Evangelica Testificatio, of Pope Paul VI, "on the renewal of Religious Life according to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council":
Certainly many exterior elements, recommended by founders of orders or religious congregations are seen today to be outmoded. Various encumbrances or rigid forms accumulated over the centuries need to be curtailed. Adaptations must be made. New forms can even be sought and instituted with the approval of the Church. For some years now the greater part of religious institutes have been generously dedicating themselves to the attainment of this goal, experimenting—sometimes too hardily—with new types of constitutions and rules. We know well and We are following with attention this effort at renewal which was desired by the Council.
In 1971, Pope Paul VI already knew of the high flames that the Council had ignited - in religious life perhaps more strongly than elsewhere. Exactly one year after this exhortation, he would pronounce his famous words, that it seemed that "through some opening, the smoke of Satan had entered the temple of God". And yet, he persisted in the renewal... Maybe the Council would have been a good wine after all - but the Lord never said that the old bottles should be thrown away: "no man putteth new wine into old bottles: otherwise the wine will burst the bottles, and both the wine will be spilled, and the bottles will be lost"...
[Image source: La Cigüeña, as part of a series on the declining number of women religious.]