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Vatican II

Ten Achievements of Vatican II,                                                                                                                                               Extract from  Berard Doerger, OFM. American (full article here)


How do we assess the impact of the Council? I’d like to propose 10 remarkable achievements. These I consider the most important and lasting fruits of Vatican II.

  1. Renewing the liturgy. The Council’s call for renewal included the Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, sacraments, and the liturgical year. This liturgical renewal emphasized the Mass as the prayer and sacrifice of priest and people united in Christ, the call to active and intelligent participation by the whole body of Christ, and openness to incorporating worthwhile customs and traditions of every culture and people.
  2. Placing greater emphasis on sacred Scripture. The Council called for a much fuller menu of readings from both the Old and New Testaments in the Sunday and weekday Lectionaries of the Church. Since the Council urged more study and reading of Scripture, an impressive number of aids to the study of the Bible, as well as an increase in Bible-study groups, has appeared on the scene.
  3. Viewing laypeople as equal members of the Church. All the Church—pope, bishops, priests, religious, and laity—are equal members through Baptism. All share in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly roles of Christ. All are called to holiness no matter what vocation or occupation they embrace in life.
  4. Reinstating the baptismal catechumenate. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is “a process of formation” and “school of the faith” (General Directory for Catechesis 91) for unbaptized adults seeking Church membership. The entire Christian community helps prepare catechumens to receive Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. It is the inspiration and model for all catechesis (GDC 90).
  5. Restoring the ministry of permanent deacons. Calling to restore the ministry of deacon, a ministry of service with roots in the early Church, the Council named the deacon’s tasks: baptize, reserve and distribute the Eucharist, assist at and bless marriages, take Viaticum to the dying, proclaim Scripture, instruct, preside at prayer, administer sacramentals, and officiate at funerals and burials.
  6. Rethinking the concept of authority. Viewed in the spirit of the Gospel, authority is not authoritarianism and domination but a service of love in imitation of Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for all.
  7. Encouraging collegiality throughout the Church. Shared ministry and authority are recognized between the pope and bishops, the bishop and priests of a diocese, the pastor and parishioners of a parish, and the superiors and members of religious orders and congregations.
  8. Acknowledging God’s presence beyond the Church. Vatican II acknowledged the work of the Spirit in the communities of our separated Christian brothers and sisters and in other world religions. Ecumenical efforts foster unity among all Christians and greater communication and dialogue with and respect for other religions.
  9. Upholding the right to religious liberty. The Council recognized the right of every individual to join the religion of one’s choice and opposed the use of force, physical or otherwise, imposing one’s religious beliefs and practices upon others.
  10. Accepting the world. We see the world and its inhabitants as essentially good. We never lose hope in the restoration of all things, a restoration that has begun with the coming of Christ and will reach its fulfillment and perfection when Christ comes again in power and glory at the end of time.
Much growth in the Church can be tied to the work of Vatican II, and more growth lies ahead as we strive to fully embrace its vision for the people of God. May we continue the renewal set out by Vatican II with the enthusiasm and commitment of the person who greeted the announcement of the Council, saying: “Long live the ecumenical council!” 


Vatican II  -  An Event of Grace                                                                                                                               Broadcast to Mary Immaculate Hall, 4 Waverley Avenue Ivanhoe, Wednesday 10 October 2012, 10:00am - 3:00pm

The 2nd Vatican Council continues to have significant and ever growing impact on discussion and the life of the church at all levels. In recognition of the 50th Anniversary in October of its Opening on 11 October 1962 and celebration of this Year Of Grace The Broken Bay Institute in partnership with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference presents the 7th National eConference "Vatican II - An event of Grace", on Wednesday 10th October 2012 . There's a distinguished panel of speakers. Program details here . All are invited. There's no charge.

Ivanhoe Parish will be one of many sites in Australia and around the world to host an interactive streamed-video broadcast of this Conference, from 10:30am to 3:00pm on Wednesday 10 October. It will be held in the Hall behind Mary Immaculate Church, 4 Waverley Avenue Ivanhoe. Commencing with morning tea at 10:00am it will included a light lunch, and would benefit from guests bringing a "cakes" plate.  Reservation is necessary (Merle 03 9497 1691, John 03 9850 2454 or email

Documents                                                                                                                                                                                                            The following Vatican II Introduction and Background provide some insight, and for further commentary and  preparation for the eConference  links to further reading material are provided.  Providing an  Australian context the first of these "The Australian Hierarchy at Vatican II" is a 4 part paper written in 2007 by Thang Vu during his seminary formation at the time towards the priesthood.  Part 1-4  may be read and downloaded below, or the full document.

Part I: A Brief Survey of the Deepening Crisis in Relationships between the Catholic Church and Society during the Post-Tridentine Period                               Part II: A study of the speeches and writings of John XXIII concerning the Second Vatican Council, with special reference to his perception of an epochal shift and his vision for the Church into the future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Part III: The Australian Hierarchy at Vatican II - The Local Church Reception; Of John XXIII and News of a Council
Part IV
: Assessment of the Historical Importance of Vatican II                                                                                                                                                                                              Full Document:  "The Australian Hierarchy at Vatican II" Thang Vu, 2007

Vatican II special coverage in 'Perspective'
On the weekend of 6 October CathNews begins six weeks of special coverage to mark the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. The first edition of CathNews Perspectives will feature a Reflection by Geraldine Doogue on the way Vatican II strengthened her idea of faith, interviews with leading Australian clerical and Catholic thinkers on its significance for the Church as a whole, and other related material. In these special editions, CathNews Perspectives will be delivered on Saturday mornings. Click here

Further Reading


Vatican II
(Extract from wikipedia with listing of References)

Introduction                                                                                                                                                                                                               The Second Vatican Council (also known coloquially as Vatican II) addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI on 8 December 1965. Of those who took part in the council's opening session, four have become pontiffs to date: Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, who on succeeding Pope John XXIII took the name of Paul VI; Bishop Albino Luciani, the future Pope John Paul I; Bishop Karol Wojtyła, who became Pope John Paul II; and Father Joseph Ratzinger, present as a theological consultant, who became Pope Benedict XVI.[2][3]

Throughout the 1950s, theological and biblical studies of the Catholic Church had begun to sway away from the neo-scholasticism and biblical literalism that the reaction to Catholic modernism had enforced since the First Vatican Council.[citation needed] This shift could be seen in theologians such as Karl Rahner, S.J., Michael Herbert, and John Courtney Murray, SJ who looked to integrate modern human experience with church principles based on Jesus Christ, as well as others such as Yves Congar, Joseph Ratzinger and Henri de Lubac who looked to an accurate understanding of scripture and the early Church Fathers as a source of renewal (or ressourcement).