Cardinal Rigali shares 'personal perspective' of Vatican II in St. John's lecture

Cardinal Justin Rigali delivers his talk "Pope Paul VI and the Implementation of the Second Vatican Council: A Personal Perspective" April 29 as part of an ongoing St. John's Seminary lecture series. Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo

BRIGHTON -- Continuing a lecture series on the Second Vatican Council for St. John's Seminary, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia, related his first-hand knowledge of the council and one of its key figures for an audience at St. Columbkille's Parish in Brighton, April 29.

Msgr. James P. Moroney, the rector of St. John's Seminary, explained the importance of the cardinal's talk.

"In order to understand the Second Vatican Council fully, we need to understand the people who formed it. Cardinal Rigali has had the great privilege to know personally and intimately all the popes who formed and implemented the Second Vatican Council. His experience most intimately with Pope Paul VI gives us a view from the inside of the building of the foundations of the implementation of the Second Vatican Council," Msgr. James P. Moroney said.

The cardinal explained that he was present daily at the first two sessions of the council. From 1964 through 1966 he served as an official of the Secretariat of State at the Vatican and later served as English-language translator for Pope Paul VI from 1970 until the pope's death in 1978.

The cardinal explained that the task fell to Pope Paul VI to implement the intentions of the first pope to oversee the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII.

"He embarked upon an arduous task of continuing what Pope John XXIII had so happily inaugurated," Cardinal Rigali said.

"The principal aim of the Second Vatican Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine be more effectively guarded and taught," he said, quoting Pope John XXIII.

The cardinal said Pope Paul VI maintained a unity with his predecessor by making Christ the center of the teachings of the council.

"That was his specialty. Paul VI always spoke about Jesus Christ," Cardinal Rigali said.

He said Pope Paul VI called for obeying the precepts of Christ "with a submission faithful in everything" upon opening the second session of Vatican II in 1963.

The cardinal said Pope Paul VI sought to implement the teachings as an effort of the Church to define herself in the world. This included reaching out to the modern world and to other Christians, which he saw as an effort of charity.

"This was what Paul VI was all about, was reaching out to all these people that needed help, that needed assistance, all these people that need Jesus Christ," Cardinal Rigali said.

The cardinal also spoke about the time after the council.

"I experienced him as one who continued, long after Vatican II, to help bring the council -- all its richness, doctrine and spirituality -- into the life of Christ's Church. I believe in my own life it was a blessing to be able to be so close to Paul VI," Cardinal Rigali said.

"He was empowered with a rich humanity. This humanity, this human understanding, this human compassion, this human mercy, this human interest was a great gift to the Church, a great instrument for the general implementation of all that Vatican II stood for," Cardinal Rigali said.

Throughout his talk, Cardinal Rigali related anecdotes of his experiences with Pope Paul VI that illustrated the pope's great care and compassion.

In one instance, he recalled being stopped by the pope as he prepared to leave after working late into the evening.

"How is Paul?" he said the pope asked him.

"I was taken aback. I had asked him some time before to remember my brother Paul in his prayers," Cardinal Rigali said. The cardinal's brother had been ill.

He said the pope then asked how Cardinal Rigali's brother was, how his wife was holding up, how the children were, and if there was anything he could do to help.

"Here he is the pope of a billion Catholics, and now he has four questions for me," the cardinal said.

"This is pure Christianity. This is pure love of Christ," the cardinal said.

The cardinal said the Christo-centricity of Pope Paul VI manifested itself in that kind of human touch as the pope implemented the teachings of Vatican II over the course of his remaining years.

After the talk, John C. Cahalan of Methuen, said he saw a contrast with a previous speaker in the series.

"I contrast it to George Weigel, which was academic and historical. This had a different purpose: to be a personal remembrance. It admirably fulfilled its purpose," he said.

Nation
Today is 'hour of the laity,' Archbishop Gomez tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Hispanic Catholic leaders are living an important moment in the history of the Catholic church in the U.S. and are called to ...

World
Stay close to the suffering, forgive one another, pope tells Latvians

AGLONA, Latvia (CNS) -- What would Mary do? was the question Pope Francis, in effect, asked Latvian Catholics gathered at their nation's popular Marian ...

Nation
Joy, hope contagious for Encuentro participants as they discern priorities

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Joy, hope, energy and a spirit of continued collaboration are contagious among the participants of the Fifth National Encuentro, ...

World
Update: Pope in Lithuania: Don't let anti-Semitism, hatred resurge

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Outside the former KGB headquarters in Vilnius, Pope Francis ended a day of paying homage to victims of totalitarianism and ...

World
God is patient, even with failures, pope tells young Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Meeting young Lithuanians in Vilnius, Pope Francis said he wanted a relaxed conversation, like they were sitting in a pub ...

World
Update: Vatican signs provisional agreement with China on naming bishops

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- For the first time in decades, all of the Catholic bishops in China are in full communion with the pope, the Vatican announced. Pope ...

World
Find strength in tolerance, solidarity, pope tells Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- In Lithuania, a nation that experienced invasions, atrocities and persecution, Pope Francis began his visit with a plea to ...

Nation
Ospino: Encuentro reflects 'energy, maturity' of a church 'here to stay'

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- The thousands of Hispanic Catholic ministry leaders gathered in Texas for the Fifth National Encuentro shared views on the maturity ...

Nation
N.J. cardinal won't attend synod, asks to remain home at 'time of crisis'

NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark told the people of his archdiocese Sept. 21 that Pope Francis has granted his request that he ...

Nation
Detroit Archdiocese welcomes investigation into Michigan dioceses

DETROIT (CNS) -- Michigan's attorney general has opened an investigation into the handling of sexual abuse by clergy in all of Michigan's seven Catholic ...

Nation
Catholics believe in God but 'don't believe in us,' Miami archbishop says

MIAMI (CNS) -- The crisis the Catholic Church is facing is not "a crisis of faith" or "mainly about a crisis of sexual abuse by clergy," but is "a crisis ...

Nation
Update: Disney animator says grounding in Catholic schools led to success

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) -- Ron Clements is a renowned animator, screenwriter and producer-director of award-winning Disney films, including the blockbuster ...

Nation
#WhyImCatholic movement aims to share hope at difficult time for church

CHICAGO (CNS) -- Catholic Extension has launched a new social media campaign called #WhyImCatholic to offer "hope and unity" for Catholics by inviting ...

Nation
Continue to be an evangelizing church, nuncio tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Quoting from Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel," Archbishop Christophe Pierre encouraged Hispanic Catholic ...

Nation
Encuentro opens with procession, papal message, prayers for abuse victims

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- A video message from Pope Francis and a procession of Encuentro crosses representing all of the participating episcopal regions ...

Nation
Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Nation
Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

World
Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Local
Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Local
Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Local
Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Local
Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Local
Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

Nation
N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

Nation
U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Nation
Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

World
Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

World
Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

World
In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Nation
Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Nation
Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

World
Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

World
Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

World
Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

World
Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

World
Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...