This is in Italian, but the images speak for themselves as well as the optimism that will be short-lived:
Yesterday at his general audience (October 10), His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI gave a personal reflection on the opening of the Second Vatican Council 50 years ago this very day. As you know, Pope Benedict was a young theologian at the Council and one of the few in the world today who have a direct eyewitness awareness of its purpose and inner workings. YOU CAN READ IT COMPLETE REFLECTION HERE.
The Holy Father says: "If we look at the Second Vatican Council, we can see that at that moment in the journey of the Church there were no particular errors of faith to correct or condemn, nor were there specific issues of doctrine or discipline to be clarified. Thus we can understand the surprise of the small group of cardinals in the chapter house of the Benedictine monastery of St. Paul Outside the Walls, where, on January 25, 1959, Blessed John XXIII announced the diocesan Synod for Rome and the Council for the Universal Church. The first question he asked himself in preparing for this great event was how to start it, what specific task to assign to it. Blessed John XXIII, in his opening speech, on October 11, fifty years ago, gave a general indication: faith had to speak in a "renewed", more incisive way - because the world was rapidly changing – while keeping its perennial contents, without giving in or compromise. The Pope wanted the Church to reflect on her faith, on the truths that guide her. But this serious, in-depth reflection on faith, had to outline the relationship between the Church and the modern age in a new way, between Christianity and some essential elements of modern thought, not to conform itself to it, but to present to our world, which tends to move away from God, the need of the Gospel in all its grandeur and in all its purity (cf. Address to the Roman Curia for Christmas greetings, December 22, 2005). The Servant of God Paul VI indicated this very well in his homily at the end of the last session of the Council - December 7, 1965 – with words that still today are most relevant, when he affirmed that in order to properly asses this event, and I quote, "it is necessary to remember the time in which it was realized. In fact, the Pope says, it took place at a time in which, everyone admits man is orientated toward the conquest of the kingdom of earth rather than of that of heaven; a time in which forgetfulness of God has become habitual, and seems, quite wrongly, to be prompted by the progress of science; a time in which the fundamental act of the human person, more conscious now of himself and of his liberty, tends to pronounce in favor of his own absolute autonomy, in emancipation from every transcendent law; a time in which secularism seems the legitimate consequence of modern thought and the highest wisdom in the temporal ordering of society;... it was at such a time as this that our council was held to the honor of God, in the name of Christ and under the impulse of the Spirit". Thus said Paul VI. He concluded by indicating in the question of God the central focus of the Council, that God, I quote again, that " He is real, He lives, a personal, provident God, infinitely good; and not only good in Himself, but also immeasurably good to us. He will be recognized as Our Creator, our truth, our happiness; so much so that the effort to look on Him, and to center our heart in Him which we call contemplation, is the highest, the most perfect act of the spirit, the act which even today can and must be at the apex of all human activity"(AAS 58 , 52-53). We can see how the time in which we live continues to be marked by forgetfulness and deafness towards God. I think, then, that we must learn the simplest and most basic lesson of the Council, namely that Christianity in its essence consists in faith in God, which is love of the Trinity, and in the encounter, both personal and community, with Christ who directs and guides life: from which everything else follows. The important thing today, just as it was the desire of the Council Fathers, is that we can once again see - clearly - that God is present, He takes care of us, He answers us. And that, instead, when there is no faith in God, what is essential collapses, because man loses his profound dignity and that which makes his humanity great, against all reductionism. The Council reminds us that the Church, in all its components, has the duty, the mandate to transmit the Word of God that saves, so that the Divine call, which contains our eternal blessing, can be heard and welcomed."
My comments now: The Holy Father states of the times of the Church in 1962 that "If we look at the Second Vatican Council, we can see that at that moment in the journey of the Church there were no particular errors of faith to correct or condemn, nor were there specific issues of doctrine or discipline to be clarified." But that is certainly not true today, in fact, today there are many specific errors of faith to correct and condemn and specific issues of doctrine and discipline to be clarified.
Just as the Council's first document was on the Liturgy of the Church, from which all else flows, when the Liturgy is celebrated properly, so too today we must look at how the liturgy is celebrated in many places that thwart the great work of the Council and creates the specific errors of faith, doctrine and discipline that need to be corrected or condemned. The following "clown Mass" recently celebrated by a bishop in Brazil is a prime example of what needs to be condemned today as it impacts not only the liturgy, but sound doctrine and discipline.
The language is Portuguese, the music is internationally recognized! Did Vatican II really want this, to create liturgical, doctrinal and discipline chaos and cause the Church to sink to this kind of liturgy? I think not, therefore one would hope for a strong condemnation of such!