Vatican 2 - After 50 Years

From the category archives: Vatican II

Articles on Vatican II - Fifty years Later

Council elevated Catholic teaching on the family

January 26, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) began as a patchwork of various proposed documents on social issues that had been put forward by the commissions charged with writing documents for consideration at the Second Vatican Council. It is tempting to see part two of Gaudium et Spes as an appendix to the main document that wraps some of these earlier documents into one huge pastiche. What is remarkable, however, is how well the five "urgent problems" discussed in part two are woven into one constitution and how well they flow from the Gaudium et Spes' central focus on the nature of the human person.

Read the rest of entry »

Christian beliefs ought to humanize secular societies

January 12, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

My own commitment to the Church and to Christian living has been strengthened by encounters and friendships with numerous Christians who give of themselves to make the Gospel come alive in the broader society. Wherever one turns, it seems, there are Catholics involved in their professional associations, volunteer organizations, various forms of advocacy for the vulnerable, including the unborn, the dying, the poor and the disabled, and assorted political parties.

Read the rest of entry »

Hidden behind the veil is a new heaven, new earth

December 29, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Over the last 500 years, writes the Canadian Catholic philosopher Charles Taylor in his book A Secular Age, the Western world has been transformed into a society of "disenchantment." By saying that society is disenchanted, Taylor does not mean that it has become fed up or disillusioned. Rather, he means the widespread sense that spiritual forces are at work which will protect us and ultimately triumph over evil has been lost. Prior to the onset of disenchantment, Taylor argues, people naturally assumed there was a thin veil between the material and the spiritual, and that the material world, including human persons, was constantly being affected by the actions of spiritual beings.

Read the rest of entry »

Church no longer takes structure of society for granted

December 15, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

One seemingly obvious line in the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World augurs, not a change in Church teaching, but in the Church's attitude to society and social change. "The social order requires constant improvement," says the constitution, also known by its Latin name, Gaudium et Spes (n. 26). Today, few people would question such a sentiment. Of course, they would agree, we should do our best to make a better society and eliminate social evils.

Read the rest of entry »

Christ reveals meaning of being human

December 1, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) is divided into two lengthy sections – the first on the Church and the human vocation and the second on five "urgent problems" facing the world. The first section begins with a chapter on the dignity of the human person where the council fathers discuss what makes someone human. Why does the document focus on that concern? To answer that question, one needs to see where the first part is going. It wants to set down a foundation for discussing those urgent problems in part two – marriage and the family, human culture, economic and social life, the political community and the need for world peace.

Read the rest of entry »

Council sets out to read the signs of the times

November 17, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The famous opening line of the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) is a stirring reminder of the Church's solidarity with the global society: "The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well. Nothing that is genuinely human fails to find an echo in their hearts." The second sentence should not be surprising since the followers of Christ are themselves "genuinely human."

Read the rest of entry »

'Gaudium et Spes' reflected the spirit of post-war Europe

November 3, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) was the crowning achievement of the Second Vatican Council. There is no document remotely like it in the history of the Church, and it should be regarded as an act of providence, rather than deliberate design, that Vatican II was able to produce such a statement. Gaudium et Spes arose out of the folding-together of various documents the council was preparing and giving those documents a more solid theological foundation than had been found in earlier Catholic social teaching.

Read the rest of entry »

Freedom and rights grow out of human yearning for truth

October 20, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Although the Polish Archbishop Karol Wojtyla was not one of the main architects of the Declaration on Religious Freedom (Dignitatis Humanae) at the Second Vatican Council, he may have been the bishop who used the declaration most effectively after the council. For Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, by rooting the right to religious freedom in the nature of the human person, the declaration provided a teaching that he could use to challenge the Communist rulers of Poland.

Read the rest of entry »

American's notion of religious rights was sideswiped

October 6, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The American Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray was the only expert from this side of the Atlantic to have a significant impact at the Second Vatican Council. Murray made a major contribution to the drafting of the Declaration on Religious Freedom (Dignitatis Humanae), although not as major as some observers would have it. In the early 1950s, Murray made a name for himself by arguing that the American system of Church-state relations was the most desirable form. This did not go down well at the Vatican where the U.S. system of toleration of religious difference was seen as a necessary, but unsatisfactory, compromise.

Read the rest of entry »

Papal teaching left Vatican II fathers in a quandary

September 22, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

Depending on your perspective, the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignatatis Humanae) made a major change to an unchangeable Church teaching or only an evolution in that teaching. Either way, the roots that gave rise to the decree go back to the persecution of the Church begun during the French Revolution and which continues in various ways to this day. Prior to the Revolution of 1789, the Church was a dominant and privileged force in France.

Read the rest of entry »

Pages: Prev1234567...9NextReturn Top
SunBlog_Archive
SunBlog_Meta
SunBlog_Search