Changes Proposed in Role Of Women in the Church

Far-reaching changes in the role of women in the Catholic Church have been proposed to the ecumenical council by Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan of Atlanta.

In a statement filed with the council’s general secretariat, the American prelate declared that since women “constitute half the people of God” they should be given equal consideration in the council’s schema on the Church in the modern world.

The archbishop asked whether the Church “has given the leadership that Christ, by word and example, clearly showed he expected of her.”

“In proclaiming the equality of man and woman the Church must act as well as speak by fraternal testimony, not only in abstract doctrine,” he said. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican II | Leave a comment

Council Father Seeks Consideration of Conscientious Objection

Archbishop Thomas Roberts, S.J., former Archbishop of Bombay, wants the ecumenical council to give complete support to the position of conscientious objectors.

Scheduled to address the council on this subject, Archbishop Roberts was unable to do so since debate on that section of the Church in the modern world document was closed before his turn to speak came up. He later secured the signatures of 86 council Fathers requesting that he speak despite the closing of debate, but he was too late in presenting his petition.

Archbishop Roberts disclosed what he had intended to say to the council by reading his proposed intervention at a press conference. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican II | Leave a comment

Council to Hold Public Session to Enact New Documents

147th General Congregation
October 12, 1965

To commemorate the seventh anniversary of the election of Pope John XXIII, the ecumenical council which he initiated will hold a public session Oct. 28 at which several completed documents will be enacted.

At the public session Pope Paul will commemorate his predecessor by concelebrating Mass with several council Fathers. Then he will officially proclaim the completed council documents — which were not immediately identified — following a formal public vote on each of them by the assembled council Fathers.

It will be the third such session since the council began on Oct. 11, 1962. Pope Paul promulgated the Constitution on the Liturgy and the Decree on Communications Media at the end of the second session in 1963. He promulgated the Constitution on the Church, and the decrees on ecumenism and on the Eastern Churches at the public congregation closing the third session last November. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican II | Leave a comment

Panel Agrees Pope Had Right to Remove Celibacy From Council Deliberations

Pope Paul was fully within his rights in notifying the ecumenical council that he has decided to preserve the practice of celibacy in the Western Church, it was agreed by speakers at the U.S. bishops’ press panel.

The Pope, in a letter sent to Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, the chief council president, announced in effect that celibacy is not to be a matter for council discussion.

Later that day, speakers at the press panel told newsmen that the Pope’s decision was in line with the thinking of the majority of the bishops.

Father John J. King, O.M.I., superior of the Oblate house of studies in Rome, said the decision was easily justified because the Pope is not just a member of the council but the council’s decisions are subject to his ratification, and its acts are promulgated by his authority as Pope. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican II | Leave a comment

Pope Takes Celibacy Issue Off the Table at Council

146th General Congregation
October 11, 1965

Pope Paul VI informed the Second Vatican Council that he intends not only to preserve the ancient law of celibacy of the clergy of the Latin-rite Church, but also “to reinforce its observance.”

The Pope thus in effect removed the subject of celibacy from the competence of the council. His decision was revealed in a letter read to the council during its 146th general congregation (Oct. 11) by the secretary general, Archbishop Pericle Felici. The letter was addressed to Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, first of the council presidents. In it, the Pope said he was aware that some council Fathers had asked to speak on the law of clerical celibacy in the Western Church when the schema on the priestly life and ministry came up for debate.

The Pope said that “without impeding in any way the liberty of the Fathers,” he wanted to express his own opinion. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican II | Leave a comment

Education Draft Completely Revised; New Wording on Parents, Teachers, State Aid to Education

As it stands, the ecumenical council’s revised draft on Christian education does not go as far as present Church law in demanding that Catholic parents send their children to Catholic schools.

Commenting on the new draft distributed in the council for a vote, Msgr. Mark J. Hurley, vice chancellor of the San Francisco archdiocese, told newsmen at the U.S. bishops’ press panel that it was possible to hold new discussions on the draft because it has been extensively revised since last year’s council debate. He cautioned, however, that such a move, if it comes, should not be interpreted as a “plot involving progressives against conservatives.”

The decision on what to do about the new material has been a serious one among the bishops, he said; even the voting procedure has been changed since the vote was first announced Oct. 1. At that time, Archbishop Pericle Felici, the council’s secretary general, said the text would be divided into five sections for voting purposes. Since then, Msgr. Hurley said, it has been decided to further narrow down the material in each section to be voted on by having 14 votes, thus making it easier for the bishops to eliminate specific sections they don’t like without having to vote against a large section of the document.

Comparing the text debated last year with the present revision, Msgr. Hurley said the suggestion for a post-conciliar commission on educational matters has been retained. The present text goes further than the old one, however, in trying to counteract any overemphasis on the role of parents in their children’s education by stating clearly that the teacher is not only a delegate of the home or state or Church, but also a representative of society as a whole in the task of perpetuating culture, he said. The interlocking role of all these influences on the child’s education is stressed.

New wording in the section dealing with state aid to education, he said, represents a compromise. Although not as clearly worded as Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York had asked last year, the text does favor assistance in the name of distributive justice so that the freedom of parents is safeguarded in the choice of education for their children. Continue reading

Posted in Second Vatican Council | Leave a comment

Missionary Importance Stressed at Council Session

145th General Congregation
October 8, 1965

The ecumenical council’s completely revised schema on the missions offers a remedy for the modern crisis of the missionary conscience, Joseph Cardinal Frings of Cologne, Germany, declared in the name of “many missionary bishops.”

The Cardinal outlined the agonizing question some missioners are asking themselves: If God can save men who remain outside the visible Church, why carry the Gospel to them?

The council Fathers, said these many missionary bishops through Cardinal Frings, should be grateful to the present schema for replying to the question. The schema stresses that the Church by its very nature is missionary and that the ultimate reason for all missionary activity is Christ’s wish to unite the whole of mankind in a single people of God.

The same idea was taken up by Switzerland’s Charles Cardinal Journet, who asked that the schema be even more explicit on the absolute necessity of missionary activity. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican II | Leave a comment