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

July 23, 2017

Vatican II: Continuity and Discontinuity

In December 2005, Pope Benedict XVI devoted part of his Christmas talk to the Roman Curia to the interpretation, or hermeneutics, of the Second Vatican Council. His remarks, and especially his counter-posing of a “hermeneutics of rupture or discontinuity” to a “hermeneutics of reform,” were widely seen as a criticism of the so-called Bologna School and the five-volume History of Vatican II prepared by a team led by Giuseppe Alberigo. As a member of that international team, a contributor to two of the volumes, and editor of the English-language edition of the work, I took a special interest in the Pope’s remarks. Close analysis of the talk and in particular of his use of the Council’s teaching on religious freedom to illustrate the “hermeneutics of reform” convinced me that the Pope’s principal interest was not in rejecting the mythical Scuola bolognese, but in making an appeal to the followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre for whom the Council’s text on religious freedom represented an unacceptable departure from the Church’s teaching on the matter. Here is the article in which I made this case:

JAK on Benedict XVI on VC2

Vatican II as an “Event”

Filed under: Vatican II — Tags: , , — komonchak @ 2:18 pm

In the continuing debate about the interpretation and evaluation of the Second Vatican Council, whether and, if so, in what sense, it can be said to have been an “event.” The debate often is a dialogue of the deaf because people often mean different things by “event” and differ also as to whether it should be understood in a theological or an historical sense. Here are two essays in which I explore the historiographical implications of seeing the Council as an “event” and argue against purely or even primarily theological notions of the matter.

JAK Vatican II as Event

Interpreting Vatican II Leuven 2010


August 26, 2013

US proposals for the Council’s agenda

Filed under: Vatican II — Tags: , , — komonchak @ 8:06 pm

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

Draft of a dogmatic constitution on the Church

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.

Draft of De Ecclesia Chs 1-11

LG Draft ch 1 – 2013

LG Draft ch 2 – 2013

LG Draft ch 3 – 2013

LG Draft ch 4 – 2013

LG Draft ch 5 – 2013

LG Draft ch 6 – 2013

LG Draft ch 7 – 2013

LG Draft ch 8 – 2013

LG Draft ch 9 – 2013

LG Draft ch 10 – 2013

LG Draft ch 11 – 2013

January 26, 2012

Background to Vatican II – 1

Filed under: Vatican II — Tags: , , — komonchak @ 12:05 pm

As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, it might be helpful to keep in mind developments after Pope John’s announcement of an ecumenical council on January 25, 1959. In my files I have a number of essays that provide some background, and I am making them available here. Some of them go into more detail than many will feel necessary, but others may find them illuminating.

The first discusses proposals for a council that were briefly entertained during the reigns of Popes Pius XI and Pius XII. Pius XI & Pius XII on a Council

The second discusses where Pope John may have gotten the idea of calling a council. John XXIII & Idea of a Council

The third discusses initial reactions to the announcement of a council, both in Rome and elsewhere.  Initial reactions to announcement

The fourth describes some features of the first stage of the whole conciliar event, the antepreparatory period that ran from May 1959 to November 1960 when the preparatory period began. Antepreparatory period

The fifth are the simple notes I distributed to undergraduates and expanded on in a lecture on the movements of renewal in the Catholic Church earlier in the twentieth century, which made the Council possible. Movements of renewal

Finally, there is a very brief outline of the principal dates and events from the announcement of the Council to its conclusion.  Vatican II – Dates & events

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