Second Vatican Council - What is it and why does it matter?
As Catholics we are living in the age of Vatican II every bit as much as we in Hallam live in the information age of computers, emails, and smartphones. Whilst the deliberations and decision of the Council do not constitute a break with the fundamentals of the faith, or the deposit of teaching and theology which had gone before (any more than emails render the underlying language unnecessary), they represent a development , particularly in the pastoral expression of how we understand ourselves as Church and how we engage with the World. One result of this is that some ways of expressing ideas are replaced or improved (rather like digital replacing film in cameras, without changing the nature of light which is captured by both).

There are 16 basic documents from the Council, plus various post-conciliar paper, which form an indispensable basis for a contemporary understanding of the Catholic faith and self-understanding. Of these, the four Constitutions carry the greatest weight and are highly significant documents in the history of the Church. Whilst some impacts of the Council are immediately visible in our Church life - such as the use of English in the Liturgy - there are other fruits of the Council undoubtedly still to be developed.

The Year of Faith is a time where the whole church - across the world, and here in Hallam - can reflect on Vatican II as a major development in the ongoing story of the Church, as the work both of Council Fathers and the Holy Spirit, and as part of that gift of Faith which we are celebrating and constantly rediscovering.

Vatican II Documents

Vatican II Voice of the Church