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THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
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THE DOCUMENTS OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
Pope John XXIII’s Address to Open the Council Intention and Convocation of Vatican II
On the Church in the Modern World Gaudium Et Spes
Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen GentiumDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum
Declaration on Religious Freedom Dignitatis Humanae
Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio
Decree on the Churches of the Eastern Rite Orientalium Ecclesiarum
On the Relation to Non-Christian Religions Nostra Aetate
Guidelines on Religious Relations with the Jews
Decree on Mission Activity of the Church Ad Gentes
Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis
Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops Christus Dominus
Decree on Apostolate of Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem
Constitution on Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium
Decree on Renewal of Religious Life Perfectae Sacramentum-Caritatis
Decree on Ministry of Priests Presbyterorum Ordinis
Decree on Priestly Training Optatam Totius
The Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 18 November 1965, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,344 to 6. It is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council, indeed their very foundation in the view of one of the leading Council Fathers, Bishop Christopher Butler. The phrase "Dei verbum" is Latin for "Word of God" and is taken from the first line of the document, as is customary for titles of major Catholic documents.
Lumen gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. This dogmatic constitution was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 21 November 1964, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,151 to 5. As is customary with significant Roman Catholic Church documents, it is known by its incipit, "Lumen gentium", Latin for "Light of the Nations".Lumen gentium magnified the authority, identity, and the mission of the church, as well as the duty of the faithful.
Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, is one of the constitutions of the Second Vatican Council. It was approved by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,147 to 4 and promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 4 December 1963. The main aim was to achieve greater lay participation in the Catholic Church's liturgy. The title is taken from the opening lines of the document and means "this Sacred Council".
Gaudium et Spes
Gaudium et spes (Ecclesiastical Latin: [ˈɡawdium et ˈspɛs], Joy and Hope), the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, was one of the four constitutions resulting from the Second Vatican Council. Together, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium (LG), and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (GS) stand as the two pillars of the Second Vatican Council.[why?] The Dogmatic Constitution treats the nature of the church in itself; the Pastoral Constitution treats its mission in the world. Approved by a vote of 2,307 to 75 of the bishops assembled at the council, it was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 7 December 1965, the day the council ended. As is customary with Catholic documents, the title is taken from its opening words in Latin "the joys and hopes". The English translation begins:
The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are
poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well.
"Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators. This role in education is so important that only with difficulty can it be supplied where it is lacking. Parents are the ones who must create a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man, in which the well-rounded personal and social education of children is fostered. Hence the family is the first school of the social virtues that every society needs.
Nostra aetate (Latin: In our Time) is the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council. Passed by a vote of 2,221 to 88 of the assembled bishops, this declaration was promulgated on 28 October 1965 by Pope Paul VI. It is the shortest of the 16 final documents of the Council and "the first in Catholic history to focus on the relationship that Catholics have with Jews." It "reveres the work of God in all the major faith traditions." It begins by stating its purpose of reflecting on what humankind have in common in these times when people are being drawn closer together.
Pope John XXIII had originally conceived it as an expression of the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jews. Over the course of several substantial revisions, the focus of the document was broadened to address relationships with several faiths. Opposition from conservative elements in the Church was overcome and support was gained from Jewish organisations.
Dignitatis Humanae (Latin: Of the Dignity of the Human Person[a]) is the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom. In the context of the council's stated intention "to develop the doctrine of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and the constitutional order of society", Dignitatis Humanae spells out the church's support for the protection of religious liberty. It set the ground rules by which the church would relate to secular states, both pluralistic ones like the United States and officially Catholic nations like Malta and Costa Rica.The passage of this measure by a vote of 2,308 to 70 is considered by many to be one of the most significant events of the council. This declaration was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December 7, 1965. Dignitatis Humanae became one of the key points of dispute between the Vatican and traditionalists such as Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre who argued that the encyclical was incompatible with previous authoritatively stated Catholic teaching
Ad gentes is the Second Vatican Council's decree on missionary activity. The title is Latin for "To the Nations," and is from the first line of the decree, as is customary with Roman Catholic documents. It establishes evangelization as one of the fundamental missions of the Catholic Church and reaffirms the tie between evangelization and charity for the poor. Ad Gentes also calls for the formation of strong Christian communities as well as strong relations with other Christians. Finally, it lays out guidelines for the training and actions of the missionaries.
Agitation among the Council Fathers for a separate and distinct conciliar decree on the priesthood began in the second session of the council (1963), in the course of the discussions about the drafts concerning the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium). Presbyterorum Ordinis has come to be one of the defining documents on the role and duties of the priesthood in the modern era.
Apostolicam Actuositatem is the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity. It was approved by a vote of 2,340 to 2 of bishops assembled at the Council, and promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 18 November 1965. The title is Latin for "Apostolic Activity", which is from the first line of the decree, as is customary with significant Catholic documents. The purpose of the document was to encourage and guide lay Catholics in their Christian service. In this decree the Council sought to describe the nature, character, and diversity of the lay apostolate, to state its basic principles, and to give pastoral directives for its more effective exercise. The specific objectives of lay ministry are: evangelization and sanctification, renewal of the temporal order,[clarification needed] and charitable works and social aid. The decree quotes Colossians 3:17: "Whatever you do in word or work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him
Optatam totius, the Decree on Priestly Training, is a document which was produced by the Second Vatican Council. Approved by a vote of 2,318 to 3 of the bishops assembled at the council, the decree was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on October 28, 1965. The Latin title means "desired renewal of the whole. The period that followed the promulgation Optatam totius was marked by a severe drop in the number of priestly vocations in the Western World. Church leaders had argued that age-old secularization was to blame and that it was not directly related to the documents of the council. Historians have also pointed to the damage caused by the sexual revolution in 1968 and the strong backlash over Humanae vitae. Yet other authors[who?] have asserted that the drop in vocations was at least partly deliberate and was part of an attempt to de-clericalize the church and allow for a more pluralistic clergy.
The Second Vatican Council had already given an exposition of the nature of religious life in chapter 6 of the constitution Lumen gentium. This chapter described the essential form of religious life as a life "consecrated by the profession of the evangelical counsels". The decree Perfectae caritatis was published in order to, "treat of the life and discipline of those institutes whose members make profession of chastity, poverty and obedience and to provide for their needs in our time". Perfectae Caritatis clarifies some of Lumen gentium's content and becomes an important way to integrate it. Both documents reorient religious life from primarily a way of individual sanctification to a means for the sanctification of the church. An essentially ecclesial focus permeates the entire document. According to Archbishop Franc Rodé, Prefect for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, "the good of the Church is the raison d'être of the Document. Perfectae caritatis is subtitled "Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life". Adaptation refers to adjusting to the "changed conditions of the times”"; renewal refers to "a continuous return to the sources of all Christian life and to the original inspiration behind a given community.” Religious communities were urged to return to their roots, adapt to the needs of the contemporary world in light of Scripture and the early intent their founders. For many religious communities, this involved revisiting the historical events relative to their foundation. The decree directed that each institute review its governing documents and re-evaluate its constitutions, books of prayers, and ceremonies and that obsolete rules be dispensed with.
The role of the bishops of the church was brought into renewed prominence, especially when seen collectively, as a college that has succeeded to that of the apostles in teaching and governing the church. This college does not exist without its head, the successor of St. Peter. In these days especially bishops frequently are unable to fulfil their office effectively and fruitfully unless they develop a common effort involving constant growth in harmony and closeness of ties with other bishops. Episcopal conferences already established in many nations-have furnished outstanding proofs of a more fruitful apostolate. Therefore, this sacred synod considers it to be supremely fitting that everywhere bishops belonging to the same nation or region form an association which would meet at fixed times. Thus, when the insights of prudence and experience have been shared and views exchanged, there will emerge a holy union of energies in the service of the common good of the churches
Unitatis Redintegratio articulates a different kind of ecclesiology than Praeclara. It focuses on the unity of the people of God and on separate Christian brethren rather than insisting according to the classical formulation that schismatics must return to the fold under the unity of the Vicar of Christ. Unitatis Redintegratio acknowledges that there are serious problems facing prospects of reunion with Reformation communities that make no attempt to claim apostolic succession as the Anglican communion does. Ecclesial communities that adhere to Unitatis Redintegratio (Latin for "Restoration of unity") is the Second Vatican Council's decree on ecumenism. It was passed by a vote of 2,137 to 11 of the bishops assembled and was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 21 November 1964. Its title is taken from the opening words of the Latin text. The opening of the document's English translation is: "The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council." Unitatis Redintegratio calls for the reunion of Christendom and is similar to previous calls for unity by Pope Leo XIII in the 1894 encyclical Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae. However, Unitatis articulates a different kind of ecclesiology than Praeclara. It focuses on the unity of the people of God and on separate Christian brethren rather than insisting according to the classical formulation that schismatics must return to the fold under the unity of the Vicar of Christ.
Orientalium Ecclesiarum is the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Eastern Catholic Churches. One of the shortest conciliar documents, it was approved by a vote of 2,110 to 39 and promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964. "Orientalium Ecclesiarum" is Latin for "of [the] Eastern Churches," and is taken from the first line of the decree, as is customary with Roman Catholic official documents. The decree recognizes the right of Eastern Catholics to keep their own distinct liturgical practices while remaining in full communion with the Holy See. The decree exhorts Eastern Catholics to "take steps to return to their ancestral traditions." This aspect of the decree was directed against Latinisation.
The document specifies some of the autonomous powers of the Eastern Churches. In particular, the Patriarch (or where applicable, major archbishop) and synod have the power to establish eparchies, to nominate bishops within their patriarchate, to legislate the rights and obligations of the minor orders (including subdiaconate), and to determine the date for celebrating Easter within their rite. It furthermore recognized the ancient practice in the East regarding the sacrament of confirmation (Chrismation), stating that all Eastern priests have the power to administer this sacrament using chrism blessed by a bishop. One of the implications of this is the further practice of infant communion was formally recognized.
Inter Mirifica On the Means of Social Communication is a decree made by the council at Vatican II and it was promulgated on December 4, 1963 by Pope Paul VI. It is composed of 24 points, with the aim of addressing the concerns and problems of social communication. Inter Mirifica identifies social communication as the press, cinema, television, and other similar types of communication interfaces. The title is taken from the opening lines of the document and means "among the wonderful".
The term social communications, apart from its more general use, has become the preferred term within documents of the Catholic Church for reference to media or mass media. It has the advantage, as a term, of wider connotation - all communication is social but not all communication is "mass". In effect, though, the two terms are used synonymously.
While Inter Mirifica was one of the first decrees to reach a conclusion during Vatican II, the document itself went through many drafts, throughout its development. Over 70 drafts of Inter Mirifica were prepared, yet out of all of these drafts, only nine were ready for final approval from the Vatican Council. The first draft Schema of a constitution on the Means of Social Communications, combined with the other six, were made into one volume by July 1962. This draft document consisted of an Introduction (nos 1-5), doctrines of the Church (6-33), the Apostolate of the Church in the field (34-48), the discipline and the ecclesiastical order (49-63), the different means of social communication (64-105), other means of Social Communication (106-111) and a conclusion (112-114). Although the discussion on Inter Mirifica lasted for a short period (November 23–27, 1962), the document had a drastic change. The final draft, reduced to a quarter of its original length, which contains an introductory section, two short chapters and a conclusion.
ARTICLES IN RELATION TO VATICAN II AND OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES
21) THE REALITY OF THE CATHOLIC EASTERN CHURCHES IN THE CONTEXT OF VATICAN II AND ECUMENISM: MODEL AND BRIDGE FOR UNITY?
35) THE HOLY SEE RELEASED THE RELEASED THE THE PAPAL MOTU PROPRIO ON SATURDAY IN WHICH POPE FRANCIS CHANGED THE CATHOLIC CODE OF CANON LAW TO GRANT LOCAL BISHOPS MORE RESPONSIBILITY IN THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPING THEIR OWN LITURGICAL TRANSLATIONS AND MAKING "ADAPTATIONS"