Vatican Announces Plans for Vatican III

Don’t panic. 


Vatican City – An official statement from the Vatican was released on Tuesday announcing the Holy See’s preliminary plans to hold a third Vatican council in the year 2962. Due to take place exactly 1000 years after the second Vatican council in 1962, early plans for Vatican III foresee possible changes taking place within the Roman Catholic Church.

"We are excited about these preliminary plans" stated Cardinal Benito Cuilasso, a spokesperson for the Vatican. We know that we are some time away from the actual date of this event, but in the Roman Catholic Church we think not in terms of today or tomorrow, but in terms of centuries for changes to take place.

Issues already slated to be discussed at the council include the possibility of delaying the subject of married priests until a fourth council can be convened, the question of whether or not Protestants can truly be saved, and the question as to whether or not Purgatory has ever really been an official doctrine of the church. Other issues that are still being examined are whether or not restrictions on eating meat should be reinstated for Fridays, the pay scale for priests, [ain’t that the truth] and possibly expanding church parishes to other currently

"Part of the difficulty of such a task as this is that one cannot predict the future" stated Cuilasso. "We know that some things will remain the same. Everyone will be wearing the same outfits, of course, and I’m sure the same furniture will still be here, but one cannot say what the world will be like."

Many have wondered, though, why the church is already looking forward to a third Vatican council when questions surrounding the the second council still remain.

"It’s too soon for this" stated one priest who wished to remain anonymous. "Vatican II was only 45 years ago, and it’s still being worked out even as we speak. I’m just very apprehensive as to whether we will be ready for another council in 955 years."

Others, though, see this as a step in the right direction.

"I’m glad we’re thinking ahead" said Rev. Mark Anthony Hodges, of St. Isaac’s Parish in Newport Beach, Virginia. "I really was expecting them to schedule the next council for sometime around the year 3500. I’m glad it’s going to be sooner so that some of these other issues can be resolved more quickly."


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Prof. Basto says:

    My heart almost stopped when reading the headline.

    Almost stopped with “luctus et angor”, to be honest.

  2. RichR says:

    Not funny…then funny.

  3. danphunter1 says:

    Has anyone viewed that horrendously frightening film called,”Conflict”, starring Martin Sheen as an emmissary from the Vatican to a small island off the coast of Ireland where they still offer the,”Latin”, mass.
    In this film, set in the future[film was released in 1973] Vatican Council IV has already taken place and the Pope is now called the “Father General”,and priests are all revolutionaries and do not wear their clerical garb,”only on special occasions”.
    Sheens character practices yoga and does not believe in the Real Prescence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
    Anyhoo the film is ultimately very depressing and concludes with a big dose of heresy.
    I recommend it to anyone that feels too upbeat and wants to come down for a while.
    Thankfully, in many ways, things have changed greatly in the Church since 1973.
    Deo Gratias.

  4. Fr. Paul McDonald says:

    That film was called “Catholics”, I think.

  5. Dominic says:

    Funny – and apt.

    I’m not aware of the film, but the plot of the film mentioned sounds very similar to that of Brian Moore’s novel “Catholics.”

    Have a safe trip across the pond, Fr Z,

  6. danphunter1 says:

    Father McDonald,
    Yes that is one of the names of the film, the original in fact.
    For some reason it also named “Conflict”. See Netflix.
    How much has Michael Gambon changed since’73?
    God bless you.

  7. Seumas says:

    Must all councils now be Vatican councils? Why can’t we have Trent II?

  8. prof. basto says:


    While the Pope can summon a Council to meet anywhere on Earth, one would
    think that any Council would be summoned to a place where the Holy See
    posesses Sovereign jurisdiction; nowadays, only Vatican City is under the
    temporal sovereignty of the Holy See, with the Lateran Palace, Castelgandolfo
    and a few other palaces enjoying extra-territorial status similar to that of
    Embassies and Nunciatures.

    In the past, the freedom of the Council was a concern too, and often
    invoved assurances from the Emperor, delays in the actual opening of the Council
    and changes of venue. And the Holy See had territorial jurisdiction over a
    much larger territory, not to mention that several Kingdoms were officially
    Catholic kingdoms, and Pope excercised a degree temporal authority in the
    whole of Christiandom, especially in the Middle Ages. Now, it would be more
    likely that for the Church to have complete control over the Council, as
    is desired, it would have to assemble within the walls of the Vatican City State,
    except if, for instance, the Pope, if he really wanted to have a Council meet
    outside the Vatican, were to enter into a treaty with the Italian Republic in order for a certain perimeter in the city of Trent to have extra-territorial status during a “Trent II” Council.

    Otherwise, it would be unwise not to benefit from the gift of Vatican temporal
    sovereignty. It exists precisely to protect the decisionmaking of the Church’s
    supreme authority from extenal pressure.

    With that being said, I hope no Ecumenical Council is summoned. What we need
    right now is more affirmation of papal authority and less collegiality. Canon
    Law states that it is up to the pope to decide when to exercise the supreme authority
    on his own and when to exercise together with the rest of the College of Bishops.

    It seems that the present situation, in which many Bishops constantly defy the pope’s
    authority, and in which there is a sentiment of “conciliarism” incompatible
    with longstanding Catholic doctrine, it would be a mistake to share more
    decision-making with undeserving Bishops.

    Whithin the monarchical system willed by our Lord, the pope, successor to the
    Prince of the Apostles, is the central and the sole fundamental piece of the Church’s
    supreme authority. Because, although Bishops, successors to the Apostles, form
    part of the essential constitution of the Church, they cannot exercise the
    supreme authority without the pope, without his approval; and the pope
    can exercise the same authority, all the same powers, to the same extent,
    either on his own, monocratically, or, if he so chooses, in a collegiate manner,
    that is, with the participation of the other members of the Episcopal College in
    the process. That is why the pope is not the Chairman of the Episcopal College,
    or its president: it is, instead, its Head. Christ placed his Vicar, the Apostle Peter, at
    the Head of the Apostolic College, and the Pope, Bishop of Rome, is the
    Successor of Peter, just as the Bishops are successors to the Apostles. In
    that system, if the Episcopal College, say, made up of a total of 10.000 bishops,
    were gathered in an Ecumenical Council convened by the Pope, and, in a certain
    vote, the Bishops were to approve a certain draft document unanimously and
    submit it to the Pope, and the pope were to decide to reject it, the document
    would be of no force, would not be a Church document, would not bind anyone,
    and no human power can overrule the papal decision. Such is the authority placed
    by Christ in the hands of Peter that not even the unanimous decision of the
    rest of the College of Bishops can prevail over the decision of the Bishop of
    Rome, Vicar of Christ, to whom we all owe filial submission and obedience.

    Until all, or almost all Bishops understand that, and become true co-workers
    of the Truth cum Petro et sub Petro, no Council should be summoned, for it
    would only create more turmoil.

  9. “Otherwise, it would be unwise not to benefit from the gift of Vatican temporal
    sovereignty. It exists precisely to protect the decisionmaking of the Church’s
    supreme authority from extenal pressure.”

    Convening a council in another place could have the advantage of allowing a little distance from the concerns and agendas of the previous Councils — a fresh look.

  10. Brian says:

    This is a joke, right?

  11. Charles A. says:

    I predict there will never be another oecumenical council. The form was utterly discredited at V2, and – moreover – was way too expensive.

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