As the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Church’s historic Second Vatican Council approaches in 2012, author and journalist Robert Blair Kaiser—one of the last surviving eyewitness of Vatican II—offers an acute, informed account of this historic event, full of stories about the men and women who fought to update the Church. He will be available for talks in India, from 15th September to 1st October, 2012.
Kaiser spent 18-hour days conducting interviews in an effort to illuminate what was going on inside and around the Council hall—which was closed to the press—and report it to the world. He shares delightful anecdotes about his experiences, including how he made friends among the Council’s leaders, many of whom ended up in his home every week for Sunday supper, including more than 70 bishops from around the world, the Church’s most prominent theologians, and a half dozen Protestant and Jewish observers. (Hans Kung of Germany, for example, was usually the last one there, drinking Rusty Nails and commenting on the Council’s ups and downs; the Jesuit Archbishop T.D. Roberts, retired of Bombay, came to dinner one night and stayed as Kaiser’s house guest for two years.)
With a unique perspective as both a reporter and a witness, Robert Blair Kaiser illuminates the work of the Council between October 1962 and December 1965, while putting those events into context with the major problems confronting the Church, and the world at large, today.
Kaiser believes that the Council helped us all be more real, more human, and more loving; that it helped us realize that the world was a good place. He recalls what kind of Church we lived in before Vatican II, and what the Council did to change that—irreversibly.
Robert Blair Kaiser is an American author and journalist, best known for his writings on the Catholic Church. A former Jesuit, Kaiser left the Society of Jesus three years shy of ordination to pursue a career that took him to the pinnacles of American journalism. Throughout the Second Vatican Council, Kaiser was Time magazine’s reporter in Rome and the preeminent reporter on the Council in the English-speaking world. For his work on the Council, Kaiser won the Overseas Press Club Award for best foreign reporting on foreign affairs. His book Pope, Council, and World: The Story of Vatican II was a #1 bestseller in London and Dublin.
In addition to his reportage on Vatican II, Kaiser covered religion for The New York Times and CBS Television News, as well as the most recent papal election for Newsweek. He has published 15 books, five of them on the Church during and after Vatican II. One of the few men still living who took an active role in the Council, Kaiser has become an internationally recognized commentator and lecturer on the meaning of Vatican II.
Read Kaiser’s recent article: http://ncronline.org/news/second-vatican-council-has-already-made-us-free