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.