Whatever Happened to the "People of God"? Thoughts on the Reception of Vatican II

John E. Thiel


This article explores the ecclesiology of Vatican II, particularly its understanding of the Church as the People of God, in order to consider how that teaching is currently being received in the Church by Catholics who embrace different views of the Council and its meaning.  After examining the theology of the Church presented in Lumen gentium, Vatican II’s “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,” the article considers various ways in which the teaching on Lumen gentium has and has not been embraced in the Church.  It concludes by considering the challenge involved in the reception of conciliar teaching of any sort and proposes ways in which more liberal and more conservative Catholic sensibilities might appreciate each other’s efforts to live out the teachings of the Council in the one community of faith.


Vatican II, Church, Reception

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ISSN: 2169-1088