Page 1, 30th October 1959

30th October 1959
Page 1
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Page 1, 30th October 1959 — Press, Radio and TV learn to keep an eye on Rome

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Locations: Milan, Rome, Venice, Vatican City


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Press, Radio and TV learn to keep an eye on Rome


First anniversary of his coronation


NEXT Wednesday, the feast of St.

Charles Borromeo and the first anniversary of the coronation of His Holiness Pope John XXIII, will be celebrated throughout England and Wales as Festa del Papa—a day on which evening Mass will be said, where possible, in

every church.

Cardinal Godfrey will assist at Capitular Mass in Westminster Cathe dral at 10.30 a.m. that morning and the Apostolic Delegate will be present in the sanctuary.

In Rome, Cardinal Montini. Archbishop of Milan, will celebrate Pontifical Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in the presence of the Pope, the Papal Court, the Diplomatic Corps and a gathering of many thousands.

A year ago

A year has passed since the words "We have a Pope" rang across the world from the balcony above St. Peter's Square. In that year the Press, Radio and TV have learned to keep at least one eye or ear on Rome and on the man who follows St. Pius X in being a Patriarch of Venice who emerged from the Conclave as Supreme Pontiff.

Pope John instantly struck the note of his predecessor, Pope Pius Xll, in his immediate appeal for peace But. from the moment he gave his first vigorous blessing to the crowd, he also began to carve out the path shaped by Mgr. Bacci even before his election.

"The new Pope," said the Secretary of Briefs to Princes, " will be a Master, Pastor and Father to his flock . . . he will be as a bridge between all nations . , . including those who reject the Catholic religion . "


At his coronation, Pope John said, " We have at heart in a very special manner our task as shepherd of the entire flock. All other human qualities—diplomatic perceptiveness and tact, organising ability—can embellish the reign of a Pontiff but they cannot serve as substitutes . . ."

Within a few weeks 23 new Cardinals were created—Cardinal Godfrey of Westminster among them—bringing the Sacred College to 75. Then started the series of sudden outings or visits within the Vatican City that have continued to startle the press no less than some Vatican officials.

He visited seminaries speaking to and saying Mass for young men preparing for the priesthood. He visited the sick. He visited the imprisoned in Rome's Regina Cocli Prison where newsreel and TV cameras recorded what was perhaps to many the most memorable event of the year.

A reporter said afterwards: " I never saw so many people crying in all my life. The Pope, the Governor of the Prison, the prisoners, the guards. the priests, everyone. 1 thought the place would dissolve in a flood of tears."

Pope John was the first Pope to refer to " schism " in China. "The word ". he said, " seemed to burn his lips " He ruled it sinful Continued on page 5, col. 6

Pope John's first year

for Catholics to vote for political candidates—Communist or not— who had Communist leanings.

He sprang into the headlines again with the historic announcement that an Ecumenical Council would be called To 17 Cardinals assembled in the Basilica of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls, on January 25, feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. the Pope said:

" We announce to you, indeed trembling a little with emotion but at the same time with humble resolution of intention. the name and the proposal of a two-fold celebration: a diocesan synod for the City (Rome) and an Ecumenical Council for the Universal Church."

He continued: "They will lead happily to the desired and awaited revision of the Code of Canon Law which should accompany and crown these two tests of the practical application of the provisions of Church discipline."

General Council but preparations began immediately. By early summer more than 2,700 of the world's ruling bishops, abbots and major religious superiors were instructed to submit their suggestions for the agenda. By early autumn hundreds of suggestions had arrived.

The synod, expected to take place next year, will, said the Pope. be a model for diocesan synods throughout the world. Many bishops have. in fact, already indicated their wish to have copies of the synod's conclusions and recommendations.

" The Church is living. She is not just the custodian of a museum." said the Pope. "Though the Church has a great respect for what is ancient, beautiful and good, her first concern is souls. That is why the Church intends to give dioceses a better ecclesiastical and juridical structure."

World wide interest in the announcement of the General Council was overwhelming, especially when it became clear a few days later that Christian Unity was to be a foremost aim.

Major newspapers in both hemispheres commented editorially. Dr. Charles Malik of Lebanon, then President of the United Nations General Assembly and a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, said the Council could be " greater than anything that has happened so far in this 20th century. or indeed in many a long century past."

Protestant and Orthodox reaction has been cautious but cordial.

Pope John has issued three Encyclicals so far. The first, on June 29, a 10,000 word appeal for unity and peace; the second. on August 1, dealt with the priestly life and was written in connection with the centenary of the dath of the Curd of Ars, St. Jean Vianney. The third. a short encyclical dealing with the Rosary, came out last month.

September brought the ending of the Worker-priest movement. It brought too the implementation of Pius XII's recommendations on increased salaries for Vatican employees. In October we welcomed the Holy Father's first address in English.

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