YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY
—CCC, NOS. 2331-2400
POPE PAUL VI: A SHEPHERD FOR THE
RENEWAL OF THE CHURCH
The Second Vatican Council was a major event in the life of the Catholic
Church in the twentieth century. From 1962 until 1965, it brought together
approximately 2,500 bishops from all over the world for four sessions in
Rome—each session lasting about three months—to discuss and make
decisions about the life of the Church in the modern world. Blessed John
XXIII had convoked the Council and presided over its first session. When
he died in June of 1963, the College of Cardinals elected as his successor
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, who took the name Paul VI. Pope Paul
VI presided over the next three sessions of the Council and guided the
Church through the time of change and renewal that followed the Council.
Giovanni Battista Montini was born in northern Italy in 1897. He
was ordained a priest in 1920 and two years later began service in the
Vatican’s Secretariat of State. He worked very closely with Pope Pius XII
until 1954, when he was named Archbishop of Milan. In 1958 Blessed John
XXIII named him to the College of Cardinals.
His knowledge of the universal Church through his service in the Holy
See, his intellectual abilities and wide reading in theology, and his pas-
toral experience in Milan all served him well when he was elected pope.
His constant concern was to maintain the unity of the Catholic Church
even in times of considerable controversy. He guided the Church through