Today in church history – John XXIII drops Vatican II bombshell

I was born on January 9, 1959. I am as old as Madonna (the singer, not the Blessed Virgin),Donny Osmond (my teenage crush) and Barbie (the doll). I also consider myself a Vatican II baby. On January 25, a couple of weeks after I was born, Blessed John XXIII announced to a shocked group of Curial Cardinals that he was going to summon an Ecumenical Council. The announcement was made at the grand Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. The great Pope describes his inspiration as a great light, well in tune with the scripture readings of this feast day. The reaction of those present was reminiscent of the great saint’s tumble off his horse.

On October 11, 2012, the Church will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The National Catholic Reporter will be publishing various articles on this great historical event. Today’s essay, Curial horror greeted John XXIII’s announcement of ecumenical council, gives a great description of the announcement made 53 years ago, today.

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