Global Council Network

Stories of Vatican II: The Human Side of the Council.

Tablet Lecture, 5 October 2012, by Robert Blair Kaiser

In a few days, the pope will be commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. He will do so at a synod of the world's bishops who may be told, that the Council did not have much of anything new to say to the world's more-than-one billion Catholics, and that, when the Council did come up with anything arresting and original, it was wrong and should be reversed and repudiated. In a way, the pope himself is saying the Council was a failure.

So, curiously, is Hans Kung. He is saying the Council did not go far enough. A good many liberal Catholics are echoing Kung. Just a few weeks ago, the late Cardinal Martini of Milan said in his last interview that the Church that Pope John XXIII tried to update is 200 years behind the times. In a way, both wings in the Church are saying the Council was a failure.

I do not believe the Council was a failure. It has already changed the way we live--and think--as Catholics. In my opinion, as one devoted to the memory of Vatican II, I believe the charter that was written there is the only thing that will save the Church, the people-of-God Church, not the hierarchical Church.

Read more (PDF)