years (the Tridentine or Latin Mass that preceded Vatican II for two millennia) but to continue in its new business model which is crumbling daily with still further departures from the past, becoming itself increasingly arthritic, along with its remaining customers.

What do you see in all this? What is your assessment of its management and its future as a viable business? The question, of course, is rhetorical, except for the doctrinaire few who maintain that — despite all appearances and metrics — it is actually prospering in its manifest decline.


This is a vignette of the state of the “modern” Catholic Church in receivership subsequent to Vatican II. It is the state of the Church today. And many increasingly wonder if it is the same Church at all — given the changes that followed — and still follow — that ill-fated Council that effectively defected from the Faith and went the Way of the World.   

Counterfeit: another religion altogether?

What is essentially understood as “The Conciliar Church of Vatican II,” “The Post-Conciliar Church,” or the “Novus Ordo (New Order) Church” is, in fact, a significant network of homosexual clerics and pedophiles at all levels, most of whom had lost their faith altogether. From Paul VI's very first Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam in 1964, it “progressively” (in both senses of the word) became an institutional exercise in self-loathing, a distancing of itself from what was uniquely, historically, and conspicuously Catholic. Confronted with the moral and cultural collapse of the 1960s and the subsequent conflict with faith, reason, and authority, the Church sought to address these issues not on the terms that had ever sustained her through two millennia of continual crises, but rather, on terms that were congenial to the world, a world in moral, social, and political chaos.

Rather than confronting the world with a competing vision to the chaos that wracked it, the “new” Church conformed to the world (so much so, in fact, that the chaos it encountered outside its cloister walls soon leached into and was now internalized in the chaotic doctrines it produced), ending the hostility by surrendering to it — and 70 years later, under the pontificate of Francis, even collaborating with it!   

As a result, the once distinguishable, singular, and uniquely identifiable, Roman Catholic Church became an iteration of itself: itself, but another instance of itself, which is to say not itself. If you find this confusing, then you have understood the plight of “modern” Catholicism. Some argue, and not without substance, that it well may have become another religion altogether; a religion distinct from, and not identical to, nor in continuity with, the Holy Catholic Church that preceded it for 2000 years.

“Hermeneutics of Continuity?”

What about the “Hermeneutics” that is often discussed as a bridge of sorts between the Catholic Church and the Post-Catholic Vatican II Church? This pretentious word means little more than Scriptural interpretation, and methods of interpretation in general. It was Benedict, however, who coined the phrase “Hermeneutic of Continuity” in December 2005 and applied it to the failed effort to demonstrate that the Church prior to Vatican II is effectively the same Church that emerged from that unfortunate Council — however great the disparity between the two. 

In short, it refers to the proposition that — despite all compelling and verifiable indications that it had, in fact, changed, and had changed significantly — the Church of Pope Pius XII (and all 259 of his predecessors for 2000 years) and that of Francis … are identical. That every other religion even remotely cognizant of Catholicism soberly recognizes that this is untrue, few, very few, Catholic churchmen will. And fewer “Princes of the Church” still. Possibly the only one who may not contest this is the pope, Francis himself, who appears to have made every effort in 10 years to instigate a schism — to cut off, once and for all, the “old” that is drawing off young blood from the “new.” Like his tyrannical counterpart in North Korea, he is determined, in the Church, to stamp out all remembrance of the past, together with every vestige of anything that preceded him and the Second Vatican Council.      

Balkanization of the Church

Amid the great confusion surrounding this novel concept of a “Hermeneutic of Continuity,” perhaps the greatest is its presuming to provide an “interpretation” of something present, not simply through what preceded it, but from which it significantly differs. Indeed, precisely as a result of what is experienced as discontinuity it has arguably culminated in a crisis of identity. The notion of Vatican II as an “organic development” has become increasingly difficult to sustain given the undeniably profound changes that occurred within the Church and which still occur unabated. These changes have, in turn, resulted in a balkanization of the Church into conflicting and irreconcilable factions within it, much as had inevitably occurred within Protestantism. Far from a “hermeneutic of continuity,” what we now confront is not an evolution so much as it is a mutation., a fundamental change in the Churches’ understanding of itself, its mission and its relevance. What is more, we must ask, since when did the Church need an interpretation of itself? Is this even a meaningful question?

Of the many problems plaguing the Church (to say nothing of other learned institutions) is its penchant for literal and verbal complexity and ambiguity; the saying of something that sounds profound — such as a “hermeneutic of continuity” — but in the end is without substance. It possesses a sense of impenetrable density; something opaque to immediate understanding or comprehension, an aura of meaning, but is ultimately empty of it. It appears to have gavitas, but is found wanting. It conceals itself as a cypher, something written in secret code that only the “initiated” — those who have the “cognitive superiority,” the “necessary intelligence” — unlike you — can grasp.

We then come to understand the purpose of obfuscation: if a statement cannot be understood, how can it be attacked? It is transparent and dishonest rhetorical device: if attacked, deflect the attack by indicting the attacker; specifically, his supposed lack of understanding or intellectual perspicacity.

The attempt to reconcile what has essentially become the “Post-Catholic Conciliar Church” with all that had preceded it for so many centuries has consistently failed. Why? Because There is no “Hermeneutic of Continuity” — and no “Hermeneutic of Rupture.” 

The entire notion of a “hermeneutic” at all between Vatican II and the Pre-Conciliar Church has become, for all intents and purposes, a mere literary device, a bromide that has the gravitas of a cliché. The failure, or more often than not, the unwillingness, to honestly acknowledge the “Hermeneutic of Continuity” to be the discredited project it has resulted in, now verges on culminating in schism.

Why? Given the widespread scandal, confusion, and the recurring odor of heresy that has both inundated the Church, and, most especially, characterized the pontificate of Francis — a pontiff who holds himself to be the bold embodiment and most vigorous “enforcer” of all the doctrines that effectively corrupted Catholicism following Vatican II 1 — it has become increasingly difficult, if not actually impossible, to reconcile the Roman Catholic Church that existed for 2000 years with the Ecumenical “Faith Community” that emerged as an impoverished resemblance, a mere simulacrum, of what preceded it.


Too Many, Too Conspicuous, and Too Profound

The points of difference have become too many, too conspicuous, and too profound to ignore for the sake of “dialogue”, “accompaniment” (whatever this Bergoglian novelty means) and a Church understanding it as “her task of promoting unity and love … and fellowship … among men and nations,” 2 still less, “dialogue”, “accompaniment” (whatever this novelty means), in place of her primary role which is, and ever has been the Salvation of Souls (Canon Law 175), rather than improving society, establishing economic and social equity among peoples and nations, and simply promoting “fellowship” and feeling good about ourselves and others no matter how morally abhorrent our lives, how obscene our desires,  and how contemptuous our indifference to God.

In fact, the “Hermeneutic of Continuity” proposes to do something more than simply pretend that a continuity exists where one does not exist, or, if however remotely, can be only tenuous at best: it seeks to tether us to what we have found to be foreign to our Catholic religion: holding the strange and false gods of other religions to be the same God that Catholics worship and have always worshipped; 3  to go so far as to show reverence to the Amazonian pagan goddess Pachamama in the Vatican Gardens, and to display this naked idol as a centerpiece in the Carmelite Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina in Rome.4 The scandal throughout the world was palpable.

Let us, then, be painfully clear: the Catholic Faith is, in fact, largely beside the point in the Post-Catholic-Conciliar-Church. Other … “Ecclesial Communities,” …. however factionalized into a thousand sects by irreconcilable disagreements with each other — both Protestant and Orthodox —we are now to understand are equally able to bring us to Heaven! And not even specifically Christian religions, but any religion: Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. All are acknowledged in the Ecumenical Doctrine of Vatican II to be viable alternatives — not just to Catholicism, but to Christianity itself.  (see footnote 3)    

So, Why Be A Catholic At All?

This is the huge question, perhaps the most conspicuous question that no one wishes to ask — and answer — for two reasons: first, to simply ask it is to summarily indict the very raison d'etre of Vatican II: what was its purpose as a convocation of Catholics if it abolished every reason for being Catholic rather than something, anything, else? The second reason is that the question is impossible to be coherently answered for effectively the same reason, which is … there is no reason! The documents of Vatican II provide not just no compelling reason, but no reason at all to be a Catholic, remain a Catholic, or become a Catholic.

 Away with you, then, to the mosque, the temple, the gurdwara, or pagoda. However culturally inflected the worship, the end is the same if you are on board with Francis & Friends, with Ecumenism, Synodality, and the “Art” of Accompaniment. 6

On the other hand, if you have maintained your genuine Catholic Faith against the reproach of men in white robes, scarlet caps, amaranth zucchettos, and a dazzling array of “modern” stylized crosiers who do not despise pagans, Muslims, Hindus, or Buddhists — but who despise you, Catholic Man and Catholic Woman as — to use Francis’s derogative word for us — “indietrists” as “backward-ists,” “looking-backward-ists.”

Didn’t Christ warn us that even those within the household will despise us as bastards, not belonging to the house at all? 5

Children’s parents and grandparents: this is a parable only. But tell the children of something which once was unspeakably beautiful — and manifestly holy. Assure them that it still is … somewhere ... and always will be, in spite of every effort to suppress it, obscure it, and abolish it by men who have made a treaty with the world rather than keeping a covenant with God.


1 Most notable among which are “The Decree on Ecumenism” (Unitatis Redintegratio), “The Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions” (Nostra Aetate), “The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church” (Lumen Gentium), and “The Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity” (Ad Gentes).

2 Nostra Aetate 1  

3 Lumen Gentium 2.16.126 But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God.                   


6 St. Mat. 10.36-39


Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

Feast of Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary
February 2, 2024

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