Text of Council’s Letter to Pope Paul

This is a translation of the letter written Sept. 20 to Pope Paul VI by Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, dean of the College of Cardinals, thanking him in the name of the ecumenical council for issuing his motu proprio, Apostolicae Sollicitudo, establishing the Synod of Bishops, and his encyclical on the Eucharist, Mysterium Fidei.

Most Holy Father, the Fathers of the sacred council who have already shown you with most lively applause how grateful they were for the letter, Apostolica Sollicitudo, promulgated by you as the motu proprio of the 15th of this month at the beginning of the general meetings of the fourth session of the council, now desire to renew in a still more explicit way their recognition and veneration.

They are fully aware that this new and important document flows from your benevolence and from your esteem for the bishops. The very words with which the motu proprio begins clearly reflect how much apostolic solicitude — truly solicitude for all churches — you have that your brothers in the ranks of the bishops may cooperate with their advice in the government of the universal Church and that they may be united with you in the most intimate charity.

The sentiments of our minds are all the more fervent if two particular facts are considered: above all, the fact that you desired paternally, Most Holy Father, to establish the Synod of Bishops to accede to the desires which the Fathers had manifested in the council, and in the second place, the fact that you desired to promulgate the document in the council hall itself in your presence together with the entire assembly of Fathers.

It is now our duty, obeying your desire, to place at your disposition our task of assisting with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our effort. May the Lord through the intercession of the Mother of God make our weak help of advantage for the Church so that it may work for the welfare of souls and hasten the realization of the supreme desire of the Redeemer that all may be one!

Most Holy Father, since we are all united here in council, we deem it our duty and our honor to express also the most sincere gratitude for the encyclical letter, Mysterium Fidei, which was published recently. In it there is illustrated with the clearest splendor the sacred mystery of the Body and the Blood of Christ, while there grows the joy of those who, redeemed by the Blood of Christ, are invited to the sacred banquet in which Jesus Himself becomes nourishment and renews the memory of His mission.

We believe it our duty to unite with you in this matter our efforts, our vows and our prayers, so that the Eucharistic sacrament may always be more exalted and its worship may be intensified every day in a more profound way among all the faithful. Christ, in fact, is our life, hope and resurrection.

Lastly, Most Holy Father, since you are about to start your voyage to New York to announce to the entire noble meeting of the United Nations peace in the name of the Lord, we desire that you know that all of us participating in the council unite our voices with yours and together with you pour out our fervent prayers that the gift of peace, which we see placed in such great peril in these days, may be announced by you to all men of good will: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace” (Rom. 10, 15) and welfare.

Holy Father, deign to impart to us your benediction.

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