Category Archives: Vatican II

On adhesion to the Second Vatican Council

Fernando Ocáriz.jpg

Fernando Ocáriz, 67, is the Vicar General of Opus Dei. He’s a trained theologian in area of Dogmatics but he’s also trained in physics.  In 1986 he was appointed a consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and later (1989) made a member of the Pontifical Theological Academy. Msgr. Ocáriz is the author of many books and refereed articles. He’s one of the primary authors of Dominus Iesus. Of late Msgr. Ocáriz has been a theological consultant in the dialogue with the Society of St Pius X.

The following article is published in several languages by L’Osservatore Romano (2 December 2011).

On adhesion to the Second Vatican Council

The forthcoming 50th anniversary of the convocation of the Second Vatican Council (25 December 1961) is a cause for celebration, but also for renewed reflection on the reception and application of the Conciliar Documents.

Over and above the more directly practical aspects of this reception and application, both positive and negative, it seems appropriate also to recall the nature of the intellectual assent that is owed to the teachings of the Council. Although we are dealing here with a well-known doctrine, about which there is an extensive bibliography, it is nevertheless useful to review it in its essential points, given the persistence – also in public opinion – of misunderstandings regarding the continuity of some Conciliar teachings with previous teachings of the Church’s Magisterium.

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Friars of the Atonement preserve Vatican II historry

Pictures always
tell a story, they’re also worth a thousand words. OK, how much money would you
give to preserve an archive of photography devoted to the Second Vatican
Council? What is preserving photographic memories to such a legendary event
like Vatican II worth to you? I hope much.

Paul VI & M Ramsey.jpg

In 2009, Sister Leideke Galema, who
managed Foyer Unitas for many years, gave Centro Pro Unione library a gift of 740
photographs taken at Vatican II. This precious collection not only records of
the sessions of the Council, but also include important ecumenical moments from
the pontiļ¬cate of the Servant of God Pope Paul VI, including the historic
meeting when he gave his own episcopal ring to the archbishop of Canterbury,
Michael Ramsey.

Rome’s Centro Pro Unione is a long time work of the Franciscan
Friars of the Atonement dedicated to ecumenical action, research, and formation
at the Piazza Navona. The Centro’s mission is known through intensive programs,
conferences, courses, and dialogues that attract theologians and academics from
around the world. It’s staff works closely with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and with various ecumenical leaders as well as teaching in the
various theological faculties in Rome.

Foyer Unitas, a ministry of hospitality
operated by the Ladies of Bethany, had since 1950 collaborated with the Centro
in welcoming non-Catholic pilgrims arriving in Rome. During Vatican II, Pope
Paul VI asked Foyer Unitas to provide lodging for the ecumenical observers. The
Centro Pro Unione is working to make this collection available to the public
during the 50 th anniversary of Vatican II’s opening council in Rome later this
year.  To support the project and
for more information visit the Friars’ website.

Blessed Pope John XXIII

John XXIII.jpgToday is the liturgical memorial of Blessed Pope John XXIII. It is an optional memorial on the liturgical calendar and so the memorial is left up to the discretion of the celebrant. But that today is Sunday, the prayers for his Mass are not prayed because Sunday takes precedence because it is a “Little Easter.” Today also marks the anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

Everyone remembers the image of Pope John’s smiling face and two outstretched arms embracing the whole world. How many people were won over by his simplicity of heart, combined with a broad experience of people and things! The breath of newness he brought certainly did not concern doctrine, but rather the way to explain it; his style of speaking and acting was new, as was his friendly approach to ordinary people and to the powerful of the world. It was in this spirit that he called the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, thereby turning a new page in the Church’s history Christians heard themselves called to proclaim the Gospel with renewed courage and greater attentiveness to the “signs” of the times. The Council was a truly prophetic insight of this elderly Pontiff who, even amid many difficulties, opened a season of hope for Christians and for humanity. In the last moments of his earthly life, he entrusted his testament to the Church: “What counts the most in life is blessed Jesus Christ, his holy Church, his Gospel, truth and goodness.” (Pope John Paul II)

The Eucharistic sacrifice unites us with heaven

20th_07_hoc_est.jpgIt is especially in the sacred liturgy that our union
with the heavenly Church is best realized
; in the liturgy, through the
sacramental signs, the power of the Holy Spirit acts on us, and with community
rejoicing we celebrate together the praise of the divine majesty, when all
those of every tribe and tongue and people and nation (cf. Apoc. 5:9) who
have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and gathered together into one Church
glorify, in one common song of praise, the one and triune God. When, then, we
celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice we are most closely united to the worship
of the heavenly Church
; when in the fellowship of communion we honor and
remember the glorious Mary ever virgin, St. Joseph, the holy apostles and
martyrs and all the saints. (Lumen gentium, 48)

Charity is the most important gift

Rouault head of Christ.jpg‘God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God,
and God abides in him’ (1 Jn 4:16). God has poured out his love in our hearts
through the Holy Spirit
who has been given to us (cf. Rom 5:5); therefore the
first and most necessary gift is charity
, by which we love God above all things
and our neighbor because of him. But if charity is to grow and fructify in the
soul like a good seed, each of the faithful must willingly hear the word of God
and carry out his will with deeds, with the help of his grace; he must
frequently partake of the sacraments, chiefly the Eucharist, and take part in
the liturgy
; he must constantly apply himself to prayer, self-denial, active
brotherly service and the practice of all virtues. This is because love, as the
bond of perfection and fullness of the law (cf. Col 3:14; Rom 13:10),
governs, gives meaning to, and perfects all the means of sanctification. Hence the true disciple of Christ is marked by love both of God and of his
neighbor. (Lumen Gentium, 42)

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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