Is this the case? From all the stats I have seen, Mass attendance is way down and belief in the Real Presence is way down, and understanding of Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice is way down. Liturgical abuse seems to be a real problem (the Vatican has had to issue various docs on the topic)–why would someone who understood what Mass was abuse the liturgy so? Why would people who understood it better stay away more?
Quicker reaction to a changing world, especially in bioethics.
Honestly, I’m not seeing how its any quicker–I guess this is hard to measure. Which document of Vatican II provided for this? Gaudium et Spes maybe? Gaudium et Spes was supposed to provide for the Church’s engagement of and shaping of the modern world–despite a sterling doctrine with regard to bioethics, I’m not seeing it having influence in the world (this goes along with the laity’s role)–bioethics in the modern world have gotten worse and worse. In fact, the laity seem to not be impacted much by it (check the polls re IVF or abortion).
Increase of Scripture reading in the vernacular.
As a result, do Catholics know their faith better? The biggest complaint on CA since I’ve been here is poor catechesis. Without it, reading the Bible in the vernacular will not bear the intended fruit. With looser translations and footnotes that undermine the supernatural character, it gets worse. I don’t know how many priests I’ve heard undermine Jesus’ miracles or say He couldn’t tell the difference between demons and epilepsy, or the OT conception of God was erroneous in some way or another, etc. The vernacular doesn’t seem to have helped them understand better…
Better ecumenical relationships
The goal is unity in the Catholic faith and Church. Groups which were much closer, like the Lutherans and Anglicans, have now moved farther and farther by ordaining women and blessing certain immoral relationships, despite being friendlier. Cardinal Kasper had a good speech about this to the Anglicans a while back, about their departure from diachronic unity and how it pretty much ended any hope of real reunion. I guess the ordinariate was a decent fruit from this (of course, it was carried out without engaging the curial office for ecumenism…)
Better understanding of religious freedom and its relationship to human free will.
There seems to be the most confusion about this, rather than clarity–when a contradiction is alleged, this is the most apparent example–it is not explained well how it reconciles with past, definitive judgments from the Church (no explanation is really provided) (I think it can be reconciled, especially in light of the clarifications in the catechism and have defended it many times–but the sheer amount of conferences and theological articles on the subject trying various ways to show how the two work together show that it is not obvious.)