In the article it is shown that a first Romanian translation was accomplished, in the given conditions of that time, in the Catholic world of Moldavia, a translation that passed by in a typed form, in a very exclusive circle, probably only in the Seminary and among some priests. Once ÎPS IOAN ROBU came at the lead of the Bucharest Archdiocese, many work possibilities opened here, in our context. In 1987, he initiated and entrusted a team to make a published form of the translation, in order to combine the rectitude with the accessibility. In the beginning, it was about a revision of the current translated text; shortly after, the process came out to implicate a huge work, with approximate results. Accordingly to his Eminence, a decision was taken to make a new translation, taking into account, obviously, anytime it was useful, what was already written.
The author of the article responds to the invitation to present an ecclesiastical juridical theme or to give a „personal” testimony concerning the 2nd Vatican Council, choosing for the second variant it is known the fact that the revision of the ecclesiastical laws, announced publicly by pope John XXIII the same time as the decision to summon the Ecumenical Council, was about to translate in disciplinary norms the Council’s works. The reform of the canonic legislation was materialized 20 years ago, with the promulgation of the new Canonic Law Code. The author remembers that, during his studies in Rome, the law reform „floated in the air, far away, out at sea”, and he underlines the existence, in that post-conciliary period, of an attitude, pretty much confuse, hostile to the ecclesiastical law. „That fever that the Church’s body suffered has passed away”: this is the conclusion of the approximately 450 canonists, with the occasion of the impressive commemoration of two decades from the promulgation of the new Canon Law Code (24.01.1983). The conciliary breezes over the Iron Courtain towards us can be illustrated by the Elijah episode, 1Kg 19,11-12: „And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks, before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice”. Although he hadn’t any direct contact with the 2nd Vatican Council, the breeze of the Holy Spirit arrived also to our Church, being spared perhaps from the tempest, the earthquake and the fire that fell on some sectors of the free world Churches.
The author of the article claims that, when John XXIII started the 2nd Vatican Council, on the 11th of October 1962, almost an year of his priesthood had passed. That’s why he can say that he lived his priesthood in the light of the Council, in the ecclesial and social condition of a communist country hostile to the Catholic Church, and sequently, to the Council. The conference is a proof for the conditions in which, as a Catholic priest and theology professor, beginning with the 1st of January 1962, he knew and applied the 2nd Vatican Council’s doctrine during his sacerdotal ministry. The testimony contains three moments: the first refers to the period succeeding the Council; the second refers to the period of 1967-1975, namely, the years of the Council’s application in the our ecclesiastical context; the last moment refers to the period after the Council between 1975-2003.
The article sustains that all the difficulties that the Council fathers, all together with the shepherds and the Christians encountered when trying to penetrate and apply the 2nd Vatican Council’s norms and teachings, were for the benefit of the Church. Concerning to this, the author of the article remembers of the lab work that the 1968 generation priests made to prepare the ecclesiastical music, and refers to it as to one benefic work for the life of the Church. But the memories of the Council are linked to four great personalities that he evokes: pope Paul VI, the theologian K. Rahner, the cardinal König and the bishop R. Lettmann, the last one being cardinal Döpfner’s secretary, an important person in the social themes’ elaboration of the Council. Finally, the author asks himself if the Council’s expectations were fulfilled and to come to something like that, he claims that a permanent conversion of the Church to the Council’s spirit is required.
The article begins with a pleading for the Church, that goes forward, follows its path, in spite of the threats and trials that fall upon it. Afterwards, the role of Councils is presented: they are the keepers of the unaltered redeeming truth; questions are also formulated concerning the 2nd Vatican Council in the light of the abnormal situation that our local Church experienced: a long time without a bishop and separated visibly from the Pope for many years. Nevertheless, our Church ontologically belonged to the reality of the Church itself. The central content of the article takes a quick view over Rome – where the Council took place – and over Iassy, where there was a search of a way to spread information on the Council: B. Härings’s book The 2nd Vatican Council for all, and father Ioan Ciuraru had a significant role in this acquaintance work with the Council’s documents. Finally, the author of the article asks himself: what have we achieved of the Christian life, now, 40 years after the Council’s assembly.
The article is a personal testimonial of Bucharest’s archbishop, ÎPS IOAN ROBU, who recalls of the fact that, until 1990, we shared some, but a little of the new Council’s atmosphere, that stirred up the universal Church. The translation and the publication of the documents was possible only 25 years after the end of the Council’s sessions (1990). For that time, the Council arrived as a delayed letter, discovered and hardly read and, generally, without enthusiasm. Nevertheless, we haven’t experienced an exaggerated application of the liturgical reforms. Nowadays, even if there are a lot of things to do, the breath of the Council is still present in our local Church. The new priest generations and the believers don’t understand the Council’s documents as a delayed letter, but as an fresh appeal to responsibility and fidelity towards the Church.
The author of this editorial claims that in our country, the acception of the renewal spirit and the application of the 2nd Vatican Council’s pastoral-liturgical norms were distorted by the unfavorable social and political conditions in which the Christians and the shepherds of our Church lived, in the period of the Council’s sessions development. The Council’s documents are even today a source of renewal, but the source isn’t enough known, used and frequented. The 2nd Vatican Council’s doctrine is a good medicine for the removal of heresies and nowadays temptations, as the heresy of action and the temptation of material things. The editorial also claims the idea that the 2nd Vatican Council might become “operational”, if the shepherds and the Christians, “all together” – this is the Council’s logic – penetrate deeper in the Council’s mentality.
Unique and original event in the Church History, the 2nd Council of Vatican gave birth to a new stage in the Church life. The new Whitsuntide (this is the name given by the Pope John the XXIIIth) started the renewal and the reform in the Church offering to the Church a new image. The 16 documents of the Council (4 constitutions, 9 decrees and 3 declarations) became conspicuous by the practical indications that they content. Through this article, the author presents the principal events during the Council and the way of applying the Council’s indications.
This and the following number of the review Theological Dialogue are dedicated exclusively to the 40 years anniversary of the conclusion of the 2nd Council of Vatican (11 October-8 December 1965). At this occasion Msgr. Petru Gherghel, bishop of Iaşi, Msgr. Aurel Percă, auxiliary bishop of Iaşi, the professors of the Theological Institute of Iaşi organized a series of conferences, attended by all the priests who work in the Iaşi Diocese. The conferences took place in November 2005. The conferences are accompanied by some interviews of different personalities of Rome, which underline the content and subsequent development of the Magisterial and the manner how were intercepted the documents. The editorial presents historically and critically the „Council” notion, explains the general methodology of the conferences and offers some keys to interpret the reform (aggiornamento), which was desired by the 2nd Council of Vatican.
In our times, the Holy Spirit sparked in the Church a new force in order to proclaim the Gospel. Starting from these words of Pope Benedict the XVIth, the author of this article brings in front of the reader the legacy of the Second Council form Vatican, for pastoral this means the proclamation of the Gospel, and realizing a teaching, which represents the key of lecture, which describes the 50 years from the opening of the Council. For starters, the author highlights a series of difficulties which grow out from the new things which the Second Council from Vatican brought, plus the perception of the Council as a spring of uncertainties. Further on a process of individualization is tried on, which wants to overcome the difficulties, recognizing what H. Urs von Balthazar called the “tearing down the bastions”. This phenomenon is overtaken by over a half of century of “reconstruction of the bastions”. After a short balance of trade of the relation between the theology and the council, Gilfredo Marengo appeals to “experience” in his process of understanding the Second Council from Vatican, offering a way, which will open the possibility of overcoming, in this acceptance, the opposition between the event and the text.