So MUCH THAT was decisive in the first session of the Second Vatican Council did not happen in the aula. Outside the individual sessions, too, bishops and theologians set themselves energetically to clarifying and discussing the problems that arose. The point of the papers collected here, whose publication was urged on me by my Dutch publisher, is a glance both forwards and backwards.
Backwards: They are meant to give an impression of the work bound up with this first session of Vatican II. They consist of lectures and statements made at Rome during that time, to numerous meetings of bishops from various countries and continents, in pontifical colleges and houses of orders, in press conferences and broadcasts. From the nature of the case, much that is in them (repetition being sometimes unavoidable) harks back to things I had published earlier, especially The Council, Reform and Reunion and Strukturen der Kirche,* conceived as a preparation for the Council and for what would come after it. There are also a few inevitable repetitions within the text itself, as the same material is approached from slightly different angles.
These papers are a reflection both of the freedom and of the sanity of the Council's discussions, which always called a spade a spade and thus made it possible for even this first session to make an essential contribution to the renewal of the Church in preparation for the reunion of separated Christians.
Forwards: Vatican II is not an end but a beginning. Everything discussed and decided at it needs to be explained and, above all, put____________________