General principles of Vatican II

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Article Scripture and Theology

The church is a mystery, or sacrament, and not primarily a means of salvation.

The church is the whole People of God, not just the hierarchy.

The whole People of God participates in the mission of Christ, and not just in the mission of the hierarchy.

The mission of the church includes service to those in need, and not just the preaching of the Gospel or the celebration of the sacraments.

The church is truly present at the local level as well as at the universal level. A diocese or parish is not just an administrative division of the church universal.


Major Documents of Vatican II

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Article Scripture and Theology

1. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium): The church is a mystery, or sacrament, the whole People of God, in whose service the hierarchy is placed. The authority of pope and bishops is to be exercised as a service and in a collegial mode. Bishops are not simply the vicars of the pope, and the laity participate fully and directly in the church's mission.


Major Documents of Vatican II

Online Editor| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

1. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium): The church is a mystery, or sacrament, the whole People of God, in whose service the hierarchy is placed. The authority of pope and bishops is to be exercised as a service and in a collegial mode. Bishops are not simply the vicars of the pope, and the laity participate fully and directly in the church's mission.


Signs of the Times: A timeline of Vatican II

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Article Scripture and Theology

1959

January 25 - After celebrating a Mass for Christian unity, Pope John XXIII announces his intention to call the 21st ecumenical councilor of the Roman Catholic Church. John envisioned the council as "an invitation to the separate [religious] communities to seek unity, for that is what many souls long for."


Signs of the Times: A timeline of Vatican II

Online Editor| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

1959

January 25 - After celebrating a Mass for Christian unity, Pope John XXIII announces his intention to call the 21st ecumenical councilor of the Roman Catholic Church. John envisioned the council as "an invitation to the separate [religious] communities to seek unity, for that is what many souls long for."


Eight Americans’ eye-witness reports from Vatican II

By Jim Castelli| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

The Second Vatican Council, which opened on October 11, 1962 and concluded on December 8, 1965, was the central event of Catholic life in the 20th century. Pope John XXIII called for the council to "open the windows" in the church to the world. John said he called the council to renew "ourselves and the flocks committed to us, so that there may radiate before all men the lovable features of Jesus Christ, who shines in our hearts that God's splendor may be revealed."


Vatican II today: Two schools of thought.

By Paul Boudreau| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

Imagine a television commercial for Vatican II: Hundreds of bishops are gathered in a local beer joint. One prelate lifts his frothy stein in a toast. “Vatican II,” he intones solemnly. The episcopal assemblage is divided into two groups, one on the right and the other on the left. But instead of responding with shouts of “Less filling!” from one side and “Tastes great!” from the other, they raise their glasses to cries of “Aggiornamento!” and “Ressourcement!”

Just as Miller Lite had two drinking experiences to recommend it, the spirit of Vatican II came in two flavors.


Vatican II at 50: A look back at its highlights

By Paul Boudreau| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
In our December 2005 issue, Paul Boudreau reflected on the 40th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of its opening this year, Boudreau takes a fresh look back at the important moments from Vatican II.

Vatican II at 50: A look back at its highlights

By Paul Boudreau| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
In our December 2005 issue, Paul Boudreau reflected on the 40th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of its opening this year, Boudreau takes a fresh look back at the important moments from Vatican II.

Like a good neighbor: The lessons of the Good Samaritan

By Paul Lakeland| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology Spirituality
The Good Samaritan points the way to a humbler, holier church.

We need more humility in the church today. It is a sad truth that these days we live in a divided church, as we do in our society in general, where deep differences prevent people of the same faith from talking to one another or even worshiping together.


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