Skip to main content
Dr. Charles Curran Engages with the Question: What Has Been the Most Important Event for the Catholic Church in the Modern World?
Browse Entire Collection
  • Charles E Curran, Southern Methodist University
  • Alfred Benney, Fairfield University
Document Type
Interview Date
What has been the most important event for the Catholic Church in the modern world? Rev. Dr. Charles Curran discusses the importance of the Second Vatican Council as the most vital event of American Roman Catholicism in the past 100 years. He speaks of how Vatican II changed the faith of the ordinary Catholic, especially through changes in the liturgy. He highlights changes in the role of Scripture, the need for inter-religious dialogue, and the freedom of religion, which he says is the major contribution of American Catholicism. Curran also comments on the importance of the teachings of Humanae Vitae, and its effect on disagreements regarding non-essential Church teachings.

Playing Time: 4:37 minutes

About the Interviewee:

Rev. Dr. Charles E. Curran is the Elizabeth Scurlock University Chair of Human Values at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Curran is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has authored over three hundred publications on Catholic moral theology, social ethics, and the role of the Church as a moral and political actor in society. His book Catholic Moral Theology in the United States: A History (Georgetown University Press, 2008) won the American Publisher's Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in Theology and Religion and the First Place Prize in History in the Catholic Press Association Book Awards.

About the Interviewer:

Dr. Alfred Benney is a professor of Religious Studies at Fairfield University. He has a Ph.D in Theology from the Hartford Seminary Foundation and teaches courses in Non-Traditional American Religions and Christian Religious Thought. His research interests include "how people learn"; "the appropriate use of technology in teaching/learning" and "myth as explanatory narrative". He has published work on teaching with technology.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0
Citation Information
Charles E Curran and Alfred Benney. "Dr. Charles Curran Engages with the Question: What Has Been the Most Important Event for the Catholic Church in the Modern World?" (2002)
Available at: