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Fifty Years after Vatican II

Suzanne Mulligan (ed.), Jim Corkery SJ, Gerry O'Hanlon SJ

Publisher: Columba Press

When Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council on 11 October 1962, few people could have foreseen the impact that it would have on the life of the Church. Many believed that the Council would simply ratify familiar positions, and that its business would be concluded in a matter of months.

Reaping the harvest

Fifty Years after Vatican II

Suzanne Mulligan (ed.), Jim Corkery SJ, Gerry O’Hanlon SJ

Publisher: Columba Press

When Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council on 11 October 1962, few people could have foreseen the impact that it would have on the life of the Church. Many believed that the Council would simply ratify familiar positions, and that its business would be concluded in a matter of months.

Yet, the Council lasted until December 1965, and through the many documents it promulgated it breathed new life into the Church. The Council also represented an attempt by the Church to face the modern world in a more positive and open spirit.

Fifty years later, we are still grappling with the challenge of making the timeless message of the Vatican II, and considers not just the impact of the Council on the Church at that time but also the continuing importance of its teachings today.

Some of its major documents are critiqued (Gaudium et Spes and Lumen Gentium) as well as broader themes relating to the overall vision and spirit of the Council. These essays are both informative and reflective, and help to introduce the reader to some of the Council’s most significant achievements.