Talk:Second Vatican Council

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There should be a section that clearly explains the changes in the mass. This is the change that is experienced by the faithful at the level of their local parish. There should also be mentioned organizations like Society St. Pius X that continue to celebrate a latin mass. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:24, 7 October 2009 (UTC)


The expansion of this article will be a continuing effort - I have moved former article end discussion to separate page on page for the instruction from the Congregation for the Protection of the Faith Dominus Iesus -- ClaudeMuncey

Claude, I changed your comment to reflect the document you cite. Dominus Iesus was from the CDF and by Ratzinger, who at the time was the CDF Prefect. It was not an encyclical, which is a different type of document. DaveTroy

Any ideas on addressing the numerous recent anonymous changes by would be greatly appreciated. For example (I'm taking this very slowly!), way too many "interpretations" in second paragraph, seems to me a shallowly disguised POVification in the works... Harris7 04:02, 30 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Statistical correlations pertaining to USA moved here. Oddly, the Second Vatican Council was not about the USA. - Zotz

Kenneth C. Jones's "Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church Since Vatican II" cites the following statistics comparing measurable aspects of Catholic life in the United States before and after the Second Vatican Council:

Priests in USA:
1930-1965 doubled to 58,000
since 1965: 45,000
Projection: by 2020: 31,000, half over 70

Priestless parishes:
1965: 1%
2002: 15%

Ordinations in USA:
1965: 1,575
2002: 450

1965: 49,000
2002: 4,700 ( -90%)

1965: 600
2002: 200

1965: 180,000
2002: 75,000, average age 68

Teaching nuns:
1965: 104,000
2002: 8,200 ( -94%)

1965: 3,559
2000: 389

Christian Brothers seminarians:
1965: 912
2000: 7

1965: 3,379
2000: 84

Catholic High Schools: -50%

Catholic Parochial Schools: -4,000

Catholic marriages: -33%

1968: 338
2002: 50,000

Mass attendance:
1958: 3 out of 4
2002: 1 out of 4

Lay religious teachers who agree with:
contraception: 90%
abortion: 53%
divorce and remarriage: 65%
missing Mass: 77%

Catholics aged 18-44 who don't believe in transubstantiation: 70%

Dang, you and I are "talking over each other" at the same time (Mom? Is that you? LOL)

Seriously, I put the stats back, noted your "corellation means causation" argument, and provided a response to the latter. No, VII was not about the United States (thought the Potomac flowed into the Tiber in the early 60s, big time), but Dr. Lothian's stats for Great Britain say the same thing, and measurable indices such as these are all I'm aware of that would be relevant to the topic of "Vatican II Aftermath". May providing stats for non-Western nations, using Protestantism as a control as Dr. Lothian does, might be the thing to do. Do you know where we can get some?

Well, no, it's not MY correllation/causation argument, it was in the article before you removed it. MY point was that assessing the impact of the Second Vatican Council by its effect in the USA is like assessing the impact of a tidal wave from its effect in Iowa: possibly germane, but hardly the whole picture, and rather distorting. And no, I don't know where you would get world-wide figures, though I agree with you that they, unlike these, belong here. - Zotz
I'll strengthen the correlation/causation argument in the article. These statistics shout out "I am advocating a position" and in fact I'd prefer to summarize them, and move the details to a separate article. Without more statistics and analysis, they are meaningless. Did the trend begin before Vatican II? Did it accelerate halfway between Vatican II and today? Who knows?

Hi La Minturnesa, back to the statistics discussion... Regarding the last statement (Traditional Catholics, citing research conducted by Fordham University's Dr. James Lothian which compared the above sorts of statistics with those relevant to Protestantism, argue that no such decline has occured in Protestant faith communities of the same time period.), I have read the cited article by Dr. Lothian, and it strikes me that nearly all of the listed statistics have no equivalent in the protestant world. Seminarians? Yes, protestants have seminarians, but they are not preparing themselves for the priesthood. Marriages? Hm, maybe. Annulments? Nope. Only category that has a fairly direct equivalent in the protestant world is that of parochial schools, but even that is hardly a fair comparison: any of the thousands of flavors of protestant denominations can form a parochial school, easily outnumbering the "One Flavor" of Catholic school in any particular US community 10-to-1! So while the one Catholic elementary school in a small American town closes, the 10 protestant Christian schools continue, often in new clothes/denominations.

So Dr. Lothian compares just the statistics for "church attendance" - but, again, can "church attendance" be compared to participating in Mass? I think not. One is a worship meeting, the other is a sacrament. Apples and oranges. It's been years since I took Statistics 101, but Dr. Lothian's statistical analyses look rather contrived to me. More later... Harris7 19:16, 28 Oct 2003 (UTC)

"So Dr. Lothian compares just the statistics for "church attendance" - but, again, can "church attendance" be compared to participating in Mass? I think not. One is a worship meeting, the other is a sacrament. Apples and oranges."

What are you inferring here?

Also, the statistics in Europe are ten times more dire then these. Even these statistics don't tell the whole story, "priestless parishes" doesn't inform of how many smaller parishes were consolidated under one priest, nor how many priests were previously assigned to that one parish, nor the workload of said priests. Also a statistic like Catholics who don't believe in Transubstantiation means, in theory at least, that those people are heretics and no longer Catholics. In fact a paralell like this doesn't really occour in protestantism, as any one issue of belief differing from the group can be dismissed by "private interpretation". Besides the overall numerical decline in practicing Catholics, there is a far far steeper decline in clergy, which leads to a problem similar to peak oil.

As an atheist/lapsed Protestant, I wanted to say that this was a really helpful, interesting and informative article. Good job. jengod 21:32, Apr 21, 2004 (UTC)

The US Jesuit Conference says "as of January 1, 2003, there are 3,382 Jesuits in the U.S. That includes 2,481 priests, 200 brothers, 250 scholastics and 91 novices." I would say that I'm sure this number is much closer than the 389 cited on the page. If there are only 389 Jesuit priests in the US, then I personally know over 10% of the Jesuit priests in the US! I am not sure what the 389 refers to but it seems way off base to me. Ruy Lopez 01:59, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

There may be some confusion over the statistics. I am not getting a clear picture of the facts, and I don't have the Jones book handy. Here is the Jesuit information user Ruy Lopez is referring to: [1] A web page at apparently quotes Jones, and states "For example, [in the United States] in 1965 there were 5,277 Jesuit priests and 3,559 seminarians; in 2000 there were 3,172 priests and 38 seminarians." The Second Vatican Council entry states simply:

1965: 3,559
2000: 389

The facts aren't clear from this picture. Trc | [msg] 03:07, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

I commented out the Jesuits statistics data, and the new sentence wondering about the accuracy of the statistics in connection with those listed for the Jesuits, because it is likely that there is a mis-reading of a chart somewhere: someone with access to the Jones book (or other sources) should fact-check the Jesuits statistics and verify the accuracy of the chart. It seems likely to me that there is an error in the page, and that the statistics will register some decline, when we know what the stats are. Trc | [msg] 04:37, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Here is an article that discusses Mass attendance statistics, addressing causation/correlation questions. [2] Trc | [msg] 14:57, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

It is quite clear that the number of practicing catholics, priests, attendant to church et al. have sharply declined since 1965. I live in Quebec, a society once devoutly catholic that was mass-secularized in the 1960s. I don't have the figures handy, but they certainly are much more dire than in the US. However, such figures don't belong in an article. Vatican II probably made some catholics angry / lose faith (the fact that people are linking the council with the decline in Catholicism here is proof enough). But there are other possible causes: the growth of New Age religions, conversions to forms of protestantism (esp. in the US), rise of Atheism, materialism, rock and roll & satanic values, etc.

Therefore, I think the wording should be "Some (or conservative catholics) argue that Vatican II and the associated changes in the Catholic church are the cause for the decline in catholic faith observed since 1965.

That article (it could be named otherwise) should then include the statistics, and the different causes (Vatican II and others, but not necessarily the ones I mentioned). Céçaquiéça 04:19, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No vote from me: Many scholars and researchers have drawn a connection between VII and the decline, many have identified many aspects in which the reforms were defective and problematic, in design and imposition. It is a subject that naturally occurs here. Moving it is probably a disguised attempt at marginalizing the subject. Information about effects in other countries can be provided as well. Trc | [msg] 11:07, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I see your point & agree. What I think now is that the subhead "Effects of the council in the United States" should be a subsection of "Effects of the council". In the original version, it was used to exemplify the effects of the council. But in its own subsection, it looks like the council is the only reason for the decline of the numbers. 14:52, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm not convinced though that the council can be blamed for all of the ills of the church today. The acts of church officals before, during and after the council helped contribute to some of the problems the church is having today.

Take for example the abuse crisis. It turned out that the man who was the celebrant at my grandparent's marriage in 1947 (almost 15 years before the Second Vatican Council) had been abusing children long before the first session of the council. Abuse was going on long before the council was opened, but some catholics blame the council for the abuse crisis.

Paul had done the exact opposite of what the council recommended when it came to birth control even during marriage. Then John Paul II effectively shut down any further debate during his lifetime on priestly celibacy, or on ordaining women to the priesthood. It will be up to future Popes to decide that issue. I had thought of the priesthood as a vocation, and had even contacted a vocation director who thought I had the potential to be a good priest, but I want a family much more that I want to be a priest. So that door has pretty much been slammed in my face.

JesseG 04:06, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Indeed, the whole article has got a negative point of view about the council, doesn't it? "Henri de Lubac" ignored the warnings of the past... "John XXIII ignored the warnings..." and then lots of statistics about how bad it was. It is a legitimate opinion, certainly, but far from a neutral point of view. Mpolo 20:42, Sep 6, 2004 (UTC)
I take back what I say above. The article is actually pretty nicely balanced, once I read the whole thing. I did remove the "ignored the warnings" for John XXIII. I also caught a typo or two, cleaned up after Guanabot, and added two paragraphs about Lumen Gentium. -- Mpolo 15:16, Sep 7, 2004 (UTC)
At times it appears to me that in some quarters Vatican II is blamed for everything from sunspots to bad hair days.
JesseG 21:35, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

One thing I changed this evening was the line "Many view the Second Vatican Council as an event..." to "Some of the more conservative Catholics view the Second Vatican Council as an event..." I did this because I am not convinced that to say "Many view" is not an accurate description. Many what? Many members of the church, many clergy, many tradtionalists? How would whoever wrote the term "Many view" define many? I think it is more accurate to say "Some of the more conservative Catholics..."

JesseG 02:24, Dec 20, 2004 (UTC)

Post-Conciliar Catholic Life in the United States of America[edit]

Kenneth C. Jones's "Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church Since Vatican II" cites many statistics comparing measurable aspects of Catholic life in the United States before and after the Second Vatican Council. One of the most important is the following:
Catholics aged 18–44 who don't believe in transubstantiation: 70%

This makes no sense. I assume that this statistic is from the present day (or whenever Jones's index was compiled), but whether it's from today or from the time of the Council, it's not a comparison, and therefore can't be one of the most important comparisons in Jones's index. Only including both the percentage in 1963 & the percentage today can make it a comparison; until then, it's irrelevant. Binabik80 04:22, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Googling suggests it's a single New York Times/CBS poll from within the last five years, without a comparator. It's just an opportunity for handwringing - there's no hard evidence I can find that the figure is lower than fifty years ago. Rd232 18:56, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Someone stuck these back in again. Once again deleted.ClaudeMuncey 13:13, 4 November 2005 (UTC)


This thing needs a redirect from "Vatican II". I don't know how they things are done.

There already is a redirect; see here. If you hit the "edit this page" link on that page, you'll see how the redirect is done. —HorsePunchKid 01:31, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

Excerpt from Buchanan's book[edit]

A chunk of this article consists of statistics on the decline of Catholic belief from a book on the church by Pat Buchanan. I object to this section on the grounds that:

  1. It does not explain how or why Vatican II led to the changes mentioned.
  2. It does not put the figures into a context. Is the change in traditional religious views and dedication unique to Catholicism?
  3. The source is hardly authoritative.

I feel the section should be omitted. Mwalcoff 00:40, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Homily on Feast of the Immaculate Conception[edit]

The Homily today has been touted as teaching about the real interpretations of Vatican II. I started a paragraph. The Criticism section needs work. Dominick (TALK) 17:45, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I appreciate Lima's reasons. Let me quote it here:

In 2005 at the Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Pope Benedict XVI is excepted to deliver his Homily on the Vatican II council, and discuss the proper interpretation of it in light of Catholic Tradition. The homily is expected to continue a theme by Monsignor Walter Brandmuller that criticize the popular notion that Vatican II was a totally new beginning in the Church.

Thanks Dominick (TALK) 18:56, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Better introduction needed![edit]

The current introduction reads: "The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, or Vatican II, was an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church opened under Pope John XXIII in 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI in 1965."

This does absolutely nothing to explain why it was called, or what it accomplished. It is most certainly lacking in information. Surgo 23:50, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

It's not just that - the first paragraph of 'Background' is horrible. I'm still not sure what the first sentence of that paragraph means because I got lost after the fourth preposition. I'll have a crack at rewriting the first paragraph once I know a bit more about the council itself. - ddlamb 06:00, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

External links[edit]

The "Commentary" section appears to be little more than a collection of offsite forks. Opposition is discussed in the article, do we really need a link to every single group shouting "and another thing!" after the argument is over? To say nothing of two links to the same compuserve user homepage. It seems to me that authoritative commentaries by substantial groups are possibly defensible if their criticisms are not covered in the (quite extensive) criticism section, but this lot looks like vanispamcruft.

Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 22:16, 30 December 2005 (UTC)


I merely wish to say thankyou to the editors of this article; it is clear, concise and well-written and has been a huge help in my schoolwork. Keep up the good work. :D -- Sarsaparilla39 01:39, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Not have to be a catholic[edit]

I have seen several references to that the second vatican council came to the conclusion that one does not have to be a Catholic to receive access to God’s grace. I think it is an important point, so I tried to find it in this article but unfortunately must have missed it. Is it in here?DanielDemaret 04:02, 24 March 2006 (UTC) One such reference is in here 04:06, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Extract from the article Roman Catholic Church:

"The Catholic Church maintains that, through the graces Jesus won for humanity by sacrificing himself on the cross, salvation is possible even for those outside the visible boundaries of the Church, whether non-Catholic Christians or non-Christians, if in life they respond positively to the grace and truth that God reveals to them. This may sometimes include awareness of an obligation to become part of the Catholic Church. In such cases, "they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it" (Second Vatican Council: Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 14).

Lima 05:27, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Daniel, the original intention of this article was to be an overview of Vatican II as a historical event which does invovle some discussion of the various documents and their contents. But the range of topics covered over the four years is enormous and you really should hit the discussions of the individual documents and the links there -- in particular Dignitatis Humanae, Lumen Gentium, and Unitatis_Redintegratio.

ClaudeMuncey 16:44, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Revision of Article[edit]

Four years ago, in an early era of Wikipedia, I found that the only content for this topic was somebody's disagreement with a much more recent document. It took me a while, but I got the article basically as it is today, but there has been a lot of great work done by others to make it much better, including pictures, cleaning things up, and keeping an eye on it to keep it on topic. I have always been glad that some people found it helpful, and I'm still surprised that it is still one of the few general survey articles on the Council as a historical event and apparently gets a bit of traffic.

Well, Wikipedia has moved on and developed, and I think this article has to follow. It's time to take care of a few things which will make this an even better article. The main one is to add references, which I am working up now for most of this. And we need to work on the linked articles for the conciliar documents.

In addition, to get this talk page down to fighting weight, I propose archiving the discussion of criticism of VatII to its own sub talk page. --ClaudeMuncey 17:19, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Baby steps -- I just added the references to the New Catholic Encyclopedia articles I worked from in putting together the history of the sessions. These will be revised and amended as this continiues. --ClaudeMuncey 13:44, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

"Rhine Bishops"[edit]

This is a term used for the Dutch and German bishops seen as leaders of the so-called "liberal wing" at Vatican II, mostly in negative depictions of the work of the Council, and in conspiracy theories about it. It is definitely POV and has been removed. --ClaudeMuncey 13:20, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Wthin wider ongoing revision of this article I would suggest that the section 'Criticicism within the Catholic Church' should be expanded and entitled 'Reception of Vatican II'. It should include at least 4 subsections,i.e: 1)Varying approaches to implementation of the Council's recommendations; 2)Criticism of the Council within the Catholic Church; 3}Criticism by other Christians; 4)Criticism from wider afield- this would cover other religions;politicians,sociologists and economists;secular viewpoints. A moot point might be whether to include Judaism in 3}. Criticism is not necessarily hostile----Clive Sweeting

Nostra Ætate[edit]

I removed a reference comparing Nostra Ætate with a section from the Catechism of the Council of Trent. The comparison is really bad since both documents had something totally different in mind. Nostra Ætate is essentally an exoneration of some/most Jews from the crime of deicide, while the passage quoted from the Catechism of the Council of Trent is a reminder about the sinfulness of man and an exhortation to Christians not to feel superior to the Jews. This is obvious from simply reading the two passages. Miguel 06:28, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Second Paragraph[edit]

The second lead paragraph is profoundly non-NPOV and has serious problems with verifiability. I plan to pull it entirely within a couple of days, or flag it as violating NPOV, unless persuaded to hold off. ClaudeMuncey 19:51, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Here is the paragraph I am pulling, with my explanation as to why:

This Council has been blamed for much confusion in the Church, and is set apart from other Councils for not backing its teachings with infallibility. This can be seen from the Nota Previa of Lumen Gentium, and Pope Paul VI's weekly general audience of January 12, 1966. The first of these said, "Taking conciliar custom into consideration and also the pastoral purpose of the present Council, the sacred Council defines as binding on the Church only those things in matters of faith and morals which it shall openly declare to be binding." In the latter Pope Paul VI said, "There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church's infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility."

There are two points here. The first comment seems to refer to the nota praevia explicativa that was appended to the text of the Constitution by the Theological Commission without submission to the Council Fathers. This preliminary note of explanation is concerned with the nature of collegiality as presented and states that papal primacy has not been affected by the third chapter of the Constiution. It does not argue against the authority of Council documents -- on the contrary, it argues just the opposite as they are expressions of the whole college of bishops acting with the pope.

The the key to understanding the second comment is the phrase "extraordinary manner" which appears to be a confusion in understanding that even though the documents were not presented at declarations of the extratordinary papal magisterium, in other words declared ex cathedra, they are still teachings of what is called the ordinary universal magisterium, which involves the acceptance of these teachings by the whole college of bishops united with the pope. (It appears that one of the dates this paragraph cites is the date of the approval of Lumen Gentium itself, which discusses just this point.) Teachings of the ordinary universal magisterium, while not solemnly defined, are still considerd infallible. The comment does not refer to the authority of the documents, but the form used to present them. It is difficult, after all, to argue that Vatican II was not a "dogmatic council" when one of its central documents, Lumen Gentium is the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.

This paragraph is mistaken, and in my opinion, non-NPOV. It will be deleted.ClaudeMuncey 06:03, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Dei Verbum not dogma?[edit]

I am under the impression that Dei Verbum is Dogma however discussion on the article Dei Verbum is that the Dogmatic Constitution is not Dogma. I am under the impression that it is Dogmatic. Anyone here care to comment? ( 10:35, 12 July 2007 (UTC))

There are some who desire to emphasize that Vatican II was a pastoral council, not a dogmatic council, and may conclude from this that Dei Verbum is not dogmatic. I think that the distinction is frequently over-emphasized, and serves the agenda of traditionalist Catholics who bemoan many of the changes and the confusion that came in the wake of the Council. I'm not a big fan of the confusion, but the Council did teach, and did not merely repeat Trent and Vatican I verbatim. So I would ask, "What do you mean by dogma?" The.helping.people.tick 13:07, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I guess the easiest way of conveying this is by asking if document is true and not heretical. What I have uncovered on [Dei Verbum] is that one of the editors claims the document is not Dogma. This same person is currently on [3] claiming that the Church has reversed its position on the historical-critical method of Bible exegesis. To my mind this means that the person is suggesting that one of the documents is heretical while the other is not because there has been a reversal. I think this is not the case. Maybe you would care to chime in. (Runwiththewind 18:50, 12 July 2007 (UTC))

Vatican II is Infallible[edit]

  • I have inserted the word infallible into the document as the Magisterium considers Vatican II to be infallible.
  • Pope Benedict XVI has declared this himself by quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church which states in #891. "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium, above all in an Ecumenical Council." The Popes quotation of the CCC #891 can be found on [4]. (Runwiththewind 15:11, 13 July 2007 (UTC))
That's actually Stephen Hand who is quoting the Catechism in your link, not Pope Benedict XVI as you incorrectly claim. This is one reason why Wikipedia doesn't allow original research such as yours. -- Cat Whisperer 02:10, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Your assertion, as a matter of fact, that Vatican II is infallible is a violation of WP:NPOV#A simple formulation, which states:
Assert facts, including facts about opinions—but do not assert the opinions themselves. By "fact" we mean "a piece of information about which there is no serious dispute.
As I pointed out in Talk:Dei Verbum, there is scholarly opinion on both sides of the issue of whether Vatican II is infallible. (See Francis Sullivan's Creative Fidelity: Weighing and Interpreting Documents of the Magisterium chapter on Vatican II for details.) Thus, the infallibility of Vatican II is not a fact as Wikipedia policy defines facts, and cannot be asserted as such. Therefore, I am reverting your edit. -- Cat Whisperer 03:30, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
  • According to the Apostolic Constitution FIDEI DEPOSITUM [1] the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or CCC, is the official exposition of the teachings of the Catholic Church. 891 clearly states that Vatican II is infallible. #891. "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium, above all in an Ecumenical Council."
  • As I suspected Cat and Rbreen reject the infallibility of the Magisterium in order to deny the teachings of the Church. Clearly your position here on wikipedia is to push for a rejection of the Pope's infallability that Jesus gave him and the Magisterium because a few popular Church leaders got censored by the same Magisterium for the exact same type of rejection. This is what some ultraconservatives like SSPX get up too behind close doors. They deny that Vatican II is infallible. They deny because their own views have no voice in the Church. Your view is not Catholic. Runwiththewind 08:44, 14 July 2007 (UTC))
WP:NPOV clearly states that opinions cannot be asserted as fact. What part of that don't you understand? If you are under the impression that there is an exception in this fundamental Wikipedia policy for editors who claim to be speaking for the magisterium, then please provide a link to this exception. -- Cat Whisperer 18:32, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
Roman Catholic Church cites the Catechism numerous times. Cat give us your reason why you reject the Catechism of the Catholic Church when it states that an Ecumenical Council is infallable. The CCC has stated a fact that the magesterium believes to be true through to the Apostolic Constitution FIDEI DEPOSITUM. (Runwiththewind 19:03, 14 July 2007 (UTC))
Since you continue to insist that you speak for the magisterium, why don't you take your original research and just post it directly on the Vatican website instead of disrupting Wikipedia? I have quoted the relevant Wikipedia policy that you continue to violate, and you have not addressed this violation in your response. I have no interest in pointing out all the massive flaws in your original research; the point is that it doesn't belong here on Wikipedia at all. (Hint: There is a reason all the credentialed Catholic theologians disagree with your conclusions -- It is because you are utterly and completely wrong!) -- Cat Whisperer 19:20, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't have to post it on the Vatican website because the Vatican has posted it already themselves. See #891 [5]. The Magisterium has spoken through the Catechism of the Catholic Church as cleary indicated by the Apostolic Constitution FIDEI DEPOSITUM. (Runwiththewind 20:41, 14 July 2007 (UTC))
To say that the Second Vatican Council is entirely infallible is absurd, since the Secretary General of the Council explicitly said otherwise. In an official note released on November 16th, 1964, he said: "Taking conciliar custom into consideration and also the pastoral purpose of the present Council, the sacred Council defines as binding on the Church only those things in matters of faith and morals which it shall openly declare to be binding." Therefore, not the entire council is binding. This note can be found in the appendix to Lumen Gentium on the Vatican's website. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:30, 10 June 2009 (UTC)


Runwiththewind's quote of the catechism, with its mention of Peter's successor, raised an interesting question in my mind. Presumably Peter's successor issued some sort of act which promulgated the council's constitutions and decrees. What is this document called? It should be mentioned by title and date and with a link. Did the document issue any anathema sits? If not, what exactly is its juridical force? How solemn are its definitions? These questions are relevant to the issue of the council's infallibility.

The CCC says that infallibility is present in an ecumenical council when it exercises the "supreme magisterium". How and to what extent has this council exercised supreme magisterium? Does every document of the council exercise it? Does every paragraph? Vatican II did not (AFAIK) issue any canons, creeds, nor anathemas. This makes it unique among ecumenical councils (excepting perhaps the Council of Jerusalem), and it raises the issue of how exactly its infallibility is practiced. (Rwflammang (talk) 16:50, 1 September 2009 (UTC))

The text that keeps being cited from the CCC means that a Council can be infallible, not that everything in every council is infallible. In fact, there are a few indications by high ranking members of the hierarchy that indicate the Council was not infallible, and did not wish to define any doctrines. For example, Pope Paul VI, at the close of the council said: “Today we are concluding the Second Vatican Council. [...] But one thing must be noted here, namely, that the teaching authority of the Church, even though not wishing to issue extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements, has made thoroughly known its authoritative teaching on a number of questions which today weigh upon man’s conscience and activity, descending, so to speak, into a dialogue with him, but ever preserving its own authority and force; it has spoken with the accommodating friendly voice of pastoral charity; its desire has been to be heard and understood by everyone; it has not merely concentrated on intellectual understanding but has also sought to express itself in simple, up-to-date, conversational style, derived from actual experience and a cordial approach which make it more vital, attractive and persuasive; it has spoken to modern man as he is.” (Address during the last general meeting of the Second Vatican Council, December 7, 1965; AAS 58)" After the Council, he also said: “There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.” (General Audience, December 1, 1966, published in the L’Osservatore Romano 1/21/1966) The text that he refers to is this, from the nota praeva to Lumen gentium: “In view of the conciliar practice and the pastoral purpose of the present Council, this sacred Synod defines matters of faith or morals as binding on the Church only when the Synod itself openly declares so.” (Walter M. Abbott, SJ, The Documents of Vatican II, p. 98) I think this all establishes pretty clearly that the Council is not, nor was ever intented to be, dogmatically binding or infallible, since nothing in it was defined as de fide. Rather, the kind of submission due to it is that of the next level down, namely, the "religious submission of mind and will" of which the Council itself speaks in Lumen Gentium 25 and which is reiterated in the 1983 Code of Canon Law: “Can. 752. While the assent of faith is not required, a religious submission of intellect and will is to be given to any doctrine which either the Supreme Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising their authentic magisterium, declare upon a matter of faith or morals, even though they do not intend to proclaim that doctrine by definitive act. Christ’s faithful are therefore to ensure that they avoid whatever does not accord with that doctrine.” I hope this helps.--Pacochema (talk) 21:45, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very kindly for your reply! Rwflammang (talk) 17:26, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Catechism of the Catholic Church is a reliable source[edit]

  • Since Cat has skipped Fidei depositum which clearly states that the Catechism is the teaching of the Magisterium then Cat rejects this Apostolic Constitution from the Pope and instead opts for books from Cat's own approved scholars. (Runwiththewind 07:06, 15 July 2007 (UTC))
Imagine that, I actually think that the opinion of scholars is important here at Wikipedia! I guess that's what I get for taking the time to read Wikipedia policy. By the way, despite all your attempts at misdirection, you are continuing to violate WP:NPOV with your assertion, as a matter of fact, that Vatican II is infallible, whereas there is notable dispute regarding this issue. Is there any chance of getting you to actually address this matter of Wikipedia policy instead of your continual regurgitation of your massively flawed original research, as though your ideas were so important that they trump Wikipedia policy? -- Cat Whisperer 01:48, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
The notable dispute is a minority view. Read WP:UNDUE. The Magisterium is the majority. (Runwiththewind 10:14, 16 July 2007 (UTC))
Well, at least you are starting to quote Wikipedia policy now. That's a start. However, WP:UNDUE does not change WP:NPOV, which states that opinions cannot be asserted as facts. This is the case even if the opinion being asserted is the majority opinion. So even if hell did freeze over and you were actually correct about what the magisterium states, it still wouldn't matter as far as this Wikipedia policy violation is concerned. -- Cat Whisperer 11:07, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
The Catechism isn't my opinion, I didn't write it or publish it. The Magisterium published it. It is their official teachings, not mine. Anyone who decides to read Fidei depositum which is an Apostolic Constitution will discover that Pope John Paul II is clearly telling Catholics to use that Catechism as the truth. Cat you can recommend other sources all you want but the sources given by the Magisterium are just fine thank you very much.(Runwiththewind 13:34, 16 July 2007 (UTC))
Believe me, you have expressed your "I don't need no stinkin' scholars, the Catechism is enough for me" attitude very clearly. (This is what is sometimes referred to as "raising ignorance to an art form.") But that is not the issue here. Even if you were interpreting the Catechism correctly (which are aren't, by any means), then the WP:NPOV violation remains. The magisterium of the Catholic Church is not a privileged entity here at Wikipedia. If there is notable disagreement with a teaching of the magisterium, then that teaching is an opinion as Wikipedia defines opinions, and it is subject to the same rules here as all other opinions. Get it? -- Cat Whisperer 14:28, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
The 2500+ members of the Magisterium are all scholars unfied in the Catechism of the Catholic Church which they published in unity as one voice. To say they are not scholars, all 2500+, and should be surperceeded by an alternative publication of your own personal choice is simply not the position of Magisterium. I quote WP:UNDUE... NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each. Now an important qualification: Articles that compare views should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and may not include tiny-minority views at all. For example, the article on the Earth only very briefly refers to the Flat Earth theory, a view of a distinct minority.
*I don't interpret, I just quote directly. Here it is again... #891 "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium, above all in an Ecumenical Council." You cite an obscure book published by a priest as superceeding 2500+ scholars and then say that this is the position of the Catholic Church? (Runwiththewind 17:22, 16 July 2007 (UTC))
Given that you start off with a correct statement from the Catechism, and you end up with the exact opposite of what the magisterium actually teaches, there is obviously some (necessarily erroneous) interpretation taking place. But this is not the point. The point is that your edits violated WP:NPOV#A simple formulation. So switching to a discussion of whether your edits comply with WP:UNDUE is not relevant. You have to comply with all applicable Wikipedia policies, not just one. -- Cat Whisperer 20:42, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
I just quote the teachings of the Magisterium from the Catechism they publish. The Magisterium doesn't call itself fallible. (Runwiththewind 21:42, 16 July 2007 (UTC))


Ecumenical Council[edit]

I am restoring the adjective "ecumenical" to the article, as the ecumenical nature of Vatican II is a fact as defined by Wikipedia policy. -- Cat Whisperer 03:18, 15 July 2007 (UTC) x x x —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:21, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Restoring Paragraphs[edit]

It appears that the lead paragraph in "Sessions" was inadvertently dropped, when it was not replaced after some vandalism. The entire "Background" section was deleted by an anonymous user that has never made any other change. This has also been restored. ClaudeMuncey (talk) 15:26, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Revisions and additions[edit]

Over the next few weeks, I will be adding further references to this article, and some changes as well. In particular, a bit of detail may be added to the sections on each session, and under issues a section on religious liberty should be added.ClaudeMuncey (talk) 23:40, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

I am removing the statement concerning the issue of Russian Orthodox observers attending the Council. There has been speculation that the Vatican somehow assured them that Communism and the Soviet State were topics that would not be raised at the Council. However, in chapter IV, The External Climate (Albiergo, The History of Vatican II, Vol. 1, p.404), J.O. Beozzo states that the real issue was being invited directly, instead of through the Ecumenical Patriarch in Turkey. This should allow firm sourcing for the rest of this paragraph ClaudeMuncey (talk) 05:08, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Edit to Nostra Aetate[edit]

I have reversed the recent edit by capitalizing the word "spirit" in the phrase "spirit of Christ" as the original non-capitalization was in the authoritative English translation of the official Latin text, published (among other places) on the Vatican's own web site ( The change was understandible and not illogical, but inaccurate. ClaudeMuncey (talk) 22:26, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


I'd like to see some more discussion on the influence of Vatican II on both the RC church and christianity generally. Any experts out there? Sidefall (talk) 10:37, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Third Vatican Council[edit]

There are a number of liberal theologians that have proposed a Third Vatican Council, it keeps coming back in press articles, so it should perhaps be further examined. ADM (talk) 08:18, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Vatican II and Enoch[edit]

I was looking at a bibliography from the Enoch seminar which indicated all the interfaith experts who worked at Vatican II. The interfaith movement is often associated to Enoch since he is mentioned in a large number of religions. Furthermore, many experts at the Council, including John XXIII and Paul VI, had a very Enochian spirituality when they talked about a new Pentecost, or when they disserted on pneumatology and related marian doctrines. The Council has thus received the epithet of "council of Enoch" for its strong pluralism and marked spiritual emphasis. The theology of the Council could even be called "Enochian theology" or an "Enochian orthodoxy". ADM (talk) 15:52, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Unified citations[edit]

I have been doing some copyediting, and I then decided to take on the task of unifying the citations styles for the references here. I used the citation templates already present in the previous references section, adding page numbers as appropriate. I then removed those templates from that generic section, and moved the other ones to a "Further reading" section or to the External links section (the links to the documents, mostly). That's why I removed the citation style banner.

Keep an eye on whether the ref names now all work properly, i.e., that reused references link to the right one at the bottom. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 15:01, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Separate articles for Lumen Gentium and its Nota explicativa praevia[edit]

There are two separate Wikipedia articles for Lumen Gentium and its Nota explicativa praevia. There is a discussion about whether they should be merged, and if not, whether the latter should be renamed. If any editors have an opinion, please vote at Talk:Nota Praevia#RfC: Is "Nota Praevia" a good title?Lawrence King (talk) 21:44, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

edit on Michael Novak's interpretation of Vatican II[edit]

Please see the edit I've made at the bottom of the "Spirit of Vatican II" section. The previous form of the section had an interpretation by Michael Novak linked with the Church's rejection of theologians like Hans Kung for their reliance on a too broad interpretation of the reform aspect of the Council. The way this was written, however, was not objective, instead giving the reader the direct impression that what Michael Novak was stating as his opinion of these types of people/theologians was the factual reality of their belief system, listing Hans Kung as an example of people who believe what Novak states and whose works have been censured by the Vatican. I've changed this to reflect the fact that the Church believes that people like Kung are have a radical and misguided interpretation of the spirit of the Council and have thus had their works censured. This better reflects the reality of the opinion of the Church on these matters rather than giving the reader the idea that Michael Novak's interpretation is the literal and objective truth of the matter. One may of course object to my particular composition of this correction, but to keep this entry objective and factual we cannot revert to the old way the section stood, as it did not reflect Wikipedia's objectivity and accuracy standards. It is a fact that Hans Kung's writings have been censured for being seen by the Church to have the qualities Novak states, i.e. the criticism Novak states fits reasonably well with the criticism that the Church has of these types of writings. We cannot have it stated, however, that the writings have been censured because they are these things, as that turns the opinion into a consensus that is not objectively present in the data. --Lrschum (talk) 16:38, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

I'll have a look, as something about the diff read the wrong way to me. In general you are right to attribute as such, although it seems to me a better solution would be just to attribute the previous language to Novak (or better yet, a spokesman of the Church, if available). Otherwise it jsut gets way too convoluted. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 02:22, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Ick that section is ugly. Novak's quote should be summarized and condensed a lot, although I fail to see much of a problem if we source the entire statement about (say) Kung, rather than just the censuring, with the qualifier by Novak. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 02:28, 5 April 2010 (UTC)


Shouldn't a section on objectors be added? Objectors are (and were) no small voice -- certainly louder than the Old Catholics who objected to Vatican I. Mid-council objectors such as:

And post-council objectors such as:

Shouldn't they be mentioned in a section? It possibly might merit its own article: Criticism of the Second Vatican Council, which could contain the objections of conservative Traditionalists, and the objections of liberal groups such as the Palmarian Catholic Church. --ChristianHistory (talk) 05:26, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

I think that starting a section for objectors is a great idea. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 03:19, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi guys. I was wondering if someone could please elaborate on the pastoral care which some claim to possess Vatican II? I do not want to write as of yet because I do not fully understand the subject matter. Perhaps someone can elaborate on this further detail. Grazie mille. HeartyBowl1989 (talk) 17:38, 5 June 2012 (UTC)HeartyBowl1989

I don't quite follow what you're asking for. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 16:23, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Objectors in the lede?[edit]

Seems to me like giving undue weight to a small minority, more specifically, the full paragraph

Presently, the questioned validity of the Second Vatican Council continues to be a contending point for religious communities who are not in full communion ... etc.

the "questioned validity", seems to convey the image that the Second Vatican Council was in any way chaotic and generally disordered, which is wasn't. Some radical right groups (SSPX, SSPV etc.) actually question it, and the paragraph could be somewhere in the article, but having it in the lede gives an image that the Second Vatican Council is not universally accepted as "formally valid" or whatever. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 07:04, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Nicene Creed recitation[edit]

"...lengthier Niceno-Constantopolitan, or Nicene Creed. The Nicene creed is recited at each Mass, and both are listed and..."

I don't believe that is true, someone tell me if I'm wrong — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kisper (talkcontribs) 04:58, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

The SSPX and the Council[edit]

I took the SSPX again out of the info box. This has previously been reinserted by an editor claiming that this amounted to "lies and wishful thinking", and "Bp Fellay has repeated again and again that we do not accept the council under any terms". I may differ, though, and I do so and try to give the reasons here.
The info box is there to give a short summary of after-Council breakaways, or even more specific, those who do not accept the Council as canonical. The latter is true about the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the sedevacantists, though even about the sedevacantists, I might wonder whether they should be mentioned. They are not Churches nor anything remotely resembling the "ecclesial community" in the Protestant style, for one thing.
The SSPX, on the other hand, is a group that after the Council was canonically erected, was later disbanded though lives on if not in canon law then at least in all but canon law, have, certainly entertained a certain grudge against the Council according to the principle that a Catholic is not bound to praise a Council just because it happened. (He is bound to accept its dogmas, teachings and law.) They are, for all their grudge, certainly prepared to accept the Council as one of the occasions where the Church's episcopate assembled in Council. They might add that this obliges them to nothing, for the Council did not choose to teach infallibly. But that is something very different than breaking away from the Church over a Council. They might think that the Council documents are imprudent and in some cases actually erroneous, and they might dispense themselves from believing something the Council taught and implementing something the Council set forth, but all this not claiming that the Council as such was not binding (which would be rejecting a Council), but that they have a case of conscience (which, as long as no infallibility is involved, remains something the Catholic, though he may reject it in this case, must acknowledge as actually possible).
Is this a position, colloquially called "rejecting the Council" which should be described where Council critizism, or the SSPX is described? Yes.
Should it lead to inclusion in the info box about not-accepting Churches? No.
Is this a lie or a wishful thinking? Not the first; I very much guess not the second.
[Besides: Let's just leave out the "SSPX, SSPV, and other groups", will we? SSPX and like-minded groups have something of importance both in theoretical position and in impact. SSPV have neither.]-- (talk) 15:42, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Oh gloryhole! We will never accept the Second Vatican Council. You can remove Cardinal Burke from his post and we don't care. The Tridentine mass will flourish slowly but surely and you can keep hanging onto your heretics and apostates until Christ comes again and takes you back into Hell. 2606:6000:80C1:6900:215D:B2E:F151:151D (talk) 09:08, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

"the notion of the Catholic Church alone brings through ultimate salvation to mankind"[edit]

This is either incorrect or unclearly written. AFAIK Vat II brought forward that the Catholic Church is not the ONLY way to salvation; salvation can be found also in other churches but the RCC has the fullness of faith. The way it's written, it looks like "it's RCC or you're gone, period". -- (talk) 15:38, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

You are incorrect about what Vatican II taught. The Church has always held that there is no salvation outside the Church. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. Elizium23 (talk) 17:56, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

English speaker needed[edit]

Much of this article is very unclear, and thus hard to understand. For instance "These groups, composed mostly of members of the Roman Curia, produced 987 proposed constituting sessions, making it the largest gathering in any council in church history. (This compares to Vatican I, where 737 attended, mostly from Europe.)" There were "987 proposed sessions" but it compares to "737 attended"? (talk) 00:00, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Dabru Emet[edit]

although it took a will, that's the jewish response to the Second Vatican Council, and need to be add to this article.--Setareh1990 (talk) 07:47, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Do you have a reliable secondary source that says this, other than your insertion in that article today? Elizium23 (talk) 18:11, 13 July 2015 (UTC)