February 27, 2015

What was in the news on February 26, 1965?

The bones of St. Peter are found, the pope reveals secret peace talks and cardinals are given a new rank

Criterion logo from the 1960sBy Brandon A. Evans

This 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.

Here are some of the items found in the February 26, 1965, issue of The Criterion:

  • Pope Paul gives reasons for naming new cardinals
  • Unity head welcomes ‘dialogue’
  • Czech ‘surprise’: Freed Cardinal Beran in Rome for Red Hat
  • Pope reveals secret peace ‘negotiations’
    • “VATICAN CITY—Pope Paul VI has revealed that he has made ‘confidential’ approaches to various governments in an attempt to preserve world peace. He wrote this in a letter to the bishops of war-torn Vietnam where American forces helping in the struggle against communist guerrillas have struck at bases in the communist-ruled north.”
  • Hits elevation of patriarchs
  • Woman archeologist: Concludes that bones under Vatican are definitely those of Saint Peter
    • “VATICAN CITY—A professor at Rome University claims to have conclusive evidence that bones discovered under the high altar of St. Peter’s basilica are those of the prince of the Apostles. … The excavations leading to the present findings began in the old Roman burial ground under the Vatican basilica in 1940 with the authority of Pope Pius XII. They continued until 1950, when the existence of St. Peter’s tomb was established to the satisfaction of most archeologists. But the tomb was empty. Now, says Professor [Margherita] Guarducci in her new book, that problem is solved. ‘The relics of Peter are under the Confession of the Vatican basilica.’ The Confession is the site under the main altar traditionally held to be the final resting place of St. Peter’s remains. She claims the original tomb was empty because in the first days of the first Christian emperor, Constantine, the bones were removed to a hiding place inside walls marked with graffiti—markings scratched in the plaster with sticks of graphite and other objects—which were then enclosed inside a monument raised by Constantine in honor of the Apostle. The hiding place was only six feet above the old tomb.”
  • Newman Movement marking 50th year
  • Comely ‘imports’ enhance CYO unit
  • Church law changed: Patriarch-cardinals are given new rank
    • “VATICAN CITY—The Church’s Eastern-rite patriarch-cardinals have been given a new position in the hierarchical structure of the Church with a rank immediately below that of the six cardinal-bishops.”
  • Greatest Story film applauded

(Read all of these stories from our February 26, 1965, issue by logging on to our special archives.)

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