Vatican Council: Pious Bookkeeping

The votes came thick and fast as the 2,300 prelates assembled for the Second Vatican Council hurried to make the deadline for the four-year council's end on Dec. 8. By sizable majorities they approved, in principle, the 30,000 word schema on The Church in the Modern World, though there was some vociferous minority naysaying—notably from some conservatives who deplored the schema's encouragement of a "prudent" dialogue with atheists and from some Americans such as Archbishop Philip Hannan of New Orleans, who took exception to the schema's stern condemnation of atomic weapons and its scant suggestion of their peacekeeping capabilities.

Pope...

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