The Second Vatican Council is fifty years behind us now, but people are still talking about it. The reason seems to be that, as described by Father John O’Malley, S.J. of Georgetown University, it was “the biggest meeting ever held.”
It was too. From September to December in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965, for five days a week, 2200 bishops took a lively part in daily discussions in St. Peter’s. They were trying to bring the Church into line with what Christ wanted of it.
We call our church, “The Roman Catholic Church,” but mostly it has just been the “Roman Church” with the Curia calling all the shots. But “catholic” means all taking part, and at Vatican II there were bishops native to 108 countries, all getting the hold the mike to speak from their hearts.
Father O’Malley wrote a most readable book he called, “What Happened at Vatican II.” Its popularity has brought him numerous speaking assignments. Yesterday I watched a video of his address at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.
Pressed by questioners for a one-word description of Vatican II, Father O’Malley said it was about “reconciliation”
I bring this up now because today’s first reading speaks of God reconciling people through Christ. Father O’Malley referred to this text, going on to say that Vatican II was aimed principally at reconciling us with our world, with Protestants, Jews, Muslim; with reconciling all believers and non-believers. So, let us celebrate the memory of Vatican II by burying all our hatchets.
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