The Vatican Council: What Went Wrong?

This week the bishops attending the second session of the Vatican Council in Rome will end their deliberations and go home. Behind them they leave a great historical movement brought temporarily to a halt. From a council that promised to bring about a sweeping inner renewal of Roman Catholicism, Vatican II has become a parliament of stalemate, compromise and delay.

The change in pace of the council reflects the change in Roman Catholic leadership that took place between sessions. Vatican II was first summoned by that quiet revolutionary, Pope John XXIII, who...

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