For others, on the liberal side of the Church, he embodied a fortress under siege, reversing the freedoms won as a result of the Second Vatican Council when a new generation of Catholics around the world warmed to the ideal of a truly people's Church in touch with the political and social demands of the modern age.From the (Minneapolis) StarTribune:
But a man raised under the tyranny of Nazi and Soviet invaders did not liberalize the church. Indeed, he insisted on bishops who were theological clones of himself. Orthodoxy was compelled, and the generous spirit of John XXIII snuffed out...What idiocy! As I wrote in a letter to the Star Tribune, if they want the Pope to allow abortion, homosexuality, contraception, divorce, women priests and all the other sexually related things, then we will look like the world and the Church's existence goes out the window.
Yet he was deeply suspicious of the liberation theology preached by Latin American Catholics. He was unpredictable in reconciliation dialogues with the church's Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox cousins.
Of course, that's probably what they're thinking they're hoping for. However, if the Church were to acquiese and stop being the world's conscience, I think there would be grave disappointment on the part of the world's peoples.
Imagine if Thomas More had yielded to Henry and shown up at his wedding to Anne Boleyn. Henry would have been thrilled -- for a while. But that thrill would have worn off because his respect for Thomas would have gone to nothing as Thomas would have abandoned the truth for the convenience of peace and Henry would have known it in his conscience.
The same is true for the world. If the Church were to suddenly allow for anything or in any way relax the moral standards which she holds out as true and natural for all humanity, there would literally be no one left to guide the world.