December 4, 2001

Remembering Monsignor Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli


On the 120th anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s birthday

Nowadays the social changes are faster than the fastest of the ideas. They look towards the horizon searching for the surmounting of its present.

In contrast to that, the aggiornamiento of the Catholic Church, promoted by Pope John XXIII with the Second Vatican Council, was inspired and fed on the sources of its origin themselves. That potential and fecundity was the germ that its founder created.

That is why Pope John XXIII, put the whole universal ecclesiastical community in the opening of dialogue, he activated the Christian faith in the patriarch Abraham as a father of the believers in the only God. His baptismal name was Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. On November 25, it was the 120 anniversary of his birthday.

For the first day in history, this Pope receives, in 1960 at the Vatican, a group of more than 100 American Jews. To everybody’s surprise, he receives them arms wide open exclaiming as the Biblical Joseph to his brothers in Egypt: ”I am Joseph, your youngest brother”.

This fraternal action was not just a mere political speculation, but the confirming testimony of a whole interior-vindicating attitude of the chosen people by God in the Old Testament and that had just been massacred during the Holocaust.

To the Second Vatican Council also corresponds the abolition of the perfidy stigma with which in the cult of the Holy Week the Jewish people was remembered.

The rescue of Jews stood up his mission as Apostolic Nuncio in Istanbul, Turkey, during the Shoah.

These actions of rescue are, for the first time, organically vindicated due to Baruj Tenembaum‘s initiative, who is the founder of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. With the approval of the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, historical and testimonial materials have been exhumed which document the actions that Monsignor Roncalli developed, making explicit his security and that of his apostolic representation.

He did not only exercised a direct action to save thousands of men, women and children condemned to extermination but also he was restless in the act of revealing to the Holy See and the allied countries of the horrendous genocide that was taking place.

The memory of John the good sets new paths of renovation not only for the Catholic Church but also for the whole humanity responsible of the supreme values of life, the fundamental equality of people and freedom.

*Father Fidel Horacio Moreno is the president of Casa Argentina en Jerusalem NGO.

Translation: IRWF

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