Introduction: Vatican II—Remembering the Future
The author’s introductory chapter describes the historical perspectives of Vatican II and its architects, as well as the “collegial manner” in which the Council made its decisions. The author recognizes ecclesiology as the heart of the entire council and summarizes the council with five words: benevolence, fraternity, collaboration, dialogue, and collegiality. The author then identifies some of the key positive results generated by the Council. These include making key aspects of the faith and indeed of the Church, more accessible to ordinary Christians, developing friendly relationships with non-Catholic Christians, re-emphasizing the collegiality of bishops with the Pope, and the strengthening of synodality, among other beneficial effects. Finally, the author discusses obstacles to renewal and reform that remain, alongside some of the troubling events that have impacted the Church in the post-Conciliar period.