Fr. Aidan Writes:
60 years ago Pope St John XXIII opened the Second Vatican council. He said, “This present Council is a special, worldwide manifestation by the Church of her teaching office, exercised in taking account of the errors, needs and opportunities of our day” … “The Church has always opposed such errors, and often condemned them with the utmost severity. Today, however, Christ’s Bride prefers the balm of mercy to the arm of severity. She believes that the present needs are best served by explaining more fully the purport of her doctrines, rather than by publishing condemnations”. “The major interest of the ecumenical council is this: that the sacred heritage of Christian truth be safeguarded and yet expounded with greater efficacy.”
At a Mass celebrating this anniversary, along with one of the Six Bishops still living who was present at the council, Pope Francis said that the council reminded the church of what is essential, “a Church madly in love with its Lord and with all the men and women whom he loves,” one that, “is rich in Jesus and poor in assets, and a church that, “is free and freeing”. Pope Francis said that the council was the Church’s response to the question Jesus puts to St Peter, “Do you love me…feed my sheep.” And that it marked a renewed effort to feed God’s sheep, not just those who are Catholic, but all people. Therefore, “A Church in love with Jesus has no time for quarrels, gossip and disputes.”…”May God free us from being intolerant, harsh and angry. This is not a matter of style but of love.”
This sentiment of Pope Francis is thus totally in line with Pope St John XIII and the Council. Would that it also be true of our national discourse!
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter