Pope Francis on the occasion of the anniversary of Vatican II: “May the Church be filled with joy”

October 11 is also celebrated as the feast of Saint John XXIII in the Catholic Church.

In his homily, Pope Francis encouraged members of the Church to return “to the pure sources of love of the council”.

“Let’s rediscover the passion for consulting and renew our own passion for consulting,” he said. “Immersed in the mystery of the Church, Mother and Spouse, let us also say, with Saint John XXIII: Gaudet Mater Ecclesia.

Francis also warned Catholics against the devil’s strategy, which sows division among the faithful. “Let’s not succumb to its flattery, let’s not give in to the temptation of polarization,” he urged.

“How many times since the council have Christians done their utmost to choose a side in the Church, not realizing that they were tearing their mother’s heart,” the pope said. “How often have they preferred to be ‘followers of their own group’ rather than servants of all, progressives and conservatives rather than brothers and sisters, ‘of the right’ or ‘left’ rather than of Jesus; positioning themselves as “guardians of the truth” or “soloists of novelty”, rather than recognizing themselves as humble and grateful children of Holy Mother Church”.

All people are children of God and our brothers, he added. “The Lord does not want us like this: we are his sheep, his flock, and we are only together, united. Let’s overcome polarization and keep communion, let’s become more and more “one”, as Jesus pleaded before he gave his life for us.

Martha J. Finley