Camara slams First Session failures

As the Council closed on 8 December, 1962, Helder Camara was delegated to celebrate Sunday Mass for the journalists covering the Council, who had not been permitted to enter the Council hall.

Frustrated at the limitations of the First Session, Camara lashed the meagre results of the First Session in a draft sermon, translated into six languages, as journalist Robert Kaiser later reported.

The Council had “unforgivably” failed “to tackle the great world issues of the day and could hardly be proud of its balance sheet,” Camara lamented.

Although he toned down his remarks at the request of Felici, who ordered all copies of the original text and translations to be destroyed, Camara’s remarks were widely published in the US.


Robert Kaiser, Pope, Council and world (New York: Macmillan, 1963), 204.

Stefan Gigacz, The Leaven in the Council, Chapter 7, The Council opens without Cardijn (Australian Cardijn Institute)