Though it must be a plain statement for native English speakers, the captioned line in the Time magazine’s (February 25 – though a pretty belated subject) article titled “The Second Act” - http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2136322,00.html - puzzled me:
“Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, has worked in South America and is now ensconced in Rome as head of the extremely influential Congregation of Bishops, --. The Pope (Benedict) also made him president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. Like Benedict, Ouellet believes that the conclusions of the Second Vatican Council of 1962--65 were given too liberal a reading by many Catholics. However, he keeps a very low profile and is not particularly magnetic.
What does “The conclusions of the Second Vatican Council were given too liberal a reading by many Catholics” mean? Is this a clear-cut sentence to all Anglophones?
Is it mandatory to place the article (a) immediate before the noun / gerund (reading) as “too liberal a reading (by many Catholics)? If I take this line as “The conclusions of the Second Vatican Council were interpreted in a too liberal way by many Catholics,” am I making an egregious mistake?