Reforming the Vatican II Reforms: More on Benedict's Vision

A very intriguing piece by Politico’s David Gibson in the Washington Post Sunday Outlook section claims, much as I argued in a column back in August (but in greater depth), that Pope Benedict XVI is engaged in a sweeping campaign to remake the church. In large part what he’s trying to do is to roll back some of the reforms of Vatican II and make Catholicism what it once was, at least as he remembers it.

Gibson sees the latest big-ticket change, inviting conservative Anglicans and Episcopalians into the Catholic church, as part of his overall strategy. It’s frankly a bit hard to see this particular reform as conservative; after all, he’s letting Anglican priests join with their wives, which theoretically opens the door to letting other priests marry. The bottom line, though, seems to be shoring up the church’s conservative wing by bringing in a whole new constituency. Some of the other changes we’ve noted, including the restoration in various places of prayers for conversion of the Jews, are part of this overall Ratzinger plan, Gibson writes. Worth a look.

Written by

J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg

Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg is editor-at-large of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).

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