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It's Vatican II's 50th anniversary

Call it timely that last Monday my good friend from BLD Bobby Pacana gave me a copy of that monthly publication, “The Word among us,” which is a daily meditations for Catholics. When I started reading the first article entitled “A Year of Grace,” it was then that I learned that today is the 50th anniversary of the Vatican Council or Vatican II.

It was on Oct. 11,1962 that Pope John XXIII formally opened the council because as the article said, “The Holy Father called for the Council because he believed that the Holy Spirit wanted the Church to open its doors to the world. He decided that the time had come for the Church to speak directly to the modern world, offering its gospel message of hope and peace.” Now, whoever said that the Catholic Church refused to modernize, huh? Perhaps the problem lies upon the fact that these so-called Catholics want to dictate what they want the Catholic Church to be. In my book, they are better off getting out of the Catholic Church, as there are 33,000 other churches out there!

For over 50 years, we have seen changes in the Catholic Church, notably in our Liturgy, where in the past, only the Latin rite was used. Today, in a Philippine setting where we have numerous separate and distinct languages, you can hear the Holy Mass in Cebuano, Illonggo, Tagalog, Bicolano, Waray, Ilocano, etc, etc. Although, many language advocates like me still bemoan the Vatican when the Pope does his Urbi et Urbi Easter message to the world and uses that strange albeit created language called Pilipino.

More importantly Vatican II has recognized the participation of the Lay faithful in the Church… after all, the Catholic Church has always acknowledged the fact that the Clergy and the Lay people are part and parcel of the Body of Christ. So when a Catholic goes astray and chastises the Catholic Church, he actually chastises himself!

Vatican II also called for “Special Years” like in 1967 Pope Paul VI called it a Year of Faith, or that 1987 was a Marian Year and as of late, 2009 was a Year for Priests. For this year Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic letter entitled Porta Fidei (The Door of Faith) where he declared Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013 as the Year of Faith.

As Pope Benedict XVI said, “The door of Faith is always open for us. It is a door that we can pass through every day, deepening our relationship with the Lord and our brothers and sisters in the Lord…. We can build our faith by studying, learning, and meditating on the truths that we believe as members of the Church. To rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived and prayed, and to reflect on the act of faith, is a task that every believer must make his own. The more we understand our faith, the more we will accept it and share it with the people around us.”

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Today Pope Benedict XVI kicks off the Year of Faith and you can watch it in the Eternal Word Network (EWTN) live at 4 a.m. with an encore at 8:30 p.m. The Year of Faith should be taken by Catholics as a way to restudy our Catholic Faith, which should strengthen us into believing the teachings of the Catholic Church.

In the 50 years since the start of Vatican II we have seen a radical transformation of the Catholic Church, which was often misunderstood by many as a shift in Catholic Doctrine. For instance, Liberation Theology was suddenly embraced by many theologians, priests and nuns, who professed that Jesus Christ was a Communist. Thankfully, Pope John Paul II put them in their place. Indeed whatever came out of Vatican II was clearly misunderstood by these people because Catholic doctrines were never changed, as they have been with us in the last 2,000 years.

If I’ve always been a conservative or orthodox Catholic, it is due to the reality that in reading the Bible you will immediately know that God is the Alpha and the Omega… he has no beginning and no end and most of all, he is never changing. His teachings 2,000 years ago are still applicable today. So let’s not add human doctrine into the Holy Book because in Revelations 22L18 it says, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy in this book; if anyone adds anything to them, God will strike him with the plaques that are written in this book.”

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The Supreme Court last Tuesday suspended the implementation of the Anti-Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 for at least 120-days. Call this a temporary victory by Netizens… that our cries were heard by the Supreme Court who is obviously trying to show themselves as an independent body from the Executive Branch. I agree with Sen. Teofisto Guingona, Jr. the lone opposition of this law that we must never keep our guard down and always remain vigilant, until the Supreme Court rejects this law with finality.

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For e-mail responses to this article, write to vsbobita@mo-pzcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

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