Reading Vatican II

When it comes to understanding Catholic theology I am a true neophyte, a certified numskull. FYI. But I’m loving what I’m reading so far.

Well, I’ve begun reading the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Perhaps, in a way, I am reading these documents in light of the Year of Faith, which I find a great idea and something I hope brings about genuine and organic renewal—something we all need.

The Second Vatican Council seems to be such an important event of the last century, profoundly influential on so many levels, and still very much alive in some important sense. And it’s importance, especially regarding it ecumenical focus, is relevant for Protestants as well as for Catholics. Along with the documents, which are themselves marvelous (as far as I can tell so far), I find the council a source of interest because of the great individuals who participated both in and after the council. This look at the council by Fr. Robert Barron is fascinating:

Look who was at the council:

A young Ratzinger and Yves Congar at Vatican II
Cardinal Joseph Frings and a young Ratziner at Vatican II

Here’s another take on the significance of the council:

I am curious if there is a difference, generally speaking, in evaluations of the council and it’s impacts by those in Europe and those in the U.S.

I am no scholar, and in many ways I feel overwhelmed by the vastness of the council. I also am looking from the “outside” in that I am not a Catholic—not yet anyway. Maybe what’s so interesting about the council is just how immense and human it was. This was a council in touch with its times and actively transparent (up to a point) in a way unlike previous councils.

The following is a great overview and perspective on the council by Rev. John W. O’Malley:

I don’t know much about Fr. O’Malley, he may be in one of those two “camps” spoken of by Fr. Barron, and it seems he may be more in the concilium camp than the communio camp—for me, at this time, the communio camp stirs my heart more, but I know very little of each. However, his last comment, which was his answer to the question of where is his hope, he says, “In the living God.” That, I think, is really the key.

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