On this day, the Feast of the Transfiguration, in 1978, Pope Paul VI went to his eternal reward. I remain convinced that Montini's was the great pontificate of the last half of the twentieth century, laying all the theological groundwork that would come to fruition in later pontificates, keeping the Church together in the post-conciliar years, and navigating the challenges the Second Vatican Council set for the Church. On the day he died, I was bereft. He was the only pope I had ever known. The next day, I had that strange sense that something was not right when, in the canon of the Mass, we did not pray for "Paul, our pope." Something was missing. The Church without a pope is like a child without a parent. And Montini was one of the best parents we have ever had. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
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In This Issue
- Raising their voices; groups seek to broaden input on issues for family synod
- Francis needs to go beyond his play-it-safe verbiage
- Religious adopt Earth pledge
- Special Section (in print only): Religious Life
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by Joshua J. McElwee NCR Today
by Peter Finney Jr., Catholic News Service Eco Catholic
by Beth Donze, Catholic News Service Eco Catholic