The Second Vatican Council continues to be of great importance as it serves as “the necessary foundation for communion between all those who make up the Church,” affirmed Bishop Jose Ignacio Munilla of San Sebastian, Spain.
The council closed 45 years ago on Dec. 8.
The bishop spoke of Vatican II's importance during his homily on the Dec. 8 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
“The Second Vatican Council is not the property of any one faction of the Catholic Church. It must not be used for division but rather for communion. To do the contrary would be to manipulate reality,” he said.
Bishop Munilla recalled that the council was opened by John XXIII on the feast of Mary the Mother of God in 1962, and closed by Paul VI on the feast of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8, 1965. “As Pope Benedict XVI has reminded us, Vatican II took place between these two Marian feasts,” he underscored.
Bishop Munilla went on to stress that Vatican II must not be understood as a break with the past, but rather, as Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out, as a continuity with the tradition of the Church, a “hermeneutic of ‘reform'.”
“That is,” he continued, “the council is not a rupture with the previous tradition, but rather a necessary reform in continuity with the Magisterium before and after the Second Vatican Council.”
For this reason, he said, if the council is read and understood properly, it can be “an increasingly greater force for the ever-necessary renewal of the Church. In the Second Vatican Council we find the essential foundation for communion between all those who make up the Church,” he concluded.