Great Grace Conference - Receiving Vatican II Today

Last edited 12th June 2013

Great Grace Conference - Receiving Vatican II Today

Plenary - Receiving the Council in the Church in Australia - Professor Tracey Rowland


The reception of the Second Vatican Council in Australia followed similar patterns to that of other countries of the Western world with an initial emphasis on the correlation of the Catholic faith to intellectual currents within the culture of modernity. This culture reached its zenith in the 1950s and began to implode from the late 1960s onwards. Sociologists now speak of 1968 as the moment of the turn to postmodernity. From the 1980s onwards the correlationist projects began to be overtaken by the Christocentric projects of the pontificate of John Paul II at the core of which was Blessed John Paul II’s Trinitarian Christocentric anthropology. The hallmark of this pontificate was that Christ should position culture, rather than the culture of the times positioning Christ. According to this interpretation it is Christ himself who is the ‘sign of the times’ in the period between His Incarnation and return in glory. The contrast however between correlationism and Christocentrism remains a central feature of ecclesial life in contemporary Australia representing different appropriations of the teaching of the Council.

- Professor Tracey Rowland is Dean of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family (Melbourne) and a Permanent Fellow of the Institute in Political Philosophy and Continental Theology.