The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrant and Itinerant Ministries, Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, said Vatican Council II is a “synthesis between tradition and renewal” and is not open to free interpretations, such as the ones proposed by the Bologna School initiated by Giuseppe Alberigo.
“Vatican II was a great event, a synthesis between tradition and renewal that is not a break with the past in the creation of a new Church,” the archbishop said during a speech on the Catholic Church in the 20th century in the city of Ancona.
He said the members of the School of Bologna have been very successful in “monopolizing and imposing one interpretation” of Vatican II that goes beyond what John XXIII and Paul VI imagined, even so far as to propose “a Copernican revolution, the passing to…another Catholicism.”
Archbishop Marchetto said that Alberigo proposed a sort of democratization of the Church by affirming that “the institutional system’s hegemony over the Christian life…reached an apex with the dogmatic definition of the primacy and magisterial infallibility of the Bishop of Rome.” “It is rather faith, communion and willingness to serve that make the Church,” the Italian prelate stated, saying he proposes instead “identity in evolution” and “fidelity in renewal.”
Archbishop Marchetto encouraged Catholics to read Pope Benedict XVI’s discourse to the Roman Curia on December 22, 2005, in which he spoke of the interpretation of the Council as a “break with the past” as a favorite of those in the media. The correct interpretation of the Council, the Pope said at that time, “has always been visibly and silently” stronger.
The School of Bologna
Giuseppe Alberigo, professor of Church history at the University of Bologna, published a five-volume set between 1995 and 2001 on the History of the Church, including a section on Vatican II. His theories were in the same vein as those of Father Giuseppe Dossetti (1913-1996), a confidant of Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro, one of the four moderators of the Council.
Both men promoted the idea that Vatican II is “above all a new Pentecost”—open to the most disparate and even arbitrary interpretations—more than just a collection of documents; a “novelty” that is supposedly represented by Pope John XXIII, while according to this interpretation, Pope Paul VI and his successors symbolize the “betrayal” of this spirit.