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Catholic Northwest Progress
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June 7, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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June 7, 1963

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2,--:THE PROGRESS Second Secfion Friday, June 7, 1963 A People's Pope... ANGELO RONCALLI (seated) who would later become Pope John XXIII, poses with two' friends during his seminary days at the Pontifical Seminary in Rome. It was here he received a laureate in theology. He was ordained in the Church of Santa Maria in Monte Santo August 10, 1904, and offered his first Mass in St, Peter's Basilica that same year. IN THESE EARLY PHOTOS the future Pope is shown as he appeared on his ordination day in 1904; in the uniform of a medical sergeant in the Italian army during World War I (the only time he wore a mustache); and as he looked March 3, 1925, when Pope Pius XI raised him to the episcopate. iiili iiiiiiii i:i!ii:iii i:iil;i:: i i WHILE SERVING as Papal Nuncio to France in 1944, Archbishop Roncalli, assist- ed by Vicar General Bohan of Paris, visits a prisoner of war camp near Chartres to aid in the distribution of relief materials supplied by War Relief Services of the National Catholic Welfare Conference , agency of the U.S. Catholic bishops. ANGELO CARDINAL RONCALLI, Patriarch of Venice, like another citizen of Ber- gamo, Pope St. Pius X, is shown on the day he left his archepiscopal See to ioin his fellow Princes of the Church in the Papal Conclave, This conclave elected him'pontiff I ctober 28, 1958. (Continued from Page 1) Catholic Church. It also sounded a warning of the universal dev- astation threatened by nuclear war. He issued six more ency- clicals before Pacem in Terris. In his first four years Pope John did more to promote Christian unity than most ob- servers thought possible at the outset. As early as 1925 he gained first-hand knowledge and inter- est in the Eastern churches while serving for 20 years in the apostolic delegations of Bulgaria. Turkey and Greece. The very day after his elec- tion October 28, 1958, Pope John voiced concern for separated Christians in a worldwide radio talk: "We eagerly desire their re- turn to the house of the com- mon Father, and we there- fore repeat the words of the Divine Redeemer: 'Holy Fath- er, keep in Thy name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.' For thus 'there shall be one fold and one Shepherd.'" In his first Christmas mes- sage eight weeks later, Pope John pleaded for efforts toward peace by men of good will and for Christian unity in the face of ill will. A month later, January 25, 1959, he announced the intention of calling the Second Vatican Council and issued another in- vitation "to the faithful of the separated communities that they may follow us amiably in this search for unity and grace, to which so many souls aspire in all parts of the earth." '...A Step Closer' His belief that Christian unity was a gradual process was in- dicated in a letter to priests of the Venice area in April, 1959: "first a step closer, then a step still closer, and finally the per- fect reunion of so many sep- arated brothers with the ancient common mother." Speaking t h a t summer to Italian Catholic Action leaders at Castel Gandolfo, he said he planned to work for revitaliza- tion and strengthening of the Catholic Church so t h a t its truth will be easily recogniz- able by Orthodox and Protest- ant Christians. In September, 1959, Pope John issued a prayer for the success of the Vatican Coun- cil imploring the Holy Spirit "for those sheep who are not yet of the fold of Jesus Christ; as they glory in the name of Christian, so may they finally come to true unity under the guidance of the one Pastor." In a momentous meeting, December 2, 1960, Pope John had a one-hour conversation in his private study with Arch- bishop Geoffrey F. Fisher of Canterbury, p r i m a t e of the Church of England. This, re- quested by the latter, was the first such meeting in over 400 years with the spiritual leader of Anglicans who now number more than 40 million. At another precedent-setting meeting w i t h Bishop Arthur Lichtenberger of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U. S., late in 1961, the Pope first dis- closed that non-Catholic observ- ers would be asked to the Vati- can Council. Christian unity was the theme of his sixth encyclical, issued Nov. 11, 1961, commemorating the 1,500th anniversary of the death of St. Leo (I) the Great. In it Pope John recounted the life and work of the fifth cen- tury saint, putting special em- phasis on his teaching and ef- forts regarding the unity of the church and the faithful, and re- lating them to the present search for Christian unity. A m o n g the preparatory commissions of the Vatican C o u n e i ! he appointed one charged with promoting Chris- tian unity, w i t h Augustin Cardinal Ben, S. J. at its head. By this he hoped to give other Christians "the oppor- tunity of following the work of the council and of finding more easily the path of unity." Pope Johfi made clear in the opening address of the council last December that the re- union of the Christian churches was to be one of its major goals. Received Observers Two days after the council convened, Pope John held a special audience for 35 del- egate observers and guests re- presenting 17 Orthodox and Protestant denominations, in- cluding two from Russia. From an armchair--not the usual throne--he told them: "There burns in my heart the intention of working and suffering to hasten' the hour when for all men the prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper will have reached its fulfill- ment." Not only in the cause of Christian unity, but in promot- ing other church interests, Pope John has amazed by his vigor those who regarded his election to the papacy at the age of 77 as a transition to a younger s'uccessor with pro- spects for more lasting tenure. For he brought to the final task of a long career strength WEARING the triple tiara of the papacy, Pope John following the ceremony of his coronation November 4, 1958, gives the papal of purpose, experience and that extraordinary simplicity a n d warmth that combined to make his somewhat short reign an unforgettable chapter in his- tory. Remembered For Kindness But thousands not interested in epochal events remember his friendly smile, his easy laugh when the joke was on him, the occasions when he committed a faux pas, and quickly admitted it, his un- expected visits to the poor, his readiness to break with pro- tocol, and his inclination to praise rather than censure. Pope John had a dual nature combining the simplicity of the peasant with the administra- tive skill of the diplomat. His first schooling at the age of six was from the parish priest of the village of Cervico, not far from his native home. Five years later.he entered the minor seminary at Bergamo. Early Ability Noted In his early years Joe Ron- calli was a normal but not particularly distinguished scholar, apart from amiable disposition and common sense. Yet his talents first were rec- ognized when at 16 he became dormitory prefect of his class, THE VATICAN i s s u e d this commemorative medal to mark the coronation of Pope John in 1958. It car- ried a side portrait of the Holy Father and a relief of the papal tiara with a dove representing the Holy Spirit and the rays of the divine sun. normally an honor reserved for better scholars. At 17 he received minor orders and two years later his preparatory training was com. plete. He had developed into a good student and won a scholarship to Rome's major seminary. However, his studies were interrupted by a year of military duty when he was 20. He returned to his studies and was ordained a priest August 10, 1904. Father Roncalli had earn- ed his laureate in theology and had just begun work on his doctorate in canon law when Bishop Giaeomo Rad- ini-Tedesehi of Bergamo call- ed him to be his personal secretary. He held this post 10 years. During this period he found a set of old docuffients per- taining to the diocesan visit of St. Charles Borromeo, arch- bishop of Milan from 1595 to 1631. He decided to edit and publish them--a work that en- gaged his interest off and on until his election to the papacy. While secretary to Bishop Radini.Tedeschi until World War I, he also taught at the Bergamo seminary. Became Hospital Chaplain With war, Father Roncalli was recalled to military duty in June, 1915, first as sergeant- major with the Italian army medical corps, and the follow. ing year as a hospital chaplain. Years later he wrote that this period gave him great in- / sight in understanding life and the priestly apostolate. After the war, Father Ron- calli returned to the Bergamo seminary where he organized the first students' house in Italy, providing free aid to middle class children attend- ing public schools. He also helped found the first organ- ization of young Catholic women in the diocese. In 1921, when he was 40, Father Roncalli was called to Rome by Pope Benedict XV to be president of the Italian Society for the Propagation of the Faith. An incident occurred at this time that reflects the good nature of the future pope. While vacationing at a summer villa with seminarians of the Pontifical Urban College for the Propagation of the Faith, he was handed a key and directed to his room. Could Take A Joke Father Roncalli opened the door and found himself in a broom closet with a small bed. He went along with the joke, settled down on the bed and made the best of a night's sleep. His task in the propagation congregation was to help co- ordinate activities of national mission societies throughout the world. This meant con- siderable travel in Italy, France, Belgium and Holland. Father Roncalli was made a monsignor May 7, 1921, in rec- ognition of his administrative ability and his work as pro- fessor at the Roman Seminary. He was chief organizer of the mission exhibit in Rome dur- ing the 1925 Holy Year. Named To Bulgarian Post The same year, March 19-- the feast of St. Joseph, his patron-- he was consecrated titular bishop of Areopolis with personal title of archbishop, and named apostolic visitor to Bulgaria. This was the first time since the 13th century that the church sent an official re- presentative to that country. In his first sermon there, Archbishop Roncalli showed the long view toward Christ- ian unity that marked his later career. His role in Bulgaria was to protect the interests of 50,000 Bulgarian Catholics, to encourage church growth and to represent the Holy See on a non-diplomatic level. Before being transferred to Turkey 10 years later, he visited every part of Bulgaria. The success of his activities is reflected in the fact that several years before he left. Pope Pius XI raised the Sofia office to the rank of an apostolic delegation. Sent To Greece, Turkey Archbis'hop Roncalli was as- signed as apostolic delegate to Greece and Turkey late in 1934 and named administrator of the Latin Rite Vicariate Apostolic o f Constantinople. He helped to finance Catholic schools and promoted cordial relations between the church and the government. The Second World War had begun, and his work increased because it included sending and receiving information, working with the Vatican Information blessing, "Urbi et Orbi" from the balcony of St. the thousands of faithful below. Bureau on Prisoners of War and Refugees. Helped Jewish Refugees He was so active in helping Jewish refugees fleeing Ger. many that the grand rabbi of Israel, Dr. Isaac Halevy Her- zog, recalled on his election to the papacy: "I am persuaded that your noble faith in the highest values, as shown during the time of Nazi atrocities, will guide you in your new and important tasks . . ." Archbishop Roncalli helped to create a climate in which the Catholics and the Ortho- dox of Greece put aside differ- ences in humane efforts to meet the threat of general FAMED for his many sur- prise strolls, Pope John is shown walking among groups of workers gathered m St. Peter's Square to mark the anniversary of the two great social encyclicals Rerum Novarum and Quad- ragesimo Anna. starvation. In cooperation with Orthodox Archbishop Damas- kinos, he arranged with the Vatican to bring in 350,000 tons of wheat through efforts of the British government, U. S. Catholics and Greeks in exile. Assigned To Paris He was assigned as apostolic nuncio to Paris, arriving there on the last day of 1944. France had just been liberated and there was strong resent- ment among the nation's lead- ers that the Vatican repre- sentative and some other church leaders had supported or at least tolerated the Vichy government. In this delicate position, Archbishop Roncalli showed rare tact. He visited all but two of France's 87 dio- ceses. With a full schedule, he sometimes forgot social ob- ligations. On e day when Franeisque Gay, deputy pre- mier, arrived and expressed pleasure at being asked to dinner along with some other VlPs, he admitted that he h a d completely forgotten. But he rose to the occasion, and talked his distinguished visitor into helping him. "Here, put on this apron." he said, "You have to help me make polenta." (a thick porridge). Saw Worker Priest Danger While in France the future Pope faced the problem of worker priests, clergy who had gone into the working man's world in reduce the wholes members. He a Vatican to seeking a si blem. Even: bishops had to i curbing the mo largely through R and prudence a pc episode was aw he became Pope, worker movement by order of During Archbisho named in 1951 as permanent obser, United Nations Scientific and Cull zation (UNESCOI vember 29, 1952, [ a cardinal. The Fr ment decorated commander ,/]lt h Honor. At 1. career behiilm'hi Roncalli left Part; assignment in th But when the Venice died sudde Roncalli was nan 15, 1953 to succe renovated the anc and the residence visited eve ryllliffi.' instructions l:] trine, convo began building a One of his nept an incident at th Always Humbh "When he was Venice, after I ha Mass, he told mq to serve m" ; protested he wanted wanted to see if to celebrate it." He continued t upon by Rome missions, such as 1954, when papal Marian Year Beirut, Lebanon, a 1958, when new under St. Pius X Elected Pope When Pope Pil October 9, 1958, C calli left for Rom that he expected Venice within 15 50 other cardin otherwise, an 1958 he was world as The very next d as Vatican secret Msgr. Domeni The post had bee years. Within a n nouneed the i creating 25 eardi a 400-year tradit their numbet signor Tar those namedID v Within three m election, Pope JoF his intention of Second Vatican Cc But even befor John made clear t be an active reigr his election, he Vatican radio al called on s' major univer Vatican walls. Visited HospHc On Christmas i the hearts of mar the city's hospit day the city jail. i the police were when, without nc with two household retired and ir fore the first yc he distributed C, Rome's streetswe, the tough Trasta to working class '. Pope John has the main problerr (Continued on