Monday, May 20, 2013

GREAT GRACE CONFERENCE ON VATICAN II - VITAL ROLE OF LAITY

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
20 May 2013


Professor Anne Hunt Executive Dean of Theology and Philosphy at ACU
One important and ongoing legacy of the Second Vatican Council is the recognition of the universal call to holiness and the Council's vision for the vital role of the laity in the Church, says Professor Anne Hunt, Doctor of Theology and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University.
"Almost every document has something to say about the laity, beginning with Sacrosanctum Concilium, which called for full, conscious and active participation by all people in liturgical celebration," she says and describes the "rediscovery of the people of God as one reality, a mutuality of hierarchy and laity in which all are called to holiness,: as one of the most profound insights of Vatican II.
"This recognition of the laity was a remarkable aspect of Vatican II. It had never happened before. Also remarkable during the second session of Vatican II was the decision to decision to appoint some members of the laity as auditors," she says.
Among the auditors chosen from the laity was Australian, Rosemary Goldie who would go on to become the most highly-placed woman in the Vatican's hierarchy when she was appointed Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council of the Laity by Pope Paul VI. Rosemary Goldie died in 2010 aged 94 but her achievements and long service to the Vatican will be remembered and celebrated by her longtime friend and well known historian Father Ed Campion at the Great Grace Conference Dinner on Wednesday evening, 22 May at Dockside, Darling harbour.  

Prior to becoming Pope, Blessed John Paul II was one of the great scholars and teachers from Vatican II
Professor Hunt says the ground breaking teachings of the Second Vatican Council and its four sessions, which began under Pope John XXIII and concluded in late 1965, and its call for the full involvement and active participation of the laity in the life of the Church, continue to resonate 50 years later.
But to achieve and implement the full vision of the Council still has a way to go, she says.
A keynote speaker at this week's Great Grace Conference: Receiving Vatican II Today, Professor Hunt will not only document what has been achieved so far and what is still to be realised.
Professor Hunt will deliver her address: "A Council for the Laity? The Vision of Vatican II in Empowering the Lay Faithful" on Wednesday morning, 22 May on the third day of the Conference which begins tonight following mass at St Mary's Cathedral at 5.30 pm.
Following mass, His Eminence Cardinal George Pell will deliver a public address entitled "Vatican II: Yesterday's Council for Tomorrow's World," to which all are welcome. He will give the address at St Mary's Cathedral at 7pm and will explore the ongoing he ongoing relevance of the Second Vatican Council not only today but into the future.
Pope Paul VI's Nostra Aetate from Vatican II a wonderful model for interfaith dialogue and respect
For Professor Hunt and the eight other internationally renowned keynote speakers who will address the conference, offers the 450 plus participants from across Australia a unique chance to deepen their understanding of the ground-breaking teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

Professor Hunt says Vatican II remains one of the remarkable events in the life of the Church and was responsible for a great outpouring of the spirit of the Church.
"There have been lively discussions over interpretations of the teachings of Vatican II over the past 50 years and these will probably continue for the next 100 to 200 years," she predicts with a smile,  pointing out that 50 years in the 2000 year history of the Church is "no time at all."
Professor Hunt sees the Conference not only as an important and significant gathering for Catholic students, academics, the laity as well as parishes and the clergy, but believes there is special resonance in the fact that the Conference is being held in the 50th anniversary of the start of Vatican II in the current year, the Year of Grace.
She is also proud of her own university, ACU, as co-sponsor of Conference with the Archdiocese of Sydney.
"Being part of the Church is not simply about sharing beliefs and values, it is also about demonstrating publicly our support of key events in the life of the Church," explains ACU Vice-Chancellor, Greg Craven, adding that The Great Grace: Receiving Vatican II Today is a major conference not only for its recognition and celebration of the importance of the Second Vatican Council, but for its rich contribution to Catholic intellectual tradition.

Rosemary Goldie in her office at the Vatican as Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council of the Laity
Among the other keynote speakers at the Conference will be Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellet PSS, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, Rome; Archbishop Allen Vigneron from Detroit; Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Rome; Professor Tracey Rowland, John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family; Dr Austen Ivereigh and Jack Valero, Catholic Voices; Professor Anthony Kelly CssR, Professor of Theology at ACU and Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Brisbane.
In addition, the four day conference will feature 24 workshops from tomorrow, 21 May. These will cover a wide range of subjects ranging from "the Call to Co-Responsibility: Lay Leadership in the Church to We Weren't There, Vat II for Generations X, Y and Next and including such contemporary issues as Same Message, New Way: the Communicating Church of Digital Age and Griefs and Hopes: How the Church has fared since Vatican II.
Professor Hunt says she intends to hear every one of the key note speakers and attend several of the workshops.
"This is a Conference that will inspire, excite and motivate everyone who participates," she says.
To view the entire four day program go to www.thegreatgrace.org.au.
Shared from Archdiocese of Sydney

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