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Vatican unveils plans for Year of Faith

January 05, 2012

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has prepared a set of recommendations for pastoral work during the coming Year of Faith.

The new document, prepared by the CDF with input from other offices of the Roman Curia, will be made public on January 7. But a statement released by the Vatican on January 5 offered a preview of the CDF recommendations.

Last October 11, Pope Benedict XVI released Porta Fidei, an apostolic letter proclaiming the Year of Faith, which will begin on October 11, 2012, and continue through November 24, 2013. The CDF statement notes that the initiative “is intended to contribute to a renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith, so that the members of the Church will be credible and joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord, capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the door of faith.”

The opening and closing dates of the Year of Faith carry special significance. October 11, 2012, will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II, and the Vatican notes that the special year should be “a propitious occasion to make Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church more widely and deeply known.” November 24, 2013, will be the feast of Christ the King, and the CDF underlines the importance of using the year to encourage Catholics to share the precious belief in Christ as the redeemer of the mankind.

The Year of Faith will involve a series of initiatives, organized at different levels of the Church, the CDF notes.

  • At the worldwide level, Pope Benedict will preside at a solemn opening celebration for the Year of Faith. The Vatican plans special ecumenical efforts, pushing toward Christian unity, including “a solemn ecumenical celebration in which all of the baptized will reaffirm their faith in Christ.”
  • At the national level, episcopal conferences will be encourage to focus on “the quality of catechesis,” and to ensure that the teaching of the faith is in “complete conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The bishops’ conferences will be strongly encouraged to use all available media outlets to promote that goal.

  • At the diocesan level, the CDF calls for “renewed creative dialogue between faith and reason in the academic and artistic communities,” and for penitential celebrations, with a particular emphasis on asking God’s forgiveness for sins against the faith.
  • At the parish level, the Year of Faith should be centered on the community liturgy, and specially the Eucharist, the CDF says. All other intiatives should be based on that foundation.

The Vatican statement noted that a special secretariat will be established within the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization to promote initiatives connected with the Year of Faith, and a dedicated web site will be set up for the same purpose.


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  • Posted by: ColmCille - Jan. 06, 2012 1:34 AM ET USA

    In order for faith to be restored, the liturgy must be restored. The liturgy must be restored to it's traditional beauty, holiness and solemnity, and made capable of lifting our hearts and minds to heaven. This will strengthen the faith and holiness of Catholics and bring new people into our doors. The current situation of poor liturgy does the opposite. As Fr. John Zuhlsdorf says: "Save the liturgy, save the world." It is truly that important, and should be made the Church's top priority.