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Ecclesiology, Vatican II, Feminist Theology


This paper examines what it means to be Church. It looks briefly at the idea of what was Church prior to Vatican II and then addresses the vision of Vatican II’s Church by looking at the document Lumen Gentium. It then turns to the 2014 document Sensus Fedei, which builds upon some of the discussion of the People of God. Richard Gaillardetz offers an important vision of Vatican II and a model of the noncompetitive church. While pneumatology is not the main focus, it can hardly be avoided as Lumen Gentium is filled with references to the working of the Holy Spirit when discussing the Church. The paper takes a feminist approach to better understand what is meant by the People of God and the Body of Christ as developed in the council. The concern is that this model of Church offered in Lumen Gentium is both patriarchal and hierarchal and is not life-giving to the Body of Christ. Ultimately, the model of the Trinity as perichōrēsis, relationship, provides a way to envision Church in a noncompetitive model which will speak to the entire people of God.