Pope John XXIII: “My desk is piling up…what’s really necessary is a council”

And the rest is history.

Check out this intriguing video from CNS, featuring an interview with the blessed pope’s secretary.

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  1. “My desk is piling up”??? OH GOOD GRIEF! You don’t call an OEcumenical Council to help clear out your inbox. You call Councils to deal with really serious issues or great crisis of faith and doctrine. These things should be uber-rare. We haven’t had one since 1351. No wonder you had modernists running amok when you called a council without an urgent reason.

    Seriously, someone should have told the man (well intentioned as I am sure he was) that this was a REALLY bad idea and they would get him an assistant secretary instead.

    Христос Воскрес!

  2. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    As someone who, as a deacon, is a product of that council, I don’t think it was “a REALLY bad idea.”


  3. ME TOO!

  4. Deacon Bill says:

    Good grief, Ad Orientem (John), he was being facetious; the saying was part of his great sense of humor. Remember that John was first and foremost an historian. He had been thinking of a Council (as had Pope Pius XI and Pius XII had before him) since BEFORE he became Pope.

    The reasons for the Council, according to Pope John, were the “really serious issues and great crises” (your words) that faced the world after the tragedies of the first half of the 20th Century: Two world wars, a worldwide economic collapse, the rise of three totalitarian regimes, the Holocaust, the beginning of the nuclear age and the Cold War. In my own writing on the Council, I often stress that Vatican II was the Church’s response to World War II: the causes that led to the war, and the world that emerged after it. The bishops of Vatican II (starting with John XXIII himself) knew that they had to do something profound to make changes so that the Church could be a more effective witness to Christ in light of those tragedies.

    God bless,

    Deacon Bill

  5. Nothing wrong with Vatican II.

  6. midwestlady says:

    The problem wasn’t the council itself, it’s the mischief that came after the council when people tried to rewrite everything either because they had no idea what they were doing, or they were trying to remake the church into a new creation of their own. It was a mess that we’re still cleaning up.

    I don’t have a problem with the council because it had the same kind of validity as all the other councils and for the same reason. We’ve had 21 of them, all told and they all are important.

    As a consequence, yes, I like the changes that were made to religious organizations, particularly the Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis, the Secular Franciscans. We were made autonomous and self-governing for the first time in centuries as a direct result of the Second Vatican Council. The governing Rule was updated and re-propagated in 1978 by Pope Paul VI. The global constitutions were finally approved in 2000.

  7. LoneThinker says:

    It was a PASTORAL Council, not a DOGMATIC Council. It not only gave us deacons it gave us a correction about how we used talk and pray about JEWS (Oremus pro PERFIDIIS Judaeorum, treacherous Jews GOOD FRIDAY. John XX111 “X-ed” that doozy) and allowed each people to pray in their normal language, even if today it is barely translated Latin, the earlier may not have been the best Queen’s English! And so on. Jesus’ original language was Aramaic, so the nutters who want to be “traditional” should drop PIUSV and go with jesus and get all circumcised Jews to be priests. That would hurt for the present batch one would presume, to “regularise” their LITERAL maleness. PEACE BE WITH YOUR SPIRIT, and YOUR MIND, IMAGINATION, EMOTIONS AND – you know the rest!

  8. ron chandonia says:

    Thank you.

  9. pagansister says:

    He ought to see MY desk! :o)

  10. Nothing wrong with the results of Vatican II either.

  11. midwestlady says:

    Not all of them have been positive. Some people used the situation for their own personal agendas.

  12. midwestlady says:

    And the amount of sheer confusion and pain was staggering. There were some good things that came out of Vatican II, but also there were some very negative results, as we are still seeing.

  13. Most of the changes that happened in the 1960s were going to happen with or without Vatican II. Many of us like the liturgical changes that happened after Vatican II. Some people do not like the changes and they have a Latin Mass option.

    What do you consider the bad results from Vatican II? Were they really a result of Vatican II?

  14. Frank Gotto says:

    I think the Archbishop is a bit tongue in cheek about things piling up. He sounds like he has Bl John XXIII’s humor. One new thing I understood from this was that the Pope wanted the bishops of the world to get together after WWII and be an example for other sectors of the world getting together as the UN, as UNESCO, and FAO. The Pope wanted to show the unity of the Church and remind the world that it also needed God!

    PS The bishop is a true man of the Veneto!

  15. Well let’s go right to the horse’s mouth:

    “The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet so many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super-dogma which takes away the importance of all the rest. — Cardinal Ratzinger, 1988

  16. I’m still waiting for the “springtime” of Vatican II. Ven. Pius XII had it right when he said that it is not the time for a council.

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