A leading Catholic intellectual explains why the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are essential to the Church's future—and the world's

The Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) was the most important Catholic event in the past five hundred years. Yet sixty years after its opening on October 11, 1962, its meaning remains sharply contested and its promise unfulfilled.

In To Sanctify the World, George Weigel explains the necessity of Vatican II and explores the continuing relevance of its teaching in a world seeking a deeper experience of freedom than personal willfulness. The Council’s texts are also a critical resource for the Catholic Church as it lives out its original, Christ-centered evangelical purpose.

Written with insight and verve, To Sanctify the World recovers the true meaning of Vatican II as the template for a Catholicism that can propose a path toward genuine human dignity and social solidarity.


“Anyone interested in a bold yet authentic interpretation of Vatican II should read this book, in which George Weigel persuasively demonstrates that the Council -- the Holy Spirit's greatest gift to Catholicism in the twentieth century -- was not so much about reinventing and 'modernizing' the Church as Christifying and converting the world.”
 —Robert Barron, Bishop of Winona-Rochester and Founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries
 “Historians tell us that the genuine interpretation of an Ecumenical Council’s teaching usually at least takes sixty years to settle. That means we are now at the point of serenely and sanely understanding the authentic magisterium of Vatican Council II. And count on George Weigel to provide an attractive and compelling synthesis of it.”—His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan
“In a time of widespread Christological amnesia and even denial, George Weigel’s new book offers a bracing remedy. He provides a magisterial recovery of the Christological vision and commitment that permeate the documents of the Second Vatican Council and that illuminate the Church’s way forward. It is the way toward the sanctification of the world through living and sharing faith in Jesus Christ who is the true joy of the Gospel.”—Robert Imbelli, author of Rekindling the Christic Imagination
“In explaining why Vatican II was necessary and what it taught, George Weigel has given us a rich history of the Catholic Church’s efforts to meet the challenges of modernity.  Viewed in their intellectual, social and political context, the personalities, debates, and documents of that momentous event emerge with new clarity in this remarkable work.  Meticulously documented, yet eminently readable, To Sanctify the World is a matchless guide to the meaning and import of the Second Vatican Council.”—Mary Ann Glendon, author of A World Made New and The Forum and the Tower
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