GDC 27: “The internal life of the ecclesial community”

Two numbered sections under the above heading give a good news/bad news summary. The Congregation for Clergy doesn’t ask which comes first; they go ahead and give the positive:

27. It is important to consider also the very life of the ecclesial community which is its innermost quality. Firstly, it is necessary to see how the Second Vatican Council has been accepted in the Church, and how it has borne fruit. The great conciliar documents have not remained a dead letter: their effects are widely acknowledged. The four constitutions (Sacrosanctum Concilium, Lumen Gentium, Dei Verbum and Gaudium et Spes) have indeed enriched the Church. In fact:

– liturgical life is more profoundly understood as the source and summit of ecclesial life;

– the people of God has acquired a keener awareness of the “common priesthood” (Lumen Gentium 10) founded on Baptism, and is rediscovering evermore the universal call to holiness and a livelier sense of mutual service in charity;

– the ecclesial community has acquired a livelier sense of the word of God. Sacred Scripture, for example, is read, savoured and meditated upon more intensely;

– the mission of the Church in the world is perceived in a new way: on the basis of interior renewal, the Second Vatican Council has opened Catholics to the demands of evangelization as necessarily linked to dialogue with the world, to human development, to different cultures and religions as well as to the urgent quest for Christian unity.

Vatican II bore fruit and continues to do so. Denial of this identifies the anti-apologist as part of the fringe within Catholicism. As we’ve analyzed here, and as the GDC acknowledges, each of the four major council documents has had a significant and identifiable impact on the life of the Church.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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