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By the end of the second session of the Second Vatican Council, there was considerable unease among the council fathers. The council was proceeding at a snail's pace and it was far from clear as to who was running the show.
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As the second session of the Second Vatican Council drew to a close on Dec. 4, 1963, the mood among the council fathers was sombre. Only two conciliar decrees had been approved, disorganization had slowed the progress of the council and a deep chasm existed among the fathers on religious liberty, ecumenism and collegiality.
Maximos IV Saigh, the patriarch of the Melkite Catholic Church, was one of the most outspoken fathers of the Second Vatican Council.
One feature that distinguished the Second Vatican Council from the 19th-century Vatican One and the 16th-century Council of Trent was the presence of "observers" from other Christian churches.