Peacebroker: The Cuban Missile Crisis

Khrushchev and Kennedy

The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis brought the Cold War Super Powers to the brink of nuclear war. The first Catholic President of the United States quietly looked to a Pope who had been working behind the scenes to avoid the confrontation.

-Vatican Radio

Amdist the Crisis, Pope John XXIII voiced his concern for peace through the microphones of Vatican Radio. The date was the 25th of October and speaking in French the Pope highlighted the responsibility of world leaders to avoid a war that would have unpredicatble and horrific effects.

He appealed to them to listen to the cry of anguish reaching out to them from the four corners of the earth, a cry for peace.

The world leaders he was appealling to were the first Catholic President of the United States John Fitzgerald Kennedy and communist Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

It's hard to imagine this gentle Pope known as Good Pope John as having really had such an instrumental role in helping world leaders back away gracefully from terrifying confrontation.

In this report from Vatican Radio, Veronica Scarisbrick asks historian, Jesuit Father Norman Tanner to shed light on how John XXIII was able to influence this crisis situation.

To listen to the report CLICK HERE.

MORE:

Cuba missile crisis: When nuclear war seemed inevitable (BBC)

LISTEN: 

'Our policy has been one of patience and restraint' - President Kennedy radio address during the Cuban Missile Crisis, 22 October 1962 (BBC)

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