holy see

Vatican II

Priests celebrating Mass

The 'Year of Faith' will begin on 11 October 2012, the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. The documents of the Council offer very important teaching in support of the Church’s ongoing mission.

It is suggested that you read and study four Constitutions described as the ‘pillars of the Council’. 

These Constitutions are:

I. Lumen Gentium - on the Church

II. Sacrosanctum Concilium - on the Sacred liturgy

III. Dei Verbum - on Divine Revelation

IV. Gaudium et Spes - on the Church in the Modern World

One of the repeated themes of Pope Benedict’s writings has been the importance of reading and interpreting the documents of Vatican II in the right way, using what he describes as the ‘right hermeneutic’, or interpretation.

The use of a correct interpretive approach is essential to reaching a proper understanding of the Truth in Scriptureand in the teaching documents of the Church. This correct approach is sometimes called a ‘hermeneutic of continuity’. This may sound a little complicated, but in simplicity it affirms that a Catholic can only properly understand a Christian teaching if he or she takes into account what both Scripture and the Magisterium have said on a subject. Any understanding which fastens on what Scripture says to the exclusion of the Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Church) or which fastens on this or that statement of the Magisterium in preference to others may be incorrect.


Documents of the Second Vatican Council

The Bible

Catechism of the Catholic Church


Official Year of Faith website of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization


Year of Faith Programme

YOF-programme.pdf 2.59 MB

A programme on the Year of Faith in the Catholic Church containing information, resources and projects to celebrate the year.