Vatican II: A Return to Our Christian Roots?


This forum might not be the right place to ask the question, but if not, I can’t figure out where to ask it…

Is anyone aware of any of the passages in any of the Vatican II documents (or possibly a statement by John XXII prior to the council) to the effect that one of the reasons for calling the council was to return the Church to its “Christian roots” or similar?

I am not familiar with VII. Any help would be appreciated.



:shrug: I don’t remember reading anything like that. There was the intention of becoming more evangelical (in the sense of evangelizing, not in th sense of the false denomination), in fact this theme runs throughout the Council and was declared to be so by Pope Paul VI. Unfortunately, nobody obeyed those calls and instead fell into indifferentism, apathy, or worse yet, revolution.


Hi Melvin,

I think this is what you are looking for. I had heard the same thing as you, so I searched to find its basis. This is an excerpt from MISSALE ROMANUM -

[LEFT]Concerning the rite of the Mass, “the rites are to be simplified, while due care is taken to preserve their substance.”(8) Also to be eliminated are “elements which, with the passage of time, came to be duplicated, or were added with but little advantage,”(9) above all in the rites of offering the bread and wine, and in those of the breaking of the bread and of communion.

**Also, “other elements which have suffered injury through accidents of history are now to be restored to the earlier norm of the Holy Fathers”(**10): for example the homily,(11) the “common prayer” or “prayer of the faithful,”(12) the penitential rite or act of reconciliation with God and with the brothers, at the beginning of the Mass, where its proper emphasis is restored.[/LEFT]

Another document worth reading to understand the intent of the changes is *Sacrosanctum Concilium - *

  1. This sacred Council has several aims in view: it desires to impart an ever increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful; to adapt more suitably to the needs of our own times those institutions which are subject to change; to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ; to strengthen whatever can help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church. The Council therefore sees particularly cogent reasons for undertaking the reform and promotion of the liturgy.

God bless,



Hi Melvin,

Blessed John XXIII, in his introductory address, said the following :

The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all.

For this a Council was not necessary. But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.

Now, when you wish to adapt something to new conidtions, it is necessary to go back to fundamentals, separating them from the times and places with which it may have become identified. In this sense, yes the mission was to go back to Christian roots in order to adapt the teaching to modern condtions. And this the Council did in spades.

For full text see here.

For full report on Vatican II, see here.



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