The Second Vatican Council, which ended thirty-five years ago, promised so much: a new vision of a reformed Church aware of its social, theological and ecumenical responsibilities; a truly conciliar Church with collegial structures. However, this vision seems to have evaporated and many of the promised reforms have been truncated or have not happened at all. The Vatican remains intensely bureaucratic. Theologians are silenced and the effect of clerical scandal seems to have led Church leaders to dig in and see the deposit of faith as something static. Once again the Church believes it has a monopoly on the truth and millions of people feel marginalized and excluded.
Britain's long-established Catholic weekly, The Tablet, has fought for the spirit and values of Vatican II in a way that no other journal has done. It has criticised the Church (Humanae Vitae) and has condemned corruption, but has also supported the Church where it has been right to do so. These essays come from a truly international cast of contributors who cover the Church of Vatican II but above all give us prophesy of where this vision may still lead the Church and the people of God. This is a Church semper reformanda.