Vatican II: Canadian Experiences (2011)
Contributors include: Indre Cuplinskas, Mark Pelchat, Pierre C. Pagé, Stuart MacDonald, John H. Young, Alan L. Hayes, Michael A. Fahey, Andrea Spatafora, Karim Schelkens, Peter Meehan, Peter Galadza, Myroslaw Tataryn, Peter Baltutis, Jacques Racine, Philippe Roy, Jaroslav Z. Skira, Michael Attridge, Gregory Baum, Léo Laberge, Darren J. Dias, Raymond Brodeur, Myrtle Power, John Van den Hengel, Heidi MacDonald, Rosa Bruno-Joffré, Sarah Jardine, Gilles Routhier and Catherine E. Clifford
The Second Vatican Council (1961–1965) was one of the most significant religious events of the twentieth century. In Canada, it was part of a moment of unprecedented cultural and societal change, causing Canadian Catholics to re-examine the church’s place and mission in the world. For four years, Canadian Catholic bishops met with their peers from around the globe to reflect on and debate the pressing issues facing the church. This bilingual volume explores the interpretation and reception of Vatican II in Canada, looking at many issues including the role of the media, the reactions of other Christians, the contributions of Canadian participants, the council’s impact on religious practice and its contribution to the growth of interreligious dialogue.
Each chapter places the given passage in its larger historical context, explores its fundamental meaning and significance, and finally considers its larger significance for the life of the church today. Chapters include exploration of Sacrosanctum Concilium’s demand for “full, conscious, and active participation” in the liturgy; Lumen Gentium’s eucharistic ecclesiology; Gaudium et Spes’s vision of marriage as an intimate partnership of life and love; Nostra Aetate’s approach to non-Christian religions; and more.
Fifty years on, Catholics are confronted with competing narratives concerning the event of the Second Vatican Council as well as the meaning and value of its teachings. How are we to make sense of the various characterizations of the council, often in polemical tones, as a disastrous departure from tradition, a disappointing compromise, or a moment of measured reform?
All agree that Vatican II marks a big turn in the history of Catholicism, marked by a dialogical engagement with other Christians, other religions, and the modern world. To fully comprehend the event of Vatican II and to correctly interpret its teachings requires a deeper appreciation of the new self-consciousness of the church as an actor in history, and of its mission of service to the whole human family.