History

What Happened at Vatican II, Embracing Democracy and Modernity

Pope Benedict once said that both the supporters and opponents of the Second Vatican Council have one characteristic in common, and that is, most of them have never read the decrees or the history of Vatican II and are ignorant of the actual teachings of the council. His solution was to draft the Catholic Catechism, but unfortunately, nobody reads that either. […]

AntiSemitism

Vatican II Declaration on Freedom of Religion, Embracing Democracy, Rejecting Fascism

The Church Fathers of Vatican II believed that the Catholic guarantee of Religious Liberty was crucial for regaining the respect of many believers and the modern world.  History had evolved so that the Catholic Church was not on the side of truth regarding religious liberty.  From ancient times the Catholic Church was supported first by the Roman emperors starting with Constantine, and then the royalty of medieval Europe, but the absolute monarchies had all disappeared, giving way to dictators and republics, some of which were constitutional monarchies.  The Jacobism of the French Revolution and its grandchild communism were the enemies of the church, and the church supported fascism to combat communism.  World War II totally discredited fascism, now the Catholic Church saw democracy as the bulwark opposing communism, and religious liberty was a cornerstone for democracy. […]

Biblical Interpretation

Biblical Interpretation in the Catholic Church, the 1994 Pontifical Biblical Commission Decree

Historically, the Catholic Church has defended itself from attacks, both real and imagined, from enemies of the faith, and this defensiveness also extended to Biblical studies. The twentieth century saw a relaxing of this defensiveness, culminating in the decree Dei Verbum pronounced by Vatican II, encouraging Catholic scholars to use more modern methods of interpreting the Scriptures, under the guidance of the Vatican office, the Pontifical Biblical Commission. […]