Following is the council press office translation of the Latin address delivered Dec. 4 by Pope Paul VI at the closing meeting of the second session of the ecumenical council.
We have now reached the end of the second session of this great ecumenical council.
You have already been long absent from your Sees, in which the sacred ministry requires your presence, your guidance and your zealous pastoral labors. Your work here has been heavy, and assiduous and protracted by reason of the ceremonies, studies and meetings of this period of the council.
And now we have just entered upon the sacred season of Advent which prepares us to celebrate worthily the memory of the blessed Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, that yearly recurring feast which never loses its solemnity and wonder and holiness. During this important and absorbing commemoration of the ineffable mystery of the Incarnate Word of God, none of us should be occupied with other thoughts, however elevated or holy they may be. None of us should be detained in any other See, however great and venerable, but each of us should celebrate the liturgical mysteries in that place where Providence has entrusted to us His church, His community and His priestly pastoral duty.
We must, therefore, interrupt for a second time the course of this great synod; we must once again bid each other farewell and go our separate ways after these happy days of momentous brotherly conference.
But we must first thank God for the blessings that He has bestowed during this session and by its means, nor can we withhold our thanks from any of those who have taken part in the session and have had some positive part in its successful functioning. We thank especially the presidency of the Council, the moderators, the secretariat and also the commissions and the periti, the representatives of press and television, those who have fitted out this basilica, and those who have offered hospitality and assistance to the Fathers of the council. Continue reading