Articles on Vatican II - Fifty years Later
Last week's article focused on bishops as members of a sacred college, a college that has responsibility for the governance of the whole Church and its evangelizing mission throughout the world.
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The third chapter of Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, was the most controversial section of any document produced by the Second Vatican Council.
If you have been following these articles on Vatican II's Constitution on the Church, you will likely have realized that the core message of the document is that God's plan of salvation is to offer eternal life to humanity through his Church.
When the bishops at the Second Vatican Council were presented with a second draft of the Constitution on the Church that referred to “the priesthood of all believers,” one cardinal spoke up to say the document should clarify that this priesthood is not priesthood “in the true and proper sense.”
One of the most unique – and most misinterpreted – emphases to come out of the Second Vatican Council was that on the People of God.
Where is the Church of God to be found? If the Church that brings salvation is a mystery, can it actually be found in the world, is it an invisible entity or is it simply a pious hope?
At its very heart, the Church is not a structure, but a mystery. The Church is not of human origin, but rather originates within the Holy Trinity.
The widespread understanding of the nature of the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council was that of a juridical body with a pyramidal structure that was external to the lives of baptized believers.
The third session of the Second Vatican Council, held in the fall of 1964, was without doubt the darkest time of the council.
The French Jesuit Henri de Lubac was, without a doubt, one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century and at the Second Vatican Council.