Rome, Italy, Jun 28, 2010 / 11:36 am America/Denver (CNA).
From the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-walls in Rome where he was celebrating First Vespers on the eve of the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict XVI revealed this evening his plan to create a new pontifical council. The council will be aimed at addressing the "progressive secularization" of historically Christian areas.
The new Vatican dicastery will be the first created since the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care was created in 1985 by Pope John Paul II. Vatican writer Andrea Tornielli predicted the new council's creation in April 2010, saying that it would be “the most important novelty of Pope Benedict’s pontificate."
After pointing to the "extraordinary impulse" John Paul II gave to the mission of the Church and the "genuine missionary spirit" that drove him, Pope Benedict XVI said that he is drawing on this inheritance.
Noting that he asserted at the beginning of his Petrine Ministry "that the Church is young, open to the future," he emphasized, "And I repeat it today, close to the sepulchre of St. Paul: the Church is an immense renewing force in the world, not exactly for her forces, but for the force of the Gospel, in which blows the Holy Spirit of God, God creator and redeemer of the world."
In the face of current historical, social and, especially, spiritual challenges which overwhelm our human capacities, Pope Benedict remarked that "It seems sometimes we pastors of the Church (are) reliving the experience of the Apostles, when thousands of needy people followed Jesus, and He asked: what can we do for all these people? They then experienced their powerlessness."