Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Looking Back: Aug. 1, 1963

Published August 1, 2013

The Aug. 1, 1963 issue of The Georgia Bulletin reports that the Jesuit director of Ignatius retreat house in Atlanta, Father John L. Hein, has invited nearly 400 Protestant ministers to attend two and a half days of meditations and discussions on Christian unity beginning Aug. 12. The meeting grew out of the work of the Second Vatican Council and its Secretariat on Christian Unity led by Cardinal Augustin Bea. Similar assemblies have been held in Kentucky, Maryland and New York. To prepare for the Atlanta meeting, there have been three dialogue meetings involving ministers and priests of various denominations where matters of doctrine were discussed. Jesuit Father Harold L. Cooper of Loyola University, New Orleans, was to give the retreat meditations in Atlanta.

A national survey began Aug. 1, 1963 of the impact of parochial school education on Catholic adults. Plans were to interview 2,000 Catholic families and 500 non-Catholic families. Father Andrew M. Greeley, Chicago sociologist, was directing the study being done by the National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago and the University of Notre Dame. It was being financed by a $136,000 grant from the Carnegie Corp. The study was designed to compare Catholics who attended public schools with Catholics who attended parochial schools.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, hailed the initialing of an agreement to ban nuclear testing in Moscow as a first step on the road to “universal peace and brotherhood.” The agreement was initialed—a first step toward full ratification—by the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain on July 25, 1963.

The National Council of Catholic Women issued a statement endorsing President Kennedy’s civil rights program. “As Catholic women, we express our urgent moral concern for the racial crisis in our country and pledge to support the President’s civil rights program and to continue to cooperate and work with all women of good will to secure justice for all Americans,” the statement said. Leaders of the NCCW took part in a July 9, 1963, White House meeting of 300 leaders of women’s groups with President Kennedy. The president urged the women to work to stop school dropouts and get all educable children back into school; take part in biracial and human relations conferences; establish leadership training courses for women; support the administration’s civil rights legislative program, especially the effort to obtain a public accommodations law which would bar segregation in hotels, stores and other public places; and to “throw open the membership of all women’s organizations to all races.”

In the Aug. 8, 1963, issue of The Georgia Bulletin, a front-page notice said that Pope Paul VI had given instructions that all references to him in official publications be replaced by the simple term, “the Holy Father.” In the past a Latin formula, which translated to mean “the Holiness of Our Lord,” was used to refer to a pope in official notices printed in Vatican periodicals. The formula was dropped for the first time in the Aug. 3, 1963, edition of L’Osservatore Romano. All Vatican offices were informed that Pope Paul considered the old formula “rather antiquated.” The article went on to say that “veterans of the Vatican City daily’s staff consider the change ‘revolutionary’ and say it is a sign that Pope Paul will be a ‘modern Pontiff.’”