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The Second Vatican Council

            The Second Vatican Council, an ecumenical meeting, was the first in almost a century. With it came the introduction and implementation of changes that rocked every aspect of Church life. Lasting from 1962 to 1965 under the leadership of two of the most influential Popes to ever take up an office in the Vatican, the Second Vatican Council ensured that the Church would never be the same again.
             The Second Vatican Council, otherwise known as Vatican II, was a gathering of all the Bishops in the Catholic Church that was intended to "bring the Church up to date" (aggiornamento) as Pope John XXIII acknowledged that the Church stood in need of reinvigoration and reform. Session I was convened on October 11, 1962, which was attended by 2500 Bishops, the largest gathering in the Church's history. This was sadly the only session that Pope John XXIII lived through. He died on the 3rd of June, 1963 and was succeeded by Pope Paul VI, who convened the remaining three sessions of Vatican II after playing an important part in the first session. Session II began on September 29th, 1963; Session III was convened in September 1964, and Session IV was summoned on September 14th, 1965. .
             Vatican II's first session was held by Pope John XXIII, who stated that: "Today more than ever, we are called to serve mankind as such, and not merely Catholics; to defend above all and everywhere, the rights of the human person and not merely those of the Catholic Church." The outdated traditions of the Church had turned many people away, which was a problem that Pope John XXIII wanted to address in order to make the message of faith more relevant to modern society as well as to debate and resolve centuries-old differentiations in faith with other Christians. The aims of the Council were to be limitless as every aspect of the Church was examined and discussed.
             The main them of Vatican II was that the Church wanted to emphasise its humanity.

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