How do you solve a problem like Vatican II?
While perhaps not as catchy as the classic Sound of Music tune, this question is far more complex than trying to marry off the future Baroness von Trapp. Catholics have been arguing over the council since before it even ended in 1965. While it was intended to usher the Church into the modern world, there’s no question that Vatican II and how to properly interpret it has been the most divisive issue in today’s Church—and the raging debate shows no signs of subsiding. Perhaps, though, it’s time to move beyond the council.
For liberal Catholics, Vatican II represented freedom; specifically, freedom from the past. Instead of being bound to the dogmas and practices of previous generations, Vatican II gave the Church the opportunity to break those shackles and build a new church for a new time. From rejecting the Church’s teaching on the immorality of artificial contraception to advocating for women priests, Catholics of a liberal persuasion essentially became Protestants, molding their own beliefs—even when in direct contradiction to previous teachings of the Church—all, of course, in the “spirit of Vatican II.”