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)

Archbishop Felici’s ‘pastoral orientations’

Secretary of the Roman Curia and Secretary-General of the Preparatory Commission for the Council, Archbishop Pericle Felici presented his understanding of John XXIII’s desire for a “pastoral” council in this speech delivered in Turin on 13 September 1961.

L’Osservatore Romano published the text of the address in its 29 September edition, which is marked in blue pencil by Cardijn.

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L’Osservatore Romano, 29 septembre 1961, p.4. / Archives Cardijn 1579.