The World of Grandpa Don


Part 4 The Faithful Revolution: Vatican II

We viewed part 4 of this fascinating series on November 26. The title of this part is "The World Transformed". I thought the title should wave been 'The Church Transformed' but since the Church is its people, their title is probably appropriate. The video was devoted more to what was going on in the world than what was going on in the council. But, that was one of the points made by the council.

The Church had always set itself apart from the world. We had the Sacred and the profane. (profane is anything not Sacred.) The Church was an observer and judge of the secular world. It sent down instructions and and laws. The structure was very rigid and worked from the top down. The Church was "The Mystical Body of Christ".

However, the Vatican II council declared that the we, the people, were "The Church". Collegiality was the new way of doing things. The Roman Curia was revamped and its members were gathered from many parts of the world to replace the mostly Italian membership.  Pastors were to form and support pastoral councils of the lay members of their parish. Bishops were to have Diocesan Pastoral Councils. There have been a series of Synods of various bishops called to study issues and advise the Pope. Information is moving up, not just down. Pope John VI decreed on Sept. 15, 1965 that worldwide synods of bishops should meet in Rome from time to time to address pastoral concerns of the Church.  

Our discussion after viewing the video brought up the following:

There is still resistance to this new way of doing things but the door is open. An example of the resistance can be seen in the episode of Humanae Vitae. Pope Paul VI established a commission in 1966 to study the question of birth control. He appointed conservative bishops, lay people, and experts to the task. The commission recommended overwhelming that the Church's position be relaxed and many Catholics assumed the Pope would concur with his commission. There was nothing from the Pope for two years and then in 1968 he issued Humanae Vitae, (Of Human Life) which restated the Church's long standing rejection of artificial birth control, ignoring his commission's recommendations. There were protests all over the world and especially in Europe and North America. It is estimated that 80% of Catholics rejected the Encyclical. The Pope was so shaken by the reaction that he vowed never to issue another encyclical, and he didn't.

Paul VI's successor, John Paul II, has continued the call of Synods and the issuance of encyclicals. The struggle between conservatives and liberals persists with gains and losses on each side. But, the Church has become more modern and more open to collegiality. The Holy Spirit is still with us.


My Church

This is not so much about St. Julie Billiart parish, but about the NEW Catholic Church. It may not seem new to my children and definitely not new to my grandchildren but it is no longer the same church that I grew up in and did not understand during that time. It is new and dedicated to Jesus as a result of the Vatican II council of bishops.

Part 4
The Faithful Revolution:
Vatican II

The World of Grandpa Don 

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