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The Second Vatican Council

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The Second Vatican Council

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  • October 9, 2013
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The Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council, otherwise known as Vatican II, radically changed the dynamics of the Catholic Church as it was known. Vatican II was a meeting of the world’s bishops for four sessions between October 11, 1962 and December 8, 1965. When Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council in 1962 (What are Catholics to think of Vatican II), some people in the Church were fearful of possible changes, but the majority of Catholics welcomed the opportunity to change with open arms. Vatican II was the first major step toward the “full, conscious and active participation” by the laity in the Church’s liturgical life. (Vatican II liturgical changes) The theme of the Second Vatican Council was “aggiornamento” which literally means “getting up to today”. (Vatican II: The Vision Lives On) Vatican II could be considered the most significant event of the modern era in the Catholic Church. Although there were some drawbacks, it had many positive impacts on the Catholic Church.

The founder of Vatican II, Pope John XXIII, was born in a small Italian Village in 1881 with the name of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. (Vatican II and the Church in the Modern World) He was one of thirteen children in his family who worked as sharecroppers and were very poor. (Vatican II and the Church in the Modern World) Angelo Roncalli and his family lived a very humble life and that shaped him into the man that he became. Roncalli was pleasantly shocked when he was named pope and humbly accepted his new role in the Church. Angelo Roncalli was ordained a priest on August 10, 1904, elected a Cardinal by Pope Pius XII on January 12, 1953 and named pope on October 28, 1958. (Vatican II and the Church in the Modern World) Already an old man when he was named pope, many thought that Pope John XXIII would be simply an “interregnum” or “stop-gap” pope especially having to follow the great pontifical reign of Pius XII. (Vatican II and the Church in the Modern...