December 16, 2011

What was in the news on Dec. 15, 1961? Pope John XXIII appeals for Christian unity and for the primacy of Latin

By Brandon A. Evans

50 Year LogoThis week, we continue to examine what was going on in the Church and the world 50 years ago as seen through the pages of The Criterion, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Here are some of the items found in the December 15, 1961, issue of The Criterion:

  • Appeal for Christian unity voiced in new encyclical
    • “VATICAN CITY—His Holiness Pope John XXIII has used the words of a fifth-century pontiff, St. Leo the Great, to invite all separated Christian bodies back to unity. Pope John spoke in a 7,000-word encyclical, entitled ‘Aeterna Dei Sapientia’ and dated November 11. The new encyclical, the sixth of his pontificate, was released here on Dec. 9. The invitation to unity is addressed to all ‘separated brothers,’ but the context of the encyclical directs it chiefly to the schismatic Christian churches of the East.”
  • Tanganyika ‘echo’: Marian student shares Independence Day joy
  • Point of agreement: World Council stresses Christian social duty
  • Ladywood announces $2 million expansion
  • Pope emphasizes primacy of Latin in liturgy
    • “VATICAN CITY—Latin must keep its ‘sovereign place’ in the public worship of the Church, according to His Holiness Pope John XXIII. But the pope in so stating also said that prayers and hymns in the language of the people are ‘sources of great spiritual value.’ The pontiff spoke out on the use of both Latin and the vernacular in a letter to the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music. … “[Vernacular] prayers and hymns, which have been welcomed to a certain extent in the simple ceremonies of our churches for a long time, are sources of great spiritual value. Yet it will always be a sacred duty that the royal scepter of Latin be raised, and its noble reign by made to prevail in the solemn liturgy, whether in the most illustrious basilica or in a humble country church.’ ”
  • German Catholics plan special study in Protestantism
  • Mastery of language mission center’s goal
  • Stress employers’ duty to set work standards
  • Family clinic: Stormy engagements often point to serious marital trouble ahead
  • The John Birch Society: a final appraisal
  • Pass closing law in Oklahoma City
  • Anne Culkin: Her boyfriend got fresh
  • NCWC completes study on federal school aid
  • Bishop Fulton Sheen raps negative anti-communism

(Read all of these stories from our December 8, 1961, issue by logging on to our special archives.)

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