August 29, 2011
The Second Vatican Council, held almost 50 years ago, has borne many fruits. Those fruits include the revision of the liturgy, better relations with other Christians and with non-Christians, a new respect for religious liberty, a deeper sense of the world's bishops forming a college rather than being local managers for the Vatican, and an expanded role for the laity in the life of the Church.
When Pope John XXIII opened the council in 1962, he said, "The greatest concern of the ecumenical council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously." Pope John wanted Church teaching to be taught in a way more in keeping with modern ways of understanding. He wanted doctrine to be lived by all so that it would permeate not only the life of the Church, but of the whole of society.