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“The Real Post-Conciliar Reforms”?

In a New Oxford Note about Vatican II titled “It Ain’t Broke, But Let’s Fix It Anyhow” (June 2004), we said: “We’d dearly like to know why it [Vatican II] was [necessary]. We can think of a few things that Vatican II did that were good and necessary — but only a few….” We then asked if anyone would like to submit a manuscript to the NOR on why Vatican II was good and necessary. In this issue, we are printing an article by John Lamont on why Vatican II was a good thing, though not a necessary thing.

Lamont’s article got us to thinking again about Vatican II and its possible achievements. In this regard, we delved into our files and came up with an article by James Hitchcock called “The Real Post-Conciliar Reforms” in Catholic Dossier (Nov.-Dec. 1997), which was published by Ignatius Press and is now defunct.

Says Hitchcock: “Given the devastation which is now apparent on all sides, it is easy to think of the pre-conciliar Church as a sinless paradise and all change as having been for the worse. But genuinely hopeful signs in the contemporary Church can best be seen by recognizing real abuses which existed in the pre-conciliar Church.” He then ticks off seven achievements of Vatican II.

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