Jul 24, 2014
Why did we need the Second Vatican Council? Did we need it at all? Hearing those questions, most Catholics who’ve thought about Vatican II would probably cite renewing and updating of the Church as solid reasons for the ecumenical council.
That answer isn’t wrong. But a half-century after Vatican II (it took place between 1962 and 1965) it’s clear that a much larger purpose was at work, with Church renewal and updating its handmaids.
You start to see that when you consider a common objection to the council:
“Other ecumenical councils were convened to handle particular problems. Early councils dealt with heresies about Christ. In the 16th century Trent had to respond to the Reformation. Vatican I in the 19th century faced the challenge to the authority of the pope and the bishops—but it was interrupted and didn’t say much about bishops.