During Mass this past Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was calling a “Year of Faith.”
This special year will begin on October 11, 2012, which happens to be the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992. Also in October 2012, the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will convene to reflect on the theme, “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.”
The holy year will conclude on November 24, 2013, the solemnity of Christ the King.
The official document announcing the “Year of Faith” is called Porta Fidei (“The Door of Faith”). In Porta Fidei, the Holy Father says this initiative is required “because of a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people.” Surely this crisis has affected our own families and circles of friends and acquaintances.
“A Christian many never think of belief as a private act,” he wrote. The Pope suggested that during the “Year of Faith” the Church must find ways to make public professions of faith.
The Pope also desires that the Year of Faith will provide an opportunity to help the faithful properly understand the authentic meaning of Vatican II. In the past, the Holy Father has stressed that we should see Vatican II as being in continuity with our Catholic tradition, and not as a betrayal or abandonment of what the Church has always believed and taught.
Pope Benedict also expressed his profound hope that the “Year of Faith” will “arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in its fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope.”
In the coming weeks and months, we will further unpack this “Year of Faith” at “No Place Like Home,” so that we may fully embrace this initiative to help renew the Church in our time.