Join celebrated Church historian John O'Malley in exploring the biggest meeting in the history of the world.
The Second Vatican Council concluded fifty years ago, but it is a livelier topic today than it has been for decades. Basic questions are being asked. What did the Council do? Was it properly implemented? Are its decisions being systematically “rolled back”?
Good questions, but to answer them good information is needed. Such information is precisely what these twelve insightful lectures provide. You will discover the story of the Council from its convocation by Pope John XXIII in 1959 to its conclusion in 1965. They reveal a dramatic clash between a large majority (85% to 90%) and a small but determined minority. Why did these two groups take their positions so passionately, who were their protagonists, and how did Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI respond?
Explore the issues that rocked the Council. How should the Church deal with non-Christian religions, such as Islam? What is the true nature of the liturgy? How is the Church to deal with the “new churches” emerging in Africa and Asia? Is freedom to choose one's religion compatible with Catholicism? Is there any limit to the authority of the Roman Curia? Why did Pope Paul VI remove certain topics from the agenda?
These lectures will give you the orientation you need to understand one of the most important events of the twentieth century, to appreciate the problems it faced, and to grapple with the questions being asked about it (and the Catholic Church) today.