1968 is on the line and it wants its chaos back:
There is a whole world of expectations behind Pope Francis. It’s as if the Church of 1968 has broken out again. With one difference. The Church’s ’68 was characterized by the publication of the controversial Dutch catechism and by post-Vatican II theological drifts. Paul VI responded to this crisis by issuing the encyclical “Humanae Vitae” and by proclaiming the Year of Faith that culminated with the Creed of the People of God. This time Pope Francis began his pontificate with the Year of Faith and in the end faces the typical hot button issues of the post-conciliar period that are now in vogue again.
And so outdated topics of debate have returned to center stage in the Church. The need for the Church to be less centralized formed the agenda of many progressive theologians after the Second Vatican Council. Decades later a dossier with the reforms needed to achieve this goal was compiled by the Bologna School, a group of scholars that interprets the Second Vatican Council as a rupture with the Church’s tradition, and this file was sent on at least three occasions to the Cardinals before they gathered for the conclave that elected Francis.
Other current topics that can be traced back to the debates immediately following Vatican II include the need for a more merciful opening to homosexual couples and a more compassionate application of the doctrine of marriage.
These – and many other – doctrinal leaps forward were halted by Blessed Paul VI. St. John Paul II blocked them with the enthusiasm of one who loved the Church’s teachings but who, at the same time, was able to be close to people. Benedict XVI elevated doctrine to a higher level, with the energy of one who loves the truth and thinks that the greatest mercy possible is to equip people with the truth.
Three Popes were not enough to shelve a whole generation of post-conciliar theology intended to foster a non-Roman Church – despite the fact that it bears the title of the Apostolic Roman Catholic Church.
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