Vatican II conference opens, Oct. 11, 1962
On Oct. 11, 1962, the Second Vatican Council, popularly known as Vatican II, opened in Vatican City under Pope John XXIII. By the time it ended three years later under Pope Paul VI, the conference would be the inspiration for modernizing changes to the Roman Catholic Church, including increased lay participation, allowing the Catholic mass to be recited in modern languages rather than Latin, and a formal acknowledgement that Jews were not collectively responsible for the death of Jesus.
An Associated Press article in the Oct. 7, 1962, Bridgeport Sunday Post of Bridgeport, Conn., previewed the expectations for the conference.
“In a rare blend of the ancient and the new – voting computers, for instance, that will be transcribed in Latin – the Roman Catholic Church is meeting to consider its position in a changing world. The Ecumenical council, only the 21st since Christ, has great significance for Catholics. But Protestants, too, will be looking to see if the council can heal what an earlier one centuries ago could not, the rift of the Reformation.”
Read more about the Vatican II conference
An Oct. 15, 1962, article in The Lowell Sun of Lowell, Mass., anticipated friendlier attitudes toward other Christian denominations. May Drop Non-Catholic Pledges
The Oct. 16, 1962, Laurel Leader-Call of Laurel, Miss., explored possible expanded roles for lay Catholics. Work of the Laity