Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

The Second Vatican Council

The Second Vatican Council was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church that brought about significant renewals, reforms, and reaffirmations within the Church itself and in its relationship to the modern world. Taking place in a series of gatherings from 1962 through 1965, Vatican II began under the pontificate of John XXIII and concluded under Paul VI, with over two thousand attendees, including Protestant, Orthodox, and other Christian observers. Vatican II addressed a number of issues within the Church at the time, including the liturgy, the relationship between the Catholic Church and the secular world, the relationship between the Church and other faiths, and religious liberty. Vatican II has remained both influential and controversial among Catholics as attempts at interpreting and applying its agreements continue. This page includes resources on the Council, its participants, and the documents that it promulgated, as well as modern commentary on its long-term impact.

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