A review of “Reconsidering Vatican II” by Michael Novak has led me to believe that the author was originally from the progressive camp at the time of the “event” of Vatican II and with time and reflection firmly can to a reformist camp position. On the one hand, he acknowledges great gains and insights regarding ecumenical issues and impact on relations with nations, eastern churches, and Jewish peoples. On the other hand, he clearly depicts the devastating impact on religious orders that he attributes to the progressive expansion of Vatican II that bought the religious orders to a place of meaninglessness, disconnected from the church. I see it as a laissez faire religiosity that unchecked, like capitalism, leads to dissolution of the main purpose of what the “system” or “institution is there for in the first place: to improve “authentic universal humanism.” The unity of progressive and traditional paradigms is required for true pursuit of the divine nature of the church.
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