The Second Vatican Council

It is 60 years since the Second Vatican Council began. Called by Pope John XXIII in January 1959, the preparation for it took over three years and bishops from all over the world finally met for the initial day on October 11th 1962. There were four full sessions between 1962 and 1965, resulting in 16 documents being promulgated on various topics. The first session went from October 11th through to December 8th 1962. It began with discussion around the preparatory documents that had been sent to the bishops which eventually led to them being cut down from over seventy different topics to what was eventually agreed after the four sessions. No document was passed by the end of the first session, but the work done prepared the way for the commissions set up to explore and present the topics agreed by the bishops and confirmed by the pope. The purpose and result of the Council were very important in that it was the first time in the history of the Church that the nature of the Church and her role in the world was presented for the world to see. Those documents, however, were never really shared and discussed with people.