What Paul VI Said at the End of Vatican II

Date: 2005-12-08

“We More Than Any Others, Honor Mankind”

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 8, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is a Holy See translation of the address delivered by Pope Paul VI during the last public session of the Second Vatican Council.

Address of Pope Paul VI
During the Last General Meeting of the Second Vatican Council

7 December 1965

Today we are concluding the Second Vatican Council. We bring it to a close at the fullness of its efficiency: The presence of so many of you here clearly demonstrates it; the well-ordered pattern of this assembly bears testimony to it; the normal conclusion of the work done by the council confirms it; the harmony of sentiments and decisions proclaims it. And if quite a few questions raised during the course of the council itself still await appropriate answers, this shows that its labors are now coming to a close not out of weariness, but in a state of vitality which this universal synod has awakened. In the post-conciliar period this vitality will apply, God willing, its generous and well-regulated energies to the study of such questions.

This council bequeaths to history an image of the Catholic Church symbolized by this hall, filled, as it is, with shepherds of souls professing the same faith, breathing the same charity, associated in the same communion of prayer, discipline and activity and what is marvelous all desiring one thing: namely, to offer themselves like Christ, our Master and Lord, for the life of the Church and for the salvation of the world. This council hands over to posterity not only the image of the Church but also the patrimony of her doctrine and of her commandments, the “deposit” received from Christ and meditated upon through centuries, lived and expressed now and clarified in so many of its parts, settled and arranged in its integrity. The deposit, that is, which lives on by the divine power of truth and of grace which constitutes it, and is, therefore, able to vivify anyone who receives it and nourishes with it his own human existence.

Read more

I loved this! We’ve had such incredible popes in my lifetime, and although so many sing the praises of our beloved John Paul II, (and rightfully so), so many don’t know or have forgotten the incredible courage of Paul VI during that time. He not only inherited and faithfully carried on John XXIII’s inspiration for Vatican II, but had the courage to produce Humana Vitae, (against the ill-informed advice of many). To me, Paul’s great courage in this area, inspired by the promptings of the Holy Spirit, gave the example of why the Primacy of the Pope and infallible teaching is not only as Christ intended, but so hugely critical to our growth as Christians. Out of this, John Paul II built much of his Theology of the Body, from which so much good has come. Faith builds upon faith, and grace upon grace. The legacy of right teaching handed down and protected by our Popes and the magisterium is one of the MAIN reasons I returned to the Church.

Paul VI also was the first “traveling Pope” which brought so much evangelization back to the Church. John Paul II built on this deep desire of Paul VI to call ALL to Christ. Both John Paul 1, and John Paul 2 took both names for a REASON. I believe it had to do with both the courage and the teachings of two GREAT men, John XXIII AND Paul VI.

Paul VI may never be canonized officially, but he is my patron saint when I need the courage personally to do what is right when the majority suggest I should do what is easy.

I fully agree. Pope Paul VI is one of my favorite Popes, and the more I hear about him, the more I admire him. *Nobody * could have forseen the firestorm of dissent that followed Vatican II, but he he held fast, though I understand it grieved and dismayed him deeply.

I always enjoy reading his speeches and writings, as they are simply stated, but profound, and are spoken with the heart of a pastor. My favorite is the Credo Of The People of God:


I also found almost as compelling, is reading about the life of Pope Paul VI before he ascended to the papacy. His navigation through the troubled years leading up to and during WWII and his service to the Church and Pius XII even made me love him more.

I had the good fortune, which I didn’t appreciate at the time, of being with a group in audience in Rome that Paul VI addressed in 72.

I hope over time, that he becomes recognized for the humble and courageous force he was, and his legacy to all of us.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.