The Documents of Vatican II, Volume 1 is subtitled The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents. Edited by Austin Flannery, O.P. This book contains the translations used in the Catechism and includes the original 16 documents plus 49 later documents which put the conciliar decisions into effect. There is a descriptive list with synopses of 250 subsequent documents related to the Council's work issued by Pope Paul VI and post-conciliar commissions. This new edition combines the classic Volume 1 with its newer version, the Study Edition. The result is a large 6" x 9" size with large print, revised text, study questions and a comprehensive index. A must for any serious Catholic who wants to study the work of the Council which helped to shape the Church of today!
"The Second Vatican Council was the most important event in the life of the Catholic Church during the twentieth century. The Council has also had a powerful impact on the human family throughout the world.
"Because the Council ended twenty years ago, it is beyond the memory of the Church's younger members. How can they become more familiar with the Council? Through rumors or remarks made by older people? Through various accounts or studies of the Council by those who favored or opposed the changes it introduced into Church life and thinking? How can young people today become familiar with what the Council Fathers actually said?
"The most helpful way, of course, is to read the conciliar documents themselves. There is no alternative so satisfying or rewarding as going back to the primary sources rather than simply relying on what others perceive the Council to have said or done.
"I am advocating this approach because I often use it myself. As you may know, I was not a participant at the Council. I was consecrated a bishop five months after it ended. Nevertheless, its constitutions, decrees and declarations have provided constant guidance for my ministry as a bishop. I find it very helpful--and, at times, simply necessary--to return again and again to the Council's teachings. There is such richness and breadth in their vision and perspective that I never tire of the task. I return to the documents often to be nourished by both the substance and the spirit of the Council. To put it simply, I cannot imagine my life without regular access to these documents.
"Some people emphasize the spirit of the Council over its substance. Important as the spirit or atmosphere was, our key to assimilating that spirit is familiarity with its substance--its teaching. The conciliar documents help us incorporate its spirit within our lives in a way that is faithful to the Council itself.
"In this student edition of the Second Vatican Council documents, students will discover both a readable, reliable text and helpful questions to guide them in their study of the Council. My prayer for these readers is that the Holy Spirit will guide them in their search and prepare them for the leadership which they will provide to the Church in the next generation!" - Joseph Cardinal Bernardin (from the Foreword)
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