Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Reading the Documents of Vatican II for the Year of Faith

The Second Vatican Council documents still go unread.  So many have spoken about the "spirit Vatican II," but few have actually read the documents and perpetuate the misinterpretation of the Council or cast a shadow on them as if they were some kind of break from the living Magisterium of the Church.

Have you read them?

Why not?

At our parish in Hythe, Kent, UK, every Thursday evening at 7pm, we will be reading through the documents of Vatican II.  Maybe you should get a group together and do the same.

I'll never forget the first time I read them.  It was in our Latin class.  That's right.  I read them in their original language, ecclesiastical Latin.  It is some of the most exquisite and poetic Latin you can read.  The documents are actually a beautiful prayer, bringing forth a Church reform to enable the modern world to accept the message of Jesus Christ with all of its vigor and rigor.

It is therefore quite sad when people misuse and misquote the Council to benefit their own ends, which may not be in keeping with the desires of the Council fathers.  It is important to read the documents in the "hermaneutic of continuity," which means that we read them in the hermeneutic, or interpretive principle, of the context of all the other Councils and Pope's statements.

Blessed Pope John Paul II wrote as a Cardinal in his book, Sources of Renewal, that in the Council of our age one can find all the other previous councils compenetrated and vice versa.  He said the principle of interpretation and implementation of Vatican II must be "the enrichment of faith" contrasted with "the crisis of faith as the documents of Vatican II themselves recognize."

I encourage everyone to find some friends and read the documents together, or if you can't do that, at least read them yourselves.  You will be glad you did.

May Our Lady, Mother of the Church, help bring forth a harvest of faith in this year of faith, especially in the devout rereading of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Documents of Vatican II.

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