With the announcement of an ecumenical council, the Catholic Church turned from its anti-ecumenical teachings with the Second Vatican Council (1962–65). Vatican II modernized the church in many ways, but its openness to ecumenism presented its most profound transformation. Still, what the Catholic Church meant by ecumenical included a church-led effort in order to enhance and promote Catholicism to other Christians. Accordingly, evangelicals and Mormons responded negatively to Vatican II. Evangelicals believed the council revealed the Catholic Church’s hidden ambitions to bring all Christians back under Rome’s control, but they did appreciate the council’s emphasis on the Bible as an agent of reform in the church. Mormons scoffed that Vatican II could bring about any reform for Catholicism—an impossible task, LDS officials argued, since only the restored gospel of Joseph Smith provided Christ’s plan for his one true church.
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