Vatican City, Oct 11, 2012 / 08:44 am
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.