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Second Vatican Council Convenes (1962) Options
Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Second Vatican Council Convenes (1962)

Held in four sessions over the course of three years, the Second Vatican Council was a meeting of Catholic Church leaders with the announced purpose of reconsidering the position of the church in the modern world. Among many other changes, the council reformed the liturgy, permitting the use of the vernacular language, rather than Latin. Representatives from non-Catholic churches were invited to observe the sessions. What unexpected event nearly ended the council prematurely? More...
raghd muhi al-deen
Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 9:38:23 AM

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Second Vatican Council
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Second Vatican Ecumenical Council
Latin: Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum
Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg
Saint Peter's Basilica
Venue of the Second Vatican Council
Date 11 October 1962 – 8 December 1965
Accepted by Catholic Church
Previous council
First Vatican Council
Convoked by Pope John XXIII
President Pope John XXIII
Pope Paul VI
Attendance up to 2,625[1]
Topics The Church in itself, its sole salvific role as the one, true and complete Christian faith, also in relation to ecumenism among other religions, in relation to the modern world, renewal of consecrated life, liturgical disciplines, etc.
Documents and statements
Four Constitutions:
Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy)
Lumen gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church)
Dei verbum (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation)
Gaudium et spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World)
Three Declarations:
Gravissimum educationis (Declaration on Christian Education)
Nostra aetate (Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions)
Dignitatis humanae (Declaration on Religious Freedom)
Nine Decrees:
Inter mirifica (Decree on the Media of Social Communication)
Orientalium Ecclesiarum (Decree on the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite)
Unitatis redintegratio (Decree on Ecumenism)
Christus Dominus (Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church)
Perfectae caritatis (Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life)
Optatam totius (Decree on Priestly Training)
Apostolicam actuositatem (Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity)
Ad gentes (Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church)
Presbyterorum ordinis (Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests)
Chronological list of Ecumenical councils
Emblem of the Papacy SE.svg
Ecumenical Councils
of the Catholic Church
A Renaissance print depicting the Council of Trent
Renaissance depiction of the Council of Trent.
Classical Antiquity (c. 50)
Late Antiquity (325–451)
Nicaea I Constantinople I Ephesus Chalcedon
Early Middle Ages (553–870)
Constantinople II Constantinople III Nicaea II Constantinople IV
High and Late Middle Ages (1122–1517)
Lateran I Lateran II Lateran III Lateran IV Lyon I Lyon II Vienne Constance Florence Lateran V
Early Modern and Contemporary (1545–)
Trent Vatican I Vatican II
The Second Vatican Council, fully the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council[2] (Latin: Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum) and informally known as Vatican II, addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world.[3] It was the twenty-first and most recent ecumenical council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. The council, through the Holy See, formally opened under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1965.
Several changes resulted from the council, including the renewal of consecrated life with a revised charism, ecumenical efforts towards dialogue with other religions, and the universal call to holiness, which according to Pope Paul VI was "the most characteristic and ultimate purpose of the teachings of the Council".[4]
According to Pope Benedict XVI, the most important and essential message of the council is "the Paschal Mystery as the center of what it is to be Christian and therefore of the Christian life, the Christian year, the Christian seasons".[5] Other changes which followed the council included the widespread use of vernacular languages in the Mass instead of Latin, the subtle disuse of ornate clerical regalia, the revision of Eucharistic prayers, the abbreviation of the liturgical calendar, the ability to celebrate the Mass versus populum (with the officiant facing the congregation), as well as ad orientem (facing the "East" and the Crucifix), and modern aesthetic changes encompassing contemporary Catholic liturgical music and artwork. Many of these changes remain divisive among the Catholic faithful.[6]
Of those who took part in the council's opening session, four have become popes: Giovanni Battista Cardinal Montini, who on succeeding John XXIII took the name Pope Paul VI; Bishop Albino Luciani, the future John Paul I; Bishop Karol Wojtyła, who became John Paul II; and Joseph Ratzinger, present as a theological consultant, who became Benedict XVI.[7][8][9]
In the 1950s, theological and biblical studies in the Catholic Church had begun to sway away from the Neo-Scholasticism and biblical literalism which a reaction to Catholic modernism had enforced since the First Vatican Council. This shift could be seen in theologians such as Karl Rahner, Michael Herbert, and John Courtney Murray 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 (ressourcement).
At the same time, the world's bishops faced challenges driven by political, social, economic, and technological change. Some of these bishops sought new ways of addressing those challenges. The First Vatican Council had been held nearly a century before but had been cut short when the Italian Army entered the city of Rome at the end of Italian unification. As a result, only deliberations on the role of the papacy and the congruent relationship of faith and reason were completed, with examination of pastoral issues concerning the direction of the Church left unaddressed.[10][11]
Pope John XXIII, however, gave notice of his intention to convene the Council on 25 January 1959, less than three months after his election in October 1958.[12] This sudden announcement, which caught the Curia by surprise, caused little initial official comment from Church insiders. Reaction to the announcement was widespread and largely positive from both religious and secular leaders outside the Catholic Church,[13] and the council was formally summoned by the apostolic constitution Humanae Salutis on 25 December 1961.[14][15] In various discussions before the Council actually convened, John XXIII often said that it was time to "open the windows [of the Church] and let in some fresh air."[16] He invited other Christians outside the Catholic Church to send observers to the Council. Acceptances came from both the Eastern Orthodox Church and Protestant denominations as internal observers, but these observers did not cast votes in the approbation of the conciliar documents.[17][a]

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