QUOTES TAKEN FROM THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
The human person deserves to be preserved; human society deserves to be renewed. Hence the focal point of our total presentation will be humanity itself, whole and entire, body and soul, heart and conscience, mind and will…The Church seeks a solitary goal: to carry forward the work of Christ under the leadership of the befriending Spirit. And Christ entered this world to give witness to the truth, to rescue and not to sit in judgment, to serve and not to be served. (Church in the Modern Word, Preface, paragraph 3).
To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel…We must therefore recognize and understand the world in which we live, its expectations, its longings, and its often dramatic characteristics. (Church in the Modern World, Preface, paragraph 4).
Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a person. There, a person is alone with God, whose voice echoes in one’s depths. In a wonderful manner, conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by love of God and neighbor. In fidelity to conscience, Christians are joined with the rest of humanity in search for truth, and for the genuine solution to the numerous problems which arise in the life of individuals from social relationships. (Church in the Modern World, Part I, Chapter 1, paragraph 16).
Atheism must be accounted among the most serious problems of this age, and is deserving of closer examination…She (the Church) strives to detect in the atheistic mind the hidden causes for the denial of God; conscious of how weighty are the questions which atheism raises, and motivated by love for all people, she believes these questions ought to be examined seriously and more profoundly. The Church holds that the recognition of God is in no way hostile to people’s dignity, since this dignity is rooted and perfected in God. (Church in the Modern World, Part I, Chapter 1, paragraph21).
This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. (Constitution on the Church, Chapter I, paragraph 8).
All of humanity is called to belong to the new people of God. It follows that though there are many nations there is but one people of God, which takes its citizens from every race, making them citizens of a kingdom which is of a heavenly rather than of an earthly nature. All the faithful, scattered though they be throughout the world, are in communion with each other in the Holy Spirit. (Constitution on the Church, paragraph 13).
This sacred Council…sees particularly cogent reasons for undertaking the reform and promotion of the liturgy…The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows. (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, paragraphs 1 & 10).
In our time, when day by day humankind is being drawn closer together, and the ties between different peoples are becoming stronger, the Church examines more closely her relationship to non-Christian religions…The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. (Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, paragraphs 1 & 2c).
The apostolate of the laity derives from their Christian vocation and the Church can never be without it. Sacred Scripture clearly shows how spontaneous and fruitful such activity was at the very beginning of the Church. Our own times require of the laity no less zeal: in fact, modern conditions demand that their apostolate be broadened and intensified. (Apostolate of the Laity, paragraph 1).