5) “But the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ” (Dei Verbum, #10).
|Fr. Hans Kung and Pope Benedict XVI|
Unfortunately, following the council an "alternative magisterium" was allowed to ferment. When asked by Vittorio Messori in his famous interview with Cardinal Ratzinger about the fact that he once was associated with some theologians who have since run afoul with the CDF, the Cardinal’s reply sheds much light on this “spirit of Vatican II”:
It is not I who have changed, but others. At our very first meetings I pointed out two prerequisites to my colleagues. The first one: our group must not lapse into any kind of sectarianism or arrogance, as if we were the new, the true Church, an alternative magisterium [emphasis added] with a monopoly on the truth of Christianity. The second one: discussion has to be conducted without any individualistic flights forward, in confrontation with the reality of Vatican II with the true letter and the true spirit of the Council, not with an imaginary Vatican III. These prerequisites were increasingly less observed in the following period up to a turning point—which set in around 1973—when someone began to assert that the texts of Vatican II were no longer the point of reference for Catholic theology ….that the Council still belonged to the traditional, clerical moment of the Church and that it was not possible to move forward very much with such documents [emphasis added]. They must be surpassed.
It is important to understand the part played by neomodernism in bringing about this division within the ranks of the “new theology.” As I discuss in my book, it was the establishment of “an alternative magisterium” on the part of theologians who viewed the Vatican II documents as inadequate who demonstrated the pride warned against by Cardinal Ratzinger. I believe it consistent with Catholic teaching to see in the apostasy of this “anthropocentric society” the work of “the hidden enemy who sows errors and misfortune in human history.”