APOSTOLIC BRIEF "IN SPIRITU SANCTO' FOR THE CLOSING OF THE COUNCIL - DECEMBER 8, 1965
read at the closing ceremonies of Dec. 8 by Archbishop Pericle Felici, general secretary of the council.
The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, assembled in the Holy Spirit and
under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom we have declared
Mother of the Church, and of St. Joseph, her glorious spouse, and of the
Apostles SS. Peter and Paul, must be numbered without doubt among the
greatest events of the Church. In fact it was the largest in the number
of Fathers who came to the seat of Peter from every part of the world,
even from those places where the hierarchy has been very recently
established. It was the richest because of the questions which for four
sessions have been discussed carefully and profoundly. And last of all
it was the most opportune, because, bearing in mind the necessities of
the present day, above all it sought to meet the pastoral needs and,
nourishing the flame of charity, it has made a great effort to reach not
only the Christians still separated from communion with the Holy See,
but also the whole human family.
At last all which regards the holy ecumenical council has, with the help
of God, been accomplished and all the constitutions, decrees,
declarations and votes have been approved by the deliberation of the
synod and promulgated by us. Therefore we decided to close for all
intents and purposes, with our apostolic authority, this same ecumenical
council called by our predecessor, Pope John XXIII, which opened October
11, 1962, and which was continued by us after his death.
We decided moreover that all that has been established synodally is to
be religiously observed by all the faithful, for the glory of God and
the dignity of the Church and for the tranquillity and peace of all men.
We have approved and established these things, decreeing that the
present letters are and remain stable and valid, and are to have legal
effectiveness, so that they be disseminated and obtain full and complete
effect, and so that they may be fully convalidated by those whom they
concern or may concern now and in the future; and so that, as it be
judged and described, all efforts contrary to these things by whomever
or whatever authority, knowingly or in ignorance be invalid and
worthless from now on.
Given in Rome at St. Peter's, under the [seal of the] ring of the
fisherman, Dec. 8, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, the year 1965, the third year of our pontificate.