The contribution of Pope John XXIII has been profound, as many of his initiatives and actions are still resonating today. His acceptance of Jesus’ words “I came to save all nations.” Represented his motivation to do well and bring peace upon the world. He was an advocate of Christian unity, social justice, human rights and the promotion of world peace. It is through his development of the Second Vatican Council, his contribution to ecumenism and his empathy for humanity that Pope John XXIII made a significant impact upon the development and expression of Christianity.
The essence of the contribution made by Pope John XXIII was his calling together of the Second Vatican Council that aimed to address modernisation of the Catholic Church, ecumenism and to bring a social reformation system, “it was to be a new Pentecost, a means of regeneration for the church…a way towards the reunion of the separated brethren of the east and west” – Pope John XXIII. This regeneration was known as “Aggiornamento”, meaning renewal. This reformed Christian church worked to develop and renew the expression of Christianity.
Through the Vatican II the church established a definition for itself; a church for all people. The Vatican II was responsible for sixteen significant documents that developed and reformed the expression of Christian beliefs. The document ‘Dei Verbum’ (Constitution on Divine Revelation) encourages the laity to study the Bible as the Word of God – hence the Scriptures became a significant and relevant part of worship again. ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’ (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) amplifies that everyone is encouraged to participate fully in the Eucharist and other sacraments, changing the liturgy so that it responded to the needs of the people. Pre Vatican II there was an emphasis on sacredness of liturgy as a means of salvation, a care in keeping liturgy uniform, Latin was used in church services throughout the world and the priests performed while the...
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