Friday, October 12, 2012

An Open Letter to Vatican II

      Let me just start by saying I never write letters like this.  I mean, like any good Catholic I am a big fan of all kinds of Ecumenical Councils, but I am just not the kind of girl to write fan mail to major historic gatherings, be they religious, political, artistic, what have you.  But when I heard that your 50th anniversary began this week, I just had to write and let you know how much I appreciate you. 
     To begin, can I say that I cannot believe you are already 50 years old?  Honestly, you do not seem a day over 15; 25 tops.  The way people are arguing over the changes you implemented in the Church, you would think you were fresh out of the box.  I just love the way that from your very beginning, you shook up the more inaccessible leaders, policies, practices, of the old Church and gave them the push to get out there and be part of the modern world.  As I am sure you know, there is still quite a scene going on even today about your core message, and frankly, I think it is brilliant!  I love how you are still rockin' your primary concern, dialogue between lay people and the leadership.
Is it weird to have an ideological crush on a long deceased pope?
     I am just so grateful that I didn't have to suffer in the Church before you were around.  I cannot imagine how distant the Church must have seemed: Mass in Latin, nuns sequestered away in closed convents, the outright condemnation of other faiths.  I could not have handled it.  Then Pope John XXIII comes along and is all "Equality!  Justice!  Tolerance!"  
God, I-I just love your work.
     I think though, if I had to choose, because I honestly love so many of your principles, I think my favorite is that the Church must engage with the entire world and be a part of solving world problems.  It is just so right on, and written so perfectly.   Love it!  Just love it!
     I do worry that there is a movement to repeal some of my favorite of your tenets : redoing the mass to include Latin?  The rebuke of American nuns?  It's all a little scary.
But that is not what I am writing about today.  I am writing to give a huge shout out to you, Second Vatican Council, by far my favorite of all the Vatican Councils, maybe of all Church councils ever.  (Although you kinda have to love Nicea, right?)  Here's to fifty more years of continuing the Church's relevant presence in the modern world!

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