Study Resources

At the inaugural meeting of our Education Task Group it was considered that the priority focus for our own education should be the documents of Vatican II.  It soon became clear that these documents required context and interpretation  to readily access their meaning and relevance.  Thus we recommend, as well as the texts themselves, the following resources.

We envision that these references (and others as they come to our notice) will be used for individual study and/or for local discussion groups.

Recommended Books

N.B. Just click on the title to see more info about the resource.

Keys to the Council: Unlocking the Teaching of Vatican II (2012)

Dr. Richard Gaillardetz and Dr. Catherine E. Clifford

Published by Liturgical Press

Also available at A great place to start if the topic is not familiar to you! Reviewers said:

"The passion and commitment of these two esteemed professors is evident in each of these twenty short chapters on key conciliar texts. Combining expert knowledge with strong pedagogical skills, their presentation provides broader access to the legacy of that most memorable event in the history of Christianity since the Reformation-the Second Vatican Council."

- Gilles Routhier, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Laval University

"With Vatican II for so many an event in the distant past, this book is brilliantly conceived. Selecting twenty significant passages or conciliar 'keys,' unpacking them in their historical contexts, and providing brief theological expositions, it recovers the council's vision and brings it to bear on a host of contemporary issues. With short, non-technical chapters and sidebar definitions, it could serve as an excellent teaching text."

-Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology, Loyola Marymount University

"I recommend Keys to the Council to anyone interested in Vatican II and its impact on the Catholic Church today, fifty years after the opening of the council. This brilliant introduction to the key documents of the council is absolutely indispensable to understanding which of these keys of Vatican II have been received into the life and culture of Catholicism. Clifford and Gaillardetz have produced a masterful synthesis on Vatican II, the most important event in the history of Catholic theology in the last 500 years."

-Massimo Faggioli, Assistant Professor of Theology, University of St. Thomas, Author of Reforming the Liturgy, Reforming the Church at Vatican II

Reaping the Harvest: Fifty years after Vatican II (2012)

Ed Dr Suzanne Mulligan

This is a compilation by three Irish based authors, including Dr. James Corkery SJ and Dr Gerry O'Hanlon SJ.

Published by: Columba Press

See for a review.

Keeping Open the Door of Faith : The Legacy of Vatican II (2012)

Bishop Donal Murray

Published by Veritas

What happened at Vatican II (2012)

John W. O'Malley S.J.

Published by: Harvard University Press

See  for reviews

Receiving the Council: Theological Insights and Debates (2009)

Lasilas Orsy SJ

The author is a  theologian and canon lawyer with an MA in Law (Oxford).

Published by: Liturgical Press

See for a review.

Same-Sex Marriage and Children: A Tale of History, Social Science, and Law

Professor Carlos A. Ball

Professor Carlos A Ball is an expert on constitutional law. He has gathered all the available research on children parented by same-sex couples and  reaches the obvious conclusion that the quality of parenting is the biggest influence on children. But he is also able to provide the scientific evidence to support it.

Published by: Oxford University Press 

  • ISBN-10: 0199977879
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199977871

Recommended Websites:

Theology Library at Spring Hill College

The following website is a reliable resource for well referenced articles and papers on all manner of theological topics, in particular Vatican 11.  The full text of the Vatican II documents are included at the end of the menu.

Goto : Second Vatican Council

(Instructions  below for those unfamiliar with using  the internet and copying and pasting text from webpages.)

  1. Type into your search engine or click the link
  2. This will bring you to a homepage. It contains a series of headings with a table beneath showing various topics
  3. Under the heading CHURCH click the box showing  Second Vatican Council
  4. This will open a menu or table of contents listing a selection of articles.
  5. Click the cursor on a title to open the text.
  6. If you prefer to read from a hard (paper) copy "select"( i.e. use the cursor to highlight) the text click 'copy' and 'paste' this into a new Word document.  You will be able to print from here.

'Tainted by radical feminism'? More like 'living the Gospel'
'World's largest website giving all the arguments for and against the ordination of women