Everyone remembers the destitute attitude consuming the United States immediately before the election of Reagan in November of 1979. For those too young to remember, it was the perfect embodiment of the ‘END’ of Western Civilization.
Jimmy Carter became like Pope Paul VI, who died in August of 1978; he was elected 50 years ago this month.
Why is he important?
Because if you wish to discern the hinge from where, from whom the Church took its bearings as it sought to encounter the life of man after the Second Vatican Council; if you wish to know where to begin dissecting the corpse of the Church in its inability to manage itself after defeating a Satanic foe (militant Marxism), then you look to managerial style of Pope Paul VI.
Sadly, it is only in retrospect of a half century, that we can discern how the troubled pontificate of Paul VI, specifically his views of ecclesiology (the role of the Church in the world), is the hinge upon which the Church has floundered.
Pope Paul VI brought the Council to a close, he NEVER embodied, nor enforced GOVERNING NORMS providing authentic interpretation of the Councils accomplishments.
Why/How is this significant?
It is this 13 year lacuna that shipwrecked the Church as it engaged a post-modern world.
Why did the “wheels fly off” the Church in the proceeding decades. Look there and you’ll find plenty. More specifically, amid cultural confusion, Pope Paul VI tried yet failed to craft an exercise of the papacy adequate to the Church’s reformed self-understanding as a communion of disciples in mission.
He dismantled the Curia and ushered in massive changes to liturgy without viewing its impact on inculturation.
Given an education informed by Scholastic Thomism left him unable to confront the impact overt juridical language had on characterizing moral norms in light of oral contraception. Consequently, his defense of moral norms fell on deaf ears.
By favoring Bishops who embodied the political and social liberal authoritarianism of first world nation states, he left many indigenous countries whose intrinsic social, political trajectory different from first world countries, at a deep loss.
THIS managerial style, specifically its ecclesial limitations would only become apparent later in the final years of John Paul II.
Read Peter Drucker or Arnold Toynbee to discover the field of intelligibility discerning identity moratorium on large monolithic institutions.