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Former Abbot: Paul VI undermined Vatican II

 |  NCR Today

In a talk delivered at a Spanish theological congress in early September, an Italian former Benedictine abbot said problems with implementing Vatican II began with Pope Paul VI.

It was he, said Giovanni Franzoni, who intervened at critical moments during the council to dilute various council documents, resulting in ambivalent interpretations and contradiction as to their true meaning.

Franzoni, who attended the council, said, "In many places...it is said that John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger ... were the ones who put a stop to the post-conciliar ferment, imposing a restrictive, minimalist interpretation of Vatican II. However, in my opinion ... Paul VI set the premises so that the Council could be, at least in part, 'tamed' and the post-conciliar period 'cooled down.'"

Yet, Franzoni insisted he has confidence in the church's future: "If the world is so bad, could the church be in good condition? … In a world overflowing with tares and weeds, here and there, thank God, the golden grain ripens. It ripens wherever men and women strive for peace, justice, and the safeguarding of creation, wherever they become Samaritans to help the unknown brother who falls victim to bandits."

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