October 11, 2012. (Romereports.com)
Benedict XVI entered St. Peter's Square to preside over the opening Mass of the Year of Faith, with the year's official anthem playing in the background. It was also a solemn ceremony, which recalled the 50th anniversary of Vatican II and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
In a symbolic gesture, among those who accompanied him were 15 elderly bishops who 50 years ago participated in the Council. Along with them, were 80 cardinals, eight patriarchs of Eastern Churches, 191 Bishops of the Synod for the New Evangelization and 104 representatives of Bishop's conferences from around the world.
Greeting them, Pope Benedict solemnly inaugurated the Year of Faith.BENEDICT XVI“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.
BENEDICT XVI“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. BENEDICT XVI“...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.