The Second Vatican Council, called by St. Jean xxii as a pastoral council of renewal has had, in the decades since, enormous unintended consequences: in liturgical life, the poverty of new church designs, the abandonment by many religious orders of the charism of their founders/foundresses, religious habits, common life, lack of vocations, aging of their members.
Yet the newer orders are vibrant, adhere to common life, religious habit and have lots of vocations.
The decimation of thousands of parishes and many dioceses, primarily because of the seemingly unending scandal of priestly sins of abuse against the innocent, is exacerbated by people leaving in droves because they are not being fed from the pulpit as they hunger for.
St. John Paul ii, tried to call religious back to wearing their habits, being faithful to the original charism of their founders and was, in one egregious example, for doing so, publicly chastised by a nun, in front of television cameras, while on a pastoral visit to the United States.
Around the streets of the city in which I live Muslim men in traditional garb and the long dress veiled women are visible.
Priests, religious men and women are not visible because the women, wearing make-up and jewelry, the priests wearing business suits or casual attire are indistinguishable from the secular world.
So-called Catholic schools in many countries have been secularized and the teachers ignore the wishes of the parents, in violation of the Charter of Rights of the Family and ignore the bishops and priests as well.
The Third Vatican Council should hold sessions on each of the above and other issues or in the famous phrase of Pope Francis asserting the Church should be a field hospital soon there will be no one to staff it and, like as not, the field hospital itself will look like any tent put in place by the UN or the Red Cross.
If we love the Church, if we love humanity, if we want the Church to be visible, we should become active participants in a renewal of the Church, a restoration of holiness, starting in our own lives, families, parishes, dioceses, religious orders.
That is the first and necessary step towards restoration/renewal of the holiness of the Church and truly building the field hospital the human family desperately needs.
We will only take the journey, restore a holy and visible Church, if we constantly ask the Holy Trinity for the needed grace and Mary, Mother of the Church, to take us by the hand and lead us.
© 2018 Fr. Arthur Joseph