Today in Catholic History – Pope Paul VI issues the Credo of the People of God

On 30 June 1968, Pope Paul VI ended the “Year of Faith” with the moto proprio Solemni Hac Liturgia containing the Credo of the People of God.

The Credo is an expansion of the Nicene Creed recited during the liturgy. The expansions contained within were greatly based upon the influence of French theologian and philosopher Jacques Maritain. As Solemni Hac Liturgiasays, the Credo “repeats in substance, with some developments called for by the spiritual condition of our time, the creed of Nicea, the creed of the immortal tradition of the holy Church of God.”

Maritain had suggested that Paul VI conclude the Year of Faith with a “complete and detailed profession of faith, in which everything that is really contained in the Symbol of Nicea would be presented explicitly. This will be, in the history of the Church, the profession of faith of Paul VI.”

Maritain also suggested this profession in response to the publication of the Nieuwe Katechismus [New Catechism] with the approval of the Dutch bishops a year before that had greatly disturbed him as well as the pope himself. A commission instituted by Paul VI to evaluate the Dutch Catechism accused it of “substituting one orthodoxy for another in the Church, a modern orthodoxy for the traditional orthodoxy”. Among the many criticisms of the catechism were that it asserted that there were not universal moral laws which were binding upon all people and that it denied the physical and spiritual reality of the Virgin Birth.

On this day which is chosen to close the Year of Faith, on this feast of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, we have wished to offer to the living God the homage of a profession of faith. And as once at Caesarea Philippi the apostle Peter spoke on behalf of the twelve to make a true confession, beyond human opinions, of Christ as Son of the living God, so today his humble successor, pastor of the Universal Church, raises his voice to give, on behalf of all the People of God, a firm witness to the divine Truth entrusted to the Church to be announced to all nations.

Solemni Hac Liturgia

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