The Year of Faith was announced by Pope Benedict XVI (as he then was) in October 2011, a year before its starting date on 11th October 2012. It concluded (internationally) on the Feast of Christ the King, 24th November 2013.
The former Pope made his declaration by way of a formal document, Porta Fidei - the Door of Faith.
In that document he said:
"It seemed to me that timing the launch of the Year of Faith to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council would provide a good opportunity to help people understand that the texts bequeathed by the Council Fathers, in the words of Blessed John Paul II, “have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church’sTradition ... I feel more than ever in duty bound to point to the Council as the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century: there we find a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning.” (Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, 2001)
Pope Benedict went on to say, " I would also like to emphasize strongly what I had occasion to say concerning the Council a few months after my election as Successor of Peter: “if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic [ principle of interpretation ] , it can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of theChurch.”
He also said "The Year of Faith . . . is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the world. In the mystery of his death and resurrection, God has revealed in its fullness the Love that saves and calls us to conversion of life through the forgiveness of sins".
Other key features of the document are a focus on the Creed, on public and memorised profession of the Catholic faith, on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and on the New Evangelisation - the topic for a Synod of Bishops in October 2012.
Read the full document Porta Fidei .
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