Need for a “clear view of the world”

On 24 September 1960, Yves Congar sent a 17-page untitled document to Fr Tromp and and other members and consultor commenting on various schemata of the Theological Commission.

“He urged that the Council undertake its view with a clear view of the world in which the Church was living: where one of every four people was Chinese and one of every three was under Communist domination, where divided Christians were nurturing hope for reunion, where practical atheism and technocracy were prevalent, where colonialism and paternalism were rejected, where women were seeking to advance themselves,” writes Joseph Komonchak.

“The schemata compendiosa, on the other hand, appeared to have been written for the world in which the First Vatican Council met.”

“He criticised their emphasis upon formal questions of authority, neglect of the substantive content of the Gospel, primarily negative view of the contemporary world, abstract and scholastic style, omission of crucial current issues, and lack of ecumenical interest.”


J.A. Komonchak, Chapter III, The struggle for the Council during the preparation of Vatican II, in Giuseppe Alberigo and Joseph Komonchak (ed.), History of Vatican II, Vol. II, Peeters, Leuven, 1995, 233-34.