...a lot of von Balthasar over the past few days. Also de Lubac. You can see how both influenced the thinking of Ratzinger the theologian - and how this has enriched us all.
Over the past months I've come to realise how my understanding of the Second Vatican Council has changed. For years I was told that this Council was simply dreadful, should never have happened, was nothing but a disaster, carried no real authority, should be dismissed as history. I don't mean that I neccesarily believed that, or that the people who said these things were the best and wisest people I knew - on the contrary, they were often belligerent and ill-informed: but as a Catholic journalist I lived with the fact that this was a consistent noise that framed the whole debate about Vatican II and helped to dictate its terms. It made it difficult to see the subject in perspective or to work up much enthusiasm for studying the Council's documents. Now I have done so, and also studied much of the material that influenced those who spoke there and who worked there - and it is all much richer and more beautiful and important than I had been led to believe.