Africa: The Great Vatican II Success Story … Not!

Africa: The Great Vatican II Success Story … Not!

From New Liturgical Movement…

In a recent episode of “Word on Fire,” Bishop Barron responds to Ross Douthat’s two NYT pieces on Vatican II and its failure, by making two arguments:

Argument #1: To blame the collapse of Catholicism in the West on Vatican II is a “post hoc propter hoc” fallacy.  [i.e. “after this, because of this”]

Argument #2: The growth of the Church in Africa since Vatican II is entirely thanks to The Council.

It hardly requires pointing out that he has fallen into the same fallacy of which he accuses Douthat and others.

Nevertheless, this oft-repeated claim about Africa really deserves to be examined more closely, as it is one of the great myths of our time.  Click here to read entire article (highly recommended) which concludes with the following words:   What we are seeing with claims of African exceptionalism, a myth called into question by the facts, is very similar to what we see in nearly every discussion of the glories or successes of Vatican II or of the liturgical reform that followed it: namely, a willingness either to ignore evidence or, possibly, even to twist the truth for ideological reasons.

Editor writes… 

The question has to be … why?  Why are so many people unwilling to acknowledge the reality of the devastation caused within the Church (and society) which dates from the Second Vatican Council?  Why?  In Africa, as elsewhere…  Why?  Your thoughts…

Comments (21)

  • Michael 🙏

    Dear Editor

    You know as do all our contributors to this blog the various antecedents that are impacting upon the declining global Catholic mentality.

    Namely, the lack of Catechesis, inadequate ethical and spiritual formation at home and in school, over fifty years of Doctrinal, Moral and Liturgical abuse and decline in the global Catholic Church. Errant Ecclesiastical hierarchs and priests along with the consistent decline in the quality of candidates for the priesthood coupled with deviant seminaries that embraced dysfunctional formation programs rooted in myers brigg and the enneagram systems as opposed to solid orthodox doctrinal, pastoral and spiritual formation.

    In short we now have Catholics who think and believe like Luther regarding Faith etc and who have no understanding or belief in the supernatural reality of the Faith and all it’s pertains to eg. Doctrinal, Sacramental etc.

    All of this coupled with a diabolical disorientation imbued by the powers of Hell and supported by their Satanic Globalist children on earth, who have completely infiltrated ecclesiastical and civil society at all levels.

    Regarding those individuals who claim success for the reforms of Vatican 2, in Africa and elsewhere throughout the Globe self delusion or otherwise is their preferred choice, simply because the reality of what has occurred over the past fifty plus years is diabolical beyond words more than they know or deliberately choose to admit or recognise.

    Our Lady of Fatima pray for us

    Every blessing

    Michael 🙏

    January 24, 2023 at 7:49 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      Your second paragraph sums up the situation perfectly – in Africa and here in Scotland/UK. You’ve said it all, really.

      January 24, 2023 at 10:22 pm
    • editor


      I agree with MM – indeed, I would say that your entire comment, including your second paragraph, sums up the dire state of the Church perfectly.

      That Luther is celebrated in the Vatican itself, leaves no room for doubting your claim that “…we now have Catholics who think and believe like Luther regarding Faith etc and who have no understanding or belief in the supernatural reality of the Faith and all it’s pertains to eg. Doctrinal, Sacramental etc.

      On the button. Sad, but true. .

      January 25, 2023 at 9:24 am
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        I actually thought ,Stupidly at the time when Bergoglio accepted that Horrible Statue of Luther that He was only doing it for Headlines. Of course Bergoglio was doing it for Headlines but that wasn’t His main reason.
        As for Bish Barron the New Celebrity N.O. Catholic. He couldn’t even put a good format for anything when Ben Shapiro interviewed Him.

        January 25, 2023 at 11:13 am
    • Michaela

      Michael, I agree – it’s not just Africa that is in decline, it’s everywhere.

      This is what puzzles me about the mention of Portugal in the Third Secret, “In Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be preserved” (I think that’s verbatim, but I’m not sure).

      Portugal has been as badly affected by the crisis as everywhere else, so that quote is a bit disturbing. I know that the end of the sentence hasn’t been published, so I’m guessing that would answer my issue, which is why would Our Lady say that, when it hasn’t turned out to be true?

      January 25, 2023 at 11:03 am
  • RCAVictor

    I think there are several reasons for the alleged blindness, which is typically combined with the ludicrous claim that the Church is experiencing a “New Springtime” because of the Council, including:

    1. For the useful idiots and company men, fear of going against the Party Line.
    2. For the useful idiots and company men, fear of admitting error.
    3. For the embedded enemies of the Church, an unwritten but clearly understood definition of “success,” namely, the internal transformation and destruction of the traditional Faith and structure, resulting in a pseudo-Protestant, pseudo-pagan “religion” with a humanistic, amorphous magisterium. Put more simply with that in mind, failure = success.

    As for Bishop Barron, last year I came across an expose of him detailing his posting of numerous pictures of scantily-clad male body-builders, who were his alleged fans and supporters. I don’t remember where I saw this article, but enough said on him.

    January 24, 2023 at 8:23 pm
    • Lily

      RCA Victor,

      As I keep saying, if this is the new springtime, God help us when winter comes, LOL!

      January 24, 2023 at 10:21 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      A thoughtful list – much to peruse.

      And might the article about Bishop Barron to which you refer, be the blog post we discussed here?

      January 25, 2023 at 9:29 am
      • RCAVictor


        Good thing your mind is still functioning – that’s the one! As for my mind….tell me, do I come here often?

        January 25, 2023 at 2:20 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Not often enough! 😀

        January 25, 2023 at 4:11 pm
    • Michaela

      RCA Victor,

      I don’t think it’s an “alleged” blindness. Modernists really are blind in the spiritual sense. They can’t think logically about the faith. That’s just a fact. Their liberalism has blinded them.

      January 25, 2023 at 11:00 am
  • Margaret Mary

    I don’t know many African people but I do know a few and except for one, the rest are all into the charismatic type of praying etc. I’ve tried to interest them in the TLM but they don’t like it – they prefer to be “involved”. So, it looks like Vatican II was a success with them, LOL!

    The New Liturgical article is worth reading right through – it does explode the myth that Africa has escaped the worst effects of the Council.

    January 24, 2023 at 10:19 pm
    • editor


      That is interesting because I know a couple of African Catholics who prefer the novus ordo and I have that sense of the charismatic about them. However, another African friend is totally TLM. I suspect that, like most people, then, it’s a combination of various influences, including a knowledge and understanding of the background to the novus ordo, and the grace of God – rather than geography.

      January 25, 2023 at 9:35 am
      • Lily


        I agree it’s not about geography. There are plenty of Scottish charismatic types, it’s not just Africans. The truth is, certain personality types prefer the “lay involvement” thing and the pop-type music of the novus ordo. So, I would add “personality types” to the various influences you mention.

        January 25, 2023 at 9:41 am
  • editor

    Dr Taylor Marshall breaks the story of a new book by Pope Benedict XVI, which he arranged to have published after his death – “Explosive” is the word, according to Marshall who speaks about the infiltration of seminaries in the west. Judging by the state of the Church in Africa, I don’t think the seminaries there are any better…

    January 25, 2023 at 9:21 am
    • Margaret Mary

      I don’t think that’s explosive any more – we already knew about the “gay cabal” in the Vatican, never mind seminaries. I remember hearing about it yonks ago.

      January 25, 2023 at 9:43 am
      • RCAVictor

        Margaret Mary,

        Don’t know what a “yonk” is (I assume it mean an “age”), but I agree. Michael Rose pointed all this out in “Goodbye, Good Men” what, 20 years ago?

        Sorry, TM, your news isn’t very explosive, just another undetonated grenade you lobbed to increase your YouTube traffic. And Michaela is spot on: where were these “revelations” during your pontificate, Pope Benedict?


        I really wish you would teach the bloggers how to spell “Yank”…. 🙂

        January 25, 2023 at 2:18 pm
      • Nicky

        RCA Victor,

        I find the Catholic apostolates in the USA are more and more going for headlines and YouTube traffic, so I agree with you about TM’s video. It’s all quite concerning, and smacks of making a profit out of the crisis in the Church. Bad smell.

        January 26, 2023 at 12:03 am
  • Michaela

    Margaret Mary,

    I agree. This is a non-story. What jumps into my mind when I saw this is why didn’t Benedict do something about it! What’s the point of having a pope if he doesn’t use his authority! Some “Rottweiler”!

    January 25, 2023 at 10:58 am
  • Nicky

    I didn’t know Africa was seen as a Vatican II success story, so this is all news to me. As usual, I’m behind the times, LOL!

    I do remember it used to be said years ago that the time would come soon when we’d be receiving missionaries from Africa instead of the other way round when the west would supply missionaries to Africa and I do think that has come true, to a point.

    January 26, 2023 at 12:00 am
  • crofterlady

    I find this thread fascinating as I have much experience of African Catholics, both from my time living / studying with them in France, and my time working / worshipping with them in Aberdeen. In my early 20s, I studied and lived at an International Centre for Church Teaching in France. There were students from all over the world and the lectures were in 3 languages, French, English and Spanish; the afternoons saw us split into small groups where local languages and dialects were used in order for finer theological and philosophical explanations to be given to persons whose first language wasn’t English, French or Spanish. Many visiting professors from La Sorbonne, Louvain etc., gave lectures in French and, as I am bilingual, I was able to attend their lectures as well as the English ones. Most of the Africans were from French speaking regions, but there were many English speaking Africans too from English speaking regions, and so I got to attend both lots of Lectures which meant that I spent a lot of time with the Africans.

    They were delightful, very devout and dutiful. However, from the outset I was puzzled by some of their “beliefs” and I put it down to mismanaged inculturation which I didn’t really understand. One day a girl told me she worshipped her ancestors and she didn’t mean praying FOR them either! They sometimes had their own Masses and my, they were like circuses, very musical and theatrical. In fact, they smacked of paganism. I remember saying to one of our professors that they didn’t seem like real Catholics to me to which she replied: they are newly catechised (!!) and will learn with time what is and isn’t acceptable to Catholic beliefs. Mmm, I still thought to myself that I knew more about the Faith when I was primary school than they now did.

    Whilst in Aberdeen, I attended St. Peter’s where the congregation was about 95% Africans, mainly educated and wealthy Nigerians attached to the oil and gas industries. They were certainly very devout and respectful but again, they didn’t seem to be deeply Catholic. I suspect that, prior to V2, the catechesis was better as some of the older ones were more grounded in the Faith. Also,I heard that celibacy was alien to their culture and that some priests had families. However, that was anecdotal.

    January 26, 2023 at 12:37 pm

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