Analyse the Significant Impact That Pope John Paul Xxiii Bestowed Upon the Universal Church

Topics: Pope, Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Pages: 2 (484 words) Published: July 27, 2010
John XXIII was 76 years old when he came to the papal throne, and his age. Inevitably his reign was brief, but in terms of its significance and its effects upon religious and world history it was perhaps the most important pontificate since the middle Ages. Much of this significance, from the train of events which he set in motion during the years of his reign, but much of it also lay in his unique personality. Previous popes had usually been remote figures from the very outset John endeared himself to the whole world by his warmth, humour, and his easy approachability. He had impatience with empty traditionalism and often astonished his aides by the forthright way in which he cut through meaningless formalities. For example, Popes had always been customary for them to dine alone within a week after his election he announced that he could find nothing in either Revelation or canon law that required such a thing, when the mood was upon him, he would have guests in to dinner. He became the first pope in 200 years to attend the theatre by having T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral performed before him in the papal apartments. He literally horrified Vatican officials and the Italian government by having his chauffeur drive him unannounced and unescorted through the streets of Rome. He visited also sometimes at very short notice hospitals, nursing homes, and even prisons. The conclave that had elected Pope John had been reduced to 52 cardinals, of whom 12 were more than 80 years old; one of his first acts was a consistory at which he elevated 23 prelates to the Sacred College, including many younger and more vigorous men. By so doing he broke the rule, established in 1586 by Sixtus V, limiting the number of cardinals to 70 and also gave the College much wider geographical representation than it had known until that time. In three subsequent consistories he expanded the membership to 87, its highest figure to that date. But the most momentous act of his pontificate...
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