A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Benedict XVI: The Joy of the Vatican Council

Vatican City, 15 February 2013 (VIS) The following are brief extracts from Benedict’s conversation with the clergy of Rome, held in the Paul VI Hall:

“We hoped that everything would be renewed, that a new Pentecost, a new era in the Church, had truly arrived, … rediscovering the bond between the Church and the world’s best elements, to open humanity’s future, to begin real progress. We began to get to know one another ... and it was an experience of the Church’s universality and of the Church’s concrete reality, which wasn’t limited to receiving orders from on high but of growing and advancing together, under the direction of the Successor of Peter naturally.” ...

We went to the Council not just with joy, but enthusiastically. There was an incredible expectation!

“The theme arising with great urgency, (in the second part of the Council) was today’s world, the modern age and the Church, and with it issues of the responsibility of the construction of this world, of society, responsibility for the future of this world and eschatological hope; Christian ethical responsibility … as well as religious freedom, progress, and relations with other religions. … VaticanII 2

The great document ‘Gaudium et Spes’ analysed the problem between Christian eschatology and worldly progress, including the responsibility of tomorrow’s society and Christian responsibilities in the face of eternity, and also the renewal of Christian ethics. … The basis for dialogue is in difference, in diversity, in the faith of the uniqueness of Christ who is one, and it is not possible for a believer to think that religions are variations on the same theme. No. There is a reality of the living God who has spoken and who is one God, an incarnate God, therefore one word of God who is truly the Word of God. But there is also a religious experience, with a certain human light on creation, and therefore it is necessary and possible to enter into dialogue and so to open oneself to others and to open all to God peace, all His children, all His family.”

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