The Essential Texts
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
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By encouraging engagement with the modern world and a refocusing of traditional teaching, the Second Vatican Council brought new life into the practice of Catholicism. The council's impact on the Church is still playing out today, and with many current church issues finding their roots in differing interpretations of Vatican II it has never lost relevance. Vatican II: The Essential Texts brings together the key documents of the council.
As the council is commemorated on its 50th Anniversary, readers will be returning to these source materials to understand the Church's developing positions on its relationship with the secular world and other religions, the role of lay people, human rights and the common good, the liturgy and other still highly relevant issues. In addition to the introductions from Pope Benedict and James Carroll, the documents will also be accompanied by brief historical prefaces from Professor Edward Hahnenberg.
Edward P. Hahnenberg holds the Jack and Mary Jane Breen Chair in Catholic Systematic Theology at John Carroll University. He is the author of four books including "Awakening Vocation: A Theology of Christian Call" (Liturgical Press, 2010) and "Theology for Ministry: An Introduction for Lay Ministers "(Liturgical Press, 2014) and numerous articles in academic and pastoral journals. Dr. Hahnenberg is a past consultant to the US Bishops Subcommittee on Lay Ministry and current delegate to the US Lutheran Catholic Ecumenical Dialogue.
On April 19, 2005, CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER was elected POPE BENEDICT XVI and became the 264th successor to Peter as the "Vicar of Jesus Christ." He may well be the most accomplished theologian to be elected Pope in modern times. Beginning in 1981 he spent over 20 years as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a role often depicted as the "defender of the faith." Cardinal Ratzinger was also President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the Preparatory Commission that codified the new "Catechism of the Catholic Church," published in 1994.