A wax figurine of Pope John Paul II by Roman Bajzik on display in a museum in Zavada, Slovakia. (Photo: AFP)
What's the greatest threat to the Roman Catholic Church today — a schism? Or the rise in power of fundamentalist clericalists?
José María Castillo, himself a priest, believes it's the latter. The 90-year-old Spaniard was one of the most influential theologians in Latin America and elsewhere during the first couple of decades following the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). His books, published in the dozens, were mandatory reading in many Spanish-speaking seminaries and universities immediately after the council.
Then they weren't. Not long after his election in 1978, Pope John Paul II put the brakes on the push for further ecclesial reform (as theologians like Castillo were advocating) and began his restorationist project of carefully narrowing the interpretation and application of the Vatican II documents.