Ressourcement, Vatican II, and Eucharistic Ecclesiology
The scriptural and patristic understanding that ‘the Eucharist makes the Church’ was recovered in the ressourcement that preceded the Second Vatican Council and reflected in the teaching of the council itself. This chapter provides a brief historical and theological account of the relationship between the Eucharist and the church, highlighting the medieval shift that resulted in the church being understood more juridically than sacramentally, and focusing on major figures, both Catholic (e.g. Henri de Lubac) and Orthodox (e.g. Nicholas Afanassieff), who contributed to the modern renewal of eucharistic ecclesiology. Understanding the Eucharist as ‘the principal manifestation of the Church’, the council spoke of local communities as churches, of bishops as high priests, and developed the crucial doctrine of episcopal collegiality to complement the First Vatican Council's teaching on the papacy.
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