The phrase seems to be fading into the fog of history.
When have you heard this cliche last?
Doing things in "...the spirit of Vatican II..." has been exposed for what it was, cover for those in the Church who wanted to force their opinions and judgments on those who simply didn't know any better, mostly because of their faithful reliance on their spiritual leaders.
But, thanks to our Holy Father, not many are buying it any longer. The "spirit of Vatican II" approach has been a documented misfortune for the Church with sour fruits that are well-known to readers of this blog. A new phrase heard more and more these days is...the spirit of "reform of the reform...".
Thank goodness we no longer pick up our Catholic Key and see articles and commentaries that flirted with heresy and denial of dogma of the Church excused in terms of the "...spirit of Vatican II". The natural course of life toward death is slowly lessening of the influence of those self-appointed "spirits of Vatican II" that have haunted the Church for over four decades.