Rev Dr Peter Phillips showcased a Church rich in resource and action

Rev Dr Peter Phillips speaks at 4th Year of Faith study day

At the most recent study day, Rev Dr Peter Phillips spoke about the profound effect the Council had on the Church itself. He talked about the teachings in Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes, the two Constitutions of Vatican II which speak of the Church’s mission, and how these have called the laity to share in Jesus’ threefold office of being Priest, Prophet and King. He mentioned Pope Francis referring to himself as Bishop of Rome, and pointed to the laity’s role in supporting all Bishops in their work within the Church. Fr Peter emphasised to the keen audience that Christ’s teaching is not so much His word, but Christ himself.

He also referred to Mary McAleese’s book Quo Vadis? Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law, highlighting the fact that the universal Church cannot exist without the local Church. Unity in the Church, Fr Peter told us, doesn’t stop diversity, rather it embraces it.

What has happened to the Church since Vatican II?

An audience of all ages listen to Fr Peter speakThe Second Vatican Council is greater than the documents created in it, influential and valuable though they are. There are also different understandings of the Council, and the Church must work with the creative tension this produces. Fr Peter showed the audience a Church that must acknowledge the issues it has, even if it has not yet found the answers to them all. He also showcased a Church rich in resource and action, with great positive results, many of which can be traced to the Second Vatican Council and its work.

If you missed the day, then you will soon be able to hear some of Fr Peter’s words on the podcast, which will arrive on this site shortly.

More study days to come

Celebrating the Year of Faith and 50 years since the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, the Brentwood Diocesan Commission for Evangelisation and Formation continues its series of Study Days on the influence of Vatican II. Previous talks have explored the difference the Council has made within the Catholic Church, how it has contributed to the present ecumenical situation and how the long overdue invitation to Catholics to study Scripture came to be written.

The last Year of Faith ecumenical study day will take place in October. The Rt Hon John Battle will offer a talk entitled ‘Vatican II and Beyond’. These events are free of charge and CEF welcome Christians from the Diocese and beyond. Booking is essential, so contact CEF at or 01277 265289 to secure your place or to find out more.

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