John L. Allen Jr.: How on Saturday, Pope Francis gave us his bottom line on Vatican II

(Crux) To be honest, I feel a bit sleazy devoting this column to the latest turning point in the Pope Francis era over power in the Church, when, at the moment, the pontiff is otherwise occupied in Colombia – desperately trying to help that country put an end to, and recover from, its long-running and bloody civil war.

That’s a conflict which has torn families apart for generations, scarred whole regions of the country seemingly forever, and cost an estimated 220,000 people their lives. In context, who’s up and down in Rome just doesn’t seem to rate.

Still, for anyone familiar with the history of Catholicism since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), something momentous happened on Saturday, and its significance will reverberate long after Francis returns to the Eternal City. (Where, as it turns out, things aren’t quite as “eternal” as they sometimes seem.)

While the pontiff was on the road, the Vatican released a new motu proprio from him, meaning a legal document issued under his personal authority, amending canon 838 of the Code of Canon Law. [More]