October 8, 2012
Book: Vatican II: Its Impact on you
Author: Peter A. Huff
Liguori. Liguori, Missouri. 2012. pp. 80
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
Vatican II is known to every Catholic, at least by name, but what do we really know about this historic time in the Catholic Church? What happened at the council? Why did it take place? And most importantly, what is the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the People of the Church today?
Peter A. Huff answers these questions and more in a brief, easy-to-read overview of the event that has had the greatest impact on the Catholic experience today.
An Excerpt from the Book:
John Calls a Council
The genesis of Vatican II is now a part of Catholic folklore. Pope John began exploring the possibility of a council in the early days of his pontificate. The decisive moment was January 20, 1959, less than three months after his election. On that day, in conversation with his secretary of state, Domenico Cardinal Tardini, the full-blown idea came to him. "In response to an inner voice that arose from a kind of heavenly inspiration," the pope said, "We felt that the time was ripe for Us to give the Catholic Church and the whole human family the gift of a new ecumenical council."
John publicly revealed his intent to call a council four days later on the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, the conclusion of that year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. He broke the news to a small group of cardinals at Rome's Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. The pope spoke of two "spectacles" in the postwar society that spurred him into action: the growth of materialism and unbelief in the secular world and the rise of a new confidence in the Catholic community. In response to these developments, he declared, he would initiate three major projects during his pontificate: 1. a synod for the leaders of the diocese of Rome. 2. a revision or updating of the Code of Canon Law, and 3. an ecumenical council. The Italian word that the pope chose to characterize the canon law project --- aggiornamento (updating) --- soon became the unofficial motto for the larger project of the council too.
. . .Privately the pope expressed his sense of anticipation this way: "We are now on the slopes of the sacred mountain. May the Lord give us strength to bring everything to a successful conclusion."
The impact of the councils
The prelude to Vatican II
The vision of John XXIII
The events of Vatican II
The people of Vatican II
The message of Vatican II
The impact of Vatican II