A shrewd, candid, wonderfully written insider's account of what actually happened at the Second Vatican Council, the decisive turning point in the history of modern Catholicism. The original version of these stories appeared as a series in "The New Yorker," and brought smiles to the faces and hope to the hearts of thoughtful Catholics all over the country and beyond. The desperate, dishonest, and sneering comments by industrious Catholic rightists, still huffing and puffing about the 1960s, the decade of Vatican II, the Civil Rights movement, the Catholic Peace movement, the efforts to re-energize movements to care about poor people, to secure the rights of women, and to take responsibility for the endangered natural environment, tell you all you will ever need to know about their version of Jesus' "Love one another...." This particular sect of reactionary Catholics has been spewing contempt on democratic values since the late 18th century, while cozzying up to a long line of corrupt aristocrats, fascists, megalomaniacs, and cynical thugs. Being honest about history is the path with heart for Catholics today. Just telling the truth will re-activate the long-stalled renewal of our church. Trust Paul Lakeland, a distinguished Catholic theologian, and trust what the Holy Spirit is accomplishing even in these sad and painful times. And meanwhile--enjoy this terrific, heartening book.
This book is simply a classic, written by a man who was present in Rome throughout the council and had unparalleled connections. The liberal/conservative story of the Council, like it or not, is the true story of the Council, and Rynne was right that at the time the liberals won the day. Of course they did. Otherwise, how explain the strength of the later Curia-driven backlash and the restorationism that has afflicted the Church for the last 25 years? Subsequent attempts to present it differently skew the truth. This is the truth about the Council, even if it doesn't say the last word about its subsequent fortunes. And it is damn well written!