The 2nd Vatican Council was called by Pope John XXIII in 1962 and lasted until 1965. Pope John XXIII died before the end of the Council. It was concluded by Pope Paul VI. The Council's work is still very much debated and interpreted in various ways to the present day.Preview This Lesson
Buy Councils #22: Vatican II, 1962 to 1965 for only $0.99
The Tridentine Mass is offered in July 2009
photograph by Lumen Roma
The previous twenty lessons of this course present an overview and study of the importance of the Councils of the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, in our modern era, these are all too often none other than the “Forgotten Councils of the Catholic Church.” With so many people quoting Vatican II, do Catholic still understand, believe, and follow the teachings of the first twenty councils of our Faith?
While studying in the seminary, modern day students studying for the priesthood will often hear mention of Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI. On rare occasions they hear the names of Pope John XXIII and Pope Pius XII. It was as if the Catholic Faith had begun in the 1960s. Why have so few failed to study and learn the treasures of wisdom contained in the teachings of the first twenty councils?
Unlike the Councils mentioned in the aforementioned sections of this course, Vatican II was not a doctrinal council. Its purpose was not to define dogma. Such a fact is stated by Pope John XXIII himself:
The salient point of this council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all. For this a council was not necessary. […] The substance of the ancient doctrine of the Deposit of Faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.
Opening Address, October 11, 1962; Walter M. Abbott, SJ, The Documents of Vatican II, p. 715
And yet despite the fact that Vatican II was not a doctrinal council, there are some who erroneously claim it was doctrinal. Far too many people feel that Vatican II and Pope John XXIII called for an end to the Mass said in Latin or feel that they wished for the altar to be “turned around” so that the priest would face the people. Neither the Holy Father nor the Council called for these changes. On the contrary, the Council Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) called for Traditional worship to be kept. Quoting from sections in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy:
2. In virtue of pow... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
Councils #22: Vatican II, 1962 to 1965 is part of the following course(s):