FIFTY YEARS SINCE VATICAN II
Thornycroft Priests' Conference which took place on
2015 MARCH 23-25
Vatican II emphasized the universal call to holiness, the fullness of the lay vocation in the Church, the right to religious liberty and freedom of conscience as well as the decree on Ecumenism. It also set up new pastoral structures more suited to present needs, such as the Synod of Bishops, Personal Prelatures and Ordinariates. among other things. All these have become very important for ensuring the Church's right and ability to teach and evangelize and defend her doctrine on, for example, marriage issues and reproductive technology. At the same time, it had unintended consequences in the West, such as a supposed freedom to dissent from Magisterial Teaching, a neglect of Catechetics and a decline in Mass attendance. Part of the reason, of course is also the growth of modern secularism. Newman is widely regarded as "the hidden Father of Vatican II" and a precursor of a number of its teachings. Fr. Ian Ker has recently published a book on Newman's contribution to the Council's teaching and also on what he would have said about the unintended consequences including modern secularism and infidelity.