On this site Catholic questions are often answered very well by self avowed Catholics. Often two such users will argue well their viewpoints, but reach very different conclusions. For example see as Does the Catholic Church officially recognize Protestants as Christians?

In the comments, I have learned that there are adherents to the Church under a set of doctrines called Vatican I and another group adhering to Vatican II.

What are the major divides between the two and which group is the larger?

  • Vatican I defined Papal Infallibility. Vatican II was an Ecumenical Council. What is your question?
    – Ken Graham
    Jul 8, 2016 at 0:06
  • @ken Graham my question is do Catholics divide themselves over the acceptance and rejection of v1 v2
    – User 14
    Jul 8, 2016 at 0:49
  • @kris Short answer is No. Vatican I was an ecumenical council convened for a particular reason. A more critical pre-Vatican II ecumenical council, in terms of doctrine and how the Church relates to the world, was the Council of Trent. Jul 8, 2016 at 12:43
  • @KenGraham Vatican I was an ecumenical (i.e., general) council, too.
    – Geremia
    Jul 8, 2016 at 14:44
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of For Catholics who object to Vatican II, what are the key issues?.
    – Geremia
    Jul 8, 2016 at 15:01

1 Answer 1


I think you're misunderstanding a few of the issues; so let's get some background out of the way.

The First Vatican Council was an ecumenical council of bishops of the Catholic Church held at the Vatican in 1870. A number of important issues were discussed, and some Church doctrine was formalized; perhaps the most important of these issues was papal infallibility. (Not all Catholics agreed with what the Church had stated about the Pope being, in certain circumstances, infallible; many of these broke away and established what's now called the Old Catholic Church.)

The Second Vatican Council, another ecumenical council, was likewise held at the Vatican between 1962 and 1965. A number of things were discussed here, largely relating to the Church in its relationship to the modern world. Several documents came out of the Council: many appeared, at least at first sight, to contradict things which had been accepted for years in the Church, even stated as dogma. Answers to this question offer an overview of what the disagreements were and why they arose.

Unfortunately, neither those who accept not those who reject the teachings promulgated by Vatican II regard those on the other side as part of the true Catholic Church. It is reasonable to say, however, that far fewer than half a billion people (that is, half the number of people calling themselves Catholic) do in fact reject the Council and its teachings.

  • Not my greatest answer. I have time tomorrow morning to amend, but a good part of your question is answered in the one I linked. Jul 8, 2016 at 0:54
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    As a suggestion, you might mention that there is no inherent contradiction between what Vatican I taught about infallibility and what Vatican II taught. In fact Lumen Gentium has a great exposition and explanation of that dogma. Jul 8, 2016 at 5:26
  • 2
    As this question has been closed as a duplicate (I'm not positive it is}, I'll leave my answer be. Jul 10, 2016 at 3:02

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