The Word Among Us

January 2008 Issue

“They Are Our Brethren”

John XXIII and Christian Unity

By: Jeanne Kun

“They Are Our Brethren”: John XXIII and Christian Unity by Jeanne Kun

Not long after his election as pope in 1959, Blessed John XXIII surprised the whole world when he announced his intention to convene the Second Vatican Council. Nobody expected this affable son of peasant farmers to take such a bold move. He was supposed to be a “caretaker pope,” spending his remaining years preparing for the next pope. But Angelo Roncalli had other plans.

Pope John XXIII caused an even greater stir when he stated that one of his primary intentions for the council was Christian unity. Having...

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