Tuesday, February 18, 2003

The documents of Vatican II
Every spring I read the four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council with first year seminarians. Every year I get the same general response: “Why have we never heard this stuff before?” These are guys who have lived forty years in the post-Vatican II Church and they still don’t know what these documents say, nor does their experience of life in the Church appear to correspond to what they read.

You priests (and bishops) that are reading this, I’d certainly put a large part of the blame on you. When was the last time you studied these documents? And I don’t think the distorted quotes in Dick McBrien’s columns count! Do you organize your pastoral plan around chapters 2-4 of Lumen Gentium?

And you lay people, get off your duffs (or get on them, actually), and read them, so you can begin to put them in practice. Don’t depend on the message your pastor is giving you. Even if they were faithful to Vatican II (and many more priests try to be than are given credit for it), they could not communicate to you the fullness of the richness of these documents.

We’ve got a lot of work to do to implement these documents. Let’s start by reading all sixteen of them. Starting today. Start here.

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