Greeting them, Pope Benedict solemnly inaugurated the Year of Faith.
“Fifty years since the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, we begin with great joy this Year of Faith”.
During his homily, Benedict XVI explained that the Year of Faith is not a simply an anniversary but a real necessity since it can help fill the emptiness felt in society today.
“People of faith are needed who, with their own lives, point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive”.
He recalled that those who participated in the Council were dedicated to showing the world the beauty of the faith. He asked that this ideal be recovered and not limited to just promoted an ideal. In order to achieve this, he called on them to rediscover the ideas of the council.
“...so that this interior thrust towards the new evangelization neither remain just an idea nor be lost in confusion, it needs to be built on a concrete and precise basis, and this basis is the documents of the Second Vatican Council”.
The Pope greeted with enthusiasm the main leader of the Anglican Communion, Rowan Williams, and the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, who thanked God for the improvement in relations between Catholics and Orthodox.
Before concluding the Mass, Benedict XVI gave the messages of the Council to groups of people, including young people, artists and intellectuals.