Pope: The Year of Faith in the footsteps of John Paul II and Paul VI
The apostolic letter that explains rationale, objectives and guidelines of the Year of Faith is ready, and will be published in the coming days, after nearly 50 years since the Second Vatican Council. As for the Polish pope, the new evangelization and mission ad gentes go together, and are "aspects of the mission of the Church." Paul VI proclaimed a "Year of Faith" in 1967.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Year of Faith, which Benedict XVI announced at Mass this morning, arises in the footsteps of John Paul II and Paul VI. Speaking to tens of thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus, the pontiff reiterated his decision to hold a "Year of Faith" from "the October 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Council" up to "24 November 2013, Solemnity of Christ the King. "
Recalling the just concluded conference on the New Evangelization, Benedict XVI explained that "already the Blessed John Paul II had clearly indicated to the Church it was an urgent and exciting challenge. He, in the wake of Vatican II was the one who started its implementation - Pope Paul VI - was in fact, both a staunch supporter of the mission ad gentes, to the peoples and territories where the Gospel had not yet taken root, and a herald of the new evangelization. "
New evangelization and mission ad gentes go together, "They are - he said - aspects of the mission of the Church, and therefore it is significant to consider them together in this month of October, characterized by the celebration of World Mission, next Sunday."
The pontiff also said that "the motives, purposes and guidelines of this 'Year', I have illustraded in an Apostolic Letter which will be published in the coming days."
He added: "The Servant of God Paul VI proclaimed a similar 'Year of Faith' in 1967, during the nineteenth centenary of the martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and in a time of great cultural upheaval. I think that, after half a century since the opening of the Council, linked to the happy memory of Blessed John XXIII, it is appropriate to recall the beauty and the centrality of faith, the need to strengthen and deepen it on a personal and community level, and to do so not in a celebratory perspective, but rather a missionary one, the mission ad gentes and new evangelization. "