Pope Paul VI, who was beatified October 19, inherited the Second Vatican Council from John XXIII in 1963, his challenges included fulfilling the late pope’s wishes to “open a window” in the Church and to reach out to “our separated brethren.” Pope Paul’s approach to both of these was to introduce the concept of dialogue.
The Church hasn’t been the same since.
John O’Malley recounts in his book What Happened at Vatican II that the Council’s early draft on ecumenism didn’t use the word dialogue once. Then Pope Paul issued his first encyclical, “Ecclesiam Suam” (“On the Church”) on August 6, 1964. In it, he repeatedly stressed the importance of dialogue, stating, “The Church must enter into dialogue with the world in which it lives. It has something to say, a message to give, a communication to make.” The Council championed dialogue from then on. Read more