Ideally, we would want to start from the beginning of Church history and go to the end, but that would mean that we would have to wait years and years to study the pronouncements and history of Vatican II. Catholic doctrine really did not change in Vatican II, but the politics and emphasis of the Catholic Church changed so much that the modern Catholic Church is quite different from the medieval Catholic Church.
Reviewing O’Malley’s premise that the Council of Trent was not a reactionary council but was rather a reforming council that prepared the way for the Vatican II Council many centuries later.
Reviewing the history of the Catholic Church and how it responded to the French Revolution and the Enlightenment, and how developments made Vatican II possible.
Reviewing the works of Yves Congar and other theologians and how they impacted Vatican II
Whether you are Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox, is does not matter, you will benefit from these blogs. When this project was commissioned by Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger, both of whom were university professors with double doctorates, they strove to balance the sources between the western and the eastern Church Fathers. This is not Catholicism for dummies. The Catholic Catechism is a well thought out study resource for both laymen and clergy, Catholic and non-Catholic, including valuable sections on issues like suicide, euthanasia, medical ethics, abortion, divorce, marriage, and most modern problems we all face today.
When we review the section on the Ten Commandments, we will also do some BIBLE STUDY. Yes, the Catholic Catechism has hundreds if not thousands of footnotes of scripture that is quoted.
Studying the writings of St Augustine, who is so seminal for Western Christian thought, although we must always remember that there was no western christian church in his time, that is a later evolution.
Studying the writings of the Eastern Church Fathers, particularly the Philokalia and the Ladder of Divine Ascent.
Studying early church history, the early Church Fathers in the first few centuries, and Eusebius Church History in particular.
Studying ancient Greek Philosophy, particularly the Stoic philosophers, and what moral lessons can be learned from them.
Continuing the study of church history, using Pelikan’s histories of church doctrine as an outline.
Study the writings of the Eastern Cappadocian Church Fathers in particular.