The Holy Father has issued a new Apostolic Letter motu proprio entitled Porta fidei, in which he announces a Year of Faith that will commence next October.  The beginning of the Year coincides with the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II.

Australia Incognita offers some reflections.  There it is noted:

The Motu Proprio has three main themes:

  • the continuity of the faith and God’s presence throughout the history of the Church;
  • the importance of good catechesis on the actual content of the faith, with a paean to the importance of the Catechism of the Catholic Church; and
  • the need to actually spread the faith through active evangelization.

The Holy Father writes in Porta Fidei:

It seemed to me that timing the launch of the Year of Faith to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council would provide a good opportunity to help people understand that the texts bequeathed by the Council Fathers, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, “have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church’s Tradition … I feel more than ever in duty bound to point to the Council as the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning.”I would also like to emphasize strongly what I had occasion to say concerning the Council a few months after my election as Successor of Peter: “if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic, it can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church.”

I certainly hope that the many initiatives that will be undertaken in the forthcoming anniversary year of the commencement of Vatican II will all take their lead from the Holy Father, and present the Second Vatican Council correctly.  The Year of Faith, as announced by the Pope, is another example of the great gift to the Church that Benedict XVI is.  If anyone is in any doubt as to how to correctly interpret the Council, we need just turn to the successor of Peter as he fulfils his role as chief shepherd and teacher.