Thursday, May 5, 2005
Do liberals remember a mythical Vatican II?
In last week's Boston Phoenix, Michael Bronski splashed cold water on liberals who have been pining for the glory days of the Second Vatican Council:
For decades, the American liberal establishment and American Catholics have held on to a fantasy of the Second Vatican Council, which lasted from 1962 to 1965, as the defining moment of post-war Catholicism, not just for Europe and the Americas, but for the world. To many people, John XXIII was the Kennedy pope, and Vatican II was his Camelot — a glorious, Roman Catholic version of the New Deal and the New Frontier that would move Catholicism from the medieval past into a rosy future of social equality, in which mass would be celebrated in the vernacular, nuns’ habits would be modernized, and the popemobile would replace the traditional gestatorial chair as a form of papal transportation.
While John XXIII was, indeed, a progressive pope in many ways — his obvious love for the people stood in direct and moving contrast to the public austerity of his immediate predecessor, Pius XII — it is important to remember that he upheld traditional Catholic morality vigorously, in encyclical after encyclical. . . .
The reality is that despite the efforts of dissident elements, the Church has rarely changed its position on sexual matters and is not about to do so now. But there is a second liberal illusion about the Vatican and the Roman Church that goes hand in hand with this: that the Church does not have a great deal of power. In fact, having relocated its strength outside Europe and North America, the Roman Church is more powerful now than it has been for almost 200 years.
("Pope and Circumstance," Michael Bronski, Boston Phoenix 5.5.05)
Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 5 May 2005 at 7:29 PM