Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Vatican II did not create a new Church, Pope reminds audience

Catholic World News - March 10, 2010

At his public audience on March 10, Pope Benedict XVI argued that the Church remains the same throughout history. While new movements and reforms frequently arise, he said, they are born out of the heart of the same Church. "The uniqueness of Christ is also a guarantee of novelty and renewal in the future," he said.

The Pope's address to the weekly audience continued the reflections on St. Bonaventure that he had begun the previous Wednesday. In this second talk, the Holy Father concentrated on St. Bonaventure's response to Joachim of Fiore and the "spiritual" Franciscans, who had taught that a new phase of history was beginning, in which the Church hierarchy would disappear and the enlightened faithful would be guided only by the Holy Spirit.

St. Bonaventure opposed that error, the Pope observed, and in rebutting it he upheld the true teaching of St. Francis of Assisi. The faithful should not follow radical new teachings, but should recognize that "there is no other Gospel, no other Church to be awaited." The Franciscans, St. Bonaventure insisted, should work within the structure of the hierarchical Church.

Genuine reform always follows the same pattern, working with the Church rather than seeking to replace it, the Pope said. But he pointed out that the temptation to conceive an entirely new institution endures today. Pope Benedict said:

Following Vatican Council II some people were convinced that all was new, that a new Church existed, that the pre-conciliar Church had come to an end and that there would be another, completely different Church, an anarchic utopia.
Pope John Paul II was a powerful force against that interpretation of the Council, Pope Benedict observed; the late Pontiff"on the one hand defended the novelty of the Council and at the same time, the oneness and continuity of the Church."

Because of an overflow crowd the March 10 papal audience was held in two segments: one in St. Peter's basilica, the other in the Paul VI auditorium.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($18,914 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,086.48
54% 46%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: HKS - Mar. 10, 2010 11:50 PM ET USA

    How right Pope Benedict XVI is! That we would learn to cooperate with the Spirit more so we can hear such messages rightly.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - 7 hours ago
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - 7 hours ago