77°

Topics

Papal Conclave (2013)
Pope John XXIII modernized Catholicism on road to sainthood
Pope John XXIII modernized Catholicism on road to sainthood

For a pope who was elected when he was 76 and served for just five years, John XXIII has nevertheless come to be seen as one of the most influential popes of the 20th century. Viewed as a mere stopgap when he was elected in 1958 in the wake of the 20-year reign of Pius XII, John took the Vatican by surprise by calling the Second Vatican Council in 1962. Vatican II, as it came to be known, ushered in Masses in the vernacular instead of Latin, handed more power to bishops and launched a new outreach to other religions. John did not live to witness the end of the three-year, tradition-altering council, dying of stomach cancer in 1963. But he has been credited for pushing the Vatican into...

Loading