Have we lost touch with the Apostles?


Catholic Herald, 25 November 2017

We need to insist that the Church was not born anew in the 1960s

ow does one celebrate a 1,950th anniversary? Not much in the way of precedent for that, and this year’s anniversary of the martyrdom of Peter and Paul was left unmarked. With the quincentenary of the Reformation and the Fatima centennial, there was only so much attention available to be paid.

While the dates of the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul are not absolutely certain, they took place during the persecution of Nero (64 to 68 AD) and have been fixed traditionally in the year 67. In 1867, Blessed Pius IX marked the 1,800th anniversary of Peter’s martyrdom, and in 1967, Blessed Paul VI marked the 1,900th of Peter and Paul together.

Moreover, Paul VI chose the 1,900th anniversary to be a Year of Faith, from the feast of Peter and Paul, June 29, 1967, to the same feast in 1968. The year was Paul VI’s response to the widespread crisis that beset the Church immediately after the Council, when fundamental doctrines of the faith were called into question. The year concluded with Paul VI issuing his extraordinary Credo of the People of God, a detailed profession of the ancient and apostolic faith.

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