While I am not a great fan of Remnant Magazine, they have a column that addresses something I have been thinking about for some time. Did Vatican II fulfill its goals? Basically, the goals were reform and renewal. While things were changed, were they truly reformed, or just changed. Was the Church tired and worn out and in need of renewal, or were the theologians just tired and worn out.
The Remnant lists the goals as follows:
According to the decree Pesbyterorum Ordinis: 12, the Council had three principle goals:
- internal renovation of the Church;
- spreading the Gospel in the world;
- dialog with the world.
Pope Paul VI later stated there were four goals:
- self examination that would enable the Church to discover what “she thinks of herself;”
- the reunification of Christianity;
- “building a bridge” to the contemporary world.
For me, at the time, Vatican II was a “solution” in search of a “problem”. For years the liberal theologians had been decrying the problems they perceived in the Church. Yet, for most of us in the pews though, things were going very well. The Churches were full, our families were and continued to be fully Catholic. Some priests were agitating for change, but most seemed happy to be orthodox and secure in their faith. Seminaries and Convents were full with new vocations. My diocese in Oklahoma had just finished building a seminary to handle the great numbers of vocations to the priesthood.
I understand the world was changing, and it is possible the Church may have had people and priests leaving in droves even if Vatican II had never occurred, but I can’t think of any other institution that has suffered as much or as long as my Church has.
I am interested if other people have this nagging feeling that Vatican II caused more problems than it solved. Did Vatican II fulfill its goals, or fail?