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The Council, new Pentacost (1962)

 

Just before the Vatican II Ecumenical Council, La Pira wrote a circular letter to convents emphasising the “revolutionary” innovations that the Council was about to introduce in the Church:

… there will be bishops there (namely the Churches, the peoples and the nations and the civilisations of every continent (for the first time in a way in the history of the Church and the councils). There will be observers there (they too participants in the mystery of Christ) of the separated Churches of East and West. There will also be (as we say) “observers” from Israel …; who knows, perhaps also Ismael’s observers; and … from every nation! 

… For the first time a Council “open” to the cosmos (the immense celestial spaces that, in obeisance to a command from God! - science and technology opened up for the spiritual and civil growth of peoples; a Council (for the first time – noteworthy indeed) “open” in Paul’s “prophetic” direction of Israel (and Ismael), “open” towards all the (so very vast) spaces occupied by the peoples and nations of all continents who have risen to the proscenium – as we say – of history and are destined in a way to become the most dynamic actors of the history present and future of the Church and the world! 

A Council “open” – attracting the wheat discarding the chaff – to all the most active schools of “social” thought (in the broadest sense) which affect peoples all over the Earth and have been so decisively influential (and will continue to be so – in building in justice, hope, progress and freedom a new science, a new culture a new economy and a new society. 

What a Council, Reverend Mother; we do not “think” enough; we are still unable to sufficiently understand the infinite supernatural and historic “dimensions” that Lord has reserved for it.