Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Vatican Information Service

10/11/2012 (2 years ago)

Vatican Information Service

The important thing today, as was the desire of the Council Fathers, is for us to see - clearly and anew - that God is present

The documents of Vatican Council II are, even in our own time, a compass guiding the ship of the Church as she sails on the open seas, amidst tempests or peaceful waves, to reach her destination. Vatican Council II is a powerful appeal to us to make a daily rediscovery of the beauty of our faith, to understand it deeply through a more intense relationship with the Lord, and to live out our Christian vocation to the full.

Sail Ship in the night

Sail Ship in the night

Highlights

By Vatican Information Service

Vatican Information Service

10/11/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Vatican, Vatican II, Pope Benedict XVI, New Evangelization, Synod, Bishops, renewal, Pope benedict XVI


VATICAN CITY (VIS) - "We have reached the eve of the day on which we will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican Council II and the beginning of the Year of Faith", said Benedict XVI at the start of his catechesis during this morning's general audience in St. Peter's Square. "And it is about the great ecclesial event of the Council that I wish to speak", he explained.

"The documents of Vatican Council II are, even in our own time, a compass guiding the ship of the Church as she sails on the open seas, amidst tempests or peaceful waves, to reach her destination". Vatican II, in which Pope Benedict participated as a young professor of fundamental theology at the University of Bonn, was, he said, "a unique experience" during which "I was able to witness the living Church ... which places herself at the school of the Holy Spirit, the true driving force behind the Council. Rarely in history has it been possible, as it was then, to touch almost physically the universality of the Church at a moment of peak fulfilment of her mission to carry the Gospel into all ages and unto the ends of the earth".

In Church history Vatican II was preceded by many other Councils such as Nicea, Ephesus, Chalcedon and Trent. In general though, they met to define fundamental elements of the faith, and particularly to the correct errors endangering that faith. This was not the case with Vatican Council II, because at that time "there were no particular errors of the faith to correct and condemn, nor were there specific questions of doctrine and discipline to be clarified. ... The first question that arose during the preparation of this great event was how to begin, what task to give it. Blessed John XXIII in his opening address of 11 October fifty years ago gave some general guidelines: the faith had to speak with a 'renewed' and more incisive voice, because the world was changing rapidly, but it had to maintain its perennial message intact, without giving way or compromising.

"The Pope", Benedict XVI added, "wanted the Church to reflect upon her faith and upon the truths that guide her. But that serious and profound reflection ... had to be the starting point for a new relationship between the Church and the modern age, between Christianity and certain essential elements of modern thought, not in order to seek conformity, but to show our world, which tends to distance itself from God, the requirements of the Gospel in all its greatness and purity".

"The age in which we live continues to be marked by forgetfulness and deafness towards God. I believe, then, that we must learn the simplest and most fundamental lesson of the Council: that the essence of Christianity consists in faith in God, ... and in the individual and community encounter with Christ Who guides our lives. ... The important thing today, as was the desire of the Council Fathers, is for us to see - clearly and anew - that God is present, that He concerns us and responds to us. And when faith in God is lacking our essential foundations give way because man loses his dignity. ... The Council reminds us that the Church ... has the mandate to transmit God's salvific word of love, so that the divine call which contains our eternal beatitude may be heard and accepted".

The Pope then went on to mention the four conciliar Constitutions, describing them as "the four cardinal points of our guiding compass": "Sacrosanctum Concilium" on the sacred liturgy, which speaks of the centrality of the mystery of Christ's presence in the Church; "Lumen Gentium" which highlights the Church's fundamental duty to glorify God; "Dei Verbum" on divine Revelation, which speaks of the living Word of God that unites and animates the Church throughout history, and finally "Gaudium et Spes" which deals with the way the Church transmits to the world the light it received from God.

"Vatican Council II", Benedict XVI concluded, "is a powerful appeal to us to make a daily rediscovery of the beauty of our faith, to understand it deeply through a more intense relationship with the Lord, and to live out our Christian vocation to the full".



Comments


More Europe

France uneasy as drones spotted over U.S. Embassy, landmarks - Terrorists suspected Watch

Image of Soldiers guard several sites in Paris as the threat of terror attacks grows.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

French officials are worried that a terror attack may be imminent in Paris after drones were spotted flying over several landmarks including the U.S. Embassy. Police were unable to locate the operators. PARIS, FRANCE (Catholic Online) - The AFP is reporting that for ... continue reading


U.S. soldiers dare Putin just 300 yards from Russian border Watch

Image of A U.S. Army armored personal carrier during a military parade in Estonia to mark the nation's independence day.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A sign of growing tension in Europe, and possibly a warning to Russia occurred in the Baltic nation of Estonia, as it marked its independence day with a military parade that prominently featured troops and equipment from NATO forces - including U.S. troops - that ... continue reading


Former Russian soldier reveals that Putin has sent troops into Ukraine! Watch

Image of Moscow denied that Russian soldiers were in Crimea when it was taken, but that proved to be a lie.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ceasefire that was agreed to in Minsk by the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia did not last even a day before Russian supported rebels broke it by shelling the besieged town of Debaltseve which prompted a withdrawal of Ukraine forces. LOS ... continue reading


Italy deploys 1,800 soldiers in response to possible ISIS attacks on Vatican and Italy Watch

Image of The Islamic State's large presence in Libya has worried many in Europe, and fears are growing that an attempt could be made on the Pope's life.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Because of the growing power of the Islamic State in Libya, as well as threats made by the group against the Vatican and Pope Francis, security across Italy and the Vatican has been stepped up, officials revealed on February 18. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Forced into sex work, trafficked people suffer unbelievable abuse Watch

Image of Many young girls forced into sex work forego returning to their homes and families due to their shameful circumstances.

By Alex Whiting, Thomson Reuters Foundation

From dog attacks, strangulation and rape, to injured anglers being thrown overboard and left to drown, trafficked people can suffer extreme violence and severe health problems no matter where they end up working, researchers have found. LONDON (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


Brought to light: German Catholic archdiocese reveals more wealth than Vatican Watch

Image of The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Cologne in Germany has since disclosed it is worth $3.82 billion in U.S. dollars, making it richer than the Vatican.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an effort on the part of Pope Francis to make the finances of the Catholic Church more transparent, surprising things have been learned. The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Cologne in Germany has since disclosed it is worth $3.82 billion in U.S. dollars, ... continue reading


Copenhagen next on Islamic hit list: two terrorist attacks rock Danish capital within hours of each other Watch

Image of Danish police have started a nation wide manhunt for one or possibly more suspects who were involved in two shootings in Copenhagen, which left two dead and five injured.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Danish police have mounted a nationwide manhunt for one gunman or more, who was involved in the shooting of a forum on free speech that left one dead and three police officers injured before fleeing in a stolen car; a second attack occurred the same day, and ... continue reading


Playing the West like a fiddle: Putin signs 'peace treaty' while sending tanks and troops into Ukraine Watch

Image of Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing the western world like a fiddle.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia met over a marathon session to formulate and sign a ceasefire agreement intended to end the almost year long civil war in Ukraine, activity along the Russo-Ukrainian border has left many skeptical that this ... continue reading


Priceless, 'lost' Leonard da Vinci painting rescued from bank vault in Italy Watch

Image of The painting had been rediscovered in 2013 in a collection of 400 artworks kept in a Swiss vault. The authorities then were alerted to the existence of the painting -- but the portrait went missing again.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A painting by the man who defined the term "Renaissance," Leonardo da Vinci, has been rescued by Italian authorities from a bank vault in Switzerland. While described as "lost" - in was more than likely stolen, the painting was at risk for selling in the black ... continue reading


Notorious 'Bishop of Bling' gets new assignment at Vatican Watch

Image of The allegations against 55 year-old Bishop Tebartz van Elst calls attention to the high spending of the archdiocese of Munich and Freising, which has just spent $150 million on a new diocesan service center.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst denounced as the "Bishop of Bling" for his extravagant and consumerist lifestyle will now take a post at the Vatican. The former Bishop of Limburg, Germany is set to begin his role as a delegate on catechesis at the ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 18:21-28
21 'If the wicked, however, renounces all the sins he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
1 [Song of Ascents] From the depths I call to you, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 5:20-26
20 'For I tell you, if your uprightness does not ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 27th, 2015 Image

St. Leander of Seville
February 27: St. Leander of Seville, Bishop (Feast - February 27th) Leander ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter