• Short Summary

    Giovanni Battista Montini has completed fifteen years in office as 262nd holder of the Keys of St.

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    Giovanni Battista Montini has completed fifteen years in office as 262nd holder of the Keys of St. Peter....fifteen years as the head of the Catholic Church....as His Holiness Pope Paul VI. On Wednesday (21 June) in a moving audience he said his pontificate was now "almost completed".

    SYNOPSIS: Addressing an audience in St. Peter's Basilica, the Pope said the dominant thought of his decade and a half in office was, for him, the second Vatican Council, whose spirit, he said, "we have tried to bring into ordinary daily lives". The Council met at the beginning of his Pontificate and brought major changes to the church. The leader of 700 million Roman Catholics departed from his text at one point to speak of disarmament and pleaded with mankind to remove the threat of what he called "enormous and terrible destruction". He said the Holy See's Diplomatic activities have helped the cause of peace, scoring modest but real successes in unexpected places. In his fifteen years as Pope, Paul has emerged as a man who gave form and order to the changes within the Catholic Church, made necessary by changing world conditions and circumstances.

    The Pope, now in his 80th year is in frail health. At one point in his address he spoke of "his fleeting and almost completed pontificate". A special ceremony will be held later this month during the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul to mark his fifteen years on the throne of St. Peter.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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