Pope John XXIII, remembered

Catholic News Service posted a video interview with Pope John XXIII’s former secretary, who is now in his nineties. It is absolutely lovely.

Money quote (about his plan to call the Second Vatican Council):

“You think I am old. You think I will make a mess out of this enormous task. That I don’t have time. Because you think like a commendatore, a bank director. That is not the way you reason with faith. To receive a great inspiration and regard it with admiration and imagine your pleasure in it is already of great merit. If God allows one to carry on with collaborators who encourage one to move ahead, even better. And if one begins only with the first preparatory commission, that is of great merit. If one dies, another will come. It is a great honor just to begin.”

You can view the video here.


  1. Kevin Kelly, in his recently published collection of papers and articles, “50 years receiving Vatican II” makes this comment: “Vatican II was not an event but a continuing process”. John XXIII started a process which he did not live to see through to a conclusion. But then, it is not concluded. We are still living through that experience. The article in the UK Tablet journal this week ‘John and Francis:two of a kind’ highlights that continuity. Together we are on the journey begun so many years ago. It is a lived experience.

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