Last Words of John XXIII: ‘Stop the Council’

That Pope John XXIII wanted to close the Council after its first session was affirmed by John Cardinal Heenan of England (see source in linked post) and by Catholic philosopher Jean Guitton the only lay peritus at Vatican II. Guitton’s name sparks a memory of mine. While studying in Rome in 1974 I lived at the Norbertine Generalate House. In the chapel were fourteen sketches of the Way of the Cross. They were ugly and Picassoesque. The “artist” was Jean Guitton. A gift to the abbot general, Norbert Calmels, by Paul VI. Maybe Pope Paul had a sense of humor. Obviously, I think so anyway, the pope wanted to get rid of them.

EWTN Faith: Pope John XXIII summoned the Italian bishops to the Roman Synod of 1959 as an anticipation of the Second Vatican council. In a massive reaffirmation of traditional practice, the pope solemnly confirmed the use of Latin, condemned all attempts at creativity on the part of the celebrant of Holy Mass, ordered Gregorian Chant, and forbade women entry to the altar area. A year later the pope issued his Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia, On Promoting the Study of Latin, as the Church’s cultural and religious heritage and as its living language — universal, immutable, and non-vernacular. He bound bishops to “be on their guard lest anyone under their jurisdiction, being eager for innovation, write against the use of Latin in the teaching of the higher sacred studies or in the liturgy, or through prejudice makes light of the Holy See’s will in this regard or interprets it falsely.” Read in full here.