By Ann Schneible
ROME, OCT. 9, 2012 (Zenit.org).- It is no accident that the opening of the Year of Faith coincides with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Archbishop Rino Fisichella told the press this morning, on the second working day of the synod of bishops on New Evangelization.
Speaking to journalists at the Holy See press office, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion for New Evangelization, Archbishop Fisichella, said that this Year of Faith, which begins October 11, will be an opportunity to reflect upon the Vatican II Council, which “left such a deep mark on the life of the Church in the twentieth century, and to examine the influence its teachings have had during the intervening decades and will have over the coming years of Church commitment to new evangelization. In fact, Vatican Council II was itself intended as a special moment of new evangelization.”
The Year of Faith is intended to offer formation for the faithful, particularly through catechesis, within the sacramental life of Christian fraternity; it is “a good opportunity to revive the faith of believers, animating them with a new and more convincing spirit of evangelization.”
The Archbishop went on to describe the commencement ceremony of the Year of Faith, and the references that will be made to the Vatican II Council. “Extracts from the four conciliar Constitutions will be read out as expressions of the Council’s work and of renewal in the life of the Church. This will be followed by a long procession which will lead the collective imagination back to 12 October 1962. The procession will be formed of all the bishops participating in the solemn concelebration with the Holy Father. Those taking part will include the Synod Fathers who are currently participating in the meeting on the new evangelization, presidents of all the world’s Episcopal conferences, and fourteen Council Fathers who, despite their age, have managed to come to Rome.”
Those Council Fathers who are still living have all been invited to participate, but they are unable to participate due to health concerns, the archbishop said.
“The years pass”, said Archbishop Fisichella concluding his presentation, “but the power of Vatican II remains, with all its cargo of hope that the entire world may come to know the Gospel of Christ. Our intention is to offer Christians a further reason to feel that they are part of one Church, which knows no frontiers and which daily renews her faith in the Lord through the commitment of her life.”