Volume 32, Issue 1/2, 2020
Karl Rahner at Vatican II
Karl Rahner had a powerful influence on Vatican II for four well-known reasons: his fluency in Latin, his intellectual brilliance, his strenuous work ethic, and his wide knowledge of Catholic theology. Rahner’s contribution as a peritus was surpassed only by Gérard Philips and Yves Congar, all three of whom advised the key conciliar fathers such as Cardinals Suenens, König, and Frings. This essay traces the influence of Rahner on the four Vatican II Constitutions, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Lumen Gentium, Dei Verbum, and Gaudium et Spes. It concludes with a reflection on the pastoral care that infused his work.