In Modern Catholicism: Vatican II and After, edited by Adrian Hastings, Enda McDonagh writes the following about Gaudium et Spes:
. . . the Council endorsed a document unprecedented in conciliar history and quite radical in Church history. Its unprecedented character derived from the pastoral concerns of the Council as originally conceived by John XXIII. Its openness to the world of its time built on social and other encyclicals, various episcopal and lay initiatives and on the pioneering theological work of Chenu, Congar, Rahner and many others. In the face of the flat rejection of the ‘modern world’ by Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors just a century before its continuing influence to the very eve of the Council, the Council’s shift in perspective may well be describes as revolutionary. It was certainly profoundly liberating. . . .
The second limitation must be the absence of the cross from the gospel reflections: social sin, mass oppression, a sheer conspiracy of evil needed to explain so much of human history, all that is largely absent. The world it portrays is one needing development rather than liberation. It is one whose problems seem rather easily resolvable with a bit of goodwill and a renewal of Christian idealism. And this from a dominantly European-American gathering whose members had been through two world wars in this century and still had to live with the responsibility of the Holocaust. The sense of the tragic is largely missing from its world-view as the cross is from its theology.
There are limitations and confusions too in its understanding of the way Christ related to the world, because it concentrates on the mediating symbol of the Church and largely ignores that of the Kingdom. Any attempt to discuss the Church in the world without spelling out the Church’s role in discerning, promoting and realizing the Kingdom in the world is bound to be limited and frustrated. . . (96, 110-111)
And they keep saying that Rome doesn’t change.