"In the past fifty years we have learned and experienced that original sin exists and renders itself, again and again, in personal sins, which can also become structures of sin. We have seen that in the field of the Lord there is always the weeds. We have seen that in the net of Peter are also bad fish. We have seen that human frailty is also present in the Church.”
The Pope, who was at the Council as a theological advisor to the then Cardinal of Cologne, recalled that despite the challenges, there was every reason to be satisfied.
"We also had a new experience of the presence of the Lord, of his goodness, his strength. The fire of the Holy Spirit, the fire of Christ is not a consuming, distructive fire, it is a silent fire, it is a small flame of goodness, kindness and truth, which transforms.”
Indeed, 50 years ago, the day when the Second Vatican Council opened, there was a candlelight procession, similar to this one in St. Peter's Square. Benedict XVI concluded in the gathering in the same way: by asking the pilgrims to return home and give a kiss to their sons and daughters on behalf of the Pope.