Vatican II is a “beautiful work of the Spirit” – Pope Francis
Pope Francis has called the Second Vatican Council a “beautiful work of the Holy Spirit” from which only the foolish and those lacking belief would want to retreat. He made his comments days after taking a decisive step to implement a key teaching of Vatican II – episcopal collegiality – by selecting eight cardinal-advisers from around the world to help him govern the Universal Church and reform its much-criticised central bureaucracy, the Roman Curia.
“After 50 years, have we done everything the Spirit told us in the council?” he asked during a brief homily at Mass on Tuesday morning. “No. We celebrate this anniversary by practically erecting a monument to the council, but we are more concerned that it doesn’t cause us any bother. We don’t want to change,” he told a small group of Vatican employees inside the chapel at his Santa Marta residence.
“But there’s even more – there are those who want to go back,” he said. “This is called ‘being stiff-necked’; this is called wanting to ‘tame the Holy Spirit’; this is called becoming ‘fools and slow of heart’,” he said in his unscripted remarks, which were part of a reflection on the temptation to resist the often unsettling promptings of the Holy Spirit.
It was the first time in a little over a month since he was elected Bishop of Rome that Pope Francis had spoken specifically about Vatican II.