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"When I was young..." Pope shares his own Vatican II memories

In yesterday's general audience, the Pope (left in the picture) eloquently recollected his experience of the Second Vatican Council.

  • Pope Benedict XVI
  • Vatican City
  • October 11, 2012
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We are on the eve of the day when we will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Ecumenical Council Vatican II and the beginning of the Year of Faith. With this Catechesis I would like to begin to reflect – with some brief thoughts – on the great ecclesial event that was the Council, an event of which I was a direct witness.

It, so to speak, appears to us like a giant fresco, painted in its great diversity and variety of elements, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And just like before a great work of art, still today we continue to grasp that moment of grace, that extraordinary richness, to rediscover particular passages, fragments, pieces.

Blessed John Paul II, on the threshold of the third millennium, wrote: “I feel more than ever in duty bound to point to the Council as the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning” (Apostolic Letter. NMI, 57).

I think this is telling. The documents of the Second Vatican Council, to which we must return freeing them from a mass of publications that often instead of making them known, have hidden them, are, for our time, a compass that allows the ship of the Church to set sail, in midst of storms or calm and quiet waters, to navigate safely and reach port.

I remember I was a young professor of fundamental theology at the University of Bonn at that time, and it was the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Frings, a human and priestly point of reference for me, who took me with him to be his consultant theologian, later I was also appointed a council expert.

It was a unique experience for me, after all the fervor and enthusiasm of preparation, I could see a living Church – almost three thousand Council Fathers from all parts of the world gathered under the guidance of the Successor of the Apostle Peter – at the school of the Holy Spirit, the true driving force of the Council.

Rarely in history have we been able, as then, to almost concretely “touch” the universality of the Church at a time of great accomplishment of its mission to bring the Gospel to all ages and to the ends of the earth. These days, if you see once again the images of the opening of this great Gathering, on television or other media, you too will be able to feel the joy, hope and encouragement taking part in this event of light gave to all of us, a light which radiates still today.

Full Story: Benedict on Vatican II: “I remember I was a young professor of theology…”

Source: Patheos
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