For some time now, I have argued that the majority of Catholics view the Church as only being relevant since the Second Vatican Council. So much so, I wrote a parody article explaining how the Church was founded in 1963 when the Holy Spirit descended upon those present at Vatican 2.
We can see evidence of this when we analyze the footnotes of documents that mainstream Catholic authors, as well as the Vatican, has released over the last couple of decades. The number of citations we see to only post-conciliar popes and Vatican 2, in comparison with the number of citations before Vatican 2 demonstrates that many prelates are only looking for examples that go as far back as 1963. Yes, some of these citations do include references to Sacred Scripture, as well as to some saints such as St. Thomas Aquinas.
Lest we forget, St. Thomas Aquinas lived from 1225-1274 and is a Doctor of the Church. His masterpiece The Summa Theologica is considered to be the go-to book on all things theology and Catholic thought. St. Thomas Aquinas’ work has been so influential that his process for thinking out issues was named “Thomistic”, and many Popes declared that his work is the prime example of how Catholics should approach their education.
To better illustrate my point, Donald Cardinal Wuerl released a graphic the other day in which he discusses the number of citations Pope Francis uses in Amoris Laetitia that point back to the pontificates of previous popes.
Based on Cardinal Wuerl’s graphic, we see that there is a total of 107 citations. Of those 107 citations, only 14 or 13% of them are to St. Thomas Aquinas. 87% of the citations are from the last 50 years of a 2,000-year-old religion. If we are to believe Cardinal Wuerl, then 87% of Pope Francis’ citations are from the last 2.5% of Catholicism’s life-span. Surely there weren’t a few more points that couldn’t have been taken from the vast majority of our faith? You would be hard-pressed to find any document written in the last 50 years that would have even a 50:50 ratio of pre-Vatican 2 to post-Vatican 2 citations (excluding the documents of the Second Vatican Council, of course).
Even more alarming is how the majority of the quotes which are obtained from Pope St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio are taken severely out of context. The same can be said about the quotations taken from St. Thomas Aquinas. Both LMSChairman and the Remnant published articles detailing how Pope Francis misrepresented both of these saints in Amoris Laetitia.
When prelates use only a subset of the Magisterium of the Church while formulating documents, it certainly lends credit to the common misconception that the Church’s teachings were changed (Spoiler: some of them were) during the Second Vatican Council. For the Hermeneutic of Continuity to be true, you would expect that all of the unchanging teachings of the Church be used, not just those that further the agenda of the enemies who have put themselves into prominent positions.