Great Grace Conference - Receiving Vatican II Today

Last edited 12th June 2013

Great Grace Conference - Receiving Vatican II Today

Workshop - Conciliar Humanism. A Tale of Four Popes - Rev Dr Tom Carroll


Pope Benedict XVI claimed with the Second Vatican Council “broad new thinking” was required which set the Church in a new direction. In particular, this workshop examines the Council’s vision of humanity through the lens of its emergent philosophy of the human person, as differentiated from the traditional Boethian / Thomistic understanding of “person” and detailed in the final documents of the Council, the Declaration on religious liberty Dignitatus Humanae and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the world of today, Gaudium et Spes; which provides the Church with the means of dialogue with the contemporary world on the basis of our shared humanity.

Consideration is given not only to the significant contribution offered by the thought of Pope John XXIII, the Father of the Council, but also to that of three successive popes, namely Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI; all present from the beginning of the Council. These four popes would exercise a fundamental influence in the evolution and on-going promotion of this distinctive Conciliar humanism, as Cardinal Wojtyla writes in his essay written to mark the tenth anniversary of Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae: “wherein the dignity of the human person is the basis of man’s vocation: it thus constituted the essential content and meaning of that vocation.” In this novel Conciliar thinking, humanism and personalism happily coincide.

- Rev Dr Tom Carroll is a Parish Priest of St. Aloysius of Gonzaga, Cronulla, Secretary of the Cardinal’s Council of Priests, Director of Diaconate Programme for the Archdiocese of Sydney, Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and Professor of Philosophy and Theology at the Collegium Augustinianum.