Second Vatican Council

The Latest

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI.

Benedict XVI reflects on Vatican II in new letter

Oct 21, 2022

By AC Wimmer, Shannon Mullen

The letter provides fresh observations from one of the few remaining theologians to have personally participated in Vatican II, which... Read more

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, S.J., speaking at the press conference in the Vatican on Aug. 26, 2022.

Cardinal Hollerich: Without Vatican II, ‘the Church today would be a small sect’

Oct 18, 2022

By Courtney Mares

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, the relator general of the Synod on Synodality, has said that he is convinced that the Second... Read more

An image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Peter's Church, Vienna, Austria.

8 things Vatican II says about the Blessed Virgin Mary

Oct 17, 2022

By Katie Yoder

Nearly 60 years ago, Vatican II recognized several titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But it focused on one in... Read more

The Church of Saints Michael and Magnus, close to the Vatican, uses four of the bench seats from the Second Vatican Council as choir stalls for prayer.

What happened to the wooden seats used during Vatican II?

Oct 16, 2022

By Hannah Brockhaus

Out of the thousands of chairs used during the ecumenical council, 24 seats can still be found today in a... Read more

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray speaks with CNA in Rome on Oct. 17, 2014.

A ‘simple note’ of Vatican II that inspired a great story

Oct 12, 2022

By Andrea Gagliarducci

Few remember today, 60 years after Vatican II, that one of the outcomes of that monumental event was the Council... Read more

Pope John XXIII’s coronation

What was Vatican II all about? 10 quotes from St. John XXIII’s opening speech

Oct 11, 2022

By Jonah McKeown

The pope convened Vatican II with the aim of responding to the challenges of the day and finding new ways... Read more

Pope Francis presides at a memorial Mass of St. John XXIII, which also marks the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, at St. Peter's Basilica on Oct. 11, 2022.

Pope Francis on Vatican II anniversary: ‘May the Church be overcome with joy’

Oct 11, 2022

By Hannah Brockhaus

The pope's Mass Tuesday marked the 60th anniversary of the day the Second Vatican Council was opened by St. John... Read more

Vatican II in session, circa 1962-1965

Vatican II at 60: A timeline of key moments

Oct 11, 2022

By AC Wimmer

Oct. 11 marks the 60th anniversary of a monumental event in the history of the Catholic Church: the gathering in... Read more

Cardinal Francis Spellman (center) announces the appointment of Fulton Sheen (third from right) as bishop of Rochester, New York, in 1966. Monsignor Hilary Franco is pictured on the far right.

Eyewitness to history: Bishop Fulton J. Sheen’s assistant remembers Vatican II ‘revolution’

Oct 11, 2022

By Hannah Brockhaus

Monsignor Hilary Franco was just a young priest when he called the office of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen to ask... Read more

The opening of the Synod for the Family at the Vatican on Oct. 5, 2015.

Vatican’s Synod on Synodality organizers say synod is ‘fruit’ of Second Vatican Council

Oct 10, 2022

By AC Wimmer

In a message marking the 60th anniversary of Vatican II’s opening, the general secretariat of the Synod on Synodality called... Read more

Pope Francis receives an audience with the National Catechetical Office of the Italian bishops’ conference. Vatican Media/CNA.

Pope Francis encourages catechists to lead others to a personal encounter with Jesus

Jan 31, 2021

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis said Saturday that catechists have the vital responsibility of leading others to a personal encounter with Jesus through... Read more

Bishops at the Second Vatican Council.

Vatican II not sole controversial council, Catholic theologian says

Aug 5, 2020

By JD Flynn

Amid recent contention over Vatican II, a theologian told CNA that ecumenical councils have a history of provoking conflict, but... Read more

Cardinal Joseph Zen. Courtesy Photo.

Cardinal Zen: In Vatican II, Catholics hear ‘real voice of the Holy Spirit’ 

Jul 27, 2020

By Ed Condon

Cardinal Joseph Zen, the emeritus Bishop of Hong Kong, has made an impassioned defense of the Second Vatican Council, criticizing... Read more

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, speaks at a press conference in Rome, Sept. 28, 2017.

For Cardinal Parolin, Vatican II still benefits the Church

Nov 17, 2017

The Second Vatican Council, rightly understood, continues to be a force for evangelization and renewal in the Church, according to... Read more

Holiness: The fullness of the Christian life

Oct 10, 2017

By JD Flynn

Fifty-five years ago, on October 11, 1962, Pope St. John XXIII began the Second Vatican Council at St. Peter’s Basilica... Read more

Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

For Cardinal Mueller, a humble faith is good for theology

The ideological efforts to change Catholic doctrine after the Second Vatican Council were deeply misguided, said Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, prefect... Read more

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square before his general audience on April 16, 2014.

In new interview, Pope reflects on close of Jubilee

Nov 18, 2016

By Hannah Brockhaus

In a lengthy new interview, Pope Francis opened up about his thoughts on the Jubilee of Mercy as well as... Read more

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square on Sept. 9, 2015 for the general audience.

How Pope Francis is fulfilling a legacy of Vatican II

Dec 11, 2015

By Elise Harris

Attention to the poor was one of the greatest of the bishops' contributions during the Second Vatican Council – and... Read more

The liturgical reform, as seen by one of its protagonists

Sep 19, 2014

The newly published memoirs of Fr. Louis Bouyer, who was intimately involved in the reform of the Roman liturgy following... Read more