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Reclaiming Vatican II: What It (Really) Said, What It Means, and How It Calls Us to Renew the Church
During the past five decades, the Second Vatican Council has been alternately celebrated or maligned for its supposed break with tradition and embrace of the modern world. But what if we’ve gotten it all wrong? Have Catholics—both those who embrace the spirit of Vatican II and those who regard it with suspicion—misunderstood what the council was really about?
Reclaiming Vatican II: What It (Really) Said, What It Means, and How It Calls Us to Renew the Church
Reclaiming Vatican II: What It (Really) Said, What It Means, and How It Calls Us to Renew the Church
By Fr. Blake Britton
By Fr. Blake Britton
Published by Word on Fire and Ave Maria Press
Published by Word on Fire
and Ave Maria Press
Paperback  |  224 Pages  |  5.5" x 8.5"  |  Retail Price: $17.95
Paperback  |  224 Pages  |  5.5"x8.5" 
Retail Price: $17.95
Launch Special:  $14.36 (+ $5.95 S&H) (20% Off!)
Launch Special:
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ABOUT THE BOOK

During the past five decades, the Second Vatican Council has been alternately celebrated or maligned for its supposed break with tradition and embrace of the modern world. But what if we’ve gotten it all wrong? Have Catholics—both those who embrace the spirit of Vatican II and those who regard it with suspicion—misunderstood what the council was really about?

Fr. Blake Britton discovered the truth and beauty of the council while he was in seminary and he has witnessed firsthand the power of its teachings in the life of his own parish. In Reclaiming Vatican II—a partnership between Ave Maria Press and Word on Fire Catholic Ministries—Britton presses beyond the political narrative foisted upon the post-conciliar Church and contends that Vatican II was neither conservative nor liberal, but something much more beautiful and challenging.

Britton clears up misconceptions about the council and reveals how—when properly understood and applied—it fosters a richer experience of being in the Church. Britton says Vatican II promotes a radical return to the Church Fathers and the Scriptures, holding both a commitment to tradition and the need for constant renewal in life-giving balance, recenters the Church on sacred liturgy and encourages both active participation and genuine encounter with transcendence, and charts a clear path for the Church’s renewal and empowers it for evangelism and transformative engagement with the world.

Britton invites all Catholics to step beyond the polarization and embrace Vatican II as one of our greatest resources for being in the Church in a way that is faithful, engaged, and effective if we answer its radical call to worship and renewal.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Abbreviations

1.  The Paracouncil: What Happened?

2.  The True Spirit of Vatican II

3.  The Sacred Liturgy

4.  The Church

5.  Divine Revelation

6.  The Church and the Modern World

7.  What Now?

Notes

Bibliography

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

“The great missionary vision of Vatican II remains largely unrealized. This book shows how to recover it, primarily by returning to the council’s four major constitutions. Fr. Blake Britton is an able guide, radiant and thoughtful, with an infectious joy and love for the council. He stands on the vanguard of a new generation tasked with finally bringing the council’s vision to fruition. I warmly commend this book to anyone wanting to understand Vatican II, but especially to young Catholics confused about the council and those skeptical about its relevance today.”

- Most Rev. Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries
“Sixty years after the Second Vatican Council commenced, two extremes remain locked in battle: traditionalists scorn the council and want to dismiss it, claiming it’s the root of the Church’s biggest problems today; while liberals maintain the council didn’t go far enough in its progressive reforms. Between those extremes, many faithful Catholics are just confused—unsure what to make of Vatican II. Was it good? Bad? Somewhere in between? Fr. Blake Britton, the most enthusiastic and insightful defender of the council among millennial Catholics, guides us through this confusion to show why the Second Vatican Council remains one of the Holy Spirit’s greatest gifts to the Church. He explains why the council was needed, what the texts taught and intended, and how they were sadly misimplemented. More importantly, he shows how we can get the conciliar reforms back on track by returning to the texts themselves. We’ve desperately needed a book like this. It’s timely, clear, charitable, inspiring, faithful to the Church, and strikes all the right notes. If every Catholic read this book and followed its path, liturgies would become more reverent, biblical studies would be renewed, the Church would be more confident about her identity, and evangelization would flourish—exactly what Vatican II had in mind!”

- Brandon Vogt, senior content director at Word on Fire Catholic Ministries
“The ongoing debate within the Church about the Second Vatican Council serves as a microcosm of our age: well-meaning, passionate people have divided themselves into camps, so sure of their own positions that they are unable to hear the truth spoken by the other. Fr. Blake Britton offers a balanced, grounded response that our Church desperately needs. Correctly identifying Vatican II as a ‘kerygmatic’ council, he invites the reader to let go of half-truths and learn from the documents themselves in order to behold the splendor of the Church.”

- Fr. Casey Cole, O.F.M., creator of Breaking in the Habit Media
“This timely little book could not come at a more opportune moment. Polarization over the Second Vatican Council has reached a new degree of intensity, at least in the public eye. I continue to have the faith that, as Fr. Blake Britton suggests, the documents of Vatican II—spirit, content, and all—can still today provide the inspiration for meaningful reform in the Church and for the evangelization of the modern world.”

- John C. Cavadini, director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ABOUT the AUTHOR

Fr. Blake Britton
Fr. Blake Britton serves as a parish priest and assistant vocations director in the Diocese of Orlando. He is a regular contributor to the Word on Fire Institute’s blog and its Evangelization and Culture Journal. He also cohosts The Burrowshire Podcast with Brandon Vogt.

Britton earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. John Vianney College-Seminary and his master’s degree in divinity from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary. He has contributed to two anthologies. He has appeared on EWTN, The Catholic Channel, and a number of radio programs and podcasts.

He is a classically trained opera singer, pianist, and organist and is trained in classical Latin and biblical Greek.
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