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Vatican II in Ireland, Fifty Years On

Essays in Honour of Pádraic Conway


Dermot A. Lane

This book commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, which concluded in 1965. A selection of essays by distinguished Irish theologians offers an objective assessment of the historical reception and pastoral implementation of Vatican II in Ireland with the benefit of half a century’s hindsight. The authors discuss from a variety of different perspectives the theological significance of the Council for the self-understanding and reform of the Catholic church, both in the past and for the future.
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1 Ireland’s Ambivalent Relationship with the Second Vatican Council


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1 Ireland’s Ambivalent Relationship with the Second Vatican Council

It’s a daunting task to encompass in 1,000 words the content and impact of the Second Vatican Council. As I reflect on their combined efforts to convey the message from Rome – my respect for journalists has never been higher.

There can be no doubt that in 1962 the Irish church leadership was anything but ready for a Council of the kind embarked upon. A senior Maynooth professor declared that nine of the ten Commandments were grand, but that a real debate was needed on the question of servile work on Sundays.

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