- Letters

- Towards Vatican III

- The Soapbox

- Front Page

- Search

Towards Vatican III

an open forum

"The Second Vatican Council was an extraordinary event called by an extraordinary Pope, and it is one of the main reasons why I personally am a Catholic today ...." So wrote John Wilkins, former editor of the The Tablet, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Vatican II. Like Wilkins, those who were present during Vatican II report astonishment and elation as the reforms were announced. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger has said Vatican II is as authoritative as Trent or Vatican I; Pope Paul called it as significant a council as Nicaea, and Pope John Paul has called it 'the guiding star' of his pontificate.

Which three issues do you believe a future general council of the Roman Catholic church must address? In an email or letter to the Editor, explain your ideas in a sentence or two. What are up to 10 additional items you would want to see on a council agenda?

Submit your ideas now

Fax:    02 9876 3185
Mail:    Online Catholics
           P.O. Box 179, Canterbury Vic. 3126


from E.N. Olsen

I would like to see but one thing, and one thing only, done in a forum of the whole church. Every patriarchate would be welcomed, perhaps even non-mainline groups within the patriarchates. That one thing is spirituality. The Bible presents, first and foremost, spiritualities - the relationship of God to people - in particular, Jewish and Christian spirituality , with its revelation of the Father, given in Jesus Christ and alive in the heart through the Holy Spirit.

Spirituality is what all Christians have in common; dogmas merely tell us to which Christian party we belong.

In particular, an assessment of the influence of Augustine's thought on spirituality could well be looked at.

Secondly, the shift of the notion of belie, or faith if one wishes to use the romance expression, from belief in Jesus as the Christos, Son of God, Saviour to belief in statements. The great Judeo-Christian mythic stories need to be the centre of the Christian spirituality.

Thirdly, religion as the bonding of Christians by virtue of the presence of the Spirit to each of us. Jesus came to reveal the Father: Jesus is the way to the Father, jesus is the truth of the Father and Jesus is the life of the Father.

There is a great richness in our spirituality which has been drowned in dogma set in the concrete of necessarily inadequate language.

from Abigail Prohaska

Encourage the use of the international language Latin and find a dynamic vernacular worthy of the mystery and awe of the Mass and the Sacraments. This would again bring back the great music and art that is capable of evoking victory over death and the Resurrection. Discourage anything that makes the Mass into a cosy round-the camp-fire, let's hold-hands and be normal people like in our living room. Encourage the mystique of the priesthood not least because it would be more rewarding to those who have the courage to take on the such an office. Encourage anything that undoes what Vatican II - and the Reformation itself - destroyed, the mythical, archetypal, magical, that connects us to the religious instinct in other cultures far more than the reductionism experienced in the general attempts at ecumenism. Teach religion again in schools, doctrine, theology, mysticism, and not so much sociology.

from Frank O'Dea

Towards Vatican III
1. Get away from the Vatican and its control; have a council in Melbourne, Manila, Fij or Rio de Janiero
2. Decentralize power away from Rome.
3. Reform or abolish the curia.
4. Remove centuries of mystique from priesthood.
5. Invite women to share leadership at all levels.
6. Train and authorize single and married men and women to preside at Sunday Eucharist without being full time priests.
7. Bishops and Pope to have limited time of office, say 10 years.
8. A council every 5 years.
9. Lay participation at council.
10. Open, transparent selection of bishops.

from John Collins

Towards Vatican III: agenda

  • Nature of ministry
  • Rationale of church order
  • Women's capacity in ministry
  • How much authority does a church need?
  • Churchwide accountability
  • Inculturation of liturgy
  • Updating 4th century credal language
  • Sexuality - across the spectrum
  • Marriage and Remarriage
  • Redrawing diocesan and parochial profiles

    from Patricia Stevenson rsj

    Response to the agenda for Vatican III

    First - Decentralise, have a collection of churches e.g. Church of Asia, Church of the Americas, Church of Europe, Church of Oceania...
    Second - Leadership within each group to come from the group according to vocation, ability and skill, not gender.
    Third - Each church to approve liturgical styles according to the culture languages and needs of the region.

    Ecumenism - closer ties according to readiness in the region.

    from Patricia Harb

    I hope Vatican 3 is called soon. I hope it declares all liberal Catholics are to be burnt at the stake. Everything the smelly liberals stuffed up, should be fixed up. All the editors at Online Journal and Sr Brady should be ex communicated. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

  • Terms and Copyright