Vatican II By: Ryan Bihasa, Andrew GeagEr, Sean Tariche and Justin mecheti

Background Information of Vatican II

Pope John XXIII called the second Vatican Council. Pope John updated the Code of Canon Laws. John’s goal of this Council was to update the way that the church used to preach the Gospel without changing its message. Pope John died in 1963 and the Council continued by his successor Paul VI. Pope Paul VI was strongly committed to Christian unity and pursued this cause by meeting with the leaders of different religions. He worked very hard to carry out the decision of the Vatican Council II

Why Was It Called?

John XXIII saw a need to update the means the Church used to proclaim the Gospel without changing the message. The church needed new standards and patterns on behavior within and outside of the church. Vatican II was called to address how council decisions should be interpreted and carried out to correct previous failures. Influences like the soviet communism, rise of Nazism, and totalitarian called for this council.

Changes in the Church after Vatican II

During the council, the church said it is a hierarchically structured community. It also stated that all people are called to be saints. Vatican II taught that scripture and tradition were not two independent sources of faith. The council called of “Full, conscious, and active participation” by all church members. It also allowed Vernacular languages and liturgical adaptations to accommodate certain groups. The council also worked to directly service the modern world, such as: marriage and family. Sanctity of human life, evangelization, nature of common good, and justice.

Documents Established in Vatican II

Ad Petri Cathedram (To the Chair of Peter) - Encyclical issued by St. John XXIII in 1959 which addresses the Unity of the Church

Mater et Magistra (Mother and Teacher) in 1961 developed a strong Catholic social teaching and addressed that developed nations should try and support underdeveloped ones

An apostolic Constitution, Humanæ Salutis (For the Salvation of Men) in 1961 which convoyed the Council, St. John XXIII spoke of distinction between the secular world and its spiritual poverty compared to the Church’s vibrant need.

The four “constitutions” (on the Church, on Divine Revelation, on Liturgy and on the Church in the Modern World), nine “decrees” (on the pastoral office of bishops, on missionary activity, on ecumenism, on the Eastern Catholic Churches, on the ministry and life of priests, on priestly formation, on the appropriate renewal of religious life, on the apostolate of the laity, and on the instruments of social communication or media), and three “declarations” (on religious freedom, on the Church and non-Christian religions, and on Christian education) embody the main work of the Second Vatican Council.

The Four Constitutions are the central documents of the Second Vatican Council and provided theological statements for other councils

Lumen gentium (Light of Nations) says the Church is a hierarchically structured community of faith whose members possess equal rights and dignity but having different role in her mission

Dei Verbum (The Word of God) combined Sacred tradition into Sacred Scripture

Sacrosanctum Concilium (The Sacred Council) recognized the liturgy as the focal point of all Church activity. All power flows to the liturgy in Church

Gaudium Et Spes (Joy and Hope) was a response to Pope Bl. John’s desire to have the Church be more directly at the service of the world

Review Questions

1. What are St. John XXIII’s nicknames? Why does each apply?

“Good Pope John” because he was a man of faith with a friendly manner

2. What were the three most progressive and long-lasting changes made by St. John XXIII?

•enlarge the college of cardinals more nationalistic

•updated the code of canon law

•called for the second Vatican council

3. What reasons did St. John XXIII give for calling the Second Vatican Council?

Pope John called the Second Vatican Council because he wanted to modernize the way the church used to proclaim the Gospel. He wanted to “open a window” to let some air into the church. This means he was open to change in the Church.

4. How long did Vatican II last? Where was it held?

The Council lasted between 1962-1965 and was held in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

5. What is Lumen gentium? Why was it significant?

Lumen gentium emphasizes the community of the Church. All members of the Church have equal dignity and roles in the Church. This was significant because it changes the responsibilities that different people had within the church.

6. What is Dei verbum? What Catholic teaching did it emphasize?

Dei Verbum translates to “The word of God”. It was a central document created from Vatican II. It emphasized tradition and scriptute weren't two separate sources of revelation, but worked together.

7. What does the document Sacrosanctum concilium discuss?

- Sacrosanctum concilium discusses the liturgy as the focal point or activity where all Church action is derived to. The liturgy is the essential purpose of each mass.

8. To what was the document Gaudium et spes written in response?

- Gaudium et Spes was written in response to Pope Bl. John’s desire to have the Church be more direct in the service of the world.

9. What pope was elected during Vatican II and saw it through to the end?

-Pope Paul VI was elected during Vatican II and saw it through to the end.

10. How did Bl. Paul VI help improve relations with the Eastern Orthodox Church?

-both men un excommunicated each other to restore ties. Bl. Paul IV and the Eastern Orthodox Church seemed to restore relations at that time.

11. What steps did Bl. Paul VI take to implement the teachings of Vatican II?

•extended masses

•created the encyclical “Humans Vitae

•constantly traveled to extend the knowledge of Vatican II

12. What was so significant about Humanæ Vitæ?

•answers the questions about marriage and love.

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