Vatican II War and Peace


Vatican II War and Peace



John W. Ruff



Vatican II was the most recent ecumenical council that has been conducted within the Catholic Church. One of the most common said phrases in describing this council is that this council “updated church teachings to match the signs of our time”. Indeed, something did happen at Vatican II; many things did. A prevalent theme found within world culture around the time period of Vatican II was war. This makes sense particularly because Vatican II took place following world war II. The council did address this issue of war and peace, in one of their constitutions, Guadium et Spes. Within this presentation, I will address and analyze what Vatican II said in Guadium et Spes about war. Secondly, I will conduct an analysis on the progression of the Church’s teaching on war and peace throughout history while focusing on the Church’s peacemaking stance. Next, I will analyze the option/viewpoint of the possibility of the other argument, the argument for the legitimacy of war. Finally, I will compare and contrast the two points of views.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

William H. Johnston

Primary Advisor's Department

Religious Studies


Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

Vatican II War and Peace