Pope Paul VI Enthusiastic About The Spirit of Novelty Within the Church

Pope Paul VI Enthusiastic About The Spirit of Novelty Within the Church


Reader, Jim Paton from Perth, submitted the following extract from the text of the General Audience of Pope Paul VI on 2nd July, 1969. It is not available in English on the Vatican website, but you can read the original text by clicking on the photo of Paul VI. All emphases have been added by Jim, and all commentary below is from Jim in blue type.
We look forward to reading your thoughts on this rather startling speech from a pontiff due to be beatified in October. 

“Beloved Sons and Daughters!

We want to welcome the great words of the Council, those that define the spirit, and in summary form the dynamic mentality of many, inside and outside the Church, at the Council relate. One of these words is that of novelty. It’s a simple word, much used, very sympathetic to the men of our time. Flow in the religious field is wonderfully fertile, but poorly understood, it can become explosive. But it is the word that was given to us as an order, such as a program. Indeed there has been billed as a hope. It is a word bounced down to us from the pages of Scripture: “Behold, (saith the Lord). I will do new things “; is the Prophet Isaiah that speaks well; he echoed St. Paul (2 Cor. 5, 17), and then the Book of Revelation: “Behold, I am making all things” (21,5). And Jesus, Master, it is not himself an innovator? “Ye have heard that which was said to the ancients. . . But I tell you. .” (Mt. 5), he repeats in the Sermon on the Mount. The baptism, the beginning of the Christian life, it is not itself a regeneration? “We must walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6: 4). And so the whole tradition of Christianity, tending towards its perfection; it continually takes the concept of novelty, when he speaks of conversion, reform of ‘ascetic perfection. Christianity is like a tree, always in the spring, in the process of new flowers, new fruits; is a dynamic concept, it is an inexhaustible vitality, is a beauty.

 [Jim: I have never seen Scripture twisted like this before. This is diabolical]


And the Council has presented us so. Two terms have qualified; renewal (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 8 in the end; OptatamTotius, introd.), and update; this term, which Pope John gave free course, and was now in the current language, and not only in Italy (cf. AAS, 1963,p. 750); two words that speak of novelty; one referring to the field rather than inner spiritual; the other to the outer, canon, institutional. Our concern is very much that this “spirit of renewal”  (that’s how it is expressed by the Council: Optatam Totius, in the end) is to be all inclusive and kept alive. It responds salient aspect of our time, which is all in rapid and massive transformation, that is in the process of producing innovations in every area of ​​modern life. It rises spontaneously in the mind of the comparison: the whole world is changing, and religion is not?   It does not occur between the reality of life and Christianity, especially the Catholic one, a discrepancy, a detachment,mutual misunderstanding, mutual hostility, one runs, the other is still: how can they get along? how can it claim Christianity to influence life today?  And here is the reason of the reforms undertaken by the Church, especially after the Council; here is the Episcopate intent to promote the renewal corresponding to the needs of the present   (cf. Message to the Clergy of the Episcopate Trentino and South Tyrolean, 1967);   here is the Religious Orders ready to reform their statutes; here is the Catholic Laity qualify and articulate to the laws ecclesiastical; here is the liturgical reform, which everyone knows the extent and importance; here is the Christian education to re-examine its methods of pedagogy; behold, all the canonical legislation under review for renewal. And how many more consoling and promising new sprout in the Church in order to certify the new vitality, that even in these years so gory for religion demonstrates the continuous animation of the Holy Spirit! The development of ecumenism, guided by faith and charity alone is enough to score a progress almost unpredictable in the street and in the life of the Church. The hope, which is the Church’s gaze towards the future, fills his heart, and he says even as he throbs in new and loving waiting. The Church is not old, it is old; time is not the fold, and, if it is faithful to the principles of intrinsic and extrinsic his mysterious existence, the rejuvenated. It does not fear new; live by it. As a safe and fruitful tree by the root,it draws to itself every cycle its historic spring.”    Paul VI, General Audience of July 2, 1969. Source: Vatican Website


Along with the above, it might be worth mentioning, as it names Paul VI, the encyclical Redemptor Hominis (Pope John Paul II);  Article 3 states the following:

“Entrusting myself fully to the Spirit of truth, therefore, I am entering into the rich inheritance of the recent pontificates. This inheritance has struck deep roots in the awareness of the Church in an utterly new way, quite unknown previously, thanks to the Second Vatican Council, which John XXIII convened and opened and which was later successfully concluded and perseveringly put into effect by Paul VI, whose activity I was myself able to watch from close at hand.”

If it was unknown previously, then it it doesn’t belong to the deposit of faith. If it doesn’t belong to the deposit of faith then we can be assured that it isn’t the Spirit of truth that to which Pope John Paul II was entrusting himself. Further, the Popes have no mandate to teach this since it is novelty, which means that the faithful do not need to follow the new teachings of these men.

One other thing: where  Paul VI says “here is the Episcopate intent to promote the renewal corresponding to the needs of the present”  this goes against the perennial teachings of the Church, e.g.

“To use the words of the fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church “was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain “restoration and regeneration” for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a “foundation may be laid of a new human institution,” and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing “may become a human church.”   [Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832]

Comments (37)

  • editor

    My first thought on reading the above extract from Paul VI’s General Audience of 2nd July, 1969 was “well, what’s with all the hand wringing and ‘from somewhere, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church’ … like puzzlement personified. What was THAT all about, as they say these days?

    After all, if the very pontiff himself doesn’t know that Tradition is of equal weight with Scripture and neither can be changed to accommodate the spirit of the times, how can we expect anyone else to know it?

    Gimme a break.

    July 20, 2014 at 11:44 pm
  • Athanasius

    I am reminded here of the prophecy of St. Paul, who wrote: “There will come a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but according to their own desires they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.”

    Nothing more closely resembles a fulfillment of that prophecy than the so-called “renewal” post Vatican II.

    July 21, 2014 at 12:59 am
    • editor


      Exactly. The “new Springtime of Vatican II” has turned into the dead of winter.

      July 21, 2014 at 9:36 am
  • Joseph Hannely

    The date of this waffle, July 1969, is interesting.
    From sspx home page


    A “retired” archbishop, His Excellency Marcel Lefebvre, agrees to help a handful of young seminarians who are disconcerted by the direction being taken in post-Vatican II seminaries in their priestly formation. ”

    ” the smoke of Satan has entered the Church’” He was not referring to himself or his modernist religion. I believe he was referring to those opposed to Vatican II and beginning to make their voices heard.

    July 21, 2014 at 8:08 am
    • editor


      I think Pope Paul VI was genuinely taken aback at the massive flow of defections from the priesthood and religious life, and other manifestations of the “spirit of Vatican II” (hence his “smoke of Satan” remark) but he didn’t connect the dots.

      That’s a feature of spiritual blindness. There’s a recognition of the problem but an entirely wrong interpretation of the cause. Thus, instead of seeing that the “reforms” have diminished the importance of the priesthood and thus men left in droves (and fewer and fewer sign up for seminary) the Modernist sees this as a sign that the Holy Spirit suddenly doesn’t really want priests, a lay-led Church is really what God wanted all along. He just forgot to let us know that until Vatican II. It’s that crazy, upside down (i.e. diabolical) lack of logic that IS “the smoke of Satan”. Pope Paul VI saw the problem, he just didn’t recognise the cause.

      Love your avatar!

      July 21, 2014 at 9:41 am
    • Michaela

      It’s so thought-provoking that those seminarians and Archbishop Lefebvre could quick to see the potential for damage at Vatican II. He will surely be canonised some day.

      July 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm
      • Suscipe

        And the beatification of Paul VI needs to be undone, renounced, unsaid, repented of, annulled, voided.

        April 21, 2015 at 2:25 pm
  • Fidelis

    I am absolutely incredulous that Paul VI used the words of Jesus (“But I tell you”) as proof that he was an innovator. Jesus was making the law harder by saying that until then they were told “thou shalt not kill” but now he was saying not even to be angry, as that can lead to killing. I’ve never thought of that as “innovative” in same way that Vat2 has been innovative, making everything much easier, doing away with the long fasting before Communion, vernacular Masses etc. All of the Vat2 changes seems to be to make life easier. Jesus made life harder when he said “But I tell you”. The whole extract stunned me. To think this pope is going to be beatified at the end of the synod on the family in the autumn, is just unbelievable.

    July 21, 2014 at 10:50 am
    • Nicky


      “I’ve never thought of that as “innovative” in same way that Vat2 has been innovative”

      That’s because it’s not. It’s just not true to say that Jesus was an innovator. He said he had come to complete or fulfil the law not to destroy it. I was open mouthed reading Jim Paton’s extract and comments. I used to think Paul VI would be turning in his grave seeing what is going on but now I know this is what he wanted all along. It really is beyond the pale.

      July 22, 2014 at 7:40 pm
  • Frankier

    Why then didn`t they go along with Henry V111, life would have been a lot easier now.

    It seems to me that the terrible sins of the past condemned by the Church are now the pleasures to be encouraged and aimed for by the same modern thinking Church.

    I did my National Service in Berlin, so I was wondering if anyone has any idea of the date of Hitler`s canonisation so that I can make arrangements to attend?

    July 21, 2014 at 11:22 am
    • Michaela


      LOL !

      July 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm
  • Confitebor Domino

    Jim: I have never seen Scripture twisted like this before.

    In fact, protestants do it all the time – it’s an almost inevitable consequence of their absurd sola scriptura doctrine. What’s startling is to find a pope playing this sort of game!

    Of course, you can hardly appeal to tradition to justify novelty – the two are mutually contradictory. So the only way of justifying the novelties is either (a) claim that tradition has gone wrong and needs to be fixed, or (b) try to smuggle them in by wilful misinterpretation of scripture.

    If you read further on into the same speech – lo, and behold! – the pope tries both tricks in the same sentence:

    “Indeed, the news for us is essentially, usually, just a return to the genuine tradition and to its source, which is the Gospel.”

    Now I haven’t checked but I’m pretty sure that I could find an almost identical proposition in the writings of Luther, Calvin etc. It’s almost as if Pope Paul were saying ‘Hey, the protestants were right, you know – it’s just taken us 400 odd years to realize it!’

    July 21, 2014 at 11:44 am
    • Michaela

      Confitebor Domino,

      You are correct. Twisting scripture is exactly what Protestants, however well meaning, do all the time. They say they take the bible literally and then disagree when it suits them (“This is my Body, this is my Blood” e.g.)

      As you say, though, it’s startling when a pope does the same thing, twisting Scripture to suit imposing a new teaching.

      It’s so obvious that the devil is behind it all, and even priests like Fr Tim Finigan call their blog “the Hermeneutic of Continuity” – tradition is to be shunned in one way or another.

      July 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    “And so the whole tradition of Christianity, tending towards its perfection”

    I thought the whole of Christianity was revealed? Is Pope Paul VI doing away with the deposit of faith, that there can be no new revelation after the death of the last apostle?

    July 21, 2014 at 5:11 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    This General Audience proves that it is wrong to blame the wrong implementation of the Council. Obviously Pope Paul VI (and possibly John XXIII) wanted the “spirit of Vatican II” as per wanting novelties. (can this be added to my first post, please?)

    July 21, 2014 at 5:13 pm
  • Ivanhoe

    You might find more information about the deeds of Pope Paul VI on http://www.chiesaviva.org. Father Luigi Villa was asked by Padre Pio to guard the church from the power of freemasonry.

    July 21, 2014 at 5:35 pm
    • editor


      We’re careful about the Fr Luigi Villa book/claims. All sorts of comments are attributed to Padre Pio which is one reason why I prefer not to take the Fr Villa claims too seriously. They may or may not be true. Here, we prefer to promote only what we know for sure.

      For example, since the “spirit of Vatican II” is more than up and running now, I don’t think it’s off topic to mention on this thread, the fact that the Vatican website has shockingly sported a photo of two homosexuals + rainbow flag. It’s been removed now, but – heavens above – are we hurtling towards something big, or what?

      July 21, 2014 at 6:59 pm
      • Michaela


        I think we are “hurtling towards something big”, and that is without question what is going on. I heard a local politician on radio today quoting Pope Francis out of the blue! We have a very popular pope and lots of sympathy for homosexuals in the Vatican. Yes, we are “hurtling towards something big” as you say.

        I wonder if anyone knows if Pope Francis did anything about the “gay lobby” supposed to be at the Vatican when he became Pope?

        July 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm
    • Michaela


      I think the page on Medjugorje in the Chiesa link is very good indeed. Thank you for posting that.

      July 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    The concept of novelty, liturgical reform and the so called “renewal” has been nothing but a disaster emanating from Vatican II. Stability loses out, to change for the sake of change, suiting a secularised world.

    Where liturgical reform was concerned, it happened as a result of Pope John XXIII who called the Council. Then Pope Paul VI who wanted parts of the Mass “in the venarcular”. A combination that presented a new Rite of Mass, that nowadays we see many novelties, such clown Masses and tango Masses whatever else.
    No wonder Pope Paul VI lamented that the “smoke of satan had entered the Church”. Archbishop Bugini was involved in this:


    July 22, 2014 at 8:43 am
    • Nicky

      Theresa Rose,

      I’ve read that booklet “Liturgical Time Bombs” but didn’t know you could get a link to it online so I’m very grateful indeed. I can now send it to friends and hope it opens a few eyes. Thank you!

      July 22, 2014 at 7:37 pm
  • Nicky

    I think this report is showing the same sinister trend of novelties being brought in as something good – “solutions to problems” as if Jesus’s teaching on marriage is a problem to be solved.

    It’s getting more blatant as the synod on the family draws nearer, that the Modernists do intend to bring changes to the practice of divorced and remarried Catholics being given Communion, without any change in their lifestyle.

    July 22, 2014 at 7:35 pm
    • editor


      Thanks for posting that link – absolutely disgraceful. I think every Catholic with even an ounce of Catholicity left in their souls is dreading the forthcoming Synod on the Family.

      A reader emailed this video which is yet more evidence, if we needed it, of our current novelty-loving pontiff’s determination to break with Catholic Tradition. We saw the Pope’s address to Tony Palmer’s Conference, if you recall, on video clip, but listen to Tony himself here – basically saying that at long last we are getting the Church Our Lord meant us to have.

      The key question if, did Paul VI realise this would be where his stated desire for novelty would lead? Or had he some other more benign interpretation in mind when he spoke of the desirability of – and need for – “novelty” in the Church? In other words, did he, and his successors, actually set out to destroy the Church or has the Devil been able to take advantage of their negligence and lack of both Catholic Faith and intelligent foresight?

      July 23, 2014 at 12:04 pm
      • Confitebor Domino

        did Paul VI realise this would be where his stated desire for novelty would lead?

        Montini had witnessed for himself the shenanigans that were going on at the 2nd Vatican Council and it’s surely inconceivable that he had no idea in what direction things were headed. Yet even after becoming pope he appears to have done little to try to get things back on track.

        Did he realize where this desire for novelty would lead? Well, surely it must have hit him between the eyes when he was presented with a brand new rite of Mass, cobbled together with the assistance of protestants! Did he call a halt then? No, he actually authorized the blasted thing!

        Three years later he made the famous ‘smoke of Satan’ remark but even then seems to have done little or nothing to stop the madness that was unfolding.

        I’m sorry, but the idea that Paul VI didn’t understand what he was doing is pretty hard to swallow.

        July 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm
      • editor


        You really blame Paul VI and his successors? Really? But they were popes! How can you THINK that!

        Surely Pope Paul VI just wanted to “get with the (20th century) programme” and bring the Church up to date? What’s your problem?

        July 23, 2014 at 6:23 pm
      • Nicky

        “You really blame Paul VI and his successors? Really? But they were popes! How can you THINK that!”

        I suppose you’ll be telling us next that the Holy Spirit picks the popes ergo they are never wrong about anything!

        July 23, 2014 at 11:48 pm
      • Graeme Taylor

        Tony Palmer died in a motorbike accident the other day.

        July 24, 2014 at 9:13 am
      • editor


        Thank you for letting us know this. Very sad that he died outside the Catholic Church and in the false belief that it really didn’t matter, despite being friends with no less a figure within Catholicism than the Pope himself.

        July 24, 2014 at 9:19 am
      • Margaret Mary

        How sad. May he rest in peace.

        July 24, 2014 at 3:44 pm
  • Joseph Hannely


    “In other words, did he, and his successors, actually set out to destroy the Church or has the Devil been able to take advantage of their negligence and lack of both Catholic Faith and intelligent foresight?”

    You pose this as a question and my answer is Yes they knew exactly what they were doing in destroying the Church of Christ and replacing it with something not of God. There has always been doubts about Paul VI (Montini) even before his Pontificate.

    My understanding is that John XXIII intended a Pastoral Council not a Doctrinal one. But clearly on his death, it was hijacked by the Modernist/Humanist/Masonic gang that had been infiltrating the Vatican for decades if not longer.

    Paul VI is said he wanted the Church to more along the lines of Calvinism and Luther’s idea of how the Church should be. That should have rung alarm bell’s and probably did amongst some of the real clerics in the Church. That anyone in the Vatican would want to adhere to the ravings of a paedophile and lecher such as Luther beggars belief

    You might want to check this link out. I never heard of them before, however the give Luther a good hiding and flay retired Arch Bishop Hughes for his comments.


    July 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm
    • editor


      Will check the link later but don’t you think Paul VI might have had a point when he said he wanted the Church to be more along lines of how the Protestant churches are? Did he actually say that, by the way. (No point in giving him credit for being so much of an innovator if he didn’t really say that in the first place.)

      Oh dear, I see some real pre-Trent attitudes on this blog. We must be going wrong here at Catholic Truth when so many bloggers are off the wall…

      July 23, 2014 at 6:26 pm
      • Nicky

        I think you’re having us on – or the crisis is even worse than I thought!

        July 23, 2014 at 11:46 pm
      • editor

        Rumbled! I thought I’d liven up this thread but it didn’t work. Seems everyone is out enjoying the sunshine…. like moi 😀

        July 24, 2014 at 10:22 am
    • Nicky

      I doubt they set out to destroy the Church. They set out to change it for sure but I guess they thought they were improving it.

      July 23, 2014 at 11:51 pm
      • editor

        I agree. It’s as we’ve discussed before, in the nature of the spiritual blindness currently afflicting the hierarchy (including the pontiff) that they truly believe that they are working in the best interests of the Faith. That won’t excuse their negligence before God, however. We should pray hard for prelates today. They are in very great danger of losing their souls.

        July 24, 2014 at 10:24 am
  • No one you know...

    Don’t be so fast to condemn all novelty. If you do then you throw Pope Pois XI on the rubbish pit. After all, it was he who said, when canonising the Little Flower, that her Little Way was ‘new message’ and a ‘new mission’, and indeed the Canonisation Bull refers to a ‘new model of sanctity’.

    We should be careful about seeing divisions between the post and pre VII popes (and indeed some do exist) when they may not exist, or be as wide as we like to think

    July 28, 2014 at 11:17 pm
    • editor


      I think it is self-evident that what is meant by “new message” in the life of the Little Flower, is that it was a new way of understanding holiness. That’s all. A true development, in a sense, since (mistakenly) all to many Catholics regarded holiness as something only attainable in the priesthood and religious life. St Therese demonstrated that by simply doing our duty and offering up the little annoyances that come our way in life, we could achieve sanctity. Nothing she said broke with Catholic Tradition but merely developed our understanding of it. Our Lord Himself told us that those who do the will of His Father in Heaven are pleasing to God. It is God’s will that we attend faithfully to the duties of our state in life and unite ourselves in our sufferings to the sufferings of Christ. What St Therese said merely amplified that teaching for Catholics; nothing she said contradicted it.

      Had she been recommending attending Hindu temples and saying that everyone would be saved without the Church, Pius XI would have dismissed her cause at the first stage.

      July 29, 2014 at 10:22 am

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