Richard S. Vosko

Musings on religion, art and architecture

Vatican Two Questions


Three questions are being asked of the participants in the adult faith formation program on the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The course is being offered at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Albany, NY this Spring 2010.

1. How have the teachings of the Second Vatican Council affected your personal life?

2. How has the Council affected the life of your faith community?

3. What current events in the Church could be affecting the teachings of the Council?


Author: Richard S. Vosko

Richard S. Vosko, Ph.D., Hon. AIA, is an internationally known sacred space planner. He is a presbyter in the Diocese of Albany who enjoys the classroom as much as the pulpit. On Sundays he presides at worship at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Albany, NY. For more information on Vosko’s background, his projects, publications and speaking engagements please go to his website. For his homilies and occasional musings about religion, art and architecture go to his blog. Comments, questions and suggestions are always welcomed there.

2 thoughts on “Vatican Two Questions

  1. The teachings on universal call to holiness and ecumenism have formed my spirituality in terms of wide reading in other traditions, especially Eastern traditions. The teachings in Liturgy and Liturgical Music have enriched my participation in ritual, and my prayer. The social teachings have enabled me to find purpose, meaning and to do worthwhile work in my ministry. All of these teachings have affected the life of my friends and Sisters of Mercy. The current events (sex abuse and particularly the Apostolic Visitation) could call into question the credibility of the “teachers”, and, for me, the risk of pursuing the prophetic ministerial religious lifestyle in the “official church”.


  2. I was in elementary school at the time of Vatican II. It is only in recent years that I have become conscious of the dramatic changes that were initiated as a result of the Council. As a child, I only noticed the visible changes: nuns changing from floor length habits to shorter habits and then to street clothes. Learning Latin responses in the First grade for my First Communion only to be told in Second grade that prayers were now in English.
    I didn’t understand the spirit of ecumenism nor the universal call to holiness until much, much later. In recent years I’ve read a few books set in that time period written by Cathlic authors and novelists. Those books helped me understand how dramatic those times were.

    Now that I see the new direction the Council opened for us, I am alarmed and even angry that there is a movement to reform the reform. The Church as a political organization makes me sick and dizzy. My faith is not founded nor nourished in that institutional Church, but rather within a community of faith – seeing others living out their faith in doing small things with great love, and somethings HUGE things with great love. I gravitate toward people who are inspired by truth and not power; people empowered by the loving Spirit to serve. “Do THIS in remembrance of me.”

    Like Gail states above, the current issues in the official church are shaking me to the core. Where we willland, only God knows. One can’t help but wonder what the hierarchy are thinking when they read Jesus’ words to the powerful Jewish leaders in the Gospels. Continuing the hold this exclusive, male club has on power, further alienating women, homosexual people, and anyone who doesn’t follow their rules, is not representative of a universal call to holiness. The current climate in which some clergy – even newly ordained – see the laity as lesser is disturbing. Aren’t we all called? we have different roles, but all are called to holiness.

    OK – there’s my thoughts (rant?) What do others think?


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