November 25, 2014
June 26, 2014
The extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops was convoked by Pope John Paul II to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council. I attended the Synod and wrote a couple of pieces afterwards. One appeared in French as the Introduction to a volume that gathered a great deal of documentation about the event. The original English can be found here: Introduction to Synode Extraordinaire
Another article appeared in Chicago Studies and can be found here: Notion of the Church at Synod 1985
November 21, 2013
My essay on this topic is available at: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/assr_0335-5985_1986_num_62_1_2405
October 17, 2013
Below are two essays I published on Vatican II’s vision of the Church. You will see that they somewhat overlap.
August 26, 2013
The first implementation of Pope John’s announcement of his intention to convoke an ecumenical council (January 25, 1959) was the invitation sent to all the bishops of the world to submit suggestions (vota) for the conciliar agenda. A good number of studies have been published about the proposals sent in by various episcopates throughout the world. Two decades ago, I did a study of the vota submitted by the U.S. bishops as they could be found in the official Acta of the ante-preparatory period. In a few cases I was able to find documentation about how the proposals of certain bishops were prepared, but the great majority of them I knew only from their published form. If anyone is looking for a good topic for a doctoral dissertation, I can suggest that he complete (and no doubt correct) my investigations which can be found here: JAK US Bishops vota
July 27, 2013
Here below you can find the eleven chapters of the draft De Ecclesia elaborated by the preparatory Theological Commission for Vatican II. I apologize that they are not a single file, but I haven’t figured out how to combine several pdf documents to make a single one. The “2013” in the file name is there only to remind me of when I made the last revisions to my translation. But now Alan Aversa has kindly sent me all eleven chapters as a single file, and I will put that first, followed by the single chapters in case someone wants to use only one of them.
The Latin text of this schema can be found in two places: in the volume distributed to the Council Fathers during the first session: Schemata Constitutionum et Decretorum de quibus disceptabitur in Concilii sessionibus. Series secunda: De Ecclesia et de B. Maria Virgine (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1962) 7-90; and in the official acta of the first session: Acta Synodalia Sacrosancti Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II, Vol. I, Pars IV (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1971), 12-122.
The official acta are still for sale, I believe, but not the original volume distributed sub secreto at the Council.
If you make use of these translations, please acknowledge the source.
April 23, 2013
Here is an essay which discusses the last stages of the redaction of Gaudium et spes and the constrasting interpretations and evaluations of it that were offered right after the Council by three theologians who belonged to the “progressive” group at the Council. It was an effort both to show that the conciliar dynamics are not accurately analyzed as a battle between Cowboys and Indians and to explain in part the split that occurred among the conciliar majority after Vatican II.
February 10, 2013
Here is an essay on what role St. Thomas and his thought played at the Second Vatican Council:
October 8, 2012
The first period of Vatican II (1962) was its most crucial; by freeing the Council from the narrow channels of the official drafts, it permitted it to expand its vision and eventually to produce texts that represented and encouraged the three goals Pope John set out for the Council: spiritual renewal, pastoral updating (aggiornamento), and the pursuit of Christian unity.
Four major scenes defined the first act of the conciliar drama; for them I have supplied some useful material:
2) the election of members for conciliar commissions
3) the debate and vote on the liturgy
4) the debate and vote on the draft on the sources of revelation.
September 28, 2012
On July 23, 1962, the Secretary General of the Second Vatican Council sent out to all those with a right to participate in the Council a book that contained the first draft-texts that were to be debated when the Council opened on October 11th of the same year. The following texts were included:
On the sacred liturgy
On the communications media
On the Church’s unity.
(A second book, containing the drafts on the Church and on the Blessed Virgin Mary, would be distributed only after the Council had opened.}
I offer here my translations of the first four of these texts, prepared by the Theological Commission, which expected that they would be the first ones debated. Instead, the Council first debated the fifth text, on the liturgy.
At the request of several people I have scanned and uploaded the original Latin text of three of these texts. I’ll try to get to the others later.
And I now add the Latin text of the draft on the Blessed Virgin May as well as my translation of it. The draft was only six pages long as printed, but it was accompanied by twenty-two pages of endnotes!
One very useful way of studying the conciliar process and its products is to compare these officially prepared texts with the final texts issued by the Council, to note similarities as well as differences in orientation, style, and content, and then to account for the differences.
As far as I know, no other English translations of these texts are available.
I am now readying these translations for publication next year by Orbis Press.