- Pope John XXIII called for the opening of the council, which included representatives of different faiths and church leaders from around the world.
- The video, in Italian, shows the flavor of the opening of the council.
- Sixteen landmark documents were approved by the end of the council in 1965. They covered everything from relations with other faiths to increased role of laity in the church to reformed how Mass is celebrated.
Church Leaders Look Back
- Pope Benedict attended the council as a theologian and advisor to German bishops. He shared his thoughts as the influence of the council continues to felt in the church.
Commentators Look Back
"Vatican II, which accelerated the great historical evolution of Catholicism from a Church of institutional maintenance to a Church of evangelical mission in a genuine and Spirit-led development of self-understanding, taught Catholics that they enter mission territory every day. The degree to which each of us brings the Gospel to others is the degree to which we understand Vatican II at its golden anniversary." -- author George Weigel