April 30

Regarding the April 26 front-page article “The fast track to sainthood”:

It is a great irony that the just-canonized, truly saintly Pope John XXIII did a great deal of harm to the Roman Catholic Church when, with the very best of intentions, he called for a Vatican Council to convene in the 1960s. His intention was to open the windows of the church to the world. As noted papal biographer George Weigel cogently noted, those windows were opened “when the world was passing through a tunnel filled with poisonous gases.”

The session was hijacked by the rebellious and spurious spirit of Vatican II, which set about creating a reformation that resembled the 16th-century Reformation, except it was to “reform” the church from within, not to rival it, as in that earlier effort. In Catholic churches everywhere, most everything Catholic was removed. The beautiful old Mass was streamlined and is no longer in Latin. As a result, church attendance plummeted, as did vocations to become priests and nuns. Many Catholics attend Mass only seldomly, if they go at all.

William Lloyd Stearman, North Bethesda