Following upon the sloppy reporting, once again by the Associated Press, as well as some others, virulent seeds of division have been sown in the Christian world, totally without necessity, it seems almost with malice (although the true cause is probably carelessness). Pope Benedict has been accused of turning back the clock on Vatican II (1962-65), regarding that Council’s teaching on the meaning of the “Church.”
In actual fact, the new document from the Vatican, more precisely the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the American William Cardinal Levada, is quite short, not quite ten paragraphs long. It is also quite calm and reasoned in tone. It takes the form of asking 5 brief questions about how Vatican II used the term “Church.” There is really nothing new here. These questions have been asked and debated for at least thirty years now. It is simply a clear exposition, in a realm in which for some years not a few have been seeding low-lying clouds with confusion.
See for yourself. Here is the very short text.