The Wreck of Vatican II, by Michael Pakaluk

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*Image: Merry Company on a Terrace by Jan Steen, ca. 1670 [The MET, New York]

By Michael Pakaluk, The Catholic Thing, Nov. 9, 2022

Michael Pakaluk, an Aristotle scholar and Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, is a professor in the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America. …

“With conversion comes trouble,” St. Augustine warned us.  So it shouldn’t be surprising that the major public act of self-examination by the Church – and conversion – the Second Vatican Council, immediately met with trouble, as if to defeat it almost as soon as it was finished.

Yes, it was an act of conversion.  Recall the opening lines of Lumen Gentium: the Council proposes “to unfold more fully to the faithful of the Church and to the whole world its own inner nature and universal mission.”  Why?  So that the faith might be lived with greater richness from a vibrant interior life, and in a personalistic manner, not in mere routine, conformity to external convention, or observance of law.

In the wake of the Council, then Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow Karol Wojtyla devoted his days to implementing it, guided by the question, which he took as key: Ecclesia, quid dicis de te ipsa? (“Church, what account do you give of yourself?” …

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