UCA News

Counting down to the 50th anniversary of Vatican Council II

Some thoughts on the most significant moments in Vatican Council II
Counting down to the 50th anniversary of Vatican Council II
Published: September 18, 2012 03:56 AM GMT
Updated: September 18, 2012 03:56 AM GMT

One of the most important events in the modern history of the Catholic church will soon reach a historical milestone. On Oct. 11, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council will be celebrated by the church throughout the world.

On Oct. 11, 1962, Blessed Pope John XXIII confidently threw open the windows of the church, trusting that the Holy Spirit would blow through it with a fresh breeze of renewal.

During this worldwide ecumenical council -- the 21st in the history of the church -- over 2,500 bishops approved 16 documents designed to enliven Catholic spirituality, and make the church far more relevant to the modern world.

The most important of these documents, in my opinion, is Gaudium et Spes (“Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World”). It insists that the Catholic church must be at the service of all humanity, especially those most in need.

Its very first words powerfully proclaim this theme: “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these too are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.”

As a step in this direction, “the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel.” We are then called to strengthen those aspects that conform to Christ’s teachings, and to change those elements that do not.

The world’s Catholic bishops insisted that the church -- “the people of God” -- cannot show any bias in protecting the lives and dignity of human beings. As one of Vatican II’s active participants Archbishop Karol Wojtyla would later declare -- as Pope John Paul II -- “We are all really responsible for all.”

Full Story: Vatican Council II's golden anniversary

Source:National Catholic Reporter

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, only outdone by drugs and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing crime today.
Victims come from every continent and are trafficked within and to every continent. Asia is notorious as a hotbed of trafficking.
In this series, UCA News introduces our readers to this problem, its victims, and the efforts of those who shine the light of the Gospel on what the Vatican calls “these varied and brutal denials of human dignity.”
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
UCA News
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia