A Brief History of Catholic Time

Mark S. Massa

in The American Catholic Revolution

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199734122
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866373 | DOI:
A Brief History of Catholic Time

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This chapter introduces the law of unintended consequences for understanding Catholic changes since Vatican II. The law of unintended consequences simply refers to the insight that historical actions, once undertaken, have consequences of their own, regardless of the actors who made them. This insight is especially important with regard to the Second Vatican Council, as recent debates centered on the intentions of the participants at the event in 1962–65. The chapter thus offers a distinctive point of view on what many refer to as the “Vatican II battles” over the meaning of that Council: it argues that Catholics first recognized historical change in the years after the Second Vatican Council. It was the growth of this historical consciousness within the Church that set off the battles within the Catholic community. The chapter thus sets up the narrative that follows.

Keywords: Catholic history; Catholic changes; Vatican II battles; historical change and Catholics; historical consciousness; second Vatican council

Chapter.  5764 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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