John Paul II’s / JP2’s “Top 13” of Vatican II / V2

The following list was compiled by Dennis Doyle and is based on JP2’s “As the Third Millennium Draws Near” / Tertio Millennio Adveniente (1994). It ranks what JP2 thought were the important developments of Vatican 2. Some context is required, however, and Doyle provides it: “For John Paul II, the greatest principle of the Council was its affirmation that salvation comes through Christ, and the second is like it: that the salvation of Christ is mediated to us through the mystery of the Church, his body. All other developments of the Council need to be read in this light” (80). So, without further ado, here is the list.

Dennis M. Doyle, Communion Ecclesiology: Vision and Versions (Orbis, 2000): 80-1.

  1. A renewed discovery on the part of the Church of the depth of its identity as a mystery and as the body and bride of Christ.

  2. The reaffirmation of the universal call to holiness.

  3. The reform of the liturgy.

  4. The renewal of church life on both the universal and local levels.

  5. The promotion of various vocations, from those of the laity to those of religious, deacons, priests, and bishops.

  6. The rediscovery of episcopal collegiality.

  7. The openness to Christians of other denominations.

  8. The openness to followers of other religions.

  9. The openness to all people of our time.

  10. The affirmation of religious liberty.

  11. The affirmation of cultural diversity.

  12. The attention to the means of social communication.

  13. The authentic autonomy of earthly realities (understood as compatible with the absolute lordship of God).
Doyle provides further commentary, noting that JP2’s list is especially interesting because of “its simultaneous stress on the Church as mystery and on strengthening the church’s internal and institutional elements” (81), which amounts to something of a consolidation of both conservative and progressive readings of Vatican 2. However, there is represented here “a subordination of the progressive matters to concerns for the institution, which concerns are in turn subordinated to a regard for the mystical elements of the Church as a mystery” (ibid). When all is said and done, what we find here is an “ordering or priorities. Progressive reforms such as increased sensitivity to cultural diversity, ecumenical progress, religious freedom, the preferential option for the poor, and interreligious dialogue are to be pursued, but always humbly in a spirit of repentance, and with a strong affirmation of ecclesial structures and above all of the mystery of Christ and the Church” (83).


Luke said…
JP II, was the one that blessed Pinochet, the killers of Jesuits in El Salvador and that, in general, every one that did not share his religious ideology.

The current pope is his radical "son" and fruit. "You will know them by his fruits".

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