vintage, nostalgia and memories


March 12, 2013

Vintage Photos of Life in Vatican II in the 1960s

Opened in October 1962, when Pope John XXIII was pontiff, and lasting until December 1965, during the papacy of Pope Paul VI, Vatican II advanced both major and minor reforms to church doctrine and matters of faith, e.g., encouraging Catholics to pray with non-Catholic Christians; a new prominence (and power) for bishops within the church; the sanctioning of languages other than Latin during Mass.

Here, on the heels of Benedict XVI’s sudden and (for many) shocking resignation and as scores of cardinals from around the globe gather in Rome for a conclave to elect a new pope, LIFE.com recalls the historic, landmark Vatican II council with photographs by Hank Walker and Paul Schutzer.

Pope John XXIII rides in the procession to St. Peter's Basilica at start of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

 Scene in Rome during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

Scene in Rome during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

Vatican Ecumenical Council and Ecumenical Procession, Rome, 1962

Prelates attend a party at the Chinese Embassy in Vatican City on the eve of Vatican II, 1962

Cardinals at a party held by Chinese ambassador, Rome, 1962

Table of cardinals during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

Vatican Ecumenical Council and Ecumenical Procession, Rome, 1962

Scene during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

Scene in Rome during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

Scene inside St. Peter's Basilica during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

Pope John XXIII during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

Scene inside St. Peter's Basilica during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

Scene inside St. Peter's Basilica during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

Scene inside St. Peter's Basilica during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

Pope John XXIII rides in procession to St. Peter's Basilica at the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962

Devout observers of procession of Catholic prelates entering St. Peter's during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 1962



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