The celebration marking 60 years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council began with two laypeople reading out significant passages from the Council's texts.
They recalled the optimistic tone of Pope John XXIII his opening speech, in which he asked the participants to not be discouraged by those who claimed that the Church was worse off than ever before without recalling the problems that surrounded past councils.
It seems to us that we must resolutely disagree with these prophets of doom, who are always announcing the worst, as if the end of the world were looming.
The remains of John XXIII, who convened the Council and guided its first steps, were moved from the side altar where they typically rest to the central nave, so as to be visible to those present.
This procession then made its way toward the altar, imitating the same procession which opened the Vatican II 60 years ago. Among those present were some who were present at the Council.
In his homily, Pope Francis explained that the Second Vatican Council was the Church's response to the question that Jesus asks St. Peter in the Gosepl: “Do you love me?” The Pope said that the Church's relationship with God should be one of love that doesn't leave room for other emotions.
Whether it is progressivism that fits itself to the world, or traditionalism or backwardness that longs for a past world, these are not signs of love, but of infidelity.
Pope Francis said it is necessary to rediscover the Council that attempted to mold the Church and Christians primarily into pastors and servers rather than being judgemental.
How often people have preferred to be supporters of their own group rather than serve all. Progressives and conservatives rather than brothers and sisters. “Of the right” or “of the left” rather than “of Jesus.” To prop themselves up “keepers of the truth” or “solo artists” rather than recognize themselves as humble children of the Holy Mother Church.
The Pope asked Christians to avoid all kinds of polarization, which he said rejects the Christian identity and abandons the love with which God founded the Church.