The problem of Revelation provoked even greater discussion: at issue was the relationship between Scripture and tradition, and above all this interested exegetes of a greater freedom, who felt somewhat – shall we say – in a situation of negativity before Protestants, who were making great discoveries, while Catholics felt a little ‘”handicapped” by the need to submit themselves to Magisterium. There was therefore a very concrete issue at stake: how free are exegetes? How does one read Scriptures well? What is meant by tradition? It was a pluri-dimensional battle that I can not outline now, but certainly what is important thing is that Scripture is the Word of God and the Church is subject to the Scriptures, obeys the Word of God and is not above Scripture. Yet, Scripture is Scripture only because there is the living Church, its living subject, without the living subject of the Church Scripture is only a book, open to different interpretations but which does not give any final clarity.
Here, the battle – as I said – was difficult and the intervention of Pope Paul VI was decisive. This intervention shows all the delicacy of the Father, his responsibility for the outcome of the Council, but also his great respect for the Council. The idea had emerged that Scripture is complete, everything can be found therein, so there was no need for tradition, and that Magisterium has nothing to say to us. Then the Pope sent the Council, I believe, 14 formulas of a sentence to be included in the text on Revelation and gave us, gave the Fathers the freedom to choose one of 14 (formulas), but said: “One has to be chosen to complete the text”. I remember, more or less, [Latin] that the formula spoke of the Churches’ certainty of the faith is not based solely on a book, but needs the illuminated subject of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit. Only in this way can Scripture speak and bring to bear all of its authority. We chose this phrase in the Doctrinal Commission, one of the 14 formulas, it is crucial, I think, to show the indispensability, the necessity of the Church, and to understand what tradition means, the living body in which the Word lives from the beginning and from which it receives its light, in which it was born. Because the simple fact of the Canon is an ecclesial fact: these writings are Scripture is the result of the illumination of the Church that found this canon of Scripture within herself, she found, she did not make, but found. Only and ever in this communion of the living Church can one really understand, read the Scriptures as the Word of God, as the Word that guides us in life and in death.
There is a reality of the living God who has spoken, and is a God, a God incarnate, therefore the Word of God is really the Word of God. But there is religious experience, with a certain human light of creation and therefore it is necessary and possible to enter into dialogue and thus open up to each other and open all peoples up to the peace of God, of all his children, and his entire family.
Thus, these two documents, religious freedom and “Nostra Aetate” associated with “Gaudium et Spes” are a very important trilogy, the importance of which has only been revealed over the decades, and we are still working to understand this uniqueness of the revelation of God, uniqueness of God incarnate in Christ and the multiplicity of religions with which we seek peace and also an open heart to the light of the Holy Spirit who enlightens and guides to Christ.
It seems to me that 50 years after the Council, we see how this Virtual Council is breaking down, getting lost and the true Council is emerging with all its spiritual strength. And it is our task, in this Year of Faith, starting from this Year of Faith, to work so that the true Council with the power of the Holy Spirit is realized and Church is really renewed. We hope that the Lord will help us. I, retired in prayer, will always be with you, and together we will move ahead with the Lord in certainty. The Lord is victorious. Thank you.