Given that the Bible, written by God, is open to misinterpretation--witness the whole Protestant phenomena where good God loving people belonging to different Protestant denominations interpret the Bible in very different ways-- it's not shocking that human documents, like those of the Council, can be misinterpreted.
We also know that even carefully written documents can be interpreted in multiple ways based on experience with contracts and laws--which is why so many lawyers are so rich.
Those liberals aided their cause by acting as if everything the Church had taught before, which the Council felt no need to repeat, had been mysteriously destroyed.
But when the Council's words were so clear that they were not easily misinterpretable the liberals invoked the "spirit" of Vatican II. In the minds of liberals the "spirit" of Vatican II was what the Council really intended to do even though the Council never did it.
Essentially the "spirit" of Vatican II was liberal Catholics acting like Protestants and declaring that they, the liberal Catholics, had the authority to define Church teaching.
We see the same thing in how the media and liberal Catholics are trying to reimage Pope Francis.
The Pope says that it's not his to judge a man who sinned, by homosexual relations, decades ago but since then has lived a chaste life.
The first thing to note is that God clearly calls on us to judge actions not people, judging people is God's prerogative not ours.
The second thing is that not judging a sinner is not saying that their sins are not bad. When the Pope says that so called same sex marriage is from the devil it takes a lot of "spirit" to declare that when the Pope refuses to judge a person suffering from same sex attraction who slipped up decades ago the Pope is saying that living an active homosexual lifestyle is ok.
Even the "harsh", in the mind of hedonists, Pope Benedict XVI said that suffering from same sex attraction is not itself sinful in any way.
Additionally it's important to keep in mind that Pope Francis is not Cardinal Dolan. Until very recently the Popes experience has been formed by what he saw in a country where the majority of people are Catholic and where the relationship between the Church and society are very different than they are in the US.
Hence when the Pope says we should avoid condemning sins all the time he's speaking from his experiences in a country where unwed mothers have a problem finding a priest to Baptize their daughters not a country, which Dolan is familiar with, where "Catholic" politicians openly push abortion and the oppression of the Church via the HHS mandate and yet hardly any Bishops or priests condemn them.
But by effectively invoking the "spirit" of Pope Francis--by interpreting what the Pope says as though it comes from a vacuum where the teachings of the Church don't exist-- liberals claim to know that the Pope is throwing off the 2000 year old teachings of the Church. As with Vatican II what's really happening is that liberal Catholics are going all Protestant on us but unlike the original Protestants--who had the honesty to admit they were no longer Catholic--liberals want to pretend that they can define Church doctrine.