Date of Award

Spring 1984

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Carey, Patrick W.

Second Advisor

Egan, Keith J.

Third Advisor

Fehr, Wayne


Comparatively few studies have been done on the implementation of the ecclesiology of Vatican II on the local level. Little has been said regarding the theological development which resulted from such a program of ecclesiastical reform. Research pointed to the simultaneous re-emergence of the circle as a dominant western cultural symbol and as a dominant ecclesial symbol in the documents of Vatican II. The implementation of the conciliar decrees in the Diocese of Victoria, British Columbia unleashed the power of this archetypal image. The purpose of this paper is to show what happens when a diocese deliberately chooses to implement the ecclesiology of Vatican II thereby setting this symbol in motion. This study asked the following questions: What happens when a bishop deliberately tries to implement the theology of Vatican II? What are the successes and failures involved and why? What lessons are to be learned from one Church's experience which may be helpful to others? In order to answer these questions the study demonstrated that the archetypal image of the circle re-emerged as a dominant cultural and ecclesial symbol in the 1960s. It then proceeded to treat of Bishop Remi J. De Roo's perceptions of Vatican II in the light of .that same symbol and to reveal its presence in the successive stages of the implementation. The results of this study reveal that the first stage of the implementation, the formation of new collegial-type ecclesial structures, brought the circle into conscious awareness. The second phase, the rise of new lay ministries and small communities, demonstrated that the new values presented by Vatican II had been internalized and were now externalizing themselves in participatory functions and groups. All of these ministries and groups manifested the reciprocal interaction between diakonia and koinonia which may be symbolized by circular imagery. In the third phase the real spiritual renewal called for by Vatican II began to surface through the experience of ecclesial mysticism as celebrated in word and sacrament. Finally, the study showed that as the local Church returns to ecclesial mysticism it is called to deepen its prophetic role by calling the Church and the world to social justice.



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