Pastors' Desk: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 13th October 2012 in Pastor's Desk

Welcome everyone. On Thursday just gone, Pope Benedict inaugurated the Year of Faith in the Catholic Church. He called the Year of Faith to mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council which began on 11th October 1962. The Council was called by Pope John XXIII, a man who was quite advanced in years when elected Pope. He was seen at the time of his election as a “caretaker” pope who would not rock the boat; how wrong they were! Pope John wanted “to open the windows” of the church in order to allow the Holy Spirit guide it in the modern age. So it was that every country sent their representative Bishops to Rome for the opening ceremony on the 11th October.

The Roman Curia, the government of the church, had prepared documents for the opening sessions so that there would be continuity with the practice of the day. The gathered Bishops rejected those documents and set about using their own pastoral experience, theological knowledge and up-and-coming theology experts, to set a new agenda for their deliberations. Among those experts was a young priest, Fr. Josef Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

pope-john-xxiiiThe council lasted until 1965 and produced 16 documents that were to change the experience of the Catholic Church for so many people. Among the more famous documents was Lumen Gentium on the mystery of the church, which recognised that Christ founded this church and that truth was to be found in other churches too; Gaudiem et Spes which speaks of the Church’s relationship with the modern world; Sacrosanctum Concilium which is the constitution on the Sacred Liturgy which changed the language of the Mass from Latin to the vernacular or local language and turned the Celebrant around so he was facing the people instead of having his back to them. This Year of Faith is a chance to reacquaint ourselves with the Documents of Vatican II and try to live them more fully. By the way Pope John never saw the completion of the Council, he died on 3 June 1963. Pope Paul VI was elected on 23rd June 1963 and continued the Council.

Fr. Eoin

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