60 years ago he announced the summoning of an Ecumenical Council to be held, for the second time, at the Vatican.
At the same time, John announced that the Code of Canon Law should be reformed (which happened in 1983) and that there should be a Synod for Rome.
My old boss in the curia, the late and great Card. Mayer was present at St. Paul’s. He told me his story about hearing the announcement and the buzz it created. It caught nearly everyone by surprise… as it still does today, in a lot of ways.
60 years ago, today, 25 January, at least where I am, in Tokyo as I write.
I suspect that, in far enough retrospect, the Second Vatican Council will be counted as having created lots of tumult, but it won’t be counted as an important council, not at least in comparison with monumentally important council’s such as Nicea, Chalcedon, Constantinople(s), Trent. Some councils were super game changers, some adjusted the game, some didn’t do much at all. We are, in light of history, just getting to the point when we can see more objectively the fruits – good or bad – of Vatican II. We are “sobering up” after those halcyon days. Reason is returning to many sectors of the Church. Of course some are so stuck in the present, that they forget the importance of continuity with the past. Others haven’t forgotten the past, they just don’t like it. Hence, they think Vatican II was tantamount to the Council of Jerusalem.
Anyway, 60 years, friends.