There is a very interesting piece from Sandro Magister at espresso.
It is about the Credo of the People of God issued by Pope Paul VI.
The Credo of Paul VI. Who Wrote It, and Why
The Church had a 1968 upheaval of its own, expressed for example in the Dutch Catechism. The response of pope Montini was the "Credo of the People of God." It has now come to light that it was written by his friend, the philosopher Jacques Maritain
by Sandro Magister
ROMA, June 6, 2008 – At the end of this month, Pope Benedict XVI will inaugurate a jubilee year dedicated to the apostle Paul, on the occasion of the 2,000th anniversary of his birth. The celebration will begin on Saturday, the vigil of the saint’s feast day, and will end one year later.
Forty years ago, between 1967 and 1968, Pope Paul VI did something similar. He dedicated a year of celebrations to the apostles Peter and Paul, on the occasion of the nineteenth centenary of their martyrdom. He called it the "Year of Faith." And he concluded it in Saint Peter’s Square, on June 30, 1968, with the proclamation of a solemn profession of faith, the "Credo of the People of God."
The text of this Credo retraced the one formulated at the Council of Nicea, which is recited at each Mass. But with important expansions and developments.
How, and why, did Paul VI get the idea to coronate the Year of Faith with the proclamation of the Credo of the People of God? And how was the text produced?
The answer to these two questions is in a book soon to be published in France, the sixth volume of the "Correspondence" between the Swiss theologian and cardinal Charles Journet and the French philosopher Jacques Maritain, the 303 letters that the two exchanged between 1965 and 1973.
Because it was Maritain who wrote the outline of the Credo of the People of God that Paul VI later recited. In the upcoming volume, the two texts will be printed side by side, with the few variations highlighted.
Meanwhile, however Cardinal Georges Cottier – a disciple of Journet, and theologian emeritus of the pontifical household – has already revealed the background of the Credo in the international magazine "30 Days," in the cover story of the latest issue.
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Maritain was 85 years old in 1967. He was living in Toulouse, with the Little Brothers of Charles de Foucauld. He had just published "Le paysan de la Garonne [The peasant of the Garonne]," an unsparing criticism of the post-conciliar Church "on its knees before the world."
On January 12, Cardinal Journet wrote to Maritain to tell him that he would soon be meeting with the pope, in Rome. Neither of them knew that Paul VI intended to enact the Year of Faith. But Maritain confided to Journet that a few days before, "an idea had come to me," which he describes this way:
"The Sovereign Pontiff should draft 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."
Although Maritain did not ask him to do so, Journet photocopied the philosopher’s letter and gave it to the pope, when he met with him on January 18. On that occasion, Paul VI asked the theologian for his judgment on the state of the Church’s health. "Tragic," Journet answered. Both he and the pope were in shock over the publication in Holland, one year earlier and with the blessing of the bishops, of a new Catechism aimed at nothing less than "substituting one orthodoxy for another in the Church, a modern orthodoxy for the traditional orthodoxy" (a comment from the commission of cardinals instituted by Paul VI to examine the Catechism, of which Journet was a member).
On February 22, 1967, Paul VI announced the Year of Faith. And two days later, Maritain noted in his diary:
"Is this, perhaps, the preparation for a profession of faith that he himself will proclaim?"
That same year, from September 29 to October 29, the first synod of bishops met in Rome. The final report of the doctrinal commission submitted to the pope the proposal of issuing a declaration on the essential points of the faith.
On December 14, Paul VI again met with Cardinal Journet, who told him about Maritain’s idea. And Paul VI reminded him that others had already suggested, at the end of Vatican Council II, the promulgation of a new symbol of faith. He himself, the pope, had asked the famous Dominican theologian Yves Congar to prepare a text, but he wasn’t satisfied with it, and set it aside.
Then, suddenly, Paul VI said to Journet, "You two, prepare for me an outline of what you think should be done."
Back in Switzerland, Journet told Maritain about the pope’s request. And at the beginning of the new year, while he was in Paris, Maritain drafted a profession of faith. He finished it on January 11, 1968, and on the 20th he sent it to Journet. The following day, he sent it on to Paul VI.
It emerges from the correspondence between the theologian and the philosopher that Maritain intended his text to be simply a guide, to assist Journet. But Journet decided to send the text to the pope without adding anything. In his view, it already answered all of the doubts raised by the Dutch Catechism and by famous theologians on dogmas like original sin, the Mass as sacrifice, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, creation from nothing, the primacy of Peter, the virginity of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption.
On April 6, a letter arrived from Rome from the Dominican theologian Benoît Duroux, an adviser for the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. It praised Maritain’s text and supplied a few comments, which Journet interpreted as having come from Paul VI, who had sent the cardinal a brief message of thanks.
Then nothing. On June 30, 1968, Paul VI solemnly proclaimed the Credo of the People of God in Saint Peter’s Square. Maritain found out about this only on July 2, when he read about it in the paper. From the citations, he surmised that the Credo that the pope had presented closely matched the one he had written.
And he was right. The few variations include one regarding the Jews and Muslims.
In one passage, Maritain had explicitly cited the common witness that the Israelites and Muslims give to the one God, together with Christians. But in his Credo, Paul VI gives thanks to the divine goodness for the "many believers" who share faith in the one God with Christians, without specifically mentioning Judaism and Islam.
During the 1950’s, Maritain came close to being condemned by the Holy Office for his philosophical thought, suspected of "extreme naturalism." One reason why the condemnation was not issued was that he was defended by Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Paul VI, who at the time was substitute secretary of state and had a longstanding friendship with the French thinker.