Technical planning begins

On 17 May 1959, John formally appointed an Antepreparatory Commission to provide initial direction and begin the massive task of technical planning for the Council.

The Commission was charged with the following tasks:

(1) to contact the bishops of the world for their advice and suggestions,

(2) to gather proposals from the dicasteries of the Roman Curia,

(3) to learn the views of the theological and canonical faculties of Catholic universities,

(4) to sketch the general lines of the topics to be discussed at the Council, and

(5) to suggest various bodies (Commissions, Secretariats, etc.) to prepare the Council’s agenda.

The President of the Commission was Secretary of State Cardinal Domenico Tardini, while the Secretary was Msgr. (soon to be archbishop) Pericle Felici, an auditor in the Sacred Rota.

The other ten members who worked in the various Curial Congregations were:

Giuseppe Ferretto, Consistorial
Pietro Sigismondi, Propagation of the Faith
Antonio Samoré, Extraordinary Affairs
Acacio Coussa, Eastern Church
Cesare Zerba, Sacraments
Pietro Palazzini, Council
Arcadio Larraona, Religious
Dino Staffa, Seminaries and Universities
Enrico Dante, Rites
Paul Philippe, Holy Office.

Of these, Cardijn had already been in regular contact for several years with and received assistance from Archbishops Samoré and Pietro Sigismondi and he would soon get to know Cardinal Tardini too.


Cardinal Tardini with John XXIII (Holy Family of Nazareth Foundation)