Saturday 16 December 2017

James Downey: All the signs are there – Pope Francis could lead Catholic Reformation

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

When Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council half-a-century ago, he filled liberal Catholics with hope and enthusiasm. They looked forward to the triumph of "aggiornamento" – a bringing up to date, a coming to terms with the modern age, for the church.

Others were less pleased. Archbishop Giovanni Montini feared it would stir up a "hornets' nest". At the time, he was considered a moderniser. But when he became Pope Paul VI, he began what looked like a counter-revolution.

Since then, the Holy Roman Church has grown ever more authoritarian and intolerant, more insistent on obedience to doctrine and more narrow in its style of governance.

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