US Catholic Faith in Real Life

A Jewish take on Jesus: Amy-Jill Levine talks the gospels

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Jesus was smack in the middle of the Jewish tradition of his time. Remembering that can make you a better Christian, says this Jewish scholar of the New Testament.

Considering Christian-Muslim encounters

By Michael L. Fitzgerald | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Fifty years after the game-changing Second Vatican Council a new generation helps the church respond to today’s signs of the times. Here, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald considers the importance of Christian-Muslim encounters.

Read more scholars on today's signs of the times.

Principle:


Vatican 2.0: A look ahead to the next 50 years

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Fifty years after the game-changing council a new generation helps the church respond to today’s signs of the times.

Rather than taking another nostalgic look back at the Second Vatican Council, the editors of U.S. Catholic decided to mark this month’s 50th anniversary of its opening by inviting some of today’s leading thinkers in the church to sketch out principles that might guide the people of God in responding to several new signs of the times.


The church after the council

By Karl Rahner, S.J. | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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In this article in the November 1966 issue of U.S. Catholic, German Jesuit Father Karl Rahner, one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the 20th century, writes about what Catholics should do to make church renewal in the wake of the Second Vatican Council more than a promise.


Have Vatican II’s teachings been fully received?

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The vision of the Second Vatican Council was broad and ambitious. In this Glad You Asked from the U.S. Catholic archives, Lawrence Cunningham give a progress report on the council’s reforms and renewal.


Is the Mass still celebrated as a sacrifice?

By Joel Schorn | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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A few years ago the Vatican issued a revised version of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the “guidebook” for how to celebrate the Mass. The cover of the document’s American edition showed a part of Jan and Hubert Van Eyck’s magnificent 1432 altarpiece painting The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.


General principles of Vatican II

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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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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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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."


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