Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Year of Faith

Today begins the Year of Faith that Pope Benedict XVI has proclaimed. It is fitting then to ponder that the 50th anniversary of Vatican II is also today. George Weigel weighs in on Vatican II. From the article:

What Vatican II did do was write 16 documents of divergent doctrinal weight, the interpretation of which set off an ungodly row that lasted for the better part of four decades. That row frequently centered on “Who’s in charge?” issues, which, intersecting with a much-advertised (although rarely defined) “spirit of Vatican II,” produced forms of do-it-yourself Catholicism that would have stunned John XXIII. For while it is true that “Good Pope John” wanted his council to offer the world what he called, in his opening address, the “medicine of mercy, rather than that of severity,” it is also true that, in formally convening the council 50 years ago, on October 11, 1962, Blessed John XXIII also said that “the greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously.” And while the pope’s allocution 50 years ago noted that “the substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another,” it is also true that the pope lifted up “the Church’s solicitude to promote and defend the truth,” a notion that seems quaint to many (and dangerous to others) in a post-modern cultural environment in which there may be your truth and my truth, but nothing properly describable as the truth.

Thus the truths that Vatican II taught remained bitterly contested in the 15 years immediately following the Council. Then, in yet another unexpected twist in the story-line, two men of genius, both men of the Council, arose to provide the Church with authoritative keys for properly interpreting the documents of Vatican II. That, history will likely show, was the great task taken on by the unexpected Polish pope, John Paul II (who as a hitherto-obscure young bishop helped develop several council documents), and the even more unexpected Bavarian pope, Benedict XVI (who as a theologian in his mid-30s played a major role in articulating several of the council’s most important teachings on the nature of the Church as centered on the Gospel).

Although neither Hans K√ľng nor Marc Andrus (nor the Nuns on the Bus) seems to have gotten the message, both these scholar-popes have taught, correctly, that what was innovative in the teaching of Vatican II must be understood in continuity with, and as a development of, the tradition of the Church. The Catholic Church did not begin on October 11, 1962.

It is well worth it to read the whole article.

A few resources for the Year of Faith can be found here and here. And did you know the Pope has entrusted the Year of Faith to Our Lady?  And here is an opportunity for a Plenary Indulgence during this Year of Faith.

God is good and the one true Faith moves ahead despite all enemies within and without.

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