Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fifty Years After the Second Vatican Council

"Church opened to the world, renewal and adaptation"  were maxims  used after the close of the Second Vatican Council: 2015 is the 50th year from the end of the council. Korea has still some way to go to implement the changes according to the participants of a recent international conference on the theme: "Gospel and evangelization, 50 years after the  II  Vatican Council."  The following are the subtopics: *Dialogue among religions and evangelization  *Paradigm change in evangelization *Evangelizing Church * Mediums for the Gospel in evangelizing.

Interrelgious dialogue has been part of our reality from after the council. Reason for the dialogue is not to convert the other but as  companions in search of truth. This, said one of the participants, is a change from our traditional ways.

Our understanding of evangelizing  has changed from  understanding others only as people to be saved by baptism. In the Americas, missioners  risked their lives to go to the  aboriginal peoples and using pressure to save them was the understanding of  evangelizing. Salvation of the non-baptized was the thinking and the council has shown us  a need to walk  with others and discover how God speaks to them in their culture, a need for inculturation: not only to receive a response of religious faith but sowing  love. The lives of the Christians  become attractive and people want to join, not imposing but proposing. 

One of the results of the Council was a  Reforming  Church: always in need of renewal for it is  continually being secularized. We need to renew the face of the earth with God's original plans for the world. We need to help those who are weakest to appreciate their dignity and showing them God's love. Another participant said more than stressing the word renewal is to live a life of renewal: a poor church, poor priests, born again Christians. 

We have to give Jesus by our lives. We have to work for justice and peace for the common good. This work for justice when seen by others will be admired and people will want to join.

The process of catechizing in Korea has been by transmitting knowledge; we have to change to accompany them. It is not changing the way we have worked in the education of the Christians but to add another facet to what we were doing.

Lay people should feel free in giving  their opinions and the clergy and the diocese should listen. Dioceses have to spend money in the education of  lay people.

One of the participants stressed that the Council was a pastoral one, and this must be remembered. Lay persons must realize they are the church. He wonders whether most of the lay people see themselves only as  objects of pastoral work and as  helpers of the clergy, but they are the church and have been given their mission by Jesus. Both papers had articles on the conference. On the front page of the Catholic Times, the article ends: without change in the thinking of the clergy the ideas that have followed from the Council will be impossible to achieve.  

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