Porta Fidei

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Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei
For the Indiction of the Year of Faith
Pope Benedict XVI, October 11, 2011

Summary Notes

The “door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. It begins with baptism (cf. Rom 6:4), through which we can address God as Father, and it ends with the passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him into his own glory (cf. Jn 17:22). To profess faith in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is to believe in one God who is Love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8): the Father, who in the fullness of time sent his Son for our salvation; Jesus Christ, who in the mystery of his death and resurrection redeemed the world; the Holy Spirit, who leads the Church across the centuries as we await the Lord’s glorious return.

(Pope Benedict's Opening Words in Porta Fidei)

Pope Benedict XVI’s 2011 Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei, provides a recent historical and theological introduction to the meaning of the Church’s Year of Faith, which runs from October 11, 2012 to November 24th, 2013. October 11, 2012 has a special significance in the recent life of the Church as the…

- 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council
- 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).

October is also the month for the 2012 General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith (Oct 7-28). The Year of Faith’s close on November 24th, 2013 is the Feast of Christ the King.

Porta Fidei invites the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to prepare a set of guidelines “on how to live this Year of Faith in the most effective and appropriate ways, at the service of belief and evangelization.” (PF 12)

General Overview of Document

1.(The Door of Faith)
2. (Need to Rediscover Journey of Faith)
3.(Need to Rediscover Taste for our Faith)
4.(Response: Announcing Year of Faith {Oct 11, 2012 – Nov 24, 2013}) 5.(Opportunity to Correctly Understand Second Vatican Council) 6.(Church’s Renewal via Witness of Believers’ Lives)
7. (Faith Lived as an Experience of Love)
8.(Making a Public Profession of Faith)
9.(Owning the Faith Professed, Celebrated, Lived and Prayed) 10.(Faith: Believing by Grace, Assenting in Freedom)
11.(Rediscovering Fundamental Content of the Faith as Set Out in Catechism) 12.(CDF Note – Guideline on Effective & Appropriate Ways to Live Year of Faith) 13.(Decisive Importance of Retracing the History of Our Faith) 14.(Year of Opportunity to Intensify Witness of Charity)

15.(Constancy of Credible Witness, Reliance on Christ, Entrustment to Mother of God)
(Closing Words)
________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Summary Notes

1.(The Door of Faith)
- “always open for us”, ushers us into “life of communion with God “; offers “entry into [God’s]
Church.
- faith is threshold crossed in heart’s response – “shaped by transforming grace” – to the
proclaimed word of God
- entering is beginning of “lifetime journey”
- beginning at baptism “through which we can address God as Father”
- ending “passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord
Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him
into his own glory.”
- professing faith in Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) = believing in God who is love (1Jn 4:8):
- Father sent Son “in fullness of time for our salvation”...
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