Papers From The National Forum – Vatican II: Unfinished Business (July 2002)


The ‘National Forum – Vatican II: Unfinished Business’ was a conference held at St Joseph’s College, Sydney on July 12th, 13th and 14th, 2002 to mark the 40th anniversary of the commencement of the Second Vatican Council in 1963. Its aim was to review the changes that had taken place in the Catholic Church since that time and to examine where the vision articulated in the Council documents had so far not been accomplished.

The Conference was co-sponsored by the Aquinas Academy and Catalyst for Renewal Incorporated. The Aquinas Academy is a work of the Marist Fathers, offering courses on a variety of topics including spirituality, biblical studies, church history and religious education. Catalyst for Renewal is a group of mainly lay persons whose mission is to establish forums for conversation within the Catholic Church, in order to encourage open exchanges about contemporary issues while recognising the diversity of expression of faith in Australia. The official journal of Catalyst for Renewal is ‘The MIX’.

These pages contain transcripts of nineteen of the papers presented at the National Forum, a record of the Panel Discussion and the Homily given by Bishop Geoffrey Robinson at the Conference Eucharist. In addition there is a selection of articles published in ‘The MIX’ from mid 2001 to 2003 on the topic of the Second Vatican Council and its effects.


Focus Group Presentations

1 Claire Barbeau

The challenge of harnessing Vatican II

2 Frank Brennan, SJ, AO

The Church in the modern world – to what extent have we engaged?

3 Virginia Bourke, RSJ

Dei Verbum and Catholicism’s ancient genius

4 Jim Carty, SM

The social teachings of Vatican II

5. Michael Casey OCSO

Deconstruction into reality

6 Michael Costigan

Vatican II as I remember it

7 Mary Cresp, RSJ

Religious life and its evolution since Vatican II

8 Geraldine Doogue

The Church in public life

9 Bruce Duncan, CSsR

Has the Catholic critique of Capitalism stalled?

10 Patricia Egan, RSJ

Participation and co-responsibility in the local church

11 Robert Fitzgerald, AM

Leadership in our Church – a shared responsibility of service

12 Geraldine Hawkes

Women’s participation in the Church

13 Bishop Peter Ingham

Ecumenical and interfaith relations

14 Tony Kelly, CSsR

The Church in the modern world – was there too much joy and hope?

15 Dr Timothy O’Hearn

Catholic education

16 Carmel Pilcher, RSJ

Eucharist: Vatican II’s challenge

17 Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

Conscience – doing the right thing and taking responsibility for it

18 John Thornhill, SM

Vatican II challenged the Church to leave its tidy ‘world apart’

19 Fr Trevor Trotter

The overseas mission of the Australian Church

Panel Discussion

Vatican II: Unfinished Business – Panel Discussion

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

Robert Fitzgerald, AM

Michael Whelan, SM


Homily at the Eucharist

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

The MIX Essays

22 Archbishop Francesco Canalini

Looking Forward with Confidence

23 Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

Pope John XXIII and Vatican II

24 Bishop John Heaps

Vatican II – Unfinished Business

25 Edmund Campion

Vatican II – Historical Reflections

26 Francis Moloney

Vatican II – The Word in the Church Tradition

27 Michael Costigan

Vatican II – Memories and Reflections

28 Sandie Cornish

True and False Prophets

29 Bishop Geoffrey Robinson

The Unfinished Business of Vatican II

30 Cardinal Edward Clancy

Some Thoughts on Church Dialogue

31 Bishop Michael; Malone

Vatican II – Seen but not Heard

32 Michael Whelan SM

Vatican II – The Journey from Here

33 Max Vodola

Vatican II – The Politics of ‘Aggiornamento’