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Cardinal Ouellet: ecclesiology of communion at heart of Vatican II

Catholic World News - June 08, 2012

On the eve of the opening of the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, the Pope’s legate to the Congress has delivered an address on the ecclesiology of communion in the fifty years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

“The Council Fathers undertook a fundamental reflection on ecclesiology, in the hopes of better defining the Church’s profound nature, her essential structure, and the meaning of her mission in a world increasingly emancipated from her influence and tradition, said Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. “The ecclesiology of communion is the fruit of this reflection, which ripened through the gradual reception of the conciliar texts—with notable divergences, according to which theological or pastoral interpretation privileged reform within continuity or rupture with the Tradition.”

Cardinal Ouellet, who described the ecclesiology of communion as “the central and fundamental idea of the Council’s documents,” added:

Pope Benedict XVI contributed greatly to this reflection, noting the need for it: “Why has the implementation of the Council, in large parts of the Church, thus far been so difficult? Well, it all depends on the correct interpretation of the Council or—as we would say today—on its proper hermeneutics, the correct key to its interpretation and application.” It is enough to mention liturgical reform, episcopal collegiality, synodality, and ecumenism, to touch on the well-known key points of the ecclesiology of communion and its interpretation.

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