Time is running out. I only have childhood experiences of the Catholic Church prior to Vatican II. But there are older Catholics out there, especially former nuns and priests who have first hand experience as adults of what the pre-Vatican II Church was like, both the good things and not so good things and they need to be interviewed. So do lay Catholics of this age.
Then we need to know how the rapid, overnight, changes in the Church (which, yes I know reflect the rapid major sociological changes in the secular world concerning institutions and political leaders and human sexuality) affected the Church in both positive and negative ways.
I have my own anecdotal reflections as a child, teenager and then as an adult in a very liberal 1970's seminary and I have friends who have had similar experiences as I in different parts of the country and in different seminaries.
My perceptions and then actual first hand experiences as an adult:
1. As a child, I saw the Church as a child, strict, uncompromising and disciplined. Clergy and religious were placed on pedestals because from the layperson's point of view they lived completely different lives that entailed so much discipline, sacrifice and prayer. I also know, that as a child, religious life very strict and different from the lay person's life but in our actual interactions with nuns (my experience as I did not know brothers) there were nice nuns, mean nuns and indifferent nuns. There were happy nuns, depressed nuns and sick nuns (physically and mentally). But there was discipline to keep order in religious life despite the good, bad and ugly.
2. After Vatican II, the discipline disappeared overnight and recklessly and so did the visible signs of sacrifice, meaning the nuns I knew removed their habit and wore secular clothes, some left relgious life to marry priests and other men in the transition, and others moved into apartments, wore make-up and drove nicer cars than my father owned. And they seem to make a complete flip flop not only in their way of life but what they believed and political issues seem to be more important that Church teaching and an other-worldly lifestyle.
3. There was liturgical chaos and silliness in my parish and other parishes and a lot of discontent and polarization in the laity about the changes, some hating it, some indifferent and others loving it and wanting the Church to go beyond the strictness of the pre-Vatican II Church in all things.
Yes, pre-Vatican II Catholics who accepted its asceticism, strictness and discipline with a uniform Latin Liturgy, nuns and brothers in habits, priests in cassocks or clerical clothes, believed they had to accept it because the Church simply did not change, now realized after Vatican II everything and everything could change and one could live one's life with reckless abandon and not feel guilty about it but find support for immorality from the clergy and laity, a heavy yoke or burden had been cast off by Vatican II and individualism and make it up as you go reigned and all based on self-fulfillment and actualization.
Yes, the yoke of discipline, strictness, sacrifice and an otherworldly lifestyle collapsed over night and those who did not have personal freedoms in the pre-VAtican II CHurch but joined that lifestyle nonetheless and sometimes as young as 13, knew what they were joining because that was the way it was. But after Vatican II these same people now saw they could have their cake and eat it too and live like anyone else in the world in that period of time but use the respect, love and support that lay Catholics had of them prior to their new found freedoms and reckless abandon.
4. I do know as an adult in the 1970's seminary that my particular seminary was completely different in 1976 than what it was in 1968. 1968 was the last year of strict discipline, sacrifice and obedience demanded by the rector and faculty, a long tradition for that seminary going back to the 1700's so much so that the Navel Academy in Annapolis modeled its discipline on my seminary's discipline.
5. Bishops lowered their standards for seminary candidates by 1976 and those priests formed in the strict seminary prior to 1968 did not know how to cope with new freedoms as supposed celibates and when rules were relaxed they lived an adolescent lifestyle. So yes, a strict seminary or religious order creates problems when their discipline and sacrifice are thrown out the window for ill-prepared priests and nuns.
We need to know what happened in the post-Vatican II CHurch compared to the pre-Vatican II Church. That is the root of the current crisis in the Church, a complete disregard for the discipline, structure, sacrifice, asceticism of one era for the mirror opposite of the post Vatican II era.