Pope John XXIII composed a prayer shortly after announcing his intention to call an ecumenical council. It has since been distributed throughout the world as anticipation builds for the Council, which we now know will open October 11, 1962. The following is an English translation. Continue reading
From February 1959, Robert A. Graham, S.J., an associate editor at America, looks at Protestant and Orthodox reactions to Pope John XXIII’s announcement of an ecumenical council:
World reaction to the prospect of an ecumenical council on behalf of church unity must have been extremely encouraging to the Pope. The dramatic decision of John XXIII, which burst upon the public on January 25, was in the main interpreted quite favorably by those who have no particular reason to indulge in perfunctory applause. Orthodox and Protestant leaders, as well as editorialists in the secular press, displayed their unmistakable interest in the Pope’s plan and their sincere respect for his motives. His announcement was taken as something to be expected from one whose personality had already established itself in the popular mind as that of an amiable man who wants to be friends with everyone.
Indeed, from all indications, the proposal was the Pope’s own idea; it is certainly stamped with his generous and expansive character. There is every reason to expect that the Holy Father will try to start the Fathers of the council off in a mood of conciliation comparable to his own. In the meantime it is already evident that the mere anticipation of a general council under the sign of unity has put this old and much-argued problem on an entirely new basis in everyone’s mind. Of itself, the Pope’s decision indicates that the Catholic Church believes the time is ripe for serious new initiatives to resolve the tragic historic division of Christians.
Read the full article at the America site. Photo courtesy of Catholic News Service.