The Second Vatican Council

The Council presented 16 documents and all have an important contribution to make in the area of Church life they address but some were seen and are still held to be influential because they would have been the first of their kind — “Dei Verbum” (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation), “Lumen Gentium” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church) “”Dignitatis humanae” (Declaration on Religious Liberty) and “Apostolicam actuositatem” (Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity) were recognised as first time conciliar presentations on their particular topics. Before the Vatican Council there was no official document outlining what divine revelation actually meant. The deposit of faith and the understanding of what we were to believe in developed over the centuries but the sources of that faith and the interaction of those sources was never distinctly clarified. “Dei Verbum” filled that gap. It was presented to the Church and the world on the 18th November 1965. Its format is six chapters with a prologue to introduce them. It deals with the Church’s understanding of Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium and how they interact to reveal God to the world. Next week we will look at the prologue and get an idea of what is in the document. The texts of the documents are published and also available on the internet. Search for Vatican IT documents and look for a result that includes in the webpage name.