The following comes from a February 15 report from Vatican Information Service.
Following are ample extracts from the Holy Father’s warm and friendly chat yesterday with the clergy of Rome, which was held in the Paul VI Hall.
“We went to the Council not just with joy, but enthusiastically. There was an incredible expectation. We hoped that everything would be renewed, that a new Pentecost, a new era in the Church, had truly arrived, …
“In retrospect, I think that it was very good to begin with the liturgy, showing God’s primacy, the primacy of adoration. … The Council spoke of God and this was its first act: speaking of God and opening everything to the people, opening the adoration of God to the entire holy people, in the common celebration of the liturgy of the Body and Blood of Christ. … The principles came later: comprehensibility, so as not to be locked in an unknown and unspoken language, and active participation.
“Unfortunately, sometimes these principles are misunderstood. Comprehensibility does not mean triviality because the great texts of the liturgy — even when they are, thanks be to God, in one’s mother tongue — are not easily understandable. Ongoing formation is necessary for Christians to grow and enter more deeply into the mystery so they might understand.
“… The basis for dialogue is in difference, in diversity, in the faith of the uniqueness of Christ who is one, and it is not possible for a believer to think that religions are variations on the same theme. No. There is a reality of the living God who has spoken and who is one God, an incarnate God, therefore one word of God who is truly the Word of God. But there is also a religious experience, with a certain human light on creation, and therefore it is necessary and possible to enter into dialogue and so to open oneself to others and to open all to God peace, all His children, all His family….
“I would like to add still a third point… the Council of the media. It was almost a Council itself and the world saw the Council through it. The ‘Council of the journalists’, of course was not carried out within the faith but within the categories of today’s media. That is to say, it was outside of the faith, with a different hermeneutic … a political hermeneutic. For the media, the Council was a political struggle, a power struggle between the Church’s different strands….
“There was a triple problem: the Pope’s power transferred to the power of the bishops and to the power of all: popular sovereignty. The same thing happened with the liturgy. They were not interested in the liturgy as an act of faith but as something where things are made understandable, a type of communal activity. … These translations, the trivialization of the idea of the Council were virulent in the practice of applying liturgical reform; a vision of the Council outside of its proper interpretation, that of faith, was born.”