University Community Continues Celebration of Vatican II
The University of Dallas continued its celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the
Second Vatican Council on Wednesday October 16 with a panel discussion on the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. The Second Vatican Council met from 1963 1965 and is hailed by many Catholic theologians
and historians as the most significant event in Church history in the past century.
The event, co-sponsored by the Department of Theology and the Neuhoff Institute, offered
the university community the opportunity to hear from a panel of nationally renowned
scholars on how this central document, which describes the nature and structure of
the Church, continues to effect the life of the Catholic Church.
The first panelist, Fr. Roch Kereszty, O.Cist. of the Theology Department described
the reception of the document over the past fifty years. This reception has included
both positive developments and exaggerated developments, the "confusion and the renewal",
Fr. Kerestzy explained. His presentation also highlighted the importance of the Trinitarian
structure of the Church. Dr. Dan Luby of the Neuhoff Institute discussed the impact
that the treatment of the role of the Laity in the Church in chapter 4 of Lumen Gentium has had on Catholicism. His presentation focused on the universal call to holiness,
the development of lay ecclesial ministry, and mission of the laity to act as "leaven
in the world" as key developments. Dr. Bruce D. Marshall Lehman Professor of Christian
Doctrine at Southern Methodist University's discussed the themes of ecumenism and
interfaith relations in Lumen Gentium and two other key documents published by the council. His presentation described
the challenge, laid out by the fathers of the council, of holding together the apparently
contradictory ideals of valuing the dignity and truth that is to be found in other
Christian denominations and non-Christian religions while at the same time upholding
the unique nature of the Roman Catholic Church.
The event was well attended by a number of students, faculty and members of the university
community who participated in a discussion with the panelists and a reception after
the presentation. This panel conversation was the third collaboration between the
Department of Theology and the Neuhoff Institute as a part of the ongoing celebration
of the council.