|Pope John XXIII at Vatican II|
Having been born towards the conclusion on Vatican II, I have no personal recollections of the way the Church was prior to Vatican II. My cursory knowledge as a child caused me to conclude that Vatican II translated the mass into the local languages (vernacular) and stopped the use of High Altars with priests back to the congregation. I was aware of people who were put off by the Novus Ordo liturgy and longed for the Tridentine rituals, but that just seemed like an old translation. It was only when I started to study Vatican II that I had a better appreciation for the fruits of the council and how strongly disappointment from the right and the left remain today.
|Bishops meeting in Plenary Session of Vatican II|
Unlike other councils, Vatican II did not define any dogma or pronounce anything anathematic. The documents used word of persuasion and inclusion, like People of God or “brothers and sisters” rather than top down neo-scholastic theological statements.
While keeping true to the essence of the Church in scripture, holy tradition and the Magisterium, Vatican II renewed the vision of what it means to be Church.
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