Decoding Vatican II: Ecclesial Self-Identity, Dialogue and Reform
Catherine E. Clifford
Number of pages: 112
From the Madeleva Lecture in Spirituality Series.
Fifty years on, Catholics are confronted with competing narratives concerning the event of the Second Vatican Council as well as the meaning and value of its teachings. How are we to make sense of the various characterizations of the council, often in polemical tones, as a disastrous departure from tradition, a disappointing compromise, or a moment of measured reform?
All agree that Vatican II makes a big turn in the history of Catholicism marked by a dialogical engagement with other Christians, other religions, and the modern world. To fully comprehend the event of Vatican II and to correctly interpret its teachings requires a deeper appreciation of the new self-consciousness of the church as an actor in history, and of its mission of service to the whole human family.