Vatican II

Vatican II

Peter D. Howard

Dr Frank Mobbs argues that Vatican II did not teach infallibly (April, August AD2000).

Yet, the Council defined that the assent of will and intellect are required of non-infallible papal teaching, for the first time, in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 25.

This Council, for the first time in conciliar history, defined unequivocally that the sole Church of Christ subsists in the one, holy catholic and apostolic Church and that Christ's Church is not an end yet to be achieved by all churches and ecclesial communities (LG, 8).

Vatican II defined the exercise of collegial infallibility by bishops in an Ecumenical Council (LG 25), a turning point in doctrinal history.

In a new doctrinal development, this Council declared what may be summarised as 'Non-Catholics have a right to immunity from coercion in propagating their religion publicly' (to the extent it does not violate public order) (Dignitatis Humanae, 2-3, 10).

All of these doctrines did not exist explicitly so why should it be assumed they are non-infallible?

As Pope Paul VI stated: 'But one thing must be noted here, namely, that the teaching authority of the Church, even though not wishing to issue extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements, has made thoroughly known its authoritative teaching on a number of questions (Address to the Last General Meeting of Vatican Council II, quoted in Catholic Dossier, March/April 1998).

PETER D. HOWARD
Springwood, Qld

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