As a result of Vatican II, the Catholic Church opened its windows onto the modern world, updated the liturgy, gave a larger role to lay people, introduced the concept of religious freedom and started a dialogue with other religions.
"It was a time of a new hope, when everybody was proud that we are able to convoke such a council and having a real renewal of the Catholic Church," says Hans Kung, who was the youngest theologian at Vatican II.
But the changes provoked a backlash, and many Catholics today say the council's renewal momentum has been stopped in its tracks.
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