“Even though I will retire in prayer, I am sure you all will always be close to me, although I will remain hidden from the world.”
Afterward, with relative ease, he summed up his memories on the key points of the Second Vatican Council. He highlighted the intense work of the delegates and the value of the documents they drafted. But he warned that it was also the “Council of the media” that many times made wrong interpretations.
“We know that this “council of the media” was accessible to anyone, so this made it more efficient in creating more calamities and problems and much misery: closed seminaries, closed convents and everything became banalized. As a result, the real Council had problems.”
However, the Pope seemed optimistic and considered that, 50 years later, the “Council of the media” is beginning to disappear and a spiritual and profound Council has taken its place.
The Pope laughed when he explained that his bishop feared that John XXVIII would punish him for presenting a document that was actually prepared by the young theologian Ratzinger.
“A bit later Pope John invited him, and he was full of fear that he had done something incorrect or false, and he was thinking that he had called him to remove him. When his secretary helped him dress for the audience, he said that perhaps this has the last time he would wear those clothes.”
Near the end, in between applause and tears, there was another moment of laughter when an unexpectedly tall priest greeted a much shorter, and surprised Pope.