The sixty or so delegated observers at the Second Vatican Council, of whom I was one, were a privileged lot. Catholic bishops sometimes complained, and not always humorously, that we outranked them in terms of the council’s protocol. The side door by which we entered Saint Peter’s Basilica for the daily plenary gatherings during the three months each year the council was in session was the same one the cardinals used, and like them we sat in ringside seats facing the...
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