"In verbo veritatis" (2 Cor 6:7)

February 10, 2013

Thomism and Vatican II

Filed under: Essays, Vatican II — Tags: , , — komonchak @ 9:16 am

Here is an essay on what role  St. Thomas and his thought played at the Second Vatican Council:

JAK – Thomism at Vatican II



  1. Fr. Komonchak, where can I find Vatican II Preparatory Commission’s ~20-page draft on the authority of St. Thomas? I’m sure it’s in Acta et Documenta, but I would need to know exact page numbers to have my library digitally deliver it to me.Thanks for the help

    Comment by Alan Aversa (@SententiaeDeo) — June 15, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

    • Is it “Acta et Documenta Concilio oecumenico Vaticano II apparando. Seriessecunda (praeparatoria), II/II (TypisPolyglottis Vaticanis,1967),756-65” you mention in fn 2?

      Comment by Alan Aversa (@SententiaeDeo) — June 15, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

      • Or what you mentioned in fn. 3?

        I’m thinking what I heard about is something else…

        Comment by Alan Aversa (@SententiaeDeo) — June 15, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

        • Mr. Aversa: Yes, the text you want is the one mentioned in footnote 3.

          Comment by komonchak — June 15, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

      • What I’m talking about I heard about in Ashley, Benedict M., O.P. The Ashley Reader : Redeeming Reason. Naples, Fla.: Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University, 2006.

        Comment by Alan Aversa (@SententiaeDeo) — June 15, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

  2. Excellent article, Fr. Komonchak

    During Vatican II’s debates, you wrote that Card. Ruffini said “St. Thomas should be considered princeps in philosophy (and in theology) also because he has been commended as such by nearly eighty Supreme Pontiffs.” “Cardinal Bacci argued that to ignore these papal prescriptions would ‘place this Council not only above the Roman Pontiffs but against the Roman Pontiff.'” I’ve thought this myself, but didn’t know a few cardinals actually argued it.

    Also, thanks for the translation of the 10 propositions Chenu had to sign.

    You write that “it was also that there was such disagreement as to what Thomism is. The twentieth century would see a variety of ‘Thomisms’.” So the question is: Which Thomism to “impose”? Isn’t Thomism of Humani Generis broad enough to encompass most of the varieties of Thomism? This is as specific as Humani Generis got, which the Preparatory Commission’s “On defending intact the deposit of faith” quoted:

    “The philosophy acknowledged and received in the Church defends the truth and genuine value of human knowledge, the unshaken metaphysical principles—sufficient reason, causality and finality—and lastly the attainment of certain and immutable truth”

    Perhaps the phrase “the attainment of certain and immutable truth” was the clincher?

    Comment by Alan Aversa (@SententiaeDeo) — June 17, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

    • The problem is that some of the Thomisms that flourished in the 20th century disagreed sharply and even violently with one another, not least of all in the interpretation of St. Thomas and in what it means to bring his thought to bear upon contemporary problems and how to go about it. Read some of the secondary materials I cite in my footnotes for examples of the conflicts.

      Comment by komonchak — June 17, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

  3. Also, Fr. Komonchak, since you’re an historian, do you know if there are any audio recordings of Vatican II debates or of pre-Vatican II, manualist theology courses? If so, in what archives could I find this audio?

    I saw a documentary, Changing Christianity: From Schism to Ecumenism, where they showed live Council footage, and I could hear them speaking in Latin (beginning about 35 min. into the documentary).


    Comment by Alan Aversa (@SententiaeDeo) — June 28, 2013 @ 1:43 am

    • I think that there were some recordings and perhaps even some television recordings, but I cannot tell you where you might find them. But there is a book by Federico Ruozzi, Il Concilio in diretta : il Vaticano II e la televisione tra partecipazione e informazione, which may have some information.

      Comment by komonchak — June 29, 2013 @ 7:39 pm

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