Holy Year of 1950 in Rome with Pius XII

A film about the Holy Year of 1950 in Rome with Pius XII. You can see the opening of the Holy Door in that year. Things have changed a little in the meantime.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Eugene says:

    Rev. Father, becasue you hate VII, this has to be a fictional film…because all pre VII Popes never mingled with common peopler or were humble or smiled, surely this can’t be Venerable Pius XII, but some Holywood actor

    [You’ve got a point.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. Orphrey says:

    Fr. Z, you stated: “Things have changed a little in the meantime.” Lately I’ve been having some thoughts that will probably seem naive, unoriginal and maybe misguided to you: As I have gradually learned more about the Vatican II Council, and read things like the Ottaviani Intervention, and learned more about liturgical and other changes since 1965, it increasingly seems to me as though the Catholic Church of today is almost a different Church from the pre-Vatican II Church. Is that a fair thing to say, or is it wrong or maybe even a dangerous interpretation? I know Benedict XVI put a lot of effort into promoting the idea of a “hermeneutic of continuity,” but I have to say that my own experience of what might be called the “Novus Ordo Church” suggests more rupture than continuity. Just think of things like Assisi 1986, altar girls, lay Eucharistic ministers, rock Masses, polyester vestments, churches-in-the-round, tabernacles removed from the churches, changed liturgical calendar, censoring of “inappropriate” psalms in the Divine Office, new code of canon law, etc. It seems to me that if even just one of the post-Vatican liturgical reforms, such as saying Mass in the vernacular or the priest facing the people, had taken place, it would have been a liturgical revolution — but taking all the changes put together, it is a tsunami of change. No matter what you think of the Novus Ordo — even if you like it and you think it’s a nice improvement on the TLM — simply the way in which the new Mass was devised (i.e., the process of making it) suggests a major rupture with 1500 years of slow, organic liturgical development. If I’m way off base, please correct me. For me, these are new ideas and realizations — for you and many of your blog readers, I am sure I seem unoriginal and ignorant. I’m a relatively new convert and I have a lot to learn.

  3. Gratias says:

    Thank you Fr. Z for this wonderful film.

  4. Polycarpio says:

    I like the Venerable Pacelli. Both people person and old school form. He was like Benedict and Francis wrapped up in one.

  5. Robbie says:

    A fantastic video. That said, I must admit I experienced mix of emotions watching it. Without a doubt, it saddened me to see how much things have changed.

  6. JARay says:

    I am hit by nostalgia. I was there in 1950 along with some 2,000 Boy Scouts from England and Wales. We had our own ship to take us across to France where we got on to two special trains which took us to Rome. We then stayed in a tent city which had been erected, for a week, and then we got on to the same two trains which took us to Switzerland. We stayed in Kandersteg in another tent city for ten days and thence back home. What an experience! I was a teenager and this was my first experience of leaving England. The war had only been over for just over 4 years and Europe was re-building after that war. We had an audience with the Pope in St. Peter’s and he spoke to some of our party. I thought that I was looking at a saint. What an experience! It has stayed with me throughout my life up ’till now.

  7. TomG says:

    Orphrey: Well said. Stay the course.

  8. RobertK says:

    Thanks for sharing Father :). Did you see this on from 1975. Pope Paul VI got a little more than he expected when he opened the door in 1975. https://youtu.be/MFatdCqzM9o check around 1:26. :)

  9. Mariana2 says:

    That was beautiful.

  10. jaykay says:

    That was beautiful indeed, and thanks for posting it, Fr. Z. It’s also useful to reflect that the whole respectful, even reverential, tone of the film was genuinely how the world saw Pius XII at that time, before that sock-puppet Hochuth did his stab-in-the-back-job.

    JARay: that must be some memory to have! My father was there in 1948, visiting his younger brother who was completing studies in the Augustinianum. Even though it wasn’t a Holy Year he had many fascinating details of life in Rome just post-War, including a very brief audience with HH (no photos, unfortunately). One that always stuck in my mind was of his brother, an Augustinian, organising a tour of the Forum Romanum led by a dismissed Professor who had been a fascist and who was more than glad to be partly paid in cigarettes, for their value on the black market.

  11. jaykay says:

    Should say, it wasn’t a private audience, of course, something in the context of the University, just wish I’d listened a bit more. But then, with our parents, don’t we all…

  12. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    Watching this film, all I could think was: “Look at those mobs! There was absolutely no reason to call a council.”

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