(Vatican Radio) Blessed John XXIII, born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli died exactly 50 years ago on the 3rd of June 1963, two months after the completion of his well- known encyclical ‘Pacem in Terris’. Pope John, now blessed, was elected to the See of Peter on the 28 October 1958 at the age of 77 and was considered by many to be a sort of caretaker Pope. But as it happens he was a Pope of surprises and during his four and a half years as Roman Pontiff launched the Catholic Church into one of the most momentous epochs by calling the Second Vatican Council. Click here to listen
So, what about it – was Pope John XXIII “The Pope of surprises” or was he, rather, “The Surprised (if not “dismayed”) Pope” 50 years ago when he met his Maker? Was he reminded then of his opening address at the Council in which he remarked: In these days, which mark the beginning of this Second Vatican Council, it is more obvious than ever before that the Lord’s truth is indeed eternal. Human ideologies change. Successive generations give rise to varying errors, and these often vanish as quickly as they came, like mist before the sun.
The Church has always opposed these errors, and often condemned them with the utmost severity. Today, however, Christ’s Bride prefers the balm of mercy to the arm of severity. She believes that, present needs are best served by explaining more fully the purport of her doctrines, rather than by publishing condemnations. Read entire opening address here..
Talk about “famous last words”.
Just how much responsibility does Pope John XXIII bear for the current crisis in the Church? Has withholding the “arm of severity” to those in error, really helped further the Kingdom of Christ?