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14 surviving fathers of Vatican II to take part in Year of Faith opening ceremony

Catholic World News - October 10, 2012

Speaking at an October 9 press conference, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization announced the details of the opening ceremony of the Year of Faith, which commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council.

The Year of Faith begins on October 11 and concludes on November 24, 2013, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

The opening ceremony “is an opportunity to revisit that event which left such a deep mark on the life of the Church in the twentieth century, and to examine the influence its teachings have had during the intervening decades and will have over the coming years of Church commitment to new evangelization,” said Archbishop Rino Fisichella.

Following the reading of portions of the conciliar documents, there will be a procession that includes “the Synod Fathers who are currently participating in the meeting on the new evangelization, presidents of all the world's episcopal conferences, and 14 Council Fathers who, despite their age, have managed to come to Rome. All 70 of the Council Fathers who are still alive had been invited to participate, but advanced years or health problems have prevented them from being among us.”

After the opening Mass of the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI will reissue the messages released by Pope Paul VI at the conclusion of the Council. In doing so, Pope Benedict will “indicate that the teachings of the Council retain all their validity and deserve to be better known and studied,” said Archbishop Fisichella.

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