Lombardi: a living memory of the council

2012-07-07 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) In his weekly editorial, Father Federico Lombardi focuses on the Second Vatican Council
On Monday, July 9th, the Pope pays a short visit to the house of the Verbites in Nemi, Italy. The objective of his visit, however, is not merely to greet the order’s superiors and participants in the well-known religious missionary institution’s capital. He is also coming to revisit the place where in 1965, as a young theologian and conciliar assembly expert, he participated in meetings during which the documents were carefully examined and reworked. The dynamic and prolific atmosphere of study, debate, and prayer created the environment for the plenary meetings of the Council Fathers in Saint Peter’s. 

Recently, Cardinal Tucci gave a moving interview in which he recalled the same sort of work taking place in Ariccia, Italy, when the Constitution “Gaudium et spes” – on the Church in the contemporary world – was prepared with the active collaboration of the young Bishop Wojtyla. It was from these interventions that the following well-known statement was developed: “The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light,” (n 22). Not by chance, these words would often be cited by John Paul II.

About thirty of those who participated in the Second Vatican the Council are still living, among them Council Fathers and experts, and their testimonies stir up a wave of emotions in those who, like us (even though we were not directly involved), recall that extraordinary time of fervour, enthusiasm, and hope.

It is our wish that the fiftieth anniversary of the Council, which we are preparing to celebrate in October, will be an opportunity to enthusiastically reunite ourselves to that atmosphere of listening to the Holy Spirit, so that the documents can be re-read today along the lines of the “‘hermeneutic of reform’, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.” (Address to the Roman Curia, 22.12.2005). For this reason Joseph Ratzinger – now Pope – wisely exhorts us, as a privileged and authoritative witness, and expert of the conciliar assembly.