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Keys To The Council: Unlocking The Teaching Of Vatican II

As the church marks the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, too few Catholics have an adequate grasp of what the council contributed to the life of the church. The problem is understandable. The Second Vatican Council produced, by far, more document pages than any other council. Consequently, any attempt to master its core teachings can be daunting. There is a danger of missing the forest for the trees. With this in mind, Keys to the Council identifies twenty key conciliar passages, central texts that help us appreciate the Vision of the council fathers.Each chapter places the given passage in its larger historical context, explores its fundamental meaning and significance, and finally considers its larger significance for the life of the church today. Chapters include exploration of Sacrosanctum Concilium's demand for full, conscious, and active participation in the liturgy; Lumen Gentium's eucharistic ecclesiology; Gaudium et Spes's vision of marriage as an intimate partnership of life and love; Nostra Aetate's approach to non-Christian religions; and more.

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Liturgical Press (February 1, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0814633684

ISBN-13: 978-0814633687

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches

Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #124,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #50 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Ecclesiology #76 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Biographies > Popes & the Vatican #81 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > History > Historical Theology

"Keys to the Council" is an excellent work that expands and develops twenty of the key issues taught in seven of the fifteen documents and 12,000+ lines of text produced by the Council. In addition to providing insightful historical points of reference on the critical points of teaching issued by the Council, the authors provide eloquent narrative on the meaning of the twenty topics included in this work. Their well researched observations on "the keys" are explained in meaningful ways that draw the reader to appreciate how Christ, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit is carefully leading His pilgrim Church to a closer expression of His loving purpose for mankind... both personally and communally.

This is an excellent collaborative work. The introductory chapter is very good. The layout is user friendly, especially for beginners in the theology of the church. Very powerful insights

This is one of the best summaries and explanations of the documents of Vatican II that has ever been printed. The authors do a superb job of explaining the history and background of each article and excerpting a quote from the appropriate document voted on by the Council Fathers. One does not need to be a theologian to understand what was voted upon and what effect the article has on the People of God. I recommend this highly for anyone interested in learning more about what occurred at Vatican II and why. There is an attempt to reform the Reform; but the Council Fathers did a great job nearly 50 years ago. We would all do well to leave it alone and allow the Holy Spirit to work without help from every reactionary from Rome to Lincole,NE.

That Gaillardetz feels compelled to cite the discredited liberal theologian Karl Rahner, whom he describes as "eminent," ten times in this short guide to Vatican II tells you something of the agenda at work here. Gaillardetz fills this book with his subjective interpretations of conciliar documents, generally presenting them as dramatic departures from previous Church teaching. By contrast, Pope Benedict has urged Catholics to embrace a "hermeneutic of continuity" by which we read the documents of Vatican II in concert with 2,000 years of Church tradition. (Interestingly enough, Pope Benedict, who has written and spoken extensively about Vatican II, e.g., his address to the Roman Curia on 22 December 2005, is mentioned only twice and both times in passing.) In other words, we should stress consistency and cohesion, rather than rupture and "revolution." For that, readers will need to look elsewhere, e.g., Alan Schreck's Vatican II: The Crisis and the Promise. What's more, in other works Gaillardetz has expressed views on topics like papal infallibility, the all-male priesthood, and contraception that are at odds with official Church teaching; he is an author Catholics would be wise to avoid.

Gailardetz highlights the key issues debated and decided upon during the Vatican Council deliberations. his analysis is integral and authentic.

The authors of the book have put together a great text that is easy to read and understand, even by the average lay person in the Church. It has given me a greater appreciation of what went on during the Council, and a better understanding of the documents. I am currently using this as a course book in a college program. I ordered book from and it arrived sooner that I expected.

This man is one of the smartest people I've ever met and his explanations of Vatican II are superb, succinct, and to the point. I have recommended this book to all those conservative folks who claim Vatican II was a big mistake and some of them have had their eyes opened by this writing.

Having experienced the council as a youth and remaining active in the church this book gave me new insights into the way in which the church evolved in the post councilor years.

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