Monsgr. Jos. C. Fenton Diaries Now Avalalible Online

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EXCERPTS

1962
•“These are four propositions handed to me under the SHO by the then Laodicea in Phrygia 11/28/54. They were also delivered to [Fr.] Frank Connell… There has never been anything less effective in the Church than a secret condemnation of an error.” (Mar. 16, 1962)

•“He [Cardinal Ottaviani] remarked that we were on the eve of the Council, and that no one knew who the Council’s theologians were to be.” (Sept. 28, 1962)

•“It is a crime that we did not take the Anti-Modernist Oath. Poor O[ttaviani] must have failed to have our own profession passed by the central commission. It contained his condemnation of [Fr. John Courtney] Murray.” (Oct. 9, 1962)

•“I had always thought that this council was dangerous. It was started for no sufficient reason. There was too much talk about what it was supposed to accomplish. Now I am afraid that real trouble is on the way.” (Oct. 13, 1962)

•“I started to read the material on the Liturgy, and I was shocked at the bad theology. They actually have been stupid enough [to say] that the Church is ‘simul humanam et divininam, visibilem et invisibilem’ [at the same time human and divine, visible and invisible]. And they speak of the Church working ‘quousque unum ovile fiat et unus pastor’ [until there be one fold and one shepherd], as if that condition were not already achieved.” (Oct. 19, 1962)

•“I do not think that any little work on our part is going to bring good to the Church. We should, I believe, face the facts. Since the death of [Pope] St. Pius X the Church has been directed by weak and liberal popes, who have flooded the hierarchy with unworthy and stupid men. This present conciliar set-up makes this all the more apparent. [Fr.] Ed Hanahoe, the only intelligent and faithful member of [Cardinal] Bea’s secretariat has been left off the list of the periti. Such idiots as [Mgr. John S.] Quinn and the sneak [Fr. Frederick] McManus have been put on. [Fr. George] Tavard is there as an American, God help us. From surface appearance it would seem that the Lord Christ is abandoning His Church. The thoughts of many are being revealed. As one priest used to say, to excuse his own liberalism, which, in the bottom of his heart he knew was wrong, ‘for the last few decades the tendency in Rome has been to favor the liberals.’ That is the policy now. We can only do what we can to overt an ever more complete disloyalty to Christ.” (Oct. 19, 1962)

•“As far as I can see the Church is going to be very badly hurt by this council. The opposition between the liberals and the loyal Catholics has been brought out into the open. Yesterday a Dutch (Holland) bishop gave a nasty talk in which he claimed to be speaking for all of his countrymen. He charged that the claims (really statements of fact) about theological imperfection in the schema were ‘exaggerated.’ The poor fellow seemed to imagine that a little lack of precision is all right in a conciliar document. I am disgusted with talk of this kind.” (Oct. 27, 1962)

•“The sense or feeling of this gathering seems to be entirely liberal. I am anxious to get home. I am afraid that there is nothing at all that I can do here. Being in the council is, of course, the great experience of my life. But, at the same time, it has been a frightful disappointment. I never thought that the episcopate was so liberal. This is going to mark the end of the Catholic religion as we have known it. There will be vernacular Masses, and, worse still, there will be some wretched theology in the constitutions.” (Oct. 31, 1962)
•“[Fr. Sebastiaan] Tromp has just pointed out that a pastoral council should not be non-doctrinal. Tromp is being very good. He is defending the schemata. He definitely is not giving a break to the opposition. We are hearing history. What is the theological note of what is contained in the theological or doctrinal constitution? Absolutely certain — at least.” (Nov. 13, 1962)

•“At the Pope’s own order the rules were changed and the schema was thrown out. A new commission was set up including Cardinal Meyer, Alfrink, and Lienart.” (Nov. 23, 1962)

•“They plan to leave off this television nonsense in a day or two, and then take up the Church Unity then. That will be a disaster. If I did not believe God, I would be convinced that the Catholic Church was about to end.” (Nov. 23, 1962)

•“…some other people believe what I have thought for several months, namely, that John XXIII is definitely a lefty. This nonsense to the effect that he is ‘deceived’ or ‘mal servite’ is disgraceful. He is the boss.” (Nov. 25, 1962)

•“The articles in the Milan Corriere della Sera tell of the Pope’s connection with [the excommunicated Modernist priest Fr. Ernesto] Buonaiuti, and they make him look like a real Modernist, at heart. He probably is.” (Nov. 26, 1962)

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