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Vatican II: 50th Anniversary of Opening Session, Oct. 11, 1962

Vatican II: A Half-Century Later, A Mixed Legacy
At Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, 50 years ago this week (Oct. 11), the newly elected pontiff stunned the world by calling the first Catholic Church Council in nearly a century — the Second Vatican Council, or what's known as Vatican II.

Scoring JPII & B16 as Interpreters of Vatican II
Michael Mullins of writes weekly about blogs and here collects several about Vatican II during the fiftieth anniversary week of the council’s opening session.

The Birth of the World Church
From 1962 to 1965 the eyes of the world focused on the city of Rome and the revolution in understanding and practice taking place as an age-old institution struggled to find its place in the modern world. The occasion was the Second Vatican Council, and almost two decades later, in April 1979, the Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner sought to measure its impact.

Vatican II: Gone but Not Forgotten
Fifty years ago this month, the Roman Catholic Church embarked on a period of soul-searching that reverberated far beyond St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Pope John XXIII called Catholic bishops across the globe to the SecondVatican Council, opening the windows of a monarchical church to the modern world.

The True Meaning of Vatican II
Vatican II was just the second council of bishops of the Roman Catholic Church to take place in the Holy See — specifically, St. Peter’s Basilica. (Overall, however, it was the 21st Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church — previous councils having taken place at roughly the rate of one per century).

The Opaque Incoherence of a Church in Crisis
Today the best experts in the Catholic Church cannot coherently explain its governance structures or its juridical infrastructure. This is largely thanks to Vatican II, which failed to articulate clear guidelines for the future development of conciliar collegiality or church governance at any level.

Pope on Vatican II: Nothing to See Here …
The pope's memories of Vatican II, published Oct. 11 in L'Osservatore Romano and covered by Catholic News Service, highlight once again the battle over the council's interpretation on its 50th birthday. His money quote: "The council fathers neither could nor wished to create a new or different church. They had neither the authority nor the mandate to do so. That is why a hermeneutic of rupture is so absurd and is contrary to the spirit and the will of the council fathers." (Maryknoll Father William Grimm, editor of UCA News, offers a brilliant view from the other side.)

Pope Marks 50th Anniversary of Vatican II with Warnings of Spiritual ‘Desert’
Pope Benedict XVI, on Oct. 11, urged Catholics to confront the spiritual “desert” of today's secularized world and to rediscover “the truth and beauty of the faith.”

Pope Marks 50th Anniversary of Vatican II, Seeks to Correct Errors that Emerged
Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday marked the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council — the church meetings he attended as a young priest that brought the Catholic Church into the modern world but whose true meaning is still hotly debated.

Vatican II at 50
Fifty years ago today the Second Vatican Council began with a clear indication of who had gained control of the Catholic Church’s direction. From the Latin Mass to meatless Fridays to the concept of salvation, numerous components of the faith were set to be reformed, led mostly by clerical academics who had served on preparatory commissions.

A Different Fire: Vatican II and ‘New Evangelization’
In the Second Vatican Council, the Church opted for a hermeneutic of reform, which contained elements of both rupture and continuity. It was not one or the other, but a right mix of the two. We might argue to this day about what exactly a right mix might mean, but there is no doubt that that was the choice of the Council.

NCR Editorial: The Promise of Vatican II
The phrase "people of God" appears in Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, the first document approved by the council (Vatican II). That document altered an ecclesiology that had become rigid and brittle over time, opening space for new theological insights and a new way of understanding what church is and who its members are.

Fifty Years On, Catholics Still Debate the Meaning of Vatican II
When Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council half a century ago, he said he wanted to “open the windows” of his almost 2,000-year Church to the rapid changes in the modern world.

Under the Moon of Vatican II
On Oct. 11, Catholics celebrated another moonlight moment. It is the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II and the magical moment that has become known as John XXIII's "Moonlight Speech."

Opening the Church to the World
Vatican II, which has been rightly described as the most important religious event of the 20th century, began 50 years ago today in St. Peter’s Basilica. Over three years, from 1962 to 1965, some 2,800 bishops from 116 countries produced 16 documents that set the Roman Catholic Church’s course for the future. Its proceedings were closely followed in the media, bringing the church into the homes of hundreds of millions of ordinary Catholics on nearly a daily basis.

Successes and Failures of Vatican II Could Help Shape Better Vatican III
Oct. 11 marks a momentous anniversary for the Roman Catholic Church as 50 years ago on that day the opening session of the Second Vatican Council began.

Vatican II: Roman Catholic Church Still Deeply Divided 50 Years after Historic Reforms
Five decades ago, Pope John XXIII challenged Roman Catholics to “throw open the windows of the church.

Why I’m Still a Catholic
I suspect Vatican II's central idea of a Pilgrim Church definitely influenced my thinking as a young 20-something believer. It raised my expectations. It stretched my idea of faith. But it was a slow-burn, nothing hasty. Only gradually did my Catholic identity shift.

Vatican II Changed the Catholic Church—And the World
Fifty years ago on Oct. 11, hundreds of elaborately robed leaders strode into St. Peter's Basilica in a massive display of solemn ecclesiastical pomp. It signaled the start of a historic three-year assembly that would change the way members of the world's largest Christian denomination viewed themselves, their church and the rest of the world.

The Vatican’s Very Own Revolution
On January 25, 1959, the newly elected Pope John XXIII invited 18 cardinals from the Vatican bureaucracy to attend a service at the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. He told them he planned to summon a global church council. The horrified cardinals were speechless, which the Pope mischievously chose to interpret as devout assent.