Centre for Vatican II and 21st Century Catholicism

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The Centre for Vatican II and 21st Century Catholicism promotes the study of theology and history of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), a defining event for Catholicism and its relations with other Christians, other religions, and contemporary society. Established in 2011, the Centre explores how Canadian Catholics have contributed to and continue to appropriate the orientations of the council in its pastoral life and structures.

The centre supports collaborative and interdisciplinary research into the renewal of the contemporary Catholic community in an age of unprecedented social and cultural change.

"Every renewal of the Church essentially consists in a fidelity to her own calling"

Unitatis Redintegratio, 6

About the centre

The centre supports and promotes collaborative research on the Second Vatican Council, including the following areas:

  • The contributions of Canadians to this historic event, and the understanding of how religious communities in Canada have been shaped by the council.
  • The dialogue between the Catholic community, other Christian churches, non-Christians, and contemporary society.
  • The dynamics of change, including the elements of progress and decline in the life of the Catholic community.
  • A strong focus on archival research related to Canadian participation in the Second Vatican Council.


All members

Events of Research Centre: Vatican II and 21st Century Catholicism


  • Attridge, Michael, Catherine Clifford, and Gilles Routhier. Vatican II: Canadian Experiences. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2011
  • Gaillardetz, Richard and Catherine Clifford. Keys To the Council: Unlocking the Teaching of Vatican II. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2012.
  • Clifford, Catherine. Decoding Vatican II: Ecclesial Self-Identity, Dialogue, and Reform. New York: Paulist Press, 2014.
  • Clifford, Catherine. Preface to Rejoice and Be Glad: On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, by Pope Francis, xv-xix. New York: Paulist Press, 2018.
  • Clifford, Catherine. “Vatican II and the History of Interpretation,” in The Long Shadow of Vatican II, edited by Lucas Van Rompay, Sam Miglarese, and David Morgan, 58–82. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2015.
  • Lamberigts, Mathijs, Gilles Routhier, Pedro Oliveira, Christoph Theobald, and Dries Bosschaert. 50 Years after the Vatican II Council: Theologians from all over the World Deliberate. Paris: Fœderatio Internationalis Universitatum Catholicarum, 2015.
  • Clifford, Catherine. “Learning from the Council: A Church in Dialogue.” Theoforum 44, no. 1 (2013): 27–46.
  • Clifford, Catherine E. “Style Is Substance: The Origin of John W. O’Malley’s Contribution to the Interpretation of Vatican II.” Theological Studies 79, no. 4 (2018): 745–760.
  • Dionne, Christian. “Le monde de la bible, cinquante ans après Vatican II: de quelques considérations libres inspirées par Dei Verbum.” Theoforum 44, no. 1 (2013): 91–120.
  • Gaillardetz, Richard. “Building on Vatican II: Setting the Agenda for the Church of the 21st Century.” Theoforum 44, no. 1 (2013): 67–90.
  • Routhier, Gilles. “Vatican II comme fondement d’un projet de nouvelle évangélisation.” Theoforum 44, no. 1 (2013): 47–66.
  • Theobald, Christophe. “Vatican II: une vision d’avenir – une pédagogie de la foi – une manière de résoudre des questions particulières.” Theoforum 44, no. 1 (2013): 9–25
  • Labrèche, Chantal. “Le développement du droit particulier de l’Église catholique au Canada depuis son origine jusqu’à nos jours.” Ph.D., diss., Saint Paul University, 2016.
  • Laschuk, Alexander. “Assemblies of Hierarchs and Conferences of Bishops: A Comparative Study.” Ph.D., diss., Saint Paul University, 2016.
  • Kurnyek, Robert. “The Concept of Liturgical Reform in the Writings of Romano Guardini and Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict XVI: A Comparative Analysis.” Ph.D., diss., Saint Paul University, 2016.
  • Lepage, Rémi. “Le sacerdoce des baptisés exercé dans la liturgie : L’agent ritualisé dans la pensée de Catherine Bell.” Ph.D., diss., Saint Paul University, 2016.
  • Catholic Press Association Award (2013): First Place: Best Coverage of the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of Vatican II. Clifford, Catherine, Gerald O’Collins, Greg Kandra, Dolores Leckey, Martin Marty, and Ladislas Orsy. “Anniversary of Vatican II.” America Magazine, 2012.


Centre for Vatican II and 21st Century Catholicism

Saint-Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa (Ontario)
K1S 1C4

613 236-1393, ext. 2209