Florovsky Paper Abstract 25 - Good Pope John's (Not So) Secret Agenda to Reunite Christianity

Feast of St Kyriake the Great Martyr

THE LITTLE old Venetian the cardinals chose in 1959 to be a caretaker pope, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, turned out to be full of surprises. He chose the name John, a name associated with some of the more unsavory captains of Peter’s barque. Then, shockingly, he called an ecumenical council. While that council and its aftermath have been a dominant feature of the last sixty years’ religious landscape with implications far beyond Roman Catholicism, few remember his aspirations in calling it. John XXIII hoped to rebuild Christianity by drawing on the church fathers and by giving a new emphasis to John’s gospel. In this he drew on growing scholarly currents: a rebirth in patristics (ressourcement) due to theologians such as Jean Daniélou and Henri de Lubac; and the new birth of Catholic biblical scholarship in the wake of Divino Afflante Spiritu. The liturgical movement that had been gaining momentum over the previous century gave new valence to both these developments. This talk explores the long run ecumenical implications of these themes, particularly as they relate to the goals of the Eighth Day Institute.


Malcolm C. Harris, Sr. is Professor of Finance at Friends University. He has presented J. R. R. Tolkien and G. K. Chesterton, along with several other heroes, at the Hall of Men, a bimonthly event organized by Eighth Day Institute. He also organizes a Readers of First Things discussion group at Eighth Day Books.


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