When your presupposition is that the “New Springtime™” is evidenced by the complete collapse of faith in the west, logic isn’t your strong point.
Stephen Bullivant wants you to know that Vatican II (aka awesomest council evah!!) is not to blame for said collapse of the Church in the west. But before he gets to the statistics that will show you that your eyes, ears, and brains have been lying to you for 50 years, he must first congratulate himself on his lack of cynicism.
The laity did not so much “come of age” at Vatican II, a cynic might say, as pack up and leave the family home.
Fortunately, I am not a cynic. And nor, I think, need you be. Post Concilium, ergo propter Concilium – the notion that because something happened after the council it is necessarily caused by the council – is by no means so obvious as such statistics might suggest. This is so for two reasons.
I agree. He is not a cynic. He is something else entirely.
So on to his cynic busting proof. Anglicanism suffered similar problems.
The plummeting graph lines one sees from the 1960s onwards (in all areas of Church life, not just regarding identity) are not at all exclusive to Catholicism. The Church of England, for example, publishes its statistics on all manner of things: confirmations per parish, number of baptisms as a proportion of live births, total of Easter and Christmas communicants, and so on. They all show the same pattern:
So too other mainline protestant denominations.
So the Council that endeavored to make the Holy Catholic Faith and its practice as protestant as possible which then suffered the same fate as the protestants is not to blame. Not.
I am not suggesting that there were not larger societal trends at work here. Yet, Mr. Bullivant self-congratulatory anti-cynical anti-logic says nothing about the culpability of Vatican II, but it says plenty about Mr. Bullivant and other proud Pollyannas.