Evangelicals and the Roman Catholic Church since Vatican II

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How have relations between Roman Catholicism and evangelicalism changed since the Second Vatican Council? This article examines their relationship by referencing the writings of several evangelical theologians as well as several recent evangelical-Catholic dialogues.

Vatican II (1962-1965) is widely regarded as one of the most significant events of the Twentieth century. Beside the immense influence exerted on Catholic theology and life, the Council which has brought ‘aggiornamento’ to the Roman church, has also stirred evangelicals to ‘aggiornamento’ in their perception and evaluation of Roman Catholicism (henceforth RC). Following Vatican II, deeply entrenched preconceptions which had accompanied centuries of confessional controversy and polemical attitudes were questioned by a reinvigorated Catholicism which forced non-Catholics to reposition their stance towards it. The history of the last forty years is the story of how the challenge to rethink Evangelical-Catholic relationships has been worked out by evangelicals in the light of the new phase inaugurated at
the Council and presents the opportunity to reflect on the criteria of the evangelical involvement in the quest for unity in the present-day ecumenical scenario….Download the full article’s pdf here.