Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Looking Back… June 1963

Published June 6, 2013
  • The Georgia Bulletin issue of June 3, 1963, announced the death of Pope John XXIII. A special eight-page edition of the Catholic newspaper was published in memory of the pontiff on the day of his death.
  • In his statement, Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan wrote: “The news of Pope John’s death leaves the world saddened, and the Church bereaved. For this beloved father spoke not only to us, his children, but to all men because he loved the whole human family. His thoughts were never narrow and doctrinaire; they stretched out to all the confusing issues of a weary world. His heart beat not only for the anxieties of Catholics, but for the longings of men of every religion.”

“As Catholics of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, we gratefully note the prayers of men of every faith, especially of the Protestant, Orthodox and Jewish bodies of our community. To these prayers we add our own petition, sadly but confidently, that this man from God, whose name was John, is now with God, his great heart resting in heavenly love.”“We are all richer, and our world is fresher, because of the four and a half short years that he was Pope. He sought, not power, but understanding; not pride, but love; not pomp, but respect. He left a pattern of humility not only for prelates but for princes and presidents, scholars and scientists, parents and pastors. He lived to the full the exact meaning of the word, “Catholic—universal, comprehensive, embracing the world.”

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  • The pope died on the afternoon of June 3, after suffering from stomach cancer. An estimated 100,000 people were gathered in St. Peter’s Square at the time of his death and Mass was being celebrated on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • His convening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, the first in 100 years, was described as “the great, overshadowing event of his pontificate.”
  • “Convened primarily to bring about an inner renewal of the Catholic Church in the light of modern needs, it was intended as well to further the cause of Christian unity. From it came a surge of mutual goodwill and understanding between Catholics and other Christians unparalleled since Reformation times,” the front page article of The Georgia Bulletin reported.