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Issues and results of the second Vatican council - Essay Example

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Vatican Council II Institution Abstract. Vatican Council II may be said to have laid the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church in the contemporary world. Vatican II’s stand on various issues, such as inter-faith dialogue, the increased importance of the laity, birth control, and word peace have serious implications in the life of practicing Catholics…
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Issues and results of the second Vatican council
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Download file to see previous pages It opened under Pope John XXIII in 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI in 1965. It was a response to the changing culture of the post World War II world and a call to the spiritual renewal of the church. Even after all these years, the results of Vatican II continue to be debated and it has its supporters and its critics. It remains a bone of contention for theologians and Catholics, as it is subject to various interpretations. Traditionalists see Vatican II as a departure from the earlier beliefs and practices of the church and condemn the break with the past. Supporters see it as a step in the right direction and as a much-needed move to bring the church in step with the modern world. The opposing positions show that “Its champions, in many cases, see it as having liberated Catholics from a long night of oppression, thus restoring to the people of God their rightful liberties. Its detractors blame it for shattering the unity and order of the church and introducing an era of contestation and doubt” (Dulles, 2003). However, whatever may be the stand taken, it cannot be denied that Vatican II ushered in a new era in the history of the Church and has far-reaching implications for practicing Catholics today. ...
It can be seen as the decision of the Church to “throw in their lot with all the forces making for humanization and progress” (Dulles, 2003). As O’Malley (2003) points out, the language used by Vatican II is a marked departure from that of earlier Church canons. It rejects the authoritarian, judgmental style of the past for a speaking style which conforms to contemporary communication. By opening channels of communication with all people, including non-believers, Vatican II ensures that the Church retains its relevance as a political and religious force to be reckoned with in today’s multicultural, diverse society. A refusal to engage in dialogue would result is a fortress-like mentality and effectively isolate the Church from the affairs of the world. Such isolation would definitely be “to the detriment of the church's mission” (Dulles, 2003). Vatican II attempts to see that its message “is extended and broadened to the entire world” (Pope Paul VI Closing Speech, 1965). By proclaiming its readiness to enter into a dialogue, and remain open to diverse viewpoints, Vatican II ensures that the Church can be a legitimate participant in international deliberations and contribute to finding solutions to the problems which beset the world. The purpose of the dialogue is to express the Church’s solidarity with all men, including non-believers. This objective of Vatican II is reiterated by Pope Francis in his recent address to the Diplomatic Corps, in which he expresses his wish that dialogue will help “to build bridges connecting all people” (Pope Francis, 2013). Pope Francis’ “embrace of the world” is a true reflection of the spirit of Vatican ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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