John XXIII, Pope, Bl.

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Author: R. TRISCO
Date: 2003
New Catholic Encyclopedia
From: New Catholic Encyclopedia(Vol. 7. 2nd ed.)
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Biography
Pages: 7
Content Level: (Level 5)

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About this Person
Born: November 25, 1881 in Sotto il Monte, Italy
Died: June 03, 1963 in Vatican City, Italy
Nationality: Italian
Occupation: Pope
Other Names: Roncalli, Angelo; Roncalli, Angelo Giuseppe; John XXIII, Blessed, Pope
Full Text: 
Page 932

JOHN XXIII, POPE, BL.

Pontificate, Oct. 28, 1958, to June 3, 1963; Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, b. Sotto il Monte, Bergamo, Italy, Nov. 25, 1881; d. Rome, Italy, June 3, 1963.

Prepapal Career

He was the third of 13 children, the first son, of pious peasants, Giovanni Battista and Marianna Giulia (Mazzola) Roncalli, who rented land as sharecroppers (mezzadri). Besides working in the fields, Angelo attended thePage 933  |  Top of Article elementary school in the town, took lessons from a priest in the neighboring town of Carvico, went to a "college" in Celana, and at 12 entered the diocesan minor seminary at Bergamo. There he came under the influence of the progressive leaders of the Italian Catholic social movement, especially of Bp. Camillo Guindani of Bergamo and two zealous laymen, Count Stanislao Medolago-Albani and Niccolò Rezzara. A scholarship of the Cerasoli Foundation in 1901 enabled Roncalli to become a student at the Roman Seminary (Apollinare), where Umberto Benigni deepened his knowledge of church history. He interrupted his education for a year to serve as a volunteer in the 73d Infantry Regiment of the Italian Army, thereby shortening the period of compulsory military training. After taking the doctorate in theology, he was ordained on Aug. 10, 1904, in the church of S. Maria in Monte Santo.

Early Priesthood. As he was beginning graduate studies in Canon Law, he was appointed secretary of the new bishop of Bergamo, Count Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi, a far-sighted, social-minded prelate, whom Roncalli served faithfully for more than nine years, gaining experience in all forms of Catholic action and an understanding of the problems of the working class. At the same time he taught apologetics and ecclesiastical history, and later also patrology, at the diocesan seminary. In that era of violent reaction against MODERNISM he was falsely accused of such errors by some integralists; actually, in his teaching he tended to avoid controversial questions. He published several brief monographs—one in commemoration of the great Church historian Baronius, Il card. Cesare Baronio, per il centenario della sua morte (Monza 1908; repub. Rome 1961), and two on local history, Gli inizi del seminario di Bergamo e S. Carlo Borromeo (1910; rev. Bergamo 1939) and La 'Misericordia Maggiore' di Bergamo e le altre istituzioni di beneficenza amministrate dalla Congregazione di Carità (Bergamo 1912). As diocesan assistant to the Women's Catholic Action and a member of various diocesan committees, he became concerned also in political problems and favored Catholic involvement in national affairs.

In 1915, when Italy entered World War I, Roncalli was recalled to the army and was assigned to military hospitals in Bergamo first as a sergeant in the medical corps and then as a lieutenant in the chaplains' corps; he also ministered to the soldiers on the battlefields of the Piave and to the sick during the epidemic of Spanish influenza. In his leisure time he wrote In Memoria di Monsignore Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi, vescovo di Bergamo (Bergamo 1916), a laudatory and cautious biography. After the war he resumed the duties of spiritual adviser to the Union of Catholic Women and the Union of Catholic Youth, was appointed spiritual director of the diocesan

seminary, and at his own expense, opened a hostel and clubhouse for young men studying in Bergamo (Casa dello Studente). At the request of Bp. Luigi Marelli, he established the Opera di Sant'Alessandro to coordinate the various educational activities of the diocese.

In 1920 he helped to organize the first national Eucharistic Congress to be held in Italy after the war. A year later he was invited to Rome by Benedict XV, named director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in Italy, and given the task of centralizing the administration of the society first on the national level and then on the international. He collaborated in the writing of the motu proprio Romanorum Pontificum (May 3, 1922) by which Pius XI raised the society to papal status, transferred its headquarters from Lyons to Rome, and placed it under the Congregation for the PROPAGATION OF THE FAITH. Roncalli was a member of the General High Council, which coordinated the work of this association with that of other bodies supporting the missions.

Diplomat in the Near East. In 1925 Roncalli was appointed titular archbishop of Areopolis and apostolic visitator to Bulgaria and was consecrated on March 19 in the church of SS. Ambrose and Charles (San Carlo al Corso) in Rome. Accompanied by a Belgian Benedictine, Constantine Bosschaerts, he promptly took up residencePage 934  |  Top of Article in the politically troubled capital, Sofia, and concerned himself with the problems of the Eastern-rite Catholics, who constituted a small, scattered minority of about 4,000 among the predominantly Orthodox population. He visited the remote and impoverished communities of refugees from Macedonia and Thrace and selected a young native priest, Kyril Kurteff, as apostolic administrator (later exarch). He had fewer anxieties over the 40,000 Catholics of the Latin rite, who were better organized but were unfortunately dependent on the political and ecclesiastical support of France. He introduced retreats for isolated priests, presided over the first congress of Bulgarian Catholics at Yambol, and personally assisted the victims of the earthquake of 1928 with money from Rome. Since the state church was Orthodox, he was watched with suspicion by its ecclesiastical leaders. When the king or czar, Boris III, contrary to his promises, had his marriage with Giovanna di Savoia, Catholic daughter of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy, repeated according to the Orthodox rite in 1930 and had their first child baptized by the Orthodox metropolitan in 1933, Roncalli protested to no avail. He was successful, however, in securing the government's consent to the establishment of an apostolic delegation in 1931.

On Nov. 24, 1934, Roncalli was named apostolic delegate to Turkey and Greece, and on the 30th he was transferred from the titular see of Areopolis to that of Mesembria (in Bulgaria). He succeeded in closing the breach that existed between the delegation and the local clergy of the Latin rite. As administrator of the Vicariate Apostolic of ISTANBUL, Roncalli had immediate jurisdiction over the approximately 10,000 Catholics of the Latin rite, who were for the most part foreigners and were decreasing in number. Amid trying circumstances he fostered harmony among the different national colonies in the city. Not only was his presence as apostolic delegate officially ignored and barely tolerated by the Turkish government, but he had to contend with the antireligious reforms of Kemal Atatürk's secular and nationalistic republic and to witness the closing of many Catholic schools, the cessation of Catholic publications, and the laying aside of clerical garb and religious habits in public. With characteristic optimism he took a benevolent view of the new constitution and tried to demonstrate to the Turkish rulers the purely spiritual and supranational nature of the Church's activity. To show his respect for the government and people of Turkey, he introduced the use of the Turkish language into divine worship and official documents. Eventually he won the personal esteem of some of the highest Turkish statesmen. One of his many conciliatory gestures toward the Orthodox was the visit that he paid to the Ecumenical Patriarch Benjamin, in the Phanar on May 27, 1939; he was courteously received. During World War II, when Istanbul became a center of international espionage and intrigue, Roncalli provided the Holy See with much valuable information that he obtained from diplomats as well as public sources. Among the former he cultivated a useful friendship with the German ambassador to Turkey Franz von Papen, who was a Catholic. He made every effort to pacify the French of his flock, who bitterly resented Italian participation in the disastrous war against their fatherland, and he helped many persecuted Jews fleeing from central and eastern Europe.

In Greece, where he was confronted with the confusion existing among the 50,000 Catholics of the country, he eventually succeeded in bringing about greater unity of action among the bishops of the Latin, BYZANTINE, and ARMENIAN CHURCHES. He was never able, however, to achieve the desired modus vivendi with the Greek government, which, under the pressure of the Orthodox churchmen, enacted anti-Catholic legislation concerning marriages, conversions, and publications, and obstructed his efforts to found a seminary for Latin Catholics. During the war he was impeded in his relations with the Greeks by having the same nationality as the army of occupation, but he kept aloof from political disputes and tried to act as a mediator between the opposing parties. He aided the starving regardless of their religion, and he went to Rome to urge the Holy See to persuade the British to relax the blockade of Greek ports in order that desperately needed food supplies and medicines might be imported. Upon his return he negotiated with the representatives of the Axis for the required guarantees; he also intervened frequently to prevent or repair injustices. He visited both the occupying and the captured troops, and he set up in Istanbul an office for the location of prisoners of war and missing persons. After August 1942, he was unable to maintain further contact with the Catholics of Greece because of the military operations.

Nuncio in Paris. Meanwhile in France Charles de Gaulle's provisional government at Paris requested the Holy See to recall the nuncio Valerio Valeri, who had been accredited to Henri Pétain's government at Vichy. Pius XII chose Roncalli for the difficult post, and the nuncio, appointed on Nov. 22, 1944, arrived in Paris on December 30. Unobtrusively he labored to repair the spiritual divisions that had been embittered by the war and its consequences. When the leaders of the Resistance accused at least half of the French bishops of collaboration with the Nazis and when the government called for the removal of 33, the nuncio investigated and in the end advised only three bishops to resign. He also obtained the government's consent to 27 episcopal nominations within his first three years, and in 1945 he successfully recommended to the pope three archbishops for the cardinalate.Page 935  |  Top of Article He pleaded for the humane treatment and prompt repatriation of the German prisoners of war who were detained in France for several years, and he arranged for the transfer of several hundred theological students among them to one camp at Le Caudrey (near Chartres), where their preparation for the priesthood could be continued.

Throughout the continual succession of unstable governments that followed De Gaulle's withdrawal from public life, Roncalli remained on friendly terms with whatever politicians came to power. He won the admiration of the Socialist Vincent Auriol, president of the Republic, and of the radical Édouard Herriot, president of the National Assembly, and he enjoyed the confidence of Catholics such as Georges Bidault and Robert Schuman; but he never attempted to become intimate with the members of the Mouvement Républicain Populaire. When the government grant to private schools, begun under the Vichy régime, was suspended in 1945, he cooperated with the French episcopate in presenting the Church's claim to a fair share of the funds; eventually (1951) his efforts were rewarded to some extent by the concession of a small annual subsidy for each pupil. To his regular duties, he added those of first permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for 19 months, and he addressed the sixth and seventh general assemblies in 1951 and 1952.

Roncalli traveled widely, made a pilgrimage to LOURDES almost every year, and in 1950 made a journey to Algeria and other parts of North Africa. In his dealings with the French bishops, he was not hasty in judging new experiments in the apostolate and he was tolerant of discussion in the intellectual sphere and patient with innovations in the pastoral ministry. Thus he viewed Cardinal Emanuel SUHARD'S novel plan to evangelize the dechristianized masses (Mission de France) hopefully, and he attentively observed the activities of the WORKER-PRIESTS among the proletariat; this movement was severely restricted by the Holy See several months after his final departure from France. After he became pope, it was completely suppressed by a decree of the Holy Office dated July 3, 1959.

Patriarch of Venice. Roncalli was made a cardinal priest (Jan. 12, 1953), and given the titular church of Santa Prisca on the Aventine. He received the red biretta (and the grand cross of the Legion of Honor) from President Auriol in the Elysée Palace on January 15. Although he had at first been destined for a position in the Roman CURIA, he was offered the patriarchate of VENICE after the death of the incumbent, and he gladly accepted. Appointed on January 15, he arrived in the city on March 15, where he soon won the affection of his clergy and people. During his five years in Venice, he wrote brief, frequent circular letters on topics of current importance; visited all the parishes and showed his concern for the working class; established 30 new parishes and built a new minor seminary; and developed various forms of Catholic action. Concerned about moral laxity in the city, he prevented the projected transfer of the gambling casino from the Lido to the center of town, and he forbade the clergy to visit the biennial festival of art in 1954 because of some improper pictures exhibited there; two years later he was able to revoke the prohibition and even to attend the exhibition himself. As president of the Tri-Venetian Episcopal Conference, he compelled the left-wing faction of the Christian Democrats to suspend publication of their weekly, Il Popolo Veneto; in a letter dated Christmas 1955, the Episcopal Conference denounced the proposed "opening to the Left." On Aug. 16, 1956, Roncalli issued a pastoral letter in which he rebuked those who persisted in advocating this policy at any cost. Nevertheless when the Italian Socialist party held its national convention at Venice in February 1957, he exhorted his flock to welcome the delegates, who appeared to him to desire to promote the ideals of social peace and justice; some of the right-wing Christian Democrats then protested his action. In 1958 he completed the fifth and last volume of Gli Atti della Visita Apostolica di S. Carlo Borromeo a Bergamo (1575), the collection of historical documents that he had been editing since 1909 (with the collaboration of a Bergamask priest, Pietro Forno, for v.1 and 2) and had published at intervals (Florence, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1946, 1958) in the series "Fontes Ambrosiani."

Pontificate

After PIUS XII'S death (Oct. 9, 1958), Roncalli was summoned to the conclave, which opened October 25 and was attended by 51 cardinals (of whom 17 were Italian) ; Roncalli was elected on October 28 and crowned on November 4. He kept as his private secretary Loris Capovilla, who bad served him in that capacity at Venice, and he appointed Domenico TARDINI pro-secretary (soon cardinal secretary) of state; this office had been vacant since 1944. After Tardini died on July 30, 1961, the pope appointed Cardinal Amleto Cicognani his successor. With only 52 members in the College of Cardinals, including 12 more than 80 years old, Pope John held his first consistory on Dec. 15, 1958, at which, annulling in part the regulation of Sixtus V (1586) and Canon 231 of the Code of Canon Law by which a maximum of 70 members was fixed, he created 23 new cardinals. In the second consistory (Dec. 14, 1959) he added eight more; the third (March 28, 1960) announced the elevation of ten prelates, of whom seven were named and three were reserved in pectore. In the fourth consistory (Jan. 16, 1961), four newPage 936  |  Top of Article cardinals were created, and in the last (March 19, 1962), ten. The total was then the highest in history—87 (plus the three never revealed) —and the representation the most international.

In another consistory (Jan. 25, 1959) the pope proposed to the cardinals three major undertakings: a diocesan synod for Rome, an ecumenical council for the universal Church, and a revision of the Code of CANON LAW (preceded by the promulgation of the Code of Oriental Law). The synod, the first in the history of Rome, was solemnly opened by the pope in the Basilica of St. John Lateran on Jan. 24, 1960; he addressed it at St. Peter's on the following three days and closed it there on January 31. Its decrees, promulgated by the apostolic constitution Sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum, were designed to remedy the ills of the Church in a city that had grown from 400, 000 inhabitants in 1900 to more than two million in 1960 and that had only 220 secular and 360 religious priests.

Vatican Council II. The ecumenical council, which he decided to call the Second Vatican Council, is undoubtedly the major achievement of John's pontificate, although it was not completed before his death (see VATI CAN COUNCIL II). Attributing the idea of convoking such an assembly to a sudden inspiration from the Holy Ghost, he prescribed as its immediate task the renewal of the religious life of Catholics and the bringing up to date of the teaching, discipline, and organization of the Church, with the ultimate goal being the unity of Christians. At the solemn opening of the council on Oct. 11, 1962, he delivered a memorable discourse, and on the next two days he received the members of the 86 extraordinary missions sent by governments and international bodies and the 39 non-Catholic observers and guests who had accepted invitations to the council. Although he did not attend the general congregations or normally interfere with the deliberations, he intervened on November 21 at a critical point by deciding that the schema on revelation, which had been rejected on the preceding day by somewhat less than the required majority of two-thirds, should not be discussed further but should be revised by a special mixed commission. This encouraged the majority who were in favor of change; hence it was a turning point in the first session. He closed the first period of the council on December 8 with an allocution in which he announced the creation of a new commission, charged with following and directing the conciliar activities during the nine-month recess. On Jan. 6, 1963, he sent to each father of the council a letter, Mirabilis ille, in which he gave directives for the continuation of the work during the interval and recommended local collaboration.

Law and Liturgy. John took the first step toward revision of the Code of Canon Law by announcing the creation of a pontifical commission on March 28, 1963. Earlier modifications of ecclesiastical law had been introduced by his motu proprio Suburbicariis sedibus (April 11, 1962), removing all power of jurisdiction over the SUBURBICARIAN sees from the cardinal bishops who bear their tides and entrusting the government of these dioceses to the bishops of the place; thus he freed the cardinals of distracting responsibilities and enabled them to devote their undivided attention to curial affairs. Four days later by the motu proprio Cum gravissima he decreed that the episcopal dignity would henceforth be conferred on all cardinals, regardless of their rank within the College. Moreover, by the motu proprio Summi Pontificis electio (Sept. 5, 1962) he modified Pius XII's dispositions regarding the vacancy of the Holy See. He also made the patriarchs of the Eastern churches who were not cardinals adjunct members of the Congregation for the ORIENTAL CHURCH. Finally, he added another office to the Roman Curia by elevating to that rank, by the motu proprio Boni Pastoris (Feb. 22, 1959), the papal commission for cinema, radio, and television; he laid down new rules for its functioning and put Abp. Martin J. O'Connor, rector of the NORTH AMERICAN COLLEGE in Rome, at its head.

John manifested his determination to enhance the sacred liturgy by the motu proprio Rubricarum instructum (July 25, 1960), approving a new code of rubrics for the Breviary and Missal. He also permitted the distribution of Holy Communion to the sick in the afternoon (Oct. 21, 1961). Several times he warned against exaggerations and excesses in the worship of the saints. He chose the schema on the liturgy as the first topic to be treated by Vatican Council II, and he ordered that the name of St. Joseph be inserted in the Canon of the Mass after that of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Nov. 13, 1962). Finally, in response to the direct appeal of the Greek Melkite patriarch Maximos IV Sayegh, he rescinded (April 5, 1960) the decision of the Holy Office forbidding the use of the vernacular in the Byzantine rite (specifically, the use of English in Birmingham, Alabama).

Encyclical Letters. John issued seven encyclical letters: Ad Petri cathedram (June 29, 1959), treating the triple theme of truth, unity, and peace, which are to be acquired and developed under the inspiration of charity; Sacerdotii Nostri primordia (July 31, 1959) on the centenary of the death of St. Jean Marie Baptiste VIANNEY, Curé d'Ars, with regard to all aspects of the contemporary life of priests; Princeps Pastorum (Nov. 28, 1959) on the 40th anniversary of the apostolic letter Maximum illud on the missions (development of a native hierarchy and clergy, collaboration of other countries, education of the clergy, apostolate of the laity, etc.) ; MATER ET MAGISTRA (dated May 15, 1961, pub. July 15) on recentPage 937  |  Top of Article developments of the social question in the light of Christian doctrine; Aeterna Dei (Nov. 11, 1961) on the 15th centenary of the death of St. Leo the Great; Paenitentiam agere (July 1, 1962) on the necessity of penance to ensure the success of Vatican Council II; and PACEM IN TERRIS (April 11, 1963), addressed to all men of good will, on peace among all nations based on truth, justice, charity, and liberty and on the right organization of society for the attainment of this end. He also issued an encyclical epistle, Grata recordatio (Sept. 29, 1959), on the recitation of the rosary.

Canonizations. John canonized the following saints: Carlo da Sezze and Joaquina de VEDRUNA Y DE MAS (April 12, 1959), Gregory BARBARIGO (May 26, 1960), Juan de Ribera (June 12, 1960), Maria Bertilla BOS CARDIN (May 11, 1961), Martin de PORRES (May 6, 1962), Pierre Julien EYMARD, Antonio Maria Pucci, and FRANCESCO MARIA OF CAMPOROSSO (Dec. 9, 1962), and Vincent PALLOTTI (Jan. 20, 1963). He declared the following to be blessed: Elena GUERRA (April 26, 1959), Marguerite d' Youville (May 3, 1959), Innocenzo of Berzo (Nov. 12, 1961), Elizabeth SETON (March 17, 1963), and Luigi Maria Palazzolo (March 19, 1963). He also declared St. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI to be a doctor of the Church (March 19, 1959).

Ecumenism and Diplomacy. During John's pontificate notable advances were made in ecumenical relations (see ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT). Catholic theologians conferred with the Orthodox at Rhodes in August 1959, when the executive committee of the WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES met there. The Secretariat for Promoting CHRISTIAN UNITY was instituted by the motu proprio Superno Dei nutu (June 5, 1960) and Cardinal A. Bea was appointed president. Two papal envoys were sent to the patriarch of Constantinople, Athanagoras, on June 27, 1961. For the first time the Catholic Church was represented at an assembly of the World Council of Churches, when in November 1961 five official observers designated by Bea's secretariat went to New Delhi. In consideration of the Jews the pope commanded that the epithets "perfidis (Judaeis) " and " (judaicam) perfidiam" in the Roman liturgy of Good Friday be deleted.

During his pontificate a very large number of statesmen were received in audience. The pope's visit to Pres. Antonio Segni (May 11, 1963) was the first made by a pope to the Quirinal since the establishment of the Republic of ITALY. Secret negotiations with the Soviet Union resulted in the release of Josyf Slipyi, Ukrainian metropolitan of Lvov, who had been confined in Siberia and who arrived in Rome on Feb. 9, 1963. Attempts to procure the liberation of other Catholic prelates imprisoned behind the Iron Curtain, especially Cardinal József Mindszenty, archbishop of Esztergom, ended in failure. John's efforts for world peace included an appeal to the heads of the governments involved (Sept. 10, 1961) when international tension was rapidly mounting over the Berlin Crisis; he appealed to the French and to the revolutionaries on June 3, 1962, during the civil war in Algeria; and he appealed again to the rulers of the most powerful countries on Oct. 25, 1962, begging them to continue to treat with each other in regard to Cuba. The International Balzan Foundation awarded him its Peace Prize for 1962; the four Soviet members of the foundation's general council concurred in this decision, and Nikita Khrushchev approved of their action.

Other Accomplishments. As bishop of Rome, John XXIII displayed unremitting care of his diocese; he made frequent appearances in the parishes, hospitals, and educational and charitable institutions of the city. He also traveled farther than any pope since Pius IX, going by automobile to the summer villa of the Roman Seminary at Roccantica (Sept. 10, 1960) and by train to Loreto and Assisi (Oct. 4, 1962) to pray for the forthcoming ecumenical council. To improve the education of candidates for the priesthood, he elevated the Lateran Athenaeum to the status of a pontifical university on May 17, 1959; on March 7, 1963, he did the same for the Athenaeum Angelicum, now known as the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. In order to promote the study of Latin among seminarians and other students, he issued the apostolic constitution Veterum sapientia (Feb. 22, 1962). He sought means to strengthen the Church in Latin America and frequently expressed his concern for the "Church of Silence" in eastern Europe and eastern Asia. He also fostered the growth of the missions; besides writing the encyclical Princeps Pastorum, he consecrated 14 bishops for Africa, Asia, and Oceania in St. Peter's on May 8, 1960, and 14 more on May 21, 1961.

Pope John appeared in public for the last time at his window in the Vatican on May 22, 1963. Shortly thereafter he began to succumb to a gastric cancer from which he had suffered for about a year. Having endured a prolonged agony, he died on June 3 (Pentecost Monday). As the world mourned, his body was buried in a simple tomb in the crypt of St. Peter's. On Nov. 18, 1965, Paul VI announced initiation of procedures looking to the beatification and ultimate canonization of his two immediate predecessors, John XXIII and Pius XII.

Character. A man of evangelical simplicity and unaffected humility, John XXIII was never ashamed of his lowly origins and always remained closely attached to his native soil and his rustic family. His diary, Journey of a Soul [tr. by D. White (New York 1965) ], published posthumously, reveals a profound interior life and an unwaveringPage 938  |  Top of Article trust in Divine Providence. One of his favorite apothegms was Voluntas Dei, pax nostra. He was a highly cultured man, versed in history, archeology, and architecture, fond of literature (especially Manzoni), art, and music; he could speak French, Bulgarian, Russian, Turkish, and modern Greek, in addition to Italian and Latin. Gifted with an agreeable disposition and a ready wit, he was characteristically open and affable, understanding and compassionate, jovial and calm, familiar in audiences, hospitable, and a lively conversationalist.

Throughout his life he valued the care of souls above any other occupation. He disliked the bureaucracy of the Roman Curia, demythologized the papacy, and diminished the cult of the pontifical personality. He allowed as much freedom of thought and action as possible to others and recognized the limitations of his own knowledge and ability. He perceived the need of reform and his pontificate is regarded as a turning point in the history of the Catholic Church. Considered by some, because of his advanced age and ambiguous reputation at the time of his election, to be merely a transitional pontiff, John XXIII instead initiated a new age. As part of the Jubilee Year 2000 events, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 3 together with Pope Pius IX.


Pope John XXIII. (BettmannCORBIS.) Pope John XXIII. (©Bettmann/CORBIS.)

Bibliography: Scritti e discorsi, 1953–1958, 4 v. (Rome 1959–62) ; Discorsi, messaggi, colloqui del Santo Padre Giovanni XXIII, 5 v. (Vatican City 1961–64). Souvenirs d'un nonce: Cahiers de France, 1944–1953 (Paris 1963) ; Encyclicals of Pope John XXIII (Washington 1965). Acta et documenta Concilio oecumenico Vaticano II apparando, ser.2, v.1 Acta summi pontificis Ioannis XXIII (Vatican City 1964). Wit and Wisdom of Good Pope John, comp. H. FESQUET, tr. S. ATTANASIO (New York 1964). U. GROPPI and J. S. LOMBARDI, Above All a Shepherd: Pope John XXIII (New York 1959). A. LAZZARINI, Pope John XXIII, tr. M. HATWELL (New York 1959). F. X. MURPHY, John XXIII Comes to the Vatican (New York 1959). R. ROUQUETTE, "Le Mystère Roncalli, " Études 318 (1963) 4–18, Eng. tr. Catholic Mind 62 (Apr. 1964) 4–12. E. E. HATES, Pope John and His Revolution (London 1965). V. BRANCA and S. ROSSO-MAZZINGHI, ed. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli: dal patriarcato di Venezia alla cattedra di San Pietro (Florence 1984). G. ALBERIGO, ed. Giovanni XXIII: transizione del papato e della Chiesa (Rome 1988). P. HEBBLETHWAITE, Pope John XXIII, Shepherd of the Modern World (Garden City, NY 1985).

[R. TRISCO]

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Gale Document Number: GALE|CX3407705942