Lauds 50th of Vatican II - Catholic Courier

Lauds 50th of Vatican II

To the editor:

Happy Anniversary to our Church — 50 years since the opening of the Vatican II Council!

When the Council opened, it wasn’t clear to us how momentous it would be, but it didn’t take long for the Council Fathers to soundly reject the old ways of doing things — rejecting the schemata proposed by the Curia, for example. And then throughout the sessions as they discussed momentous issues about the Church in the Modern World or Ecumenism or Religious Freedom, they changed the nature of the Church’s engagement with the world and other religions and with our separated brethren.

Much is made of the "spirit of the Council" and "the unintended consequences of the Council". Yet, that spirit and those consequences were primarily promoted by the very bishops who had attended the Council and approved the documents. Modern-day critics accuse "dissidents" and "renegades" for misinterpreting the Council. But, we have to remember that the execution of changes in practice and in understanding were done by those same bishops. And I praise God for that!

Think of it: the Mass in our own language! More friendly and warm relations with other believers in Christ. A more appreciative understanding and love for the Jews and an understanding of God’s permanent Covenant with them.

What a wonderful and hopeful time it was! Let’s keep it going and not return to a fearful past. Hope is Our Name.

Whenever I hear the words and see the witness of the "Nuns on the Bus", or of our House of Mercy or Saints’ Place or Catholic Relief Services, and the confident and yet humble carrying out the true mandate to serve, I see in all of that the real spirit of the Council alive today.

Ironically, I’ll close with Latin: Sursum Corda! Habemus ad Dominum! (Lift up your hearts! We lift them up to the Lord!)

Donald L. Muench


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