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By Solita Collas-Monsod
I got a copy of the paperback edition of “What Happened at Vatican II” by John W. O’Malley, SJ, and it is a fascinating read. O’Malley is the author of three other books, all published, like his fourth, by Harvard University Press. He is a university professor at Georgetown University, and for those not familiar with the academe, the rank of university professor is an honor given to a very select few who are, at the very least, intellectual giants of international repute (the University of the Philippines may have less than 20 of them—among the first being Gelia Castillo, Mercedes Concepcion, and Jose Encarnacion).
By Asuncion David Maramba
“If I’m obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts …. I shall drink to conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards.” That’s by Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman. It’s good that giants of the Church make such bold statements. They protect lesser mortals from being denounced when the latter think and say likewise. Despite [...]
In one of the annual seminars I attended, a priest-speaker asked who among us knew of Vatican II. I promptly raised my hand, glanced around and, to my chagrin, discovered that there was only one other raising her hand. Instead of showing curiosity why others didn’t know about it, the priest smiled, which struck me [...]
This refers to Prof. Asuncion Maramba’s commentary titled “Time to revisit Vatican II” (Inquirer, 11/26/12). After feeling depressed over the prognosis for the reproductive health bill, seemingly, in part, because of the fear of clericalism, I was uplifted by her succinct summary of Vatican II. Although the council’s thrust has been temporarily blunted, there is, as she says, a scope for hope. I enjoyed the quote from John XXIII about “inches of condemnation.” I have not read that before.
By Asuncion David Maramba
When Vatican II solemnly opened on Oct. 11, 1962, at St. Peter’s Basilica, it rang as a harbinger of change and was hailed as “the most important religious event of the 20th century,” such that people talked in terms of “pre-Vatican” and “post-Vatican,” not as sweeping as BC-AD, but indicative of its magnitude and momentousness.
By Juan L. Mercado
“[OCT. 11] marked the 50th anniversary of Vatican II’s opening,” Inquirer columnist Michael Tan noted. Given that the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, he wrote, “I’m surprised how little has been said in the media about this … when the Church is going through such ferment.”
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
Vatican II was a gathering of bishops from all over the world. But it did not happen that only bishops talked while all others merely listened. Non-bishops were there too, both cleric and lay, and also women, acting as experts or periti. The voices that found a place in the final documents were not just those of bishops. Notably, for instance, the decree on religious liberty owed much to the teaching of John Courtney Murray, SJ, whose freedom to write and lecture had been restricted by the Church before Vatican II.
It was refreshing to hear that on the first day of the Catholic liturgical year, the US bishops began implementing changes in the Roman Missal. (“Church revises Roman Missal,” Inquirer, 11/25/11) The Catholics in the Philippines will be implementing the changes next year.