Pope John XXIII played a vital role in shaping Christianity as we know it today. He contributed socially, politically and liturgically and was a major influence in the establishment of ecumenism and interfaith dialogue between other churches and religions. He advocated Christian unity, social justice, human rights and the promotion of world peace, and his openness to all people led to him obtaining the name “Good Pope John”.
The early life of Pope John XXIII shaped his morality and future ideas, and his travelling made him tolerant towards other people, cultures and beliefs. He believed that “No one is excluded by love” and pursued this belief throughout is papacy, even visiting prisons in order to forgive those who had sinned, considering them all his children. He had a strong personal spirituality that was central to his character and he promoted obedience and peace in all that he did, becoming a role model for many. The will of God was central to his belief and Pope John XXIII defined himself as a man of action, not an authority figure, allowing Christians to connect and relate to him personally.
Pope John XXIII promoted the openness of the Catholic church, establishing the second Vatican Council which worked to modernise the liturgy and Catholic Church organisations. He changed the language of the mass from Latin to Vernacular, allowing adherents to develop a greater understanding and a more active role in their worship. The Council increased the role of the Laity and women in church, allowing them to participate in readings and also removed altar rails and made priests face the congregation, eliminating the physical barrier between the priest and the congregation. These changes to the Catholic church impacted on most Christian denominations as well as it set the standards for a more modern and personal approach to religion.
Pope John XXIII promoted ecumenism, wanting to unite amongst Christians and encouraged co-operation and understanding between...
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