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Exclusive WITNESS Interview with Cardinal Loris Capovilla

July 2, 2016
Capovilla
Premiere: Sunday July 3, 2016 at 8:00pm ET / 5:00pm PT
Salt and Light Television in Canada
Loris Capovilla was born at Pontelungo, near Padua, on October 14, 1915. He was ordained a priest of the Patriarchate of Venice in 1940 and did his military service in the Italian air force during the Second World War. After the war he was appointed editor of the Venice diocesan weekly newspaper as well as being a radio broadcaster. In 1953, when Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli (later Pope John XXIII) was appointed Patriarch of Venice, he made Capovilla his secretary. Elected Pope, John retained Capovilla as his personal secretary – and faithful supporter – and announced that he would convene a Vatican Council – the first in a century. Capovilla was behind some of the boldest initiatives of John’s papacy. He served John XXIII for 10 years, until the Pope’s death in 1963 from stomach cancer.
In 1967, Pope Paul VI appointed Capovilla archbishop of the Abruzzo diocese of Chieti and four years later transferred him to Loreto to take charge of that revered Italian pilgrimage site. The Archbishop chose as his episcopal motto: “Obedentia et Pax” (Obedience and Peace) – the same motto of Angelo Roncalli – Pope John XXIII.
In 1988 Capovilla made his final move to Sotto il Monte, the village near Bergamo where John had been born. There he opened a Pope John XXIII Museum and published his memoir of his time with him. Archbishop Loris kept alive the memory of the hopes aroused by the Second Vatican Council. He attended John’s beatification by Pope John Paul II in 2000. In 2014 Pope Francis announced that Capovilla would be a Cardinal but Loris was unable to attend the consistory where he was formally named cardinal. He was given the title Cardinal-Priest of the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals traveled to Sotto il Monte and bestowed upon Capovilla the red biretta and cardinal's ring on March 1, 2014.
Cardinal Loris could not attend the canonization ceremony of John XXIII on April 27, 2014, due to frail health, but he rejoiced quietly at his residence in Sotto il Monte as he saw one good Pope canonize two great Popes of the Second Vatican Council. In April 2014 and again in November 2014, Fr. Thomas Rosica met with Cardinal Capovilla in Sotto il Monte for two afternoons of long conversations about the Council and the Cardinal’s memories of John XXIII. This interview was done in Cardinal Capovilla’s study in Sotto il Monte November 2014.
Cardinal Loris Capovilla died in Bergamo on May 26, 2016. He was 100 years old.
Loris Capovilla was born at Pontelungo, near Padua, on October 14, 1915. He was ordained a priest of the Patriarchate of Venice in 1940 and did his military service in the Italian air force during the Second World War. After the war he was appointed editor of the Venice diocesan weekly newspaper as well as being a radio broadcaster. In 1953, when Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli (later Pope John XXIII) was appointed Patriarch of Venice, he made Capovilla his secretary. Elected Pope, John retained Capovilla as his personal secretary – and faithful supporter – and announced that he would convene a Vatican Council – the first in a century. Capovilla was behind some of the boldest initiatives of John’s papacy. He served John XXIII for 10 years, until the Pope’s death in 1963 from stomach cancer.
In 1967, Pope Paul VI appointed Capovilla archbishop of the Abruzzo diocese of Chieti and four years later transferred him to Loreto to take charge of that revered Italian pilgrimage site. The Archbishop chose as his episcopal motto: “Obedentia et Pax” (Obedience and Peace) – the same motto of Angelo Roncalli – Pope John XXIII.
In 1988 Capovilla made his final move to Sotto il Monte, the village near Bergamo where John had been born. There he opened a Pope John XXIII Museum and published his memoir of his time with him. Archbishop Loris kept alive the memory of the hopes aroused by the Second Vatican Council. He attended John’s beatification by Pope John Paul II in 2000. In 2014 Pope Francis announced that Capovilla would be a Cardinal but Loris was unable to attend the consistory where he was formally named cardinal. He was given the title Cardinal-Priest of the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals traveled to Sotto il Monte and bestowed upon Capovilla the red biretta and cardinal's ring on March 1, 2014.
Cardinal Loris could not attend the canonization ceremony of John XXIII on April 27, 2014, due to frail health, but he rejoiced quietly at his residence in Sotto il Monte as he saw one good Pope canonize two great Popes of the Second Vatican Council. In April 2014 and again in November 2014, Fr. Thomas Rosica met with Cardinal Capovilla in Sotto il Monte for two afternoons of long conversations about the Council and the Cardinal’s memories of John XXIII. This interview was done in Cardinal Capovilla’s study in Sotto il Monte November 2014.
Cardinal Loris Capovilla died in Bergamo on May 26, 2016. He was 100 years old.
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