Sunday, October 14, 2012

‘Church failed to implement Vatican II reforms'

‘Church failed to implement reformist recommendations’
Monday, September 24, 2012 AT 12:05 PM (IST)
‘Time’ magazine reporter who covered Vatican II council speaks up
PUNE: The Catholic Church which will soon launch the golden jubilee year celebration of the Vatican II Council has failed to implement many reformist recommendations of this historic conference including birth control measures and democratic church issues, former 'Time' magazine reporter Robert Kaiser has said.
The US-based Kaiser (82) who covered the four-year-long deliberations of the Vatican II Council in 1960s for the 'Time' magazine is presently on India tour to deliver talks at various Catholic institutions on the present relevance of the historic Church meet.
Kaiser was a 'Time' magazine reporter from 1961 to 1966, served as reporter of 'New York Times' from 1979 to 1981 and as 'Newsweek' reporter from 1999 to 2005.
Speaking to Sakal Times here on Sunday, Kaiser said that the Vatican II Council which took place from October 11, 1962 to December 8, 1965 was convened to usher in revolutionary reforms in the Church.
While the Church succeeded in replacing Latin with the local language in prayers and liturgy and in introducing inculturation to end its image as a colonial church, it has not taken steps to end its rigid hierarchical structure, the journalist-author said.
Not withstanding the dictum 'People are the Church', the clergy - priests, bishops and cardinals - are held accountable only to the pope and not to the faithful, lamented Kaiser.
“The Church must change as per the times or else it would soon turn into a museum,” he warned.
Kaiser said that the Church's opposition to contraception is not realistic as 95 per cent of the faithfuls see nothing immoral in family control measures.
Recalling his experiences of covering the Vatican Council II deliberations five decades earlier, Kaiser said that he was immensely helped by Thomas Roberts who was archbishop of Mumbai from 1937 to 1950.
“The archbishop who stayed as a guest in my house for two years during the Vatican II proceedings would pass on many confidential Latin documents to me and this helped to cover the deliberations extensively for the 'Time' magazine,” Kaiser said.
The Church scholar delivered two lectures on the various aspects of the Vatican II Council at the Jnana- Deepa Vidyapeeth campus in the city on Sunday.