I want to begin by mentioning two major developments in the history of the Catholic Church in modern times.
- The first is the remarkable change in our Catholic understanding, stemming from the decree Nostra Aetate of the Second Vatican Council.
- The second is Pope John Paul II’s call for a confession of the sins of Catholics through the centuries, particularly sins against unity and sins of violence.
Both of these changes are epoch-making developments of a significance that it is hard to exaggerate. Both will take generations for the Church to penetrate fully their significance.