The Second Vatican Council (1962–65) is widely regarded as the most important religious event of the twentieth century. Under the leadership of Pope John XXIII (1958–63) and later Pope Paul VI (1963–78), the Council aimed at aggiornamento or ‘updating’ of the life and doctrinal formulations of the Catholic Church. Instead of defining new dogmas, it wanted to encourage the clergy to teach pastorally and to promote the cause of Christian and human unity.
Ireland & Vatican II, whose release coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Council, explores the scope, impact and future implementation of the Second Vatican Council with special reference to Ireland, north and south. It does so by examining the documents of the Council and applying them to an Irish context, taking into account areas such as education, human rights, social justice, liturgy, society and theology. The teachings of post-Vatican II popes are also considered, in particular, those of Pope Francis, who is widely seen as a champion of the spirit and culture of the Second Vatican Council in the contemporary church.
Contributors are drawn from the ranks of scholars, pastors, educationalists and people prominent in the life of the Catholic Church in Ireland, as well as Protestant voices whose valuable perspectives illuminate the Council’s relevance to other Christian traditions. This volume is designed for the general reader, most especially those searching for a more informed and sustaining handle on faith, who will welcome the well-grounded, accessible style of these articles.
Contributors include: Oliver Rafferty SJ, Baroness Nuala O’Loan, Archbishop Richard Clarke, Gerry Reynolds CSsR, Eugene Duffy, Colin Harvey, Michael Kelly, Eamonn Conway.
Niall Coll is a priest of the Diocese of Raphoe and a senior lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies, St Mary’s University College, Belfast. He is the author of Christ in Eternity and Time: Modern Anglican Perspectives, and co-editor of A Church with a Future: Challenges to Irish Catholicism Today.