One of the most major cultural and ecclesiastical events of the twentieth century was the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), which brought together Catholic bishops from all over the world. Despite the fact that almost everyone recognizes its significance, Catholics have debated its precise meaning and application for the past sixty years. On the one hand, "radical traditionalists" argue that Vatican II betrayed authentic Catholicism and had disastrous consequences in the Church's life; on the other hand, "progressives" see the council documents as a first step toward a more radical reform of the Church, perpetuating the "spirit" of Vatican II.
Despite the fact that numerous voices have debated the council since the documents were published in the mid-1960s, the Vatican II texts are still widely unread, and if they are read, they are frequently misconstrued. This ground-breaking new book from Word on Fire is aimed at resolving the issue.
The Word on Fire Vatican II Collection, edited by Matthew Levering, includes the four central documents that best express the council's vision—Dei Verbum, Lumen Gentium, Sacrosanctum Concilium, and Gaudium et Spes—along with illuminating commentary from postconciliar popes and Bishop Robert Barron, as well as beautifully carved linocut art. The collection also includes Pope St. John XXIII's opening address, Pope St. Paul VI's closing address, Bishop Barron's foreword, theologian Matthew Levering's afterword, and useful appendices that list essential words and figures and answer frequently asked questions.