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Former secretary to Pope John XXIII recalls first announcement to Vatican II

January 26, 2011

An Italian archbishop who once served as private secretary to Pope John XXIII has recounted the announcement of Vatican II, in an article published by L’Osservatore Romano.

Archbishop Loris Capovilla, the former Bishop of Chieti and Prelate of Loreto, wrote on January 25, the 52nd anniversary of the momentous announcement. He recalled that Pope John had planned to deliver the announcement personally to the leaders of the Roman Curia, but ceremonies marking the feast of the conversion of St. Paul ran longer than expected, and the Pontiff was delayed. As a result, leading cardinals heard the announcement on the radio before the Pope briefed them.

Archbishop Capovilla, who is now living in retirement at the age of 95, noted that every Pontiff since John XXIII has agreed that Vatican II was “an event willed by God.” He wrote: “If Vatican II has not yet achieved its goals, this means that our conversion is a task yet to be fulfilled.”


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