Vatican II Resources


A concise, comprehensive free leaflet, The Second Vatican Council: An Explanation, seems an excellent text for OSOC circles as a grounding for discussion of Vatican II’s relevance today.  While the Council did not make any decision regarding women’s eligibility for ordination to the priesthood, its decisions on the inclusive character of the Church as the People of God and on the rights and responsibilities of the laity imply an expectation that women’s status in the Church must be re-examined.  The pamphlet can be downloaded from


Another document is from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on the Global Economy, Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority.  The title is dense, and the publication is fairly long (16 pages).  However, this document, released in October 2011, analyzes the current financial crisis and promotes a solution based on principles articulated by Vatican II.


In the preamble, the document states: The economic and financial crisis which the world is going through summons everyone, as individuals and peoples, to examine in depth the principles and the cultural and moral values that underlie social coexistence. What is more, the crisis engages private actors and competent public authorities on the national, regional and international level in serious reflection on causes and on solutions of a political, economic and technical nature.


If we consider how women around the world are especially suffering from the current global crisis, it seems like a call to us in OSOC to heed this call for a society more truly based on the dignity of each and every woman and man.  The document relies on statements from Vatican II as calling forth a moral and social obligation to address the status of the current financial crisis for the common good. A caveat:  The document is a provisional English version; also, it is not gender inclusive.  It can be downloaded at


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