It didn’t happen gradually over the last forty years–it didn’t even take 10 years. It happened virtually overnight
. . .These dissidents couldn’t possibily have simply sprung up like weeds. There must have been decades behind this rise in liberalism.
Well, which is it?
Both, Peregrinus. Let me give you an illustration that might explain it.
I have just finished listening to a marvellous audio book called “Krakatoa: the day the world exploded”, read by the author, Simon Winchester. In it, he explains how the famous volcano was really a kind of geological time bomb, with immense pressures building up under the sea bed that eventually exploded in the most violent eruption in recorded history.
I believe that what the TIME journalist was describing was just such an “eruption” of built up pressure. In other words, although the visible and recorded rise in the level of rebellion and dissedence in the Church was literally a sudden explosion, the explosion had a long history. To be over simplistic, in Vatican II the Church Fathers opened a valve, in Humanae Vitae Paul VI tried to put the lid back on. But the pressure was too great. It blew itself to pieces.
That might be over dramatic. In any case, to continue the metaphor, today we have only the smouldering ruins of the great volcano of 1960’s dissent. It’s still active, and can be dangerous, but is probably on its way to extinction. Nevertheless, as Winchester describes in his books, volcanoes have a way of being reborn, not always in the same location, but always due to the shifting tectonic plates of the earth. Nothing is fixed in concrete, and every age will have its “Krakatoa’s”.
I’m not sure where this analogy is leading me, so I think I will leave it there…