2010-2011 SJU Colloquium
n calling the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII said, "I want to throw open the windows of the church ... so that we can see out and the people can see in." Vatican II was to be an aggiornamento", a "bringing up to date," of the church. The optimism that defined so much of the Council's activities gave life to the church's new teachings on ecumenism, human rights, and the work of the church in the modern world. The Council encouraged Catholics to discern the "signs of the times" and to define their identity in an ecumenical way, conscious of God's grace beyond the walls of the church. Vatican II called upon the church to be in solidarity with the poor and the marginalized, regardless of religious creed or conviction. But the promises associated with Vatican II have often met opposition, even within the church. In this colloquium, two of Canada's participants in Vatican II – Bishop Remi De Roo and Gregory Baum – reflect on the legacy and the unfinished agenda of the Second Vatican Council.
Bishop Remi De Roo
J. De Roo, a native of Swan Lake, Manitoba, became Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Victoria, British Columbia, during the first session of the Second Vatican Council. He attended all four sessions from 1962 to 1965, speaking to the Assembly on four topics, including one on the role of the laity. He chaired the first BC Human Rights Commission from 1974-1977. For several years, Bishop De Roo chaired the Social Affairs Commission of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since his mandatory retirement at age 75, in 1999, he has been a tireless speaker and writer on a wide range of contemporary issues.
Gregory Baum, Professor Emeritus at McGill University in Montreal, is currently associated with the Jesuit-sponsored Centre justice et foi in Montreal. During the Vatican Council II he was a peritus (expert) at the Secretariat for Christian Unity. He is the founder of The Ecumenist, a journal theology, culture, and society – a journal now edited by SJU's Dr. David Seljak. Prof. Baum is the author of many books and articles on ecumenism, Catholic social teaching, liberation theology, and interreligious dialogue. His most recent books are ""Amazing Church"(2005), "Signs of the Times"(2006), and "The Theology of Tariq Ramadan"(2009).""
The 2010-2011 Joint School Boards Lecture