Cardinal Seán Brady's Statement on the Year of Faith

«It is a Journey that Begins with Baptism and Ends with the Passage Through Death to Eternal Life»

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 12, 2012 ( Here is the statement by Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, on the Opening of the Year of Faith.

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Today the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI was the chief celebrant at Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, Rome, to inaugurate the Year of Faith for the Catholic Church.  I along with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, and Bishop Kieran O’Reilly, Bishop of Killaloe, concelebrated the Mass together with bishops and priests from around the world.  It was a joyous occasion.

Pope Benedict in his recent letter Porta Fidei reminded all of us that ‘The Door of Faith’, Porta Fidei, is always open for us.  The ‘Door’ is never closed.  Passing through that door means embarking on a journey that lasts a lifetime.  It is a journey that begins with baptism and ends with the passage through death to eternal life.  Pope Benedict has constantly recalled the need to discover again the all-important journey so as to experience the joy and enthusiasm of meeting Christ, Christ who leads people out of the desert into the fullness of life. 

During this Year of Faith all of us face those two questions that Jesus asked His disciples, the first and more simple question to answer: “Who do people say that I am?”  But more importantly they were asked – and we are asked – “Who do you say I am?”  It is vital that we answer that question so as to establish or renew a relationship with the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Porta Fidei declared that The Year of Faith would mark the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.  Pope Benedict reminded us at Mass today that Pope John XXIII, Blessed John, in his opening address fifty years ago, presented the principal purpose of the Council in this way: “What above all concerns the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine be safeguarded and taught more effectively. … Therefore, the principal purpose of this Council is not the discussion of this or that doctrinal theme, a Council is not required for that, … [but] this certain and immutable doctrine, which is to be faithfully respected, needs to be explored and presented in a way which responds to the needs of our time.”  

The Year of Faith presents us the unique opportunity to return to that Council and to study, read or re-read its sixteen documents in its Constitutions, Decrees and Declarations.  Pope Benedict has remarked that these texts, using the words of his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, ‘have lost nothing of their value or brilliance’.  Indeed we may discover that much remains to be done.

It is also the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Catechism too offers us a unique opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the power and beauty of our faith.  

May we all, during this Year of Faith, take the opportunity to gain a new understanding and renewal of that faith.  May it contribute to a renewed conversion to Jesus the Lord.

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