With Vatican II, the Catholic Church sent out the message that it was part of the modern world, said Thomas Ryan, director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry. “Not against, not above, not apart, but in the modern world,” he said. “The church sought to engage, not condemn.”
The council documents say there must be a conversation between the church and the world, Aymond said. “The church, by its teaching and by its discipleship, has something to say to the world. At the same time, the world is saying something to the church. It’s saying some good things, I think, about globalization and the environment, respecting people of all genders and classes and cultures and languages.
“We can’t just say we’re not going to be involved in these conversations. As the church, we have to be in conversation with others who agree and disagree with us.”