This is the first account of what Canadians contributed to Vatican II, the most significant religious event since the 16th-century Reformation and certainly the most important of the 20th-century. When Pope John XXIII announced it on January 25th, 1959, there was an immediate wave of interest and anticipation among Catholics and other Christians. Church reform movements that had been moving slowly in such areas as ecumenism, lay participation and liturgy began to gain impetus. However, official participation by the Catholic bishops and others who would be called to the council was kept secret. This book records for the first time the suggestions for the councils agenda sent to Rome by the bishops of Canada: English, French and Ukrainian.
When the council ended, the record showed that Canadians had made 63 of the more than 2,000 oral interventions. In written remarks and by the voting record, the Canadian bishops showed themselves to be strongly in favour of John XXIIIs view that the church needed renewal and reform to carry on its mission in the modern world.
No other English book attempts to give a full account of Canadian participation in Vatican II. This book records hitherto unknown work by Canadian participants in Vatican II. It will inform all Canadians, bringing new information to those who lived tthrough those heady years, and introduce younger Canadians to all that was at stake 40 years ago.
The years 2000-2003 are the 40th anniversary of the Council. Many would argue that a new Council and new thinking are called for again. Whether or not a Vatican III Council is to take place in coming years, we have much to learn from Vatican II.