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On November 23, 1958, Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the son of peasant Italian farmers, became Pope John XXIII. Widely expected to be a transitional pope, John surprised the Church hierarchy and the world by convoking an ambitious ecumenical council—the first such council in more than a century—to bring the Catholic Church into the modern era. "I want to throw open the windows of the Church," he said, "so that we can see out and the people can see in." Broken into four sessions and held over four years, the ...
On November 23, 1958, Cardinal Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the son of peasant Italian farmers, became Pope John XXIII. Widely expected to be a transitional pope, John surprised the Church hierarchy and the world by convoking an ambitious ecumenical council—the first such council in more than a century—to bring the Catholic Church into the modern era. "I want to throw open the windows of the Church," he said, "so that we can see out and the people can see in." Broken into four sessions and held over four years, the Second Vatican Council ("a new Pentecost," according to John) breathed new life into the Church and its pastoral mission, knocking down the centuries-old wall between the Church hierarchy and the laity and repositioning the Church as a universal instrument of hope, justice, and compassion for people of all faiths.
Fifty years after he convened the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII remains one of the most beloved and remarkable fi gures in the history of the Catholic Church. Affectionately known as Il Buono Papa, or the Good Pope, John is remembered today by Catholics and non-Catholics alike as an enduring symbol of peace, ecumenicalism, and Christian spirituality. In The Good Pope, Greg Tobin recounts John's remarkable story, from his impoverished childhood in Bergamo, Italy, and his successful tenure as a papal ambassador in war-torn Europe to his surprise ascendancy to the throne of St. Peter. In the process, he traces John's legacy as the spiritual father of the modern Church and explains why the Good Pope and his great council are as vital, vibrant, and important to Catholicism as ever before. Meticulously researched and engaging, The Good Pope captures the heart, soul, and spirit of the man who ushered in a new era of religion in the twentieth century.
Posted November 2, 2012
The Good Pope: John XXIII & Vatican II, The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church by Greg Tobin is a biography of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the Pope. John XXIII is credited with helping modernized the Catholic Church even though he only served as Pope from 1958 to 1963.
I wanted to read The Good Pope: John XXIII & Vatican II, The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church by Greg Tobin because I am very unfamiliar with the Catholic dogma and beliefs. Being brought up Jewish I can also not comprehend the elevated status to the Pope in the eyes of mortal men as well as the whole idea of elevating a man into the status of “saint”.
I found it fascinating to read about the different faction within the Catholic church which I never knew existed. The whole “liberals” vs. “conservatives” division was explained very well without dissenting into blame or divisiveness, as Mr. Tobin is simply telling a story (and a good one at that) without taking sides; of course the reader gets to see events more clearly from the point of view of the subject of the book.
I learned a lot from this book, not only about John XXIII, but also about the Christian religion in general and the Catholic sect specifically. However, many of the terms are “technical” which I never heard of and had to look up many of them and then re-read the section to understand them within context.
That being said, the book is very readable, easy to read on a very likeable subject. I got the impression that John XXIII/ Angelo Roncalli was truly a very good man, a strong Pope who kept his “priest in the trenches” priorities while holding the highest level in his occupation. An unglamorous man who was truly a man-of-G-d first and a politician second.
One of John XXIII greatest achievements, outside of providing spiritual guidance for individuals, was convening the Second Vatican Council which was trying to reform the church. The Second Council’s agenda was to open the religion to the modern world while preserving the core traditions, a very difficult mission especially with the conservatives within the Vatican fighting tooth and nail against those reforms.
The Good Pope is an authoritative biography of a poor peasant who became Pope, a man full of humility, goodness and a healthy sense of humor which helped him greatly throughout his ordeals, diplomatic missions and facing his opponents. Filled with personal passages from Roncalli’s journal, the book is an amazing insight into a man whose short tenure left a large legacy.
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Posted March 21, 2013
Posted April 12, 2013
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