Column by Glen Argan on the history Vatican II - 50 years Later
Canada’s bishops and Catholic universities were among those who responded to the Vatican’s call in 1959 for input about topics that ought to be considered at the Second Vatican Council.
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Between Pope John XXIII's announcement of an ecumenical council in January 1959 and the opening of the Second Vatican Council in October 1962 was a period approaching four years.
Pope John XXIII was known for his sense of humour and his positive outlook on life. Perhaps it was these factors that led him to say, two years after his Jan. 25, 1959 announcement that the Church would hold a worldwide council, that the announcement was greeted by the cardinals present with "a devout and impressive silence."
On Jan. 25, 1959, a new pope shocked the world. Pope John XXIII, speaking to a small group of Roman cardinals following a liturgy to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, announced that he had decided to convene an ecumenical council.