Free Essay

The Four Foundation Documents of the Second Vatican Council


Submitted By Tantilising
Words 1061
Pages 5
The Second Vatican Council - Foundation Documents
On October 11, 1962, Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council in Peter’s Basilica, Rome, in order to renew the Church and make what many people considered long overdue changes. Vatican II was an ‘ecumenical council’, meaning it was a gathering of the Christian Bishops of the world, not just the local or interregional. The purpose of the second Vatican council was to bring the Church up to date with the ever moving modern times, also known as aggionamento or as Pope John XXIII put it; “Throw open the window of the church and let the spirit blow through.” He also opened the council to all Christian denominations in a pastoral rather than doctrinal movement. The council proceeded over four consecutive autumns from 1962 to 1965. Finally with much lively discussion and debate the council reached agreement on 16 major documents. Discussion will center on the Four Foundational Documents, written to address the liturgical changes made by the council. Vatican II is still to this day considered one of, if not the, most important religious events of the 20th century and is a defining landmark in the Churches history.

Sacrosanctum Concilium
Sacrosanctum Consilium is the first of the documents of Vatican II. This document addresses the liturgical changes and is still today what people most associate with Vatican II. The council document changed the understanding of the liturgy, first in regards to the faithful and their call to active participation in liturgical celebrations. It secondly focused on the improvement of the relationship between the parish and its clergy. It further encouraged a sense of community within each parish, but the main focus was the common celebration of Sunday Mass. Some Catholics, particularly older patrons, found some changes disturbing. They felt the sanctity of Mass was at risk due to the introduction of new traditions, such as the Mass being celebrated in the vernacular language. But this liturgical renewal emphasized the Mass as a prayer and the call to active and intelligent participation by the whole body of Christ. Sacrosanctum Consilium can be summed up by the term ‘Aggionamento’, which means to bring up to date and in turn make the church more meaningful to the lay people. It unified the Church through the strengthening of the relationships between laity and clergy, incorporating the worthwhile customs and traditions of differing cultures and people. This document is said to be the one that had the largest impact of the four foundation documents, lasting over decades of society constant changes.
Guadium et Spes
Guadium et Spes was all about the human person as an individual, the community and an entire sense of human family. It was concerned in finding the true and just response to the enormous challenges of the modern times. The central theme of this document is the establishment of social conditions that can help safeguard three important values: the dignity of the human person, the common good and the unity of mankind. The document has made a huge influence on the social teachers of the wider Christian churches. In the past the Church was willing to turn a blind eye to political abuses in return for a guarantee of its privileges and rights, while now the church is, or is expected to be, at the forefront of protest against the infringements of people’s freedoms and rights. It most importantly encouraged the tolerance on non-Christian religions and the endorsement and respect for other spiritual paths. “We are all one flock” Bishop Bianchini. It challenged lay people in all walks of life to continue directly in the work of the apostles of Christ.

Dei Verbum
Dei Verbum outlines the close relationship between the Word of God (the bible), scripture, tradition and the Magisterium. It clarified that the Magisterium is not above the word of God but serves it faithfully and it explained how the Roman Catholic understanding of the bible, tradition and church authority, all relate to one another. Throughout the document it is heavily illustrated that the bible is the word of God and is intended for all people, in all times and all places, not just for those following one path of life. The bible has become very much a book of the church. There was a time when it would appear that Catholics were discouraged from reading the bible. While a carry around bible was considered a protestant thing to do. But since Dei Verbum, there has been change in this regard. The bible is now very much a Catholic Holy Book. The council itself strongly recommended that there should be open access to the bible for all faithful. As a result of this there was an explosion of literature of scripture on different levels with the introduction of so many new editions of bible. As Dei Verbum states, God continues to talk to us in our daily experiences and in the lives of those who came before us. But above all he speaks to us in sacred scripture.

Lumen Gentium
In a direct way this document explicitly continued and completed the work of Vatican I. In particular it incorporated almost verbatim the controversial statement on papal infallibility, meaning the knowing of the truth with full certainty, with addition that infallibility also resided in the body of bishops when exercising magisterium in conjunction with the pope. This somewhat centralized the fact that bishops are the continuation of the apostles of which Peter was the head. This resolved the ancient tension that was held between the pope and councils. Also in this document the biblical teaching that the church as a whole are the people of God, including clergy and laity. This reserved the explicit assertion that the clergy alone were the church. This document introduced the awareness that salvation in heaven is open to all. If someone sincerely follows the commands of God, that divine action is visible in the eyes of the Church, meaning that all – not just Catholics – can go to heaven.

Some theologians credit Vatican II, especially Lumen Gentium, with the decline in Church membership that has taken place since the end of the Second Vatican Council. They believed the ambiguity in some parts of the documents may have caused people to lose feel that the Church was no longer a necessary part of their life.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

World Religion

...From the beginning of time, men have had continuous arguments over religion. Religion has been the greatest source of disagreement between cultures. Even the foundation of America was built on religious freedom, as Puritans from Great Britain came to the United States to practice their religion freely. The biggest religious disagreement, however, has been between the Catholics and the Jews. Years ago, a man was crucified for saying he was God’s Son. His name was Jesus Christ. Those who followed his teachings were names Christians; and Christians soon resented Jews for their sinful act. This tension between Christians and Jews lead to increasing hate towards one another. Not too long ago, anti-Semitism was common. Anti-Semitism led to the death of an entire population during the holocaust. Luckily, the church took measures to rectify this anti-Semitism with the publication of Nostra Aetate. In 1965, the Vatican II Council completely transformed the church’s policies and theology with this document. Nostra Aetate signifies “In Our Time” and it is from the first line of the declaration as is customary with Roman Catholic documents. Indeed, in our time, the ill sentiments towards Jews have changed tremendously. Nostra Aetate is a unifying document that has not only led to peaceful coexistence of the Catholic and Judaic faith but also understanding of many other faiths. Ultimately, it has enabled the education of Catholicism in universities, as well as in organizations. The Nostra...

Words: 939 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Ethiopian Traditional Values Versus the Social Teaching of the Church

...Exchange 37 (2008) 124-155 Ethiopian Traditional Values versus the Social Teaching of the Church Solomon Dejene Research Student, Nijmegen Institute for Mission Studies, Nijmegen, The Netherlands Email: Abstract Even if the Roman Catholic Church does not have a very long history in Ethiopia and constitutes a small minority of the society, her social significance is great in part due to the structural development programs she runs through out the country. The main aim of this paper is to identify how much the Church1 has made use of traditional systems and values in reflecting and communicating pastorally particularly in regard the Social of the Church (henceforth CST). By analyzing four selected pastoral letters, this article tries to spell out the strengths and shortcomings of the Church in employing traditional systems and values in giving form to the CST. Keywords Catholic social teaching, human dignity, common good, solidarity, reconciliation and peace, contextualization, Ethiopian traditional values Introduction Most of the current national boundaries of Africa were drawn during the colonial period and do not reflect the socio-cultural, ethno-linguistic and religious compositions of the colonies. Although Ethiopia has successfully overcome European colonial power and survived as an independent state with the exception of a five year Italian occupation (1936-41), its contemporary national boarder is a result of the scramble for Africa....

Words: 14497 - Pages: 58

Premium Essay


...CHAPER ONE RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE Definition The mere statement on the part of a religion that its own beliefs and practices are correct and any contrary beliefs incorrect does not in itself constitute intolerance (i.e., ideological intolerance). There are many cases throughout history of established religions tolerating other practices. Religious intolerance, rather, is when a group (e.g., a society, religious group, non-religious group) specifically refuses to tolerate practices, persons or beliefs on religious grounds (i.e., intolerance in practice). Historical perspectives According to the 19th century British historian Arnold Toynbee, for a religious establishment to persecute another religion for being "wrong" ironically puts the persecuting religion in the wrong, undermining its own legitimacy.( Toynbee, Arnold (1947). "Failure of Self-Determination". In Dorothea Grace Somervell. A Study of History: Abridgment of Volumes I - VI. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 300. ISBN 0-19-505081-9.). Contemporary attitude and practice The constitutions of some countries contain provisions expressly forbidding the state from engaging in certain acts of religious intolerance or preference within its own borders; examples include The First Amendment of the United States Constitution - (the exception being "manifest destiny" which was manufactured by the prevailing powers as well as the church, to suspend this "right" for all North American indigenous peoples,...

Words: 3902 - Pages: 16

Premium Essay

Catholic, we have reached the conclusion that our country urgently needs a comprehensive and integrated policy on reproductive health and population development, as provided by the RH Bill. We also believe that the provisions of the bill adhere to core principles of Catholic social teaching: the sanctity of human life, the dignity of the human person, the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, integral human development, human rights, and the primacy of conscience. Catholic social theology since Vatican II has evolved, on the one hand, from the emphasis on order, social cohesiveness, the acceptance of some inequality, and obedience to authorityto the recognition, on the other, of the centrality of the human person, and the concomitant need for human freedom, equality, and participation (Pacem in Terris 1963, Octogesima Adveniens 1971). In the same way that Vatican II was a council for aggiornamento (renewal) for the universal Church, so too did the 1991 Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP-II) aim at the renewal of the Church in the Philippines. After a month of collectively studying and praying to discern the “signs of the times,” PCP-II declared: “As we approach the...

Words: 7626 - Pages: 31

Premium Essay


...Wellington College, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies Religious Studies AS Level Edexcel Unit 2: Investigations Abortion A study guide and anthology Contents Introduction A modern controversy: the case of George Tiller (BBC) p. 3 Definitions and technical language p. 6 Methods used p. 7 Family Planning Association fact sheet p. 8 Religion and the Sanctity of Life The Sanctity of Life p. 12 A critique of the Sanctity of Life: Jonathan Glover p. 14 Christian perspectives: Methodists and Catholics p. 16 ‘Ensoulment’, soul, and the sacredness of life p. 18 Religious views in conflict: liberalism and conservatism p. 19 Philosophical Problems in Abortion An argument against abortion p. 20 Personhood p. 21 A ‘person’ as rational and self-conscious: Peter Singer p. 24 Moral rights: the foetus and the mother p. 26 A woman’s right to an abortion: Judith Jarvis Thomson p. 28 ‘Why abortion is immoral’: Don Marquis p. 29 Anthology of Texts Unit 2 model answers: ethics (Edexcel) ‘Why abortion challenges us all’: Rowan Williams ‘Contraception and abortion within Protestant Christianity’: Gloria Albrecht ‘Virtue theory and abortion’: Rosalind Hursthouse Appendix: sample exam questions and level descriptors Notes Pages A Modern Controversy: the Case of George Tiller Profile: George Tiller (2009) To some anti-abortionists George Tiller, who...

Words: 10065 - Pages: 41

Premium Essay


...Christianity is the world's largest religion, with approximately 2.2 billion adherents, known as Christians. Most Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, fully divine and fully human, and the saviour of humanity whose coming was prophesied in the Old Testament. Consequently, Christians refer to Jesus as Christ or the Messiah. The foundations of Christian theology are expressed in ecumenical creeds. These professions of faith state that Jesus suffered, died, was buried, and was resurrected from the dead in order to grant eternal life to those who believe in him and trust in him for the remission of their sins. The creeds further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven, where he reigns with God the Father. Most Christian denominations teach that Jesus will return to judge everybody, living and dead, and to grant eternal life to his followers. He is considered the model of a virtuous life. His ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection are often referred to as "the gospel", meaning "good news" (a loan translation of the Greek: εὐαγγέλιον euangélion). The term gospel also refers to written accounts of Jesus's life and teaching, four of which – the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – are considered canonical and included in Christian Bibles. Christianity is an Abrahamic religion that began as a Jewish sect in the mid-1st century. Originating in the Levant region of the Middle East, it quickly spread to Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Egypt. It grew in size...

Words: 12460 - Pages: 50

Premium Essay

Concept Analysis on House Bill 5043

...Introduction Reproductive life planning includes all the decision an individual or couple make about having children (2007, Pillitteri). It is important for the health of children that as many pregnancies as possible be intended, because when a pregnancy is unintended, the mother is less likely to seek prenatal check, less likely to breast feed and less careful to protect the fetus from harmful substances. An individual’s or a couple’s choice of contraceptive method should be made carefully, with complete knowledge about advantages, disadvantages, and side effects of the various options. Important things to consider include the following: * Personal values * Ability to use a method correctly * How the method will affect sexual enjoyment * Financial factors * Status of a couple’s relationship * Prior experiences * Future plans The widespread use of contraceptives points to both an increased awareness of responsibility for contraception and options available. Understanding this concept, its work and how they compare in terms of benefits and disadvantages is necessary for successful counseling. Legal and ethical issues must also be considered when counseling clients. The arguments about contraception fall into several groups: * philosophical arguments such as the "natural law" argument * arguments based on different ideas of marriage, sex and the family * human rights arguments such as * 'procreative liberty' * a woman's right to...

Words: 15541 - Pages: 63

Premium Essay


...CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH Table of Contents PROLOGUE I. The life of man - to know and love God nn. 1-3 II. Handing on the Faith: Catechesis nn. 4-10 III. The Aim and Intended Readership of the Catechism nn. 11-12 IV. Structure of this Catechism nn. 13-17 V. Practical Directions for Using this Catechism nn. 18-22 VI. Necessary Adaptations nn. 23-25 PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH SECTION ONE "I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE" n. 26 CHAPTER ONE MAN'S CAPACITY FOR GOD nn. 27-49 I. The Desire for God nn. 27-30 II. Ways of Coming to Know God nn. 31-35 III. The Knowledge of God According to the Church nn. 36-38 IV. How Can We Speak about God? nn.39-43 IN BRIEF nn. 44-49 CHAPTER TWO GOD COMES TO MEET MAN n. 50 Article 1 THE REVELATION OF GOD I. God Reveals His "Plan of Loving Goodness" nn. 51-53 II. The Stages of Revelation nn. 54-64 III. Christ Jesus -- "Mediator and Fullness of All Revelation" nn. 6567 IN BRIEF nn. 68-73 Article 2 THE TRANSMISSION OF DIVINE REVELATION n. 74 I. The Apostolic Tradition nn.75-79 II. The Relationship Between Tradition and Sacred Scripture nn. 80-83 III. The Interpretation of the Heritage of Faith nn. 84-95 IN BRIEF nn. 96-100 Article 3 SACRED SCRIPTURE I. Christ - The Unique Word of Sacred Scripture nn. 101-104 II. Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture nn. 105-108 III. The Holy Spirit, Interpreter of Scripture nn. 109-119 IV. The Canon of Scripture nn. 120-130 V. Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church nn. 131-133 IN BRIEF nn...

Words: 141872 - Pages: 568

Premium Essay

The Virgin Mary

...Mary (mother of Jesus) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Virgin mary) Jump to: navigation, search "Virgin Mary" redirects here. For other uses, see Virgin Mary (disambiguation). "Saint Mary" redirects here. For other uses, see Saint Mary (disambiguation). This article is an overview. For specific views, see: Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Ecumenical, Islamic, Lutheran, Protestant, and Roman Catholic perspectives. Mary The Madonna in Sorrow, by Sassoferrato, 17th century Born Unknown; celebrated 8 September[1] Residence Nazareth, Galilee Nationality Israelite, Roman Empire[2] Ethnicity Israelite Spouse Joseph[3] Children Jesus of Nazareth Parents (According to the Gospel of James, circa 2nd Century AD): Joachim and Anne[4] Mary (Hebrew: מִרְיָם, Miriam; Aramaic: Maryām; Arabic:مريم, Maryam), variously called Saint Mary, Mother Mary, the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mary, Mother of God, and, in Islam, as Maryam, mother of 'Isa, was an Israelite[5] woman of Nazareth in Galilee who lived in the late 1st century BC and early 1st century AD, and is considered by Christians to be the first proselyte to Christianity. She is identified in the New Testament[Mt 1:16,18-25][Lk 1:26-56][2:1-7] and in the Qur'an as the mother of Jesus through divine intervention. Christians hold her son Jesus to be "Christ" (i.e. the messiah), and Muslims regard him as an important prophet of God. The canonical gospels of Matthew and...

Words: 9965 - Pages: 40

Premium Essay

World Civilisation

...HUM 1000: WORLD CIVILIZATIONS NOTES BY DR. KAKAI P.W THE NATURE AND ORIGIN OF CIVILIZATION IN AFRICA Definition of key terms As we begin this course, it is crucial to first discuss our understanding of the concept ‘civilization’. This is a comparative term which is usually applied in comparison to such words as ‘barbarian’ ‘savage’ and ‘primitive’. In classical antiquity the Europeans used the word ‘barbarian’ to refer to a foreigner who was regarded as inferior (Ogutu and Kenyanchui, An Introduction To African History, 1991 p33). Do you think this is still the way we use the word barbarian? The Latin speakers referred to hunters, food-gatherers as savage. In the 17th century this term ‘savage’ referred to a person without art, literacy, or society who lived in fear of existence and death. ‘Primitive’ on the other hand, in Latin meant ‘the first or original’. Europeans used these words interchangeably when referring to non-Europeans while the word civilization was preserved to describe historical developments of European people (ibid). Now the term civilization is no longer confined to the above development but also extends reference to non-European communities. Attributes of civilization includes observance to law, belonging to an organized society, having a society of literate people with advanced developments in urbanization, agriculture, commerce, arts and technology. The French thinkers of the 18th century referred to a person of the arts and literature...

Words: 29345 - Pages: 118

Free Essay

State of the World

...Barbados Barbados is a North American sovereign island country located in the Caribbean. The capital of this state is Bridgetown. This state raised its head as an independent state in 1966 after being a Colony of the British Empire for almost 350 years. Category | Fact | Category | Fact | 1.Size | 439 Square km | 4.Religion | Christianity | 2.Population | 277,821 | 5.Currency | Barbadian Dollar | 3.Language | Barbadian | 6.GDP Rate | $16,653 | The main resources of Barbados are Petroleum, Fish, Natural gas, Sugarcane etc. The national symbols of Barbados are Neptune's trident, pelican, and Red Bird of Paradise flower (also known as Pride of Barbados). In Barbados Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the State and represented locally by Governor General which is at present Elliott Belgrave. These two heads are advised by the Prime Minister of Barbados who is also the Head of the Government on matters of Barbadian state. The current Prime Minister of Barbados is Freundel Stuart. ...

Words: 64439 - Pages: 258

Premium Essay

The Relevance of the United Nations in the Post-Cold War Era: Iraqi Invasion as a Case Study

...THE RELEVANCE OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN THE POST-COLD WAR ERA: IRAQI INVASION AS A CASE STUDY BY ALADENIYI, EMMANUEL ABIODUN APRIL 2005 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND 1. The basic concepts and assumptions that led to the formation of the United Nations (UN) dates back to the beginning of statecraft and humanity’s first efforts to foster international cooperation. The treaty of the peace of Westphalia of 1648 is regarded at humanity’s first effort in statehood and fostering international cooperation. The formation of the UN is predicated on the evolution of diplomacy, alliances, conferences, rules of warfare, means of peaceful settlement of conflicts and the development of international law. The overriding purpose of the UN is war prevention. This purpose was earlier pursued by ancient Greek Philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, who wrote on the conditions necessary for peace.1 The church in the Middle Ages also enunciated a doctrine of “Just War” to limit violence and destruction by sanctioning only wars fought for justifiable courses. The pacifists and internationalists, like Desiderius Erasmus, condemned war in its entirety as “immoral and wasteful”. 2. The need to institute mechanics for peaceful settlement of disputes and prevent war encouraged the formation of various international organizations over time. These include the Congress of Vienna and Concert of Europe in 1815. The Hague System worked towards the codification...

Words: 11211 - Pages: 45

Free Essay

Current Affairs Content: Current Affairs 2013 (December 2012,January 2013,febraury 2013,March 2013, April 2013 ) Howdy ! friends . we are providing Five months current affairs for all competitive exam preparation .. Source : Various Location on Web Portal . Contains : 1. International Awareness 2. National Awareness 3. States News 4. Confrences 5. Sports and News 6. Awards and honors 7. Persons In News 8. Important dates 9. Books and Authors 10. Science and technology 11. Economy News INTERNATIONAL Mahama Re-elected as Ghana’s President : On 10 December Ghana’s incumbent President John Dramani Mahama of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has won the country’s presidential election.Mahama took 50.70 percent of the total valid votes cast, while his closest challenger, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) obtained 47.74 percent.With his re-election, Mahama becomes the fourth president to be elected under the Forth Republic.He had served as Ghana’s vice president since 2009. UN, Pakistan Launched ‘Malala Fund’ : Pakistan joined forces with the United Nations on 10 December 2012 to launch a fund aimed at boosting girls’ education throughout the world.The fund is named for Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl. Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari also announced a $10-million donation for a global war chest to educate all girls by 2015 set up in the name of Malala Yousafzai for campaigning for girls’ education. Shinzo Abe Elected...

Words: 52705 - Pages: 211

Free Essay

Bloodlines of the Illuminati

...Bloodlines of Illuminati by: Fritz Springmeier, 1995 Introduction: I am pleased & honored to present this book to those in the world who love the truth. This is a book for lovers of the Truth. This is a book for those who are already familiar with my past writings. An Illuminati Grand Master once said that the world is a stage and we are all actors. Of course this was not an original thought, but it certainly is a way of describing the Illuminati view of how the world works. The people of the world are an audience to which the Illuminati entertain with propaganda. Just one of the thousands of recent examples of this type of acting done for the public was President Bill Clinton’s 1995 State of the Union address. The speech was designed to push all of the warm fuzzy buttons of his listening audience that he could. All the green lights for acceptance were systematically pushed by the President’s speech with the help of a controlled congressional audience. The truth on the other hand doesn’t always tickle the ear and warm the ego of its listeners. The light of truth in this book will be too bright for some people who will want to return to the safe comfort of their darkness. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I deal with real facts, not theory. Some of the people I write about, I have met. Some of the people I expose are alive and very dangerous. The darkness has never liked the light. Yet, many of the secrets of the Illuminati are locked up tightly simply because secrecy is a way...

Words: 206477 - Pages: 826

Free Essay

Fallacies of Development

...AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT: THE IMPERATIVES OF INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND VALUES by MARTIN ODEI AJEI submitted in accordance with the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in the subject PHILOSOPHY at the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AFRICA PROMOTER: PROFESSOR M. B. RAMOSE AUGUST 2007 Contents Declaration Acknowledgement List of Acronyms Key terms Summary vi vii viii x xi INTRODUCTION: DEVELOPMENT AND PHILOSOPHY i. Statement of the Problem ii. Against Economism iii. Critique of Competition iv. Poverty is Unnatural v. Thesis Statement vi. Methodology vii. Structure of Dissertation 1 1 1 5 6 9 10 15 CHAPTER ONE: DIMENSIONS OF DEVELOPMENT AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON AFRICA 1.1. What is Development 1.2. Development and Economic Growth 1.3. Schools of Development Thought and their Influence in Africa 1.3.1. The Modernization School and its Essential Claims Growth Theory under Economic Liberalism Evolutionary Theory Functionalist Theory Common Assumptions and Methodology The Influence of Modernization on Development Practice in Africa Critique of Modernization 1.3.2 Dependency Theory and its Essential Claims 21 21 25 27 27 28 29 30 32 34 36 39 i 1.3.3. The Theoretical Heritage of Dependency Theory Structuralist Economics and the ‘Prebisch Thesis’ Marxism 1.3.4. Common Assumptions of Dependency Theory 1.3.5. Criticisms of Dependency Theory 1.3.6. The Influence of Dependency Theory on African Development Practice...

Words: 90729 - Pages: 363