Why did Vatican II happen?

Someone I know has problems with Vatican II because he was raised in a Catholic school where the nuns strictly told him that the Eucharist is recieved kneeling and only the Priest can hold Him and such. He held these rules very closely to his heart and when it suddenly changed, it was like a shock to him.

So can someone please tell me what was the purpose of changing from Vatican I to Vatican II? If you have any links they would also be appreciated.

Thank you

Vatican II did not allow this change. The American Bishops did.
Same thing with Altar Girls. John Paul II never approved them.
The Vatican only begrudgingly signed a paper allowing them.
But to me, it is still disobedience, because the Church only allowed it after they had continued to disobey.

It is like if your father tells you no a thousand times, but you keep doing it, until he gives up and lets you do it. You were disobedient and you are still disobedient

How do we know this?

Because of the conditions that were imposed.

Imposing conditions means it’s “begrudging”? There are condition on the reception of the Eucharist – is that only allowed “begrudingly”?

First of all, the changes attributed to Vatican II were not even suggested by Vatican II.


I was given the same strict instruction by the nuns, but when it changed, I respected the Church and did not question it. I obeyed. And if your friend was shocked, all he had to do was go to his pastor for an answer.


I would like to see a Church document or Catholic news source that confirms this.


To answer the question of why the Second Vatican Council occurred, here is the opening speech by Pope John XXIII.



Well, I wouldn’t exactly call enthusiastically embracing it either. It still isn’t universally allowed or are we talking about the same thing?


Is that even a barometer to say if something is begrudgingly done or not?

This is exactly what I was going to post. If you want to know the reasons for the Council, just look at what the Pope said were the reasons for the Council.

As Catholics, there are teachings and doctrines that can never change. But then there are some “rules” that are simply not essential to what it means to be Catholic.

This way of thinking I think it thin ice where we put our faith on. I mean, how many times do you read here in CAF some Catholics saying, “it’s not de fide, it is only discipline. I do not have to believe it or follow it.” That is sad and contrary to how Christianity was in the Church in the past.

I was taught that way also.

I receive Holy Communion on the tongue. Standing. It’s still acceptable.

It is only this last statement that is thin. There is nothing unorthodox about recognizing the difference between discipline and doctrine. In fact, it is essential to good theology. After all, if something is discipline, it can not be disbelieved as that only applies to doctine. It can only be disobeyed.

I think it important to note that we did not change from Vatican I to Vatican II anymore than we changed from Trent to Vatican I, Lateran I to Lateran II, etc. These are only two Church councils all of which have made their contributions, each one building on the other over twenty time in the last 2000 years.

Thanks, pnewton. :slight_smile: Certainly, we need to avoid the extreme that we can disregard whatever we want that’s not explicitly de fide. But we need to equally be on guard against having our faith so wrapped up in a specific discipline that our faith is shaken if it changes.

We were told at the time that there needed to be “some fresh air let into the Church”. I kid you not.

Perhaps this will shed some light:

“Results since the (Vatican II) Council, seem to be in cruel contrast to the expectations of all, beginning with those of John XXIII and Paul VI. … The Popes and the Council Fathers were expecting a new Catholic unity, and instead one has encountered a dissension that – to use the words of Paul VI – seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction. A new enthusiasm was expected, but too often there has been boredom and discouragement instead. A new leap forward was expected, but instead we find ourselves facing a process of progressive decadence. … It must be clearly stated that a real reform of the Church presupposes an unequivocal turning away from the erroneous paths that led to indisputably negative consequences.” – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Thank you.


I’m still waiting for “Vatican III The Movie”. :smiley:

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