Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,467 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Vatican II brought dramatic changes: Cardinal Danneels

Catholic World News - October 23, 2012

Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the retired Archbishop of Brussels, emphasized the unique approach of Vatican II during a lecture in London.

“Even though it is true that Vatican II is fully rooted in our Catholic tradition, it is equally true that it also launched a development and a deepening of that tradition, which here and there shows a discontinuity with past thinking and practices,” the Belgian cardinal said. He argued that Vatican II stands among the most important of all Church councils.

The fathers of Vatican II chose to speak to the world in a language quite different from that used by earlier councils, Cardinal Danneels said. Other councils, he said, issued statements in short, formal, and legalistic language—which he characterized as “threatening, punitive, and an intimidating experience.” The cardinal said: “Vatican II chose a different literary genre and a different language. There were no short position papers or judgments, no sharp formulations of belief and discipline, and very little normative language.”

Cardinal Danneels said that work must still be done to fulfill the pastoral vision of Vatican II. He spoke for example about the need for greater collegiality among the world’s bishops, saying that the meetings of the Synod of Bishops have failed to achieve that goal. The Synod meetings are useful, he said, but their deliberations actually “contribute little to the discussion.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($117,141 to go):
$150,000.00 $32,858.98
78% 22%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: koinonia - Oct. 23, 2012 7:43 PM ET USA

    Throughout history the Church has employed great care in her pastoral ministry to the faithful with regard to "the world." It has been conceded that at least there has been an unusual optimism on the part of many Church leaders with regard to the Church's impact on the world, and in the expected cooperation for good. There is "discontinuity with past thinking" among many. The efficacy of this new thinking is difficult to demonstrate today based on statistics. Reflection is a good thing.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Oct. 23, 2012 5:32 PM ET USA

    And because there are no sharp definitions, Catholics have been going "bump in the night" trying to make sense of it all. In too many cases, they left the Church, thinking it wasn't worth the effort.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Contentious Spirits, Beware! 15 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6