Friday, July 24, 2009

II Vatican Council- Reflecting on the Past

Fr. O Kyeong Hwan's words in this weeks Catholic Bulletin.

An Ecumenical Council is a world wide meeting of the Catholic bishops. In the 2000 year history of the Catholic Church we have had 21. The first council was Nicaea 325 and the last one was the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). The Second Vatican Council was the first Council that the Korean Bishop have attended.

Fr. O has selected four areas in which we as Church should reflect and renew our lives taking the documents of Vatican II as a starting point.

The first is taken from the Decree on Ecumenism. #3 "In subsequent centuries more widespread disagreements appeared and quite large Communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Churchã…¡ developments for which, at times, men of both sides were to blame." "St. John has testified: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1Jn. 1:10). #7 "This holds good for sins against unity.Thus, in humble prayer, we beg pardon of God and of our separated brethren, just as we forgive those who trespass against us. "

The second refection is taken from Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World. #36 "Consequently, we cannot but deplore certain habits of mind, sometimes found too among Christians, which do not sufficiently attend to the rightful independence of science. The arguments and controversies which they spark lead many minds to conclude that faith and science are mutually opposed. "

The third reflection: Religious Freedom #12 "In the life of the People of God as it has made its pilgrim way through the vicissitudes of human history, there have at times appeared ways of acting which were less in accord with the spirit of the gospel and even opposed to it."

The fourth reflection is taken from The Church Today. #19 "Yet believers themselves frequently bear some responsibility for this situation( Atheism). For, taken as a whole, atheism is not a spontaneous development but stems from a variety of causes including a critical reaction against religious beliefs, and in some places against the Christian religion in particular. Hence believers can have more than a little to do with the birth of atheism.To the extent that they neglect their own training in the faith, or teach erroneous doctrine , or are deficient in their religious, moral or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than reveal the authentic face of God and religion." #21 "This faith needs to prove its fruitfulness by penetrating the believer's entire life, including its worldly dimensions, and by activating him toward justice and love, especially regarding the needy."

It is good for us to reflect on our past and acknowledge that many of the problems we have in the Church and in Society are in areas of our life where we have not been faithful to our calling as disciples of Jesus.

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