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Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum

(The Second Vatican Council, 1963-1965)


Author/
Document Title Year Brief Summary
Promulgator
The Church proclaims the Gospel not only in word but also in
sacrament, or by sacred signs. Since the whole People of God is involved in
this worship, the signs must be intelligible.
Sacrosanctum Concilium The sacred Council declares that holy Mother Church holds all lawfully
December 4,
(Constitution on the Sacred Pope Paul VI acknowledged rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to
1963
Liturgy) preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way. The Council also
desires that, where necessary, the rites be revised carefully in the light of
sound tradition, and that they be given new vigor to meet the circumstances
and needs of modern times

The church must be vigilant toward the media because of the ever-present
danger of their abuse, but must also use the media where opportune.
Inter Mirifica The Church recognizes that these media, if properly utilized, can be of
December 4,
(Decree on the Instruments Pope Paul VI great service to mankind, since they greatly contribute to men's entertainment
1963
of Social Communication) and instruction as well as to the spread and support of the Kingdom of God.
The Church recognizes, too, that men can employ these media contrary to the
plan of the Creator and to their own loss

The church is a mystery, or sacrament, the whole People of God, in


Lumen Gentium whose service the hierarchy is placed. The authority of pope and bishops is to
November 21,
(Dogmatic Constitution of Pope Paul VI be exercised as a service and in a collegial mode. Bishops are not simply the
1964
the Church) vicars of the pope, and the laity participates fully and directly in the church's
mission.
The Eastern Catholic, or "Uniate," churches can be a bridge to the
Orientalium Ecclesiarum
November 21, Orthodox East. The integrity of Eastern traditions of liturgy, spirituality, and
(Decree on Eastern Catholic Pope Paul VI
1964 discipline is to be restored.
Churches)

Christian unity is a matter of restoration, not of a return to Rome; other


Unitatis Redintegratio November 21,
Pope Paul VI Christian communities are churches within the Body of Christ; and both sides
(Decree on Ecuminism) 1964
were to blame for the divisions of the church.

Christus Dominus
Bishops are the pastors of their own local churches, and collaborate with
(Decree on the Bishops October 28,
Pope Paul VI other bishops through episcopal conferences and with the pope and all other
Pastoral Office in the 1965
bishops through the episcopal college. Authority is always for service.
Church)

Perfectae Caritatis The renewal of religious life (a life lived according to the evangelical
(Decree on the Appropriate October 28, counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience) must be based on the Gospel,
Pope Paul VI
Renewal of the Religious 1965 the original purposes of the community, and the changed conditions of the
Life) times.

Optatam Totius
October 28, There must be a closer connection between seminary training and the
(Decree on Priestly Pope Paul VI
1965 pastoral situation.
Formation)
Gravissimum Educationis
October 28, Education must be broadly humane and up-to-date, with a concern for
(Declaration on Christian Pope Paul VI
1965 personal maturity and social responsibility.
Education)
Nostra Aetate
God speaks also through other religions, so we should engage in dialogue
(Declaration on the October 28,
Pope Paul VI and other collaborative efforts with them. The Jews have a special
Relationship of the Church 1965
relationship to the church. They cannot be blamed for the death of Jesus.
to Non-Christian Religions)

The Word of God is communicated through sacred scripture, sacred


Dei Verbum
November 18, tradition, and the teaching authority of the church, all linked together and
(Dogmatic Constitution on Pope Paul VI
1965 directed by the Holy Spirit. The sacred realities are always open in principle
Divine Revelation)
to a growth in understanding.

Apostolicam Actuositatem
November 18, The laity participates in the mission of the church, but especially in the
(Decree on the Apostolate Pope Paul VI
1965 temporal order.
of the Laity)

Dignitatis Humanae No one is to be forced in any way to embrace the Christian or the
December 7,
(Declaration on Religious Pope Paul VI Catholic faith. This principle is rooted in human dignity and the freedom of
1965
Freedom) the act of faith.

Ad Gentes The Gospel is to be preached also and always to non-Christians, but not
December 7,
(Decree on the Churchs Pope Paul VI as a culturally alien reality. Evangelization is an obligation for every member
1965
Missionary Activity) of the church.

Presbyterorum Ordinis
December 7, Priests are members of a presbytery in union with a bishop, and with him
(Decree on the Ministry and Pope Paul VI
1965 serve the building up of Christ's body.
Life of Priests)

Gaudium et Spes The church must read the signs of the times and interpret them in the
(Pastoral Constitution on the December 7, light of the Gospel. The church does not exist alongside or apart from the
Pope Paul VI
Church in the Modern 1965 world; the church is part of the world, and its mission is to serve the whole
World) human family in order to make the human race's history more human.