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Vatican Councils.

1. Vatican Council I (December 8, 1869–October 20, 1870). Regarded by RCs as the 20th ecumenical council (see Councils and Synods, 4). Convened by Pius IX (see Popes, 28). Prots. and Eastern Orthodox also invited.

a. The constitution on the catholic faith (de fide catholica; also known as Dei filius), adopted and promulgated April 24, 1870, condemned pantheism, rationalism, and materialism and contained 4 chaps. on God the Creator, Revelation, Faith, and Faith and Reason.

b. The First Dogmatic Constitution of the Church of Christ (Constitutio dogmatica prima de ecclesia Christi; also known as Pastor aeternus), adopted July 18, 1870, treats in 4 chaps. the institution of the apostolic primacy in Peter, the perpetuity of Peter's primacy in Roman bps., the power and reason of the primacy of Roman bps., and the infallibility of Roman bps. See also Infallibility, Papal; Old Catholics.

2. Vatican Council II. Regarded by RCs as the 21st ecumenical council (see Councils and Synods, 4). Convened by John XXIII (see Popes, 34). Non-RCs invited as observers. Purpose: spiritual renewal of the ch. Discussions highlighted by insistence on return to liturgical, Biblical, and patristic sources of faith.

1st sess., October 11–December 8, 1962, got the council under way.

2d sess., September 29–December 4, 1963; Const. on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum concilium) and Decree on the Instruments of Social Communication (Inter mirifica) promulgated December 4.

3d sess., September 14–November 21, 1964; Dogmatic Const. on the Ch. (Lumen gentium), Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis redintegratio), and Decree on Eastern Cath. Chs. (Orientalium ecclesiarum) promulgated November 21.

4th sess., September 14–December 8, 1965; Decree on the Bishops' Pastoral Office in the Ch. (Christus dominus), Decree on Priestly Formation (Optatam totius), Decree on the Appropriate Renewal of the Religious Life (Perfectae caritatis), Declaration on the Relationship of the Ch. to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra aetate), and Declaration on Christian Educ. (Gravissimum educationis) promulgated October 28; Dogmatic Const. on Divine Revelation (Dei verbum) and Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam actuositatem) promulgated November 18; Pastoral Const. on the Ch. in the Modern World (Gaudium et spes), Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (Presbyterorum ordinis), Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity (Ad gentes), and Declaration on Religious Freedom (Dignitatis humanae) promulgated December 7. EL

H. Daniel-Rops, The Second Vatican Council: The Story Behind the Ecumenical Council of Pope John XXIII, tr. A. Guinan (New York, 1962); L. Jaeger, The Ecumenical Council, the Church and Christendom, tr. A. V. Littledale (New York, 1961); K. E. Skydsgaard, The Papal Council and the Gospel: Protestant Theologians Evaluate the Coming Vatican Council (Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1961); R. M. Brown, Observer in Rome: A Protestant Report on the Vatican Council (New York, 1964); X. Rynne (pseudonym), Letters from Vatican City: Vatican Council II (First Session): Background and Debates (New York, 1963), The Second Session: The Debates and Decrees of Vatican Council II, September 29 to December 4, 1963 (New York, 1963/64), The Third Session: The Debates and Decrees of Vatican Council II, September 14 to November 21, 1964 (New York, 1964/65), and The Fourth Session: The Debates and Decrees of Vatican Council II, September 14 to December 8, 1965 (New York, 1965/66); H. Küng, The Council in Action: Theological Reflections on the Second Vatican Council, tr. C. Hastings (New York, 1963); M. Novak, The Open Church, Vatican II, Act II (New York, 1964); G. C. Berkouwer, The Second Vatican Council and the New Catholicism, tr. L. B. Smedes (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1965); Dialog on the Way: Protestants Report from Rome on the Vatican Council, ed. G. A. Lindbeck (Minneapolis, 1965); The Documents of Vatican II in a New and Definitive Translation with Commentaries and Notes by Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Authorities, ed. W. M. Abbott (New York, 1966).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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