A note on JK and V II

Since the Pope thinks so highly of Vatican II I suppose I should reread at least the main documents he mentions in the speech I just linked. Isn’t it nice that everything’s instantly available online these days?

I should say though that none of this bothers me much. I’m accustomed to the idea that the rulers of the Church, like other men, make mistakes in practical judgment, and so far as I can tell all my doubts about Vatican II have to do with that sort of thing. There have been serious enduring problems ever since the Council, so it seems likely important people made mistakes somewhere, and it helps orient and settle one’s thoughts to have some notion of what the mistakes were and where they were made.

I don’t think orthodoxy requires the belief that Vatican II was a great gift of the Holy Spirit. It seems evident that there are aspects of the developments to which it gave rise that are not at all a gift of the Spirit. I think one can just as well think that while the Council was without error in matters of faith and morals, and there were many good things in the documents, subsequent events suggest that as a pastoral council it made practical mistakes. That latter view might be wrong, but there are lots of opinions one can legitimately hold that might turn out to be wrong.

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