Thousands of faithful Catholics carry torches in a procession in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City on Oct. 11, 1962, the opening day of the historic Second Vatican Council. Over a three-year period, more than 2,000 bishops from around the world issued 16 landmark documents, which championed a more inclusive, less hierarchical and open church.
Pope John XXIII waves a hand in blessing during the opening day of Vatican II, on Oct. 11, 1962. The newly elected pope surprised many Catholics by convening the gathering, the first of its kind in nearly a century.
Pope John XXIII is carried on a portable throne down the aisle in St. Peter's Basilica on Oct. 11, 1962. Despite the pontiff's call for openness, certain issues — such as priestly celibacy — remained off-limits.
At Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, 50 years ago this week, the newly elected pontiff stunned the world by calling the first Catholic Church Council in nearly a century — the Second Vatican Council, or what's known as Vatican II.
Pope John XXIII called for the institution's renewal and more interaction with the modern world.
As a result of Vatican II, the Catholic Church opened its windows onto the modern world, updated the liturgy, gave a larger role to laypeople, introduced the concept of religious freedom and started a dialogue with other religions.
For our series First and Main, Morning Edition is traveling to contested counties in swing states to find out what is shaping voters' decisions this election season. The latest trip took us to Larimer County, Colo.
The presidential race has become much tighter in recent days, and in Colorado, a recent poll puts Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the lead.
Emma Thompson isn't just an Oscar-winning actress; she's also an Oscar-winning writer. Thompson authored the 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and now she's taken on another period project — reviving the classic children's book character Peter Rabbit.
A Marine Corp F-35B Joint Strike Fighter lands at Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland in 2011. Analysts say that if mandatory Pentagon budget cuts are imposed next year, fewer new planes could ultimately be ordered.
Unless Congress acts, the Defense Department faces some $55 billion in cuts after the first of the year. The cuts are part of what's known as sequestration — automatic across the board spending cuts to both defense and nondefense government spending set in motion by last year's debt-ceiling fight.
Salaries for uniformed personnel are the one major thing that's protected. Otherwise, it's about a 10 percent cut to everything from Pentagon civilian staff to the acquisition of multimillion-dollar aircraft, like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Affirmative action in higher education appeared to take a potentially lethal hit on Wednesday, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments testing the constitutionality of a race-conscious admission program at the University of Texas, Austin.
The campaign of Gov. Mitt Romney says the Republican presidential candidate will no longer tell the story of meeting Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was killed during the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Romney revealed during his stump speeches that he met Doherty at a Christmas party he crashed in his San Diego neighborhood.
In a campaign event in Iowa, yesterday, Romney choked up when he retold the story.
A man who admitted he was involved in the making of the film Innocence of Muslims says he did not violate his probation.
Mark Basseley Youssef made a court appearance today not for making the film that resulted in protests throughout the Muslim world but for his 2010 conviction of bank and credit card fraud, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Two Americans have won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Koblika were awarded the prize for their work on protein receptors that tell cells what's going on around the human body. Their research has allowed drug makers to develop medication with fewer side effects. The pair with share the $1.2 million award.