How Did Pope John XXIII Transform The Roman Catholic Church?


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Christopher Adam Profile
Pope John XXIII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963, was a transformational Pope, despite his relatively short term in office. His lasting legacy is his initiation of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), which reformed and modernized the Church, opening the door for mass in the vernacular, as well as the ecumenical movement. Pope John XXIII also placed a strong emphasis on ministering to the poor and marginalized of society. For example, he visited with children suffering from polio and even went to a prison in Rome in order to meet with convicts. John XXIII was, above all, a far more approachable pope than his predecessor, Pius XII, and was often referred to lovingly as "Good Pope John."

Although some conservative, traditional Catholics were not always impressed with John XXIII's approach, he has become an iconic symbol for liberal Catholics who often focus on the social gospel, ecumenism and further reform within the Church.

Pope John XXIII died at age 81, after suffering from inoperable stomach cancer. John XXIII was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000.

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