Second Vatican Council

Meeting from 1962 to 1965, the council addressed the Catholic Church and its relationship to the modern world in an effort to renew the Church and work toward healing the rifts between the Christian faiths. It was here that the requirement to conduct all masses in Latin was relaxed.

526 Questions
Catholicism
Vatican City
Bishops
Second Vatican Council

What was the purpose of the Second Vatican Council?

The Second Vatican Council (otherwise known as Vatican II) was a pastoral council, convened in order to update and review the disciplines, policies and attitude of the Catholic Church vis-a-via the modern world. Many documents were drafted and voted on in this Council that had a very progressive flavor that ultimately caused a rift among the Council fathers as Conservatives fought to organize and resist the changes. What came out of this was a series of vague documents that both sides could effectively interpret. After Vatican II, the liberal forces having triumphed, the progressive view was adopted which led to the liturgical reforms that brought forth the modern Novus Ordo Missa or New Mass as well as the attitudes towards liturgy in general in its conduct, literature, prayers, architecture and ecumenism. The Council made no dogmatic definitions nor did it declare itself a full ecumenical council versus just a pastoral one. Traditionalists that continue to resist the effects of Vatican II point to this as their justification for rejecting outright or resisting the modern changes. An excellent and remarkably objective book on the Council is "The Rhine Flows into the Tiber" by Ralph M. Wiltgen, who was a journalist covering it at the time.

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What did the Vatican II Council documents say about Protestants?

Amongst other things it referred to them as 'separated brethren' implying a common Christian faith and thus promoting ecumenism.

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What were the changes made at Vatican II?

More answers from our community:

The Second Vatican Council (commonly called Vatican II) called for a modernization of some church practices as a means of opening a dialogue with the world and better spreading the good news of the Gospel. Contrary to some belief, Vatican II changed no doctrines of the Church, since doctrine can never change. One of the most visible changes resulting froim Vatican II was the celebration of the Mass in the vernacular (i.e., current languages such as English, Spanish, French, etc., depending on the country) instead of Latin. Another was a new emphasis on the role of the laity (non-ordained persons) in the life of the Church.

Answer

The vernacular - The language of the church was Latin. But the Vatican brought about change by bringing in the vernacular (native tongue) being English into the church. Having the church in the one language everywhere made catholics welcome across the world uniting them together

The priest faced the laity - During the ceremony the priest used to face the altar and say the mass with his back to the people. The Second Vatican Council changed this so that the priest faced the people connecting them with God.

The Eucharist is received on the hand - Communion (Eucharist) used to be received on the tongue as no one was allowed to touch the host, even if it fell on the floor the priest would have to pick it up. Communion is now received in the hand and we are allowed to touch the host

Laity are involved in the mass - the laity are now involved in the mass not just the men. They can be altar servers, sing, read, or give out the host. This brought the people together as they were able to connect as one catholic body with God

Answer

A few changes were the masses were now said in English, not Latin. The Priest faces the parish during the mass, and the Church supposedly started accepting the other religions and respecting them.

Correction:

The Mass is in English only in those countries where the language is spoken. The Mass is in whatever the local language happens to be.

Mainly it was the modernizing of the Church.

  • Rather than speaking Latin, the language of the Mass became the vernacular (The language of the people/religion)
  • Format of the Mass

    - Responses were changed

    - Readings were changed

    - Altar was not at the back

    -priest faced the congregation during the Mass.

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How did Vatican II change the Catholic church?

Mass in English and priest facing the people.

Catholic AnswerVatican Council II, for the first time in history, was an entirely pastoral council. Of the twenty-one ecumenical councils of the Church, Vatican Council II was the only one to not deal with any doctrinal issues. The task assigned to the Council by Pope John XXIII was Aggiornamento, in Italian this means a bringing up to date. The Pope asked the Council to try to speak to the people of modern times, to put things in terms that they could understand, to make things more relevant to them.

The two things mentioned above, Mass in English and the priest facing the people, were not requested not mandated by the Vatican Council. As the current Pontiff and his predecessor have mentioned, the Church went off the rails and put in things that were "in the spirit of Vatican II". Well, if there was a spirit of Vatican II, this wasn't it. The Council did request that the readings be put in the vernacular so that people could more readily understand them, however, it specifically requested that the rest of the Mass remain in Latin. As for the priest facing the people - there is absolutely nothing in any of the Council documents that even mention this, and, as a matter of fact, the Missal, itself, specifically mentions that at certain times during the Mass, the priest "is to turn around and face the people" assuming that the priest is facing the altar with his back to the people - a position known as "ad orientem" (toward the east-everybody facing the same direction).

Please see the links below:

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Who attended the Second Vatican Council?

The second vatican council was attended by representatives from many churches including bishops, priests, etc.

The Vatican had over 2600 Bishops and another addition to theologians and other experts, adding up to 3000. It consisted of;

  • 1089 bishops from Europe
  • 489 bishops from South America
  • 404 bishops from North America
  • 374 bishops from Asia
  • 296 bishops from Africa
  • 84 bishops from Central America
  • 75 bishops from Oceania, , which included Papua New Guinea, The Solomon Islands, New Zealand and Australia
  • 63 observers from other Christian Churches
  • 52 lay men and women over the whole four years.
Catholic AnswerThe main participants in the Council, and the only voting members were the Bishops of the Catholic Church. They, however, brought with them a number of theological experts, the current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, was one of these experts at the Vatican Council. Also invited were various observers from other religions, including our separated brethren in the East, and protestants, who attended as observers, which was quite a break with earlier Councils, although the Lutherans were invited to the Council of Trent in the 16th century, they refused to attend.
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What reasons did Bl John XXIII give for calling the Second Vatican Council?

The main reason that the Second Vatican Council was held was because the reigning Pope, Blessed John XXIII willed it and called it. In opening the Council he gave them very specific reasons as to why he called them and what he wanted them to do; they are contained in his opening speech (to open the Council), which you may read at the link below. His primary objective was to shake the Church out of her lethargy and go out to preach the Gospel, the precious gift that she had been given by Jesus Christ, to the world. To "update" the message so that it would resonate with the world.
The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/vatican2.htm

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What was the difference between Vatican I and Vatican II?

Vatican 1 was a dogmatic council and specifically addressed papal infallibility. Vatican II was a pastoral council (no dogma defined, no infallible teachings).

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What made the Second Vatican Council different from the others?

Anther answer from our community:

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The main difference between the Second Vatican Council and the twenty ecumenical councils that preceded it is the the first twenty councils were always primarily concerned with doctrinal concerns and with pastoral concerns secondarily. I believe all of the previous councils had been called to deal with particular heresies that had arisen, from the First Council of Nicaea which dealt with Arianism to the Council of Trent with dealt with protestantism, I'm not sure about the First Vatican Council. The Second Vatican Council, however, dealt with no doctrinal issues whatsoever and was not called because of any problems with heresies but was primarily a pastoral council. Blessed Pope John XXIII called the Council to deal with updating or making the Church more sensitive to the issues in the modern world. Unlike the previous Councils which settled heresies, the Church had to deal with a number of heresies that arose after the Council.

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What was the significance of the Second Vatican Council?

Another answer from our community:

The primary significance of the Second Vatican Council was to attempt to frame the Church's teaching in modern language in an effort to reach men where they currently are and to put various teachings of the Popes over the previous century and a half into a more formal relationship with the Gospel so that, for instance, the social teaching of most of the Popes from Pope Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum through Pope John XXIII, himself, could be better integrated and thus taught. Unfortunately, the message of the Council was hijacked and the "Spirit of the Council" was used to make many unfortunate changes in the Church which were not called for, and were, shall we say, less than helpful, this is now being corrected. We shall not know the full significance of the Second Vatican Council for yet another fifty years, I would say. You will see the full effects of these Council in the later half of the 21st century. No one ever said that the Church moves fast.

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What did Cardinal Bea do in the second Vatican Council?

The main thing for which Cardinal Augustin Bea (1881-1968) will be remembered is his devotion to ecumenism. He dearly wanted all Christians to be united on some level and tried to bring about some understanding between the Roman Catholic Church and Judaism. He had grand vision in that he wanted to bring about some understanding not only with other Christians, but with non-Christian religions as well. He was the author of many books on ecumenism, the most notable being Nostra Aetate (Our Age), which was approved by Pope Paul VI and published in 1965. He was particularly incensed by anti-Semitism and drafted another book Decretum de Judaeis (Decree on the Jews) which was finalized in 1961 but unfortunately never formally presented to the Second Vatican Council which meant his thoughts on anti-Semitism were never properly aired at Vatican II. Unlike the current pope, Benedict XVI who is a traditionalist/conservative, Cardinal Bea will be remembered as a truly progressive ecumenist who died to soon as his driving force may well have really modernised the Roman Catholic Church.

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When did Vatican II start?

The Vatican II (2) was in session from October 11, 1962 until December 8, 1965.

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Who is Jesus in post Vatican II?

Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. (Heb 13:8) So, who is Jesus? He is true God and True Man, coeternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is risen from the dead for the salvation of his people. He is really, sacramentally present in the Eucharist through the ministry of the Church he established. He will come again to raise the dead, to judge the world, and to usher in the Kingdom of God. How is this different than before the Second Vatican Council? Not at all. The Second Vatican Council (1961-1965) was not a doctrinal council, called to define or settle Christological doctrine (as most of the councils were in the first 600 years of the Church). Rather, the Second Vatican Council was a council called to consider the role of the Church in the so-called 'modern world'. Thus, the aim of Vatican 2 was pastoral and disciplinary rather than doctrinal. Subjectively, it might be said that Catholics have a different understanding of Jesus in light of this council. Indeed, Catholics should come away with a different view of Jesus every time the read Sacred Scripture and participate in Holy Mass. The percieved "difference" resulting from the council is not a change in the nature of Jesus or an advance in Divine Revelation... it is simply a matter of new points of observation and/or new points of reference on part of Christians. During the 20th century, a number of movements within Catholic theology might tend to make people think that <i>our</i> understanding of Jesus has changed-- and probably it has to some degree. Some of this advance is due to advances in science and textual criticism and the need to respond to these advances. Some of the advance is due to new thinking in new ways and new terms which have not been thought of before. Some of it is a response to new problems in the Church which have never been confronted before. These advances mark an advance in our understanding of Divine Revelation (but not a change in Divine Revelation itself). Interestingly, popular Catholic theology and liturgical practice of the 20th century seem to be but a faint shadow of the great Catholic theolgians of the same era: Newman, DeLubac, Balthasar, Rahner, Wojtyla. This is not an endorsement of 'conservative' versus 'liberal' or 'traditional' versus 'progressive', but rather, an observation that the theology which people talk about and priests preach about is probably going to look a lot different than what is remembered about this era of theology over time. It takes a long time for theologians to be integrated into the larger understanding of the faith... often because it is necessary to get them off the world stage as a political figure in their own right (this is the thought of George Weigel on the acceptance of John Paul II's 'theology of the body'... a movement he consideres nothing short of a 'theological time bomb' which stands posed to form the thinking of the Church for centuries)... and localized abberations and over/under-emphases in theological thought which are simply crushed under by the wisdom of the ages. Unfortunately, many of these 20th century theological movements have been conflated with the council, rather than being understood in their own as rightful developments of the theological sciences which would have occured with or without the council. Further, "The Spirit of Vatican II" (which is more and more tending to be considered a perjorative term representing an unenlightened 'anything goes' attitude) was regrettably considered by many a license to enter into unorthodox theological speculation which has deformed and discredited Catholic thought and scandalized all the faithful to some extent. Theological systems which undermine Scripture and Sacred Tradition, which call into question some aspect of the the true divinity and true humanity of Christ, which claim to be a 'new revelation" of Christ are no less true today than any other time in Chrisitian history.

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What happened at the Second Vatican Council?

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Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council. He died before it ended, and it was left to his successor Pope Paul VI to reconvene the council and see it concluded. The brief for the Council was to update the Catholic Church for the modern era. It introduced liturgical changes to the mass, defined the roles of the bishops and, most importantly of all, changed the Catholic Church's teaching on the dignity of man and the absolute right of all to religious freedom, unhindered by state or Church.

The previous declarations on these issues were contained in the Syllabus of Errors, issued by Pius IX in 1864, in response to the Enlightenment. It was considered by Catholic theologians as having binding force, although opinion was divided as to whether each and every statement defined in the Syllabus as false was infallibly false. It condemned as false statements requiring separation of Church and state, as well as all statements in support of religious freedom. In states where Catholics are in the minority, they have the right to public worship. In states where others faiths are in the minority, they have no right to public worship because only the true faith has the right to public worship.

Perez Zagorin (How the Idea of Religious Toleration Came to the West) considers the Declaration on Religious Freedom, passed by the Council in December 1965, to be an accomplishment of world importance. It signified a complete reversal of the Catholic Church's former attitude to toleration and announced its adherence to religious freedom as a universal principle, contemporary obligation and necessity. Fiercely debated and meeting with considerable resistance from some Vatican officials and a number of bishops, it states, "the human person has a right to religious freedom." It asserts that all men are to be immune from coercion by individuals, social groups, or any human power, so that "In matters religious no one is forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs. Nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits." Furthermore, "the right of parents are violated, if their children are forced to attend lessons or instructions which are not in agreement with their religious beliefs."

The Declaration also acknowledged that the Church had acted at times in ways "which were less in accord with the gospel and even opposed to it," but does not express any contrition or apology for the Church's record of religious persecution.

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AnswerWith all due respect to my esteemed colleague, I would have to say that the Dignitatis Humanae, (Declaration on Religious Liberty,) a very minor document issued near the end of the Second Vatican Council was little more than a footnote to a very important Council. That document was aimed at establishing the rights of the Church as opposed to the numerous governments throughout the twentieth century that had tried in various ways to suppress it, notably Nazi Germany and Communist Russia and China. You may read it at the link below.

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In the first year, the Council addressed the Sacred Liturgy and the means of social communication. They considered the Sacred Liturgy massively important, and their detail and time spent on it shows that. In the second year, the Council addressed the Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, the Decree on the Catholic Churches in the East, and the Decree on Ecumenism. In the third year, they addressed the office of Bishops in the Church, religious life, the training of priests, the declaration on Christian Education, relation of the Church to non-Christian religions, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, the degree on the apostolate of lay people, the decree on religious liberty, the decree on the Church's missionary activity, and the pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. You may view all of these documents at the links below.

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Explain the purpose of the Vatican II Council?

According to Pope John XXIII, who called the Council, its main purposes were threefold:

?Spiritual Renewal - promoting peace and unity of human kind ?Pastoral Updating - "Aggiornamento"

?Ecumenical Unity - that all Christians may be one

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What were the last two weeks of Lent called prior to Vatican II?

In the Roman calendar in place in 1962, the last two weeks of lent were called (in English), "Passiontide". There were subtle changes in the liturgy during this time to denote the deepening Lenten observance of the passion and death of the Lord... for example, the psalm Iudica me at the foot of the altar was not said. Passiontide started on the second Sunday before Easter (the 5th Sunday in Lent-- the weekend after Laetare Sunday) and was labeled Dominica Prima Passionis (the first Sunday of the Passion). The following Sunday was simply Dominica II Passionis seu Palmis, or "the Second Sunday of the Passion or (Sunday) of Palms". On this day and through the week (Holy Week), the liturgy would become even more solemn with the distribution, blessing, and procession with palm branches on Sunday and the reading of the passions from the different gospels on Sunday and the other days of the week. In the present calendar, Passiontide is more or less equivalent to Holy Week, with little additional outward observance compared to the rest of Lent. Two seemingly vestigial practices are observed in the current liturgy. First, the prefaces of the Passion of the Lord may be used from the fifth week of Lent, on. Second, there is a small note after the Saturday Mass of the 4th week of Lent in the current missal which notes that the crucifix and statues may be covered in the Church, according to instructions from the Conference of Bishops. (I suppose that, based on these observances, one could argue that Passiontide continues to be observed in the last two weeks of Lent with its growing focus on the Passion and death of the Lord.)

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What was the result of the Second Vatican Council?

A:Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council, but he died before it ended, and it was left to his successor Pope Paul VI to reconvene the council and see it concluded. The brief for the Council was to update the Catholic Church for the modern era. It introduced liturgical changes to the mass, defined the roles of the bishops and, most importantly of all, changed the Catholic Church's teaching on the dignity of man and the absolute right of all to religious freedom, unhindered by state or Church. The Council's most important outcome, the Declaration on Religious Freedompassed by the Council in December 1965 was an accomplishment of world importance.

The previous declarations on these issues were contained in the Syllabus of Errors, issued by Pius IX in 1864, in response to the Enlightenment. It was considered by Catholic theologians as having binding force, although opinion was divided as to whether each and every statement defined in the Syllabus as false was infallibly false. It condemned as false statements requiring separation of Church and state, as well as all statements in support of religious freedom. In states where Catholics are in the minority, they have the right to public worship. In states where others faiths are in the minority, they have no right to public worship because only the true faith has the right to public worship.

The Declaration on Religious Freedom signified a complete reversal of the Catholic Church's former attitude to toleration and announced its adherence to religious freedom as a universal principle, contemporary obligation and necessity. Fiercely debated and meeting with considerable resistance from some Vatican officials and a number of bishops, it states, "the human person has a right to religious freedom." It asserts that all men are to be immune from coercion by individuals, social groups, or any human power, so that "In matters religious no one is forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs. Nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits." Furthermore, "the right of parents are violated, if their children are forced to attend lessons or instructions which are not in agreement with their religious beliefs."

The Declaration also acknowledged that the Church had acted at times in ways "which were less in accord with the gospel and even opposed to it," but does not express any contrition or apology for the Church's record of religious persecution.

AnswerWith all due respect to my esteemed colleague, I would have to say that the Dignitatis Humanae, Declaration on Religious Liberty,) a very minor document issued near the end of the Second Vatican Council, had almost no discernable impact whatsoever. That document was aimed at establishing the rights of the Church as opposed to the numerous governments throughout the twentieth century that had tried in various ways to suppress it, notably Nazi Germany and Communist Russia and China. You may read it at the link below.

Probably most noticeable to many Catholics in the first forty years following the Second Vatican Council were things like the Sacred Eucharist and various sacraments being celebrated in the vernacular, the priest facing the people, and a HUGE drop in the participation in the sacrament of Confession, while, at the same time, a HUGE increase in people going to Holy Communion every Sunday. None of these things were a result of the Council at all. As far as vernacular is concerned the Council asked for a very restricted use of the vernacular in the Mass (The use of the Latin language, with due respect to particular law {the Eastern Rites}, is to be preserved in the Latin rites. . . . however . . . a wider use may be made of it, especially in readings, directives and in some prayers and chants." The Council NEVER called for the priest to face the people, and the Council certainly never recommended that people receive Holy Communion while not in a state of grace, while neglecting the Sacrament of Confession.

The Council did call for an increase in ecumenism, particularly with regard to our separated brethren in the East who still maintain the priesthood and the sacraments.

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Liturgy
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How has the Church changed before and after the Vatican II Council through the liturgy?

Traditional Mass (followed since the earliest days of the Church)

New Mass (1969 and later)

Mass was the solemn worship of God offered as a "sacrifice" for our sins

Mass now more of a memorial, instructional service or meeting

Mass said in Latin for centuries

Mass inaccurately translated to English

Rituals & prayers untouched since the early days of the Church

Rituals & prayers changed or removed despite prior Popes' disapproval

Priest faces Our Lord in the Tabernacle

Priest has his back to tabernacle (if there is a tabernacle)

Communion received on the tongue

Communion received in the hand

Communion received kneeling

Communion received standing

Communion distributed by priest only

Communion distributed by anyone

Silence, reverence & devotion during Mass

Talking and little devoutness during Mass

Sisters sing beautiful hymns at Mass

Modern, profane music at Mass

Priest reverent and restrained during Mass

Priest very casual and frequently joking

Frequent signs of the cross & genuflections by priest and laity

Far fewer signs of the cross & genuflections

No variations in Mass across parishes

Large variations across parishes (ONE Church should have NO variation)

High Mass with incense

No more high masses or use of incense

Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Benediction completely changed or abolished

Altar boys only

Altar girlsOnly clergy and altar boys in sanctuaryAnyone in the sanctuaryOnly Traditional missal used according to decrees of Council of TrentTraditional missal discarded, contrary to decrees of Council of Trent

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When and where was the Second Vatican Council held?

The Second Vatican Council was held at the Basilica in Rome. During the years of 1962-1965, it was called by pope John XXIII.

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Catholic AnswerVatican Council II was held in Vatican City (which is in Rome, Italy). Church councils have always been named after the city in which they were held, from the Council of Jerusalem through the two Vatican Councils (which are the latest). Vatican Council II opened October 11th, 1962 and was closed December 8th, 1965, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

In Vatican City though some sessions were held elsewhere in Rome and within Italy as a whole.

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Answer

The Vatican Council II met in St. Peter's Basilica when all the Council Fathers came together for a vote or some such. I don't think there was any other building that could hold all the Bishops from the entire world at one time:

The Vatican had over 2600 Bishops and another addition to theologians and other experts, adding up to 3000. It consisted of;

  • 1089 bishops from Europe
  • 489 bishops from South America
  • 404 bishops from North America
  • 374 bishops from Asia
  • 296 bishops from Africa
  • 84 bishops from Central America
  • 75 bishops from Oceania, , which included Papua New Guinea, The Solomon Islands, New Zealand and Australia
  • 63 observers from other Christian Churches
  • 52 lay men and women over the whole four years.

Please note, only Bishops were official members of the Vatican Council. Smaller meetings were held all over the Vatican in different meeting halls according to the size need.

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How was it having the service in Latin before the Vatican II?

The Latin rite in its pre-liturgical reform splendor was described as "the most beautiful thing this side of heaven."

Mass was celebrated in different degrees depending on the occasion. There was Low Mass, High Mass and Pontifical Masses. Low Mass was solemn but without the extra splendor of High Mass: there was no singing, no chanting, no grand procession, no sermon, etc. It was basically the Mass abridged and lasted anywhere from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Low mass was especially designed for the faithful, that they might be able to attend daily before going to work or school. It was quite common before the 1960s for Catholics to for Catholics to go to Mass daily. This practice is all but extinct as the new mass is designed for communal celebration, which is not feasible for the working person or student. A High Mass was celebrated on Sundays and special celebrations or feasts during the week. The High Mass had incense, chant, Gregorian chant, organ music, often a sermon, a grand procession, more prayers, etc. Pontifical Masses were Masses celebrated with a bishop as the celebrant. Often these were specific to certain sacraments or special occasions. The ceremonies could be incredibly complex. Sermons, when they were given, were often very precise about Catholic theology and morals, and were noted for their strength, for they did not strive to be politically correct or sympathetic to other religions vis a vis the Catholic concept of the truth. The new ecumenical push has dissolved this style of preaching.

Before the liturgical reform, all Latin Rite Masses were celebrated in Latin with the sermon given in the common language and often the Epistle and Gospel reread in the common language as well. This allowed Catholics to participate in the Mass anywhere in the world, for it would always be the same, minus the sermon: it was the same ceremony with the same words all over the world. In the old rite there were no Eucharistic ministers, readers or offertory procession, and the laity participated via singing, Gregorian chant, responses and receiving Communion. The receiving of Holy Communion in the hand was seen as a sacrilege, and was not practiced in the old rite, since the priest's hands alone were anointed to consecrate the Host and thus it was only seen as proper that he handle the sacred species and the containers, such as the chalice. This gave a tremendous gravity to the ceremony and emphasized the role of the priest as mediator and the Mass as a sacrifice.

The old set up had the priest facing the altar, which was often build into the wall of the sanctuary. The tabernacle was enthroned in the altar's center, hence why the priest faced it and not the people as is now the practice. The priest said many more prayers, made many more reverences (kissing the altar, sacred objects, etc.,) and overall the effect was one of great solemnity and sacredness. When there was music it could only be either Catholic hymns or Gregorian chant - often there were pieces in the Mass that were to be sung by a trained choir and others that could be sung by the congregation as they were familiar and often repeated each Sunday. The organ, save for rare exceptions, was the only instrument allowed to be played in church, as its sound was considered the most noble and inspiring.

After Vatican II the Mass was reformed in ways that lost the luster of its sacred character. In order to involve the laity to a further degree, the altar was shifted to the center of the sanctuary, that the priest might now address the people. Tabernacles were sent to a side alcove, to be referenced only when needed. The crucifix on the altar was also removed and often hung behind the priest on the wall - a move the old rite would not allow in principle. Eucharistic ministers and readers were introduced and the restrictions on handling the sacred species - despite never being revoked - were ignored until it became a fait accompli. The Mass is now regarded more as a community meal than a holy sacrifice with the emphasis on the people not the sacrifice of the altar and the priest's role has developed into a sort of master of ceremonies. The music quality has dropped significantly - Gregorian chant is almost gone and whole bands have been introduced to play music that emphasizes God's love and very rarely anything else. The liturgical calendar has also been redone, and many of the liturgical seasons and customs proper to certain places have fallen into obscurity. Things such as novelty masses, dancing, etc., would never be permitted in the old rite which saw the church space as sacred, and hence quiet and propriety in voice and dress were honoured.

The new Mass was purposely modeled to be more ecumenical, hence Archbishop Bugnini modified it with the aid of 6 Protestant ministers and a Jewish representative. Hence the visible character of the Mass differs little now from many organized Protestant ceremonies. Because of these reasons, there are some religious congregations, such as the Society of Saint Pius X, The Society of Saint Peter, etc., who came into existence solely to uphold the old ways. Due to the moral pressure of Catholics who reject the new way of Mass as unfulfilling and spiritually desiccated, Rome finally publicly acknowledged that the old rite was never formally abrogated and that any priest may celebrate it. Many bishops, whose indult used to be required before the old Mass could be said in the their dioceses, are not pleased with Rome making this acknowledgment and continue to make it difficult for priests to celebrate the old rite, at least publicly. As well, the classic Catholic community that used to center around the church is largely gone accept for hardcore cliques. Catholic communities used to be built around the church and the school, but since Catholic schools now rarely have mass, and daily mass is rarely done at church, Catholics only congregate on Sundays and have lost the sense of spiritual family that was so well noted of them throughout the centuries.

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What were the issues of Vatican II?

The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, or Vatican II, was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It opened under Pope John XXIII on October 11, 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI on December 8, 1965. At least four future pontiffs took part in the council's opening session: Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, who on succeeding Pope John XXIII took the name of Paul VI; Bishop Albino Luciani, the future Pope John Paul I; Bishop Karol Wojtyła, who became Pope John Paul II; and Father Joseph Ratzinger, present as a theological consultant, who became Pope Benedict XVI. == == Issues considered during the sessions included liturgy, mass communications, the Eastern Catholic churches, and the nature of revelation. Most notably, the schema on revelation was rejected by a majority of bishops, and Pope John intervened to require its rewriting. After adjournment on December 8, work began on preparations for the sessions scheduled for 1963. These preparations, however, were halted upon the death of Pope John XXIII on June 3, 1963. Pope Paul VI was elected on June 21, 1963 and immediately announced that the Council would continue.

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What were the changes made to the Church by the Second Vatican Council?

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The Second Vatican Council is most well known for changes to the liturgy of the Catholic Mass, but most of all it changed the Catholic Church's teaching on the dignity of man and the absolute right of all to religious freedom, unhindered by state or Church.

The previous declarations on these issues were contained in the Syllabus of Errors, issued by Pius IX in 1864, in response to the Enlightenment. It was considered by Catholic theologians as having binding force, although opinion was divided as to whether each and every statement defined in the Syllabus as false was infallibly false. It condemned as false statements requiring separation of Church and state, as well as all statements in support of religious freedom. In states where Catholics are in the minority, they have the right to public worship. In states where others faiths are in the minority, they have no right to public worship because only the true faith has the right to public worship.

Perez Zagorin (How the Idea of Religious Toleration Came to the West) considers the Declaration on Religious Freedom, passed by the Council in December 1965, to be an accomplishment of world importance. It signified a complete reversal of the Catholic Church's former inimical attitude to toleration and announced its adherence to religious freedom as a universal principle and contemporary obligation and necessity. Fiercely debated and meeting with considerable resistance from some Vatican officials and a number of bishops, it states, "the human person has a right to religious freedom." It asserts that all men are to be immune from coercion by individuals, social groups, or any human power, so that "In matters religious no one is forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs. Nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits." Furthermore, "the right of parents are violated, if their children are forced to attend lessons or instructions which are not in agreement with their religious beliefs."

The Declaration also acknowledged that the Church had acted at times in ways "which were less in accord with the gospel and even opposed to it," but does not express any contrition or apology for the Church's record of religious persecution. In practice, the Church was no longer the bitterly intolerant organisation that existed before the Enlightenment and even at the time of Pius IX, but the Second Vatican Council gave it a sense of humanity and formalised changes that had already been forced upon it.

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There were many. Some of the biggest ones were that the mass was no longer in latin, it was in the vernacular. the bible was also in the venacular. Lay people became more involved in the mass.

Catholic AnswerWith all due respect to my esteemed colleague, I would have to say that the Dignitatis Humanae, Declaration on Religious Liberty,) a very minor document issued near the end of the Second Vatican Council, had almost no discernable impact whatsoever. That document was aimed at establishing the rights of the Church as opposed to the numerous governments throughout the twentieth century that had tried in various ways to suppress it, notably Nazi Germany and Communist Russia and China. You may read it at the link below.

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Probably most noticeable to many Catholics in the first forty years following the Second Vatican Council were things like the Sacred Eucharist and various sacraments being celebrated in the vernacular, the priest facing the people, and a HUGE drop in the participation in the sacrament of Confession, while, at the same time, a HUGE increase in people going to Holy Communion every Sunday. None of these things were a result of the Council at all. As far as vernacular is concerned the Council asked for a very restricted use of the vernacular in the Mass (The use of the Latin language, with due respect to particular law {the Eastern Rites}, is to be preserved in the Latin rites. . . . however . . . a wider use may be made of it, especially in readings, directives and in some prayers and chants." The Council NEVER called for the priest to face the people, and the Council certainly never recommended that people receive Holy Communion while not in a state of grace, while neglecting the Sacrament of Confession.

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The Council did call for an increase in ecumenism, particularly with regard to our separated brethren in the East who still maintain the priesthood and the sacraments.

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Why were some of the changes being made at the Second Vatican Council?

There was an attempt to update or modernize ( without once using the word Progress or Modernist!) Church doctrine and life issues. Aggiornamento- Living in the Present tense is an approximate translation, was the order of the day, Updating, perhaps. Latin was all-but discarded as a liturgical language, but this jettisoned a useful unifying factor ( akin to ll0-l20 VAC power in the US) In Europe the Masses were all conducted in Latin ( prior ro Vatican II) sermons, of course , were in the language of the congregation, in the US- English. Rules and practices were vastly altered or again, updated. the relative position of the celebrant and congregation was altered, ushering in the so-called ( Flying Washboard) altar. More lay involvement led to so-called folk masses and some songs were rather quesitonable as they were not traditional hymns- Religious articles were subject to the obsolescence-block- and the Ecclesiastical Wates industry took a beating- one company survived by getting into military insignia, badges, etc. and is still very much in business. Their name, Lordship Industries- reflects original production of religious articles! Other Ecclesiastical wares houses were not so fortunate. it is still debatable if Vatican II did enough, went too far, or maybe not far enough. the celibacy laws were not modified or slacked-down one iota.

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What are the four objectives of Vatican II?

Catholic Answerfrom United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), 2006

The U.S. Catechism, in the beginning of its article on the Faith begins with Blessed Pope John XXIII (1958 to 1963), the Pope who opened the Second Vatican Council. In his opening address, he proposed five points for his vision of the council:

1. Be filled with hope and faith. Do not be prophets of gloom. "Divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations, which by men's own efforts and even beyond their very expectations, are directed toward God's superior and inscrutable design."

2. Discover ways of teaching the faith more effectively."The greatest concern of the ecumenical council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously.

3. Deepen the understanding of doctrine. Authentic doctrine "should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine and deposit of the faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another."

4. Use the medicine of mercy. "Errors vanish as quickly as they arise, like fog before the sun. The Church has always opposed these errors. Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity. Nowadays, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She considers that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnation."

5. Seek unity within the Church, with Christians separated from Catholicism, with those of non-Christian religions, and with all men and women of goodwil. "Such is the aim of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council which . . . prepares, as it were, and consolidates the path toward that unity of mankind where truth reigns, charity is the law and whose extent is eternity."

(Blessed) Pope John XXIII, Rejoice, O Mother Church (Gaudet Mater Ecclesia), opening address at the Second Vatican Council(October 11, 1962)

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Where was the Vatican Council 2 held?

in Rome

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What did the Second Vatican Council change?

Jesus is love jesus is life

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