Fifty years after the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the Church can better gauge the scope of this event and the import of its texts, which profoundly marked her life and her relation to the world at the turn of the third millennium.

Blessed John XXIII set two main goals for the Council: to bring the presentation of the Church’s doctrine up to date and to promote the unity of Christians.[1] These two objectives were intended to renew the Church’s relation with the modern world and thus to revive her universal mission.

In order to attain these objectives, the Council Fathers undertook a fundamental reflection on ecclesiology, in the hopes of better defining the Church’s profound nature, her essential structure, and the meaning of her mission in a world increasingly emancipated from her influence and tradition. 

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