I have discussed Vatican II with some people, and they claim that we didn’t really “need” it. Also, that we would be better off if it never really happened. So, my question is “How can we show them the good that came out of the council?”
It is vital to know that Pope John XXIII declared in opening Vatican II: “The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this, that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously…it is necessary that this certain and unchangeable doctrine, to which the obedience of Faith must be given, be studied thoroughly and explained in the way for which our times are calling. One thing is the deposit of Faith which consists of the truth contained in sacred doctrine, another thing is the manner of presentation, always however with the same meaning and the same sense.” [Pope John XXIII in his opening address to the Council Fathers at Vatican II, *Creed and Catechetics, Msgr E Kevane P 60, 221-222]. The Pope here uses the very words of Vatican I, which in turn came from St Vincent of Lerins.
“It must be stated that Vatican II is upheld by the same authority as Vatican I and the Council of Trent, namely, the Pope and the College of Bishops in communion with him, and that also with regard to its contents, Vatican II is in strictest continuity with both previous councils and incorporates their texts word for word in decisive points…” (The Ratzinger Report, p 28).
Vatican II has singularly developed doctrine: identifying dissent by mandating “loyal submission of the will and intellect…to the authentic teaching of the Roman Pontiff, even when he does not speak ex cathedra” (infallibly). (Fr John A Hardon, S.J., The Catholic Catechism, Doubleday 1975, p 213)
Similarly, “collegial infallibility…marks a turning point in doctrinal history.” [See The *Catholic Catechism, 1975, Doubleday, p 232-233]. This refers to the bishops around the world when teaching in accord with the Pope; when reflecting historical continuity of teaching; and in an Ecumenical Council when approved by a Pope.
The Dogmatic Constitution On The Church #8 (Vatican II) teaches that “The one mediator, Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth His holy Church…(T)his is the sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic.” Fr John Hardon, S.J., describes as “unequivocal” (= clearly defined), “for the first time in conciliar history — the Church is not one of many branches.” [See *The Catholic Catechism, 1975, Doubleday, p 213].
The Declaration on Religious Liberty is a “development of doctrine (which) constitutes a change of emphasis; makes explicit what was explicit, and clarifies former obscurity or ambiguity.” (Fr Brian Harrison, OS).