Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pastoral echoes: Cardinal Montini on Vatican II

Over the course of this Lent, along with my dear friend Stefania, without whose help this would not have been possible for me, I have been working on what, as far as we know, is the first ever English translation of then-Cardinal Montini's (later Pope Paul VI) 1962 Lenten pastoral letter written to flock his in the Archdiocese of Milan from Rome, where he was serving on preparatory commissions for the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The Italian title of his letter is Pensiamo al Concilio, or, in English, something like, Let's Think About the Council. This translation is part of an effort begun and brought to fruition by initiative of my brother deacon Eric Stoltz, who has graciously allowed me to participate. The effort is Conciliaria. You can link to Conciliaria by clicking on the picture of the Second Vatican Council on the upper right of this blog.

Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini during a Corpus Christi procession

We are completing the translation week-by-week. So far we have translated and posted a little more than half of the letter's sixty-three sections in four installments. At the rate of nine sections per week there will be a total of seven installments. It is a remarkable letter that shows what a great and pastoral heart Giovanni Battista Montini had, what a tremendous love for the Lord and for Christ's Bride, the Church, which he so faithfully served until the moment he drew his last breath. For his tireless efforts and courageous exertions he is arguably the most maligned and disparaged of popes. I encourage one and all to read Peter Hebblethwaite's Pope Paul VI: The First Modern Pope and/or to watch the 2010 film Paul VI: The Pope in the Tempest. Please go to the links below to read then-Cardinal Montini's breathtaking pastoral letter of 1962:

Pensiamo al Concilio, Part I

Pensiamo al Concilio, Part II

Pensiamo al Concilio, Part III

Pensiamo al Concilio, Part IV

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