John XXIII

(Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli)
(1881–1963)
   Pope 1958–63. When a successor had to be elected in 1958 to Pope Pius XII, the choice fell on the seventy-seven-year-old Cardinal Roncalli, as a compromise between more illustrious candidates. Of peasant stock, with rugged features, he was a simple and benign man with few intellectual pretensions. To the surprise of some of those who had chosen him, he revealed a firmness of character, breadth of outlook and humanity that marked him as one of the great popes, despite his brief tenure of office.
   Determined to bring a new spirit of universal goodwill into the Church, he convoked the Second Vatican Council in 1959, to prepare the way for an Ecumenical Council of all the Christian faiths, that took place after his death. His encyclical Pacem in Terris (‘Peace on Earth’) was a profound and challenging document that gained world attention.
   Pope John’s humility and compassion were expressed in his attitude to the Jews. During World War II he interceded to try and save Jews from death at the hands of the Nazis in several countries, particularly in Greece and Bulgaria. Soon after he was elected pope he ordered that the reference to Jewish perfidy should be deleted from the Good Friday liturgy. This highly symbolic gesture aroused displeasure among more traditional and reactionary churchmen. The next step of Jewish significance taken by Pope John was more fundamental. At his instigation, one of the commissions set up by the Second Vatican Council prepared a draft declaration clarifying the attitude of the Catholic Church to Judaism and the Jews. After a prolonged internal struggle, and determined attempts to block the declaration, it was promulgated in 1965 by his successor, Pope Paul VI, in a diluted and less positive form. It affirmed the Jewish roots of the Christian faith ‘and the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews’, and it called for mutual understanding and respect. It has had a beneficial effect on subsequent inter-faith relations.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • JOHN XXIII° — (1881–1963), pope 1958–63. Born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, he convened the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) and raised the papacy to new popularity with his warm, friendly style after the severe formality of his predecessor, pius xii . He served… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • John XXIII — can refer to: *Antipope John XXIII, claimant to papacy in 15th century Western Schism *Pope John XXIII (1958 1963) …   Wikipedia

  • John XXIII — • Antipope (1370 1419) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • John XXIII — (1881 1963) an Italian priest who became ↑Pope (=the leader of the Roman Catholic religion) in 1958 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • John XXIII — (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) 1881 1963, Italian ecclesiastic: pope 1958 63. * * * orig. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli born Nov. 25, 1881, Sotto il Monte, Italy died June 3, 1963, Rome Pope (1958–63). He studied theology in Rome, was ordained a priest in …   Universalium

  • John XXIII —    1) (c. 1370–1419)    Antipope.    John was born Baldassare Cossa in Naples, and was educated at the University of Bologna. He presided over the Council of Pisa in 1409 in an attempt to bring the papal schism to an end. Both existing Popes were …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • John (XXIII) — ▪ antipope original name  Baldassare Cossa   born , Naples died Nov. 22, 1419, Florence       schismatic antipope from 1410 to 1415.       After receiving his doctorate of law at Bologna, Cossa entered the Curia during the Western Schism, when… …   Universalium

  • JOHN XXIII — (1881 1963)    Italian POPE who convened the SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL (1962 1963). His reforms and attempts to modernize the CHURCH had a far reaching effect on ROMAN CATHOLICISM …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • John XXIII — Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • John XXIII — /dʒɒn/ (say jon) noun Saint (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli), 1881–1963, Italian ecclesiastic; pope 1958–63; in 1962, convened Vatican II, the first ecumenical council in almost 100 years; canonised in 2014 …   Australian English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.