John W. O’malley recounts a pivotal moment in Catholic Church history
John L. Allen Jr.
What Happened at Vatican II
by S. J. O'Malley, John W.
$29.95 List Price
One might say that the Second Vatican Council (1962–65), a massive gathering of bishops from around the world that launched the Catholic Church on a course of modernization and reform, was for Catholicism what the civil rights movement was for American politics. Enormously controversial at the time, both have since been reimagined as shining moments in recent history.
Beyond that lip service paid to the past, however, lurk unresolved conflicts that often define the battles of the present. For example, virtually all Americans now invoke the ideal of equality before the law, but they’re deeply divided over how to apply it to matters such as immigration and affirmative action. In a similar vein, most Catholics say they embrace Vatican II’s calls for lay empowerment and a dialogue with the world, but they wage
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