2012-10-12 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) Pope Benedict XVI on Friday received a group of the bishops, who were participants in the II Vatican Council, along with the Presidents of Bishops’ conferences present here in Rome. Their meeting came before a formal luncheon with all the Fathers of the XIII Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the New Evangelization. The Holy Father reflected on the way that the bishops of every rite give concrete expression to the universality of the Church as they proclaim the Gospel in every region of the world, in service to the Church and in obedience to the mandate they have received from Christ. Listen to our report:
Pope Benedict had words of special greeting for all those present, who participated as Fathers of the Second Vatican Council. Reflecting on the Council as an expression of the continuity of the contemporary Church, with its history and its ultimate destiny, Pope Benedict said, “Christianity should not be regarded as ‘something of the past,’ nor should it be seen with eyes constantly turned ‘backwards’, because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and for ever (cf. Heb 13:8).” The Holy Father went on to say, “Christianity is marked by the presence of the eternal God, who has entered into time and is present at all times.”
“The Council,” said Pope Benedict, “was a time of grace in which the Holy Spirit taught us that the Church, in her journey through history, must always speak to modern man, but this can only happen by the power of those who have deep roots in God, who allow themselves to be guided by Him and live with purity of their faith - not by those who will follow the passing moment, by those who choose the more comfortable path.” Pope Benedict concluded, saying, “Today, what is important and essential is to bring the ray of God's love into the hearts and lives of every man and every woman: to bring men and women everywhere and of all ages to God,” and expressing the hope that every particular Church, in celebrating the Year of Faith, might discover an opportunity to make the always necessary return to the source of the Gospel, which is the transforming encounter with the person of Jesus Christ.