La Croix printed this on Ecumenical Councils in a longer article I can’t access because I don’t want to spend my meager fixed income on their propaganda:
Conventional wisdom holds that it takes a century for an ecumenical council to flower and bear fruit. Altering customs and habits of thought, especially when they are linked to faith, takes a long time. Simply getting word out of a council's teaching and its implications can take decades.
Then there are people and institutions for which new directions, practices, or emphases appear as threats to ideas and practices that have taken years to master. Some people have a vested interest in preventing or holding back change.
Habits of thought that have been nurtured over a lifetime of individuals and institutions do not change easily. And so, it is not surprising that it can take a century for a council to have its full impact on the life of the Church.
My excellent commentary on the implementation of Vatican II:
To understand the meme “that it takes a century for an ecumenical council to flower and bear fruit” you have to go backwards to the early 1970’s, maybe even the late 1960’s. Back then, the implementation of Vatican II had veered off-course beginning with how the liturgy is celebrated.
My own experience of it was that our pastor tried to explain the changes were meant to make the Mass intelligible to the laity by two ways, the vernacular and simplification or shortening of the rites of the Mass. Both were meant to promote full, active and conscious participation.
To be honest with you, the initial attempts at the reform of the Mass were well received, especially the vernacular and the shortening of the Mass—keep in mind many, many pre-Vatican II Catholics preferred short Masses, like the early morning Low Mass-the shorter the better!
Problems developed because of liturgical theologians who went beyond the reforms to touch the style and reverence of the Mass and to change it into a more casual, banal experience. This led to the destruction of the beautiful interiors of churches and standing for Holy Communion and untrained laity distributing Holy Communion as though they were clergy (clericalization of the laity).
The other aspect that was well received, but often implemented in a poor way were parish or pastoral councils. These often devolved into a laity against the clergy sort of thing and focused on power—money matters, not pastoral. Or too much talk.
Another aspect of the Council was the universal call to holiness of the laity. Frankly, many Catholics were holy, but saw the clergy and laity having a special vocation to it.
A focus on social justice was and is a good thing. But Ofen it devolves into a political meme for a particular political party and often it enables poverty to continue by throwing money and services at people who are capable of finding work, hard work, to support themselves.
The greatest disaster for the Church is the loss of reverence in the Mass and the self-inflicted loss of respect for the clergy by the laity. This has led to Catholics withdrawing from the institutional Church and embracing secular ideologies in its place or joining Protestant sects that do the Protestant thing a hell of a lot better than Catholic parishes who play at being Protestant.
The 5% to 30% of those who actually attend Mass at least occasionally, a significant number of those don’t believe what the Church teaches, but they want to pray and meet friends. They don’t believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and that His one Bloody Sacrifice is made present in a glorious and unbloody way at every Mass—they have a Baptist understanding of the Mass as a symbolic Last Supper.
Ecumenical relationships have been a blessing and a curse. Some Catholics believe in universalism that you will be saved no matter what religion you choose or no religion as long as you are a good person. But being good means you can choose to abort living human beings, and flaunt any of the 10 Commandments to embrace an alien moral ideology, such as the LGBTQ+++ political agenda such as the Democratic Party promotes.
The only way to implement Vatican II by 2065 is to go back to 1965 and do it right and within continuity with what preceded—what Pope Benedict XVI desired to do.