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     Vatican Council II: An Appraisal of II: Major Accomplishments Of Vatican
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Vatican Council II, an appraisal. Riverside Radio WRVR now brings you the first of two extended programs dealing with the work of the second Vatican Council. Convened by the late Pope John XXIII, the second Vatican Council in its four annual sessions undertook consideration of revisions to update and modernize the Roman Catholic Church and to further progress toward the goal of unity among all Christians. What were the major achievements of Vatican Council II and what developments within the Roman Catholic Church are resulting from the work of the Council? In this program, you will hear a consideration of these and related questions by a panel of Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox observers, speaking at a conference for laymen at the Interchurch Center in New York City. Serving his conference chairman is Dr. Henry Pitney-Vandousen, President Emeritus of Union
Theological Seminary. Here is Dr. Vandousen to open the discussion and introduce the participants. Some of you will have seen and read a very interesting summary of the significance of the Vatican Council in the Christmas issue of Life Magazine, written by John Joseph, who was here in which he spoke of it as the most impressive event in Christendom in this century. Having a naughty mind and always picking little quarrels with time and life, I send in a letter to the editors saying, yes, the most impressive event in the sense of the most dramatic. Not necessarily the most important event in Christendom in the 20th century. The fact is that up to 1962, there had been one event in the first half of this century, which had been almost universally hailed as the most important event in Christendom since
the Protestant Reformation, and that was the formal creation of the World Council of Triches at Amsterdam in 1948, it would be not only improper, but quite unnecessary, to throw these two events in contrast to each other on the contrary. I believe every one of us here in this panel would agree that they ought to be seen as complementary to each other. Many Roman Catholics scholars hold that the Ecumenical Council, which is just concluded in Rome, would never have taken place in all probability, if it had not been for the impetus toward worldwide Christian unity, which started in 1910 within Protestant and Orthodox circles, and which found its culmination for the first half of the century in the creation of the World Council of Triches in 1948, so that these two events are to some degree causally related.
I would myself venture the forecast that when historians in the future look back upon the 20th century, they will confirm the present feeling that this century in the area of religion will be known as the Ecumenical Century. But more than that, I'm inclined to think that historians may divide the century at almost midpoint, and categorize the first half of the 20th century as the Protestant Orthodox Ecumenical Half Century, and the second half of this century in which we now are as the Roman Catholic Ecumenical Half Century. There's a particular appropriateness, I think, that we should be considering this theme in this particular spot, the Vatican Council in the Indicate Center, because the Indicate Center, as you know, is the principal headquarters of Protestant Orthodox Ecumenical Christianity. And we have a team of leaders drawn equally, or almost equally numerically, from the
two groups. Let me introduce them. First, Father Alexander Schmemen, the dean of St. Vladimir's Russian Orthodox Seminary located here in the outskirts of New York, formerly here on Mowingside Heights. On senior George Higgins, the director of the Social Action Department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Dr. George Williams, the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard University, the Reverend William Norgren, the director of the Department of Faith and Order of the National Council of Churches, and Father John Sharon, the editor of Catholic World. And we begin with what I think is exactly what each of us wants to hear. What precisely were the major achievements of the Second Vatican Council which adjourned just before Christmas in Rome?
I know no one who is better qualified to give us a succinct summary of that enormous subject than Father Sharon. He was there at each of the four sessions in each of the four successive years as one of the peritee, one of the experts. In the first two years, he was the press representative of the American Catholic hierarchy, the American Catholic bishops, as they met the press every day, almost every day, every day, and no one is more intimately acquainted with the council in its actual workings. More than that, the polished press of which he is the editor is the body to which we are indebted for bringing out the published findings of the Vatican Council. And in his own editor ship of Catholic World, he has been interpreting the council from months to months and year to year.
I have very great pleasure in asking Father Sharon to open the program for us. Thank you, Dr. Van Dosen. I remember Churchill once saying I think was of Sir Stafford Cripps. This man is very modest and he has a lot to be modest about. Well, I don't think it's modesty to say that I don't feel up to listing in detail all the major achievements of this council because the council lasted for four years, for almost three months a year, for four years. And so inevitably they must have turned in a great many major accomplishments during these four years. But first I'd like to mention the intangibles, the very real achievements that have not been verbally expressed in the documents.
The Methodist Observer, Dr. Albert Outler from Southern Methodist, has said quite correctly, for or less has been accomplished than has been made possible. More frontiers have been opened up than occupied. Now this may sound as though Dr. Outler was apologizing for what the council failed to do. But he was really trying to emphasize the fact that the dynamism of a Jornamento that was released at the council will undoubtedly have greater impact than the texts of the documents themselves. For the texts of the documents were necessarily the product of compromise. Now you might say, why compromise? Why was it necessary to have compromise? It was necessary to have compromise in order to attain a consensus. The council fathers were not interested simply in turning in a triumph of victory over the
conservatives. They wanted to be quite sure that these documents that they would approve would be effectively and adequately implemented later on. You who are lawyers are acquainted with the fate of some of the five or four Supreme Court decisions. The prospects generally are that a five or four Supreme Court decision will have a little more difficulty in being implemented than a unanimous Supreme Court decision. And so the council fathers and the Holy Father himself were anxious to attain as high a degree of consensus as possible in order to make sure that the documents would be implemented in the coming years. And I think it's well here and now to remind ourselves that the Holy Father played an
active part behind the scenes in winning this consensus. Dr. Outler in one of his talks said, we, your Protestants, must remember that Pope Paul is conducting a Reformation Roman style, that he's arranging for certain compromises and concessions in order to win a high degree of consensus because he is the force and agency for unity in the Catholic Church. Moreover in Dr. Outler's original remark, which I quoted a minute ago, I think he wanted to suggest to Catholics that they avoid the mistake of absolutizing any council text as the very last word in Catholic renewal and reform. That was a mistake that some Catholics made with regard to the decrees of Vatican I,
a century ago. They tended to look on some of these decrees as final and absolute and in this way it was rather difficult at times to bring about the proper development of these decrees. So these texts that I will discuss are not the last word in Catholic renewal and reform, but in many cases just simply the first word. The beginning of a process of reform that will eventually outrun the very cautious and timid wording of the text. Hans Kong, the Catholic theologian, a few days before the end of the council gave a talk at Rome in which he said that the good things in the documents are simply the prelude to better things yet to come. Or as one council commentator expressed it, the council tried mainly to frame texts
in such a way as to keep the doors open to further reform rather than to try to crystallize here and now the best thinking of the council. Among these intangibles, not verbally expressed in the documents, is the spirit of a Jornimental itself. This readiness to change established policies in order to make religion more relevant to the modern world was a deeply personal experience for the bishops. In his opening address at the beginning of the second session, Pope Paul reminded the bishops how they had felt when during the first session at the opening they listened to Pope John and in that talk Pope Paul said, reminded the bishops how they felt like throwing open the doors of St. Peter's and shouting a greeting of brotherhood and welcome and friendship to the whole world.
Now this was a deeply personal experience to the bishops and many of the bishops now feel that it is more important for them to try to convey this personal experience of a Jornimental that they felt at the council. More important than to actually furnish the parishioners with texts of the documents. Part of this experience at the council for the bishops was listening to and perhaps participating in the free discussion on the floor of St. Peter's. This open discussion surprised some bishops, perhaps it shocked some others, but certainly it was a rather sharp contrast to the previous tradition of rather controlled and cautious criticism in the Catholic Church. Another intangible that perhaps you won't find very obviously in the documents is a new attitude to truth that was present at the council.
Formerly the Catholic approach to truth was to conceive of truth in rather abstract metaphysical fashion or perhaps even in terms of rigid canon law. But at the council the dominant tendency was to take a very down to earth concrete practical existential approach to truth. The subject of man for instance was not man as a metaphysical abstraction, but man as he actually exists in 1965 with all his joys and sorrows and ailments, all his problems and achievements in this technological age. Another phase of this new attitude to truth was the fact that the bishops recognized the truth as present outside the Catholic Church. Formerly the tendency was to take the stance that truth substantially is to be found almost
exclusively within the borders of the Catholic Church. And here you'll find the bishops approving a doctrine, a document that recognizes the positive values even in the non-Christian religions. Now in examining the texts of the documents I cannot possibly examine all the 16 documents in detail. One of these documents, the one dealing with the problems of the modern world comes I believe to about 70 printed pages. And there is of course a hierarchy of importance among these documents. What you consider to be important may perhaps be different from what I consider important. And there was a difference in this personal reaction among the bishops. We from the west considered the document on ecumenism as very, very important.
Not in talking for instance with the bishops from Africa, I found that many of them were rather disinterested in ecumenism. They felt that this was the product of this disunity, was the product of inherited antagonisms that did not exist in Africa. And some of them felt that these clashes between Catholics and Protestants were in some way involved with colonialism and they abaminated colonialism. And so there will be a difference in one's concept and various concepts of the relative importance of the various documents. But I might express my own personal feeling here that the documents on communications and on Christian education were to me the most disappointing. The central document of the church of course is the Constitution on the church.
Formerly the Catholic concept of the church, the later strong emphasis on the church has institution. And it was an institution that seemed to have rather absolutistic features. Unherited perhaps from contact with the Roman Empire or perhaps from the days of feudalism. But this document, this public image of the church as institution by the way, seemed to have been confirmed by some of the documents issued from Vatican I, especially the document defining papal primacy and papal infallibility. Those documents seemed to make the Pope an absolute monarch. The Second Vatican Council however, in this Constitution on the church, approved the doctrine of collegiality and I think dissipated the notion that the church is an absolute
papal monarchy. For the doctrine of collegiality recognizes a sharing of power between Pope and bishops and states that the bishops share in the universal government of the church by divine law. Now, if the Catholic church is not a papal monarchy, what is it? Well, I don't know of any word in English that can describe this form of spiritual government and I think it's rather dangerous at times to try to draw an apt parallel between things in the spiritual and the temporal, especially the political spheres. This doctrine of collegiality will not only change the public image of Catholic government, but will also change the spirit and the structure of Catholic life. For collegiality, we'll bring the Pope closer to the bishops, the bishops closer to the
priests and the priests closer to the people. And this doctrine, of course, will take a very picturesque, visible form when the Synod of Bishops meets for the first time in 1967. The liturgical constitution is another very important document. It has had a more immediate impact on the faithful than has the Constitution on the church. These reforms have already been put into operation in our churches. It will undoubtedly strengthen the liturgical life and the personal faith of Catholics as it provides for intimate participation in or rather than mere attendance at Catholic worship. Formerly, the emphasis in Catholic teaching was on the church as institution, but the liturgical constitution emphasizes the aspect of church as communion in the gifts of
the spirit. This emphasis, too, by the way, is found in the Constitution on the church. That the church is not exclusively an institution, but it is also, very importantly, a communion in the gifts given by the Holy Spirit. In other words, there is an emphasis now, a strong emphasis, on the inner life as well as the external organization of the church. Because of the liturgical constitution's emphasis on the use of the vernacular and participation in prayers, as well as in chant, the parishioner will experience a finer sense of the nearness of the divine presence when the Catholic community is at worship on Sunday. Instead of being a lonely, isolated bystander at the Catholic Mass, he now has a sense of solidarity with the priest and with his fellow parishioners. The decree on religious liberty, of course, is quite important.
It is important first because it is, we might say, the basic foundation for ecumenism. How can that possibly be ecumenism unless the Catholic church recognizes the right of every Christian to follow his conscience, the right of every man to follow his conscience? But that, of course, includes the right of Christians to follow the conscience and to work out the dictates of conscience in the public and private phases of their daily life. And so we might say that the religious liberty document acknowledges the right of Protestants to follow conscience, whereas the ecumenism decree builds upon this and also shows a great degree of respect for the Protestant conscience. The decree on ecumenism has broken down the centuries-old wall of separation between Catholics and Protestants on the one hand and Catholics and members of the Orthodox
churches on the other. It has helped to convince Protestants of the ecumenical sincerity of the Catholic church, especially in its expression of respect for Protestant churches and its expression of sorrow for offences against the separated brethren. I remember talking with one of the Lutheran observers at the council one day and he told me that he had a few days previously been conversing with one of his fellow Lutheran observers. He said to his friend, it seems to me that our big problem when we get back to the states will be to convince our fellow Protestants of the ecumenical sincerity of the Catholic church at this council. And his friend said that will be a real big task because I find that at times even in St. Peter's when I am listening to the speeches, it all seems too good to be true. And I begin to wonder whether or not the Catholic church down deep is really ecumenically sincere.
But I think the ecumenism decree has assured Protestants that the Catholic church is sincere in its talk about reform. Hans Kong remarked that when he first used the maximum ecclesia, sempa, refermanda, the church must constantly be reformed. He was told by certain Catholics that that was unacceptable to Catholics because Christ is present in the Catholic church and there is no need of reform. However, the ecumenism decree says Christ summons the church as she goes her pilgrim way to that continual reformation of which she always has need in so far as she is an institution of men on earth. Consequently, if in various times and circumstances there have been deficiencies in moral conduct or in church discipline or even in the way that Catholic teaching has been formulated
to be carefully distinguished from the deposit of faith itself, these should be set right at the opportune moment and in the proper way end of quotes. The decree on revelation is also important. Some affirm this to be the most important decree of the council. Some observers, some of the Protestant observers, had hoped that it would put a stronger stress on scriptures as standing in judgment on the church. And yet this document does say, quote, therefore, like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the church must be nourished and regulated by sacred scripture end of quotes. This document encourages Catholics, Catholic scholars, to do more intensive research in scripture, and of course, if any bishop objects to a Catholic scholar doing this research, the Catholic scholar can simply quote the document back to the bishop.
The question of whether revelation isn't contained entirely in scripture or in scripture, partly in scripture and partly in tradition is not definitively answered in this document, but I may say that a Catholic may now hold safely without being accused of heresy that all revelation is contained in scripture. Dr. Schitzgard, a Lutheran observer, says that Protestants now must hold for tradition. But he says the question is, how can we distinguish the true tradition from the false tradition? The text of the document says that the task of authentically interpreting the word of God has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the church, to which Dr. Schitzgard would reply, yes, we believe the scripture must be interpreted in the church,
but if it is a question of interpretation by the church, that is something else again. For who is the church? Is it the whole church or is it simply one department of the church? At any rate, the impression at Rome was that the document on revelation has narrowed the gap between Catholic and Protestant teaching on Holy Scripture very considerably. The decree on the apostolate of the laity is in some respects a revolutionary document, like chapter 4 of the Constitution on the Church, which deals with the laity. This document on the apostolate emphasizes the dignity of the baptized Christian, and makes clear that every baptized Christian shares in the priesthood of Christ. Both clergy and laity have the same essential mission, but different ministries. Both enjoy a fundamental equality in spite of their different ministries.
The one being set apart by vocation to purely ecclesiastical tasks, the other consecrated by the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, to penetrate the temporal order with the spirit of Christ. The document on the laity of the apostolate also stresses the fact that all the baptized, laity or cleric, received spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit to be used for the good of the church. I will never forget Cardinal Sunan's talk at the first session, at the second session, when he reminded the bishops that they are not the only Christians who received spiritual gifts from the Holy Spirit for the upbuilding of the church. He reminded them that the laity also received these carisms, and therefore he urged the bishops to keep in close touch and close dialogue and contact with the laity in order to use these special spiritual gifts of the laity for the good of the church.
The general tenor of this document on the laity of the apostolate is to allow a larger role for the laity in the Catholic church. It was once thought that the laity derived their role in the apostolate from the hierarchy. We have the expression that Catholic action is the participation of the laity in the apostolate of the hierarchy. But this text says that the laity derived their mission from union with Christ himself, and it says that they are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord himself. In other words, that they are not directly assigned by the bishops. Once the relationship of laity to layman to bishop was considered the layman's primary relationship, but it is significant that the relationship is not discussed in this document until well on into the text, in fact, not until the fifth chapter of the document. And the document says in one place, quote, there are many apostolic undertakings which
are established by the free choice of the laity and regulated by their prudent judgment. There are several other documents which have been so widely publicized. They need so further attention. You have been reading, of course, of the religious liberty document, which I have already alluded as the basic foundation for ecumenism. Some have lamented the fact that there is a section in the early part of the document that deals with the Catholic Church as the one true church. But I think this has been added to win a greater consensus of the votes. A few little concession to the conservatives to bring them over to the progressive side. Because some of the conservatives were afraid that the doctrine of religious liberty might lead to indifference or indifertism. Some fear that the illiterate might interpret this right of following one's conscience to mean that one may do as he pleases in religion.
And so this section makes clear that one is not free to do as he pleases in religion, but he must follow his conscience. This liberty meaning freedom from human coercion, but not freedom from obedience to God. The document on non-Christian religions represents the first time the Catholic Church has ever officially approved a positive values in non-Christian religions. This document, of course, contains the controversial statement on the Jews. The document dealing with the problems of the modern world represents the Catholic Church's first entrance into this particular area. It expresses a great admiration for the modern world and is quite a radical change from the policy of the syllabus of Eras of the last century. It has been a sale as tending to secularize the Catholic Church. But Pope Paul, in his closing address of the Council, showed how the Church is concerned
for the world is linked up very closely with the things of the spirit. In conclusion, I think we can agree with Dr. Hans Kuhn that the reaction to the Vatican II Vatican Council can be one of realistic optimism. What it has done is laudable, but to be realistic, the implementation of the reforms will meet with some opposition, as you have been reading about in the New York Times these last two or three days, in its discussion of the traditionalist movement under Father DePaul. However, there is no reason to be pessimistic about this opposition. There is every reason to believe that the Holy Spirit has launched a gigantic movement to reform that is extensive as well as intensive, and I feel that it has gone so far in the Catholic Church that it cannot possibly be stopped.
And I think you'll agree, gentlemen, that we've just heard a pretty quite extraordinarily clear comprehensive perspective of this enormous territory that the Council covered. I'm sure we all realize this. This is not an exaggeration. It's an absolute statement that sounds like an exaggeration, but I don't think it is. There was no living mortal, from Pope John to the most optimistic and the most progressive of the Catholic theologians or leity, no living human being, Catholic or Protestant, who in October 1962 ever dreamed that the outcome in terms of formal findings alone, that the outcome of this Vatican Council would be one quarter of what it actually looked, that
truth was yours. Also, one other little point that Father Sharon referred to several times is perhaps worth underscoring. There has been, as he said, a price paid here and there for a larger majority, what he called a consensus, but it isn't a consensus, it's an overwhelming majority in almost every case. I myself think that the concessions are pretty minor, really, and that they have very little visionated the power of these statements. The assertion is made again of the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, but am I not right, Father Sharon, that in the final votes of the documents there was none that had less than 80 percent, isn't that correct? I think there's none that had less than 80 percent, and most of them had up to 90 and over 90 percent.
Now, when you think of 22 or 2300 cardinals and archbishop and bishop and patriarchs coming in from all over the world, and building up that degree of consensus for documents both as important and as pointed, as we have just heard these documents are, it is really an amazing achievement. We turn now to an interpretation of the same theme, but from the point of view of one who sat as a Protestant observer, Dr. Williams was there for at least part of each of the four years. I think you all know the setting in St. Peter's, one doesn't really visualize this Vatican Council unless he has that in his mind's eye, you've seen pictures of it and so on. The vast nave of the cathedral where I assume all of us have been St. Peter's with bleachers populated by cardinals, archbishop and bishops, and then a moderator's table, too, in fact, a two decked moderator's table up below where the papal throne would be, where the presiding
office is sat and then the controlling committee behind them, and then in immediate proximity to the moderator's table on this side a box in which the Protestant and Orthodox observer sat, as was pointed out, closer to the heart of things than any of the cardinals are archbishop. On the other side, another box where the advisors, the parity, the experts, and other lay representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, that it was from this vantage ground of a perfect opportunity to see as well as hear the Council throughout that the Protestant observers watched what was going on. I'd ask Dr. Williams to give us his interpretation. Our moderator hasn't described one other feature of the Basilica, the two bars, 11 o'clock
it was always possible to leave with decorum if one wished to, and they're a good deal of discussion of the Council continued in very packed circumstances. Our moderator has solicitously referred to the extraordinary achievement of Father Sharon in presenting the essence of the four sessions of the Vatican Council. My task is of a different kind admiring what he has done to set this period of four years in the larger framework of Church history which happens to be my theological discipline. The word ecumenism is not used for the fact that Roman Catholics have gotten together, but seeing this as a whole, it is important to underscore the fact that there is an intra-catholic ecumenism which could be given the name the new conciliarism.
By this designation, I mean that the fact that Catholics of all ranks from the Pope to the female layman are a part of the Council and a part of the discussion that goes on outside it. There are secondly what I would call eschatological ecumenism. This term actually has been introduced into the discussion by a Jewish observer of the Catholic and Protestant activities. It is the sense of reconciliatory urgency which we all feel in today's world, appropriating traditional materials about how other religions fare at the last judgment and applying that to our inter-confessional relationships today.
Then there is thirdly the intra-Christian ecumenism which is embodied formally in the decree on ecumenism by the Council and is to be called ecumenism proper. The intra-faith or intra-Christian dialogue as it proceeds among Catholics of the Orthodox and Protestants. But there is fourthly an inter-faith ecumenism up until the advent of the second Vatican Council and a good deal of the time. During the four sessions we have been accustomed to speak of inter-faith radiations as meaning Catholic, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox relations, including perhaps the Jews in that larger extension of the word interfaith, including them by all means. But at least it was always so clear that Protestants and Catholics were different that we spoke
of interfaith. I think it is possible today to speak of intra-faith ecumenism, inter-Christian and then interfaith for the dialogue now underway among Catholics as a result of the Council and the declaration on non-Christian religions and the exponents of the great world religions. So this would then be the fourth meaning inter-faith ecumenism. Then there is fifthly a development that is extremely interesting and difficult to define unless one puts it in line with this classification and I have made bold to call it religious, political ecumenicity or global ironicism which is in fact, as one can see historically, the sublimation of the long history of Roman Catholic goadiness to the mission of ancient Rome and it comes under the heading of the modern meaning, the ornamental of the idea of Romanita.
Now it is my assumption in presenting these five topics that what we are talking about is not only the 19 documents promulgated at the sessions of the Council but also what has been possible for the two pontiffs to say and do as a result of their presidency of a Council upon the proceedings of which the eyes of the world were fixed for four whole years and so I consider as a legitimate extension of the meaning of the achievements of the Council, the deeds particularly of Paul and notably his pilgrimage to Palestine to India and to the United Nations.
It is in this larger context than that I would speak of the major achievements and now more particularly what I have called intra-Catholic ecumenism. Now what this is is obvious and yet if we see what has happened in the Council and remind ourselves of some things Father Sheeran has said and anticipate things that will be said later on, we have nevertheless, before us, the realization that the composition of this Council is unique in conciliar history. The representatives of the Catholic world who were able to attend the first Vatican Council sat in one wing. In the second Vatican Council not only was the name of the Basilica filled as has been vividly described by our moderator but it was filled because modern means of transportation,
it was filled also because with modern means of communication and the possibilities of diocesan oversight by mail and even telephone. Not only did the bishops come who have the major responsibility of the diocese, the Cardinal Archbishop of New York but also his auxiliaries and I think it is extremely important to mention these auxiliarie bishops and missionary bishops who did not attend in large numbers. The first Vatican Council because as bishops by virtue of their consecration they have the same magisterial authority as the Cardinal bishop and as a matter of fact some of the national hierarchies chose some of these younger usually auxiliarie bishops to be their spokesman. The spokesman for the hierarchy of Poland was an auxiliarie bishops. He was spokesman because he had a beautiful voice and a powerful voice and a very good
Latin enunciation but just because he did speak many times he was a well-known figure and this is true also of other national hierarchies, African Indonesian for example. The fact that missionary and auxiliarie bishops spoke up gave a character to this assembly different from that of the assemblies in other periods. Moreover the Episcopal retinues were not without significance and I almost hesitate to use the word because I mean by this heads of the press, clerical heads of the establishment and the parity, the experts because the articulate and fast writing journalists and the experts who also did a good deal of writing of Episcopal interventions constituted a huge mass of sensitive Catholic cohorts through whom the thinking of the council permeated by spiritual osmosis
also aided by good dinners referred to it another time and this meant that the progression of thought and the clarification of issues was enhanced by the possibilities afforded by the modern world and by the presence of these younger, these auxiliary missionary bishops with points of view that were different in fact that varying points of view are an impressive aspect of intra-Catholic ecumenism. I would think that one could say the experience of Roman Catholicism in North America, Canada and the United States has been writ large in the documents of the council not only in the decree on liberty but in many other areas. The Catholic experience in our pluralistic open society has been become a standard as it were for the Catholic interpretation of the church, the Catholic church in the world
in the pluralistic society, emergent, pluralistic global society of which we are now part. The experience of Catholics in North America and particularly in the United States has had significance in the very wording of the council's documents. But I wouldn't overlook the fact that some of the European countries that at the first Vatican Council were largely Protestant have so succeeded in the extension of Catholic piety and organization that they too have come up with a different kind of resonance in their voice as they speak on the great issues of dogma and moral law. I refer particularly to the Dutch and the English hierarchies. For the success of the Dutch Catholics in regaining a position in Holland has given them
a new understanding of the pluralistic society which is our world society and it is not without this background that we understand the extraordinary contribution of the Dutch and to this I might add the Belgian and to let's extend the English bishops in contrast for example to the hierarchy in Ireland where the problem of the world war and the problem of interconferential relations had not become acute and the older positions were maintainable in mark contrast to the views of those who came from these more dynamic areas where Catholicism has creatively faced pluralism and not been slowed up but actually has been able to make advances. In this concept this experience transmuted into consider language and often into theological language not only by our American bishops by the theologically minded Europeans has given
an unusual character to several of the consider documents but it doesn't just the North Americans and the new Catholic hierarchies post-war Europe but of course the hierarchies of the new nations. This is important to underscore because at the time of the first Vatican Council the bishops came from either Catholic countries or the missionary areas of their empires or they came from Protestant lands where in Germany for example the struggle between a Protestant nationalism hit head on the efforts of the Catholic Church in the period of the Kulturkamp a two-reacert itself in the United Germany. The lines of demarcation are so different in the world from which the Council fathers
for the second Vatican Council have come. They have come from one side or the other of the iron curtain or from neutral countries. They have come from missionary territories where perhaps the dominant religion was already becoming the ideology for the new emergent nation and that meant that Buddhism, Hinduism, pan-Africanist religiosity for that there is that now in the world and Muhammadism had become the ideologies for these newly emerged national states so that the bishops from these areas underprivileged, underdeveloped highly intensely anti-colonial reviving their own indigenous religions as the ideological basis for the new state out of this area have come the bishops who have new, cardically new ideas of the place of the church of the
Christian people in the world. I would say that the representatives of the Oriental Rites were more conspicuous in the second Vatican Council than in the first. Now I want to bring this up later when I talk about the implications of the Oriental Rites churches called also the Unite Churches, the Eastern traditions of various kinds that are conspicuously present in the Basilical because of their different garb and also on occasion the different rites which they presided over at the morning mass. One of them, the Patriarch Maximus IV side, insisting upon the truly ecumenical character of what was a Catholic Council rather than a distinctively Roman or Latin Council insisted throughout in addressing the assembly in French as an international language rather than in Latin.
The Patriarch Muudji of Lebanon was similarly motivated although he was Latin to give expression to the distinctive canonical theological, even ecclesiological views. Now I think one would say that Father Schmaiman will be much more specific on this point this afternoon or I would like to anticipate what he might say there that the bishops of the Oriental Rites spoke with considerable confidence feeling they were speaking for a much larger community for most of them are miniscule in comparison with the larger group which is Orthodox or of a lesser Eastern tradition in the Middle East and Indian wherever and that they in the process of the ecumenical dialogue had become much more conscious of there being orthodox in the Byzantine or Armenian or Coptic or Antiochine or Malabar tradition and accordingly spoke up in the Council with that accent and with that motivation however
it may be interpreted from without that is to say from without the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church within it made a tremendous impression and some of the unit bishops in Canada not so much from the United States gave voice to their distinctive position with respect to liturgy which is not under debate but also canon law. This diversity was always known by the bishops of the church but to be in contact face to face contact with other bishops ordained to the same mission and coming and associated with experts of so many varied qualifications gave the Catholic Church a personal realization at Rome itself and by osmosis throughout the Catholic world of the Catholicity that is truly diverse and this is surely one of the great achievements of the Council.
But another aspect of this intra-Catholic ecumenism is what I have got what I would call the conciliarism or the sense of a collegiality by which name it goes in the Council itself. Now in the remaining five minutes I would like to describe this aspect of conciliarism. As Father Schmaman would be telling us of here on this topic this morning as a different connotation for Eastern Orthodox Christians from what it does for Protestants and Catholics of the West. The ancient consuls are held in common, seven of them. They were called by the emperor and fixed the basic dogmas of the church, the doctrine
of the Trinity, Christology and so forth. Even in the Middle Ages there was another series called acumenical, called by the supreme pontiff in Rome which dealt with primarily Latin matters although representatives of the East were sometimes present. Some of these in fact were efforts at reunion with the East and must be taken in consideration as the Orthodox world reacts to the present Second Vatican Council. But at the end of the Middle Ages, an anomaly developed within Latin Christendom as you recall there was a sism that finally led to three papacy's. Corpus Cristiano was a three headed monster, theologically a monster and this very tragic development, the great Western sism as it is called in the history of the West, could only be brought to an end it seemed by the efforts of a council and the conciliers.
Very frequently professors in the University of Paris or other great universities advising their monarchs or princes were responsible in large measure for the series of consuls that finally brought to an end this sism. The Council of Constance in 415 ended with the election of a new Pope Martin. And thus conciliarism is a experience of the late Middle Ages that by, I think it's important to underscore this, survived as a possibility within the 16th century, this century of another kind of sism, the Protestant Reformation which ended in the basic sism within Old Christendom, Latin Christendom. The Council of Trent met this challenge of Protestantism, undertook reform in the face of the Protestant critique and tried dentine or counterreformation Catholicism has lived
on into the present century. It compensated for the loss of Protestant territories by a tremendous missionary expansion under the inspiration of the Jesuits and others in the new world to regain globally what had been lost within Old Europe and also by the annexation of Union churches under the influence of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Ache of Lithuania. Then came the only other council that we know about, the Vatican Council, which took place in an atmosphere that was extremely parless for the Church. Nationalism, socialism, other isms which seemed to threaten the very structure and essence of Catholicity and challenge the Universal Church. The first Vatican Council was brought to an end as a matter of fact by the unification
of Italy and the suppression of the Papal States with the Pope going into hiding and taking with him spiritually speaking the whole of the Catholic world which was on the defensive. This Council in order to oppose the excessive nationalism of the nineteenth century and the excessive trends in other respects formulated the dogma of the infallibility of the Pope. It had intended to go beyond this to supplement the doctrine of the authority of the Pope with authority of the bishops and of the Church in general but troops in Rome prevented the completion of the first Vatican Council and the Church ended its last Council by making the Pope supreme legislator as well as executive within the Church.
I think it's therefore impressive to see what the second Vatican Council means. It has been alluded to by Father Sheeran, he has made the reference to the fact that the Pope is not an absolute monarch, the doctrine of collegiality, the teaching authority, the bishops derived not from him but from Christ, makes for a kind of a piscopalianism that had been almost eliminated from Catholic theory of orders in the preceding period. This emphasis upon the importance of the Council of bishops, that is the Council, SEL, of the involvement of the bishops as teachers came to the bishops as almost a noblem. It was hard to get on to the fact that they were in fact fellow teachers of the bishops of Rome but became more confident in their magisteria role as the sessions proceeded.
But in these sessions in which cardinal bishops and auxiliary bishops and missionary bishops spoke on the same footing, something happened which has made a difference in the Catholic Church, and as Father Sheeran has said, has made all the difference in the world. Because the debate was sharp, it was occasionally attended by humorous salaries, bringing forth merriment in the Basilica, and as the sessions proceeded there was even a certain kind of exchange, it might be delayed by a day, but at least there was some way in which a debate in the ordinary sense of the word could be carried out by a reference to what had gone before. In this process of increasing confidence in the authority of the bishops as teachers
under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, what others might call a loyal opposition developed. Now because the Roman Catholic Church is still wary of the parliamentary analogy, this term is not used, I would not insist upon it, but with a monarch to whom all bishops were loyal. The question of sism, although it was actually a dumb read from time to time, on certain matters, is simply not a possibility as it had been and became a reality at the close of the First Vatican Council with the establishment of a breakaway group that annexed itself to the old Catholics of Utrecht to form. The Old Catholic Church, which is a body involving polls, even Filipinos and so forth, a considerable defection at the end of the First Vatican Council. Such was not a possibility, although was noise about occasionally at the end of the course of this debate because of the loyalty to the Supreme Pontiff.
And thus, increasing devotion, with this devotion, increasing freedom could be expressed. And as a result of the debate, what Protestants would call evangelical liberty found expression. The Declaration on Religious Liberty concerns the place of all religious groups in the conscience of each man in the civil realm before the state. But evangelical liberty, which is what Martin Luther defended, concerns freedom within the church. It is the prophetic conception of freedom. The prophet ordained by God, called by God speaking to the God ordained ruler, a David or a Solomon. This evangelical liberty has found expression within the Basilica, Maximus the Fourth Side. I would give him as an example, Cardinal Myers, rallying the forces for the signatures that were submitted to the Pope to ask for the vote on the Declaration on Religious Liberty,
even in the third session, that extraordinary episode. And then outside the Council, the extraordinary speech of Cardinal Alfred defending the hierarchy and the priesthood in his land of Holland, speaking about his loyalty to the Pope by his openly rebuke in extraordinary Christian fourth-rightness, the machinations of certain members of the Curia. That kind of freedom is possible because of the basic loyalty, which has been established as a result of the first Vatican Council. This is intra-catholic ecumenism, and it is a tremendous force in the world, with these other kinds of ecumenism I'll be dealing this afternoon. Thank you very much, thank you very much. I can't underscore too strongly these points that Dr. Williams has made. I can perhaps give two illustrations of a very mundane and human kind. Let me say that I was only at the Vatican Council for two or three days at the beginning
of the second session, but it's an impression, which will stay with me always. And I think the first impression I had was the utter freedom of speech. I have attended many church gatherings in this country, all of the assemblies of the World Council of Churches, the General Assembly of my own church, the General Convention, the Biscuit of Church, and so on. I have never been in a church gathering where men stood up and spoke their mind as freely and frankly, as these men did one right after another, perfectly extraordinary. And the other human factor was the extraordinary camaraderie that was built up among the bishops. Dr. Williams referred to the early church councils of the councils of the fourth century. It was said it was like a reunion of old school fellows when the bishops of the church came together. Now, the reason for that was that they had all gone to the same theological school in Alexandria to origin.
Today, they happened all gone to the same theological school, but having met together for two and a half months for a year and then going away for nine and a half months and then coming back again, even at the second session, as you saw them in the Basilica on the steps of some Peters, it was like a reunion of old school fellows, very informal and casual and friendly. Now, in these two pretty solid and weighty presentations that you've listened to, there must have been many questions that have come into your minds, and let's have some of those questions quite quickly. You'd like to put, yes. Monsignor Higgins, as I ask, whether revisions adopted by Vatican Council II become mandatory upon all bishops and in all d'assises, or whether this is open to determination by the local bishop? Well, I think you'd have to make a number of distinctions to give any meaning to the answer. Some of the changes which are called for in the documents of the Council are disciplinary
and they're measurable. For example, changes in liturgical practice, changes in the reorganization of bishops' conferences, things which can be seen and felt and touched and checked on. There is what they call a vacatio-ledges in canon law, a period of adjustment until these changes, normally there is at least until these changes go into effect. After that, it will be expected that all bishops will follow them. The more difficult problem, of course, is in those areas which are intangible. The question which was asked almost every day in the press panel when we were discussing religious liberty was, what effect will this have on practices in Spain, or Italy, or whatever country? Well, only a profit could tell because this is something over which the church as such has no direct control, happily, I think, does not in this pluralistic age, or at least it has less control than it would have had in the past. But I think one would assume that the all but a few of the bishops certainly will do
what they can through educational means to see to it that the spirit of these documents is implemented insofar as they have any control over the situation. I think you'd have to make that sharp distinction between those matters which are internal disciplinary problems of the church itself and which can be measured and checked upon and those which go off into a less tangible area. For example, it is said, as Father Sharon pointed out, that biblical scholars are encouraged to use all of the modern means of scholarship. Well, how does a bishop who formerly might have been hesitant about permitting this kind of free exercise of scholarship in his jurisdiction, how do you know whether he has changed or not, and how soon does he change, and how rapidly does this get through to him? It's that kind of problem. Thank you very much. Father Sharon, would you? I'll just say a word about my own field of ecumenism. About a year ago, the American bishops' commission on ecumenical affairs issued a set
of guidelines by way of recommendations to the bishops in the United States was regard to the implementation of the ecumenism decree. But I think the result has been that many of the bishops took the guidelines with the grain of salt. I think they were waiting for the council to end, expecting that perhaps something might be said at the council that would change the situation. Many of them were waiting for an official set of guidelines to come from the Vatican itself. The Secretary for Promoting Christian Unity under Cardinal Bayer has been preparing a set of guidelines that very probably will have more binding force than this set of guidelines issued by the American commission of bishops. It was anticipated that this set of guidelines to be issued by the Secretary would appear sometime before the end of the fourth session.
But it didn't appear. And in speaking with one of the members of the Secretary just before the end of the council, he said he was afraid that it will not appear until perhaps March or April of this year. Thank you very much. If all they're sure and referred to the fact that the doctrine of collegiality means that the pope is closer to the bishops, the bishops are closer to the clergy and the clergy are closer to the laity. Mr. Irwin's query is, is this free step closeness, so to say, actually in the document itself or will it be an indirect result of the fact that the doctrine of collegiality provides only for the relation of the pope to the bishops? Presently and verbally, the constitution on the church in speaking of collegiality applies it only to the relation between the pope and the bishops. But implicitly and I think very clearly, the same constitution on the church does apply it to the priest and laity it as well.
In the chapters pertaining to the priest and laity in the same constitution, there is reference to the necessity of dialogue, the necessity of dialogue between bishop and priest and the necessity of dialogue between the clergy and the laity. And this too is an outgrowth of something that perhaps is more deep-seated even than the doctrine of collegiality itself, a new concept of authority in the church. In the previous concept of authority, we might say the only anticipated consequence of authority would be almost blind obedience to the authority. But here the authority of the church is counterbalanced against dialogue. The two are complementary and in practically every document you will find that wherever there is reference to authority and the exercise of authority, there is also reference to the need of dialogue between the superior and the subject.
Thanks. Father Sharon, wouldn't you also say that the in answered Mr. Irwin's question that the formal doctrine of collegiality has to be joined in this connection with, for example, the liturgy which by bringing the liturgy into the vernacular, bringing the priest down from the altar in the presence of the people in the celebration of the sacrament, physically brings the priest into closer contact and then the document on the apostolate of the laity. A two-part question addressed to Father Sharon. In the council's declaration concerning the laity, was it at all specific as to their place and authority within the church, their quasi-independent authority? And secondly, is it to be expected that the meetings of the bishops from time to time with the Holy Father will overtake the influence of the courier who are already on the ground Father Sharon. The document on the apostolate of the laity does strenuously urge the creation of a council in which the clergy and the laity would cooperate.
It doesn't set up this council in any specific detail, but it does request that such a council be formed not only in the diocese but also within the parishes themselves. And the pastors are asked to cooperate with the laity and to consult the competent laity in the parish on all matters of spiritual and temporal welfare of the parish. That last night in our rectory at 59th Street, we had a domestic chapter, a chapter of the priests of the house, and the purpose of the chapter was to decide about the matter of putting in a permanent altar that would face the people. We have, of course, the old altar which is removed at some distance from the congregation. We have also the temporary altar which is much closer to the congregation.
But now a generous donor has offered us sufficient funds to construct a permanent and more artistic altar near the people. And of course among the fathers are some of the old timers who don't take kindly to the new liturgy or to the idea of defacing the sanctuary by such a permanent altar. But the majority of the priests spoke in favor of this new altar and I think the interesting thing was that a great many of them urge very strenuously that the pastor must consult with the competent laity of the parish before any such renovation is put into the church. Now the second question I believe was with regard to the effectiveness of the bishops of the Senate. Well of course that's a big question how effective will the Senate be? This is virgin territory and we've never had this Senate before.
But in general the plan I would say is that whereas previously the curia caused considerable trouble in the church by the fact that it acted as the right arm of the pope intervening between the pope and the bishops and giving orders to the bishops with the result that for instance if a theological controversy erupted in a diocese. The bishop usually was tempted to get this hot potato out of his hand and so he'd send it to the holy office in the curia and the holy office usually sat on the controversy and told everybody to hush up. Well now that was no way to solve a serious theological problem. But now the feeling is that the curia will more or less become the right arm of the Senate rather than the right arm of the pope intervening between pope and bishops so that from now on it's expected that the bishops will be giving orders to the curia rather
than the curia giving orders to the bishops. This is an expression of a hope, isn't it? Now but seriously this is one of the great uncertainties isn't it? The point that Father Ford has raised is one of the great uncertainties, one senior higgins. Just a couple of footnotes. Father Ford's statement that the curia is constantly on the job brought back to my mind that old gag of Pope John's when someone asked him in the early days of his regime how many people are working in the curia, he said about half of them. Whether that's changed, I don't know. I merely wanted to add a footnote to the earlier question about the implementation of collegiality. I think again it would be well to keep an important distinction in mind, collegiality as it's used technically in the language of the council refers only to the relationship of the Pope to the bishops, but there is a parallel sense, an analogous sense in which
it can be used and I think is commonly used in other documents. And in several of the other documents the fathers of the council did more than urged that the spirit of collegiality be implemented down below but actually suggested structures through which this could be done. That was true as Father Sharon indicated in the schema on the lay apostolate. It was true notably in the schema on the past due duties of bishops in which all bishops are urged to establish a pastoral council in their diocese made up of laymen and priests. A further implementation at the bishops level which we referred to later is the section of the decree on bishops which spells out in some detail the responsibility of national bishops conferences, another form of decentralization. You have perhaps a half a dozen references and various documents to what I would call implementing the spirit of collegiality.
Varying in mind however the collegiality in one sense is a technical term which refers only to one matter. Thank you very much. In Father Sharon's opening remarks you may recall he spoke of the fact that many of the most important results of the Vatican Council are not to be discovered in its documents or in its formal actions but in the effect that it has had already in the life of the Catholic Churches throughout the world. We want to hear a little bit more about the effect that this council has already had within the life of the Roman Catholic communion as it is seen by a faritative Catholic spokesman and then Protestants and also the Orthodox communities whose interest is very deep indeed as was pointed out to us earlier. I'll call first on one senior higgins then upon Father Schmammann and then Mr. Norton on senior higgins. Our time is extremely limited I feel guilty speaking at all because I'm sure that everyone
in the room has questions but I'll try to rush through this as rapidly as I can. I'm going to give a series of impressions not conclusions they're all very debatable I'm not going to go over the ground except tangentially known them that Father Schmammann has touched upon merely some personal impressions of changes which I think have taken place or will take place as a result of the council. I would add first of all a cautionary introductory word however that these changes and other changes which will be spoken about during the rest of the day are not in my judgment things which have come out of our magicians hat there was after all a long period of gestation for the council it was not an exercise in magic it wasn't as though we came to room in 62 with nothing on the table and then came out of it in 65 with all of these sudden changes I would think it wise to keep that in mind.
Perhaps we get the notion that a council somehow or other works miracles in a vacuum. My first major impression is one which I will have to state in a very oversimplified and therefore necessarily a distorted way I would repeat the statement made by many other commentators or observers who have noted that the council probably officially represents the end of the Catholic counter-reformation at least hopefully not overnight but this is a tendency that I'm speaking of the beginning of the end let us hope of what is often referred to as the siege mentality this is going to involve necessarily and I think is already involving in limited ways but again as signs of a trend a great deal more dialogue within the church itself between Catholics and other Christians and Catholics and non-Christians a greater degree of dialogue with the world itself and even with quotes so-called
enemies of Christianity specifically for example as we saw in the closing days of the council with communists. My own view is that important as the ecumenical thrust of the council has been and will be that in the short run at least perhaps the most important form of dialogue which has been stimulated by the council is dialogue within the church itself it seems to me until that begins to take shape that almost everything else in the council will be delayed in execution including the execution or implementation of the decree on ecumenism there's going to have to be much more dialogue within the church at many levels there has already been a good bit of it in the council itself as has been noted by a previous speaker I would say just a couple of examples of what that meant in practice I for one went to Rome with an almost total ignorance of the mentality of the Italian bishops assuming
as I think many Americans and Anglo-Saxons tended to assume that the Italians would vote largely as a black and that they would vote conservatively as a matter of record they did not as a matter of a group as a group vote conservatively in the final analysis and the council revealed certainly after the first session that there were great divergences of opinion within the Italian hierarchy and that perhaps the reason that we were not aware of it and that they themselves were not aware of it sufficiently was that there had not been anything like adequate dialogue even within the Italian hierarchy over the past century or more to say nothing of dialogue between the Italian hierarchy and other hierarchies from around the world I could tell several humorous stories of time permitted about my own informal dialogues with bishops from Ireland but that's another matter Irish American priest such as myself would have had reason to think that they understood the
mentality of the Irish bishops I'm afraid they didn't on a number of issues because they had never really met them at that level before more immediately coming down to more practical cases here at home there will have to be a great deal more dialogue within the church itself between ecclesiastical authority so-called and their quotes subject so-called priest and members of the faithful this is going to involve is already involving as you know from reading the press a substantial amount of tension within the church and it's going at times to involve a number of paradoxes let me cite just one to illustrate the point I'm making if you read the Catholic press at all you're quite aware of the fact that many of our laymen many of our priests are up in arms about the treatment according to Father Berrigan in recent days I know many laymen and many priests who think it's just unspeakably bad that Father Berrigan allegedly at least was in some way disciplined for his views on Vietnam views which I don't share but I sympathize with his right
to express them we now see in this morning's paper the beginning I think of an interesting paradox where a man on the other side of the fence a Father Du Poir through a curious roundabout jurisdictional route claims now that why even though he belongs to a diocesan Italy as transferred to that diocese he intends to set up headquarters in New York to pursue an ultra conservative approach with regard to the liturgy and other matters before the council it will be interesting to watch the reaction of those who believe in freedom for the clergy I can hardly wait to read some of my favorite Catholic papers in the next week or two secondly and quite obviously there will be and there is already more much more dialogue between Catholics and Protestants to me perhaps the most providential single decision made by Pope John in the preparation the council was his invitation and their acceptance his invitation to Protestant observers to take an active part in the council I feel myself
that if Protestant observers had not been there on the inside first of all it wouldn't have been as good a council because they made a substantial positive contribution but negatively I do not think that Protestants as a group ever would quite have believed in the council I think there would have been a permanent residue of suspicion even though the council might have come out with the same decrease and same documents that it did there's always I think a suspicion in anyone's mind if he's on the outside wondering what really took place inside and quite sure in his own mind since he wasn't there or wasn't represented that probably things took place which he wouldn't like there were some things that took place that the observers didn't like but at least they saw them and sometimes saw them at closer range than we peridied it. My only other comment on the dialogue with Protestants and with non Christians with the Jews and other non Christians is that I would hope while we maintain as Father
Sharon has insisted in our previous seminars here while we maintain keep our lines straight and do not become too vague about the meaning of ecumenism as such Christian ecumenism at the same time we will expand our dialogue to include the great mass large numbers of people in our culture who are not Christians and who are not non Christians but who call themselves agnostics or secularists or whatever I think somehow or other Christian ecumenism if it is to mean anything substantially we'll have to engage in dialogue with that important segment of our population both here and at home. Secondly and hopefully again I think there will be as a result of the council and things which preceded it a less emphasis on triumphalism in the church both in style and more importantly however in content. In the approach of the church to truth as Father Sharon has pointed out I think one
of the turning points in the council came very early in the proceedings when Bishop Dismitt of Belgium in his very eloquent stentorian way attacked triumphalism and went so far as to illustrate his case by pointing to the language and the style of the Vatican newspaper La Cemetery Romano. I can remember a time when bigger men than Bishop Dismitt might have hesitated to say that and certainly wouldn't have said it in public. Now it's become almost cruel I find myself sympathizing with the servitory people say such cruel things about it at cocktail parties and at meetings. There will be as Father Sharon is indicated again a greater emphasis on the role of the layman the place of the layman in the church is crucial places remember the people of God I haven't time to go into that I think questions will bring it out in greater detail I would only add this as
I told the women at the meeting the day before yesterday that under the discussion of the role of the laity I must admit frankly that from my point of view the council failed to give adequate attention to the role of women both in the world today they're changing role and more specifically their role within the church itself that's another matter. A second footnote to that would be my own hope and expectation, confident expectation that one group of women in particular in the Catholic church will make a greater contribution than any of us at the moment can really anticipate in detail which I think I can see clearly by way of a hunch and that is the 175,000 or so nuns or sisters in the Catholic community. I think they are ready for the council as a group than almost any other single group within the Catholic church and when they begin to be heard from I think we're going to see some interesting things. I won't pause to say anything about the effect of the liturgy, the liturgical changes that's been touched upon and again questions can
bring it out I think more effectively. I would merely pause long enough to urge that we be reasonably patient and that we keep a reasonable sense of humor with regard to those who like Father De Pois are trying to hold things back or dragging their feet. I think that's to be expected. I don't think it's going to succeed but I think it would be a mistake for the progressives in the church to become frantic about it. My own guess is that Father De Pois is talking through his hat when he says that he has a substantial number of followers. I do not think he has and the manner in which he's conducting his canonical proceedings leads me to believe that he's walking into an awfully big mouse trap which is going to close on in one of these days. I feel sorry for him. I'll send him to Father Ford who can tell him how to get out of that trap from long years of experience on the other side of the fence. One word on the fringes of the council, this doesn't
have anything to do with the proceedings itself. I hesitate to talk about it and as a matter of fact, Mr. Chairman, while I'm happy that Jack Jessup is here, I can tell you very frankly that I might have pleaded sudden illness if I had known he was coming. He knows too much about the council, has written about it so well, and specifically knows so much about the press that I'm hesitant to bring up this one point. But I would say that from my point of view, the improved press relations in the council as time went on. They were very bad in the beginning. Traditionally, they've been horribly bad, in press relations. They were very bad at the beginning of the council, but they improved substantially. I think improved to the extent where one could honestly say that press relations in the state, old conservative Vatican during the council, at least during the last three sessions, particularly the last two, were far better than press relations between the church and the press in the United States. Far better. And therefore, I think
the Catholic Church say nothing about the Protestant Church for the moment, but the Catholic Church in this country can learn, I think, a great lesson from the experience of the council in dealing with the press. I might also add that I, for one, think very highly of the manner in which the press covered the council. I have the usual number of clippings in my files, which I didn't like, but on the whole, I thought the American press against substantial odds. And in a very difficult situation, it did a remarkably good job. On collegiality, which was raised earlier, again, I would prefer to let the questions bring out the details. I will merely say that I'm an optimist about the implementation of collegiality. Some people are not, I am. And at this stage, one has to be a prophet. He can't, no one knows what's going to happen. I'm optimistic about the Pope's intentions with regard to the Senate, and optimistic with regard to the historical process, which I think could not be reversed, even if the Pope or a succeeding Pope wanted to reverse
it, short of a major debacle within the Church. And I think any Pope with historical sense today is not about to invite that kind of debacle if he can conveniently avoid it. I'm perfectly satisfied myself with the, not perfectly, but substantially satisfied with the prudent way in which the Holy Father is going about the implementation of the principle of collegiality. I do not agree with those Catholics who have criticized the Pope's action for being too slow, too little. I think they're asking for something which the Pope would be foolish to try to give them, and something which runs counter basically to their own view of the Church. By that, I mean that I do not think it would be wise for the Pope to pretend that he knows what collegiality is going to mean 15 years from now in practice. So long as he makes a substantially good beginning and leaves it flexible enough for experimentation, then I think we're moving in the right direction. The same could
be said of the implementation of the spirit of collegiality down below at the national level of the National Bishop's Conferences, but again, time doesn't permit me to go into that once again. In this round of presentations, we are asked to speak about the developments in the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world as a result of the Vatican Council. My main impression of those developments, although I agree with what has been said already, but I think that one of the main and the very important features is that we can describe in one word. It's a big confusion. And as belonging to a church where confusion is almost
a knota ecclesia, we have been living with that confusion and disorder for centuries and have survived and are not to afraid of confusion as such and even feel that sometimes it will be uneasy in the Western emphasis on order and clarity in everything. So I feel that this is not at all a critical remark, that this result of the Vatican Council that has created a confusion in the Roman Catholic Church, is in itself a very good result. I am afraid of all interpretations or clarifications or guidelines which will put too much order to early and give a sort of ex-Cathedra explanation of what it meant. Now, one can see that confusion on many levels. My first impression of that confusion was at Vatican itself. When attending
the second session as a guest observer, we spent many weeks, I said we because I think it really was a very great degree of participation except voting. It was the time when the vote on the schema on the liturgy was taking place with all those revolutionary changes, yet just before every morning that discussion began, there was a very classical low mass being served in the council itself with a cappella singing some absolute beautiful and irrelevant hymns while a bishop was receiving communion very loonly. Now, that was a very good example of that confusion. However, the whole thing was discussed in about the participation. Then I remembered that morning in northern here, remembers when there was a little manifestation five lay people appeared of nowhere, received communion and early horrified eyes of cardinals.
That was even a greater confusion, a very charismatic one indeed. Then a few days ago, I lectured to 300 nuns, which is always a fantastic experience. Again, we can sense that confusion. I mean, nuns, and at the same time, each one was taking out her garb Harvey Cox or something about death of God, and I felt again that it wasn't that simple. No. I personally feel that the attempts made, although I, again, concur with Father, with Mr. Higgins about a wonderful job done by the press, I think the press to some extent is responsible for an oversimplification of certain issues. I mean, we all speak as if it was completely understood that the whole thing is a fight between good guys and bad guys. There are the good ones, the liberals, the progressives, those who, and then there are this some little demonic
curia there, which simply doesn't understand the American constitution and democratic process, but with some education that will be converted to the good ideas. I think that the confusion is rooted in something much deeper. We oversimplified. We put it in terms which are very good when we speak of the democracy in Republican Party, Lincey and Mr. Quill, but we do not apply to the church as such. And this is the real depth of the whole problem. And let's we understand this. It seems to me our evaluations of Vatican will not be quite adequate. I'll speak about the specifically Orthodox points today, this after later or this afternoon. But about this confusion as such, I think that what is happening is a necessary polarization, no whether that word exists, but there are two main tendencies today in the Christian world as a whole of Vatican presents them very dramatically. It's not only liberals
against conservatives or fundamentalists against biblical liberals. It's in fact the two basic affirmations of Christianity itself, which we have to hold together. And it's very difficult to hold them. On the one hand, what is being expressed in the Holy Cuminical Movement, and now in Vatican, is this idea of the truly ecumenical character of Christianity and by ecumenical, I don't mean only the movement towards unity or interface. But Christianity as assuming the world, as really the expression of it, as something which is responsible for the cosmos, for history and so on and so forth. On the other hand, the fundamental, you are not off this world. I mean, and this is not only conservatism and liberalism. This is something much deeper, the enemy of the Christian experience and Christian faith itself. And it is the fact that the Vatican Council has finally brought
the Roman Catholic Church, although this, of course, this always existed in the Catholic Church. But today, it has become the real issue, how to keep those things together, the criticism of triumphantism, the theological debates. All these things are, in fact, a deep search of how to be faithful to that antinomical yet absolutely essential Christian stand. On the one hand, this not, this, this, the church meeting the world, and on the other hand, the church being fully and absolutely the church that is faithful to the absolute. Now from this, therefore, this is the source of confusion. And I see three main lines of changes which take place right now, which are all of them in the state of confusion, but with great promise in them. First of all, a theological development. I think that Vatican has made possible a real theological revival in the Catholic Church. Not that it
was absent. Many things prepared the council. But I think that now, when the council itself has come to an end, and when a literature, which was a sort of rapid literature, sometimes almost hysterical, I would say, that everyone, I remember one of my Protestant friends sitting next to me at the council itself, was constantly writing something, and I said, my goodness, how wonderful you are. I mean, you taking notes all the time, although we were given all those documents, galore, every day. No, he was already writing a book about Vatican. It was only the beginning of the second session. I regret not having done it. But when this rapid quick literature, which is presenting all things very quickly, will come to an end, and we enter in the real post-Vatican era, it seems to me that very serious theological development will begin. Precisely along the lines, which I, this confusion itself is
a sort of adventure in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was assigned a very clear place in Roman Catholic theology for centuries. It was operating according very strict rules. Now he again becomes the Rua, the biblical spirit, which really, first of all, creates disorder and confusion, out of which is something new comes in. Now, this, I think, is the first promise of the Vatican Council, and I'm very eagerly expecting myself serious books coming out of it. In some contexts, in some discussions, I have had the foretaste of what it will be. And when the journalistic stage of the Vatican is finished, the serious theology will begin. Now, I just will mention, on passon, because that has been mentioned already so much, the ecumenical development. Truly, I think that this council meant the entrance of the Roman Catholic Church into the ecumenical movement. The Catholic Church has always been a very powerful factor in the ecumenical movement. And even her absence
was a factor. And there was always, and later on this afternoon, I'll speak about it, because it even put us Orthodox, for a long time, in a false position, the ecumenical movement. We are always the respectable representatives of the absent Catholicity, and not so much of ourselves. Now, we are liberated from that duty. They can speak about themselves. And this, I think, is very important. And there has not enough words, I mean, that we cannot exaggerate the truly ecumenical opening. I think that of all the developments, this one is the most tangible, that the change of atmosphere. And I'm speaking not about the council and the experiences in Rome, but what happens today in Hartford, in Connecticut, in Boston, in Buffalo, where I was recently, when you really feel that this dialogue situation truly exists, this is the second promise, the second great change on all levels, and probably the lowest level, the level of the Catholic community, of the
local clergy, is the most significant one. There's a real gladness and joy about the possibility of entering in communications with the others. And this is so new and so positive that it cannot be exaggerated. And finally, I think that there is also a spiritual development in the Catholic Church as a result of the Vatican Council, which is very difficult to formulate. I probably could formulate it by the word crisis. It's a crisis in the deep theological meaning of this word. It's not only in advance. Many years ago, Professor Lloyd by a reformed theologian of the Church of Switzerland, wrote a very interesting book, which was called Institution and Event, trying to put this whole development of the Church in those two terms, Institution and Event, those categories. Now, I think that
there is a crisis in the Roman Catholic Church, because an event has taken place. Not only the institution is adjournamenting itself, which is always good, I mean. It's not only updating of the whole thing. It's something different. There is an event. A new era has been inaugurated. Now, this creates a situation of crisis. This opens the possibility of a new search, not only theological, but also spiritual. And I think that one can feel it almost everywhere in the Catholic Church today. I think, and I will speak about it more when I present some specifically Orthodox criticism this afternoon, I think that all this is highly positive, but also that there are very real dangers and shortcomings in the whole situation,
which for the sake of ecumenical progress and ecumenical truth are constantly to be brought forward and to be discussed. But at this preliminary stage of our discussion, when we, if I were asked once more, what is the great change? I would say joining all those who spoke about Vatican, saying that it's first of all a new and tremendous possibility. But this possibility is rooted not only in clear cut definitions and permissions, giving by Vatican, but in a state of confusion which the church needs from time to time. Because then she rediscoveres the Holy Spirit, the Spirit which is the giver of life, not only of order, institutions, but of life itself. Now, this is, I think, the greatest change that I feel, and although once more, it will take years and years to evaluate what this council meant, that changes something which already in itself is an event.
Thank you, Father Schmehmann, Mr. Norgon. Father Schmehmann alluded to the appearance of the layman at communion time. In the second session, he didn't come to the third session to see the next manifestation was when lay women turned up under the cardinal's noses, which caused even more of a sensation than that morning. And they have, of course, remained ever since and increased in numbers. And as Father Monsignor Higgins said, perhaps not sufficient numbers, but it was a good advance in development. Now, I find myself in a very difficult position because so many of the other gentlemen have already spoken for me, particularly Father Schmehmann on the description of the character of the council as an event, which is almost impossible to evaluate. And
something to be distinguished from a mere development or some change, which is very gradual. Although, of course, that is involved, too, obviously. It seems possible to say that the council has done, essentially, two things. It's brought bishops together to meet on important questions, and to a lesser extent, the Church as a whole has considered these questions in directly and through the public press. And in doing this, it has made it possible for the bishops to become more sharply aware of the full range of tasks and opportunities, which today present themselves to the Catholic Church, and indeed to all Christians. It's also helped, I think, some of us to make ourselves aware of some of these tasks and opportunities.
The second thing it's done, basically, is to establish an agenda for the prosecution of these tasks. I think that one could list them rather succinctly. One is the renovation of the Church's conception of itself and the Church's practice in light of the modern world and of contemporary theological scholarship. That's the first one. The second task is the Church's dialogue with her milieu. And the third is the engagement with the whole of the rest of Christendom in all of these tasks. The council has, as it's become a common place to say, initiated a development or a jointamento and updating. But really, this is a very small thing which it has done. Now, everything depends. Even that council on whether the council participants and the rest of the Church really do realize what is required
of them. And I think that remains an open question. Do any of us really realize what is required of us as a result of the council or as a result of any of the other developments in the modern Christian churches? I would say in terms of its greatest achievement that the Vatican Council's greatest achievement is not so much collegiality which has captured the headlines because it is a rather sensational subject dealing with a supposed, not actual, diminishing of the absolute monarchy of the Pope and some uplifting of the authority of the bishops. But rather a recovery of the conception of the Church as fundamentally the people of God. You notice I say very careful a recovery. In other terms, perhaps more commonly used by Protestants, a conception of the priesthood of all the faithful. It seems that now from
this basic recovery will proceed a reorientation to what extent once again one does not know as yet. First of all, a reorientation in the liturgy to express in concrete worship, this concept of the Church as the people, the priesthood of the faithful. It can be seen in the bishops' ministry as placed within the context of the whole body of the Church in the diocese and in the parish. And it seems that it can be expressed in the emergence of the laity carrying out their role and task in the world. These are three major ways in which this recovery can be concretely expressed. If the implications of this central achievement of the Council are drawn out and acted upon, it seems to me that this in itself could
represent a major rapprochement with other Christian churches. What about the disappointing side of the Council? I always refused to answer questions directly about how the Council might have disappointed me. Simply because the momentum and the changes the Council has released are so great that it would be hard for anyone, indeed, it may be presumptuous to say where it might have failed or why one might be disappointed, except in the most qualified sense. I think Christians in other churches must instead look for the new frontiers now open and simply go and work on those frontiers. Now, of course, everyone in this room knows and in the world knows that other churches have many criticisms of the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, including the doctrine taught by the Second Vatican Council. I have
no intention, of course, and no time to go through all the documents of the Council, but there are in some of the documents things which it would be possible to criticize as well as to appreciate. I think one can say, however, that in all the documents, no steps backward have been taken. In every case, where an important point of interchurch relations has been discussed, the result in the documents is one which takes account of the point of view of the other groups, Christian groups, and leaves questions open. In some cases, it's even been possible to narrow the gap slightly. I suppose the best illustration of that is in the decree on divine revelation, where the relation of Scripture and tradition is adumbrated and discussed, and where, quite deliberately, the Council
left open for the future dialogue of the churches, this rather counterverted question. So too, in the Constitution on the Church, which deals with that most counterverted subject of the nature and authority within the Church, I think you could say that no major steps backward have been taken. Indeed, as Father Sharon said, the understanding as expressed in the Pope's opening address to the Second Council, that the Constitution on the Church was to be a present understanding of the Roman Catholic Church of itself, I think safeguards that. When it comes to the cause of Christian unity, I think we could say that this has been advanced far more than any of us had ever dared to hope. And the decree on ecumenism simply recommends prayer in common, dialogue, and practical cooperation, the three principle
areas, the decree on mission speaks of collaboration wherever possible in mission. But I have to emphasize once again that in the post-Council Euphoria, that everything depends now on the implementation of the Council decrees, in dioceses, in parishes, and above all perhaps in the hearts of the people. I think we must expect that God will assist us in the work He has begun in the Council ecumenically. And I think we ourselves, all of us must hope and pray and put our own hands now to this task. It is essential that the other Christian churches assist the Roman Catholic Church to live ecumenically, or of course there is no such thing as the ecumenism of one church all by itself. Ecumenism, by definition, requires
degrees of partnership. While it's true, and some of the other speakers have alluded to this, and I want to underline it, that in one sense, the acts of the Council have a permanent validity and a permanent authority, it is also true in another sense that the documents published are already out of date on the day in which they're promulgated. The church ever reflects upon her life and her ministry, and at this very moment, the church which is a living organism breathes and grows. The work will be done by the Council has to be carried forward. The church has to ponder the immense new problems the Council has presented for solution relating to herself, problems relating to church unity, and problems
relating to her milieu. And I think it is at this point of the problems that the ecumenical dimension enters. The Roman Catholic Church will find that the other churches will increasingly wish to work in concert on the tasks of the church, for we face much the same questions. I think it is our common task to learn to live as separated churches now in one chrysanthem, one faith, one hope, one charity, and that this is an interim foretaste. We must live in this kind of relationship while we await the time when we break the Eucharistic bread together, a time which may be some years, some decades, even more perhaps ahead. Even now we may, in obedience, it seems, to Christ the Lord of the church seek to serve
him in every man. I think in addition to confusion within the Roman Catholic Church and within the Orthodox Church, the Council has introduced a kind of confusion within to Protestant churches, which is only in addition to the confusion which was already there. And I think we find ourselves now in a time when we are fighting rather hard in this totally undefined situation to achieve a new accommodation to one another, at least a set of working relationships, until God gives us the guidance and the light to know what our more permanent relationships will be. And I would say, though this is the subject for this afternoon, that our task is layman and clergy, is each one to pray about this and to ponder it and to do everything we can, and above all to live together in so far as we can, in this one combination of faith and hope and charity, and, of course, above all charity for bearing one another, assisting
one another, especially the weaker brethren toward that issue which we all devoutly hope for and which God plans for us. Thank you very much. And Senior Higgins, as I ask, whether there has emerged within the Roman Catholic Church, an organized opposition to the work and decisions of Vatican Council, too. Father Dippau, and whoever his collaborators are, Father Dippau being a Belgian priest who has been teaching in this country for some years, has established what he calls the Catholic traditionalist society, which Ames, as far as one can read, it's Ames from its rather fuzzy publicity, not to undo the work of the Council and the field of the liturgy, for the moment it's confining itself publicly at least to the liturgical field, not to undo that work,
but to give the conservatives so-called a break. They're saying, in effect, well, all right, there's an act of mass, well, and good, but we ought to be able to have at least one Latin mass each day in each church. That's sort of approach. With regard to the bishops, I have no way of knowing what the American bishops will think or do about this society. I can only guess. I would guess that most of the American bishops, for good, bad, and in different reasons, in many cases, will be opposed to this society. That's why I said, I think that Father DuPoi, at this stage, needs a good cannon lawyer, if he looks to use the expression in this post-conciliar period. It seems to me as a priest who has had some experience in dealing with bishops that he's badly in need of an advisor. First of all, I would be 1,000% sure that he's misquoting the Pope in the statements. I cannot
conceive that the Pope told him what he said the Pope told him. I have further information about that. Second-hand information which confirms my judgment on that. If I read the American bishops correctly, they will be opposed by and large to this organization. The fact that such an organization is being started or it doesn't surprise me greatly, perhaps I'm an optimist by temperament, but I think it would have been rather surprising if everyone in the United States had accepted the liturgical changes, which are not really all that radical, but I think it would have been surprising if they had accepted them calmly and without any protest. You have the same phenomenon going on in England at a higher literary level, even in law, people of that type are running around talking about the glories of Latin, and I'm not surprised at that, but I just personally think they're on the losing team, and therefore I think it's only graceful for people who think they're
winning to be kind to people who are losing. Mr. Norgren is asked to elaborate on his suggestion that the Protestant churches can help the Roman Catholic Church follow through in implementing the work of Vatican Council too. In what areas can this help be directed? I think one could say in a kind of general way that in many respects, they're already doing this. Theologians are assisting one another good deal these days, and I think we already have the beginnings of collaboration. For example, in the religion and race question, there has been other kind of less publicized collaboration on practical questions. I think at the moment, the main form of collaboration officially between the churches is just forming channels of communication and beginning to talk to what and other about possible forms of collaboration rather than actually doing much more than the kinds of things I've
referred to. But I think it may be a subject to discuss what forms of collaboration should we seek to establish in the near future, because most certainly, some forms are about to be established, and they might just as well be the right and most satisfactory and productive forms of collaboration. There's one particular aspect of this that I hope we can give thought to, and come back to namely collaboration between Roman Catholic and Protestant laymen, as Christians. At the minimum level, to use the blessed word, which I love, dialogue, conversation, communication, and so on. Your women folk who were here two days ago, the wives of some of you and women friends were very keen for that, and I think rightly so, feeding that perhaps the most important single forward step that hasn't yet been taken at all, really, is to bring lay folk, men, and women, Protestant and Catholic together into this conversation dialogue that's taking place.
A question or recalls that the Vatican Council had been referred to as a sort of climax to counter-reformation. He asked what part was played by the Catholic laity in bringing this counter-reformation to pass, both in this country and in other countries? See, I think you used that phrase, didn't you, for Monteneghiggins? At the end of the counter-reformation? Why don't you explain that a little bit, because it isn't, in a sense, the climax, but rather the cancellation of the counter-reformation, isn't it? I'm sorry I used it. What I was trying to say for sake of brevity and hurrying through my notes was that perhaps, if you wanted to use one of these sweeping generalizations which shouldn't be used, you could say that this marked the end of an era in the sense that there would be less negativism, less defensive stance on the part of the church than there had been in recent centuries. Your other question is a much broader one. What role did layman play in the process which led up to Vatican Council, too, and the
things that have come out of it? I find myself unable to answer the question, except in vague generalities again. I suspect that the influence of layman in Europe has been greater and Western Europe has been greater than the influence of layman in the United States and some other countries, for the reason that there is a substantial intellectual tradition among at least a certain class of layman in France, Germany, Belgium, and Holland. Unfortunately, they did not play a very direct role in the Council itself, but let's take just a few names out of the hat. It seems to me that the Pope himself has made it quite clear that over the years he's been substantially significantly influenced by the writings and by his personal contacts with a man like Mary Tan, who is almost an adopted American. He's back in France now in his old age, but his French, of course.
You have a number of other lay leaders and scholars of that type in Europe who undoubtedly have had an influence on the thinking of their bishops and on the thinking of theologians. This was not a layman's council. Layman were there only symbolically and in very small numbers, but I think the fact that they were there even symbolically was significant, because they might not have been there at all, and surely in Vatican I were not there except through the influence of political leaders, very often a negative type interference from lay leaders in the political order, but I saw it back to Father Sharon. I can't say much more about it except that to add that in the future, in the implementation of the spirit of the Council, I would think that layman are going to have substantially
greater voice than they've had in the past, and maybe more than the clergy will have. The lay people in this country, the Catholic lay people, are on the move, a small group of them at least, a vocal group, and they are not about to go back to the old way of doing things. The little incident at St. John's University, I think, is just one additional straw in the wind of the way in which the sociology of American Catholicism is changing, changing rather rapidly, and this is bound, I think, to have an influence on the bishop. My only fear is that our bishops and we clergy will not be flexible enough in the short run to adapt to this rapid change without a number of people getting hurt in the process, and without losing a lot of energy which should be used for constructive purposes. I would agree with Mancini Higgins that the role of the laity, at least in the United States, has not been very large. It has been a minor role, but at the same time, I think,
it has been a minor role at times in a high key, I think, especially of the Catholic journalists, of men like Jim O'Gara, John Cogley, and others who have been associated with Commonwealth, men like Phil Schopper, who is the editor of a Sheedan Ward publishing company. These men, along with others, such as Senator Eugene McCarthy from Minnesota, have been very active for some years, not so much by way of actually engaging in research or taking an active movement, an active part in ongoing movements, but rather in calling attention to the theological and intellectual firmament that is coming out of Europe, especially out of France. Of course, at Rome, sometimes Pope Paul was called a 1940 liberal, that was supposed to be a total description of him because he has shaped his thought so
much on the writings of Maritan, who is a 1940 liberal. Well, I don't think we can penetrate so easily into the depths of the personality of a man as profound and complex as Pope Paul. Men like James O'Gara and John Cogley and other leg leaders have been calling attention in the Catholic magazines and newspapers to the writings of men like Jacques Maritan. Sometimes, at least in the very recent past, the charge has been that these men are not representative of laity on the ground that they are ex-seminarians, and that they are, well, John Cogley is not an ex-seminarian as far as I remember, but many of the others are, men such as Michael Novak. They are ex-seminarians, and at times, their voices are rather shrill in calling attention to the good things coming out of Europe,
of European Catholicism. But at the same time, I think, perhaps it would be necessary for ex-seminarians to play this role. The ordinary laity outside of the walls of the seminaries has been accustomed to a rather docile obedience and have not been in touch with the good things coming out of European Catholicism. And so I think it is providential that these ex-seminarians have played such a large part in informing the American Catholic public about the developments in European Catholicism. A questioner recalls the direct intervention by Pope Paul in the final days of the Vatican Council's third session. During the fourth session which followed, he asks, were there developments which shed light on the significance of these papal interventions? Isn't it true, Father Sharon, that the Pope didn't take back the interventions which
troubled us so? I remember when many of us were here a year ago last month. There was a good deal of reference to those interventions by the Pope in the very last days. Now those positions were not rescinded, surely. I suppose one way of putting Mr. Lockwood's question is, what was the character of the Pope's interventions this time? With regard to the Pope's intervention, with regard to religious liberty, I think you have that in mind. I speak subject to correction from Mancini Higgins. But as my memory serves me correctly, what happened was that a version of the religious liberty document was presented to the Bishop for a discussion at the beginning of the third session. Then their recommendations were for change or for constructive change in the document, were worked into the document by the proper authorised commission. Then towards the end
of the session, this revised document was presented to the council. The American bishops wanted to bring about a vote on that document just as soon as possible, especially to have it voted on before the end of the session. There were some of the conservative bishops who wanted to frustrate a vote on it. I don't know exactly what their motives were, but anyway, they got a petition demanding that the vote on this be put off until the next session. The moderators of the council, as I think was the president of the council, decided that this vote would be postponed, whereupon the American bishops in high-dudgeon engineered what has been referred to in the press as the American Revolution. It was led
by Cardinal Meyer. Within, or I think within about a half hour, they had some 500 signatures to a petition of protest against this decision of the presidents headed by Cardinal Tissarant. In fact, as I remember, the petition was typed on the typewriter of the secretary of the council, wasn't that Monsignor Higgins, who was quite unaware of what was going on at his typewriter. But anyway, within a short time, there were 500 signatures to this petition, and before nightfall, there were, I believe, close to 1500 signatures to the petition. The matter was brought to the attention of the Pope, and the Pope called in the parliamentarian of the council, Cardinal Roberty. Cardinal Roberty was asked his
opinion of this decision by the presidents, and Roberty said there is a rule in the order of the council, which says that if a new document is presented to the fathers, it must be subjected to prolonged discussion on the floor of the council before it can be voted on. And this document that has been presented is substantially not the same document as the one that was presented to the bishops earlier in this session, and discussed by them at that time. And as a matter of fact, even Cardinal Beyer admitted that structureally, this document was radically different from the one that had been discussed earlier in the session. So, Roberty said I think this is a new document, and therefore it should be discussed before it can be voted upon. And Pope Paul simply went along with the
decision of Cardinal Roberty, the parliamentarian. And I think one of the reasons, perhaps why he went along with it, was that he sensed that there were certain inadequacies still in the document. He hoped that the document would be improved in the interval between the third and fourth session. And even Father John Courtney Murray, who was probably the chief draftsman of this document, who was terribly disconcerted and disappointed when the Pope refused to intervene on the side of the Americans, now I believe admits that the postponement was providential because it allowed time for further improvements in the document. And at the present time, I think all the progress of bishops in the council
would admit that this is a better document than the one that might have been voted upon at the third session. Thank you very much. Do you have time, I think, for one more question or two? Yes. Did the Vatican Council's decisions extend clear permission to Catholic layman to attend and participate in religious services other than those held in Roman Catholic churches? Father Sherrod? All right. I think the question is clear. Did the Vatican Council say anything or take any action that affects the freedom of a Roman Catholic layman to be present at, perhaps to participate in an active worship in a church other than a Catholic church? The participation of Pope Paul at a religious service at St. Paul's outside the walls on December 4, a few days before the ending of the council, gives us a clue as to the procedure for the future.
Here was the head of the church participating in a prayer service with Protestants and members of the Orthodox churches. In fact, even giving a humbly on that occasion. This presence, however, of the Pope at this service must not be pressed too far. It, I think, gives us a hint of the advisability for Catholics to participate with Protestants and Orthodox and or Orthodox at religious services in churches, whether Catholic or Protestant, but it does not give permission, does not set a precedent for participation of Catholics in the religious rights, that is, for instance, in the case of the Catholic church participation in the Eucharistic service and the Eucharistic sacrifice. Now this afternoon, I'll try to draw a clearer distinction between joint prayer, common prayer, such as you have in the case
of Pope Paul's participation at St. Paul's outside the walls and participation in common worship. They are very different. A question is asked about the role played by Protestant observers on hand for the sessions of Vatican Council 2. In what sense did they function as participants in the work of the council? Dr. Williams, would you tell us a little bit about what it means to be a Protestant observer or accurately what it meant to be a Protestant observer? The observers felt very much involved in the proceedings. We met every Tuesday in the priests within the chambers of the Secretary for Promoting Christian Unity following the debate in the council, making our own interventions written or oral and gradually accosting ourselves even to the use of phrases like plotchet and non-plotchet. The point was that the bishops
in the Secretariat would be present for those Tuesday afternoon meetings, at least some of them, and the Parity and Consultories of the Council, taking note of what we agreed with and what we would be prepared to criticize. We were also reassured that the statements that we made, either individually or by communion or by grouping, were heated by the Secretary assembling this material, evaluating it, and sending it on to the bishops. There are few instances of phrases suggested by the observers being used in the Basilica and the addresses of the bishops, and also some phrases even surviving in the documents themselves. Wouldn't we not say in this connection? Just as earlier, we said that the actual fruits, findings, deliveries of the council, its accomplishments, surpassed by enormous
figure, any anticipation, so with regard to the observers, that the actual participation of the observers, far surpassed any expectation that anyone had. They thought they were going as auditors and were glad to go as auditors. I think I'm correct in saying, am I, Dr. Williams, that it wasn't until the opening service itself, that they knew that they were to have physically, within the cathedral, this very privileged position, as was often said, closer to the Pope than his cardinals were. That was simply a symbol of what developed as time went on, and as Dr. Williams has said, some of them were encouraged to actually prepare drafts, phrases and paragraphs, and whatnot, which were sympathetically considered. It is said that there are some Protestant phrases in these pronouncements.
You've been listening to an appraisal of the major accomplishments of the Second Vatican Council, and the developments within the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world resulting from the work of the council. Participating as panelists for this discussion and for the question periods, have been the right Reverend Monsignor George C. Higgins, director of the National Catholic Welfare Conferences Social Action Committee. The Reverend William A. Norgren, director of the Department of Faith and Order of the National Council of Churches, father Alexander Schmiemann, dean of St. Vladimir's Russian Orthodox Seminary, father John B. Sharon of the Paulist Fathers, editor of Catholic World, and Dr. George Hansen Williams, Hollis Professor of Divinity Harvard University. Charing the discussion was Dr. Henry Pitney-Vandousen, president emeritus of the Union Theological Seminary, and vice president of the Interchurch Center in New York City, where the conference
was held January 8, 1966. Riverside Radio WRVR will bring you the second part of this appraisal of Vatican Council 2, next Saturday afternoon, beginning at noon. The panelists then will direct their attention to the significance of the Vatican Council for the future of the Roman Catholic Church, and its significance for relations between Roman Catholics and other Christians. We hope you will join us again then, next Saturday afternoon, from noon until 2.30 o'clock, for the second of these extended WRVR programs dealing with Vatican Council 2. This is WRVR 106.7 FM, the Metropolitan Station of the Riverside Church in the City of New York. We hope you will join us again, next Saturday afternoon, from noon until 2.30 o'clock.
Vatican Council II: An Appraisal of II: Major Accomplishments Of Vatican Council II
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Moderator: Van Dusen, Henry P. (Henry Pitney), 1897-1975
Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station: New York, N.Y.)
Publisher: WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Riverside Church
Identifier: cpb-aacip-9a0b177893c (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:27:00
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Chicago: “ Vatican Council II: An Appraisal of II: Major Accomplishments Of Vatican Council II ,” 1965-01-22, The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
MLA: “ Vatican Council II: An Appraisal of II: Major Accomplishments Of Vatican Council II .” 1965-01-22. The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Vatican Council II: An Appraisal of II: Major Accomplishments Of Vatican Council II . Boston, MA: The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from