BRISBANE deacon Anthony Gooley has written a book he hopes will more fully break open the documents of the Second Vatican Council for non-theologians.
“Bite-Size Vatican II – A Very Basic Guide to the Council and its Four Constitutions” is a commentary on Lumen Gentium: The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church; Sacrosanctum Concilium: The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy; Dei Verbum: The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation; and Gaudium et Spes: The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World.
“It’s for non-theologians … people in the pews,” Deacon Gooley said.
“It’s meant to be a basic adult faith education resource.”
Deacon Gooley, who has qualifications in psychology, education and theology, has taught in Catholic high schools, adult faith education programs, and theology at university.
He said much of his motivation for writing the book came from his work with adult faith education groups around Brisbane archdiocese.
“So frequently I encountered young people who had never heard of the (Second Vatican Council),” Deacon Gooley said.
He said the council, held from 1962-65, was like ancient history to them.
“And with some of the older ones I’d say things about the council, and they’d say ‘How come we never knew about this?’,” he said.
Deacon Gooley said his book was also a response to the Year of Faith (2012-13) when Catholics were urged to study the documents of the Second Vatican Council.
He said the purpose of his book was to make the documents more accessible so that people may then feel more comfortable in “tackling the documents themselves”.
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, in endorsing the book, said Deacon Gooley was “able to express deep and complex theological themes in language which most Catholics can understand”.
“These pages will inspire readers to learn more of the Catholic faith and to understand the gift which it is,” Archbishop Coleridge wrote.
Deacon Gooley said he hoped teachers would use the book, and Brisbane Catholic Education executive director Pam Betts supported that in the endorsement she wrote.
“Using simple and direct language the book manages to explain deep theological issues in language understandable by those with only foundational knowledge of theology and religious studies,” Ms Betts wrote.
“Teachers will find in it an invaluable resource for professional and personal development.”
Deacon Gooley said he would use the book as the basis for adult faith education sessions in several parishes around the archdiocese, starting with Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kenmore, on June 30 at 7.30pm.
The book is available at St Paul’s Book Centre, Brisbane, for $24.95 or from the centre online.