Loading
Pope calls Vatican II a 'moment of grace' in Church history
By David Kerr
Pope Benedict greets the crowd during the Oct. 10, 2012 Wednesday general audience. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano.
Pope Benedict greets the crowd during the Oct. 10, 2012 Wednesday general audience. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano.

.- On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s opening, Pope Benedict XVI described it as a “moment of grace” in the recent history of the Church. 

“The Second Vatican Council is a strong call for us to rediscover the beauty of our faith every day, to nourish a deeper understanding of it, a more intense relationship with the Lord, to truly live our Christian vocation,” the Pope said during his Oct. 10 general audience.

“May the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and of the whole Church,” he prayed, “help us to realize and to fulfill all that the Council Fathers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, guarded in their heart: the desire that all may know the Gospel and meet the Lord Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

The Pope offered “some brief thoughts … on the great ecclesial event that was the Council” to the more than 20,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

During the 1962-65 council, Pope Benedict XVI attended as the chief theological advisor or “peritus” to Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne.

“It was a unique experience for me, after all the fervor and enthusiasm of preparation, I could see a living Church,” he recalled.

The Pope remembered the great sight of over 3,000 bishops from around the world “gathered under the guidance of the Successor of the Apostle Peter” at “the school of the Holy Spirit, the true driving force of the Council.” At few other times, he suggested, have people been able to “almost concretely ‘touch’ the universality of the Church.”

He also recalled the “the surprise of the small group of cardinals” who were present at the Roman basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls when Pope John XXIII announced the convening of the Second Vatican Council in January 1959. Unlike the previous general councils of the Church, there “were no particular errors of faith to correct or condemn,” nor were there “specific issues of doctrine or discipline to be clarified,” Pope Benedict explained.

The reason for the Council, Benedict XVI said, was spelled out by Pope John in his opening speech when he stated that “faith had to speak in a ‘renewed,’ more incisive way” in a rapidly changing world, while “keeping its perennial contents” and “without giving in or compromising.” 

“The Pope wanted the Church to reflect on her faith, on the truths that guide her, but this serious, in-depth reflection on faith, had to outline the relationship between the Church and the modern age,” Pope Benedict noted.

Borrowing a phrase from Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict described the documents that emerged from the council’s discussion as “a sure compass” for the Church in the contemporary world.

Fifty years after the start of the council, Catholics “must learn the simplest and most basic lesson of the Council,” he said, “namely that Christianity in its essence consists in faith in God, which is love of the Trinity, and in the encounter, both personal and communal, with Christ who directs and guides life.” From this understanding “everything else follows.”

Tags: Pope Benedict, General audience, Vatican II


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
19

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Gospel
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Homily
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: