Sources of Renewal by Pope John Paul II

(New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1972/1980), 456


by Rev. Adam Kubiś

  • The primary object of the Council was to bring the Church up to date and point the way to the union of Christians
  • The title Sources of Renewal itself suggests clearly that the Author regards Vatican II as the cornerstone of the aggiornamento. It is his conviction that the Council is a sign of the times for the Church, relating eternal human problems to the Gospel in their contemporary forms and clarifying them by its light.
  • This work as a whole is a synthesis of the main points of the teaching of Vatican II. It is a reply to the question: "what does it mean to be a Christian, to live in the Church and in the modern world?"
  • Sources of Renewal was written by Cardinal Wojtyla for the guidance of the Pastoral Synod of the archdiocese of Crakow which was then beginning its work.
  • Previous Councils were dogmatic and apologetic. Vatican II was primarily pastoral: it sought to give a positive presentation of the faith, above all in its relation to modern man and the modern world.


  • Vatican II has a "unique and unrepeatable meaning for all who took part"
  • This book is intended as a study of 'initiation'. It is not a commentary on the Council documents. It is an introduction to the documents from the point of view of translating them into the life and faith of the Church.

    Part I: The Basic Significance of Conciliar Initiation

Chapter I: The need for an enrichment of faith

  • The implementation of Vatican II must be based on the principle of the "enrichment of faith", i.e. increasingly full participation in divine truth (15), an enrichment of the whole existence of the believing member of the Church (18)
  • Every Council is an act of the supreme magisterium of the Church (16)
  • The teaching of the magisterium is concerned essentially with questions of faith and morals: what men and women should believe in and in what manner, and hence how they should olive according to their faith (17)
  • A pastoral Council proclaims, recalls or clarifies truths for the primary purpose of giving Christians a life-style, a way of thinking and acting (18)
  • This work focuses on the consciousness of Christians and the attitudes they should acquire (18)

Chapter II: Faith as God's gift, and also as man's conscious attitude

Chapter III: Faith and dialogue

Chapter IV: The consciousness of the Church as the main foundation of Conciliar initiation

Part II: The Formation of Consciousness

Chapter I: The consciousness of creation

Chapter II: Revelation of the Trinity, and awareness of salvation

Chapter III: Christ and the consciousness of redemption

  1. Redemption as a reality constantly directed towards man in the world
  2. Redemption as a reality permanently at work in the Church
  3. Mary in the mystery of Christ and the Church

Chapter IV: The consciousness of the Church as the People of God

  1. The individual's vocation in the community
  2. The consciousness of the Church as People of God ad intra and ad extra
  3. Communio, the link uniting the Church as People of God
  4. Koinonia and diakonia: the hierarchical order of the Church

Chapter V: The historical and eschatological consciousness of the Church as the People of God

  1. The history of salvationThe evolution of the world and the increase of the Kingdom
  2. The eschatological character of the Church and the renewal of the world
  3. The meaning of holiness. Mary as a figure of the Church

Part III: The Formation of Attitudes

Chapter I: Mission and testimony as the basis of the enrichment of faith

Chapter II: Analysis of the attitude of participation

  1. The munus sacerdotale: sharing in Christ's priesthood
  2. The munus propheticum: responsibility for the Word of God
  3. The munus regale as the basis of Christian morlaity

Chapter III: The attitude of human identity and Christian responsibility

  1. Identity and solidarity
  2. The main spheres of Christian responsibility

Chapter IV: The ecumenical attitude

Chapter V: The apostolic attitude

  1. The apostolate
  2. Training

    Chapter VI: Building up the Church as a community

  3. Synthesis of structures and attitudes

  4. The specific character of the missionary community
  5. The community of the Church and religious freedom


Topic: Vatican II (read for Lent 2024 Vatican II Study)


Created: 2023-09-03-Sun
Updated: 2024-05-07-Tue