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The Catholic RevolutionNew  Wine, Old Wineskins, and the Second Vatican Council$
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Andrew Greeley

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520238176

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520238176.001.0001

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(p.191) Conclusion
The Catholic Revolution

Andrew Greeley

Paul Wink

University of California Press

The Catholic Revolution began on October 13, 1962. After the free vote for the Members of the Commissions, the Council Fathers began to realize that they could overcome the entrenched power of the Roman Curia and that they could change the Church in certain important areas like liturgy, ecumenism, the interpretation of scripture, attitudes towards Jews, and religious freedom. With the realization that they had the power to remake the Church, the bishops were swept by ecstasy, effervescence, and an extended moment of collective behavior. They challenged not the authority of the Pope but the power of the Roman Curia because they did not intend to intrude into fundamental doctrines of God, Jesus, Trinity, Eucharist, and life after death. They also did not make any judgments about matters such as birth control, divorce, or masturbation and said nothing of marriage of priests or ordination of women. Yet in fact they did destabilize many of the structures of nineteenth-century Catholicism. In the three decades since the Revolution, the conflict has continued between the leadership which orders, and lower clergy and the laity, which do not in general accept the right of the leadership to give orders on certain issues.

Keywords:   Catholic Revolution, Council Fathers, Roman Curia, nineteenth-century Catholicism, lower clergy, the laity

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