Rome, Italy, Jan 25, 2011 / 16:50 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Bishop Loris Capovilla, former personal secretary of Pope John XXIII, recently recalled the late Pope's announcement of the Second Vatican Council.
Media outlets broke the news of the announcement before John XXIII could tell the cardinals because a celebration that day ran longer than expected, the bishop explained.
Bishop Capovilla, 95, spoke about the events on the 52nd anniversary of the council's announcement in an article published Jan. 25 by L’Osservatore Romano.
He noted that the then-Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Domenico Tardini, wrote the following on his calendar for Jan. 20, 1959: “Important audience. Yesterday afternoon His Holiness spent time in reflection and set in stone the agenda for his pontificate. He came up with three ideas: a Roman Synod, an Ecumenical Council (Vatican II) and an update of the Code of Canon Law. He wants to announce these three things next Sunday to the cardinals after the ceremony for the feast of St. Paul.”
Bishop Capovilla said on that Sunday, Jan. 25, 1959, the Pope got up and prayed, but after celebrating Mass, “He remained kneeling longer than usual.”