Vatican II 50th Year Anniversary

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Vatican II 50th Year Anniversary

“The Continuing Relevance of Vatican II,” a conference celebrating the 50th anniversary year of the Second Vatican Council, took place at St. Scholastica Monastery on Saturday, September 14, 2013.  The Feminist Theologies Committee of St. Scholastica and the Theology and Religious Studies Department of The College of St. Scholastica sponsored the event.

Approximately 85 people heard from the keynote speakers who are experts on Vatican Council II, Dr. Massimo Faggioli and Dr. Katarina Schuth, OSF.  The morning keynote speaker was Dr. Faggioli, professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas, a regular contributor to Italian newspapers and journals, and the author of the book Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning.  

Dr. Massimo Faggioli


Dr. Katarina Schuth

Dr. Faggioli discussed “Vatican II and the Future of the Church.”  He described the lasting accomplishments of the Council:  liturgical reform; the permissible reading of the Bible in study, prayer, and reflection; an understanding of the Church as a global entity, not exclusively based on European culture and rule; and interreligious and interdenominational dialogue.  The current Pope Francis is stressing the importance of the Church’s service to the poor and to the peripheries of the world, for example Argentina, the Pope’s homeland. 

Dr. Schuth, the keynote speaker in the afternoon, is a Sister of the Order of St. Francis, has a Ph.D from St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas, and she has over forty years in seminary education.  She spoke about “Vatican II after Fifty Years:  Effects on Our Spiritual Journey and on Our Ecclesial Life.” She asked how Vatican II changed people’s prayer and worship lives, how parish life changed. And she looked at what has changed in the alienation between the Church and the world, in the relationships between faith and modern science, the Church and the States of the world, and Christianity and other religions.

The speakers were followed by a Panel of Respondents including Dr. Gary Boelhower, Dr. Denise Starkey, and Sister Theresa Jodocy, OSB. 



From Vatican II after Fifty Years:  Dialogue and Catholic Identity

. . . When Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) announced his intention on 25 January 1959 to convoke a council [ Vatican II ], he expressed the hope that it would be a means of spiritual renewal, reconciliation of the church to the modern world, and service to the unity of Christians. . . .

Pope John XXIII died on 3 June 1963.  He was succeeded by Pope Paul VI (1963-78), who advocated that the church (and therefore the council) focus both inwardly and outwardly. . . .




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