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722book reviews own traveling and living expenses are narrated in such a way as to build up suspense for the opening of the great assembly. Professor Alberigo has added a conclusion evaluating the significance of the preparatory work for the actual unfolding of the council in the years that followed. Matthew J. O'Connell's translation of the chapters originally written in languages other than English appears to be accurate and smooth, although the Minister General of the Capuchins, Father Clement of Milwaukee, is called "Father Milwaukee"(p. 108,n. 100). There are separate indexes ofpersons and subjects . The printing, done in Belgium, is excellent. It is regrettable, however, that no illustrations, not even a photograph of the historic papal ceremony held in the Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls on January 25, 1959, or portraits of the principal participants in the preparatory phase, have been included. Volume II of this history has already been published, and the remaining three volumes are expected at brief intervals. Then perhaps a single historian will be able to synthesize it all in a unified presentation. Robert Trisco The Catholic University ofAmerica Historia del Sínodo de los Obispos. By Manuel Alcalá, S.I. (Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos. 1996. Pp. xxiii, 508.) This historical account, even journalistic in the very best sense, covers fifteen assemblies of the postconciliar Synod of Bishops and is an invaluable source. It treats exhaustively nine of the ordinary sessions from 1967 through 1994 (each consisting chiefly of delegates elected by the conferences of bishops for the meeting), the two"extraordinary" sessions in 1969 and 1985 (chiefly the elected presidents of the episcopal conferences), and four special assemblies for particular churches or regions (Netherlands, Europe,Africa, and Lebanon). The volume begins with a brief introduction on the nature of the new synods—consultative to the Bishop of Rome and not yet deliberative or legislative bodies, although the latter possibility was envisioned by Paul VI in the apostolic constitution Apostólica sollicitude of 1965. The chief element of this introduction is a brief discursus on the synod as a papal or conciliar initiative: the language of the papal document was also part of the conciliar decree Christus Dominus. In both cases the synod was defined as "representing the entire Catholic episcopate [totius catholici Episcopatuspartes agens] ," a phrasing deliberately omitted in the 1983 Code of Canon Law. The chapters of this massive collection may seem uneven, but this is due to the developing nature of the synod itself and the growing quantity of documentation from succeeding sessions. In every chapter the background, participants , theme or themes under discussion, the general interventions, the lesser book reviews723 gatherings (circuit minores according to language),the resulting statements and propositions, the council chosen for the periods between sessions, etc., are described. The conflicts are considered fully both minor and major (such as celibacy, contraception, and general sacramental absolution). Special emphasis is understandably given to the role of the Spanish bishops, but never disproportionately or to the neglect ofthe other participants. Full statistical information is provided, for example, on the composition of the successive gatherings. Inevitably, uncertainties about individual names have crept in. As an instance of error, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop ofAustralia, Stylianos, is twice listed as from New Zealand (pp. 278 and 296). One feature that is as valuable as the information itself are the author's brief evaluations at the end of each chapter. These are as useful as the factual records and are worthy of separate English translation. As is evident, the synodal sessions after 1995 now require that a further volume be published soon. Perhaps this could be augmented in various ways, especially with a full analysis of the Synod of Bishops as a developing phenomenon in church life, the potential for its becoming a deliberative body, its integrity as an elected assembly in contrast to the college of cardinals as nonelected and curial (Roman) in character, and the like. Once again, the Spanish Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos and, in particular, Manuel Alcalá have left us greatly in debt, and this work is strongly deserving of continuation. Frederick R. McManus The Catholic University ofAmerica Man of the Century: The Life...


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