Pope Benedict on Vatican II

The current Commonweal editorial makes reference to the annual Lenten meeting of the Pope with the clergy of Rome. Speaking only from notes, Benedict reminisced on his experience as a young theologian at the Second Vatican Council. As one of the last surviving participants in the Council, his words have particular interest and significance. Here are some of his remarks:

it is worth while to keep going back, over and above the practical outcomes, to the Council itself, to its profundity and to its essential ideas. I would say that there were several of these: above all, the Paschal Mystery as the center of what it is to be Christian and therefore of the Christian life, the Christian year, the Christian seasons, expressed in Eastertide and on Sunday which is always the day of the Resurrection. Again and again we begin our time with the Resurrection, our encounter with the Risen one, and from that encounter with the Risen one we go out into the world.

The rest is here.The meeting occurred only days after Pope Benedict had announced his resignation. I asked a good friend, a Roman priest who had spent many years in Chile working with the poor, if he had been at the meeting with the Pope. Here is his reply:

S, sono andato. Un applauso, dai preti, che non finiva mai...Yes, I was there. Applause from the priests that went on and on.

Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is a longtime Commonweal contributor.

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