The website of the Australian Congregation of the Mission posts an article providing perspective for the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. (Current link) The Bulletin of the CM sponsored parish of St Anthony’s at Marsfield (Sydney) features an article headed The Second Vatican Council ….. an explanation.
“The item gives a brief outline of the background to the Second Vatican Council, which began fifty years ago, and then moves on to significant ideas and thinking of the Council concerning the Church itself and its relation to the World in which we live. – “The Second Vatican Council (1962 – 65) is widely regarded as the most significant event for the Catholic Church since the Reformation in the 16th century. Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council to update the Church and restore the unity of all Christians. Some in the Church were fearful of possible changes, but the majority of Catholics welcomed the opportunity of change; the opportunity to take down barriers and grapple with the challenges facing the world. Hope and joy, not fear and alarm, characterised the discussions and outcomes of the Council. Although the announcement of the Council was something of a surprise the teaching of the Council was informed by the liturgical, biblical and ecumenical movements which date back to the late 19th or early 20th centuries. There was also a rising theological movement within Catholicism which drew upon scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers composed in about the first 600 years of the Church’s life. This was a way of recovering the sources of the Church’s Tradition without the accretion of subsequent teaching, sometimes distorted due to historical circumstances no longer applicable……..”.
“The above article can be found through The Good Oil, the Parish Bulletin of St Anthony at Marsfield (scroll down to page 8), and is drawn from a flyer issued by the site STANDUP4VATICAN2 .
“Unfortunately, resistance to the Council, and it seems there has been resistance to most of the Councils of the Church, is with us in a variety of forms. Some of the resistance appears to be encouraged even by upper levels of the hierarchy. With this in mind, the article mentioned above gives a good summary of Vatican II, and remind us that this Council was, and still is, a reality which is very much part of our Tradition.