Robert Barron | – Understanding the Post-Vatican II Church

In today’s episode of the “Word on Fire Show,” we talk about how to make sense of all the names, groups, and movements surrounding the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). What are the key things to know, and how have they shaped today’s Catholic Church?

A listener asks why secular philosophy departments tend to discount Scholasticism in favor of modern philosophy.

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About The Author

Bishop Robert Barron These are brief and insightful commentaries on faith and culture by Catholic theologian and author Bishop Robert Barron. The videos complement his weekly sermons posted and podcasted at

Comment (48)

  1. Thank God for you Bishop. We need more popular theologians who so intelligently accept and analyze the entirety of church history, rather than constraining themselves to ideological camps and cultural periods.

    What I love about listening to you, is that although you and I will from time to time disagree, I see the love and respect you have for ALL of the Doctors, Saints, Fathers, theologians and Councils that have influenced the church over the ages.

    I pray that thinking Christians can learn to appreciate and support one another where our orthodox commonalities intersect, and that we can become educated enough to recognize the broad diversity of human perspectives and intellectual works which have shaped our theology.

  2. Your Excellency, when you say that those who held to the "Spirit of Vatican II" approach were "actually anticipating Vatican IV," do you mean to say that Vatican II was part of a progression to the elft, so logically, Vatican IV would be a further progression?

  3. The “Spirit of Vatican II” heretics are ageing and close to death. The traditional Catholicism that was practiced since the earliest days will reassert itself. The end of the current heresies and line of Anti-popes is near. It was the Bishop that converted me to Catholic Church however it is the Vatican II heretical council that makes me wish orientate around traditional Catholicism – the true faith

  4. The only way to completely save the Church is to bring back tradition and the Latin Mass. I grew up in Novus Ordo and strayed away in my late teens and early 20s due to the lack of clear messaging and crappy mediocre priests. The Church needs brave leaders who speak the Truth. I have reconnected to my Catholic faith by praying the rosary daily in Latin and immersing myself in the Latin Mass. I will no longer receive the Eucharist in my hands and parts of the Novus Ordo mass just drive me crazy now… the awkward sign of peace, the Protestant hymns and songs, Eucharistic Ministers, and interjection of modernist liberation theology BS…I'm all set.

  5. I love Vatican II, I believe the Council's ruling on reasonable hope should be adhered to as mentioned in Lumen Gentium 48 as referenced in the editing of Lumen 49:

    "Unus Pater volt aliquam sententiam introduci ex qua appareat reprobos de facto haberi (ne damnatio ut mera hypothesis maneat).

    English: One father wanted a sentence to be introduced from which it would be clear that there are damned defacto, lest damnation remain as a mere hypothesis.

    Propositum non quadrat cum hoc contextu. Ceterum in n. 48 Schematis citantur verba evangelica quibus Dominus ipse in forma grammaticaliter futura de reprobis loquitur.

    English: The proposal does not square with this context. In no. 48 there are cited the words of the Gospel in which the Lord Himself speaks about the damned in a form which is grammatically future.–Acta Synodalia Sacrosancti Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II Volumen III, Periodus Tertia, Pars VIII, Congregationes Generales CXXIII-CXXVII, Sessio Publica V, pages 144-145

  6. Dear Bishop Barron, i dont get your bad attitude against the Latin mass?
    How can a mass that produced thousands of saints and uplifted the church be bad?
    the Vatican 2 church has shown its fruits which are bad.
    I go tot he new mass but after the pachamama Sinod recently considering going to the old mass for good

  7. Very interesting, thank you. Plenty of threads to follow. It can be expensive listening to Word on Fire : I've just bought a book by Etienne Gilson about the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, and another by Brant Pitre about the Jewish roots of Mary.

  8. I don't know if anybody will read this but I would like some feedback on a thought. I love the Latin Mass, but I love the Mass for the Liturgy. Don't get me wrong Latin is a beautiful language and Pope Victor I clearly made the right decision in establishing a single language for the church. While in my ideal world all peoples in communion would have enough of a grasp of Latin so that we could enjoy the fellowship of saying prayers together, I think this is often over emphasized by so called "Traditionalists" who are, I believe are missing a point. The Liturgy, The High Mass is where I finally after years of Novus Ordo worship is where I finally felt the real presence of Christ and the Saints in the continuing sacrifice. I think that perhaps, a bridge could be built between the so called "Tridentine" (which I was confirmed in as an adult) and the Novus Order would be a Reaffirmation of the Traditional Mass, Celebrated in the common tongues. I am unfortunately a Truck Driver and thus am Absent from my parish, and thus miss the Mass. And while I will gladly attend Mass when able (and admittedly I often fail at this) with Novus Ordo Celebrants I fell that they could be enriched in their faith by either the Low or High Mass said in their tongue. This is an old podcast by the time of the writing of this comment, but I wish for any sincere respondent to give me their commentary on these thoughts from anybody who wishes to have a dialogue about this.

  9. Lovers of Vatican II still speak as if the springtime is right around the corner but we got a huge ice age instead. At what point are they just lying about wanting liberalism for the renewal it is supposed to bring?

  10. You can learn a bit about someone by seeing who they consider friends. Anyone who was friends with Saul Alinsky is not someone I'd trust with anything I hold dear. You'll know a tree by the fruit it bears, & Marxism is a poison on all it touches.

  11. Hi Bishop Barron. I've been listening to your channel for about 4 months now. I discovered you after watching Jordan Peterson for several months, then not knowing how it was going to play out, your one on one with him was very impressive. Myself a Catholic for all my life, an usher for 8 years also but have not frequented mass as much as I should have for the last 4 years. Your channel has really given me a fresh new look and interest in my faith. I'm so glad I found your channel, Thank you for all the interesting a d rich information you put out on every episode. Was wondering I'm a big fan of St. Benedict, and the whole mystery behind his Seal which is on certain crosses, and surprised that you haven't made a video regarding this? Thank you for all that you do!

  12. If you hate trads I have news for you. If you accept all the teachings of the Church then you are a trad. There is no such thing as a conservative Catholic and a liberal Catholic. Either we are Catholic or we are not. I pray that we have another council that clears up the confusion of V2. V2 did not work, the emperor has no clothes

  13. « That can’t be right! » Just as the cancelling out of some of the deepest, sophisticated thinkers of the history of knowledge building « can’t be right », so it is for the doctrinal and theological base of our faith. The continuing rift between « the communials » and « the other camp» contributes little to the Church as a whole. I can still remember the day where our parish priest, angry from Vatican II, had the 150 year old ornate structure of the altar torn down in order to have it replaced by

  14. Bishop Barron, what do you mean by Pre-Conciliar Conservatism? The Catholic faith that has been practiced for centuries prior to Vatican II does not include different theological camps or wings. There is no conservative nor liberal perspective on Catholic dogma and tradition. The church has one theology, which is Catholic theology. It is a reflection of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ when he says, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism". In addition, after watching the entire video, I never hear you say the word heresy to describe these certain "Liberal" theologians. As a shepherd of the Church, you must call the spade a spade.
    Nouvelle Theologie is an attempt to change Catholic teaching, not just a change of Catholic philosophy. This is why Pope Pius XII condemned this new theology in 1950 in his encyclical "Humani Generis". We should never be influenced by it.

  15. I remember as an undergrad (many years ago now:) the contempt I encountered towards the scholastic era was striking! I was literally told from plato to descartes it was a dark age! Thomism has made a most welcome come back in recent years in some sections of academia.

  16. Was expecting more from this so-called bishop when I clicked this channel. Sad to say, another apologist and mouthpiece of the much derided vatican 2 council, another modernist. Must be afraid to lose the bishop title lol. If truth be told, I used to consider myself a lukewarm Catholic for I never felt the true presence of our Lord when I was attending NO masses. If there was one redeeming good that this whole pandemic brought about, it was to make me aware the kind of crap the NO mass I was born into was. I'm not an easy fellow to convince at all but not in this instance. Tried one trad mass and never looked back. It was like night and day for me. Used to be a big fan of mr. Totus Tuus himself, the joker of a so called saint karol wojtyla aka paul II. No singular pope did so much damage to the Catholic faith than this fake saint. What RATzinger and bergoglio did or continue to do is to propagate the manifest errors of modernism in the Catholic faith today. This so-called bishop knows where his soul will be going once its over and done with. Yet, I still hold out hope that he stops bringing more gullible souls with him to perdition. Dear bishop, its time to end the charade. Nothing whatsoever will justify anything that ever came out of the vat 2 council. There was no manifest errors in the Catholic faith that needed the changes that vat 2 did and all of it, was merely a smoke and mirrors kind of thing. You know it and your ilk in priestly wardrobes knows it. You might fool others who watches your channel "religously", hoping to gain wisdom, but not with me, nice try though. And for all you fence sitters reading this comment (thought Taylor Marshall might be around to read comments, yes, the one and only doctor who can't decide if the current fool of a pope is actually a fool), there is only one advice I can give you. Use your brains. Learn to discern and better discern well. It isn't just a matter of NO vs Latin Mass. It goes beyond that, beyond the very core of what a true Catholic really means and how one must have a very strong armor, like a knight or a Panzer tank, to withstand the apostacy and the heresies of those in Rome. Start to be learned and literate of what your faith actually teaches. For all those wondering why I used harsh words with the past and present head of the church post vatican 2, I find no reason to embellish my description of these apostates. It is what it is. Truth hurts but sugar coating the truth will only lead more to follow the wrong teachings espoused by these heretics. The gates of Heaven is narrow for not everyone can enter the Kingdom of God. Only a few will be able to. Hope you choose the right line to follow. I hope we can all learn to stand up for our faith, for the true Church, for Christ. Yours in Jesus Christ and our Blessed Mother.

  17. In summary, the “Creative Thomists” (Interesting euphemism for Progressives) won, later on they split to create a dichotomy that we all know as the scissors theory, fast forward 55 years, we have a Church that has no faith, don’t believe in Hell (I wonder what Jesus meant when he said Judas would be better off if he had never been born), believes that “Every religion is good” (Can’t imagine what would the martyrs of the church say about it).
    I don’t fear for The Church, I see more and more lay people getting involved, studying and understanding what’s the 2000 years teaching of the Church, and understanding it has very little to do with the last 55, I fear, and pray every night for the clergy, cause Hell is real, and for someone that was given the most high grace of being able to consecrate the Eucharist, forgive the sins in the name of Our Lord, Hell is not a place to be.
    May the “Curé d’Ars” pray for you, and for us.

  18. I agree with the outlay even if i know little of Garrigou-Lagrange, i'm sure you're right. What amazes me always is that such philosophy-fiction writers as Kant and Descartes are honnered by the title of philosophers which by no means they deserve, not even out of politeness. This doesn't mean at all that i wouldn't discuss with them or contempt their persons or followers, but it's simply against truth to honner such obscurantism. It's out of the question.

  19. I’m on the fence about VII.
    I think the council may have possibly did more harm than good.
    In the 16th century there was a Protestant revolution and the Church had to come up with a counter-reformation-a revival of sorts to address growing concerns.
    In 1962, the Church again had another crisis of sorts and had another reformation revolution within its own walls.
    Today, Everything just seems so needlessly complicated and I can’t help but wonder if that is what Jesus really intended.

  20. NOT ME! I don’t speak or understand Latin. It was used originally because it was considered the universal language of the times. That is NOT true today! English is by far more commonly spoken or at least understood throughout the world.

  21. Modernism is evil. By b. Baron hell is almost empty. Hell is real and populated and lots of Catholics will go ti hell like others non believers. Pray rosary every day plus TLM plus sacraments. Go back to Tradition.