1. Define what a Council and Synod and what they do?
  2. Know that the first Council was in Jerusalem, and that Nicea (2nd) and Constantinople (3rd) defined Nicene Creed.
  3. Know that Vatican I helped define “Church” and that Vatican II modified how Mass was delivered and the importance of discipleship.
  4. Define Encyclical, Dogma, Doctrine.


Faith Concepts:

• Vatican I began a deep reflection on what it means to be Church.

Years: 1869-1870
Summary: The Vatican Council was summoned by Pius IX. It met 8 December, 1869, and lasted till 18 July, 1870, when it was adjourned; it is still (1908) unfinished. There were present 6 archbishop-princes, 49 cardinals, 11 patriarchs, 680 archbishops and bishops, 28 abbots, 29 generals of orders, in all 803. Besides important canons relating to the Faith and the constitution of the Church, the council decreed the infallibility of the pope when speaking ex cathedra, i.e. when as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.
Further Reading: www.newadvent.org/cathen/15303a.htm

My notes:  The Catholic Encyclopedia , along with some other sites, mention that papal infallibility was a big catalyst to getting the Council going.  Seems like there were somewhat contentious arguments in and out of the Council.  The growth of Rationalism, Liberalism, and Materialism are also mentioned as catalysts for having the Council.  That’s interesting because that kind of represents the beginning of Psychology; when people started looking outside the Church for answers to life’s questions.  The Immaculate Conception, a dogma of the Church that was define by papal infallibility was actually done before the Council 1854.  That kind of explains why they needed a Council; if there are folks getting violent (ish) over papal infallibility, that is a good reason to call everyone together.  Pius IX dogmatically declared Immaculate Conception in his papal bull Ineffabilis Deus

• Vatican II brought a new breath of fresh air into the Church. As a result of Vatican II, the Church emphasizes even more the importance of being disciples in the world.

Dogmatic Constitutions from Vatican II:  Lumen Gentium: Dogmatic Constitution On the Church (1964) & Dei Verbum: Dogmatic Constitution of Divine Revelation (1965)

Not in book but the follow-on to Vatican II “The New Evangelization” would be good to discuss too.

[Sacrosanctum Concilium 21]
In order that the Christian people may more certainly derive an abundance of graces from the sacred liturgy, holy Mother Church desires to undertake with great care a general restoration of the liturgy itself. For the liturgy is made up of immutable elements divinely instituted, and of elements subject to change. These not only may but ought to be changed with the passage of time if they have suffered from the intrusion of anything out of harmony with the inner nature of the liturgy or have become unsuited to it.

In this restoration, both texts and rites should be drawn up so that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify; the Christian people, so far as possible, should be enabled to understand them with ease and to take part in them fully, actively, and as befits a community.

A Dogmatic Constitution is type of Apostolic Constitution. see Categories of Holy See Documents

• List of all Ecumenical Councils


Documents of Vatican II

Second Vatican Council’s 16 Documents

1. Sacrosanctum concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963.

2. Inter Mirifica, Decree On the Means of Social Communication, 1963.

3. Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution On the Church, 1964.

4. Orientalium Ecclesiarum, Decree On the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite,

5. Unitatis Redintegratio, Decree on Ecumenism, 1964.

6.  Christus Dominus, Decree Concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops In the Church,

7. Perfectae Caritatis, Decree On Renewal of Religious Life, 1965.

8. Optatam Totius, Decree On Priestly Training, 1965.

9. Gravissimum Educationis, Declaration On Christian Education, 1965.

10. Nostra Aetate, Declaration On the Relation Of the Church to Non-Christian
Religions, 1965.

11. Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation, 1965.

12. Apostolicam Actuositatem, Decree On the Apostolate of the Laity, 1965.

13. Dignitatis Humanae, Declaration On Religious Freedom, 1965.

14. Ad Gentes, Decree On the Mission Activity of the Church, 1965.

15. Presbyterorum Ordinis, Decree On the Ministry and Life of Priests, 1965.

16. Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution On the Church In the Modern World,


Sacred Scripture:

John 13:34-35 (Law of Love)


Disciple Power & Vocabulary

Faith Vocabulary: aggiornamento, charisms, constitutions, dogmatic, promulgated

Catholics Believe

Scripture and Tradition flow from Divine Revelation (see Dei verbum #2)



Prayer for Renewal



Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC):
670-671, 798-800, 820-821, 827, 1428,
1928-1942, 2003, 2425-2426, 2832
U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA): pp. 21-23, 133-134, 403-404