A Current Comment post from the September 1, 1962 issue of America:
In devoting their annual statement for 1962 to the coming Second Vatican Council, the American hierarchy has made a significant addition to a growing library of similar documents issued by the bishops of many lands. Looking ahead to the meeting scheduled to open in Rome on October 11, our 226 Cardinals, archbishops and bishops sound a note of optimism.
They base their hopes in the first place on the care with which preparations for the Council have been made. But they are also “humbly and gratefully” convinced that they, personally, “will not go to the Council empty-handed.” Though the American Church is young and has had a difficult history, the experience our bishops have gained will provide valuable insights as the Council takes up its primary task of effecting an internal renewal of the universal Church.
Our bishops know, for instance, “first of all, the advantages which have come to the Church from living and growing in an atmosphere of religious and political freedom.” They can testify to the faith of “lay people, men as well as women,” who “are to an extraordinary decree active, energetic members of Christ’s Mystical Body.” These insights and much more they have in mind as they travel to Rome, “not to give hasty answers . . .or mere routine approval . . .but to deliberate unhurriedly, to express their mature judgment.”
Catholics and non-Catholic Christians alike should be moved by this statement to follow the Council and to lend the bishops their prayers as they undertake so solemn a labor.