Loading
Pope opens Year of Faith, calls for return to Vatican II documents
By David Kerr
Pope Benedict XVI blesses pilgrims at the Oct. 11, 2012 opening Mass for the Year of Faith. Credit: Matthew Rarey-CNA.
Pope Benedict XVI blesses pilgrims at the Oct. 11, 2012 opening Mass for the Year of Faith. Credit: Matthew Rarey-CNA.

.- Pope Benedict XVI opened the Year of Faith in Rome with a call for a new evangelization rooted in an authentic interpretation of the documents of the Second Vatican Council.

“I have often insisted on the need to return, as it were, to the ‘letter’ of the Council – that is to its texts – also to draw from them its authentic spirit, and (it is) why I have repeated that the true legacy of Vatican II is to be found in them,” the Pope said Oct. 11 to approximately 30,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the opening Mass of the Year of Faith.

Speaking on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the Pope said that “reference to the documents saves us from extremes of anachronistic nostalgia and running too far ahead." Thus, “the new” can be welcomed “in a context of continuity.”

In scenes deliberately reminiscent of the opening of the Second Vatican Council on Oct. 11, 1962, the Mass began with a grand procession of over 400 bishops from around the world. During the liturgy, the same book of the Gospels that was used throughout the three years of the council was placed on the same golden throne that cradled it 50 years ago.

Pope Benedict also chose to concelebrate Mass with 14 of the 70 surviving Council Fathers.

As a young priest and academic, Pope Benedict XVI was present at the Second Vatican Council in an advisory capacity to Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne. Today in his homily the Pope recalled how he felt during those years.

“During the Council there was an emotional tension as we faced the common task of making the truth and beauty of the faith shine out in our time, without sacrificing it to the demands of the present or leaving it tied to the past,” he recalled.

He lamented that when the council closed in 1965 many Catholics misinterpreted its documents and “embraced uncritically the dominant mentality.” In doing so, they placed in doubt “the very foundations of the deposit of faith, which they sadly no longer felt able to accept as truths,” he said.

But the Second Vatican Council “did not formulate anything new in matters of faith, nor did it wish to replace what was ancient,” Pope Benedict stated. Rather, it was concerned with seeing that “the same faith might continue to be lived in the present day, that it might remain a living faith in a world of change.”

For that reason, the Pope said he hopes the Year of Faith will “revive in the whole Church that positive tension” between “the eternal presence of God” that transcends time but “can only be welcomed by us in our own unrepeatable today.”

Despite predictions of an increasingly secularized world, Pope Benedict said that he sees “innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life.” These signs include the upsurge in popularity of traditional pilgrimage routes such as the Way of St. James in northern Spain.

Towards the close of the Mass, Pope Benedict XVI reenacted his predecessor Pope Paul VI’s conclusion of the Second Vatican Council by issuing a series of “Messages to the People of God,” including rulers, scientists, artists, women, workers and the young.

American journalist Kathryn Lopez of the National Review Online received the message to women, while Scottish composer James MacMillan was entrusted with the message to artists.

Pope Benedict concluded the ceremony by entrusting the Year of Faith to Our Lady, praying that “the Virgin Mary always shine out as a star along the way of the new evangelization.”

Tags: New Evangelization, Pope Benedict, Year of Faith

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?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Sep
2

Liturgical Calendar

September 2, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Gospel
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 2:10B-16
Gospel:: Lk 4:31-37

Saint of the Day

Martyrs of September »

Saint
Date
08/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Homily
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: