Le più grandi sciagure dell’umanità sono state originate da chi ha voluto semplificare la vita pianificando il mondo.

Giovannino Guareschi

lunedì 8 ottobre 2012

Fifty years of the Second Vatican Council

January 25, 1959 Pope John XXIII, inspired by the grace of God, recently elected, made the announcement to the world on the opening of a new ecumenical council, the first since the Second Vatican Council, suspended in 1870 and never formally concluded by a Pope.  After three years of preparation, October 11, 1962 in Rome, with a solemn ceremony in the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, Pope John XXIII officially starts at the Second Vatican Council.

The universal Church for the first time found himself united in one place, the European Church with the Church in Africa and the Latin - American. It was attended by some 2,500 cardinals, patriarchs and bishops from around the world. The characteristic of this pastoral synod was evident from the start. Were not announced new dogmas, but an attempt was made to interpret the signs of the times, that modern man was living and how the universal Church could be living presence for this man. The successor to Pope John,  Paul VI during his first speech to the Council fathers pointed to the main themes of the Council: to define more precisely the concept of the Church, the renewal of the Church, the restoration of unity among all Christians, dialogue between the Church and the modern world.

The Second Vatican Council closed Dec. 7, 1965. The fruits of the work of the Council Fathers were four constitutions, nine decrees and three declarations. For those interested in learning more about the conciliar documents, the reference is http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/index_it.htm

What we highlight here is interesting how the Catholic Church, alone among the major religions in the world, by the grace of God, have sensed in advance the changes taking place in the social and cultural life of contemporary man and sought new ways, new modes of communication to maintain uninterrupted dialogue. The same effort and the same desire communicative not seem to have been made ​​in recent decades by other religions, so that today the Christians in the world are under attack even violent and bloodthirsty, especially on the part of Islamic extremists who were still at the ages dark of the struggles of religion and did not perceive the changes introduced by the Second Vatican Council. The same meetings and gestures of openness and friendship made ​​in the last twenty years by the successors of Pope Paul VI, to Jews and Muslims, are the result of the new post-conciliar times.

The October 11, 2012, fifty years after the opening of the Second Vatican Council, will open the Year of Faith, announced by Pope Benedict XVI on 11 October 2011. Why is the Year of Faith? In the Apostolic Letter of Pope Porta Fidei with which index the Year of Faith reads, inter alia: "Faith, in fact, is to undergo more than in the past to a series of questions that come from a changed mentality which, especially today, reduces the scope of rational certainties to that of scientific and technological achievements. But the Church has never been afraid to show how faith and genuine science there can be no conflict because both, although by different routes, tend towards the truth. "As you can see, the fruits of the Second Vatican Council are very much alive and present in the Church and in contemporary society.

What is faith for a Christian? Blessed Luigi Giussani writes in his book You can live like this, "the first feature of the Christian faith is that from a fact, a fact that has the shape of a meeting ... The second feature is the uniqueness of it ... The third characteristic is the surprise, but the surprise is always a question, at least secret ... the fourth factor is that faith begins precisely with this question: who is this?. Last point: the answer "
Contemporary man the freedom to find the most appropriate response, and more human, his desire for happiness.

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