Calling Vatican II “an extraordinary ecclesial event,” Pope Benedict XVI has written to members of an international congress on the pontificate of John Paul II and the council, saying that the council’s documents must continue to be applied to the Church to lead people to Christ and give them hope.
The Pontiff sent the message to the St. Bonaventure Pontifical Theological Faculty which is hosting an international congress that opened today in Rome to discuss the theme, “Vatican Council II on the Pontificate of John Paul II.”
In his letter, Benedict XVI noted that John Paul II “welcomed the fundamental tenets of Vatican II,” making him a “qualified interpreter and coherent witness of the Council.”
John Paul II’s “constant concern was to make everyone aware of the advantages that would ensue from welcoming the conciliar vision, not only for the good of the Church, but also for that of civil society and of the people in it."
"We are all debtors of that extraordinary ecclesial event," Pope Benedict said as he described how the “vast doctrinal patrimony” found in the council’s Dogmatic Constitutions, Declarations and Decrees, “still stimulates us to a deep appraisal of the Word of the Lord in order to apply it to the Church today.”
Before concluding his message, the Pope also discussed St. Bonaventure’s teachings and Vatican II saying that the Church Father “can still offer you valid guidelines with which to approach the conciliar documents in order to seek satisfying answers to the many questions of our time.”