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  • June 12, 2009

    Dr. George Lindbeck and Vatican II


    I was happy to attend the opening session this past Monday of the Center for Evangelical and Catholic Theology’s Conference on Vatican II at the John Paul II Cultural Center.

    Dr. Lindbeck led off–and putting aside parts of his prepared text, he reminisced in an interesting way
    on his experience at Vatican II as an observer for the Lutheran World Federation. He attended all four sessions of the Council.

    The following struck me as significant:

    • There were few Catholic of Protestant theologians at that time who were expert in ecumenism and, among Protestants, few who were experts in Catholicism. Thus there were few observers to start.
    • There is no way to document the influence of the observers. They did have a weekly meeting however with the staff members of what is now the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. And who knows where their comments went? Some of the observers had personal relationships with the bishops or their expert advisers.
    • Vatican II is still having its impact in Protestant circles.

    It was quite interesting to hear from someone who was present and has lived his life in the aftermath.

    I was happy to see Consortium Board members and Consortium students in attendance at the Conference.

    The presentations will eventually appear in print.